The trouble with dictionaries

March 4, 2009 § 1 Comment

My son, Christopher, is struggling through his vocabulary this afternoon.  “Flying buttresses” he chirps, “what is a flying buttress?  Look at this, ‘Notre Dame Cathedral’.  That’s cool!”.  It isn’t that he has a hard time finding the words.  He is relatively quick at typing the definitions into the computer.  His problem is solely one of  distraction.  He stumbles upon an interesting word and fifteen minutes later is half the alphabet away from where he wants to be reading about a variety of interesting things have absolutely nothing to do with the words he is supposed to be learning.

Now, I have a very difficult time finding too much fault in these rabbit-trails into the backwaters of the dictionary.  This particular form of failing is one I am intimately familiar with, being somewhat of a lexiphile myself and several decades ago it was me sitting at the kitchen table with the well worn dictionary spending hours looking up ten or fifteen vocabulary words.  SO I am somewhat torn: Do I make him buckle down and do the words he is assigned, or do I let him take the path less trodden and find new and interesting words to ignite his writing and imagination?  For the moment I am trying to strike a balance between the two.

It is part of the joy of homeschooling that he has the chance to enjoy this learning and learn what he enjoys.  But there is also the reality that he needs to learn to dicipline himself so that his fancy doesn’t thwart his goals.

A fantastic talk

August 8, 2008 § 2 Comments

This video of  Sir Ken Robinson is really inspirational.   His ideas about education are both insightful and challenging.  Give it a view.

Schools Kill Creativity

 

H/T to Stef at …and these Thy gifts.

“Every Sandwich Tells a Story”

May 27, 2008 § Leave a comment

But Subway won’t will let kids tell theirs if they are in a home school.

I heard about this in an email and was all set to be up in arms about it until I read that the grand prize was $5000 worth of athletic equipment for the child’s school.  I don’t think we really could make good use of the athletic equipment, at least not 5k worth.  That said, sure Subway could have worded the ad sensibly and more sensitively or even allowed the homeschooled students to designate an elementary school to benefit, but  I don’t think this was meant as a slight against homeschoolers.

 

 

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