Tuesday, June 17, 2008
"Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.
We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it? If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick' "
Anyway, I KNEW there was somthing hard about teaching Reilly to read! I just couldn't put my finger on it until now!
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Back in April, out homeschooling co-op offered IOWA testing for those who wanted to participate. Although our state doesn't require any standardized testing at any grade level, I decided to have Reilly take them just so I could get an "indifferent" opinion of how she's doing. Long story short, I was amazed when I got the test results! In the reading area (comprehension, usage, etc.), she's at a 5th grade level and in most other areas tested she was at a third grade level. (We just finished second grade) The only thing that she was "low" in was math, and I expected that to be the case because MUS doesn't do math like the school system does it. Even with that, it was at an "early" second grade level.
Anyway, I've always said that I think that homeschoolers feel too much pressure to have kids who are advanced academically, as opposed to just average, so I'd have been perfectly happy with everything just showing at a second grade level. But it's nice to see that whatever random method we're using for school is working, and working well!!