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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Summer School: As Long as They’re Trying

Our kids don’t always get things right.  As a matter of fact, neither do I.  All I ask is that we give it our best shot.  While we may not get an “A” for effort, trying one’s hardest is frequently the factor that leads to success in life.

Since we tend to do school year-round, going a bit lighter in the summertime, I’ll use a recent Hebrew exercise as an example of our children’s efforts.  Some whiz through the homework, since we’re in a review mode, while others take so much time and effort, that it comes out not even making sense.

Let’s take a look at Exhibit A, B, C, and D, in no particular order and my attempts to “look on the bright side”.

Exhibit A:  the student demonstrates a certain knack for rote copying, yet, as usual, uses no articles in Russian, English… nor Hebrew.  When I insist that we need the text to read “a pioneer”, the student insists back that that I am mistaken.

Moi:  “Believe me, I know what I’m talking about.”

At least this one is consistent.

Exhibit B:  the student does good, basic work, however, forgets the English translation.  That would make the assignment 50% incomplete.

But it’s turned in on time, with a smile on the face, and a spring in the step.

Exhibit C:  this pupil cannot spell “hello” in English—should it be marked down since technically, we’re doing Hebrew?  Also conveniently leaves out several lines of dialog-!?

What a great opportunity to learn attention to detail….

Exhibit D:  This one also has challenges with simple English greetings, spelling “hello” as “hollow”.  Rather than “All is well, thank you,” this student translates the text literally, misreading a couple of Hebrew letters and changing “all” to “wise” and “thank you” to “Torah”, the first five books of the Bible.  In essence, the student responds to the question, “How are you?” with “I am wise according to the Bible.”

Never mind that this may be our least wise one among the children, the student was aiming for a literal rendition, plus, there’s some sort of lofty direction and goal being expressed….


Moral of the story:  transpose a letter, misread a passage, not pay attention to the facts, and if you’re trying, rather than just blowing off the work, Mama may give you another chance to redeem yourself.  That’s how it goes when it’s summer and the kids are plodding along in their studies.

Papa gives them all ice cream and asks them Hebrew questions in the car.  I act out the same dialogs at the kitchen table.  The dogs dance on their hind legs.  We go out to the beach, or have roundtable discussions about life.  Their corrected work will be placed in my “in box” before breakfast the next morning, and we’ll move on their other subjects, each taught slightly differently.

It’s summer, after all, and as long as they’re trying….  Do you give your kids the benefit of the doubt… upon occasion?



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2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Linda says:

    quote: In essence, the student responds to the question, “How are you?” with “I am wise according to the Bible.”
    Oh my, that just cracked me up. =D
    It’s like my mum writing in the English exam: “A great big frog landed over London”. It should have said “A great big fog landed over London.”
    Or my son, who keeps on fainting in Swedish when he’s going swimming. It’s simma (swim), but he says swimma (faint, well svimma is faint, but it sounds the same).
    As he sometimes still mixes English and Swedish, it sort of makes sense, at least if you know that he mixes them. But it’s amusing to see, peoples faces when this little boy talks perfect Swedish without any accent, and tell strangers that he’s going to go and faint in the sea.

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