Oops in Homeschooling
Today, as the boys and I were reading together, I might have made a bit of a faux pas……I could chalk it up to the fact that I had not had any cheese, broth or caffeine. Maybe that is a good thought.
So, I didn’t have an “oops in homeschooling,” I had a small lapse due to the insufficient dairy consumption (in the form of parmesan) and I was dehydrated due to the fact that I had not had my morning chicken broth or coke or water.
All that being said…the boys and I were reading. I have many readers that are 1st-3rd grade. I bought most of them at yardsales or consignment stores. When the we read, one boy reads one page, my other son reads a page and I read a page. So I am flanked by two super cute boys and we are enlightening ourselves on our newest story. At the end of table, doing his work, is Boo. You have a visual, right?
We were reading “Harvey’s New Fish.” This story is about an elementary school aged boy who is jealous because some of his classmates have pets and are allowed to bring them to school for a type of show and tell. He goes home and asks his mother if he can have a pet and she says no. In that same afternoon, the boy gets a letter from his uncle, who lives in Japan. The uncle promises to send him a fish, in the mail, from Japan. Well, the boy was thrilled and he went to class, the next day and announced to his friends that he was getting a fish from Japan. Days went by and no fish came. Harvey was sad and the kids began to say that there was no fish coming and that he wasn’t telling the truth. He got home from school, discouraged, and his mom told him that he had a package in the mail, from his uncle. Harvey rips open the package to find a kite, in the shape of a fish. The boy tossed the envelope and was angry.
He went back to school, the next day, with a jar and water in it. The kids asked him what it was and he told them that it was his “transparent” fish that his uncle had sent him from Japan and that the “transparent” fish ate “transparent” food. All the kids (and teacher) gathered around and soon, the kids began “seeing” the fish. The boy was so excited that his friends were excited and his teacher encouraged the students’ to draw a picture of the “transparent” fish from Japan.
The next day….Harvey returns to school, without his transparent fish. The kids ask where the fish is and Harvey tells them that a cat snuck in his house, found the jar and ate the fish.
There are comprehension questions about the story at the end…I ask the boys the questions to see how their memory recall is and if they could remember details of the story. The boys sat down, ready to answer the questions. I closed the book and I looked at the boys and said “well, Harvey is a little liar, isn’t he?” Boo stops what he is doing and he looks up, in shock. He said “mama…that wasn’t the point of the story.” I thought, what the heck is the point. The boy is a liar. I asked what the kids thought of the story and they all agreed. The boy was ungrateful to his mom and uncle. He lied to his teacher and his fellow students, and frankly, he needed his butt busted.
I took the opportunity to discuss integrity, honor, honesty, trustworthiness, deceitfulness…..my kids know what I expect out of them. They are still kids, however, and they still make poor choices. It is my job to guide them, instruct them and discipline them, if necessary.
So, I took an innocent story, out of a 20 year old reader, and I created a lesson on how to be a city on a hill. Boo still snickered..moreso because he kept thinking the story was real and he wanted to research what a “transparent Japanese fish” looked like.