I know my kids are doing just fine in math, reading, science, grammar, Latin, and whatever else we are doing. But I’ve been worried about spelling for a long time. So I took some of the kids’ most recent written pieces and posted them to Facebook to see what the crowds there had to say about it. And it is unanimous that, although their writing stinks compared to an adult, it is pretty much at grade/developmental level, so I can go ahead and stop worrying about it.
Still, as homeschoolers, sometimes we worry because we can’t compare with others in similar cohorts (age/development/grade/etc.). Many of us have gotten past that and are ok with just meeting our kids where they are at and moving at their pace to consistently improve (I’m getting to that point, but obviously not quite there yet) and that seems to me to be the better way to do it.
One of the great things about homeschooling is you don’t have to fit into any certain box except the one you and your children make together.
But…. if you are curious as to what my kids’ writing looks like… and you need a good laugh (because some of these are full of such attitude it is hilarious) then please sit back and enjoy our little writing sampler. (Edited for spelling and punctuation versions of the text are provided under the images. You’ll probably have to click on the images to make them big enough to read, too.)
The War on Pants – Part One (2nd grader)
This one is good enough you don’t need a translation. But here is a tip: wonets = once, iskeptobeol = acceptable.
War on Pants – Part 2 (2nd grader)
This one is actually ok too, but again: wore = war, aregu ments = arguments, seeryus = serious.
This Press is Sensational and Biased (2nd grader – are you picking up on all that sass!?! I titled this and all the previous writing pieces as well by myself, just FYI.)
OK, this requires translation. “Papa says that Markus will wash the dishes by himself when he is four! Joshua says that it is totally silly! Anonymous thinks it is a silly, crazy idea, and Papa must have been totally out of his mind! Papa sometimes thinks of crazy things, but never something so ridiculous has ever occurred! Papa does not like the news company, and it looks like he does not like being written of in public and of being in the newspaper. Abby says that it is a crazy idea and that Papa should start making sense! Markus says that he thinks it is a not a good idea. Kaleb thinks that Markus will be too young to do dishes by himself at only age four! Lukas things that Markus will be too young and that Papa is wrong! And that Papa is out of his mind! Mama thinks that’s not what he meant. She thinks we misunderstood him.”
Talk on Agency (4th grader)
Translation: “You all know that we have the right to choose. That special gift is called agency. All choices come with a consequence. A consequence can be good or bad. If we make a good choice, we get a good consequence. If we make a bad choice, we get a bad consequence. If we hit our brother, we get in trouble. If we clean the house, nobody will get so stressed out. In 2nd Nephi it says “Therefore, cheer up your hearts and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves–to choose the way of everlasting death or the way to eternal life.” This scripture explains to cheer up your hearts and to be happy that we have the gift to choose. I know that if we use our agency well we will be blessed. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” (This is one proud mama, right here!)
The Legend of How the Stars Came (4th grader – he’s having fun with the clip art gallery! This legend fulfilled a cub scout requirement.)
Ungeheuer (Kindergartener – This is in German, and being a kindergartener I didn’t ask him to write a lot, I just told him to write some words down on a paper, and I would help him spell the words. Then he had to illustrate it. I really like this. I kind of want to frame it, actually.)This obviously requires a literal translation. Ungeheuer = monster, Katze = cat, Pferd = horse, Fisch = fish, Schwein = pig, Rore!!! (not German) = roar.
And for your reading pleasure I am going to add a little story my 2nd grader wrote during symposium a few weeks back. I’m pretty sure we were working on Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor. This story is what that concerto makes her think of.
OK – big breath – here we go…
Once there was a pigeon. He lived under a tree. He liked to sing in the summer, get ready for winter in the fall, and, not like other birds, hibernated in the winter. One fall he decided to stay awake for the winter. He said goodbye to his friends. He told them he was staying awake for the winter. He watched when they left. Then he went to his home and took a nap. It was an extra long nap because he was used to hibernating! He woke up on the first day of winter. It was snowing. He squeezed into ball to keep warm, but he fell asleep again. When he woke up, his tree began to shake. He went out of his hole to find out what was going on. A poor man was chopping down his tree for fire wood! He hopped out just before it fell. The man put the tree on a sled. The pigeon watched as his tree got pulled away. Just then a cold wind blew. The pigeon shivered. He curled up into a ball. A wolf thought he was dead. The wolf was hungry and cold, but when he opened his mouth, the pigeon heard breathing. He jumped up. Then he saw the wolf. He flew up. The wolf jumped at him. The pigeon flew away. He flew to a branch in a tree. He fell asleep. When he woke up it had snowed ten feet high! And he was lying in the snow. He tried to fly, but he was stuck! He managed to get on the top of the snow. His feet acted like snow shoes. He hopped until he could not hop anymore. He curled up in the snow. Where he had curled up was right in front of a house. He did not notice because of the ten feet of snow. Inside the house lived a family. A girl and a boy were getting on snow clothes to play in the snow. They did not know that there was ten feet of snow. The pigeon had fallen asleep again. When the girl opened the door tons of snow flowed in. Including the pigeon. The pigeon was still asleep. The girl noticed a small white ball in the snow. She picked it up and then noticed feathers. She uncurled the ball. “Mathew!” she shouted. “Look what I found!” The boy came running. Just then the pigeon woke up. He froze with fright when he saw a girl and a boy staring at him. They put him in a box with a towel in it, too. Then they ran to tell their mother. When the pigeon opened his eyes the family was shoveling the snow that had come in. He stood up and tried to get out of the box. He scratched a hole in the box and hopped out. Without the family looking, he hopped from room to room. He was so excited that he had something to explore that he forgot his hunger. But when he hopped into the kitchen he remembered he was hungry. He hopped onto the stool, then to a chair, then on to the table. He ate some fruit from a fruit bowl. But just then the girl noticed the pigeon was missing. “Mother! Father! Mathew!” she said. “The bird is not here!” They ran around the house. They finally found him in the kitchen. Father picked him up and put him in another box, and they kept on shoveling. When they were done, mother went to the kitchen to make lunch. The rest went downstairs. A long time passed while the pigeon tried to get out. When they came up, their father had a large cage in his hand.
This is a very long story for a 2nd grader to write. But, Grieg’s Piano Concerto is a very long song. And she had 5 days to work on it.
Apparently, though, the song isn’t long enough to finish the story.
What will happen to our poor pigeon!
Now we will probably never know.