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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tales From The Classroom

("Tales from the Classroom" is a new feature posted occasionally here at this blog.  All tales are true and present matters about which I have personal knowledge.  The following tale relates the story of something that happened in November 2013)

On November 12, I received the earliest Christmas card ever from one of my students — the youngest student in the homeschool group. This little girl is only eight years old, and we admitted her on one-month probation last year to the middle school classes, classes for those from ages 11-14.

What a glorious surprise this little girl's achievements have been!  Last school term she, as the youngest entrant ever, won first place in a prestigious writing contest held nationwide.  She is now enrolled in my Literature, Grammar 2, and Latin 2 classes; those last two classes are high-school-level classes, each earning a high school credit.

Now, back to the Christmas card.

The card depicting cardinals was beautiful, of course, and came inside a matching envelope.  Still, nothing unusual — until the parsed postscript mentioning the stamp that Mr. AOW gave this little girl a few weeks before:
P.S. Thank you for the Korean stamp.
With arrows, she labeled the following grammatical elements of that short sentence:
for the Korean stamp — prep. phrase

Korean — Proper Adj.

stamp - Noun, o.p. [object of preposition]

. - Period
Yes, the class has recently been studying adjectival phrases and clauses.  This student needs to stand on a stool to reach the board to diagram sentences!  Nevertheless, she can diagram rings around some of the older students in that class.

This charming little girl's academic achievements, which extend across all subject areas albeit with an obvious imprint for Language Arts skills, are proof that age requirements  are not and should not be the only guideline for class admission.

It is both a pleasure and a privilege to work with students such as this little girl.  I do credit her parents with motivating and challenging her.  If only more parents did so for their own children!


  1. The key to students who value knowledge is parents, who value knowledge.

  2. It just goes to show what a tremendous disservice is being done to the millions of children who are forced into public schools and who must proceed in those classrooms to learn at the pace of the "slowest student" amongst them.

    *shakes head*

  3. what joy to see children grow! HAPPY THANKSGIVING my friend..hugss!!:)

  4. AOW, how do I arrange to guest the show?

    Contact me here or through my FLICKR email address.

    1. Duck,
      I sent you an email early this morning -- one email from my AOL account and one through Flickr.

      December 6 @ 3:00 P.M. for 1/2 hour?

      The call-in number: 1-646-915-9870.

      Sometimes there are BTR glitches, but we'll hope for no glitches!

      Please confirm.

    2. It's on my calendar, AOW.

      If your listeners don't wish to talk about film I assume it's pig pile on Ducky.
      I'm cool with that as long as we try to keep the language civil

    3. Duck,
      If your listeners don't wish to talk about film I assume it's pig pile on Ducky.

      I don't know that anyone will pile on.

      Talking about film is okay with me, but I can't imagine that the conversation won't drift into worldview and/or politics at some point.

  5. That is so sweet. I hope the best for her.

    Off topic: the girl who was the newest Rosie turned out to be a more muscular Rosie than my skinny daughter. I saw the pictures and laughed. Definitely a mesoderm.

  6. " won first place in a prestigious writing contest held nationwide."

    There is no greater honor for a teachers than to see their students succeed.


  7. This amazing girl has "the imprint" for Grammar.

    In all my years of teaching, I've met only two students with that imprint.

    And her Composition skills are excellent too, but she has to work harder on those.

    Both of her parents are "math people," but they see her gift and allow her to develop it.

  8. This girl is thrice blessed: her inate intelligence, her nurtuing parents, and a capable and caring teacher.

  9. I love these tales from the classroom segments.

    This little girl obviously had great instruction before she came into your life and what a joy she must be.

    Right Truth

  10. You may have a genuine enfant prodigue on your hands, AOW! ;-) It's a privilege to teach one so talented,but also a tremendous responsibility. I know you are very capable of nurturing such a one, however. She is fortunate to have encountered you so early in life.

    I love your tales from the classroom too, and wish you'd share more of them -- and more frequent anecdotes from your daily experiences with "the folk."

    I have found that real life is usually much more enjoyable than entertaining tedious "theories" and fear-filled fantasies about what real ought to be.

    So many of our greatest blessings come from totally unexpected sources, don't they?


    1. FT,
      I have several very bright students in my classes and a handful of truly-gifted writers, who consistently win first place in national writing contests. In fact, yesterday I got word that one of my students in Advanced Composition (high school) has won yet another national writing contest this term; she won last term too.

      In years past, I have encountered a significant portion of gifted students in the homeschool group, which is "wide open" for admission (not restricted by screening tests). Perhaps their gifts were what prompted their parents to homeschool them. Furthermore, I have also found that students officially classified as "special ed" actually are quirky and have significant gifts, some of which are quite amazing.

      The little girl who is the topic of this blog post is a genuine enfant prodigue. What's more, her little sister (age 6) seems to be the same! I hope that I haven't retired by the time that she is old enough for admission to the homeschool group.

  11. If there's any way to post your show with Ducky on youtube, please do so. It might prove very interesting.

    1. Average American,
      The Gathering Storm Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio broadcasts live and also has podcasts for later listening. See this, the specific link for the December 6 interview with Duck.


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