Thursday, June 26, 2014

Greek and Stuff (or Why Our Kids are Weird)

When something went wrong, my Grandma Phillips always used the expression, "Oh, man!"  My mom used the expression often.  And I, too, use this same expression.  Naturally, the kids do as well.

These same kids are learning Koine Greek right now.  Joshua and Hannah are in their second year (this means that they can identify and write the letters of the Greek alphabet, tell their sounds, and identify about four words - it's a nice, slooow program).

The newest word in their Greek curriculum is "anthropos".  It means "a man".  This morning I overheard Hannah saying, "Oh, anthropos!"  Followed by a string of laughter.

I also found this written on the kids' scrap paper earlier in the week:


Claude and I are trying to keep up with them so that we can one day read a little Greek ourselves.  I'm already beginning to see the dust kick up behind them as they take off and we struggle to tell the difference between ν and η.

On the other end of the spectrum, Hannah made this confession to me several months ago.

"Mommy, I don't know the English alphabet."  [She was already reading chapter books and dictating 20-word spelling lists at this stage, so I know that she knows the letters, just not their order.]
"Would you like to learn it, Hannah?"
"Well, I know the Greek alphabet, so that's okay."

At the time, had we chosen to enroll her in public school, she would have been starting kindergarten.  If singing the alphabet song was some kind of requirement to enter kindergarten she would have failed. 

Abby spends a lot of time doodling letters on paper.  Her favorites seem to be o, t, and A.  And, yes, she does write only capital A.  She can also write her name but this takes on different variations like: BBAY, YBBA, ABBY, and my personal favorite BABY.

In the past couple of weeks I have found θ in the midst of the usual English letters.  It looks like Abby is also learning Greek.

I've mentioned before how much the kids love the Little House on the Prairie books.  So great is their love for all things Laura Ingalls Wilder that even Abby and Jeremiah "read" the books.  I would say that 9 times out of 10 they have chapter books in their laps instead of one of many awesome picture books that line our library shelf.  My favorite is when they insist on putting a book mark in their book before setting it down.  I haven't quite figured out how they know the difference between one page of solid text and another.  But apparently it really matters.

Jeremiah is talking up a storm.  He likes to tell me about anything and everything he can remember from his day.  Earlier this week he ran up to me and said, "Abby neaking bood!"  Translation, "Abby, sneaking food!"  And so the tattling begins...

He also likes the question "Why?"  Last week he came into the bathroom while I was painting my toenails.  He stood, sucking his fingers, for a few minutes and observed this strange activity.  Then he said, "Mommy, I want toe paint."

The conversation continued as follows,

"Jeremiah, you can't paint your toe nails."
"Because boys don't paint their nails."
"I'm not sure, Jeremiah, that's just how it is in this culture."
Then he thought for a moment, sucking his fingers.
"Mommy, Joshua toe paint."
"No, Joshua doesn't paint his nails."

He's not even 2 years old...I was kind of hoping to put off the "why" stage for another year or so!

Jeremiah also thinks that whatever happens to his siblings is also happening to him.  Last week he came to me and said, "Mommy, my teeth loose.  Come out."  Then he reached into his mouth and tried wriggling his teeth.

"Jeremiah, your teeth are not coming out."
"Because your teeth are growing in right now."

Abby swallowed a ring that Hannah gave to her.  It was made from wire and fairly chunky glass beads.  She, being like her dad, has a stomach of steel and seems to have passed it without too much trouble.  We haven't actually found the ring, though.  So, for a couple of weeks we have been checking each and every one of her bowel movements.  Boy am I glad that, after consulting our pediatrician, we no longer have to scour the toilet for signs of a digested ring!

Apparently Jeremiah thinks that he, too, swallowed a ring.  He told us the other day, "Mommy, I ring in my poop."

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