This week in school --our home school which I like to think of as The Gale Academy of Classical Education, but more realistically it should be The Gale Institution of the Borderline Criminally Insane ... OK I'm exaggerating... just a little. Anyway, we have been reading the account of Helaman and his 2,000 stripling warriors in the Book of Mormon. A suggested assignment was "List 10 things your mother taught you". The boys need all the practice they can get with writing (fine motor skills are slow to develop for boys) so I gave them paper and pencil and the assignment. I sat back with a book and waited. They seemed to be struggling with what to write. I started to wonder if my whole life was just a sham...a waste of all that time and effort keeping them alive those first few years with food and bathing and nose-wiping and stepping between them and the street traffic. Really, they were drawing a blank! I pretended to be reading as they discussed the topic with each other (their older sister was down and out with a nasty flu virus so she was excused from school that day). Sam: "Well, I pretty much taught myself everything so I don't know." That's right honey, you changed your own diapers too. Then Shane: "Well, ummm she did potty-train us, that's something." SCORE ONE FOR MOM! I was about to give up and change the assignment to "List One Thing Your Mother Taught You, Anything...Anything at All", when Sam said: "Oh, I know" and began to scribble intently. Not to be outdone, Shane began to write. I held back the urge to look over their shoulders and kept my nose in my book. Even when Shane asked Sam how to spell alcohol. When they were finished, this is what I read:
10 Things My Mother Taught Me By: Sam
1. Don't lie.
2. A Faithful testimony is better than anything the world can offer.
3. God lives and hears our prayers.
4. When in doubt, PRAY! (yes he capitalized and exclaimed)
5. Roman and Medieval history
6. What ubiquitous means.
7. That school work is hard.
8. How to count.
9. The alphebet (I taught him the alphabet, but not how to SPELL alphabet)
10. To be kind even when no one's watching.
Shane's List (Of course he had to outdo his brother by volume)
1. She potty-trained me.
2. She taught me how to eat.
3. She taught me how to write.
4. She taught me how to pray.
5. She taught me how to peel potatoes (A skill he can always fall back on)
6. She taught me how important the temple is.
7. She taught me how to be brave.
8. She taught me how to serve others.
9. She taught me how to love one another.
10. She taught me to do what's right.
11She taught me to have a testimony.
12. She taught me not to drink alcohol.
13. She taught me not to smoke.
14. She taught me math.
15. She taught me history.
16. She taught me literature.
17. She taught me science.
18. She taught me the scriptures.
19. She taught me the way things work.
20. She taught me how to tell time.
21. She taught me about faith.
22. She taught me about Christ.
23. She taught me about the evils of the world. (Hopefully not by example!)
24. She taught me about the devil's work and the ways he tries to tempt us.
25. She taught me about life.
I guess I'll keep 'em!