“I thought it was called tempura paint.”
      – Mica, on a discussion about tempera paints during Art class

The following instances show how Mica needs to work on her definitions.

Daddy and Mica during Chemistry class.
Daddy: What is a chemical reaction?
Mica: A reaction of chemicals.

Mommy and Mica during Logic class.
Mommy: What is a self-supporting statement?
Mica: A statement that is true because it supports itself.

During Spelling Class, I usually ask Rinoa to spell a word from her ‘list words’ and then to make sure she understands what it means, I also ask her to use the word in a sentence. The conversations described below happened in August.

Mommy: Rinoa, use ‘hot’ in a sentence.
Rinoa: My mother cooks lunch that is hot soup and I go to the kitchen and touch the hot stove and my fingers burned and burned and my mother had to bring me to the hospital and when my fingers felt better, I told my sister my fingers don’t hurt anymore.
Mommy: I don’t think that’s a sentence. I think that’s a story.

Mommy: Rinoa, use ‘pin’ in a sentence.
Rinoa: I have a map but I don’t want to lose it. I know where to place it – in my backpack! But it might fall out of my backpack when my backpack is open, so I find another place to put it. I know, the wall! But how will I stick it one the wall? I know, I need four pins to stick it on the wall.

So, since we were taking a long time finishing her spelling review because of her ‘long’ sentences, I decided to skip the ‘use the word in a sentence’ part of our review. And here’s what happened …

Mommy: Rinoa, spell ‘hook’.
Rinoa: h-o-o-k.
Mommy: Good. Now spell …
Rinoa raises her hand.
Rinoa: Uh, can I use ‘hook’ in a sentence?
Mommy: Sure but make it short, please!
Rinoa: I hang my bag … or coat … or sweater …
Mommy: (sighs) I said make it short!
Rinoa: (in a hurried tone) on a hook.

Now at the end of every spelling lesson, there are ‘sentence prompts’ – questions that are to be answered in one or two sentences to train her in her composition skills. Below are various instances when I was giving her the prompts.

Mommy: What if someone gave you a big jar of honey? How would you say ‘thank you’?
Rinoa: Well, actually, I would just give that jar of honey to a bear because I can’t eat that much honey.

Mommy: What is your favorite game? Describe how to play this game.
Rinoa: My favorite game is hide-and-seek. To play hide-and-seek, you have to trick whoever is looking for you by putting pillows on the bed under the blanket so the person thinks it’s you under the blanket.
Mommy: That’s not how to play hide-and-seek.
Rinoa: Well, that’s what Mica does.