Sunday, September 1, 2013

Carl, Who the Heck Are You??

Rock on NG!! (she gets grace with her spelling BTW.)
     We are two weeks into the school year and Nature Girl has started with a bang. If you have read here before you will remember her story here, here, and how we choose to educate here. Our school is not for slackers. They work these girls us like nobody's business and we love it. Our personal philosophy of education is that you should be working in each subject area at the absolute tippy-top of your abilities ALL the live long day. This works great until you throw in some medical issues and learning differences in the pot. We've been foraging uncharted waters for years now with Nature Girl, praying for wisdom, fighting for justice and rejoicing at victories. This year she skipped a grade in order to be with her age group. We have arrived where we never thought we'd a regular classroom at a university modeled, college prep private school. We did it.  Can I get an amen??!! Actually we've been doing a little Kirk Franklin's "Shout" as all this unfolded.....we are that excited for her!!
     So, this week Nature Girl had her first Latin no less. Not a big deal for most people......unless you have walked in our shoes or something similar. We knew this would be a benchmark for how well the rest of the year would go. I was praying we hadn't made a mistake by skipping her a grade.......not wanting to put undue pressure on her. Well, take a look at her first test!! Do yall realize what this means??
     Our other philosophy (which I'm sure most of you share) is to let our kids be kids......and not have them conform to a preconceived set of 'standards' just because we do/see things differently. This brings up Carl. Nature Girl came home telling me she has to do a biographical book report on a contributor to science or an inventor. Oh, Yay! (thinks me, very sarcastically but I totally hid it y'all. Tote.) I immediately begin to think of finding an EASY book on Ben Franklin, Edison or someone we ALL know. Nature Girl would have none of it.
     "I want to do my report on Carl Linneaus." says Nature Girl.  (Silence, by me.)
     "Who?", says Moi.
     "Carl Linneaus, you know the guy who invented the Latin classification systems we still use today for both botany and animals. He old. He may even be dead......But I want to read a book about him." says my little scientist. (She was right about one thing......the man was born in the early 1700's. Yep,  pretty much all kinds of dead.)
     Now, for a girl who didn't even read until she was 9 this was big news. Up until recently I couldn't even bribe this girl with candy to go sit and read a book. After I figured out who Carl was, I set to hunting to see if there was even ANY kind of book about this guy. He's not exactly a household name. It took some digging and some dollars but I found it. (That would be a negative on the library.) When the book was put into Nature Girls hands she literally began screaming, jumping up and down, and doing a happy dance.......over a book about a curly haired, probably- kinda- weird -for- his- time guy that lived over 300 years ago.....and changed the face of science. Her personality.....her report. She's hooked on Science. She's brilliant under there. What can I say?? This kid's going places y'all. Just you wait. Carl would be proud. I'm sure he and Nature Girl would've been BFF's (after we talked some hair sense into the guy)!
Poor guy needed someone to do his hair, but you still see his classification systems everywhere today. Smart dude.


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