Page of Word Wisdom from third grade

Homework Mishaps

February 6, 2013 by Michelle

I’m one of those parents.  When the wee ones come home with homework, I go through it with them when they’re finished with it.  I see homework as practice to ensure they understand the concepts taught in class, as well as a way to set their work ethic for the future.  Too often, I see the wee ones race through it for the sake of being complete, so when they have incorrect answers, I’ll have them work through their sloppy math or explain a concept to them or the like.  I know not all parents have the same philosophy, but it’s how it works in our house.

Fortunately – or unfortunately – sometimes the errors are more comedic than anticipated.  Mister Man, in particular, has come up with some real gems when completing his “word wisdom.”  He has a workbook where he completes pages on vocabulary words using context clues and the like to determine meaning and more.  Some of them have been doozies:

Why might you use a stationary bicycle? I have no idea.
I put the kibosh on that answer.  He knew what a stationary bike was, so there went that idea.  No, he simply couldn’t conceive of why anyone would want to ride a bike that didn’t go anywhere.  After some conversation, he came up with a new answer.  to exercise – and  yes, we’re still working on using the complete sentences requested by the teacher.

Why might you need to find a new route to a friend’s house?  If you were a newspaper boy.
This one was tough.  He insisted that as a newspaper boy, you would have to figure out your route to your friend’s house, which is somewhat true.  It’s the literal meaning of it – and this is where his autism shows a bit – but it isn’t what the sentence really was asking.  Finally, he came up with a different answer.  for if there is bad traffic.

Page of Word Wisdom from third grade

When might your hopes soar?  During war.
This was my personal favorite for this particular page.  I looked at him, convinced he somehow didn’t know the meaning of the word “soar.”  He reassured me that he understood it meant to glide or to rise high.  Huh.  “Ok, so why exactly do your hopes soar during war?” I asked him.  “You do realize that during war, most people affected by it are pretty depressed, right?”  He looked at me sagely.  “But, Mom,” he explained, “I’m talking about when you’re winning the battle.  That’s when your hopes soar.”  Ah.  But that’s not what you said, Grasshopper.  After some discussion, he decided on a more conventional answer.  if you are winning something.

Then we have my all-time favorite.  Unfortunately, I was not at home for this one, but my husband posted it on Facebook.  I would have, too.  I did tag his teacher when I got home so that she could enjoy it, as well.  My husband made Mister Man change the answer, but I might have left it… if only for the pure entertainment value for the teacher.

My mom can figure out what emotion I am feeling because… she’s psychotic.
Now, the part that scares me a little is that my husband had to dig with Mister Man to figure this one out.  As he relayed it to me over the phone, I immediately said, “Oh!  He meant psychic not psychotic.”  My husband was amazed that I figured that out.  So as entertained as I was by Mister Man confusing the two words, I think I’m a little more scared that my husband couldn’t work it out on his own.  Immediately.

What are your best homework malapropisms?

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  • Maria

    Last year, my little one – who was in Kindergarten at the time- gave me a Valentines day card from school that read, “Mom, you are the BOX!” When I asked him why he wrote that he responded, ” I wanted to write the BEST, but I didn’t know how to spell it… so I just wrote the word box.” They start with the same letter, I guess. 🙂

    • Michelle

      That is classic, Maria! I hope you saved that card 🙂

  • Shannon

    Funny! When my daughter was in kindergarten shw wrote on a paper that she could “beat her dog.” She meant at a race, but left that part out!

    • Michelle

      Yeah, those little things they “forget” to put in really make a difference, don’t they? Oops!

  • Andrea

    Psychotic is awesome!!! 😛

    This is too sweet. It sounds like your lil dude has a great mind!

    • Michelle

      Oh yeah, he’s got a great mind. I just hope he uses it for good and not evil when he grows up 😉

  • Tara R.

    Oh that’s priceless – psychotic!

    • Michelle

      And you KNOW I’m not pschotic, right Tara? RIGHT?

  • Tiaras & Tantrums

    now that my kiddos are getting older – there are less malapropisms! There are a select few that are still in their vocabulary that I won’t correct them on simply for the sake of cuteness! (maked for naked)!

    • Michelle

      Teresa, there are definitely fewer as they get older, but they’re still precious when they happen. And no, I have a few I never corrected either. They’ve finally stopped saying “aminal” which makes me sorta sad.

  • Pat

    That is hilarious. I’m impressed that Mr. Man spelled “psychotic” correctly! I can’t remember funny things my sons wrote now that decades have gone by, but I do remember someone chuckling over my use of “corrupt,” a spelling word. We had to write our spelling words in sentences and I wrote, “The apple was corrupt.” I was around 9. I don’t remember if it was my mom or my teacher who chuckled. All I know is that when I looked up “corrupt” in the dictionary, it said, “rotten.”

    • Michelle

      I THINK he spelled it correctly. I didn’t see the homework, as my husband had it corrected by the time I got home. It was at least obvious what he was trying to say. I totally understand your misuse of corrupt. Gotta love how context makes such a difference 🙂

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