ten sentences in 24 hours

The Maker created a bit of a stir this week. He had a homeschool assignment to copy ten sentences of his choice from the book of his choice as a writing exercise. One might think, since he’s done this routinely before, that this would be a non-remarkable thing. One would be wrong.

Book: The Great Illustrated Classics version (the kids all loved these) of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped. (Pirates rock.)
Starting time: Monday, 1 pm.
Finish time: Tuesday, 1 pm.

I can’t even begin to list the excuses that were offered on a regular basis during that twenty-four hour period, but the Maker was not allowed to leave his room — except for meals — until he finished, and honestly I had NO IDEA he had this kind of stamina! I’m wondering if he could be, like, an ultra-runner in the making. Something that takes extraordinary perseverance and willpower for an extended period of time. I mean, my estimation of him skyrocketed.

Truly, if as a parent you are going to have to endure a tantrum, this is the kind you want. Very low maintenance for the parent, big impact on the kid. On Tuesday shortly after noon he had completed two of the sentences, but the sun was shining, the basketball goal was waiting, and he’d presumably gone through all the toys available to him in his tiny domain. So the last eight sentences were zipped off in short order.

Here they are, precisely as they were recorded by the Maker, just for posterity:

1. Some seamen were asleep in it.
2. Ransom told me this was the brigs boat waiting for the capiten.
3. He turned away quickly crying goodbye and set off at a jogging run.
4. I watched him as long as I could.
5. He nevre stopped hurrying nor once looked back.
6. He ternd away quickly crying goodbye and set of at gogging run.
7. I wached him as long as I cood.
8. he never sttoped hurrying nor once lookd Back.
9. ther were ships in the inlet and a flage up on the casele at edinburgh.
10. It was my first vyou of the sea and I stood in the wonder for som time.

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2 Responses to ten sentences in 24 hours

  1. Mary Jo March 27, 2008 at 10:00 am #

    I was reading the Maker’s sentences and thinking, “Wow. I wish everybody had to do this assignment.”
    Wouldn’t it be fun to find out what book people chose, and what sentences?
    For some people, it would be better than a Rohrschach test. And other people would just pick up the closest book and throw darts to choose the sentences. And if handwriting counts, some of us would look for words that didn’t have Gs or Ks in them (those letters were always hard for me).
    The really cool people? We’d probably have to tell them they couldn’t leave their rooms until they finished.

  2. Lisa Creech Bledsoe March 27, 2008 at 11:27 am #

    The stark truth of the matter is that this sort of assignment sucks for creative kids and creative adults both! Who wants to do routine, boring, rote assignments, even for 10 minutes? I don’t, and never did. I sigh for our interesting, imaginative, wonderful, recalcitrant, would-rather-play, creative children. And I’m eager for them to pair up with all the brilliant, practical, fascinating, obstinate, would-rather-calculate people to start running the world: I just know they’ll do a wonderful job.

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