Are You Smarter Than a 10th Grader?
When I was around 14 I started using 3×5 cards as bookmarks and writing down all the words that I encountered that I did not know. The idea was to look up all of the words once I was done reading since it wasn’t as if I was going to keep interrupting a good book to pick up the dictionary!
Of course when it came to words like “Cossack” in War and Peace I needed to look them up immediately since I wanted to be a smart reader, but for the most part I accumulated list of words that I mostly knew by the time I got around to actually checking their definitions.
I recently found the card that I used for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. These are words that I did not know as a 15-year-old, and like any good formerly homeschooled person I am just a bit ashamed of myself for ever being so ignorant.
Are you more educated than a 15-year-old who has never been to school?
And for good measure I wrote a favorite quote on the back of the card: “More matter with less art.”
Pernicious remains one of my favorite words, though I may or may not have learned how to pronounce it correctly before I went to college. To this day one of my favorite ways to identify the formerly-homeschooled is by noting those who use unnecessarily unusual words–and pronounce them incorrectly. The best part is when we don’t even realize that we’re being stupidly pretentious.
Homeschoolers: we’re so cute.
- The Things We Do For Blogs
It’s not just homeschoolers who do that. I had a high reading proficiency (I read the Clan of the Cave Bear and Gone With the Wind as a 10 year old) and so was constantly encountering words I’d never heard before. Most of the time I just got the meaning from context, which led to me using them improperly a lot and almost always mispronouncing them. I never took phonics in school, though, which might have been a contributing factor. For some reason they didn’t teach it in my international school in Indonesia when I was in 1st and 2nd grade, and by the time I came to the States we were past that stuff and onto other kinds of grammar.
Even traditionally schooled students can still have gaps here and there!
My mom had audiotapes of SAT words that we listened to too and from school. It was awesome. :-/
Yeah I went to public school and still had that problem too lol. There’s a couple words I still have trouble saying right… and oddly enough at least one of them (the worst one for me) is used a lot in my family. Facetious… For some reason I twist it to sound like fast-ee-tious (and for the longest time thought that was right lol), Jas teases me about it something awful.
Hehe, another public schooler with the same problem! And I think the only word I would’ve known from that list is peruse. I still would have to look up four of them, though!
Currently 5 for 8 ~ no clue how I would have done at 15.
Public schooler here but for my primary parent (my mom) English was not her first language and I picked up some of her mis-pronunciations.
Pronunciation has always been a challenge for me too. I was reading way ahead of my grade, and did the same sort of thing you did. I still have major trouble with spelling, and we never studied any grammer, so sometimes I still wonder whether to use “to” or “too” and what the heck a semi-colon is for.
“To this day one of my favorite ways to identify the formerly-homeschooled is by noting those who use unnecessarily unusual words–and pronounce them incorrectly. The best part is when we don’t even realize that we’re being stupidly pretentious.”
I wasn’t homeschooled, but this helps me understand why people assumed I was.
Such a geek – 2×5 cards – I can see it now But look how you write – it worked. By the way I knew all of those fancy words My fave word was ubiquitous – learned it in Latin class.
God Bless and keep you and all of yours Rae