My son left his homework packet at school yesterday. This year, third grade, is the first year for homework at his school, and they focus primarily on training the children to be organized and responsible for getting it done. Guess he failed the organized bit, as when we went to school early this morning to complete the homework, the entire packet was lost forever. However, I couldn't be more pleased at his taking responsibility for doing the right thing and for his inquisitiveness. He is one curious kid.
When he realized he would be unable to complete his spelling homework last night, he feverishly asserted that he needed to do some kind of word or spelling work to make up for it. I (half-jokingly) told him to pick up the dictionary and learn three new Q words. By the time I had completed his sister's bath, he was itemizing various definitions of quadrilateral, quintuplet, and quagmire. I love words and was particularly pleased with quagmire, leading me to exclaim many times that, "Leaving your homework at school has put us in a bit of a quagmire!" (I said I love words. I didn't say I was funny.)
I requested he look up two more Q words that had come to mind, quotidian and quatrefoil. As a high school teacher of mine used to say, I know that I knew but I know not now. My son handled quotidian for me, but then we began the bedtime process.
Tonight, while I was preparing dinner--and by dinner, I mean cereal--my daughter walked into the kitchen and handed me a small pencil drawing of a four-leaf clover shape. Confused, I asked what it was. She told me, "It's a quatrefoil. We have a metal inset of a quatrefoil at school." I'll be damned.
quatrefoil: an ornamental design of four lobes or leaves as used in architectural tracery, resembling a flower or four-leaf clover
I am grateful that I have inquisitive children who love to learn, and I love nothing more than when they teach something to me.