Here are a few of my favorite parts.
After reading her lesson well at school, her response to her teacher is:
The little girl went up to her desk and said, what she knew it was her duty to confess: "I can't be allowed to read in the seventh reader. I don't write a bit well, and I never could get the mental number-work right. I couldn't do ANYthing with seventh-grade arithmetic!"The first day of school continues and the teacher tries to find out what she knows in each area and towards the end of the day Betsy gets very upset and proclaims:
The teacher looked a little blank and said: "I didn't say anything about your number-work! I don't know anything about it! You haven't recited yet."
"Why - why," said Elizabeth Ann, "I don't know what I am at all. If I'm second grade arithmetic and seventh-grade reading and third grade spelling, what grade am I?"
The teacher laughed at the turn of phrase. "you aren't any grade at all, no matter where you are in school. You're just yourself, aren't you? What difference does it make what grade you're in! And what's the use of your reading little baby things too easy for you just because you don't know your multiplication table?"The rest of the anecdote is instructive but you'll have to read it for yourself - I am sure you might identify with it!
"OH pshaw! It's ten minutes past five! Now my grandmother could have told that within five minutes, just by the place of the shadow [talking about the sundial]. I declare! Sometimes it seems to me that every time a new piece of machinery comes into the door some of our wits fly out at the window!And another about family time:
She was very proud to think she could please a grown-up so much as she was evidently pleasing Uncle Henry, but the idea of reading aloud for people to hear, not for a teacher to correct, was unheard-of.When the girls decide to help out a classmate Cousin Ann has some comments - a little convicting!
"Well," said Cousin Ann, "What has that got to do with 'Lias knowing who did it?"Thoughts on good teaching
"Why, he wouldn't know who to be grateful to," cried Betsy.
"Oh," said Cousin Ann, "oh, I see. You didn't do it to help 'Lias. You did it to have him grateful to you."
. . . and to begin with had gone back, back, back to bedrock, to things Betsy absolutely knew, to the 2x2s and the 3x3s. And then, very cautiously, a step at a time, they had advanced, stopping short whenever Betsy felt a beginning of that bewildered "guessing" impulse which made her answer wildly at random. . . From that moment her progress had been rapid, one sure fact hooking itself on to another and another one on to that.These are just some of my favorites. I highly recommend it as a read aloud. It is part of the Year 2 Ambleside Online curriculum.