Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I did not know that in Kindergarten

I don't have a lot of memories from kindergarten. I remember one day being reprimanded for coloring something orange when it was supposed to be brown. I used the burnt sienna crayon. It looked brown to me before I started coloring with it. It looked orange on the paper.

I remember one day when one of the elementary school kids came to read to us. The teacher told him to slow down showing the pictures because our eyes didn't move as fast as his did. I thought that sounded strange.

There was another day when one of the kids came in counting. He carpooled with Julie Race. She said he started counting when he got in the car and hadn't stopped yet.

That's it. That's about all I can remember from kindergarten. I can't say for sure what I learned, but I'm certain it is not what J is learning in kindergarten. Humor me while I act the part of proud mama and brag about him for a few minutes.

J's amazed me many times. He's always been a sponge when it comes to knowledge. I was concerned when he was around 3 that he would be bored in kindergarten. He already knew colors and shapes and letters and how to count to 20 and knew lots of body parts. We're not talking elbow and nose. We're talking pancreas, colon, brain, lungs, kidney...

Well, we put him in a montessori school last year for preschool. He thrived. He finished preschool reading like a champ. There were words he didn't know the meaning of, but he could basically read anything.

This year he's continuing to shine. We went to his open house last week. He showed us his writing journal. It contains mini research papers he's written. He picks a topic from one of the continents, looks it up in the encyclopedia, then writes a report about it. One such report included the sentence "The scorpion is an invertebrate." In kindergarten! I'm certain I didn't know that until I took invertebrate zoology my sophomore year in college. He doesn't know it's weird to be able to do that at his age. He just thinks it's fun to look up something he finds interesting.

Another "work" he showed us at his open house was the stamp game. The best I can explain it is that it's the montessori version of an abacus. Instead of beads, they have little tiles or "stamps." Thus the name. He uses it to do 4 digit addition and subtraction. Not just adding 4 numbers up. Adding up numbers in the thousands. I could not do that in kindergarten.

Today he surprised us again. He came home talking about Belize and the Dominican Republic and a bunch of other countries I hadn't heard mentioned anytime recently. He learned all the continents last year. Now he's working on a more detailed map of North America. If you'd asked me yesterday to name the countries in North America, I would have told you Canada, USA, and Mexico. If pressed, I guess I would have said that Central America is part of North America, but couldn't have gone much beyond that. J can name a whole lot more than I can. In fact, B and I had to go look up the countries in North America to see if he was right. He was. Greenland? Yup. Cuba? Yup. Haiti? Yup. They're all North America. I did not know that in kindergarten. Shoot, I didn't know that earlier today!

My mom always told me she learned a lot more as I was going through school than when she did. I'm looking forward to the same experience. In fact, it's already started!


Jenny said...

Wow! That is unbelievable! You have quite the little genius there. I had to learn all that geography in school, but definitely not in kindergarten--and I can't remember a lot of it anymore.

Lois R. said...

Susanne....don't ever quit recognizing your children for what they can do....if you feel like it's bragging, then let your mom do it because that's what grandma's are for! lol Sounds like a smart kid to me ... ambitious too!! Encourage it!

Lori said...

: )