Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Smart little boy

At the end of Evan's first year of nursery school in June, his teacher sat down with me and told me that she thought we were being too "cerebral" with him and that he should be doing more creative activities. She pointed out that he still wouldn't write his name out. Her guess was that since he liked to play on our computers at home (and write words out that he copies from books) maybe he felt that he couldn't do it as perfect as a machine. I didn't totally agree with her but I thought that maybe she had more experience than I did or I was just not seeing something that she was because she was able be more objective.
All summer long I threw "creative" things his way: playdough, crayons, clay, paints, scrapbooking. It was all good because he did learn to finally draw and we were fully amused when the first drawing he did was one of himself with the main object being...that. It was a proud moment for his mediterranian father!

Towards august I started thinking that I should get him to be able to write his name. Four letters, very simple. Up until then there had been a little resistance but now he was interested. He enjoyed it so much that he started writing out the whole alphabet. He never got tired of writing and rewriting for like two hours, which is huge amount of time for a three year old. The sequence from there went that he sounded out the letters as he wrote them and then he started "seeing" letters everywhere and sounding them out. All of the sudden he was reading whole words and then full sentences. I swear it all happened within a month. Last night when we went to bed he wanted to read me the book instead me reading to him. Of course it's still at that level where he sounds everything out like this - "fan-tas-ti-co" - but then he says the word over and he comprehends what he's reading.
I mentioned this to his two teachers in passing but they just said "Well, we hope you're not pushing him..."


So here we are, he just turned four and he's reading perfectly. He'll take one of his Power Ranger Books or Geronimo Stilton and sit on the couch and read to himself for an hour at a time. He also "got" addition and sits for long amounts of time using his blocks to do 1 block + 3 blocks = 4 blocks.

I know you're asking why am I'm even worrying about this. It's because he still has two more years of preschool. By the time he actually gets to first grade he's going to be totally bored. The Italian school system tries to compensate for children that are slower or have learning handicaps but they have NOTHING for children that are faster or gifted. Everybody is supposed to be the same and the smarter ones just have to sit there while the others catch up. I'll wait and see how things evolve but I'm going to look into skipping him a grade when it's time to sign him up for school. I'm going to start taking him to the library once a week so that we can have more books to look at and read. If anybody has any other ideas, let me know.


anji said...

Interesting, can you start him a year ahead? Do they start at 6? If so, can you start him at 5?

in my class (JK/SK, 3.5 to 5-6), they're still just getting the alphabet.... you can really tell the difference between those who are read to/encouraged to read and those who don't.

There are different developmental things - he may "get" some things and others he may not... (all kids are this way... concrete and operational stages).... I guess my only suggestion is to find the things you think he needs help with. I would strongly encourage the art stuff.... sounds like both he AND olly are good at it... maybe Olly and he can spend some quality "art" time together!

Also, I would suggest getting him into a sport or something of some kind... though, I am sure he's pretty active enough in your household, :D But - seriously - it helps with his mental abilities too the sports, at that age... balance, co-ordination, spatial sense :) Maybe soccer or gymnastics or something like that?

You can really tell P loves his wee one, has he "changed" since becoming a daddy?? :D More cuddly, fatherly, etc?? hehe... M & I are just big kids, haha, sometimes it scares me to think we'll be parents someday... in a good way though :)

Julia said...

Hi Anj - No, he "gets" everything, I've been careful to observe that. He could start school at five but the problem with that is that his birthday is exactly when the school year starts so I don't think he'd be emotionally ready to start real school when he just turns five. Lots of creative moments in the house...he's enrolled in a swimming class and a general gym class once a week - I'm shocked you even asked the question! LOL!

anji said...

haha - I was shocked I even wrote it but - as it's something we've been going through with my schooling, thought I'd throw it in...
some of the kids in my JK class were 3.5 when they started.... and, between the oldest and the youngest there is just shy one year of a difference... I think he'd be fine emotionally but - maybe you could take him in one day (if you talk to the school?) to see if he could go in and "try it out" for a day?


better go! lots to do tonight...

21stCenturyMom said...

I'm still trying to get past the part where his teacher was worried that he didn't want to write out his name at the age of 3.

You are right about him being bored. You will have to take pre-emptive measures to make sure the school accomodates his advanced skills. He sounds like a smart, fun little guy to me!

ps - Hope you make Vineman!