Thursday, May 14, 2009

Astronomer Fairy

"My turn! I count 'em planets." Ada nods emphatically. "Muckewy, Venus, Earfh, Moon, Earth, Moon." My 2-year-old gets a little stuck at this point and smiles up at me, waiting for assistance.

She's really into astronomy right now. "Oh, das space! Das earth! Like dat one over der!" she points from the picture drawn by our neighbor's kindergarten grandson to our globe. We've been to The Science Center to "see rocket ships" about three times this spring. And we watch NASA videos (especially launch sequences) nearly daily. This morning, while I was listening to the news on NPR, Ada piped up from the back seat. You see, the reporter mentioned "Hubble" and Ada said, "The Space Telescope!"

(It's worth noting that she also really likes fairies. And dinosaurs. Carousels. And Go, Diego, Go.)

A couple of weeks ago I was bragging on Ellie for her teachers' belief that she can handle kindergarten without an aide. Now it's Ada's turn.

Ada attends a Kids Day Out program at a center that also hosts a preschool. The cut-off for preschool is the end of the year, rather than August like it is for local school districts. So with her January birthday, Ada misses the cut-off for preschool by a few weeks; no big deal. We're not in a rush and she clearly gets academic stimulation . . . everywhere she goes.

The school's director stopped me in the hallway today before I picked Ada up from class. "Have you ever had her tested?" she asked.

"Um, no," I replied, wondering what she suspected was wrong with my daughter. Hearing? Vision? Socialization?

"Because she just seems sort of bright." The director was tentatively feeling me out, hoping I wouldn't be offended. As if.

Turns out, the teachers in Ada's classroom think she'd be bored spending another year in the Kids Day Out program and think she'd love starting preschool early. So that's something to think about! (Preschool is different from kindergarten; she won't start kindergarten early. She might just do 3 years of preschool, probably at two different schools for experience.)

I was wrong before. This is the best age yet! (What's better than curiosity? "I don't know, let's look it up" is already becoming a very common response on my part.)


ccw said...

That's wonderful news! It does sound as if Ada loves to learn. The teacher is, no doubt, correct that she would be more stimulated and have more fun in a preschool class.

Tracey said...

How great that the teachers discussed this and then they brought it to you! That's refreshing. Lately it seems like all parents everywhere are foisting the term 'gifted' about and putting pressure on both teachers and the kids (who may or may not be gifted).

Of course I can say this because my son is gifted. BAHAHAHAHAHA. No. Seriously. :)

Sarahlynn said...

CCW, I admit that it made me happy. And as I did three years of preschool myself, it feels comfortable and familiar, too.

Tracey, : )
I figure that I'd only bring up something like that with a teacher if my child was having a problem, like acting out (or tuning out) in school because she's bored.

I feel better after talking to my sister - the one whose elder daughter was born the day after Ada and is also very verbal/precocious. She's doing the same thing. At her daycare, she spends mornings with her age group and afternoons with the 3-year-olds.

Brian said...

"I don't know, let's look it up" is already becoming a very common response on my part.Right on!

IMHO, looking things up is one of the skills we should teach kids a lot earlier than school does. I still remember how frustrated I got whenever adults answered a question with "You wouldn't understand," and how happy I was when I finally figured out how to use the encyclopedia.

Sarahlynn said...

The only time I remember my parents telling me that I was too young to research something with them was in regard to Vanessa Williams's naked pictures that lost her the Miss American crown. I believe they bought the magazine to see what all the fuss was about, and told me I could look at it when I was . . . 16? 18? Anyway, I sure remembered and asked about it on the appropriate birthday. Sadly, the magazine had long since been discarded by that point.

Wait. There was another time. I was in first grade and a third grade boy told me he'd be my boyfriend if I'd give him a blow job. My mom wouldn't tell me what it was, and neither would the dictionary. So when I proposed to ask the neighbor's mother (a very conservative Christian) my mom finally caved and explained it to me. I never talked to the boy again.

But back on topic, I admit that explaining nebulas to a 2-year-old who doesn't get the difference between a moon and a planet is tricky. When I fail, I just use the science I know and figure she'll appreciate that later, and probably understand it sooner than I'd expect, anyway.