Friday, April 3, 2009

Whiz Kid

Well, if you follow our family blog at all I'm sure you've noticed that Sammy has gotten REALLY into blogging. He loves to put his paintings up on our blog. Such a funny kid! He's been making some incredible leaps in the math arena lately. One Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago he was drawing on his magnetic drawing board and started writing out the times table from memory -- you know the grid style? He got up to the 5's before he ran out of room. We had no idea he had them memorized! I gave him a composition book to draw in during church and it has a times table in the back. Needless to say, we were pretty blown away by that. He really understands the concept, too. The other day he brought me a brush and asked me what 7x19 was. I figured it out and he said, "Oh, that's how many bristles are on this brush!" It had 7 rows with 19 bristles each.

So shortly after we found out he had the times tables memorized Dan decided to probe a little and asked him "How many times could two fit into four?" and other basic division questions. Well, he grabbed right on to that, and in no time he was doing more complicated things, including remainders, all in his head. Dan showed him how to write that down, and he's been going like gangbusters ever since trying to figure out different problems. About 25 times a day he starts a conversation with "Okay, now I have a REALLY tricky problem for you!"

Dan's mom sent some multiplication flash card post-its, and Sammy couldn't wait to bust them out. (Seriously -- he bugged me every 3 minutes until I opened them.) I wasn't sure how he'd do, since getting random questions thrown at you is different from rewriting the times table in a nice orderly fashion. I said, "Okay, here's the game we'll play. I'll ask you the question. If you get it right, I'll give you the card and you can put it up on the wall. If you get it wrong, I get to keep the card." Final score: Sammy 25, Mommy 0. I helped him think through a few of them, but most of them he just spit right out. I am astounded.

Which brings me to our quandry. Sammy doesn't even start kindergarten until the fall. What should we do be doing for him? Our plan has always been to send him to regular classes with kids his own age, and then get him into Spanish immersion when it's offered (2nd grade in our school). But he continues to make these incredible leaps in reading and in math, and we have to wonder if he needs more. We don't want him to be skipping grades and end up not being comfortable anywhere, but we're also worried that school will get boring and that he'll start to hate it. We don't want to push him too much, but we also want to help him reach his potential. He's very much a typical 5-year-old in so many ways -- silly, energetic, likes to play with his friends, etc. He's also loving and creative and tender-hearted. Where do I even go to find out the options? I plan to call the school and see if there's someone I can meet with, but I'd hate to come off as an obnoxious parent who thinks their child is better than everyone else. Argh. I'm kind of at a loss right now as to which direction we should go. I'm so proud of him and so happy that he loves learning and creativity -- I just want to make sure he has a rich childhood AND continues to learn and grow. Anyone with thoughts?

Oh, and I just have to show you the card he made for me today. He is so into making cards (that's my boy!), and this one really warmed my heart:

So that's what's on my mind tonight. I have some fun things to post about Eliza and Josh tomorrow, so stay tuned!

1 comment:

Tonya said...

Whiz kid is right! Wow! I would just suggest to you to ask your pediatrician. The doctor should know where you can go from here. Has he already had his Kindergarten physical? Over here where I live all the kids have a physical before starting maybe you can bring it up at that appointment. I know with Carly she was bored in Kindergarten; she could read and knew all the basics like shapes, colors, numbers, letters. She couldn't do multiplication, that's for sure! But with her reading she is in an Accelerated Reader program. She reads on a 3rd grade level but stays in her 1st grade class. Best wishes and good luck to Sammy!