Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Getting ready for school?

I am in a strange place right now. All this talk about Izzy and school in September has me "testing" the children lately. I am curious about school and where my kids would fit right now. I am discovering that while Alex strikes me as very bright or gifted (will never know for sure without having him tested by psychologist), Izzy is proving she is no slouch herself.

I find my expectations are skewed by what I've seen in my own children. We also might be slightly insulated by having surrounded ourselves with many other bright children. I think back to my own Kindergarten entrance interview, which I remember with a surprising amount of clarity, and how the teacher stopped my counting well past 100. I thought reciting the alphabet was kind of juvenile. And I was 5 1/2 years old! No JK back then. With my 'late' March birthday and Izzy's 'early' November birthday, she will be nearly two years younger than I was when I started school. With 5 months to go, she can count past 30, knows the difference between a square and a rectangle, and can recite/recognize most of the alphabet. She is starting addition too. Like Alex, she loves math.

Alex thinks my new obsession with random quizzing is quite amusing. Today I learned that the boy could count by 3s and 4s. 5s and 2s have been old news for a while. He is pretty amazing with mental arithmetic, easily adding triple digit numbers together. He knows more multiplication than I originally suspected, multiplying numbers by 0, 1, 2, 5, 10, 11 easily. His spelling has improved with no thanks to me. Writing is still below par but his reading is at least 3 or 4 grades ahead of his peers. He loves grammar and actually has corrected me a few times, lol, when I spoke quickly and used the wrong tense. He loves to draw small characters and scenes, comic book style. He devours science books and biographies. His comprehension and retention are pretty astounding for his age. Little things that bugged me, like knowing about time zones, the location of the equator and stages of the moon but being unable to recite the days of the week are now a non-issue. Again, without any conscious effort on my part, he had picked that up too. He can follow complex instructions (written) and builds the most amazing things. Then he tears them apart and uses his imagination to reinvent them. All this for a boy who would be wrapping up Senior Kindergarten this Spring.

Izzy is surprising me too. She is as fond of books as her brother but put-out that she cant read yet. Pre-reading skills are emerging though. She will sound out letters in words. She writes AL when asked to write her name down. She can write the IZZ but struggles with Y. She is fascinated with numbers. And scissors. She loves to cut paper and can do so for hours. We are working on a book about farm animals but, also like Alex, she isn't keen on colouring. Painting is her favourite form of artistic expression.

So I think I am at peace with both kids. Izzy will be more than prepared for school (as long as she decides to actually finish up with the pull-ups) and Alex is thriving at home. We are in a pretty good place right now.

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