Now that I think about it, it’s my 3rd time doing 3rd grade:
In 1980, I was in third grade…that’s 1
In 2009 (more or less), Sofía was in third… that’s 2
Now, 2014 Pablo is in third… that makes it my third time around… I should know how it goes, what to expect, you’d think!
I didn’t count my turn in 3rd because I remember NOTHING, I must have been there otherwise… yeah, I did go through 3rd…
Anyway, Sofía’s chance at third was a breeze… she’s so competitive that the hardest part of it- timetables- where no problem for her because they had drills every morning and it got her juices flowing bright and early, it gave her the adrenaline rush needed to fly through the day… I can just imagine her, with her little eyeglasses hurriedly answering her timetables worksheet and glimpsing every few seconds at the timer… at the end of the day she’d come home with a prize, most often it was AN ERASER, jajajaaa the best prize ever! (the slow creation of a competitive monster, little fists pumping…)
Pablo, OMG, whole different story… timetables from hell!
Pablo does not like to compete, he, as I did way back when, feels that he can’t win and what is all the commotion with winning, it’s not as if you’d get a trophy, he’s got erasers at home, if only they’d give the winner a video game, for example… jajajaaa, yeah, that’s how he reasons with this… timetable drills are not worth his energy, plus the fact that he likes to find the logic in timetables, in math in general… timetables are for counting not to be learned by memory, then what purpose do they serve, as he explains… and, I have to admit, I’ve indirectly encouraged that way of thinking. When I saw that he wasn’t open to even considering learning the TT with the CD of songs I had to dissect the problem and go to the root of it, what the hell does ‘times’ mean?! aaaahhhhh, can you imagine that? my aging brain having to go there?! Well, I did and now he takes ALL the time they are given during the drills -that’s 15 minutes- to logically answer each equation, not memory, but mathematical logic and reasoning…
Pablo feels very satisfied with his achievement at the end of the 15 minutes, when he’s alone in the classroom but with a fully answered worksheet, though the teacher is not very pleased, she wants fast, memory, results! Pablo just wants RESULTS… The teacher sees this as a signal of insufficient math skills, though I’d call it SLOW math skills, THOUGHTOUT math skills, REASONED math skills… but she wants FAST math skills.
The only thing Pablo does fast is drink his latte in the morning, he gulps it down faster that his bottle of water… He thinks about every number in an equation, he savours every word from his reading or spelling list, he tries to put together mental images of every historical event the teacher mentions… I am sorry, he is more like me than we thought.
I hold back from making any more speculations of what school holds for him. I was a girl and other things were expected of me academically, I managed to comply… but this little boy, thoughtful in both the caring and analytical sense, curious, inquisitive but preferring self-teaching will have to learn to navigate the waters of traditional (read: old school) schooling
Division follows Multiplication… God help us 🙂
BTW, today I woke up to find I had an order for my back to school stickers and tags… I am breathing again!!!
featured image from here