Captain Jelly Belly likes math. Sir Monkeypants and I both like math. This has led to some math-related joy around the house.
This weekend we were visiting Sir Monkeypants’ family, and since the Captain missed a couple of days of school for the trip, I gave him some homework to do. He was working on some math problems involving two digit addition, with carrying, and two digit subtraction, with borrowing. I think that’s probably around a Grade Two level, so about a year and a half ahead of where he is now.
Up until now I’ve been happy that he likes math and enjoys doing math, but my mother-in-law had something interesting to say. She pointed out that if we keep teaching him advanced math, he’ll always be bored at school, at least during math class. Then he’ll possibly have behavioural problems, or lose interest in school in general.
I was often bored at school as a kid but I was a voracious reader, and I always had a book on hand to fill the void. I’d finish my class work and then whip out a novel; sometimes I’d even sneak a peek during the lecture itself. Other times, I’d fake taking notes when really I’d be writing in my journal or making up stories.
Sir Monkeypants was often bored at school as a kid, but I guess he didn’t like reading as much because he was quite the legendary talker in class. Almost every report card of his says, “Excellent schoolwork, minimal effort, talks too much.”
Are we raising a second generation of troublemaker here?
I don’t think the answer is to stop encouraging the Captain’s love of math or to stop giving him challenging math problems to work on (he loves it, and actually asks for math to do when he’s bored).
But it was an interesting viewpoint. I wonder how we will maintain his interest in school in the years to come if he really does get bored there. Maybe we won’t be able to, and he’ll get crappy marks despite being smart. Maybe he’ll figure out something to occupy his time instead. Maybe we’ll turn to homeschooling (HA HA HA HA).
Anyway, it’s not a major crisis or anything, just food for thought.
In other news, Sir Monkeypants ran his half-marathon in 1:59:some seconds, which is awesome, because finishing in under two hours was his super-stretch goal. We’re so proud of him! I took all three kids downtown to see him at around the 19 km mark and although I was very nervous about driving in Toronto, it worked out great. The drive was easy (thank you, Google Street View), it was a lovely clear day, and the kids were very excited and happy that they got to see their dad running. All good.
After Sir Monkeypants passed us, I took the kids to the CN Tower, since we happened to be within a few blocks of it. I must say, the CN Tower is not a pillar of accessiblity. There are stairs all over the freakin’ place, and once they let you out at the top, you have to go down a flight of stairs to get to the down elevator. F for failure for those with strollers, CN! A+ to the lovely Australian tourists who carried my stroller down the stairs!
Otherwise, though, it was a fantastic trip. The Captain especially adored the tower and asked if he could live there. He has declared it to be the “most fun place on earth” (just WAIT until we get to Disney, dude). All three kids went on the glass floor with no problem, too. It blew my mind how easily Little Miss Sunshine just danced out on that thing, when I was too nervous to even dip a toe. Kids! They’re crazy fearless.
And now we’re home again. It’s nice to be home.