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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This old dog.

Written by Em

Oldest started kindergarten this past Fall.

Since this was my first return to public school in almost 20 years, I wasn't sure what to expect, as far as the actual "teaching/learning" part.

Turns out, kindergarten is a little more advanced these days. Right now they're studying keyboarding in computer class and beginners geometry during math.

"Look Mama! That pipe is a cylinder!"

I think my head exploded.

That got me thinking about all the things that have changed, you know, fact-wise, since I graduated waaaaay by in '89.

Here's just a small sampling of topics I cannot wait for Oldest to teach me:

1) When did they confirm that is was actually a meteor that caused dinosaur extinction? When I was in school, we were told there was an "Ice Age" - no one really knew why it got cold, it just got cold. The dinosaurs died. Now my son has anxiety over what would happen if a meteor strayed into Earth's path today. Extrapolate much? Is 6 too young to watch "Armageddon?"

2) When did indigo get dropped from the visible spectrum? I posted a while back about ROY G BIV, and someone told me that they don't teach that any longer. Turns out, indigo is no longer considered part of the rainbow. Say what? What did he do to get bounced from the party? Has anyone broken the news to him yet?

3) Which brings me to poor Pluto. So "My very educated mother just served us nine pizzas" is out, and "My very educated mother just served us nothing" is in? Did you know that "
being Plutoed" is an actual term? (thanks Mom 2 2 boys :-) And it's not very nice. Poor Pluto. No respect. I can so relate.

4) Is "y" considered a vowel or not? May we get a definitive answer on this, please? Oldest was doing homework the other night, and he was asked to circle all the vowels. There was a word that ended in "y." I told him to circle it. He looked at me like I was the village idiot. "A, E, I, O and U, Mama." I could hear the silent "dumb ass!" hanging in the air. Hey teach, may I get a head's up next time an English rule gets Plutoed - thanks.

5) What countries make up the world these days? In my era, if you could correctly mark Canada, U.S.A., Antarctica, Australia and U.S.S.R. on the geography exam, you were half way to an A+. Eastern Europe is a whole New World to me. I can't wait to figure it all out. There are still only seven continents though, right?

Long division, the Periodic Table, world history after W.W. II (according to my history books, the Korean War and Vietnam was just a blip, then on to Reagan's assassination attempt. That's it.)

I hear you may now end a sentence with a preposition?

What's the world coming to?!

I honestly don't know, but I can't wait to find out.


  1. I love your attitude about this...but then you are an extremely intelligent woman, it seems, who loves to learn.

    Me, I'm scared it's gonna take about 10 minutes for my kids to be smarter than me.

    Time to take your approach and get into the books with them...

    And what the hell happened to "y"??!!


  2. Diva just did a research project on Mars. Hasn't asked about the other planets yet. Not looking forward to that one. She'll be up in arms wanting to protest. I can see her crank calling NASA until there are Men In Black at my door...*sigh*

  3. I have a sixth grader and don't even attempt to help him with math! Thank goodness my husband is an engineer and total math/science guy!

    I was taught "A, E. I, O, U and sometimes Y." I think y acts as a vowel if there are no other vowels, like in "by" but not "bye". I might be making this up (ends in a preposition!).

  4. Oh, you are SO correct.

    Oldest daughter came home and told me that a rectangle is a square...or was it that a square is a rectangle? No, no. A rectangle is a square because of the four right angles.

    I argued with her for hours. Turns out...she's technically right.

    Maybe my example has more to do with me being a dumb*ss?

    Could be. ;)

  5. I'm on top of the Pluto nonsense and the "sometimes y" thing, but ROY G BIV axed the I? What is going on?! And as for Eastern Europe, I'm still mourning the loss of Chezoslovakia (not for politcal reasons but more for keeping the sheer numbers of countries to a deal-withable limit!).

  6. Until they find evidence for Atlantis there is still only seven continents.

    I sometimes find that education winds up being more facts and figures rather than to learn how to learn. I never was an A student in school until I attended college. It took me a long time to learn how to learn, but I never stopped.

  7. okay, first of all, he's not the only one stressing out about a wayward meteor. i am still trying to figure out if my plastic sheeting, duct tape and 18 cases of ensure will somehow protect me.

    second, i was very careful not to learn any of this stuff the first go round, so there's no confusion here. except i do know that bombay doesn't exist anymore. mumbai, is it?

    oh, and pluto has been dead to me for years. we never got along. good riddance, i say!

  8. ...and its not "capital letters" its "upper case and lower case." I work as a K aide and I get this stuff mixed up all the time. Maybe my nickname should be Pluto.

  9. My oldest also started kindergarten this year! It is pretty cool, isn't it? Although a bit bittersweet!

  10. No six years old is NOT too young to watch Armageddon. Let him watch it so he can put his fears to rest.

    heh heh

  11. I graduated not too long ago (within the last decade) and I don't know some of these answers either. I have a few years before my daughter is old enough for kindergarten so I guess I'll just have to wait to find out the answers.

  12. OMG... do you think that there will be a Jr. High elective english class specializing in tech talk? Like OMG and LOL and schtick like that? Or will they get them young and start teaching it in the first grade?

  13. My oldest has graduated the big K and is now in 1st grade. My sassy one starts K in the fall, so I am getting the hang of this (sort of) but I don't remember doing fractions in 1st grade.

    Oh and when he brought home his Alphabet book where everyone had to say words that started with ABC etc...the S's included the word SKYPE, and if you don't know the answer you can always GOOGLE it as I have been told. (by smart 1st grader)


  14. I'm going through the same thing with my 5 YO. Smarter than she has a right to be and everything I learned in school is now wrong. I love pointing that out to my folks who paid for that pricey private school. Oh wait, the 5 YO is going to a pricey private school. Maybe THAT's the root cause. hahaha!

  15. Okay. I am in love with the phrase "getting Plutoed" or "being Plutoed" or whatever it is. I think I will try to incorporate that into my lingo....

    My oldest is in 1st grade and I can honestly say I think I've understood most all of her homework. All except for her religion homework. She goes to a Catholic School and so did I but for some reason, it's much more confusing to me now. Hmmmmm.......

    I love this post Em...

  16. Love it. I can't wait to schooled by my daughter by 1st grade, too.

  17. Don't count Pluto out just yet. Only four percent of the International Astronomical Union voted on the controversial demotion, and most are not planetary scientists. Their decision was immediately rejected by hundreds of professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto. Stern and like-minded scientists believe in a broader planet definition that includes any non-self-luminous spheroidal body orbiting a star. That gives our solar system 13 planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris.

    There is no need to blindly accept the controversial IAU planet definition, and many teachers are ignoring it and including Pluto--and sometimes these other bodies as well--with the planets. I urge inclusion of Pluto, as the demotion is very likely to be overturned.

  18. this was hysterical and scary true!

    I am a grammar geek and word nerd. I love to get into it with 9 year old who clearly knows way more than I. I know my homonyms from my homophones and when to put my i before my e! Dangle my participle ? No way!!

  19. Baby Gurl is in 2nd grade - she'll be doing multiplication and division before school lets out (in 6 weeks!). The Boy is in 5th and is already doing algebra.

    Yeah, my head hurts...

  20. Can you believe that I graduated in 1981 (no, the question does NOT end there) and I never learned the preposition thing?

    Good thing, because I'm sure I broke those rules all the time.

    And New Math? is now NEWER math. Wait until you know how to do something and are then told that's "not the way".

  21. Oh, Em, you made me laugh so hard with this post! It's tough enough being a parent...why do the teachers have to change things up and confuse us all more?

    My oldest is in 5th grade and I can honestly say that (for certain subjects at least) I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader. Thank God for google, that's all I have to say.

    Wonderful post..."I've been plutoed"...I'm using that saying tomorrow :-)

  22. OMG! I was already stressed enough about putting the Poose (3 next month) into daycare, then I asked what they do all day (I saw no TVs) and was schooled on the A Beka program. I'm thinking 3 year olds finger paint, pick their noses, and eat the paste, not learning phonics. At 4 they are starting simple math, and at 5 reading. Chapter books. WTF?

  23. just you wait. I'm not going to spoil it..............

  24. I am scared for my kids in school but I guess it will be fun. I am sure going to have to dust off some of those old files, if there are still there.

  25. i don't think i want to be 'plutoed' - it doesn't sound very friendly! things have changed sooooooooooo much! kids do way more, and mostly it's pretty exciting, but man - what a tough job it is to be a teacher these days. they have to be so much more than they used to be


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