Sunday, May 31, 2009


So...uhm...the conversation at the supper table tonight? Driven almost entirely by my 6 year old Willem cuz Brian is working today and not home for supper? Was...well...I'll just give you a quick overview...

First was something about atoms and how they are the building blocks of matter. But wait! There's more. Atoms are made up of electrons, protons and neutrons! And they are matter too!

Then there was the discussion of decomposition. Can things decompose in space? Can alive things decompose? That the act of decomposing releases harmful - yet useful - gases! Do teeth decompose? Hey, skin must decompose much faster than bones...right - when we're dead?!?!

There's more...I'm sure...but it's a bit of a blur. Mealtimes in our house are usually a lot of discussion about what the kids are learning. Letters, counting, science. So, I'm not sure what set this meal apart for me. Except perhaps listening to my son say "electrons, protons and neutrons!" in such an matter of fact, yet excited voice - as if he was talking about a race car or a superhero.

Now I realize that most of this is simply reciting what he's read. But he understands this stuff. And he remembers it. And he's reading it. And interested. And thinks we should be too.
I'm not sure I'm equipped for this. I mean, his recreational reading already has me digging into the furthest reaches of my brain to remember Jr. High science class. I'm gonna hafta go back to university just to keep up with him.

I hope that I'm not seeming like I'm bragging. Cuz I'm not trying to. Of course I'm proud of him...but I don't think his intellect is wholly dependent on our parenting. I think the biggest credit to us is that we spent a bunch of money on books a few years ago and so now, he has them at his finger tips. He was born like this. Also...I don't think that high intelligence is anything more to be proud of than anything else anyone's wonderful kids have.

I mean having a high IQ is cool, but it's what you do with it that matters.

And that's where I'm worried. How do I help my child not waste his gift? And also how do I raise him to be well rounded and kind and generous and thoughtful and all those other things I do value more than high grades in school? Which reminds me, how do I get him to get high grades in school? Cuz he hates school and he hates being bored even he just turns off and stops trying. And how do I get him to be physically active and even half enjoy it?

And how do I keep his respect? I mean, he already thinks he's smarter than his teachers. He asked his teacher a question the other day and was surprised when she knew the answer. How do we convince him that adults know stuff. I mean, more stuff than him?

About a month ago, Brian was out in the forest with the boys and my brother-in-law. Brian spotted an interesting mushroom and pointed it out to Will (thinking it would be a good learning experience). To which Will replied, "Yes, that's a bracket fungus!" How he knew that? We don't know, but when Brian got home and looked it up on the trusty net, he found that our son was right. And just now, when I asked Will what kind of mushroom it was that he'd seen in the forest when they were out with Uncle Tim (because I didn't remember what kind of mushroom that was...that's not the way my brain works) he remembered and then proceeded to tell me all about bracket mushrooms. Something about them being odd shapes or something?

So now, the big decision is how to move forward with his schooling. We don't have a lot of options in our relatively small community. We'd have to move to get him any specialized type of education and right now we're not ready to do that. We've got a meeting with the special ed. director (who, incidentally, is the same lady who is helping us with our Finleigh decision) and his teacher in a couple weeks to talk about next year. Which will likely consist of placing him in a 2/3 split so that he can do grades 2 & 3 next year and then move on to grade 4 the following year. A nice, neat way to skip a grade, don't you think? Which since he's a September baby, will put him at 16 when he graduates high school if he doesn't do any more acceleration. It's all a little surreal.

I hope we're doing the right thing.

And by the way? He wants to start a blog of his own.

It's all going too fast.


  1. Wow Willem. Wow. Its funny when you think of tough choices parenting kids with special needs, you forget that parenting gifted kids would be hard too! Wow. I just can't believe that he's only just finishing grade one right now - what an amazing little guy! And cute too! :o) Good luck with your choices to be made - I'll be thinking of you...

  2. wow hon, that is intense. Sounds to me like you are doing all you can... you are giving him opportunities to use his intellect and trying to help him be well-rounded.

    I must admit it is fascinating to me that our boys can be the very same age and yet SO VERY DIFFERENT. I realize it is your third with the special needs and my first so it really isn't a fair comparison... but just trying to imagine Aiden reading a book about neurons blows my mind. We are still trying to learn to read over here!!

    Parenting is nuts eh? It's good to know that even with VERY different kids we all have the same challenges- how to help them in school, socially, emotionally... it's all the same really :)


  3. Wow! We wonder how to best parent Brie and give her the best opportunities with her advanced reading/math skills. She isn't even in Kindergarten yet! Good for you for being proactive in caring for him too, even though it sounds like that should be obvious.