M. Giant's
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Friday, May 23, 2008  

Rocket Science

M. Small's new Montessori school teacher, Mr. N., has noticed something about him: his disproportional interest in science. Particularly anything having to do with space, rockets, or volcanoes.

He was telling Trash about this when she picked M. Small up from school yesterday. A bit concerned, Trash asked whether he was acting up in the other segments. Which we were already pretty sure he wasn't; as demonstrated by the brand he put on our garage door last week, he's clearly been paying attention to the parts of the day where they practice letters (and I hope that's all they're practicing).

Mr. N. assured us that M. Small was not misbehaving; he simply wasn't as engaged. A clear signal of this was his tendency to go to the bathroom a lot during parts of the day he wasn't interested in. Like the other day, Mr. N. was telling the kids about camels and their humps when M. Small got up to go to the bathroom for the fourth time that morning. Mr. N. asked if he was sure he needed to go, and M. Small insisted that he did. But then Mr. N. did a little experiment: about half a minute after M. Small disappeared into the bathroom, Mr. N. made the rocket sound that signifies the beginning of a rocket lesson.

M. Small came tearing out of the bathroom so as not to miss anything, which clearly proved the difference between his levels of interest for different units. But speaking of units, when M. Small came running out of the bathroom for rocket time, his pants and underwear were around his ankles. So at least he wasn't totally faking about needing to pee. I guess we should be grateful that he didn't leave a trail.

In any case, he's clearly not faking his interest in rockets. That's why Mr. N. was a little surprised at first when M. Small started talking during the rocket lecture. But then he realized M. Small wasn't trying to interrupt; he was trying to help. So he invited M. Small up to the front of the room to teach the other kids about rockets, and M. Small said "Okay," and did just that.

To hear Mr. N. describe it, M. Small gave a full and quite accurate lecture about the Saturn V rocket and the space Shuttle. Trash and I have heard this same lecture any number of times at home; it's one that he's pretty much memorized. Mr. N. insisted that he didn't just know the words; he knows what they meant. Like, when he got to the word "atmosphere," Mr. N. asked him to define that for the other kids, and M. Small did.

He kind of asked Trash why we've been concentrating so hard on teaching M. Small this stuff, and she quite truthfully says we haven't. He just likes to watch the NASA Channel.

"I watch the NASA Channel," Mr. N. said.

Trash suggested maybe putting M. Small in with an older group for science, and was told that he had been teaching the five-year-olds. Some of them even said, "Bye, teacher," as they left.

So I'm calling it, right now. I predict that one day, M. Small will be the first kindergartner in space.

posted by M. Giant 1:24 PM 11 comments


That is just completely awesome. You go, M. Small! And please bring my kiddo back a moon rock, will ya? :D

By Blogger Heather, at May 23, 2008 at 2:42 PM  

He's the coolest little kid ever, I swear! I love that. My three year old still confuses up and down - LOL.

By Blogger Bunny, at May 23, 2008 at 2:53 PM  

Awesome! And what a great teacher to let him do that.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 23, 2008 at 3:39 PM  

It's amazing how early this kind of stuff is formed. My three year old nephew is totally obsessed with figuring out how things work. He's like a mini-engineer. This, to the utter despair of my husband's sports-obsessed family. They keep giving him sports equipment. He just wants to figure out how that whiffle ball pitching machine works.

By Blogger GhostGirl, at May 23, 2008 at 4:06 PM  

Ground Control to Major Small!

Way to go Dude!!


By Blogger Andy, at May 23, 2008 at 4:33 PM  

When you thought he was worshopping fans, he was just psyched about their potential as a propulsion system.

By Blogger Dimestore Lipstick, at May 23, 2008 at 8:35 PM  

That sounds exactly like my oldest brother.

He explained to his preschool class how atoms work. My parents were so proud, as should you be (and apparently are).

Good on you!

By Blogger ErinK, at May 24, 2008 at 5:35 PM  

I don't believe I've ever commented here before, although I've been lurking for years. I think your writing is wonderful, but I just wanted to say, on this particular post, that you can't do better than encourage your child to do what he loves. Mine are just finishing and just past college now and this was the best advice I gave them (they tell me): Follow your bliss. It's your bliss for a reason.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 24, 2008 at 9:13 PM  

That is hilarious (in a good way). My own interest in aeronautics is entirely casual, but I have a history of dating men who are extremely interested in this sort of thing. The good news for you is that, if M. Small turns out like I suspect he will, he will have a variety of respectable careers open to him. My husband, who watches TV programs about rockets whenever possible, started taking computers apart (and putting them back together again) when he was 7. He's still doing it today, but now he gets paid.

I look forward to the new TV program, M. Small in Space.

By Blogger kmckee7, at May 25, 2008 at 7:41 AM  

Ha! Your five-year-old sounds like mine. His teacher has commented that he's much more involved in class and reading when the topic is non-fiction. He tells everyone he's a scientist, although he's unable to articulate which area of science he loves best - he loves them all! I couldn't be more proud of my wee geek/nerd. He's gonna be just fine!

By Blogger Fee, at May 25, 2008 at 7:45 PM  

Dude, M. Small in Space would be the most adorable TV show EVER. I think you should start pitching it right away! :)

I wish you could put up video clips where he taught us about atmosphere and rockets!

My son delivered a stunning lecture to me once, at about that age, about how cats and people were similar. I still reread my journal entry about it sometimes. Kids are so brillaint....

By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 28, 2008 at 11:17 AM  

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