Staley has always been academically bright. She talked early, learned quickly, and has an amazing memory. Just 3 months into Kindergarten, she has mastered her sight words for the year, is reading Easy Reader books more and more fluently, and loves to write notes, signs, cards, and books. But it is her mastery of math skills that often astounds me. One day a few months ago, on her way to and from the doctor for her flu shot, Staley decided that she wanted to count to 1,000 by ones. She made it to 1,069 by the time we got home. She can also count by twos, fives, tens, and hundreds. Without much teaching from us, Staley has figured out addition and subtraction and can do some pretty complex figuring in her head, including some early multiplication.
The other night at dinner, the girls were talking about Noah's ark. Without any prompting from us, Staley said, "If there were 5 different kinds of animals two by two, that would be 10 animals altogether. If you took away one type of animal, then there would be 8 animals."
And the other day walking home from school, Staley amazed Zach with this conversation. Staley asked Zach, "How much older are you than Emma [Zach's cousin who baby-sits for the kid]?" Zach told her that he was 20 years older than Emma. Staley was silent for a minute or two. Then she said, "Emma is 13 years older than me." Surprised, Zach said, "That's right. How did you know that?" Staley responded, "Well, you said you are 20 years older than her and you are 38, so that means she's 18. I'm 5 so she is 13 years older than me." Getting the right answer was impressive and the addition and subtraction needed to get that answer was pretty advanced, but the logic she used to figure that out in her head was the most astounding to me. She obviously gets her math skills from her father.
There are so many things that matter. There are so many things I want to teach my kids. I am more concerned about my kids being kind than being smart. But if they can be both, that's okay too.
My 2 favorite math-minded pumpkin heads.