Posted by: Mark Nielsen | November 30, 2007

Goldilocks and the Three R’s

5-year-old Graham is Goldilocks in this scenario, and the three R’s are Readin, Ritin’ and ‘Rithmetic.

He’s started reading books himself now, almost in their entirety, and it’s both amazing and gratifying. Tonight it was Dr. Seuss’s The Foot Book. He needed help on about three words, such as “different” and “here”. It’s like – as advertised – he’s just soaking up information like a sponge. Sue & I certainly didn’t teach him all these words and special spelling rules, and his teacher could only have done so much in three months. Clearly he’s intuitively picked up much of it on his own. It’s exciting, but at times a bit scary when we consider the tough choices that will need to be made if he is actually gifted, instead of just advanced.

For example: he’s not a “jump right in” sort of personality, so that already puts him at a disadvantage in developing relationships. Would an accelerated program just serve to isolate him further, or would it just play to his strengths? But since I’m an extrovert (an ENFP on the Myers Briggs), I probably worry too much about whether he will have good friendships.

Here’s a good sign, though: a few days ago, the same day the school phone directory came out, one of his kindergarten classmates called him on the phone. And it was a girl! (Graham, you casanova you…) Maya left only an incomplete, five-word message on the machine. But still, it came as news to us that she talks to him at all, since he keeps saying he has no friends in his class.

I have noticed that, of the three kindergartens lined up outside in the morning, his is both the least active and least social. But I don’t know why, or if it may actually be a good thing educationally. I think he feels safe in class, and interested in the material, but bored with the social scene. Maybe I’m talkin’ crazy here, though. Who knows?

Maybe when he starts showing off his skill at adding negative integers (which he can actually do, I kid you not), the whole class will rise up and declare him king – a sweet, awkward, gentle sort of king.

Not like the slick, popular, secretly toxic kings and presidents we’re used to these days.

Vote Nielsen in ’08!



  1. Thanks for the info, it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for though. But interesting!

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