Mar. 18th, 2014

anastasiav: (but all artistic like)
Much to our surprise, E has agreed to sit with us on Monday nights and watch Cosmos. His father and I, of course, have clear and fond memories of watching the original one (I watched it weekly in school, actually), and we're all enjoying this rare moment of shared media consumption. E is confused by the commercials (most of the media he is exposed to - Netflix, YouTube - doesn't come with commercial interruption; I was interested to learn last night that he thought this was broadcast LIVE because of the commercials -- which makes sense, as he really only otherwise sees them during live sporting events), but he is otherwise clearly enjoying it and looks forward to it from week to week.

Last night's episode was about evolution (and other things), and it was reinforced for me just how much science this seven and a half year old child already knows. DNA is not a mystery to him, it's just a fact of life. He could already name the five great extinctions, tell us the causes, and give a clear summary of what types of life were extinguished and which survived. He gets -- really gets -- evolution as a basic fact about the way the world works. (He is still a little hazy on the broad scope of time involved; but that's developmental time sense. He can quote the numbers, but they don't really have scale for him. Or to me, for that matter.)

Of course, he sometimes watches while hanging upside down on the sofa, and last night watched at least part of it on the screen of his DS while pointing the DS camera at our TV (how very meta of him), but he's very clearly engaged, asking questions, making comments, and -- once! -- sort of correcting Dr. Tyson when he sort of glossed over something about Dinosaur evolution that E clearly wanted him to provide more detail about.

So, yes, he's so hungry for math, math, and more math that his teachers can't keep up and now have him helping other students (which he's happy to do) and working one on one with a parent volunteer one day a week who seems to be teaching him some kind of math games that border on algebra. He's hungry for science, too, but school doesn't provide that, and at home he draws a very clear line between Learning Activities (which seem to be for school only) and Fun Things (which are, pretty much, video games with a dash of Pokemon). yet sometimes -- sometimes -- just for a minute, I can get him engaged with science, asking questions, learning, paying as much attention as he can ... but apparently it takes Neil deGrasse Tyson to do it. So be it.

I see more TED talks in our future. Better start previewing.

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