I’ve never been the kind of mother that has posters around the house proclaiming the “ABC’s” or a dry erase board where I spend meaningful time teaching my daughter the correct way to draw shapes. I always thought that children probably just learn by doing and honestly, I assumed at the age of 3 and a half, my little girl is still a baby and not ready for the cold, cruel world of reading and spelling. She should be running around in circles and singing about the wheels on the bus- not clouding her pretty little head with complicated things like counting.
That didn’t stop me from sending her to pre-school. More or less, I sent her so that she could gain some socialization skills. You know- learn how to behave like a human around other children. Well, that and because it was a safe place to drop her off for a few hours a day so I could attempt to remember how to act like an adult. (When you start using words like “witty, itty, bitty project” in a high, whiny tone at work, it’s time to reevaluate your sanity).
An odd thing has happened though- I can’t confirm it yet, but I think the child may be a genius. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no idea at what age children are supposed to do things- So there is a good chance that she’s not a genius and just (above) average intelligence. But yesterday, she spelled her name. Yep. In passing, I asked “Hayden, how do you spell your name?”- More or less out of curiosity if she knew that letters spelled things- and she proudly replied “H-A-Y-D-E-N”. Mind=blown. To make matters even more intriguing, as we were sitting at a red light, she asked where we were going. I told her we were going home and she told me to take a left… and pointed to the left- Here’s the crazy part, our house actually was to the left. To engage further- I kept driving and told her that I wanted to go to Dunkin Donuts (one of her favorite places on earth- she has a munchkin obsession), I asked her which way I should turn…“Right, Mommy. That way.” Well, holy crap.
Clearly, that “safe place” we sent her to every week was actually doing something besides having them roll around in paint all day. The sad part of realizing that your child is growing up and becoming an independent thinker is the reality that you no longer have a baby anymore. Seems like yesterday she was drooling all over her onesies and my biggest concern was the color of her poop being abnormal. (Side note, my pediatrician once told me that he has had several parents actually bring him specimens of various colors of poop. He reassured me constantly that unless the poop was red or white, everything was just fine…and more importantly, to never bring poop into his office).
I asked my mother the other day whether or not I knew how to spell my name at three years old, or whether I knew left from right. She shot me a look and said that she barely remembered when I graduated high school, let alone what I did when I was three. I can’t even fault her. Think about it, do you remember what your kid was doing a month ago let alone thirty-something years ago? The one thing she did know for sure, I wasn’t able to maneuver an iPhone, iPad, or any Apple instrument- Most likely, because none of those things existed in the 80’s.
Recently a private school in Simsbury, CT became the first school in Connecticut to go “all iPad”. The no long have textbooks, no more notebooks- just students as young as four years old, each with their own iPad. They have specially designed app’s to help teach the children. The school owns all the iPads, the same way it would own all the books, and they are on loan to the students. It eliminates the excuse “I left my homework at home”- because you simply can’t go to school without your iPad.
Then I thought about it- Sure we are. Let’s be honest, my daughter has more app’s on my phone than I do. She knows how to draw letters because of the excellent teachers she has at school and because she has an app for that. So, if that’s the way our technology in school is headed- sign us up. Deep down we all want our children to be smarter and more successful than we are, right? I can’t wait for her to walk into school and tell her teacher someday that her dog ate her iPad.
Anna Sforza-Zapotosky is the definition of a multi-tasker. Why have one love when you can have many? She is a full time Realtor with William Raveis Real Estate servicing all of lower Fairfield County. You can hear her as “Anna Zap” on-air with Connecticut radio stations, 95.9 The Fox, 99.1 PLR and Star 99.9. She has performed standup comedy all over New York City, Westchester County and Fairfield County. Her most important role though is as a Mommy to her beautiful three year old daughter Hayden, and wife of seven years to her college sweetheart, Paul. Together, they are making it in Fairfield County.