One summer when I was around 4, I told my mom I was bored. I had learned to read the year before, and had read all my picture books within an hour. I had memorized the gist of the story and the better lines. For instance Green Eggs & Ham teaches one options and the moral to take a chance and try something first before you decide you don’t like something. In the end he loves the combo. BTW: why were the eggs green?
I learned that and tried things different ways. So, my mother brought home a stack of math workbooks about a foot deep in response to my boredom. Every day I would do a few pages throughout the summer. So, before I was in kindergarten, I could read, write, do addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
My first day of Kindergarten was strange. I had never seen more than a few other kids at once. I was terrified. I turned to my mother when we walked in and said, “please don’t make me go!” I was an outcast immediately. I was picked on by this one kid and we got in so many fist fights that my parents where called in:
“…& He’s not paying attention in class. And when we ask them to work with the letter blocks he’s just staring at the tiles or looking out the window into the sky.” That was because I wasn’t learning anything. I was wondering why the sky was blue and thinking about how colors were made. I knew that we see because of reflections of light because, before I was in kindergarten I watched PBS science shows after the cartoons in the morning. I knew about magnetics. I didn’t learn a thing about science until the 2nd grade when I saw a solar power demonstration. When I asked how it converted sunlight to movement the teacher couldn’t explain it. It was another 6 years before I learned anything in a science class.
I told the principle about how everything was too simple and it was a waste of time when the teacher had to explain thins to most kids 2 or 3 times. I proved to the principal that the reading was too simple by reading her calendar notes. My mom told her,“He learned t read when he was three and a half.”
“I think I was barely 3 because it was about a year and a half after we moved in, in the summer,” I interjected. My Dad used to come home at either 6 or 11 each night from his software engineering job. When he came home early at 6, after dinner he’d put me to bed, but teach me how to phonetically pronounce letters. My sister helped me sound out words in a “thick” 150 page book while we were sitting on the curb in front of my house on an overcast autumn day before her school started that year. I was left at home to watch cartoons and PBS with either my aunt or grandmother watching me.
The result of this meeting was never revealed to me. Eventually my mother told me that they wanted to move me 1 grade up. But she said, “no.” She thought I’d be too small. I would have jumped at that. I wish I could have taken that chance, but my mother never read that book.