Wednesday, August 04, 2010

On Educating 6-Year-Olds And The Challenge Of 1st Grade

6-year-old boy to an adult: "Where did the ark land?"

Adult: "Ummmmm...." *racking brain feriously trying not to look stupid trying to help young child discover the answers to life's deep secrets*

Boy: "Where is the ark?"

Adult: "Well, um... ahem... why do you want to know?" (there, the balls in his court. The most clever design of human nature is to retaliate a hard question with an even harder question.)

Boy: "Because I want to go there when I grow up."

Adult: "Oh! Why do you want to go there?" (maybe he has an answer to why he wants to know where it is but as to the WHY he wants to actually go there, well, this'll make him think.)

Boy: "So that I can do what God tells me if there's a flood again."

Adult makes mental note to research the flood, ark location and how to teach child that the earth will never flood again... a reality said child has yet to grasp everytime he hears the story of Noah's Ark.

I'm almost positive this topic isn't included in 1st grade curriculum so why is my "First Grader" exploring these questions? Oh yeah, that's the nice thing about homeschooling; you can learn about anything you want even before you learn phonics. I get it now.

Adult: *goes to to obtain necessary information in order to educate young child on the dynamics of Noah's ark* (actually, I went to this site instead since it's my favorite search engine.)

Later that day, the boy began to inform the adult and anyone and everyone who would listen HOW he was going to search for and retrieve Noah's ark.

He figured he could just go to wherever the ark was, look at it and bring it back. On a rope of course. But when I explained that the place where the ark is, the people there are very protective of their country and their government would put him in jail, he realized he had a challenge.

So he asked me what I thought he could do.

I told him he could fly to a country by the country where the ark is. And then when it's dark, either crawl over the boarder into the ark's country, or maybe ride a camel.

Hearing he'd be put in jail if he was caught, he decided to bring an American policeman along. Of course, policemen always are the best way to handle emergency situations. Even on the other side of the world. And if one policeman wasn't enough, he decided he'd just bring them all.

Understanding that especially Americans aren't welcomed in Arabic places, he thought he could disguise himself and speak Spanish.

He had some hard questions. "So the ark landed where the people are still very wicked?" was one of them.

If the flood was to cleanse the earth from sin, it seems strange that the people around the ark were STILL wicked. As if one flood wasn't enough, right? (obviously, he's been listening to his Bible stories.)

And he had one more question.... "Why couldn't the ark just land here?" (like, what a waste-of-an-ark that it had to land around "wicked people.")

So he began thinking up plans...

He could dig a hole underground and literally "go under cover."

He could fly in a rocket that didn't go into space.

He could go in a jet and go into space, hang a rope down over "that world" and catch Noah's ark. And of course, bring it home. And then he could set it up in America so other people could see it and he'd start building a whole bunch of arks for people to see.

He could just fly in a jet and not put English words on the outside of the aircraft. Spanish would work, he explained.

He wouldn't let the "wicked people" see his passport.

He wouldn't speak English so they wouldn't think he was American. "I'd have to learn a lot a lot a lot of Spanish though."

And finally he decided he'd just build an ark by himself. But when I told him it wouldn't be Noah's ark but rather Landon's ark, he didn't like that idea.

"So it wouldn't be Noah's ark?" he asked. "Nope," I told him.

It's just not the authentic thing if it's not THE Noah's Ark. So he went back to figuring out how to get Noah's actual Ark. And knowing him, he'll stew over this for weeks and months until he either comes up with a plan or rocket ship or something or moves on to something more challenging. Like world peace.

After having this conversation, I can imagine what's in our school curriculum this year. And here I thought First Grade was going to be, you know, elementary. And I thought the most difficult thing I'd have to teach him this year, was how to read. Boy, was I wrong.

Not wanting to be outdone by his big brother (after overhearing every word about this whole Noah's Ark Plan), Alex declared randomly, "I need to go into the cont'wee and fwy my space wocket some time."

It's so fun not having normal kids..


A.J. said...

Oh dear. I miss those dear kids sooo much! They have such an active imagination. *Sighs*

Trina Hipps said...

That is really cute! IT made me laugh a lot!! little kids can be so fun sometimes!!