Thursday, July 30, 2009


I may be mistaken, but I am reasonably sure that when I was in Grade 1, I had just graduated to four and five letter words. Perhaps I had to write the odd longer word, but those were the times when I had to spell my name.

My son has just entered Grade 1, and guess which words were on the list of ten words he would be tested on this week – condensation, evaporation and precipitation.

Sure, they are words that he has been hearing all month. ‘Condensation’ and ‘evaporation’ are concepts that have been driven into him through simple experiments, and by working on the water cycle-

If I had a say, I would rather my son have grasped the concept of condensation and evaporation with the words being reserved for a later class. But I know I am in a minority – most people (and schools) seem to believe that labelling things is a lot more important than understanding them.

Condensation and evaporation I am willing to live with. But precipitation?

I am quite sure I did not encounter that word before High School, and before teaching my son to spell the word out, I had to check the spelling myself. Why on earth should a child of five or six be taught the word precipitation when rain or snow would serve just as well?

But there is an unwitting fallout of it- I achieved geek status since my son refers to rain as precipitation even in normal conversation.

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Galen Kindley--Author said...

Are today’s kids just plain smarter? Has the bar for them been raised? If so, does this happen with every generation. I went to school during the Lincoln administration in a log cabin. We got a passing grade if we simply made it to class within plus or minus an hour of the scheduled start time. Dunno, but, I do think I’d have trouble keeping up with first grader. Good luck…they’re just too quick for me.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Carnimire said...

Totally, Galen. Today's kids are just way smarter than we were. Whether they are just book smart, or actually smarter is something I have yet to figure out though.


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