The Final Countdown
After five long years, kindergarten is finally coming to an end. I know that sounds weird to NOB folks, but kids here in Mexico start school EARLY. Max started at his present school when he was about 18 months old and he's just turned six, ready to graduate from Kinder 3 and start first grade at a new school next year. This week is final exam week (he has monthly exams, but these are the big ones) and we're heavy into study mode. I was a little panicked, but the kid actually knows his stuff, kind of blowing me away actually! Here's a look at some of what he has to know to ace is finals....
"Culture and investigations"- The White Book
From Mexican Independence in September to Father's Day in June, he must know all the major holidays and events and key players. Pancho Villa, the Three Kings, Christoper Columbus, Miguel Hidalgo, Day of the Dead, Mother's Day, he knows his stuff. (A real blessing for me as I prepare for my citizenship exam, I realize I know most of the answers based on our kindergarten investigations). He's also done research on the five senses, the anatomy of the eye, the ear and the tongue, he knows the difference between oviparous and viviparous animals and examples of each, and he's got a pretty good knowledge of insects and spiders.
"Mathematics"- The Red Book
Counting to 1000 by 1's, 2's, 5's and 10's. Writing all numbers as words. Addition and subtraction of three digit numbers and fractions. Roman numerals to 500. Telling time, counting money (pesos and US dollars, a bit of a grrr for me, I had to do Canadian money of my own accord), and simple graphs. Mental calculations and word problems (if Sally has two tacos and Manuel gives her three tacos, how many tacos does she have?)
"Spanish"- The Yellow Book
ABC's capital/small letters. Read fluently with comprehension questions. Take dictation of sentences and stories. Copying text. Verbs and creating sentences using verbs. Must be able to correctly use a dictionary. Interrogative and exclamatory sentences. The parts of a story. Creation of stories. (The letters and writing must be "perfect", makes me a bit crazy truth be told!)
"English"- The Blue Book
Pronouns. Opposites. Spelling of months, days, colours, numbers and means of communication. Vocabulary of farm animals and insects. ALL verbs (that's what it says in the book, though I am quite sure they didn't cover ALL the verbs, ahem, they have a list of 70 that they must know). Present continuous and the gerund. Translation of Spanish into English and English into Spanish. Reading, writing and conversations using all vocabulary learned in the year. (Ok, obviously this is super easy for Max being a native speaker, I'll admit to pushing a bit on our own and doing all the Spanish and Math work in English too).
"French"= The Pink Book
Counting to 50, all colours and shapes. The house, the rooms of the house and furniture. Things you find at a party (different types of food, balloons, toys, etc..) The members of the family. Items you find in school. Answering the questions "Qu'est ce que c'est?" with the response "C'est......". Weather terms. Emotions.Plants and animals. Clothing. Christmas vocabulary. "Ou est.....?" (Where is....?) and the answers "sur, sous, dans". Directions "en haut, en bas, a gauche, a droite". "Combien de.....il y a?" ("How many .....are there?"). "I like/don't like". Food vocabulary. Occupations.
And this is why I have a headache today. Multilingual studies of a bazillion different things with a six year old who rolls his eyes when I ask him a question and says "Duuuuuh, that's easssssssy." I think I'll just hand him his books, let him read through them and call it a day. I am starting to think he has a photographic memory (like his mom), so maybe it's a better way for him to study anyway rather than taskmaster mommy calling the shots. However these exams come out, I am super proud of him and excited for the new challenges ahead of us. (And totally terrified at the same time, the moment is soon coming when he'll know more than I do!)