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Friday, April 11, 2008

Taxonomy

I thought that I'd post about something other than sickness, just for kicks. How about, I don't know ... school?

On Tuesday (when it looked like we were all on the mend), I found Logan playing with Oliver and his dinosaur refrigerator magnets.
Oliver is quite fond of them; he likes to take them out of the box, slap them on the stove, fridge or dishwasher, and them take them all off again, placing them back in the box. This kind of basic play is boring for the likes of a not-quite-six year old mastermind, so Logan had resorted to snatching the misplaced dinos from the floor and placing them in groupings. I noticed that he had put all of the bipeds together, then all of those with claws, then the long necks, etc.

"Nice job sorting, bud. We're doing a science lesson on that today," I told him.

His eyes flashed.

"Dinosaurs?"

"Uh, no. Sorry to disappoint. We're doing the Botany book, remember?"

"That's right!" He's actually really excited about botany. Go figure.

Sensing the opporunity to give him a rare chance at being the family whiz kid, I leaned in close.

"Can I tell you a secret?" I asked. He was game. "What you're doing is called taxonomy. Tax-on-o-mee. Think you can remember that?"

He thought he could.

"Well, when I start reading the Botany book later, I want you to say, 'Are you talking about tax-on-o-meee, Mom?' And the big kids will be surprised. They'll think you're brilliant. What do you think?"

He was grinning, rocking on his heels and pursing his lips. "Yeah!"

Fast forward half an hour or so. Oliver was safely secured in his booster seat with a sheet of paper taped to the tray and three non-toxic crayons to chew--I mean, color with. Jo, Atticus, Logan and I were gathered around the kitchen table, which was littered with lined paper, drawing paper, crayons and pencils. I had "Exploring Creation with Botany" in hand.

I began reading.

"Ummm, Mom?" Logan ventured.

"Yeeeesss?" I smiled.

"Are you talking about Tack-ona-nee?"

Close enough.

"Why, yes! I am!" I said, beaming at him. He beamed back.

Jo's jaw hit the floor.

"How do you know about taxonomy? You're a very smart boy, that's what I think!" she said, awed.

Atticus was impressed, too. "Good one, Logan."

Just for the record, we did share the set up. Later--after Logan got all the props an oft-looked over little brother deserves from his older siblings. But I made sure to point out for our audience how Logan had been employed in taxonomy at his own volition ... he just needed someone to tell him that's what it was.

3 comments:

SmallWorld said...

My husband, the professor of botany, would be SO impressed!
SmallWorld

Paula said...

Brilliant!!! Those younger kids need to get a leg up once in awhile. :0)

Oh Joy! said...

Wow!! How did he know such a big word? ;)