Around this time of year people start talking about literacy, mostly because they have to help their kids with homework, I think.
Ninja-Boy, who’s five and just started kindy, has nothing to worry about in this regard—-he started reading his first words at three, and he keeps synonym, antonym, homonym, rhyme and alliteration collections. Each separate. If you said to him, “Hey, here’s Harold!” He’d mime throwing something over his shoulder into a sack and say, “Cha-ching! It’s in my alliteration collection!” A couple years ago when he first started this (it was homonyms first, then synonyms), my dad said something to him that included a synonym. “Cha-ching! It’s in my synonym collection,” he said in his squeaky little three-year-old voice. My dad looked at me, “He has a cinnamon collection?” “No, Papa,” he said. “Syn-o-nym. It’s when two words mean the same thing but sound different.” My dad looked at me again like when I was teenager and he suspected I was doing drugs (me?). “Sin-o-men?” he asked suspiciously. So much for the new generations always being less educated. I would guess that’s only so in families that have long been in the middle class. (P.S. Regarding Scholastic: my son calls the catalogues that come home from school fortnightly “my magazine”… He keeps them beside his carseat so he has travel reading. it’s kind of like Maxim for hyper-literate five-year-olds.)