The Abraham Family’s Journey to Russia to Bring Home Their Daughter

March 25, 2009

Oney One

When Preston was first learning to count, he used to say the number 11 was "oney one". It was so cute. Little did I know back then, that by the time he reached the age of oney one, he would be doing complex mathematical equations that are way over my head. Although from a very early age, we knew there was something very special about him. I've never written all this down anywhere before, so I think my blog would be as good a place as any.

Warning - I am about to shamelessly brag on my gifted child:

Preston mastered the computer at 18 months old. By the time he was 20 months old, he knew all colors, shapes, numbers, and letters. Before age 2, he could tell time on both a standard clock or a digital clock. At age 4, he found some "Hooked on Phonics" cards that I bought on sale one day. I was going to wait to use them until he was at least five. While I was at work one day, Preston sat on the sofa and went through all the cards and literally taught himself to read. I didn't believe it at first and thought he had just memorized our books. I took him to a friend's house and asked if he could to try to read some of her books that he had never seen before. Sure enough, he read them perfectly. Needless to say, he was very bored in Preschool. On his 5th birthday, when it was time to enroll him in kindergarten, he was already reading on a 4th grade level, could count money, tell time, and do basic math like adding and subtracting single digits.

I couldn't bear to send him to the horrible elementary school that we were zoned for at the time and couldn't justify spending $5,000 to send him to a private school for Kindergarten when he already knew everything they would be teaching anyway.... so I decided to homeschool him. It one of was the best decisions I've ever made. That first year of homeschooling was so much fun! We probably went a little overboard, but some of the things he learned were:

~ The entire solar system and all it's components including every planet's moon.
~ Adding and subtracting triple digits, including carrying and borrowing numbers
~ It took him one week to memorize the entire multiplication tables
~ Simple division
~ Basic fractions and decibels
~ Martin was even teaching him square roots, but I said that's enough already!
~ The presidents of the United States
~ He memorized the capitals of every state in one day. As I was tucking him into bed one night, he started crying. When I asked what was wrong, he said he was worried because he didn't know all the state capitals at the ripe old age of five. I have no idea where he came up with that idea. But he seriously would not stop crying until I went to my computer and printed a list out for him. The next morning, he woke up and got right to work on learning them. I don't even remember all the state capitals. Sigh, parenting a gifted child can be very humbling at times.

By 1st grade, Preston was doing long division and multiplying fractions and decibels. He read all seven books in the Chronicles of Narnia series. Twice. In 2nd grade, he learned Spanish enough to carry on a conversation (but he has since lost most of that since I didn't keep working on his Spanish lessons. I regret that now.) In 3rd grade, he learned to read and understand Latin. Sometimes, he still says his bible verses in Latin at church on Sunday mornings. In 5th grade, he is working on Algebra I and II. Now you can see why I used him as my personal calculator for converting rubles to dollars in Moscow. While the Russian currency was like monopoly money to me, Preston could do conversions in his head in seconds.
He is passionate about football and soccer, but especially Pro Football. He has memorized nearly every major player in the NFL, including their stats, recent injuries, where they went to college and their fantasy football rankings. If you have a question about any team in the NFL, Preston is your go-to man! He has always been fascinated with sports. When he was five, he would find the Nashville Predators games on the computer and listen to them online for hours. He would probably still be a hockey fan if there hadn't been that strike that cancelled the season a few years ago. They lost him after that.

He has been invited to participate in the SAVY (Summer Academy at Vanderbilt for the Young) for Talented Youth. But the program is expensive and he would so much rather be playing sports and swimming. Even though it is an honor, I'm leaning toward just letting him be a kid during the summer.

Preston is a typical first born son with natural leadership qualities and an amazingly high achiever. He is self-confident, yet he works very hard at everything he does. We can always count on Preston to obey rules and he tries hard to keep his brothers in line too. He has always been eager to please and when there's a job to be done, it's usually a Preston who jumps up and says "I'll do it!" He is a very loyal friend and a loving son. I couldn't be prouder of him.

Random Fact: Did you know...

That almost all of the U.S. Presidents were either the first-born child or the first-born son in their families?

All but two of the first astronauts sent into space were first-borns, and the other two were "only children"?

Happy 11th birthday Preston.
You are an amazing young man!
We love you!


tammy said...

all's i can say is wow! very impressive young man. :) happy birthday.

jeanette wunderly said...

Happy Birthday!! You have a true gift!

Iraida said...

Wow!!! Preston is really smart.
Happy Birthday!

Kami said...

Happy Birthday to Preston!! I LOVE the "oney one" for eleven! Too funny!

Old DAN AND Little ANN said...

That is beyond impressive. I'm so glad you bragged. It is a tribute to homeschooling too. Sounds like a 'Ben Franklin Education' to me! He also reminds me a lot of my first born, Natalie. She doesn't do Algebra yet but she is two years younger than he is. It would be nice if she did though. She could tutor her mom this summer! ;)

Anonymous said...

You didn't mention all the many awards, trophies, ribbons, and money he has already received for his art, photography, singing, dancing, acting, etc. talents. Look out young ladies, he will be a "CATCH" one day.

Anonymous said...

Preston is an exceptional young man for sure ... an important ingredient in the recipe for his success is that he lives in a loving, caring environment where Christ is the center. All of your children are exceptional ... because they have exceptional, God loving ~ God fearing parents. Keep up the good work.

Love, Auntie Bunner

Carey and Norman said...

Happy Birthday! What a little genious you have there!

Janine said...

Happy Birthday Preston! What a wonderful gift he has and a love for learning to boot. Wonderful! Wonderful!

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