Category Archives: Montessori education

It’s Elementary

Not Pluto. (It's a picture of the sun I took with my iPhone. Don't worry, I didn't look.)

This afternoon I had a disturbing conversation with my 5-year-old.



“Neptune is da coldest planet.”

“Really? Are you sure about that?”


“Actually, I think Plu-Toe might be a little colder” I said, annunciating the word in case he’d never heard of it before. “Because it’s farther out.”

“Pluto’s not a planet, Mama” my son said, insulted.

“Says who?”

“My teacher.”

“Oh really?”

“Yeah!” my other kid, age 7, chimes in.

“And why is that?” I prod.

I want to know because I suspect they won’t be able to tell me.

And because I like to set traps, I mean, “segue into teachable moments”, for my kids.

Also because I don’t know.

I mean, I heard about this Pluto business when it first went down, or was it in Earth Science? But somehow the reason for its expulsion from the planet club evaded me.

“Because its orbit is all wrong” the V-meister informs me matter-of-factly, like when she’s showing me how to use the TV remote. “Pluto is just another object in the Kuiper Belt.”

“You mean the Milky Way?”

“No, I mean the Kuiper Belt.”

“Well I’ll be darned. What else are they teaching you over at that school?”



I have to say Pluto’s demotion to space junk still rubs me the wrong way. Sure, it’s old news, but it stings.

Because one day as they’re beaming themselves there, my kids will say to each other using mental telepathy, “Can you believe Mom and Dad used to think this was a planet?” Then they will high five each other and explode into riotous laughter.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must fetch my loincloth out of the dryer and put some more logs on the fire. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my cave, drawing.

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