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Does your child know they are smart?


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It seems like original questions of this thread could be summarized like this:

1) Does your kid know their achievements/abilities are above average?

2) If so, what does the kid attribute that to?

3) What does the parent attribute that to?

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1) Sort of, mostly for math. When he was in K-2nd grade and spending every spare moment obsessed with chemistry, he knew that no kids (and almost no adults) in his orbit understood chemical reactions as well as he did, but he also knew they didn't try. Right now he's into computer programming, but only knows adult programmers. I'm not sure he's noticed that he has a college physics book. But for math, it's hard to avoid knowing that many kids study the same things with a certain timing. In 4th or 5th grade, he started occasionally using math books (or discarding them as too easy), asked when kids normally studied those things, and I told him.

2) That some people can "learn certain things more easily" than other people, or than they themselves learn other things.

3) I know that both parents, some grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc... were identified as gifted, so I'm pretty sure a lot is genetic. My kid has had the prerequisite exposure of a rich family life, but not a lot of parent-directed effort. 

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On a side note, the kid I'm talking about here didn't read well until 9.5 yrs old, read "Lord of the Rings" as his second ever chapter book, and at 12, I don't notice any deficits in his vocabulary or general knowledge compared to my earlier reader or to other bright kids. 

 

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3 minutes ago, mckittre said:

It seems like original questions of this thread could be summarized like this:

1) Does your kid know their achievements/abilities are above average?

2) If so, what does the kid attribute that to?

3) What does the parent attribute that to?

Little Boy (almost 5)

1) Yes. Although I think it was just recently brought to his attention because we joined tee ball. (He needs an appropriate space to throw balls.) The majority of the team called him and this other boy "babies" because they compared ages and they were the youngest. However, he was the only kid to be able to identify everyone's equipment and baskets by matching their numbers to their names. He asked why he could play better and why no one else knew how to put away the equipment properly. 

2) I believe he attributes that to hard work. He will stare and analyze things like the way a major league ball player throws a baseball and will practice doing that on his own. He has done that with reading sit and look at words by himself trying to figure them out. Same with math he'll just sit with objects and manipulate them to see what happens.

3) He has a crazy good memory and has always been amazing at making connections. I don't know if he is "gifted" but he is really smart, has a lot of self motivation, and is very competitive.

Little Girl (3.5)

1) No. Due to the pandemic she only has her brother to compare herself to and well she doesn't know as much as he does. She did recently question a little bit because we've been hanging out with a little boy who is 6months older and she started surpassing him in certain knowledge. 

2) She thinks she knows more than the other little boy because she eats more. At least that's what she told me. 

3) She is also a very bright child. Her memory is above average. She's willing to takes risks and try and not afraid of failure. Sometimes she ends up getting ahead (potty training, making up stories, singing, drawing), because she is just willing to give it a go and keep practicing.

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Obviously both my kids are too little for me to be an "expert." I'm not trained in any way to have any sort of authority on the subject.

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I thought I had responded to this thread early on, but I must have been mistaken (or my post got eaten). 

DS is 2E & knows about both his strengths & his weaknesses. 

People had made one-off comments for ages about his mathematical & language abilities. He loved numbers & words, so he talked about them. He didn’t think anything of it.

I first sat down with him at age 4 or 5, following an incident with a close friend 2yrs his senior. He had written her a note at her birthday party & asked her to keep it private. When she took it to her mom (because she couldn’t read) he was FURIOUS! We had to have a long talk about people developing skills at different rates & that he couldn’t just assume his peers shared his abilities. 

It didn’t come up much after that. He’d occasionally note that friend XYZ could do a skill he couldn’t, or they couldn’t do something he could - but there was no value judgement; it was just an observation. He realized on his own that his friends generally couldn’t play the boardgames he enjoyed & would ask my advice on which to pull out for play dates. He noted that only adults understood certain jokes & that none of the other kids wanted to “play exponents” at the park. 

When he was diagnosed with ADHD we had discussions about the fact that he always had SO my more energy than his friends, as well as how that related to his struggles with self-regulation & impulse control. He knows he needs to work extra hard to direct his attention, respect others’ personal space, & mind his words / tone - particularly when his medication isn’t active. He knows that sports are important for him not only because they keep his body healthy, but also because they help his brain focus. 

He knows that some kids take longer to get to where he is & that others are way ahead of him. He sees that at least some of the resources we use for math & language arts are 2+yrs ahead of his age-grade.  We all find some things easier & other things harder; he’s working at the pace that’s right for him. 

Edited by Shoes+Ships+SealingWax
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On 9/13/2021 at 6:24 PM, mckittre said:

It seems like original questions of this thread could be summarized like this:

1) Does your kid know their achievements/abilities are above average?

2) If so, what does the kid attribute that to?

3) What does the parent attribute that to?

1) Yes, they absolutely do know that they are able to do work well above what most kids their ages can do.

2) They mostly attribute it to me and my very non-traditional homeschool method and opinions. I have never had a problem making my young children do things that they didn't want to do, when I wanted them to do it and how I wanted them to do it.

3) I attribute it to the fact that I have an astronomically low opinion of schools in the US and traditional education expectations. To the best of my understanding, the edcuation system is designed to hobble if not outright fail children. I didn't want any parts of that for my own kids and so I took  the matter into my own hands.

There is a huge amount of gimmick and psuedo-science involved in a lot of educational practices done in classrooms and they treat the schools like laboratores--always experimenting instead of using the methods that we know work for the majority of NT children, the majority of the time. It's stupid and cruel, to be frank. Rather than whine about the cruelty or stupidity, I design my teaching to not use cruelty or stupidity and just teach my own kids.

It doesn't take a lot to beat the PS standards by a mile.

But, I'm bitter so I was interested in blowing the local PS out of the water and dancing over its waterlogged corpse.

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Do my kids know their smart?  I guess,  it's just the way they are. Learning things has always been easy for them.  They've always done well academically and have gotten recognition throughout their school years and beyond.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/11/2021 at 2:54 PM, Not_a_Number said:

Whereas I start out with the symbols and try to translate them into words and visuals. So something like this (with a square to fill instead of a letter) would be very familiar to kids I work with. 

Yes my kids had them with blank squares at school when they were 5.  When I was helping the I read it as 4  + blank square = 8.  I also did a lot of what is 4 + 4, what is 4000 + 4000 (confused look), what is 4 lollies + 4 lollies, what is 4 dogs + 4 dogs.  Right then what is 4thousand + 4thousand? What is 4million + 4million.

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