My oldest is 6 and in first grade at our highly-rated public school. This is bringing up old issues in me that I thought were buried. Has this happened to anyone else? How did you deal?
I learned to read at age 2 and was reading things like the Dune series at age 7. I don't know my IQ or where I stand on any spectrum. I know I am a auditory-sequential learner and intellectually creative, but not artistically. I was gifted but at a time where testing and grade advancement were frowned upon. It was thought to mess you up socially/emotionally. Didn't matter b/c I rarely had friends anyway until high school, when I was so bored that I started tuning out and doing drugs. I enjoyed college and graduated with above a 4.0. I did one year at Yale Law School but hated it b/c I always got so bored and frustrated with the one way that people and professors would look at a topic, when it could be seen in so many ways. My personality orientation is that if I become interested in a topic, I will study it for long enough to get an understanding of the basic epistemology and theory, and then get bored with any detail follow-up, so long-term study drives me nuts, though I have a very broad knowledge of lots of stuff. I was made by my father/allowed myself to feel like a failure for leaving law school, even though it was his dream and not mine. I am soooooo much happier now, but sometimes feel a pang when I hear of classmates working for the President or being really wealthy.
My oldest being in school is bringing all this up. He is like his father, very social and personable and creative and a visual-spatial learner. I didn't hothouse him in reading as a toddler like my dad did with me, yet he taught himself to read in kindergarten and can now read Time magazine if he wants. But he rarely wants to, as like I said, he takes after his father in interest and learning style. I sometimes think that if I had taught him to read at age 2, he would sit around reading all the time as I did at his age, and that would be better b/c it is how I "got so smart." But then again, the fact that all my life I have only thought of myself as being "smart" has not necessarily been totally positive for my emotional development, as I feel like it forced a lot of expectations upon me (I'd go to med school, etc.) which I then rejected out of fear of failure, so I don't want to force my expectations on him. So if you've made it this far, what it comes down to is this: I feel that I don't want my kids to only self-identify as smart b/c of the grief it caused me, but I also don't want them to not capitalize on their intelligence to make their lives easy/important, b/c I sometimes think I should have done something really impressive rather than dropping out of the impressive race. I'm afraid it's going to get worse b/c ds2 is like me in personality and then I have dd who looks like me and has such verbal ability and then ds3 and he is only 7 weeks old so who knows what he will be like. I need to get a handle on this now.