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The average child

post #1 of 220
Thread Starter 
Ok, maybe I'm just PMSing, and feeling rather cranky.
But, please someone tell me that I am not the only person with run of the mill, average intelligence children! They didn't learn too read until I taught them. They don't always jump for joy whenever I show up with an educational DVD. Math problems will send them diving for cover!: But they are bright, friendly, fun loving kids. Which is what I want for them to be at this point.
Please,no offense too those who have gifted, highly intelligent children. That is wonderful! But, lately it seems that is what most of the posts are for.
Tell me there are some other children out there that if given the choice would rather watch Sponge Bob all day than do something "educational"!

P.S.-No, they don't get too watch Sponge Bob all day!
post #2 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by my3monkees
Ok, maybe I'm just PMSing, and feeling rather cranky.
But, please someone tell me that I am not the only person with run of the mill, average intelligence children! They didn't learn too read until I taught them. They don't always jump for joy whenever I show up with an educational DVD. Math problems will send them diving for cover!: But they are bright, friendly, fun loving kids. Which is what I want for them to be at this point.
Please,no offense too those who have gifted, highly intelligent children. That is wonderful! But, lately it seems that is what most of the posts are for.
Tell me there are some other children out there that if given the choice would rather watch Sponge Bob all day than do something "educational"!

P.S.-No, they don't get too watch Sponge Bob all day!
Maybe the gifted kids' mamas get more computer time and therefore post more
post #3 of 220
ME!! I have a couple of kids who are wonderful, average learners. They are both pretty self-motivated and ds(5) will start unschooling now that he finished preK today. He is just starting to read sentences, do simple addition and subtraction, and loves being read to. Dd(11) just finished 7th grade at public school. She is an avid reader and very creative writer of stories and poems. Everyone's learns on different levels in my family and it creates a nice balance all around.
post #4 of 220
Well, I don't know if I count - I consider my son to be bright, even though not "gifted," but I don't think he was all that different from yours:

--He didn't learn to read until I taught him, with the help of a former kindergarten teacher, when he was almost seven. I wouldn't even have done it that early except that he was about to enter a 1st grade class where all the others would already know how to read 3 letter words. Some children do want to learn how to read at very early ages, but they're in the minority.
--He didn't always jump for joy over educational videos, although he enjoyed them well enough and enjoyed some a lot. I never presented them as something he needed to watch for the educational value, though - it was all just mixed in - educational videos with everything else - and he sought out educational ones if they were interesting to him.
--Math problems didn't send him diving for cover, although I didn't really give him math problems to do so much as I just provided stimulating activities that I thought would teach him a little while whetting his enthusiasm for later math exploration (which it did).
--He never cared whether something was "educational" or not, as long as it was interesting.

You have to kinda' read between the lines when you read about others' homeschooling successes - only the highlights are generally mentioned. You don't tend to see many threads titled "All the so-so days when not much of anything seems to be happening and I wonder what in the world made me ever think we should homeschool...," but that's something most people have times of at one point or other.... Lillian
post #5 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J

You have to kinda' read between the lines when you read about others' homeschooling successes - only the highlights are generally mentioned.
Yep.

I think my kids each have one or two areas in which things come very easily to them, academically, and so they excel in those ways. But in most ways, they are very average in all the ways the OP mentions.
post #6 of 220
Ok, maybe I'm just PMSing, and feeling rather cranky.
But, please someone tell me that I am not the only person with run of the mill, average intelligence children! They didn't learn too read until I taught them. They don't always jump for joy whenever I show up with an educational DVD



Hehe. Even my potentially 'gifted' kids don't do that. LOL!! And nah, no offense. In general, I think most the post on this board are run of the mill homeschooling posts. :-)
post #7 of 220
I hear ya. I think (warning, heresy ahead) that all children truly are gifted and it's really up to a homeschool/unschool parent to discover those gifts and work with their child individually. Some are in the academic arena; some are verbal; some are interpersonal; some are spatial, and so on. Every child has unique needs, strengths, and weaknesses, as we all do. I have met very few "average" children (I don't think ever) in my life, and I've worked with a lot of kids; but I guess I don't go around looking to put them into an "average" box either, as who needs to compare? Ok, I've always been partial to the funny kids.

I also think IQ tests are a big, nasty, steaming bowl of trouble. But you didn't really ask about that, eh? Our nation's current obsession with giftedness really trips me out.

I have a kid who qualifies for our SD's gifted program - but 1) I think it's the big bowl of trouble mentioned above and 2) I really dislike the emphasis on acceleration, competition, academics and "challenge" over being yourself. She hates math and educational DVDs (note to publishers: if you put "educational" on there you might as well also use the words "rip out your eyeballs while you still can, kids.") as well, and as I have mentioned before, is part pegacorn (you know, pegasus-unicorn) who must be free . Also, the parents are in the district and in the programs in a constant p-ing contest. Boy, now that's a lot of fun.

Don't get into the p-ing contest, that's my advice. Your kid is totally cool and unique and different because they are who they are, especially if they are fun and loving and like to watch SpongeBob.
post #8 of 220
I have three basic wonderful boys myself... I think a lot of gifting has to do with talents...so I bet, in a pure sense, most kids are gifted in one way or another. For example, I have a cousin who struggled with every subject in school but man oh man could she mediate when there was conflict, that is a gift.... However, if my own kids jumped for joy over educational DVDs or math... I would consider them gifted, gifted actors that is! eyes:LOL
post #9 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
2) I really dislike the emphasis on acceleration, competition, academics and "challenge" over being yourself.
The word "challenge" in relation to learning generally makes me kinda' wince. Why can't people just live and learn - enjoy learning things for their own sake - why the obsession with being"challenged"? It's one thing to enjoy a good challenge now and then - that can be great fun, for sure - but I've never understood how the notion of needing to be "challenged" got to be part of the educational scene. It's as if...as if...well, as if learning is supposed to be a challenge ... - Lillian
post #10 of 220
The gifted/not gifted thing has always weirded me out.

We don't really see things as "educational" or not educational. I suppose there is academic and non, but whatever. It's not better to do algebra and worse to watch TV or better to learn the history of Greece and worse to play a video game or play outside. It's all just fine. We've been honest with the kids regarding the skills an employer/career will likely require them to have or that will at least come in handy. Dd will do math problems just out of the blue, but she usually just listens to music or watches TV or reads.
post #11 of 220
I think maybe I'm not clear about what people mean by "educational" DVDs. I think of an educational DVDs as being just regular well done DVDs about anything that brings some interesting and thought-provoking information to one's life - maybe various aspects of science, history of the western migration, math (Donald in Mathemagic Land, for instance), or whatever - and I've known kids to quite be receptive to that kind of thing. If something is designed/packaged/presented by an educational curriculum company as being specifically "educational" about something, though, I can see how that might be something that gets into a whole different realm.
- Lillian
post #12 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
We don't really see things as "educational" or not educational. I suppose there is academic and non, but whatever. It's not better to do algebra and worse to watch TV or better to learn the history of Greece and worse to play a video game or play outside. It's all just fine.
I think this attitude helps create an atmosphere where kids are more likely to be equally open to exploring any subject without the reactions that can come with the feeling that some things are almost medicinal from their parents' point of view, while others, often things kids naturally love, are worthless or harmful in their parents' eyes. - Lillian
post #13 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J
If something is designed/packaged/presented by an educational curriculum company as being specifically "educational" about something, though, I can see how that might be something that gets into a whole different realm.
- Lillian
Yeah, I think that's what I'm thinking of when I think "educational" (tm!). I mean, we all like us some PBS Nature shows, but anything that says, "Dr. Wizard's Extra-Fun Helping of Math - DIVISION!" with a sticker that says "Educational" is going to turn her off immediately, because she's highly suspicious that anyone could make division interesting. Aw heck, I am too, unless we're talking about the federal budget. It's really about following the child - although I suppose if she were into division, she'd love it. And that's cool too.

I suppose one could find something "educational" in Spongebob too...
post #14 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J


The word "challenge" in relation to learning generally makes me kinda' wince. Why can't people just live and learn - enjoy learning things for their own sake - why the obsession with being"challenged"? It's one thing to enjoy a good challenge now and then - that can be great fun, for sure - but I've never understood how the notion of needing to be "challenged" got to be part of the educational scene. It's as if...as if...well, as if learning is supposed to be a challenge ... - Lillian
Well, and challenge for challenge's sake is sort of pointless - I mean, we are always challenged when there's something new we REALLY want to learn about or do, whether learn the fiddle, do a crossword, or work an algebraic equation. But the desire and thirst to learn helps you to overcome the challenge. I'd say many homeschooled and unschooled children are always meeting new challenges, but those that they've deemed interesting? Does that make sense? Not those challenges that the school district decides is "appropriate benchmarks for the gifted kids."
post #15 of 220
Well ... it's too early to say, really, but I've found that my kid is a lot more "average" than my preconceived notions of what he would be like, and I've also found that I'm fine with that.

To explain about my preconceptions, I should say that I was a *very* smart kid, and very far ahead - talking at 7 months, reading at the high school level at age 3, 1490 on my SAT at age 13 without studying. Life experience has taught me that those numbers don't necessarily mean a lot (and it turns out that I'm not brilliant at everything, but I take multiple choice tests REALLY WELL), but I still kinda expected to have a kid who would follow in my shoes.

But guess what - he hasn't. He is saying a couple words at 15 months and is more interested in banging things than in educational toys or puzzles or learning to say more words. He can't be bothered to learn "mama" because .. ooh! a rock! ooh! a cheerio! num num num ... He is a sweet, funny, wonderful little kid who wanders around going "oooooh" and pointing at things and destroying stuff and making lots of noise, and I'm cool with that. If he doesn't learn to read early or produce some kind of brilliant test scores at an early age, good for him. Because I did those things, and they did not make me a better person or lead to exceptional success in life. So in the end, they really don't matter that much to me.
post #16 of 220
I've thought about starting this kind of thread myself. Even though I think of ds1 as an incredibly special child (don't we all), I start to hyperventilate a little when I read some of the posts on here. Same as when I read some hs articles or books. I think, OMG, ds1 does not want to build complex airports out of Legos, he's not charting the daily precipitation, he's not reading on a 4th grade level at 5yo, he's not painting intricate masterpieces, blah blah blah.

But your mention of Spongebob made me realize something: For the past few months, ds has been fairly obsessed with planets. He begs me to read him a book about Venus at bedtime, for example. He can identify all nine planets, he knows what orbit means, which planets have how many moons, etc. And I then remembered how this started. Buzz Lightyear. We own Toy Story and Toy Story 2, and he has watched both more times than I care to admit. He was Buzz Lightyear for Halloween last year, and this May for his birthday when I asked what kind of party he wanted, he said Buzz Lightyear. Well, it was pretty difficult for me throw a commercially themed birthday party, so I did a few token Buzz things but went with a more generic "space" theme. When some of our friends asked for gift ideas, asking what kinds of things he was into these days, I kind of panicked (thinking about what a horrible parent I must be to not really have a definitive answer) and said "Well, he's kind of been into outer space lately." So he got quite a few space themed gifts. Some of them he really liked, and the obsession just took off from there.

And regarding the gifted thing: I was a child identified as gifted. Read early, math was a snap. Tested and put into gifted programs, even found those boring. School was always easy for me. At 5yo ds seems academically about average (as far as I can tell, maybe a bit behind in his writing), but he is definitely gifted in other ways. I know that some parents of gifted children get all miffed about implying that all children have gifts, but I do believe it's true. They are just not all gifts that can be tested. Like a pp mentioned a cousin who is great at mediating - I would say that is interpersonally gifted. My ds is almost spooky in his ability to pick up on the vibe of different people and situations. He gets an immediate and definite hit on situations, and calls them exactly right almost every single time. I consider myself a highly intuitive person, but he blows me out of the water.

Anyway, I know it sounds strange to blather on about how much he knows about space and how intuitive he is and then say that I totally get you on feeling like you're the only person with an average kid, but there it is.
post #17 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by pookel
Well ... it's too early to say, really, but I've found that my kid is a lot more "average" than my preconceived notions of what he would be like, and I've also found that I'm fine with that.

To explain about my preconceptions, I should say that I was a *very* smart kid, and very far ahead - talking at 7 months, reading at the high school level at age 3, 1490 on my SAT at age 13 without studying. Life experience has taught me that those numbers don't necessarily mean a lot (and it turns out that I'm not brilliant at everything, but I take multiple choice tests REALLY WELL), but I still kinda expected to have a kid who would follow in my shoes.

But guess what - he hasn't. He is saying a couple words at 15 months and is more interested in banging things than in educational toys or puzzles or learning to say more words. He can't be bothered to learn "mama" because .. ooh! a rock! ooh! a cheerio! num num num ... He is a sweet, funny, wonderful little kid who wanders around going "oooooh" and pointing at things and destroying stuff and making lots of noise, and I'm cool with that. If he doesn't learn to read early or produce some kind of brilliant test scores at an early age, good for him. Because I did those things, and they did not make me a better person or lead to exceptional success in life. So in the end, they really don't matter that much to me.
Oooh, yeah, ignore my post. Ditto everything she said. That's exactly how I feel (and it perfectly describes my kids!).
post #18 of 220
ME ME!!! I have two wonderfully average very special boys....I HATE LABELS....it does seem that this country is obsessed with labels...gifted, ADHD, Dyslexic, blah blah blah...not to mention CK, Tommy, etc..but that's probably another forum!!!

For those of us who are unschooling, Ithink it's easier to see their abilities in LIFE vs academics because we believe all of life involves learning...now this took a lot of time fo rme to make this leap and I still have panic days where I think "O MY GOSH, THEY DON'T KNOW XXX" but then generally they say something astounding that to them is not "academic" just part of their life or their interests.

And as far as that goes...my older ds flits from one thing to another and drives me NUTS..but he is not a linear learner liek I am. What is AMAZING to me is that he picks up RIGHT WHERE HE LEFT OFF....I'd be "reviewing" for a while first because I am a linear learner.

I was a great student in school and a pretty successful (happy, capable, got along with others) student and adult. And after all those 4.0 and Great SAT's what give me most satisfaction and the least stress is working in a garden, composting, vermicomposting, cooking, etc. NONE of those were in my "academic" career. So I am so trying to steer away from that type of thinking and not even introduce it into my child's vocabulary. do what makes you happy and the rest will follow. Yes, lots of deep breathing and faith....

OUr mantra is "Trust the children" I walk around tapping (EFT) and saying that OFTEN....

Thanks for the thread....
sus
post #19 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
Yeah, I think that's what I'm thinking of when I think "educational" (tm!). I mean, we all like us some PBS Nature shows, but anything that says, "Dr. Wizard's Extra-Fun Helping of Math - DIVISION!" with a sticker that says "Educational" is going to turn her off immediately, because she's highly suspicious that anyone could make division interesting. Aw heck, I am too, unless we're talking about the federal budget. It's really about following the child - although I suppose if she were into division, she'd love it. And that's cool too.

I suppose one could find something "educational" in Spongebob too...
Welll....my 6yo niece was trying to sell me on the fact that I should let my 6yo son watch spongebob...and she said "Auntie, You really need to let your son watch Spongebob, its all about sea creatures and you learn so very much about ocean life...I think he would find it very educational"

I nearly couldnt refuse her.

But yeah...I just look at my dc as the individuals that they are....and go with the flow of how they learn best and what they are interested in. I sometimes feel like the big loser mom because Im not always doing planned educational things with them, or looking at each experience in context of what they will learn, or how it will benefit them. I had a friend like that, and sometimes I would nearly start hyperventilating while she discussed everything she and her dd did together....and as she broke it all down into tiny details. Our friendship broke off because I wasnt pushing my dc toward college, but just allowing them to take their own road....she didnt want her child friends with non-college bound children. We are talking about 5yo's.
post #20 of 220
Wow, some of the neatest and most intelligent people I know didn't go to college...what a small world that poor kid must live in!!! Some of our friends did, some didn't, what is similar is that none of us are pushing it on our kids...they get to choose.
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