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The average child - Page 2

post #21 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by pookel

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.

Hehe!!

I think there is some preconceived notion out there that a child that is is 'smart' or 'gifted in academics' is talking earlier, playing hours with educational items, whatever.... that is often far from the case. My nearly 4 year old doesn't recognize all her abc's. She sure can't read, or add. I didn't do any of that stuff amazingly early. I'm not going to sit down with her this afternoon to go over the US math, nor is she going to sit down and pick up speaking Chiness, Spanish, whatever.

I do believe she is one smart cookie, and will fall on the 'gifted scale' b/c she shows other characteristics.... but seriously her interests?? Play with playdoh for several hours straight, play pretend non-stop, draw, draw, draw. 'Normal stuff'. Oh, and if the indicators I see are wrong, and she isn't 'gifted', who cares? No biggie. And, yah, as mentioned just b/c someone is gifted it i s not a good indicator of success down the road. MANY items feed into that including, interest, personality, passion, whatever.


I do believe as a pp said that all kids have gifts. I think the term 'gifted' just has two definitions... A person can say, oh person a is a gifted negotiater, or a gifted artist. There is also the definition that implies a specific IQ, and some of the traits that are often associated with that.

My mom isn't 'gifted' in the academic sense, but she sure has many gifts and talents. My bro is gifted in the academic sense... almost flunked out of hs b/c he was bored to tears... but oy, does that kid lack any amount of common sense, and too often focuses only on himself. Who has been more successful?

It's what makes life interesting. We are all individual.


Tammy
post #22 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by SRHS
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!!!
ha! so true - i didn't think about ck!
post #23 of 220
Sometimes when I read the posts here at MDC I just have to laugh because it reminds me of Garrison Keillors Prairie Home Companion where "All the women are strong, all the men are beautiful and all the children are above average."
post #24 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alana

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.
That is just scary. I wouldn't want to be friends with a parent like that anyway. I think she's really doing her daughter a disservice.

As for our DD, I don't know if she's "gifted" or not. She's just turned 3. Verbally, she's always been way ahead of many of her friends, but she was the last one in the group to learn how to jump. I don't think it's good or bad - it just is.

We're not sending her to preschool and we plan to homeschool, partly due to the whole "competition/labeling" stuff that goes on. We really try not to compare her to all the other kids we know. (Boy, this is hard sometimes in this society since it seems to start with "milestones" and height/weight charts. I've heard of people comparing their APGAR test results. )

If our DD wants to go to college later on, fine. If not, fine. The constant push for "striving" really bugs me. I have a friend who has an 11 yr old DD and a 13 yr old. She expects them to get A's and told her older daughter that if she can't get A's then she'll take her out of public school & put her back into private school. (She's slowly getting used to my idea of homeschooling. She used to kind of bug me about it.)

Anyway, I think every person has something unique to share with the world.
post #25 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alana
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.
Oh, that's almost sick. As if there's any inkling of what any child might end up doing anyway, regardless of what their parents push. This made me take a quick mental inventory of the ones I've seen grow up, and I didn't get far before various ones started coming to mind who went completely different directions (and good ones) from what your friend might have imagined they'd take from their parents' hard work and aspirations - obsessing over various private schools, one on a public school board, having teachers over for dinner, etc., etc...

- Lillian
post #26 of 220
I LIKE this thread :
post #27 of 220
I like this thread too, and I have kids who are academically advanced. Loved the Garisson Keillor quote too ... I think of that one a lot around here lately.

Miranda
post #28 of 220
My kids are totally average!
They don't always love to learn and sometimes just want to veg and watch tv or play junky games on the computer.
And they have even been known to misbehave in public a time or two :P

Lisa
post #29 of 220
I thought my son was perfectly wonderful, absolutely perfect, and fairly normal. But then my mom told me he was a genius. What did I know anyway?
post #30 of 220
Haha JessicaSAR and hjdong...The truth is that all parents/grandparents think their children are wonderful and freaking cool (HE LEARNED TO CLAP TODAY! HE'S AMAZING! I LOVE HIM!). Because if we didn't believe it, who would? A friend of mine describes it as a great survival strategy for the mother-infant dyad, as a mother was much less likely to leave her baby on the hill for the wild dogs, if you think he's going to cure the world of The Plague, or at least start his own Ye Olde Mead Shoppe.

The problem is when one starts comparing their own (obviously perfect!) child to others and knocking them down; or comparing milestones; or complaining about the "average" children (not yours, of course - someone else's) slowing him down in class, and so on.

I really like what Alfie Kohn says on the matter as well. He has an excellent critique of gifted education and the parents that drive the apparatus in most cities.
post #31 of 220
"I really like what Alfie Kohn says on the matter as well. He has an excellent critique of gifted education and the parents that drive the apparatus in most cities.

Where is this published I'd like to read it.
post #32 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
"I really like what Alfie Kohn says on the matter as well. He has an excellent critique of gifted education and the parents that drive the apparatus in most cities.

Where is this published I'd like to read it.
http://teachers.net/gazette/OCT00/kohn.html

It's reprinted here and on his website. Warning - It's harsh. And fairly accurate for my city.
post #33 of 220
Thread Starter 
A big THANK YOU!! Too all you other mothers of average children. I'm not alone!

Seriously, I guess I never quite realized how much I hate labels until recently. For me I'm a big believer in letting kids be kids. Childhood is short enough as it is. If my 3 yr. would rather play in the rain puddle in the back yard then learn his ABC's, I say go for it! I know he will eventually learn his ABC's no matter what. But will only want too play in rain puddles, for a few short years.

On the matter of being gifted. Its not always the best thing, for a child. I was labeled gifted. But, I was not a good student. I could memorize unbelievable amounts of information in a short period of time. But I didn't LEARN anything. I could pass any test, but ask me a week later I had no idea. My dh on the other hand had too work much harder in school. Thus he learned much better study skills and habits, then I ever did.

I also learned a good lesson when dd was a baby. A friend of the family has a grandaughter just a few months younger than my dd. I was constantly hearing how smart she was. She was talking at a few months, she could write her name by 1, knew her alphabet, could count to 50 etc... You get the idea. It made me feel terrible, my baby wasn't that advanced, why wasn't she, what was wrong with her. Finally my mother, told me too forget about it just enjoy my child and stop comparing her with anyone else. They all have thier own strengths and weakness and comparing them doesn't do anyone, especially them, any good. I actually listened her! LOL I stopped, and decided not worry about it. Now both girls are 9 and from what I can see, academically about even, it balanced out. My dd actually reads on a much higher level. A fact which I must admit, I take some pleasure in. After having stuff thrown in my face for the first 2 years.

Again please no offense too anyone who does truly have a gifted child. I'm not trying too offend or insult.

But, now I'm going to go enjoy my wonderfully average(yet bright) children. Maybe we will even see if Sponge Bob is on.
post #34 of 220
My daughter is pretty average, I'd say. She has areas she is stronger in and ones that she's weaker in. She's 6.5 and slowly learning to read. She'll get there in her own time, which is how she does everything. She loves math and can do mathematical problem solving well beyond her age. I don't think she is any kind of genius, it just comes easy to her.

Some things she learns very easily (abstract concepts) and others very slowly (concrete language based ones). I know that this is normal for her and don't sweat it. But, I would label her "average" if asked to do so.

It is strange to me sometimes because I was always the "above average" kid. I read at age 2 (taught myself) and was reading things like Wizard of Oz before K. I've also done lots of things at a younger age than most kids. But, that's left me being an adult who is pretty normal with a childhood that was above average.

I'd always assumed that dd would be an early reader or somehow gifted in some area. I have to remind myself sometimes that she isn't me and that is just fine. There's a secret part of me that would love for her to be the amazing "something" kind of kid that goes on Oprah with knowing all 50 states at age 18 months. But when I really think on that, it's for me and not at all for her. So, again, I remind myself that normal is good.
post #35 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
http://teachers.net/gazette/OCT00/kohn.html

It's reprinted here and on his website. Warning - It's harsh. And fairly accurate for my city.
While I agree with many of his points about many/most existing gifted education programs. However, I've corresponded with him on this topic and he actually believes that gifted children shouldn't receive any kind of differentiated education, making no exceptions for degree of giftedness. He actually expressed his views in moral terms. This I find more than a little problematic.
post #36 of 220

Alfie Kohn to keynote at homeschool conference

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
I really like what Alfie Kohn says on the matter as well. He has an excellent critique of gifted education and the parents that drive the apparatus in most cities.
Didja' know he's going to be a keynote at the HomeSchool Assn. of California's big Home=Education Conference, August 17-20? I think this is the only time he's ever spoken at a homeschooling conference:

Home=Education Conference

Also Gordon Neufeld, author of Hold On To Your Kids, and Inbal Kashtan, author oParenting from Your Heart: Sharing the Gifts of Compassion, Connection, and Choice. And the Boone family of three grown unschoolers who are all very fun and articulate.

And those are only the keynotes - add to that the featured speakers, panel discussions, round tables, and workshops of all kinds, as well as all the fun kids' and family activities.

Lillian
post #37 of 220
Thanks for posting the link.

There you go...up until now I thought I agree with Alfie on nearly everything. But, here we really part company. My bottom line remains that every child deserves to be able to learn - not sit around lost or bored. Every kid deserves an appropriate education where they are engaged and have the opportunity to learn. If this doesn't exist the child is at risk - even if their parents are wealthy.
post #38 of 220
"On the matter of being gifted. Its not always the best thing, for a child"

But it is. That is like saying "having two arms isn't always good" "or having brown eyes isn't good". If it is something innate in a child judging it good or bad seems inappropriate to me.

Not that you are doing this...but I will say it is an interesting cultural phenomenon that some people really don't hesitate to come forth with the sour grapes sort of statement (sometimes right in front of the child!). We've heard things like "all the brilliant ones are so screwed up" , etc. said right in front of our child. Never in a million years would I say to someone "you know the dumb ones end up working at McDonald's" or "your kid is beautiful but you know beautiful people end up with psychological problems.". Amazingly some people don't seem to hesitate to make similarly unkind comments about gifted kids.
post #39 of 220
Both my kids are gifted in different ways but they are also AVERAGE or *gasp* even "delayed" in other ways. Following the normal pattern for my family, neither of them talked in sentences until they were almost three. Even the super-duper smart one. They didn't finish potty training until 3.5, didn't tie their own shoes until well after 5, etc. It's called "average" for a reason... because in the grand scheme of things MOST people fall within/close to that range. There will always be a curve and respect should be given to all points along it, whether on the lonely extreme ends or right in the middle where it's nice and cozy.
post #40 of 220
Thread Starter 
QUOTE=Roar]"On the matter of being gifted. Its not always the best thing, for a child"

But it is. That is like saying "having two arms isn't always good" "or having brown eyes isn't good". If it is something innate in a child judging it good or bad seems inappropriate to me.

Not that you are doing this...but I will say it is an interesting cultural phenomenon that some people really don't hesitate to come forth with the sour grapes sort of statement (sometimes right in front of the child!). We've heard things like "all the brilliant ones are so screwed up" , etc. said right in front of our child. Never in a million years would I say to someone "you know the dumb ones end up working at McDonald's" or "your kid is beautiful but you know beautiful people end up with psychological problems.". Amazingly some people don't seem to hesitate to make similarly unkind comments about gifted kids.[/QUOTE]

I don't consider the statement sour grapes, I was speaking of MYSELF! Not anyone else or their child. I'm certainly not saying that its bad to be intelligent. It's just that in my experience, I learned very quickly how to skim thru school with the least amount of effort possible.I would have been better off, if I had, had to work harder to get the grades I did. I suppose I should rephrase my statement though. I didn't mean being gifted was a bad thing. I meant I don't like the labeling. I apologize, if it came accross wrong.
In all honesty despite all my joking, yes, my kids are reasonably smart. My youngest was recently tested for his speech. Despite a rather severe articulation delay, he scored extremly high on all of the other tests they gave him. Is he smart, you better believe it. Do I ever want too have him offically tested and labeled? NO! I homeschool so my kids can learn at their own pace with what interests them, no matter how high or low they may score on some test. I don't want too know if my kids are gifted. Who knows maybe they are maybe they're not. As far as I'm concerned none of us will ever know.
Again I started this thread, tongue in cheek. Not too offend anyone. I apologize if I did!
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