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#1 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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every parent I know is working on this stuff with their lo's. And all of the mothers say that their kids have picked up these skills. I wasn't too worried about it( thought the point was to just introduce at this age) but now I can't help but feel bad about the fact that our lo (who just turned two) doesn't recognize a single letter, color or number. Doesn't count. Doesn't even try to say her alphabet. Only knows three shapes. She gets plenty of one-on-one time and I try to work in some of this into the playing, but she's just so not interested.
Do I need to find some other ways to get her to learn these things should I just try not to care (easier said than done) that other moms are having their 2yo's trace their names and say their abc's?
Also, could it be the fact that one parent speaks to her in English and one in Russian? Maybe she's just overwhelmed with trying to get two languages?
Or maybe the perception that kids are "little sponges" and will absorb all the information you throw at them is just plain wrong?
I hate the fact that I'm letting this get to me. I hope someone here will have some good insight.
Thanks!
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#2 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 08:14 AM
 
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It's definitely different for bilingual kids - there are studies out there on language acquisition in bilingual kids (though I haven't got them to hand) that I'm sure you would find reassuring.

Plus, some kids just aren't that interested in those things until a different stage. I'd bet your DD is working on other skills right now - like drawing (fine motor) or climbing and jumping (gross motor). She'll get interested in them when the time is right for her.

(For months DD wouldn't let me count anything in front of her - she'd scream and cover her ears shouting "No count, no count". I think it was because she was all about learning letters at that stage and the addition of numbers was just too much for her! But now she's happy to count along with me.) It all comes in its own time.

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#3 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 08:25 AM
 
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It also might be that she knows them but has no interest in telling or showing you that she knows them.
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#4 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 08:38 AM
 
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I have no idea about the bilingual effect, but I will tell you my experience. When my oldest was just past her 2nd birthday she asked me to write her name on a magnadoodle. She erased what I wrote and immediately wrote the first 3 letters (that is all that fit, it was a small magnadoodle). Soon after that she could write all the capital letters and was writing stuff out asking us how to spell it. At age 5 her handwriting is better than any 8yo I know. She is learning cursive now. The kid is crazy about letters and writing. When she was 2 and before that even I kept trying to teach her the colors. She could distinguish and sort, but could not learn which name went with which no matter how many times I told her. Now at 5 she obviously knows all her colors (I can't remember how old she was when she finally learned them).

My second is 3 in a couple of weeks. She has known her colors for a long time now. I never made any effort to teach them to her because of my experience with my oldest. I just figured it was something they picked up later. She is very interested in colors and I guess that is why she learned them so much sooner. She has no interest in letters. She can sing the alphabet song and spell her older sister's name, but she can't spell her own name and has never asked to learn how to write letters.

My point is that, each kid has something that appeals to them and they will learn what they need to to satisfy that interest. They will pick it up even if you aren't actively teaching it to them. On the other hand, you can try and try to teach them something, but if they aren't focused on it or interested in it it will fall on deaf ears until they are ready. But, at some point all the kids will basically be at the same point and that fast early learning will be irrelevant. I have a friend whose dd was an early reader (well before age 3). She is obsessed with teaching her kids to read early. It stressed me out, because my oldest is obviously very intelligent but wasn't an early reader. I kept trying to get her to read. We were doing phonics and she hit a wall. We put it aside for several months and when I saw signs that she was ready for it again (trying to sound things out on her own without my prompting) I went back to it. She is now sprinting through the program and is probably nearly caught up to her friend who has been reading for 3 years. It is all about interest and readiness. Relax (much easier said than done) and follow your child's lead.

Beth

Beth wife to Tom and mommy to Therese 11/4/04 Anna Mary 6/15/07 and Veronica 10/20/09
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#5 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It also might be that she knows them but has no interest in telling or showing you that she knows them.
She really doesn't know her colors. She tried to name the different colored lollipops in a book last night and seemed frustrated that she couldn't. worries me a little bit.
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#6 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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[I'd bet your DD is working on other skills right now - like drawing

She loves to paint. She wakes up every day asking to paint!
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#7 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Therese's mom. I'll try not to stress!
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#8 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 11:15 AM
 
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I didn't *teach* colors, letters, and shapes to ds. But we do own a LOT of books and many of them have text like, "the red balloon...." or "a...a....a what begins with A, Aunt Annie's Alligator" I also use lots of adjectives when I talk, no matter who I am talking to. I am more likely to say "Its on the yellow couch" than "its on the couch" or "the small, blue plate has a big piece of buttered bread on it" (yes for real I think I said that the other day), so I figure that's how ds picked up letters and colors and stuff.

He also loves that signing time episode with the rainbow!

When he showed an interest in letters and his name we started to play more letter games, with magnetic letters or a white board etc. We just followed his lead.

I would also think that her frustration at not being able to name the colors might be mixing up the names in Russian and English and trying to figure out which one to use.
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#9 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 11:16 AM
 
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[I'd bet your DD is working on other skills right now - like drawing

She loves to paint. She wakes up every day asking to paint!
well that's a great way to teach colors...."would you like some more red paint?" "now you are using 2 colors red and blue" then its just a natural conversation and she'll get it when she gets it
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#10 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 11:31 AM
 
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I guess you could say we "work" with our DS. We try to incorporate colors, shapes, numbers and letters into our conversation. So, when we're going down the stairs we count them as we go down. When he plays with his fire truck it is the red fire truck. We started with the Dr. Seuss ABC book and read it over and over and over. We also had flash cards (we weren't intentionally "teaching" him, but thought it would be fun to look at the cards). We pointed to the letters "Big A, little a..." I ask him what color is this and what shape is that... it's just part of our daily conversation.

I also think that he is just really "into it" - At 16 months he recognized almost the entire alphabet. He would see the letter A on a sign and shout (and I mean SHOUT) AAAAAAA - he would giggle and we would clap with excitment over his recognition. It was infectious I think.

On the flip side, he could care less about undressing himself, putting on his shoes or trying new foods. I guess we should make a sandwich in the letter "C" or something and see if he eats it.
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#11 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 11:35 AM
 
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He also loves that signing time episode with the rainbow!
thanks to that, Lina knows the words for all the colors. She has basically no idea what word goes with what color though, and she's going to have a heck of a time with things that require knowing the rainbow by spectrum order. But she enjoys singing it, so, :
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#12 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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just wanted to repeat what pp's have said - it happens when it happens and it happens in their own time.
I worry sometimes that our dd doesn't know shapes (just turned 2) but she is also not exposed often to shapes (via book choice, vocab in conversation, etc).
On the other hand we were shocked to discover that she can count to 10 (ds has recently mastered counting to 20 with a couple of mistakes and counting backwards from 10 - he practices A LOT and she gets A LOT of exposure to number sequencing). We were also surprised to realize that she knows the letters N-O-A-H... again, because she hears this repeated A LOT by ds.
I'm sure we could be more proactive but I know that both kids will learn as needed/interested and I don't want to push it. I'm very nervous as a teacher seeing so many kids who HATE school (learning?) and I don't want to encourage that distaste for learning in any way. That means when dd is going around the house pointing out /O/ I will help her ("oops, that's an "8" - it kind of looks like two /0/'s on top of each other, doesn't it?" etc) but I'm not asking her what shape this or that is when she doesn't seem interested.

I know it's hard not to worry and it's hard not to compare. But really really truly every kid is going to learn what they need - maybe not at the same time as the kid next door, but they will get it at some point.

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#13 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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We were just talking about my cousin who couldn't count to 10 at age 5.

She's going to college this year after graduating early from high school.

It's hard not to worry when you're a mom but I wouldn't worry!
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#14 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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My youngest will be 2 in August and I haven't even begun working on that stuff with him. He picks up a little bit here and there when I'm working with his big brothers but I don't plan on actually teaching him that stuff until 6 more months or so.

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#15 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. If you are stressed about it, your child will pick up on it and feel like you love her less. These things will come when they come, and even kids who can read at 4 level out by about second grade when everyone else catches up. If your child is interested, great, but if she's not...it doesn't matter. The time will come when she is, and then the knowledge will all come very quickly. But you cannot force it without creating incredible tension and frustration.
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#16 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would also think that her frustration at not being able to name the colors might be mixing up the names in Russian and English and trying to figure out which one to use.[/QUOTE]

Actually, she doesn't say ANY words in Russian. I think has a pretty good vocab in English though.
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#17 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. If you are stressed about it, your child will pick up on it and feel like you love her less. These things will come when they come, and even kids who can read at 4 level out by about second grade when everyone else catches up. If your child is interested, great, but if she's not...it doesn't matter. The time will come when she is, and then the knowledge will all come very quickly. But you cannot force it without creating incredible tension and frustration.
Of course, I NEVER push her As I say, I just try to incorporate stuff into the play, like drawing shapes with sidewalk chalk or something like that. Even then, if she's not interested, we do something else. it's not like I'm quizzing her or anything.
I totally agree, there seems no logical reason why it would be important for them to know this stuff by this age. Still, it's hard because EVERYONE is telling me that their kid does such-and-such by this age, and Anna just, well doesn't. Makes me worry.
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#18 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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All those other people might be exaggerating a bit too...

I actually have a two year old that picked that stuff up on his own (and because he really liked it, we read our share of Aunt Allie's Alligator, A, A, A...that's funny that someone else said that) and his day care teachers are pretty amazed at him. I have no idea how normal that stuff is, but apparently by their reaction it's more uncommon than common. However things like potty training are waaaay off in the future (unless he surprises me) and it's only recently he's actually been able to tell us what he wants instead of screeching - he'd go around the house and name every object, but to get a "yes or no" answer from him was like pulling teeth.

My point is, I bet if you really looked, there's some things that she does better than those other kids. It does no good to compare your kid to others, it only leads to anxiety. Let her show you what she wants to explore right now.

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#19 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 05:10 PM
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Every child is different, and I think it's just a modern thing to focus on this so much so young. Of course, if a kid is really into it and asking for it, meet their needs! But I once saw a mom HOUNDING her probably 3-4yo to learn colors and he so clearly did NOT get it... I have seen a LOT of kids come through my mom's home child care and some get it early, most get it later, and some get it much later, but are great at other things. I'd just let it seep into life/conversation and trust she'll get it when she is ready. I don't think you need to work with her on it specifically; you are already giving her such a gift that will pay off so much more than learning this stuff early, by having a bilingual home. Full disclosure: my DD learned this stuff really early, and everyone assumed we "worked with her" on it. She just picked it up and asked about it. I think it just shows kids will get into it and get it when they're ready.
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#20 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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Are all these kids in day care?

My son doesn't do any of those things either. At 2 1/2, he is just starting to be aware of colors, but is either color-blind or just not there yet. (Everything is green!) He can count, but often does it wrong on purpose and really doesn't seem to understand what the numbers are. He's just saying words in a certain order. Letters, forget about it. We read together every day and he "reads" on his own, but has yet to identify a single letter or recite any part of the alphabet.

I don't put much stock in those books with the developmental milestones, but I do have one that I refer to when I need some perspective. At this age, (2 1/2) I think it says that a kid MAY be able to identify one or two colors. Nothing about letters or numbers at all at this point, and even the colors aren't an expected milestone. The few kids we know who do know that stuff at this age are either coached by parents, watch TV all day, or go to "school."
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#21 of 31 Old 05-24-2010, 08:40 PM
 
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Here's one such chart.

Starting to recognize ABCs is an "advanced skill" for 27-28 month olds. Naming one color is advanced for 30 month olds Puts it in perspective, doesn't it?
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#22 of 31 Old 05-25-2010, 12:09 AM
 
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Here's one such chart.

Starting to recognize ABCs is an "advanced skill" for 27-28 month olds. Naming one color is advanced for 30 month olds Puts it in perspective, doesn't it?
Thank you for this.

OP - My son just turned 2 last Friday. He has no idea what a letter even is, does not know a single color or shape.
He can count. To 1.

Sometimes it's discouraging when everyone around you has a child who is advanced or doing all these things your child isn't. Plus, people like to butt in and tell you they should be doing 'this, this and that' so it only makes a mama worry more.
You're not alone. It's stressful when I let it get to me.

Our DS has a cousin who has always been EXTREMELY verbally advanced. It's hard to try to explain to the family that not all 2 year olds are reading and speaking clearly and fluently when that's all they've seen. Comments are made frequently about DS "taking his time". Granted, people mean well...it can be tiring though.

I think it sounds like you do a good job.

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#23 of 31 Old 05-25-2010, 12:35 AM
 
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We're Waldorf homeschooling. Waldorf for young children is not academic. The point is to develop creativity so that kids will be able to adapt to whatever the world is when they grow up. Academically, socially, technologically - who knows really?

Dh has been 99% with me. The one time he lapsed was when he met someone with another 18 month old who could count to 100 when Dd only knew what two was because she had two breasts to choose from.

Dd is almost 9. Colors she figured out when she got interested in wearing clothes around age 6. She is excellent with numbers, especially now that she's saving money for doll clothes. She now reads in two languages with different alphabets, having started formal Waldorf reading instruction at age 7. The English just started picking up last week.

My ILs, who seemed to constantly making comments about all the things Dd could NOT do, have stopped commenting on the shortcomings of her performance. Their silence has been the biggest endorsement that I've done something right.

Don't worry, don't worry, don't worry is all I can say. Spend your time letting your little one know she is loved. Let her see the beauty in the world and she will see it in herself. Let her find the spiritual path that is your family's, so that she will always feel a source of strength. My advice is to put all thoughts of 'teaching' your child out the window. It's summer! Grab your baby and have fun!
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#24 of 31 Old 05-25-2010, 12:36 AM
 
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At 24 months, I don't think DS knew any of the above. I first heard him recognize colors somewhere around 26 months. The colors he named? Elmo (for red), Big Bird (for yellow), and Cookie Monster (for blue). He's since added Oscar for green.

He was 25 months when I first heard him point out letters to me.

The two shapes he recognizes right now, at 32 months, are circle (he calls it the letter O) and star.

Give it time. They grow up very quickly in the second year. And when I started school, much of this was Kindergarten-level curriculum.

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#25 of 31 Old 05-25-2010, 01:35 AM
 
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Would you worry about your DC not yet knowing the names of each Backyardigan or Muppet?

Because that is about the same skill as learning the names of colors, numbers, letters, and shapes. If there is no interest, why harp on it? You wouldn't drill your kid about atomic numbers. (I hope not!) They're babies!

Of course there are tons of 1 year olds out there interested in print. And colors and shapes just click with others.

It means nothing!

FWIW I am pretty sure I could take a typical 4 year old who had absolutely no exposure to the alphabet and get them to memorize all the letters in less than a day. It is really not that hard to learn. Now, the fine motor skills needed to write the alphabet... That is another story. I would focus on that.
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#26 of 31 Old 05-25-2010, 04:47 PM
 
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The PBS Kids child development tracker is a good one to check to get your bearings:

http://www.pbs.org/parents/childdevelopment/

Briefly, though, don't worry about it. It's very normal for a 2yo not to know this stuff. It's the norm, in fact.

Keep in mind, too, that people whose kids DID know this at two are always more likely to post in a thread like this.

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#27 of 31 Old 05-25-2010, 11:12 PM
 
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Keep in mind, too, that people whose kids DID know this at two are always more likely to post in a thread like this.
I think this is true. It's actually a little alarming to have a kid who's doing some of these things. There's really no one of my IRL friends I can talk to about it, because it sounds like I'm bragging when I mention what DD is up to. It's not even that "advanced" but it seems to come across as comparing their kids, KWIM? So when I see threads like this I tend to lurk.

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#28 of 31 Old 05-26-2010, 12:42 AM
 
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I'm sorry, I SOOO did not mean to imply that you were pressuring your child. I just meant I have seen other people do that and it backfires.
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#29 of 31 Old 05-27-2010, 05:32 PM
 
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My 5 year old is very well spoken but on-level intellectually. He's mastered all objectives for his grade but hasn't been deemed advanced and that's fine. I don't want to pressure him so much that he hates learning. I want to preserve his childlike curiosity. My 2 year old, almost 2.5, is advanced, and I'm almost afraid to say it out load because many people in my family have children his age and a little older who aren't doing what he does. He can count well past 20, knows his ABCs and many letters, all colors, shapes, how to spell his name, uses full sentences, sings, etc. He has been doing most of this since before he turned 2. I think it's a combination of nature and nuture. I don't think that because of this, he is any more spectacular than the other children in his class or age who don't know these things. I guess because I'm the same type of instant learner, but I'm actually behind my friends in good decision making. Do I have a 3.9 GPA in college (biology/chemistry major) with very little studying? Yes. Has is taken me 7 years on and off to complete a degree because I've been fiddling around doing randomness and pouting about the unfairness of the world while my less intellectually-capabale friends have masters degrees? Heck yes! lol. I learned to read long before I went to kindergarten and could read and write a story easily in kindergarten, graduated from highschool early, and got a full ride academic scholarship to college. But the decisions that I've made since, with the exception of having my sons, have been questionable and often damaging. I'm finally in a pattern of good decision making, but not without a lot of pain and hard work.

I've said all this to say that I don't make a big deal about abilities and milestones with my children because I know that so many other things are more important. Are they happy, healthy, creative, inquisitive, excited? Are they well-rounded, respectful, confident, and good decision makers? I expect my children to do their very best at all times, within reason, but I don't expect them to excel at everything, especially when they're still practically babies. I can understand why, with everyone else tooting their childrens' abilities, you would feel like there is something wrong either with your teaching or your child's learning. But there's not! Children learn at different paces for different reasons. Unless there is an issue that actually needs treatment don't worry one bit. Your child is perfectly normal, will know what she needs to know on time, and you'll feel silly that you ever thought different. I went nuts during my 2 year old's infancy, convincing everyone that there was something gravely wrong my my baby because he was "just too quiet and calm". I really, really thought that he had a major mental disability at like 3-4 months old! Can we say obsessive. I can laugh at myself now, and you will too

P.S. I WISH that my kids would be more artistic than academic because I always wished I was. I'm in awe of the power of creativity. Right now, I'll settle for my oldest's train track designs and my youngest's booty songs that he creates while shakin that thang! LMAO
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#30 of 31 Old 05-28-2010, 04:13 AM
 
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I've been thinking about this thread and wanted to come back and post something else... I realized that I knew my letters by the time I was 2.5. (I had vision problems and the charts at the eye doctor helped me learn pretty quickly.) I was reading on my own by the time I started first grade. In third grade I was winning spelling bees that 5th and 6th graders were participating in.

Guess what? I'm not particularly successful. I'm pretty average, in fact. I wasn't a good student in school, didn't particularly care much for the learning format of public school, went to a good college where I barely decent grades (some just barely passing), and am employable. But I'm not an executive at some huge company; I'm not even in management. I have no desire to be. DH talks about me starting my own business when it's time for me to go back to work, and I picture myself working at Starbuck's, or being a receptionist at a doctor's office.

Just saying.... Early childhood "intelligence" doesn't indicate where your child will end up in life.
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