great article (IMO)

Is your kid really gifted? Probably not by Paula Spencer

As a kindergarten teacher, I met a lot of parents who swore up and down that their child was gifted. Who doesn't want to see their child as smart, as the top?? Often times... yes the child was smart, but more often than not the child was not "gifted". Schools and parents are pushing children to learn more faster. Now, as a kindergarten teacher I know that children are capable of learning more than they were once thought, but not every child is ready to read in kindergarten never mind before they get to kindergarten.

I have seen my share of children who are pushed to do this that and the other thing when all the really want to do is play outside with their friends. I've seen children who are being sent to tutors before coming to kindergarten to have a "step up" on their peers.

The problem is often children are not taught what I call "mother skills." People don't always realize the value of doing simple things like cooking with their mother. When children cook they learn tons of math(cut that in half, pour a 1/3 of a cup, set the timer for 15 minutes) and science skills (mix the dry and wet ingredients together, watch the cake rise as it cooks, punch down the dough to get the air out).

Following multi-step directions. Waiting for mom to finish talking on the phone before telling her a story. Taking turns with a sibling. Playing... playing... playing... did I mention playing?

Want your child to be ready for school... interact with your child. Teach him to listen to directions and follow them. Teach him to wait his turn. Teach him to share. Teach him to listen to his peers. Teach him to ask and answer questions. Teach him to interact fairly. Teach him to take responsibility for his actions. Teach him to say "I'm sorry" and mean it!

We as a society have gone away from what is important for children to have in their back pockets before they enter school... we need to stop focusing on the label of gifted and start focusing on the whole child
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  1. i should print out the article and post it on my bulletin board for all to see!!!LOL

  2. Hear hear! One of the parents in Jack's class last year kept complaining about the homework (1st grade!)... to which I replied, "what homework?" There wasn't any but this mother felt the need to sit down and do math and reading with her poor son for an hour EVERY night.

    And the kid hated school. Hmmm, do you think?

  3. I love this! Mainly because I'm sick of people thinking their kid needs special treatment in some way.

    I actually remember a girl in my class in high school whose parents would allow her to stay home sick on test days if she wasn't prepared for the test. I mean ... they thought she was just "delicate" or something and could use extra time. Riight. I think it did her a disservice in the long run as she went to a top university and then had to flake out to a lesser-known one because she couldn't cut the mustard.

    Anyway, that's not entirely related to what you're saying but I feel better having gotten that off my chest. Hehe.

  4. So true! My brain is not functioning at the moment so I can't think of anything else to say but I've seen this way to many times in the classroom and out of.

  5. Ashley's teacher told us that Ashley was one of only four kids in the class that when asked where the "title" of the book was, could point it out. She said we must read to her...ya think??

  6. SUCh a good reminder, even for me. I admit, my kids have a word wall in their play room. Sheez. (Tail between legs). I promise to do more mothering (cooking, for starters would be great for us all) and less teachering. :) Sort of.

  7. Well said! I'd love my child to be a genius - I started reading when I was 3 and I fully expect her to beat me! But that really isn't what's important.

    I keep trying to find ways to integrate "education" with play and chores and everything else that's just real life (which is really education in its truest sense) - and to keep it all balanced. And I'm realizing that Esme amazes me with everything she learns, regardless of when she learns it - babies just all have this incredible ability to learn and grow in their own time and way . . .

  8. I need to print this out for a couple parents....
    it's always hard to have teacher's kids too, and I have several this year.
    Let's focus on the WHOLE CHILD!!!!
    How are things going???
    Julie :)

  9. DITTO! I try to always talkl to E about what we are doing. People must think I am crazy when we go food shopping because I am always discussing things with her.


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