Well, since this is a blog about Raising Smart Girls, I ought to talk about them a little more…
My second grade daughter, M and my kindergartener daughter K, are already starting to get some idea that they are very smart. J and I try to provide some positive feedback with regards to their abilities, while trying to be sensitive about the fact that others their ages may not be as noticeably advanced as they are.
My second grader has been evaluated to have at least a 4th grade reading level. I say at least since she’s most of the way through Harry Potter 4 which is a 6th grade reading level. No, she probably does not comprehend every word…but I’m not worried about that.
My kindergartener K was evaluated at the beginning of the year to have a second grade reading level, though recently she just brought home a 3rd grade reading level book to start practicing answering comprehension questions with. Believe it or not, while I think it’s nice to know they are trying to challenge her in school, I do want her to enjoy herself and still be a kid.
I try to emphasize effort and not product, quality over quantity (I don’t even have them participate in the monthly reading incentive Book-IT program (whoopee – read 20 books you get a free personal pan pizza at Pizza Hut) and be sure to point out their kindness and helpfulness and thoughtfulness. I also try to let them know that everybody has different abilities, to have some thoughtfulness for those that may not do certain things as well as they do, just as their friends are going to do some things really well that they can’t do. Hopefully this approach will serve them well.
They have been getting (so far) positive feedback from their teachers and friends. Recently, at a party, a friend of M’s commented that she was “smart” and another friend chimed in and said, “yeah, M’s really, really smart” and one of K’s friends announced that she was “a very good reader”. I dread the day when their friends become jealous or sarcastic or alienate them for being smart, or for rolling their eyes when they raise their hands.
M’s picking up some sign language, partly from school, partly from other people (her aunt I think). She’s been learning to play the recorder. K and E have been playing around the keyboard we have at home. It’s a cool thing that helps you learn by lighting up keys as the song plays. As you get better, you can shut off the lights.
We just found out that there is a Suzuki Method music teacher not too far away from us. I don’t know if we actually have the money for lessons, but it’s something I’d been thinking about for a while…
So yeah…I’ve got some things to think about. Predominantly is now to keep these rapidly growing young minds flourishing. I’ve spent a bunch of posts on dealing with my personal past issues and while it seems like they don’t have much to do with raising smart girls, I will be writing a post or a series of posts that will actually bring to light how essential it was to deal with some of my past issues in order to learn a few things about how to nurture the development of children, and particularly the gifted child.