Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Parental Knowledge

Parental Knowledge: noun. Knowledge that a parent has about the potential of their child that is not seen by others.

Here's something you probably don't know about me. Once upon a time, when I was in elementary school, I was tested for gifted. I failed. Now, I didn't fail because I wasn't smart enough. I failed because the proctor giving the test felt that I was not mature enough. You see, he was showing me unpainted wooden puzzles with no frames and not telling me what the puzzle was supposed to be. To show me what I was supposed to do, he put together an apple. Then he gave me a larger puzzle. I had trouble with it and got frustrated. Instead of really focusing and finishing, which I'm sure I was capable of (maybe if he wasn't leaning over me the whole time?), I called him out on the unfairness of the situation. I told him plainly that it was not fair he got a 3-piece apple and I got this huge horse (yes, it turns out it was a horse). My mother told me weeks later that the program decided I was not mature enough to enter, and I can only imagine it stemmed from that situation.

The result? I continued to stay in the same classes, only doing enough to get by, and wondering if I understood the concept of something the first time, why did I need to do it twenty more times?

Of course, I have no one to blame but myself that I never entered the gifted program. It probably wasn't as great as I made it out to be in my mind, anyway. But now I'm seeing a problem with Monkey Son #1. He's very bright. Well, I'm his mom so I may think that just because. OK, let's assume he's very bright. He can tell you all about rockets and build really amazingly detailed things. However, he seems to really be opposed to learning anything that does not immediately interest him. Since it is my understanding that schools are pushing children to learn more and more at increasingly earlier ages, this worries me. I just hope that when he goes to school, his teachers will see him the way I do.

No comments: