Yep, I know silly question. Such is my brain to ponder random questions. Of course hens don’t have to learn how to lay eggs….they’re hens! The doing arises from their being.
Same for our kids. We spend so much time insisting that they DO things before we’ve evaluated WHO is my child? But yet in our culture, conformity is the rule of the day. All children must meet THESE standards and if they don’t….they’re defective. And we must remedy their weaknesses!
Bear with my cheeky assumptions for a moment, would you? As an adult, would you pursue a hobby you have no interest in? Let’s say the rage du jour is underwater basket weaving. But you have no interest in underwater basket weaving. You see no relevance to your life. And besides, you’re a crackerjack automechanic or mathmetician and you think it’s underwater basket weaving is stupid.
But you MUST attend class. So you show up and you’re quickly singled out as having an attitude problem. And doggone it, you just can’t seem to get it right. You’ve quickly diagnosed as having a learning delay in basketology. Experts are consulted and labels are generously given. And remedial course are recommended. After all, everyone else is doing just fine. They even enjoy underwater basket weaving.
And there you are. Your shop business is falling off because you’re so focused on that tricky weaving. No longer do words like “integers” and “quadratic equation” make your heart skip a beat because that pool time is getting so tiresome. (Ahem–that would TRULY be a sickness, IMHO.)
Back to the kids. Yes, there are skill every child must learn and master to succeed in the world. (Pssst….and here’s a hint, the most important ones AREN’T academic.) For us, Caleb will probably need higher maths because of his interest in astronomy. But we will force feed percentages and business math to Daniel as he’d rather be reinventing the wheel.
What I WILL not do…I absolutely REFUSE to do is target in on the weaknesses which will have little or no impact on their lives. So Daniel doesn’t appreciate a Van Gogh the same way I do. Big deal. And Molly would rather bake cookies that study rocket science.
But let’s take this a little deeper. I have one friend who’s daughter struggles with dyscalculia. It’s sort of like dyslexia…only with numbers. Year after year, drill after drill….this girl (who is an amazing writer, btw) just couldn’t retain her math facts.
Mom finally decided it was calculator time. She wasn’t going to make a big fuss out it. She’s done what she could and has made accomodations accordingly.
Mom wisely knew how to focus on her daughter’s gifting and, after not a small amount of hand wringing I’m sure, quit fretting over an area that she will likely never excel in. (Shhhhh….don’t tell anyone but I keep a small calculator in my purse.)
This is way too long, I know. But the other day, a friend send this blog post to me that I thought was a brilliant summary of what I’m blabbering about. And these folks, neurologists, have the right initials after their names to give credibility beyond what I, a bear of little brain, am able to substantiate.
Here’s their link and then I’ve cut and pasted one entry. Pay special attention to the words in bold.
Brain morphometric studies showed that Einstein had more natural brain endowment for spatial processing (and less for verbal). That’s why his time in the patent office (spatial problem solving through inventions) and spatial thinking were so beneficial in his early and most famous work. We also have talked about Einstein’s Fallacy however. Later in life in the academic pressure cooker Einstein began feeling pressure to do more proofs for his work (algebraic). He threw himself into this process – but as a result never had any substantial contributions from it. In many cases, a willful choice to devote one’s lifes work and efforts to strengthen one’s weakest abilities will be a waste of time. Some remediation may be helpful for getting by, but for the greatest fruition of one’s natural abilities, it’s better to ride the wave of what one has been gifted with at the start.
Filed under: ADD/ADHD, homeschooling, Individuality, Labels are for Soup Cans, parenting, Personal development | Tagged: ADD/ADHD, Labels, Labels are for Soup Cans | 2 Comments »