When my seven year old boy tells me he’s not clever, my heart aches with the knowledge of all that he CAN do but doesn’t realise it or it probably isn’t valued so much in the school arena.
He can run the fastest in his class, control a football with stupendous ease, make everyone he comes into contact with laugh with his perfectly timed humour, compile an amazing Power point or Keynote presentation unaided, put together complicated models and fix the hinges on the kitchen cupboards by analysing and solving the problem (all on his own).
These are just a few examples of how clever he is, but his self esteem when he talks about his learning is pretty low. Reading didn’t come that easily to him, I know he compares himself to his class mates and his twin sister, she found learning to read easy and this self comparison can be a common theme among twins, we’ve always been careful not to compare them, but they do inevitably compare themselves.
The emphasis on ‘academic’ achievement in schools and society is huge I’ve noticed and I think it’s a shame. Recently I was speaking to a lovely guy in his early twenties who is working for a landscaping company. He said “I didn’t do well at school” and he hung his head slightly and gave me the impression that he thought he was the one at fault and somehow a bad person for it. Somewhere these little boys are getting lost and it pains me.
Through fantastic teachers and a lot of research and effort on my part, or perhaps just with time, my son is now finding reading easier and beginning to enjoy it.