My six year old nephew told me that he is “an artist in the making.” He also knows all the colours on the colour wheel and how they mix and relate to each other. He worries about dying and has a greater vocabulary than any other six-year-old I know. However, he’s not reading as well as some other kids in his class and is feeling very bad about himself. It’s become a big worry for him.
This is what I think: The education system needs to give its head a shake. My nephew is thoughtful and smart with much higher than average emotional intelligence. There is something very wrong with a system that allows a child like this to develop self-esteem issues. We all know that he’ll read. I once took my daughter to a reading specialist because she wasn’t reading like she should and this teacher told me something I will never forget. – “I can teach any child to de-code (read). I never concern myself with that – only with how they think.” A few years later my daughter was identified as gifted and some years after that a teacher gave her class a test to see what kind of learners the students were. My daughter stood alone out of a class of 30 as an auditory learner.
My point here is that many children don’t fit the norm (whatever that is) and a system that doesn’t recognize this needs serious revision. I believe some of the greatest philosophers and thinkers in our past would not have fared well in our present school system. My nephew has the potential to do great things with his life and this could well be thwarted by how he is received in grade one. How sad is this?