I just got Will's report card and I didn't want to brag on my own blog--so can I brag on here? I know, it's annoying. It was interesting because I know that Will is pretty smart but I live with him so I just think he's normal and then I got his report card and remembered, Oh yeah, he's kind of smart. Not to put myself down or anything, but I just never had experiences like this growing up. To Mike it's normal--he's report cards were always showing he was advanced (except for the time they told him he was dumb and put him in remedial classes...). Anyway, I was not naturally intelligent and I had to work hard for it and even then, I did not get scores like this. So it's weird to me that my boys are so smart. I'm grateful, it's just weird. I've talked to Mike about it in the past and we were very different students. I worked really hard for my 3.98 GPA and it was not easy. Mike did not work hard at all and didn't do assignments and just passed with flying colors. Now, he's a really hard worker in school but before, he just didn't even try. I personally would love my sons to have my work ethic in high school and Mike's natural ability.
So, to hopefully achieve that goal, we started reading a book called Mindset. It is a good book. Mike finished it but I haven't yet. I basically says that if you praise their natural ability or call them "smart" it actually makes them preform worse. The thought being that they don't want to try harder for fear that they will fail. If you praise their effort, then they will do much better. So, even though I am saying to you all that Will (and Isaac and Eli) are smart, I am not going to be saying that to them. Mike really liked the book and what I've read of the book I like too. It also talks about famous sports guys and how some do so well because their effort was praised not their ability. You should check the book out and tell me what you think.
Anyway, to give you an idea of Will's performance:
He is above grade level in Reading and Math. He's performing at a high proficiency in Spanish and Social Studies and then at grade level for everything else. Though, his writing stinks. He really needs to work harder in that area (his letters and numbers are all backwards and he just schooshes every word together with no spaces. He actually got worse in that area).
For his reading his scores were as follows: (I wrote the benchmark score, or score he needs to be at to be proficient, and then his actual score)
Letter naming fluency/Phonics: 37, 60
Phonemic Awareness: 35, 46
Nonsense word fluency/Phonics: 50, 84
Reading fluency: 40, 84
Retell: 10, 38
Again, Will's scores were the second number compared to the benchmark which is first.
I'm not writing this to be like, "Guys, my kid is so much smarter than every one else's kid" because I know that isn't true--I know how smart all your kids are--but rather to say that it is not a normal thing for me. It just was not one of my gifts to be naturally smart. He's been my son for for almost seven years but still, he will say things to me and I'll look at him and think, "Where the heck did you come from?" I wouldn't say Will is proud but he certainly isn't humble about it. His teacher said to him, "Will, I don't want you to answer. You know all the answers and probably know everything I know." He said, "Well, not everything, but most stuff." So, back to the Mindset book. What ways do you guys keep your kids humble with their school work, sports, musical abilities, or whatever they are talented in?
(Isaac is doing really well in school too but I haven't seen his report card yet so that's why this is about Will. Even though, I should mention that Isaac seems to have more of what I am hoping for all my boys--he is a very, very hard worker. He is much more particular than Will is and I think in the end, that will get him further in life)