Every child is a genius.
There are no standard children. If you believe this statement, then you can also realize that state and national education standards are irrelevant because they seek to standardize the students.
Schools try to make a homogeneous (pronounced homo-genius, meaning “same kind” or “standardized”) society, when what we should strive for is a society of geniuses.
What makes a genius?
Leonardo daVinci, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Carnegie, Albert Einstein, and Louis L'Amour were geniuses of art, government, business, mathematics, and storytelling.
These men and countless other great men and women were educated through non-traditional means. People often look at their schooling experiences and make a comment such as, “isn't it amazing what he was able to accomplish, in spite of his lack of formal education?” They think this is even more proof of what an amazing person he is.
But today, given the research that scientists have made into how the brain learns, we can surmise that perhaps their genius was actually brought about because of their lack of formal education. They were given an education to match their true abilities. Imagine if Albert Einstein's mom had insisted he go to the neighborhood school. We probably would not know his name today.
Focus on Strengths, Not Weaknesses
Please remember that your child's genius will not be brought out by squishing him into a mold that was created by a government that does not know him.
Traditional classrooms don't concern themselves with a child's genius. Sadly, the focus is usually on the things that a child is behind on. Children who struggle with subjects may get special tutors, classes, and materials to help them get caught up. But what about the child's strengths?
It's actually more powerful to focus on the things that a child is good at. This is what's going to make a child stand out and get ahead. These are the things that will boost his intelligence and self esteem, effectively helping to strengthen her weaknesses at the same time.
Your child's genius will be enhanced as you encourage and help to develop your child's specific abilities and interests.
For some children, their genius is obvious. It's the traits that you brag about when you are telling family and friends how your child is doing. For other children, their genius is less obvious. It may require a little digging for you to find the things that they are particularly good at. Here are some tips that can help you recognize your child's genius:
Look beyond reading, writing, and math. There are many different intelligences. Considering only the subjects that are valued in school is very limiting. Success can be had from many different types of talents.
Pay attention to the things that you child is interested in.
Notice the things that your child complains about. I'm not advocating a negative attitude, but often when a child complains about someone else's weaknesses it is because she has natural abilities in those areas and she doesn't understand why these things are not easy for everyone.
Expose your child to a variety of interesting things. If your child's genius is still not recognized, don't give up! It's there! You'll find it! Meanwhile, your job is to expose her to a variety of things. You never know what might spark interest.
There is no standard child. If if there were, would you want it to be your child? I know you want more for your child. Let's follow the example of so many great minds – don't slow them down. Don't standardize them. Let genius happen!