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Do most kids learn to read in kindergarten? My son told me he learned how to read after two days in kindergarten. Should I take his word for it, or make him prove it to me?
“Prove it” sounds pretty harsh. But realistically, it’s what you should do. Have him read you something simple. It won’t take long to assess his progress.
Not all kids read at the same time. A lot learn to read in kindergarten, and a lot more learn in first and second grade. Some learn before they begin attending school. If your son can read now, he didn’t learn it in two days, but has been picking it up for some time.
Realize that the phrase, “I can read” is subjective. Some kids learn six words and think they can read. Some can handle long passages fluidly, but if they stumble over large words, they assume they can’t read. Don’t assume anything.
I could read before I went to kindergarten, but I always loved books and worked hard at learning to read. Other kids could catch a football in kindergarten because it mattered to them. I couldn’t, because it didn’t. So don’t simply dismiss his claims. At the same time, you shouldn’t get confrontational with him.
Just ask him to read you something. If he can read, great. Congratulate him and buy him some new books. If he can’t read, the fact that he even claimed to the ability suggests he desperately wants to learn. In which case, you should read with him. And probably buy some new books as well. Regardless, you’ve probably got a book lover on your hands. And you could do a lot worse.
Are grades and intelligence linked? Suppose two children take the same class and spend the same amount of time studying. Who should receive the better grade?
The one who works the hardest to learn the lesson should receive the better grade. Intelligence and grades are certainly correlated, but the relationship isn’t as close as it might seem. A 2005 study by Angela Duckworth and Martin Seligman found that self-discipline was more closely connected to grades than was intelligence.
Have you ever met someone not particularly bright, but who succeeds on the job because he shows up and plows through his tasks like a mule? His smarter co-worker might dibble-dabble at work, jumping from task to task, and end up accomplishing less. And the unemployment line is littered with smart guys who just can’t seem to put together the mixture of dedication and skill needed to land (or keep) a job. You’ll see that dichotomy at school as well. Intelligence aside, the people who work the hardest tend to get the most done.
Some intelligent people also have trouble concentrating. Perhaps the more intelligent child you mention can’t focus on the work at hand, either because he finds it boring or because he’s easily distracted.
Legendary football coach John Wooden said, “Never mistake activity for achievement.” Study time measures activity. But in this context, grades measure achievement.
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