Wednesday, October 13

Why do I.... ?

Why do I feel guilty or embarassed to talk about it? I shouldn't be. I'm very proud of it, but it's something I don't often talk about, especially in real life. A post Jen made at TheMadHouse made me think. She asked the question What do you do when your children are bright?

I have a very bright 5 year old daughter. I don't mean that I think she's bright, everyone she meets thinks she's bright. But it's not just bright, it's quite shocking sometimes just how clever she is. She is the baby in her class as her birthday is mid July. When she went back to school to start year 1 in September, my little girl who had just turned 5 was attending birthdays of children who were turning 6. She has been put in a class of year 1 and year 2 children and is coping extremely well. She is a very friendly little girl who gets along with anyone. She has the emotions of a typical 5 year old and is prone to the odd temper tantrum when she doesn't get her own way at home, but no more than any other child of her age. She does prefer to mix with children older than herself, so I guess being in a class with 7 year olds works well for her.  Her vocabulary is amazing and can hold a conversation with an adult, often questioning them and often causing surprise with the level of understanding she has. She loves space and anything to do with the planets and will sit and tell you what most of the planets are made of, how hot or cold they are and their size. She has a map of the world on the wall and I put small post it notes on each of the main countries, took them off and asked her to put them back in the right places. She did it, replacing about 15 post its with the names on, in the right countries.  Is this normal for a 5 year 3 month old? I don't know. I don't really have a measuring stick to go by. I can't talk about it with other mums, it's too difficult. They either snub you or make excuses to move away from you ending the conversation.

Tonight was parents evening. She got a glowing report even though she's only been in that class 5 weeks. She is doing maths with the year 2's and doesn't struggle at all. By the end of this year she is supposed to know her 10x's table and 2x's table. She knows them already, and her 5's and can also do her 3's and 4's although she does have to stop and think a bit sometimes. She can count a handful of coins correctly. She counted £1.75 in various coins the other day. I asked her if I paid £8 for something with a £10 note how much change would I get? She said £2 right away and followed up with if i'd bought 2 lots it would cost £16 worked out in her head.

Her reading is way ahead of her age. She seems to be able to read and understand anything. Mark has just finished reading Charlie and The Chocolate Factory with her. She read it and understood it. Apparently her spelling is also well above her age level. Her writing has improved vastly of late, but her muscles aren't developed enough to cope with what she expects to be able to write. We have quite  a lot of problems with frustration, particularly with her drawing. She is very good at drawing for her age, but she is too harsh on herself. She sees the image in her head but isn't pysically advanced enough to transfer it to paper and she gets cross and angry with herself because it doesn't look right to her, she says it's rubbish and throws it away.

She is on the high achievers register (as they call it at school) so they are aware of her ability and she does get extra tuition at a level she can cope with. Luckily her teacher is the high achievers teacher anyway so she is fully aware of what Isabelle is capable of or not. 

The comments from parents evening is that she is a lovely, kind, caring little girl with a great sense of humour. She can make the teachers laugh at the drop of a hat but it's humour with intelligence rather than clowning about and being stupid. Her teacher and teaching assistant absolutely adore her, yet I know that they take no messing and will pull anyone into line that needs it.

I suppose this post is a little brag really that I can't do in real life. I don't have high expectations of her or put pressure on her. I want her to be 5 and enjoy life, but she questions constantly and wants to know more.. and more... and more. She absorbs everything and still asks for more.  I wonder how long before she pushes my intelligence to the limit and I can no longer answer her questions.

I'm don't for a minute think she's the next child prodigy, or a genius, but I do know that she is clever... high achiever? Gifted? I don't know... but I am glad that the school are aware of her capabilities and are prepared to push her that bit harder - she loves a challenge, but she seems to be finding the challenges fairly easy at the moment.

The Gallery - Favourite photo

Choose your favourite photograph says Tara at Sticky Fingers. Does she realise how many photographs I have to choose from? Each and every photograph is a favourite for one reason or other. 

I could choose my bald eagle photograph which has been very successful for me in competitions. I could choose my current favourite motorbike racing shot or I could choose any of the numerous photographs of my children.

I opted for a different photo for a different reason. I chose a my favourite photo of me and my dad, the reason being, I can still see any of the rest of my family but I can no longer see my dad. If I could only save one photograph in a house fire, it would be this one. It sits in a frame on the shelf in the living room. He watches over me all day and night. He is always there even though he's not here. I could never re-take this photograph or any other photograph of my Dad, whereas I could take more photographs of the rest of my family.

My Dad was my world, he made me who I am. He gave me good morals, rationalisation, world knowledge, he taught me how to care, he taught me to be a kind and compassionate person. We were very close. And in my adult life I have learned that I have taken the best parts of a very wonderful, kind, caring and compassionate person. He made me who I am, yet I can  no longer thank him in person.

So, my favourite photo: I am about 8 months old I think.