Why my gifted kid sucks at studying

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that being gifted doesn’t mean you’re good at studying. So mom’s to the rescue helping him and testing him with his homework. And it actually feels like I’m back in school myself. Repeating Greek words over and over until I remember their meaning before he does is a weird experience. And it frustrates me that it’s a 90/10 effort, with me stimulating him 90% of the time, and him self-starting for 10% of it. On the plus side, I do get an insight on what is wrong with is studying strategy. Which is a lot. Here’s what’s wrong with my gifted son’s studying skills:

His short-term memory sucks.

Most of us rely on short-term memory when studying for a test. Just reproducing combinations of words, like words and their meaning. Or rules and their definition. For Junior, this is hard. Also because:

He needs to understand the theory in order to work with it.

But in learning words in a foreign language, there is hardly any logic to understand. The ‘just because’ character of meaning of words, rules and definitions is hard for him to accept. Abstract words are especially difficult, almost in a dyslectic way. He just doesn’t get it. Literally.

When he understands the theory, he is quick to apply the rule but slow to reproduce the rule. 

When he knows how it works, he puts it to use. Fast. He doesn’t get why he has to reproduce the rule or prove he’s using the rule by describing his steps. So when he slips up, it can’t be traced back whether he made a miscalculation along the way, or if he didn’t get it altogether.

He thinks grammar is a matter of taste.

His English test was about past tense and past continuous. When I asked him to conjugate the past tense of ‘act’ , he answered ‘have acted’. When I told him why that was wrong, he shrugged uninterested. ‘It sounds better using have,’ he said. ‘Grammar is not a matter of taste, babe,’ I told him. He shrugged again.

He reads text books like magazines.

Junior sat on the sofa with a blanket on his lap. He flipped through us biology text book. – – ‘What you’re doing?
– ‘I’m studying.’

And he was honestly surprised about the questions I asked when testing him. That wasn’t in there, was there? Yes honey, it was. But when you’re reading it like a magazine instead of analyzing the text, I understand you feel that way.

Well, enough about my week with my kid! How was your week?

Xoxo – Irene

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One thought on “Why my gifted kid sucks at studying

  1. Ah, school. I’m glad I don’t have it anymore, though I am considering going back for French. That was the only thing I liked in school. My weekend was emotionally traumatic, so we aren’t going to say much about that… until next week, that is.

    Good luck to you and Junior.

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