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How do I get her to think? --seriously!!

Posted by on Mar. 12, 2013 at 2:59 AM
  • 9 Replies
I am frustrated and need to know what I'm doing wrong.
Before she was 2, my dd spoke clearly & knew her letters, numbers, shapes & colors... And we've been going from there. She remembers practically anything she hears! She's already doing multiplication & division and can tell you anything interesting about any continent or ocean (coldest/wettest/lowest/oldest/etc place in the world), and can identify most any animal in the world and tell you something unique about them... BUT

while she can recall pretty much anything, she can't seem to connect the dots... Without prompting. Asking her a direct question, gives you a quotable answer, but asking her an "if" question: if this person that lived here and did this went there and tried that, would it work?... She'd have to consider several things and link them together, but she can't manage without being walked through the thought process.

So, is this normal for a 7 year old?
She memorizes better than most. She understands and can explain things to her little brother, so I know she's processing the information. And while she does manage it every now and then, it's so seldom I feel like I'm doing something wrong.

Or am I expecting too much? (I guess maybe I've been so blown away by what she's been capable of retaining, maybe I expect too much?)
If so, besides walking her through it every time, is there expercises we could do to train her to be more analytical?
by on Mar. 12, 2013 at 2:59 AM
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by on Mar. 12, 2013 at 6:27 AM
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It sounds like she has awesome rote memory. Many gifted children are awesome in one area but everyone has challenges. I think it is normal. She is still very young. If you want her to know the big picture maybe give her the big picture first then explain the dots in detail. Some people simply aren't big picture thinkers and that's ok. She has another awesome strength with her detailed memory.
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by Group Admin on Mar. 12, 2013 at 8:07 AM
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 Actually right now is when you need to walk her through the thought process.  Explaining it in detail is how she will (eventually) gain that tool.  She is still very young.  Keep asking the very prompted questions and every once in a while ask the "big" if questions.  Then go through the thought process step-by-step with her.  Eventually, she will answer one of the big if questions, but it takes a lot of logic that she just might not be ready for yet.

by on Mar. 12, 2013 at 11:41 AM
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I think sometimes when a child has a really easy time acquiring knowledge, has a great memory, and is advanced in learning, it is easy to expect the child to be advanced  in all areas.  However, truth is that *most* children have areas of relative strength and weakness, and even gifted kids can sometimes have severe learning disabilities.  I think because of your daughter's advanced abilities, it might be easy to lose track of what is "typical" for a seven year old.  Additionally, her inability to answer the logical-reasoning questions would only be a concern if her logical-reasoning was not up to par for a 7 year old.  For example, if she understands basics of cause and effect.. "Johnny fell off his bike and scraped up both of his knees.  Is he more likely to laugh or cry?" would be a question I'd expect a second-grader to be able to answer.  Depending upon the questions where you say she'd "have to consider several things and link them together," it may just be too sophisticated as far as logic and reasoning for her developmental stage.  That is most likely the case, in which continuing to walk her through the questions will help her gain skill.  Do keep an eye on it though because some children do have difficulty with reasoning or comprehension of multi-step problems, and that might need to be considered if she has ongoing difficulty as she gets older.  Also.. If you break down the "several things" and ask her about different elements, one by one, that could be good too. ;-)

M.S. Instructional Design, Homeschooling Mom of "Light of My Life" Boys,
Author, Individualized Instruction Design Consultant

by Platinum Member on Mar. 12, 2013 at 12:18 PM
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I would do a lot of sequencing with her and keep on with the foreshadowing.

It couldn't hurt to make a game of it. Like when you want to go to the store, say, "I have my keys and I have my coupons. Where are we going?"  or "Dad has been coughing and runny nose, what does he need?"

by on Mar. 12, 2013 at 1:12 PM
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 I agree with the other Moms & I really like the game idea that Mem82 suggested.

by on Mar. 12, 2013 at 1:44 PM

you are expecting too much... have you done any research on child development?  I will have to look it up myself to be 100% but I think Pigaet or Erikson have a detailed timeline of when you could expect those things from you child but I am pretty sure she is not there yet.  

by on Mar. 12, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Yes, this is normal. Critical thinking skills develop later. She seems "ahead" because she can memorize, but she really is just a 7yo!  Expect her to do better as a 10 yo.  Meanwhile, just keep modeling it and asking the questions. Read, read, read to her.

by Sonja on Mar. 12, 2013 at 4:54 PM
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Yes, this is normal. It sounds like she is receiving all the information and even going through it and processing it into the right places in her brain even.  I know how you feel when you say that you have been blown away by their capabilities to retain all of what you are teaching.  :)  

by Member on Mar. 12, 2013 at 6:22 PM
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Thank you, ladies. I will certainly continue to walk her through connecting the dots. I appreciate the ideas and advice.
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