Your child is growing up and is so active. You want to make sure she goes to the right place of education so that her beautifully unique personality stays intact. How can you go about finding what personality, interests, and intelligence really are? After all, you need to know this about your child before you decide on a certain curriculum for her. You can follow these three steps and learn more about your child.
Evaluating your child’s interests and abilities
- Have your child take an IQ test
Arguably a decent method to gauge your child’s general intelligence. Intelligence here means your child’s cognitive abilities and the speed at which she processes information. However, please keep in mind that this test only serves as a benchmark and has to be used in conjunction with other tests to accurately conclude anything about your child’s abilities.
- Have your child take an aptitude test
Through an aptitude test, you should be able to infer your child’s natural abilities and talents. It is a test that helps you understand where your child can naturally develop a skill or talent. It is even more important than an IQ test because it can give you a better idea of how your child can do well in certain strong subjects, skills or ways of thinking.
- Go over your child’s grades and report cards
Take some time to audit your child’s grades in the last few months and watch out for her teacher’s comments, if any, on the report card. These can give you some information on how your child is doing across subjects like Maths, English, Sciences. However, don’t take the grades too seriously either because they also can be influenced by several other factors like your child’s interests, the teacher’s ability, and the environment in which your child is learning the subject.
- Talk to your child’s teachers/ day-caregivers about their activities, interests, and abilities
Teachers spend a lot of time with your child. They can give you a lot of insight into your child’s abilities and interests. Schedule a meeting with them and talk to them about your child. Ask them more specific questions about your child’s interests like why she may be doing better in certain areas over others. The more specific you are, the more you can get out of them.
Exploring your child’s interests and abilities
- Enroll your child in different extracurricular activities
Try signing up your child in many different extracurricular activities. These will help you explore your child’s abilities and interests. It doesn’t always have to be formal. You could also use some informal means to get them to do different things. Don’t push them into doing anything they might not be interested in. Find activities where peers from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds might also be found. Watch which activities your child enjoys and naturally excels at and which require more effort.
- Observe your child while she plays
Observe her in her natural environment. Watch whether she is quiet and thoughtful, or very loud and dramatic. How does she arrange her toys? This can reveal things about her organizational skills. Write these observations in a journal and watch out for patterns and areas of development.
- Talk to your child about her interests, likes, and dislikes
Whatever said and done, your child often knows her own self and her interests quite well. So, give her some credit and listen to her. Ask her what subjects interest her, what she likes to do and why, what doesn’t she like and why. Find out from her if she likes sports or art and if not, then what is it about them that she doesn’t like. Notice how she talks about the things she likes, there may be a hidden talent there.
Thinking about intelligence
- Read up and learn more about different types of intelligence
In his fantastic book, “Theory of Multiple Intelligences”, Howard Gardner established that there are seven types of intelligence. He went on to add that people’s experiences vary depending on these types of intelligence.
Consider your child’s
- Visual-spatial intelligence
Does your child have excellent visual and spatial abilities? Typically such people shine when they have to focus on activities that are very visual. Is your child very good at designing things, looking at maps, or doodling? She might do well as an architect or a graphic designer.
- Interpersonal intelligence
How often and easily is your child able to talk to other kids? How comfortable in activities where she is required to interact and socialize? If her interpersonal ability is higher, then she may be cut out for a career in sales or even politics.
- Intrapersonal intelligence
Those with higher intrapersonal intelligence are great at drawing strength from within. They are more capable of understanding themselves and their motivations. Such children are usually introverted and might not be interested to socialize much. If such is the case with your child, encourage her by getting her into creative writing. She could probably have a great career as a writer.
- Mathematical or logical thinking
Typically people who are mathematical or logical thinkers deliberate quite often. They like to reason things out. Ask yourself
- Does your child like solving puzzles?
- Is she able to make connections between people and things?
- Does she like to experiment and solve problems?
Then you might want to nurture these abilities. She may go on to become a scientist or a mathematician.
- Bodily-kinesthetic thinking
People with higher bodily-kinesthetic thinking usually have more control over their bodies, their range of motion and hand-eye coordination. Children with this ability might be good sculptors or surgeons.
- Linguistic intelligence
Great poets and even politicians often possess higher linguistic intelligence. They have more control over their language and words. They are able to express themselves quite effortlessly. Make sure to develop your child’s linguistic intelligence by making her write, recite and speak more often.
- Musical intelligence
It is likely that your child is sensitive to different rhythms and has a fascination for music. If she is able to sing beautifully or plays a musical instrument, you should consider enrolling her in music lessons or even the school choir.
While it is very important to know our child’s intelligence, abilities, and interests, it is equally important to finding a platform where all of these can be nurtured and developed gradually. That’s why choosing the right curriculum is very important. In order to make this task easier,
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