Sunday, July 27, 2014

How To Learn for the GAT Test

My wife and I have an ongoing debate about learning and teaching.  In short, I refuse to teach our kids anything and this drives her crazy, and then she steps in and teaches them something and undermines my whole program of giftedness.

When my first son was going through Daddy Test Prep Boot Camp From Hell, I didn't know very much, but it seemed logical that gfited kids could figure things out on their own, and it also seemed logical that the only way to become good at figuring things out on their own was to practice figuring things out on their own.

Therefore, I decided that my job as a GAT Test Prep Coach was to make sure they sat without quitting while they figured things out.  I provided a stack of things that required figuring things out, mostly 2nd grade academic work (for a 5 year old) and whatever brain teasers I could make up.

As I became more seasoned at Test Prep Coaching and Academic Coaching, I started to teach some of the skills that gifted kids use to figure things out, like reading the problem a few times, looking for examples, trying an easier version first, solving it backwards, not crying, and other skills that I've written about elsewhere.  But I would never tell them what it was that they were figuring out.

My wife watches this and gets annoyed.  'Why don't you just tell him how to do long division', she says, and when I'm not around she'll actually teach the topic.  Then I say, 'You're spoon feeding him everything.  How is he going to survive graduate school?'  And she says 'He is only 7 years old.  He is not in graduate school.'

The reason why I'm bringing this up is that I think this is the #1 thing to keep in mind when you begin test prep season in 1 month.  Figuring Things Out covers 50% to 75% of the skills needed to past the GAT test.

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