Friday, April 17, 2015

Learning like Mommy does

When I was little, I was one of those nerdy kids who really liked school. (Shocking, I know.) I loved my teachers, I liked to learn new things and I even played school on the weekends.

Even in higher grades, I still really liked school. Sure, I was more fond of some subjects than others, but overall, I understood that system and thrived in it.

And because of all that, my son has a pretty good chance of also really enjoying school, too.

A couple of Ohio State University researchers studied 13,000 twins across more than six countries to determine what influenced a child's ability to learn. All the students - aged 9 to 16 - were asked to rate their own ability in different school subjects as well as how much they liked various subjects. The researchers then compared answers for fraternal twins (who share half their inherited genes) and identical twins (who share all their genes).

Researchers were surprised to learn that identical twins' answers more closely matched than those of fraternal twins, indicating that the differences in a child's motivation to learn could be explained by their genes.

Yes, yes, is neat. But how is this useful? Well, it may be a good idea to think back to when you were in school: Did you enjoy it? Now ask that same question of your spouse. If one of you thoroughly hated school, then you'll need to find out why so that you can think up ways to address those issues if you see your little one following the same "I hate school" path.

Were you a nerd in school? It's OK. Let's exchange notes in the comments.

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