How to learn you are not as smart as you once were in 4 simple steps?

I used to think I was pretty smart. Maybe even more than average, whatever average is. One time just for fun I took the Mensa practice test just to see if I could pass. It’s online now, but back in the day when I took it you had to order it. Just writing that seriously makes me feel really old. I’m only 35. Surely that’s not old.

But now I am almost confident I am not as intelligent. My personal, unscientific theory is that you sacrifice brain cells during each pregnancy to ensure the intelligence of your children. At least that’s what I tell myself.

So the 4 steps that contribute to my discovering I am not as smart as I once was:

1. Have Children.

Since My theory is that I sacrifice my own intelligence for them, this one clearly has to be on the list. Multiply that times 3 to make sure that they each are covered for the future. So that doesn’t help. And once they are older they will be sure you don’t know anything anyway.

2. Attempt to Check Homework

I am not talking about the simple 1+1=2 type of math, although that requires some serious discussion when your 5 year old is convinced you are wrong. At this point all math has to be related to cookies. Last year 5th grade math had me calling my Mom a math teacher to asnwer the questions. So this year I preemptively ordered the answer key to the math book so that I could check the homework quicker. And only focus on the problems that he needs explained vs. me having to figure out all the answers.

3.Try to Learn a Foreign Language

This is my goal for the year. And I didn’t choose a language I already know a little of or anything. I decided to try and learn Latin. I ordered myself Wheelock’s Latin based on homeschooling parent’s recommendation. I have spent 2 weeks on the first chapter, verb conjugations. And I am still confused. What possessed me to try and read the 2nd Chapter I don’t know. I am not even sure what a Declension is or how on earth I am going to remember all this. But I will plug along. Someone said it get’s easier as you go through but I am not sure I believe that. Maybe a more “traditional” language would be easier, but all those languages have conjugations and random rules too, so I am not sure it would be that much better.

4.Open a College Textbook (or listen to a Lecture on iTunes)

When my oldest was a baby I took a distance learning course since I was going to “try” and work on my Masters Degree in Reading Education. This was only 3 years out of getting my bachelors degree, so it’s not like I went back 20 years later. I had such a hard time writing papers and reading big words. I was so lost. I was lucky I passed the class with a B. My language had gotten reduced to tiny baby words and I still have to look words up these days to see what they mean. Thank goodness the Kindle has that awesome built in dictionary. I should add try and read Dickens, Austen, or some of those other classic authors too. As good as the books are it is easy to get bogged down in the language.

But there is good news, there was a research study that came out in 2010 that says that your brain actually grows when you have children. So I could be wrong. As well, I don’t plan to give up.  My solution to this not feeling unintelligent is keep reading, keep studying and keep challenging myself because I know that I can once again feel like I am not persistently suffering from “Mommy Brain”.

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