One thing we have found about our daughter is that she likes to “know things”. She is curious. Having gone beyond her “baby books” (the highly illustrated 16 page stories), she is not reading larger story books, but devouring “non-fiction” (like a book on “simple experiments”, another “big book of everything” and so on).
These quizzes are literally above our daughter’s grade, but nobody seems to do quizzes for 4-year-olds, so my wife decided to take our daughter along for the Grade 1-3 quizzes conducted by QShala.
These would happen every Sunday afternoon at 3pm (they still do, I think), and it would be a tremendously stressful experience for everyone in the house.
- My wife would get stressed that me, the “quizzing parent”, did nothing to encourage our daughter’s inherent interest in knowing things and building her knowledge.
- I would get stressed that I couldn’t spend my Sunday afternoons in peace, and that my wife would expect me to take our daughter to this quiz, which I never did.
- Our daughter would get stressed that despite getting some of the answers in the quiz and typing them out, she would never get a chance to give out the answers verbally (the QShala guys would pick out one kid at random, I think, among those that gave out the correct answers).
And despite the all-round stress, we (excluding me) kept going for these quizzes. And getting stressed out. And then my wife had a brainwave, “if you are so opposed to send her to these competitive quizzes, why don’t you start doing a quiz for her every week?”. That sounded like a good idea.
It’s been four weeks now, and it is an incredible experience. I love setting the quizzes. The big challenge for me is to set questions that are “just within/out of reach” for my daughter. Now, since she is my daughter, I have a good idea on what she knows / doesn’t know. So if you find that some of the questions here may be out of reach for a 4-year-old, it is because they have been set for MY four-year-old.
This is the first quiz I did for her, on 16th of May.
She did rather well. With some hints, she got four of the five questions. And so the following week, I went a bit tougher.
And she only got one of the five questions correct (she guessed the football jersey by correlating with the flag).
So for the third week, I went a bit easier, including some straightforward questions (rather than only “workoutable” questions).
She smashed it, getting four out of five. Rather incredibly, the only one she didn’t get in this quiz was the one involving the nursery rhyme (she seemed to have forgotten the rhymes), and then she spent the rest of that Sunday with an old Nursery Rhymes book, revising all of them. And also incredibly, she got the band right, but by recognising the “wrong” band member (Ozzy).
Of course, for the fourth quiz, I didn’t set any nursery rhymes questions (though I included a lullaby).
Again she did rather well, getting four (including one with hints). The negative surprise for me is that while she normally indexes countries on the map with objects (“UAE looks like a ‘horse bicycle'” or “Cameroon looks like a kangaroo”), she really struggled with the map question and only got it after she had seen the map.
I’ve been massively enjoying the process. I will continue to set these quizzes every Sunday, and then post them to my Slideshare. You can follow me there. If I get more enthu, I might include those slides in this blogpost as well.
Update: Links to quizzes I did after I wrote this blogpost.