Littletree was doing a crossword puzzle today. The clue was "A small fairy who plays tricks on people (three letters)".
She could not, for the life of her, guess this one.
When I told her it's Elf, she said, but Elves aren't small fairies who play tricks on people. Elves are tall and fair, honourable and skilled with bows. They aren't small fairies at all"
Another clue was "a small plant (5 letters" starting with "sh").
She could not guess shrub, and it turns out she didn't know what a shrub is at all. I said, "you know, a small bush, as in bring me a shrubbery!"
She knows what a shrubbery is, because she has a cultural reference for it.
Then she started rubbing my back and saying shhhhhhhh. "I thought that's a shrub: shhhhhh-rub" (yup, she shares my sense of humour).
And she's totally right. I now understand much more why my child, who is incredibly bright and well-educated, doesn't do so well on standardised tests. She not only hasn't spent the past 4 years being trained to do standardised tests, she has a completely different set of cultural references.
It doesn’t mean she isn’t educated – she is very educated, and has a wealth of knowledge in many areas that would put a lot of college students to shame. It just means her sphere of learning follows a different path than the one prescribed.