(Closed) Advice for schooling gifted child…

posted 4 years ago in Parenting
Post # 31
Member
10635 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

In elementary, I did a supplemental program and I’m really glad for the experience I had there.  The school had a bit of everything – LD, ESL etc. programs.  We also had split level grades and pre-tests were often used to group us for units.  Sometimes I was paired up with a student who was struggling and I learned so much from doing that.

I did go to a info session for a gifted school.  I’m glad I didn’t go there, knowing others who did.  I do wish my jr. high did more.  I will say some of my teachers there were just really lazy.

The high school I went to was huge, one of the largest populations in the country at the time.  It was my designated school and had a wide variety of programs.  I did some courses AP, some not.  I based it on interest.  My English education in high school was pretty poor.  The AP classes had so many assignments though.  I was active in so many things it was nice not to have all that extra work when it wasn’t one of my interests.  If I were to do it all over again, I think I would make the same decision.  It didn’t hurt my university options, I recieved multiple major scholarships, had early acceptance, etc.

Post # 33
Member
4424 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

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MissDevourer9 :  First-did she test gifted on a specific portion of the test? I’m a teacher and actually just attending several days of training for GT. I would figure out first what areas it appears she is gifted in. If it’s all inclusive, I really would consider moving to a school meant to serve those students. If it’s one area (for example most of the students I have who are GT are so in math/science while I teach English), then that’s a harder choice to me. You want to balance receiving services with other areas of development as well. 

I would say to keep this in mind-a GT student is on the spectrum of special education, just at one end while other SPed students (learning disabilities, etc.) are at the other end. She will develop in some areas much quicker than others (for example, intellectual GT students often lag emotionally). 

I would really work on not making a huge deal about it either. It scares a lot of kids because they don’t want to be different than their classmates. 

Post # 35
Member
82 posts
Worker bee

I would wait until fourth grade and let her decide.  In my experience, it’s hard to get a good assessment of a child’s abilities in early childhood (through 3rd grade,) because kids tend to leave the academic gate at different speeds in younger grades, but are more or less running at the same speed by 4th or 5th grade.  Same with the opposite end of the spectrum – it’s difficult to determine many learning disabilities in early childhood.  Through third grade, I think it’s best to accomodate academic needs within the classroom, barring extreme exceptions in either direction.  In fourth grade, leave it up to her if she wants to stay in a familiar environment or seek out the challenge in a different program.  She’ll be at a better age to weigh the pros and cons of possibly losing touch with friends, starting in a new environment, etc.

Post # 36
Member
1017 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I moved schools after grade 3 to get into a “gifted” program, they called it academic challenge here. Up until the move I was so miserable, I had no friends and was bullied. I think it was partly the schools fault because I had to study in class away from everyone, they put me in a corner to work on more advanced things. So they basically made me a total outcast. The school obviously didn’t have an actual program so my parents got me tested and moved schools. It was one of the best decisions in my life that my parents made for me. The first year at the new school I made it onto the science olympics team and I made life long friends 🙂 I finally fit in, it was great, and school was fun again

Post # 37
Member
1596 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

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MissDevourer9 :  I was in a gifted class from prep to grade 4 and thrived.  Due to family reasons I had to leave that school to a school with no gifted progam and split grades (3/4, 5/6 etc).  I was very bored in class which caused me to act out, but I was still in the top 2% of students for each year level off of bare minimum work.  I started high school still in the top percentile, but because I had never had to work for my grades, they slowly dropped each year until I graduated with 0 effort and a slightly above average school.  

I am now at Uni and although I achieve decent marks, I really struggle to ‘learn’ or truly challenge myself because it is not something I have practice in.

I say go for the gifted school if you are able to.  Being consistently challenged from a young age is so important for setting life long study habits.  

Post # 39
Member
1586 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

I’m a primary school teacher and also tested as gifted, was involved in G&T programs in primary school and went to a selective entry high school. I vote for moving her to the full time program. Many gifted or highly intelligent kids thrive when surrounded by like minded peers who care about their studies. There is the occasional child who is not suited to those environments – a few people left my high school because they preferred being the smartest person at a less competitive school – but if this is the case with your child, you can always relocate again.

Post # 40
Member
480 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969 - City, State

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MissDevourer9 :  Hello there. I have taught at mainstream secondary schools and secondary schools that offer the Gifted Education Programme. In my experience there is a world of difference between the design of assessments, pacing of lessons and the approaches to teaching and learning. Currently it sounds like your child may not be engaged because the lessons are not pitched at her level. 

I am not a parent but I would have a talk with her about the options and take things from there. 

 

Post # 41
Member
453 posts
Helper bee

I’ve experienced both of the educational opportunities you’ve described. For K through 3rd grade, I was a scholarship student at a private gifted school. I learned a TON more – to the point that when I switched into a public school for 4th grade, I was literally a full year ahead in most of the cirriculum, even more in some areas. When I started at that school, for the longest time my mom thought they didn’t assign homework and even got upset with the teachers. Nope, I was just doing it frantically in the ten minutes before the bell rang so I could do only fun stuff at home.

At the public school, I was put into their gifted program which was, as other PP have described, of the “meet once a week to do various projects” variety. I genuinely don’t think that cirriculum added anything to my education, but I enjoyed it since it got me out of spelling lessons. wink Other people got a lot more out of it – I know one girl ended up getting into video editing because of one of the projects we did together in that time.

I was much happier at public school and I was super self-motivated in high school so I took basically as many AP classes as I could, started off college with a full year of credits, graduated a full year early, and am now about to graduate with an MS degree with no debt. The self-motivation essentially came from my mother refusing to help me with anything so I did everything myself. Worked out great for me – I became extremely independent. Didn’t work out so great for my brother, who basically skated through high school and through most of college. So in my experience, if you have the right personality and home life, you can make the most out of any opportunity you’re given or squander even the best of chances handed to you on a silver platter.

All this to say two things – you’re unlikely to severely handicap your child even if you don’t switch her school and what the right choice is for her really depends on her in particular, not really what our own experiences were or what we wish they were. Personally, I would look at her and think about whether or not she would likely make friends at the new school – is she social enough that this would be easy enough for her? I know at age 7 I had two friends period and it would have killed me to have been ripped away from them for something as lofty as a “better education” (by which I mean, at her age she’s not likely going to understand that as anything valuable enough to be worth giving up her friends). If you’re confident that she would eventually make new friends at any school she went to, then yes switch her to the other school. Frankly, all the educational opportunities in the world aren’t going to mean squat to her if the social environment there drags her down because she has no one to eat lunch with and dreads going to school every day.

But, if you do switch, I would also suggest waiting until the next school year to make the switch rather than doing it midyear which would be so much more stress on her, especially with everything else going on in your lives right now.

Post # 42
Member
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Hi!

where i come from these kind of programs  don’t exist, unless you go to a veeery specialized school. So, from What I know I would say that you should remember that your child needs other kind of development. She’ll need to cooperate in her adult life with all kinds of people.

First rule my parents always had was that me and my brother should never learn anything before school teaches it. That reduced the boredom you’re talking about. Second point: tell teachers to use tour daughter as a help (specially if it’s still primary school). If she finishes early her work, get up and help her colleagues.

If you decide she should stay in normal school put her in various activities like sports and music. One of each will be great! 🙂

 

Post # 43
Member
1222 posts
Bumble bee

I know I’m joining the thread late, but we went through this last year. My oldest son was designated gifted and we determined to switch him to the gifted school. So many benefits. But he was so anxious about it and started having melt-downs at the thought of switching schools. It is stressful – change is hard. And gifted also often comes with other quirks (my guy is Aspergers and ADHD too). You really need to do a lot of discussing and getting the child acquainted and comfortable with the new school. We took him to the info meeting and the school tour. He still didn’t want to go. His EA at his regular school talked up the gifted school and encouraged him to go for it, but he was so against it. Amazingly enough, it was our luck that over summer vacation he befriended a neighbour from down the street who happened to be a year older than our son and was attending the gifted school! The friend encouraged him to go there without even meaning to – he just said he loved it and was so glad he was going there. My son decided he wanted to go, I guess since he would have a friend there. So come September when school opened up we frantically registered him. He is very happy there and finally has friends that are on his wavelength. He desperately hates the homework however.

Post # 44
Member
1461 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I test gifted as a child but my mom did not move me because my Dad was in the military and she didn’t have the flexbility back then to drive me and pick me up from a different school. (At the time there was no funding to bus me out of the area). I do wish I would have moved on – I was not challeneged at times and often got frustrated with my teachers. One of my teachers started letting me teach the lessons in class (which did give me some confidence) but it also set me behind where I could have been pushed further. When I got to college I finally felt like I was surrounded with people who were at my level but they were more advanced than me. I spent my Freshman year of college just trying to catch up a bit. My niece is currently in a gifted program and she is already exceeding where I was at her age. I do think sometimes the gifted kids are a bit “socially” behind but if you can keep them engaged in some sort of social activity (sports, a club, etc.) then it balances out.

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