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Gifted kids post-schooling - Page 2

post #21 of 34
More anecdata...I went to a high school for academically gifted kids. In my opinion it was a really good environment overall (although I would change a few things too).

I would say the general range of success among them is reasonably high - I don't know of anyone who is not self-supporting in a pretty decent career, most have successful relationships, families, etc. Some are doing amazing and important work in the world. I'm probably one of the least visibly successful, and I like my work and life fine. It's pretty middle-of-the-road and I like it that way most of the time.

From speaking with this very narrow group I would say that most of us went through some kind of crisis of faith in our early 20s (although this is probably true of most people). I've had long discussions with people about how our school was great on many levels, but didn't prepare us for some of the challenges of the workplace in particular. I think we still expected to be rewarded all the time for being right, and while there are definitely fields where that's true, a lot of us also had to learn that there are other ways to be "right" like not embarassing people, no pontificating, socializing, returning phone calls on time, etc.

However, we pretty much all figured it out. It was a common thread, but it hasn't defined people permanently.

To be fair, you also have one of the school's prominent grads in another grade who ended his life by throwing himself out of a NYC apartment to his death after an argument with his wife over the care of his infant twins. So - yeah. But you know, out of that sample size I don't think one depressed person would be that unusual. Except I am so sad he wasn't able to get the help he needed; he was a truly wonderful guy, and so furious on behalf of his wife.
post #22 of 34
Thread Starter 
Hi

I am really most concerned with what happens to a child long-term who isn't advanced by grade skipping but who continues with their peers. The Times article talked about kids who skipped 3 grades or more, which is surely an extreme end of the bell curve. My kids are bright/gifted [??] but not to that extent.

I am wondering if not advocating for these moderately gifted kids is setting them up for failure later in life. I struggle with the notion that I should be pushing for them to be further challenged at school because whilst they are bright [and this is demonstrated throught their grades] I don't think that socially it would be beneficial to be grade-skipped.

Thanks
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cukup View Post
I don't think that socially it would be beneficial to be grade-skipped.
It's easier to make friends with kids who are your mental age rather than merely your chronological age.



I have two bright children. One needed (desperately needed) a grade skip; the other just gets more challenging work in the regular classroom. So no, not every bright child needs to be skipped. But some do.
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
Ultimately each parent is the best judge of what is needed by his/her child.
Well, if it were so obvious to parents exactly what their children needed, this board would be a whole lot emptier, wouldn't you think? It seems like lots of parents actually have a rather difficult time figuring out what their gifted children need and how to get it to them.

@ meemee: Huh?? Are you trying to say we should just treat gifties exactly like their typically developing peers?
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post
@ meemee: Huh?? Are you trying to say we should just treat gifties exactly like their typically developing peers?
nuh!!!! what i am saying is if a child is miserable in school - which is not an exclusive gifties thing - every child needs to have their needs met. i think being gifty or performing much below standard is the same thing. parents have to find accommodation for their child. for me being too rich or too poor is the same thing. both have problems galore. different kinds of problems, but still problems still the same.

cukup - there is no easy answer. there is no formula to figuring out what the right decision is.

one of my xbil was skipped. another one wasnt. their parents were struggling to do the best for them. however they made the wrong decision. the one who should have been skipped wasnt and the one who shouldnt have been skipped was. however this was a long time ago when gifted programs were just being established.

the only 'ideal' school for my dd would be coop unschooling. where she could go to other people who share her passion for what she wants to learn. not educated people, but those who share the same emotion.

the next level of schooling would be a more hands on project oriented school. waldorf is too extreme for her. public school is the other extreme. where i am there is no perfect school for her. or the other thing would be whole curriculum taught in half a year.

however she also has her own ideas of what education should be. she told her k teacher that they have no idea how to educate children. instead of starting with the three r's, they should do more science and project stuff. 'that would interest me in wanting to learn more of what we are doing and then you could teach us the rules'.

she does not see school as a place of learning. like she told her K teacher 'i come to school to party, i go home to learn.'

so trying to figure out what the best accommodations for her are is really hard to do. she is moderately gifted. however she is also a people person and a good teacher is more important, or should i say a close connection than being in a gifted class.

in her public school she does do project but they are research oriented. not too much building with her hands.

so the least i can do - where i have some control over is after school stuff. its lucky that i am in school myself and take part in some clubs where we do different things - esp. out of recycled stuff and many other hands on. she is right there with us.

for right now she 'tolerates' school. we take mental breaks whenever she needs it. and that is a huge help to her. on those days we usually do some intense learning experience kinda thing.
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cukup View Post
I am wondering if not advocating for these moderately gifted kids is setting them up for failure later in life. I struggle with the notion that I should be pushing for them to be further challenged at school because whilst they are bright [and this is demonstrated throught their grades] I don't think that socially it would be beneficial to be grade-skipped.
i would take it each year at a time. are they happy at school? or are they miserable?

if they are happy and enjoying school i would tend to leave things alone.
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cukup View Post
Hi

I am wondering if not advocating for these moderately gifted kids is setting them up for failure later in life. I struggle with the notion that I should be pushing for them to be further challenged at school because whilst they are bright [and this is demonstrated throught their grades] I don't think that socially it would be beneficial to be grade-skipped.

Thanks
There are tons of other ways to accommodate a gifted child other than a full grade acceleration. Grade skipping is often a last option after other options have failed, usually, through an institutions inability or refusal to make other accommodations.

Here is an old thread listing some ideas - http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1216292

Every child deserves to learn something new and be challenged with something intellectually rewarding. If your child's needs are being met without accommodations - great. If there needs aren't getting met then something else needs to be done. A full grade acceleration is not necessarily the only option or even the best option for all gifted kids.
post #28 of 34
My children aren't grown yet so I can't speak to their post-schooling experience, but I have seen my brother and how his life turned out. He was placed in GT programs when he was in middle school and during his schooling years, he skipped a grade and graduated early.

He is a profoundly gifted person -- his test scores are higher than any I've ever encountered. When he was in 11th grade, we moved to a different state, and after about a month of school, there was this big meeting called where the teachers and admin were uneasy about working with him because of his IQ score.


He generally HATED school. He was labeled a "gifted underachiever" by one school. He HATED the GT program. He was at best a mediocre student, having no use at all for grades. He spent some time in the military after he graduated, and was really unhappy there. After leaving the military he went to college -- he blazed through without having to put forth any effort at all. He interned summers on some very high-profile projects in his field. He earned is BS and then got accepted, on a full scholarship, to his PhD program at Tulane. It was the first time in his life that he felt challenged in school, and felt that he had peers who shared interests/abilities with him. He completed his PhD in three years, I believe, and did some work for NASA before becoming a professor.

He has been working in academia for several years now, and married one of his former graduate students (who is probably also PG). He loves the lifestyle of academia. However, he hates the politics of it. His wife is also a professor and they made the decision that after the next school year, they will leave the uni.

By most people's standards he has been very successful, indeed; he found a mate that suits him well, a career path/field that he finds interesting and challenging. I'm not sure he could be happy in a field where he worked doing something that didn't challenge his mental faculties. Without pursing education, I'm not sure he he could have worked in a field that does that.
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBattleAxe View Post
. He loves the lifestyle of academia. However, he hates the politics of it.
Oh yeah, you will be hard-pressed to find someone in academia who does not feel this way. It is brutal how often incompetence at the administrative level ruins everything... The only thing that keeps me going is my love for teaching and my colleagues who are curious intellectual people (for the most part).

I also went to a high school for gifted kids and most of my classmates are doing very well. I hated the experience though--it was so competitive and cut-throat. I am moderately gifted and I feel happy with my career choices (teaching mathematics at a 4 year college), and am especially happy to have found my profoundly gifted DH who is absolutely amazing!!! And our lovely children keep us on our toes... I hope we are helping them find the right choices for themselves!!
post #30 of 34
OP, I think you need to do what seems best for your kids. For anyone, the balance between challenge and comfort is important to find. For some kids, the challenge, and for others, the comfort, may be elusive, and I think those kids have a hard time, and it may be long-term negative for them.

I went to a fairly elite (public) gifted school all the way through. My classmates seem to have grown up to be very interesting people for the most part, almost everyone completed college and many some graduate school. From perusing facebook I've seen quite a few teachers, professors and other educators, writers, musicians, media professionals, doctors and nurses. They don't seem terribly different from other people from MC and UMC backgrounds (and children of "striver" immigrants)-- like the list of folks from DHs high school in the well-off suburbs of DC. But I am willing to bet that any of them would be a very interesting person to sit next to at a dinner party, you know what I mean? Funny, smart, well-informed, wide range of interests, etc.

One thing I remember well was this discourse at our school that we were the "future leaders of America" and the such. I swear, it sounded like BS to me when I was a kid and even more so now... what a sick and damaging set of expectations to have for elementary school kids. Some of my former classmates did really struggle with feelings of failure for, say, *only* becoming professional (but non-famous) writers, research scientists, well-respected (but non-famous) musicians, etc. I too have insecurities about being found out as not as smart as I pretend to be, etc. So yes, I do think there can be a downside to gifted education, but there doesn't have to be.

Good luck with your kids. When I read this board, it seems like caring, engaged moms who are looking to support their kids for the right reasons (not hot-housing them or living through their kids success or anything). People have been very forthcoming when I have questions!
post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post
Well, if it were so obvious to parents exactly what their children needed, this board would be a whole lot emptier, wouldn't you think?
Personally I know exactly what my kids need, at least intellectually. Figuring out how to get society to accept and accommodate them is what I find difficult.
post #32 of 34
A little input with personal experience.

My "giftedness" gave me a nearly perfect ACT score that allowed me a very high scholarship to a prestigious art school. I found that part of adapting to the real world was creating my own challenges (no longer depending on the school/teachers to provide them for me). Being an artist provides an outlet for conceptual thinking, and a way to introduce those thoughts to others. I jump at any chances to further my education and challenge my talents--I took up the offer to work with an artist in residence and currently have work in an international exhibit.

My genius older sister, whose interests fall more into academia, is currently seeking her PhD. She will finish her thesis in two years. She is 26. I am 21.

Whether or not those things make us richer financially is up for debate. We are more motivated to accept challenges that could result in better jobs or paying opportunities, certainly. But what I see for the two of us is a continued search for knowledge.
post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cukup View Post
I am really most concerned with what happens to a child long-term who isn't advanced by grade skipping but who continues with their peers. The Times article talked about kids who skipped 3 grades or more, which is surely an extreme end of the bell curve. My kids are bright/gifted [??] but not to that extent.

I am wondering if not advocating for these moderately gifted kids is setting them up for failure later in life. I struggle with the notion that I should be pushing for them to be further challenged at school because whilst they are bright [and this is demonstrated throught their grades] I don't think that socially it would be beneficial to be grade-skipped.
I agree with those who say that it depends on the child. If your children are happy in their current environment, then it's likely fine for them. If they're unhappy, then it's time to consider a change.

One problem they may encounter is not learning how to work hard, because they are not given challenging work. At some point in their lives, they will encounter work that is difficult, and this may cause them to experience a self-confidence crisis.

Another issue they may encounter is social isolation. Gifted children often feel disconnected from their age-mates, and benefit from social contact with other gifted children.
post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cukup View Post
Hi

I am really most concerned with what happens to a child long-term who isn't advanced by grade skipping but who continues with their peers. The Times article talked about kids who skipped 3 grades or more, which is surely an extreme end of the bell curve. My kids are bright/gifted [??] but not to that extent.

I am wondering if not advocating for these moderately gifted kids is setting them up for failure later in life. I struggle with the notion that I should be pushing for them to be further challenged at school because whilst they are bright [and this is demonstrated throught their grades] I don't think that socially it would be beneficial to be grade-skipped.

Thanks
You may find this opinion piece interesting:
http://www.wku.edu/academy/?p=430
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