Yes, Tigerle is right. If we switch her from her current arts charter into the GT magnet, and it doesn't go well, we are in trouble. Our regular zoned school is in very bad shape and not an option at all. We also lose her little brother's spot at the charter if we switch DD to the magnet, meaning we will have to find some other option for him for K and 1 at the very least (magnet doesn't start till grade 2). He has been a somewhat later bloomer than DD, but is showing every sign of also being gifted at this point, though with somwhat different strengths.
There is a chance she could get into the magnet as an older child, but it's a small chance. The big opening is in grade 2, since the magnet is 2-5.
It may be worth knowing that if we stay in this town, she will almost certainly attend the gifted middle school, since we really don't have another option for middle. So she will be at a gifted magnet eventually. It's a question of when.
Both of us ran into problems in college because of lack of challenge earlier.
This happened to my husband. He coasted for his entire school career, got into a very selective college, and almost crashed and burned his first year. He actually took a year off to get his act together, then returned and became a good student. However, in some ways, I think his whole life has been affected by the contrast between his innate ability (790/790/790 on his GREs) and his difficulties staying on task and believing in himself (he has major impostor syndrome). And speaking of brilliant PhD candidates who never finish their dissertations--that's my husband. He left with a master's and works in the field, but in some ways his promise is unfulfilled.
All this said, DD's personality is quite a bit different than his and from mine. She actually has enormous persistence, as long as she's motivated (and she's fairly easily motivated). She also has great self-confidence. I do wonder how schooling will affect these innate traits one way or the other. I'd hate to see her lose them.
is it really a high achiever program that piles on the homework (laboring under the delusion that gifted kids just need more work as opposed to more challenging work)? She sounds so far ahead in language arts and possibly maths and science too - would it mean cutting into her afternoons with unchallenging busywork and make her even more unhappy? Maybe you can observe a classroom or ask to look at the homework second graders typically do and estimate how long it would take your DD.
These are exactly my worries. Right now, I would not say DD is unhappy at school. She would tell you openly that she doesn't learn anything there (this is untrue, but also not that far from true, either), but that she likes it. Her teacher this year has been a good fit and first grade has gone a LOT better than K did. One of my concerns, actually, is that she may well fight us tooth and nail to stay at her current school.
I really am worried about the idea of moving her from a school where she is basically happy and under very little pressure to one that may well be more intellectually exciting but could also fill our lives with busywork and anxiety. To be honest, I also wonder about the community we will find at the magnet. Her current school is populated by quirky, artsy kids of hippie parents, which is a good fit for DH and me. If the magnet is hyperachiever rich kid heaven, as it could well be, we will be fish out of water.
because early elementary is so easy for so many gifted kids -- especially for those not identified or adequately challenged - that they learn to coast along and don't really learn how to tackle challenges without becoming overly emotional, frustrated or defeated. When faced with challenges down the road, these same kids back down and drop out even though they are more than capable. They just don't recognize and move past the emotions of being overwhelmed or discouraged. Because of this, I think it seems to be appropriate and necessary that all children experience challenge so that they can develop the necessary skills to really work beyond what they think they can do and aren't allowed to coast for too long. The challenge can be academic, creative, personal or whatever.
But boy, I also totally agree with this.
It's hard to say. DD DOES get extremely frustrated, emotional, and unpleasant when she meets with something she finds hard. My two biggest accomplishments as a parent have been teaching her to swim and to ride her bike without completely losing my mind from the drama and insanity. Seriously. It was awful. However, she never gave up--in fact, though she found both tasks very hard, she was completely obsessed with mastering them. She isn't a quitter. But she can be completely horrendous when frustrated--like, her behavior would have been wildly inappropriate and disruptive in a classroom.Edited by loraxc - 1/6/11 at 11:25am