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Feeling uneasy about Kindergarten

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

My 4yo son is in 4K and obviously way, way ahead of the curve.  He has 'behavior problems' that are likely due to boredom.  He taught himself to read at age three and just the other day started doing division in his head.  "Half of ten is five, half of eight is four, half of two is one..."  I asked him if he learned that in school, and he said no, he just knows it.  I don't know where he picks this stuff up.  His dad and I are divorced and we both lead busy lives, so DS is not being 'hothoused.'  I barely have time to read to him every day, and have been discouraged from talking about DS's giftedness because people are like, "Yeah right, your kid is gifted just like every mother thinks her kid is gifted."  So I've just let it all slide through 4K.  DS is in trouble at school (on yellow) just as often as not -- for goofing off.  He's not being bad or mean, just the class clown and being hyper.  His teacher thinks he might have ADHD.

 

DS's 4K teacher has acknowledged that he is ahead of the curve.  He had all his K skills down halfway through the school year.  She said he can do anything they put in front of him.  I've noticed that about him.  He went through a phase where he had to learn all about electricity and soaked it all up like a sponge.  Yesterday, he was using stickers to make an 'electric' circuit to light up a sticker lightbulb.  He gets it.  He asks provocative questions like, "If lightning is made of electricity, then where are the wires???"  I had to teach him that electricity is natural and that it 'lives' in the clouds.  I also remember making a mental note that he had reached ALL of the 3yo milestones by the time he was 18 months old.  He even potty trained himself around age 2.  Just all of the sudden REFUSED to wear a diaper or pull-up, and had only a few accidents.

 

Is it a good time to have him tested?  What testing?  What can I do?  I don't like the K teacher he will have next fall.  Just bad vibes, and other people said she's snobby.  It's about 30 kids to one teacher.  I'd rather send him to a bigger school with smaller classes (about 15 kids) plus more support staff in my neighborhood, but his dad is refusing because he wouldn't have him any overnights during the school year.  I can just forsee Kindergarten being a train wreck for DS.  But I guess we will have to send him there. 

 

I also forsee him being grade skipped in the future, but I think K is important because it teaches kids how to be a student.  I think he could skip first or second grade.  Our city's gifted program doesn't start until second grade.  And another wrinkle is that he is probably the youngest kid in his grade already.  His birthday is two weeks before school starts. 

post #2 of 4

We had DD tested at 4, but mainly because we were considering whether it would be worth applying to a private school for gifted kids that required IQ testing for entrance.  We did ind the scores were mildly useful in public school only because she also has an IEP for special needs (sensory processing & ADHD), and in the district preschool they weren't used to 2E kids.  In your case, it doesn't seem like there'd be any reason to test UNLESS you think your ex would be more on board with the other school if he had some hard evidence of a gifted IQ.  And FWIW, if you're pushed toward ADHD testing, make sure you go somewhere where they've dealt with gifted kids, because it isn't uncommon for gifted kids to be mistaken for ADHD kids.  Had we not already had a test done, the clinic we used would have done one during the comprehensive evaluation.

 

It sounds to me like your best choice for next year would be to do whatever you can to get into that school with the smaller class size.  Gifted or not, 30 kids is an insane size for kindergarten.  My daughter's class has 22 and that seems like a lot!  A teacher with 15 kids is going to have a lot more time to really pay attention to each kid's needs and possibly better differentiate curriculum to meet their level.  The only advantage of a larger class would be the greater liklihood of finding a peer for socializing.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufilia View Post

It sounds to me like your best choice for next year would be to do whatever you can to get into that school with the smaller class size.  Gifted or not, 30 kids is an insane size for kindergarten.  My daughter's class has 22 and that seems like a lot!  A teacher with 15 kids is going to have a lot more time to really pay attention to each kid's needs and possibly better differentiate curriculum to meet their level.  The only advantage of a larger class would be the greater liklihood of finding a peer for socializing.

 

The current school older DS goes to is a country school where there is only one teacher per grade level.  ExH lives out in the country and the kids take the bus.  We're using this school because it is physically located between our houses.  It's convenient for both of us, but is a lesser school.  My neighborhood school has a lot more students and teachers, and is a Sage school.  Two Kinder classrooms, and they are able to mix and rearrange the kids for ability levels for reading groups etc.  He'd be more likely to find an intellectual peer at my neighborhood school. 

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufilia View Post

In your case, it doesn't seem like there'd be any reason to test UNLESS you think your ex would be more on board with the other school if he had some hard evidence of a gifted IQ. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthRootsStarSoul View Post

 

My neighborhood school has a lot more students and teachers, and is a Sage school.  Two Kinder classrooms, and they are able to mix and rearrange the kids for ability levels for reading groups etc.  He'd be more likely to find an intellectual peer at my neighborhood school. 

 

It sounds like there is some research in order, and then some negotiation.

That they are able to arrange ability groups does not mean they are actually doing it. Can you find out more about what they actually would offer your DS (and whether they would offer anything different if he had gifted identification) in K versus what his current school would offer (again both with and without gifted identification)? And if you come to the conclusion that the neighbourhod school is worth the fight, find out what you need to offer your exDH. Not being able to have the kids overnight during the week is a big drawback, but maybe you can offer more weekends or more vacation time? After all, you are not doing this because you want to estrange the children from their father, but because you do not want your DS to be unhappy, something he can't want either.

 


And maybe you can find a compromise in that he tries out K next year at the country school for a semester, with the option of a transfer to your neighbourhood school if it does not work out at all. After all he is on yellow all the time now, if he moves to red as  he may somethings got to give. Not sure how that works with the caps on class sizes I assume the neighbourhood school has but another thing I'd research now.

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