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No intervention for gifted kids (particularly girls) - Page 2

post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieLC View Post
 

We're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.  :)I NEVER want my kids dumbing themselves down. I want them to always be their best and not to pretend to be something they're not (dumb) just to "fit in." Empathy is one thing, I've seen my dds using slower language with other people who don't understand what they are talking about, but they never dumb it down as far as I know. I hope I have raised my children to never be ashamed of who they are or to feel they have to pretend to be someone they aren't.

 

A few years ago, we were watching something on TV about gifted girls who dumb themselves down to attract boys or be one of the popular kids and my youngest said, "Why would anyone do that?" I agreed with her. My kids weren't raised to be chameleons. I like to think my dh and I have raised them to be themselves. Yes, sometimes they don't "fit in" but as they get older they find intelligence and academic appropriate peers and are much happier.

 

My kids will never fit in with the cheerleaders or the "popular" girls, but they are always true to themselves. I was similar as a kids, as was my husband and I think we are happier adults because of it.

 

There's nothing wrong with being the smartest person in the room (someone has to be) if you really are. Just so you aren't a jerk about it. There's no reason to rub people's noses in it, but if I ever caught any of my kids using the term "timezing" or "plussing"  or using improper English to "fit in" (because they know better) I'd be one unhappy Mama. Gratefully, they don't do stuff like that. To them (and to my husband and I) a few good, well chosen friends who are similar to you is preferable to being "one of the popular kids."

 

Being whatever is considered "popular" just isn't that important to my kids. Not enough to change who they really are.

 

I understand empathy, but one can be empathetic without appearing uneducated.

 

You did not comprehend my post at all. Did I say anything about being ashamed of ones abilities? No, I did not. Did I suggest children try to appear uneducated? No. Didn't say that either. I didn't talk about fitting in nor about popularity. You are responding to the term "dumbing down" not to what *I* actually said about it. Please do not quote me and then not actually read what I wrote.

 

Since you would not want me to hold back, I'll explain this more simply. I said that there is a time and place for all things. That, as parents, we shouldn't freak out when our child chooses to pull back in certain situations.... that there are moments when it's appropriate and understandable. Choosing to give others time and opportunity is not equivalent to being ashamed of ones own abilities. I suggested the OP find some middle ground with her daughter in terms of Girl Scouts but that it's pretty normal for a person to compartmentalize their life... having places where they are focused and intellectually assertive and others where one can be silly and enjoy making their 8-year-olds friends giggle.

post #22 of 55
Thread Starter 
To me, 'dumming down' means acting differently accross the board, not just in one conversation. I worry that this kind of behavior in our gifted girls leads to women accepting lower pay for the same work, and plays into the whole, 'glass ceiling' concept in business. I want my girls to have every opportunity in life offered to their male peers.

Right now, DD fits in very well in her extra-curricular activities. Most of her class-mates in dance, violin, and gymnastics range in age from 8-13. I know at least a couple of them are in gifted programs in their local schools.

I'm not sure grade-acceleration would be a good fit for us. DD has some significant social anxiety issues, and I'm not sure she would be able to recover from losing the few friends she has already made.

DD is already accelerated one grade level for both math and reading with a few of her peers. To complicate things, she has different teachers for both math and reading. Her teacher (this is her first year teaching), seems reluctant to push her further. She's relatively vague about the future, but promised she would, 'look into it' (RE...further subject acceleration). How long should I wait before I approach her again?

It makes me wish I would have pushed harder to have her enter kindergarten a year early. Colorado has recently changed the law to allow gifted children to enter school a year early. Of course, this would have meant testing a 3-4 year old. I'm kind of regretting not testing younger DD last year for entry into kindy this year. She will also be old for grade and is exceptionally smart. It's so hard to predict the future!
post #23 of 55
When did you last talk to the teacher? If it's been a week or two and nothing's happened, follow up with a friendly "hey, just checking in. You said last time we talked you would look into additional ways to provide for DD's needs? Any progress? What are the next steps here?". If nothing comes from that, then follow up with the principal (notify they teacher -"jus tletting you know I contact the principal on this-I'm wondering if there more support to be had here. I know you are juggling kids at so many levels in your room!")

1 quarter is enough to assess that a kid needs more and it's not just that this is the one kid that didn't forget all math over the summer...

Anxiety- how does she do in the older classroom? Sometimes this goes better, sometimes the kid ends up as the class pet (DS is definitely treated somewhat as a novelty item). What are you and the teachers doing to address this?
post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
 

 

Since you're referring to my example... this was a one-on-one conversation between two homeschoolers. My dd wasn't trying to fit into a group. She wasn't sure the other girl knew the word multiplication, and didn't want to use the term in any case lest it sound like she was correcting they other girl's use of a colloquial term. She knew that homeschooled kids are often insecure about their math levels -- at least a few of her homeschooled friends are -- and didn't want to intimidate the girl by talking about something that was miles beyond where she was at. Given the context, she interpreted the real question to be "what is your favourite arithmetical operation?" and she answered honestly using a word that she knew the other girl would understand. That certainly didn't make me unhappy. I thought it showed a fair bit of social grace. 

 

Miranda


I can understand putting people at ease by "speaking their language" or speaking more basically when people may not understand "big words"  but I don't like the term "dumbing down."  My youngest has Asperger's so there isn't a lot of "social grace" in the child. She's more blunt than I am. :)

 

I was also raised by a University Professor and a Technical Writer.  I was never allowed the luxury of talking down to people, and got reprimanded to using words like "ain't" or not using proper grammar. I guess I passed that on to my children. We all have things that bug us.

post #25 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post
 

 

You did not comprehend my post at all. Did I say anything about being ashamed of ones abilities? No, I did not. Did I suggest children try to appear uneducated? No. Didn't say that either. I didn't talk about fitting in nor about popularity. You are responding to the term "dumbing down" not to what *I* actually said about it. Please do not quote me and then not actually read what I wrote.

 

Since you would not want me to hold back, I'll explain this more simply. I said that there is a time and place for all things. That, as parents, we shouldn't freak out when our child chooses to pull back in certain situations.... that there are moments when it's appropriate and understandable. Choosing to give others time and opportunity is not equivalent to being ashamed of ones own abilities. I suggested the OP find some middle ground with her daughter in terms of Girl Scouts but that it's pretty normal for a person to compartmentalize their life... having places where they are focused and intellectually assertive and others where one can be silly and enjoy making their 8-year-olds friends giggle.


There is nothing wrong with being silly and playing, but I do have issues with kids, especially girls (who often are seen to have sudden serious grade and accomplishment declines as they go through middle school years attributed to "fitting in" and appealing to boys and this often had long term effects on learning, grades and eventual verbal and academic skills) reducing their natural intellectual acuity around others to help themselves down to fit in. I guess my kids and I don't hold back when it comes to using proper language in most situations.

 

Of course, if I'm working with a client with low literacy skills, I often make the material I'm presenting to her more manageable, but I never want to assume people have less intellectual ability than they probably have. Most people's receptive language is usually higher than their expressive language and I do think that should be respected and honored by not assuming people are stupid because of the way they may say certain things. In fact, I've seen people advancing their own expressive language skills when talking to someone who was using more intellectual speech.

 

Like I prefaced my post with: we'll have to agree to disagree on this. I don't have a problem with that.

post #26 of 55

KSLaura, I see you are from CO and did a quick search on it. Seems like CO has a protocol in place for identifying and addressing gifted students. Has your DD had a documented learning plan in place yet?

post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSLaura View Post

To me, 'dumming down' means acting differently accross the board, not just in one conversation. I worry that this kind of behavior in our gifted girls leads to women accepting lower pay for the same work, and plays into the whole, 'glass ceiling' concept in business. I want my girls to have every opportunity in life offered to their male peers.

Right now, DD fits in very well in her extra-curricular activities. Most of her class-mates in dance, violin, and gymnastics range in age from 8-13. I know at least a couple of them are in gifted programs in their local schools.

I'm not sure grade-acceleration would be a good fit for us. DD has some significant social anxiety issues, and I'm not sure she would be able to recover from losing the few friends she has already made.

DD is already accelerated one grade level for both math and reading with a few of her peers. To complicate things, she has different teachers for both math and reading. Her teacher (this is her first year teaching), seems reluctant to push her further. She's relatively vague about the future, but promised she would, 'look into it' (RE...further subject acceleration). How long should I wait before I approach her again?

It makes me wish I would have pushed harder to have her enter kindergarten a year early. Colorado has recently changed the law to allow gifted children to enter school a year early. Of course, this would have meant testing a 3-4 year old. I'm kind of regretting not testing younger DD last year for entry into kindy this year. She will also be old for grade and is exceptionally smart. It's so hard to predict the future!

 

"Dumbing down" is not a good term but like Miranda said, at this time, there really isn't a better phrase. What you described seemed to me a girl who was compartmentalizing her life.... with older and interest based peers she is mature and focused, with her Girl Scout troop she's silly and immature. It's really OK for her to be both of those things. Even adults tend to keep a home for both these versions of ourselves.

 

Grade acceleration isn't the right choice for all. It was right for my eldest who did a mid-year skip from K to 1st and then started taking mostly college classes at 15. However, acceleration was not a good choice for my youngest who is already the youngest naturally and due to extreme red-shirting practices in our area but also because he social connection with age-mates is important to him. If your daughter has social anxiety, starting school at a younger age wouldn't necessarily have fixed the problem. Don't beat yourself up.

 

There are other ways to improve school situations though. At this point, how much "reading instruction" does your child actually need? To actually read at her level, she'd need to read material she wouldn't likely relate too. I remember in 6th grade, my daughter was supposed to read twelve 12th grade level books during the school year because she maxed out the reading test.... it was awful because she was 10-years-old and nothing in Jane Austen interested her and the likes of Charles Dickens was just too dark lol. I liked what they did in elementary though. Starting in 1st grade, the school allowed DD to bring in her own material and do individual projects and reports on them. Sometimes she did essays but other times she did creative stuff like creating a board game or putting together a puppet show. Sometimes she chose advanced novels but other times she chose material that her peers were reading because they were fun and interesting to her. She was always pretested in spelling and the words she got right were replaced with vocabulary building words. It was different for my son because he was in Spanish Immersion and that language was all new to him.

 

Math is trickier. I can't say that really worked itself out for either of my kids until middle school. In elementary, they both had equivalent to a 2 year jump (DD due to grade and subject acceleration, DS because he was in an accelerated school and had a subject acceleration.) Computers can be your friend in the early years. There are programs that can allow kids to accelerate without leaving the classroom. 

 

You said she's in 2nd grade correct? Certainly, keep working with the teacher but keep in mind that things tend to get better in 3rd grade. The curriculum opens up a bit more. There is more creative writing. More "reading to learn" than learning to read. While there is no "evening out" the gifted child does start to look "less different" (example, a 5-year-old reading novels is an alien in kindergarten but once most kids are reading novels, they don't outwardly stick out so much even if reading more challenging material... in fact, interest can have them reading some of the same material happily.) We found that science and history start taking a larger place in the curriculum and this can be such a relief to the gifted child who doesn't need the sort of all day reading and math instruction that dominates the earlier grades. Teachers get a little less maternal and a little more open to taking academic risks with a child. I can't promise it'll be this way for you but in general, working this out in the older grades can be less laborious.

post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post
 

Math is trickier. I can't say that really worked itself out for either of my kids until middle school. In elementary, they both had equivalent to a 2 year jump (DD due to grade and subject acceleration, DS because he was in an accelerated school and had a subject acceleration.) Computers can be your friend in the early years. There are programs that can allow kids to accelerate without leaving the classroom.

 

Agree about the use of computers. Right now until they figure out scheduling  (with 4th grade classroom doing math the same time as DS' classroom so DS can do math without missing any other 2nd grade activities), DS is on an accelerated math program.

It's also important that whatever accommodations they will have for your DD will work out long term. DS' teacher along with members of the intervention team are working out a long term plan for him because the school only goes til 6th grade. If he progresses the same pace as he is learning now, he will be needing middle school math by 4th grade so those are the things in consideration.

post #29 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieLC View Post
 


There is nothing wrong with being silly and playing, but I do have issues with kids, especially girls (who often are seen to have sudden serious grade and accomplishment declines as they go through middle school years attributed to "fitting in" and appealing to boys and this often had long term effects on learning, grades and eventual verbal and academic skills) reducing their natural intellectual acuity around others to help themselves down to fit in. I guess my kids and I don't hold back when it comes to using proper language in most situations.

 

Of course, if I'm working with a client with low literacy skills, I often make the material I'm presenting to her more manageable, but I never want to assume people have less intellectual ability than they probably have. Most people's receptive language is usually higher than their expressive language and I do think that should be respected and honored by not assuming people are stupid because of the way they may say certain things. In fact, I've seen people advancing their own expressive language skills when talking to someone who was using more intellectual speech.

 

Like I prefaced my post with: we'll have to agree to disagree on this. I don't have a problem with that.

 

Haha, I give up. You are choosing not to read what is being written. You are purely reacting to a phrase you don't like with an instinctual argument you have preformed in your mind. You are not actually *responding* to my post. We are not having a *conversation.* Did I say anything about not using proper language? No. Did I say anything about assuming others aren't capable? Sigh, I did not.

 

Honestly, you are sort of making my point for me. Being smart doesn't equate with having to feel right. Being smart is also listening, thinking and making decisions if what you have to say is valid and appropriate at any given time. It's the old tale of the wind and the sun competing over which can make a man remove his coat first. Keep blowing my friend. I'm sure you'll get that coat off eventually.

post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post

I think whatnextmom makes an excellent point. Maybe it will help if it's framed differently, Maggie?

I'm a professor, and among other teaching duties, I teach complicated geophysical concepts at a general education level and give public lectures. I've won awards doing this. I'm good at perspective taking and I'm good at placing the concepts I'm explaining into a context that the general ed population or the general public can understand. I use a simplified vocabularly generally, because I know that using my day-to-day vocab will leave my audience focused on my words and not my message. At the same time, I draw on analogies in daily life to explain concepts so that my students understand. Watch some of the highlighted TED talks where people discuss their science to a broad audience. Are they dumming it down? Well, maybe in some ways they are, but they're also communicating much more effectively than they would have had they been able to communicate using their more specific scientific language.

I see both sides of it. Making sure my kids have enough exposure to other kids of different abilities that they can respectifully and effectively communicate by being able to take the other's perspective is great. Doing this so much that it changes my child's mindset about who they are and what is appropriate for them is where the trouble sets in. The two kids growing up in my house are unique, and we've found what balance they need (at least for now, as all solutions are temporary). DD can't spend too much time in the general ed stream without this mindset creeping in. DS would broadly be ok outside of the math sphere. We will require more maturity before we can even work on those social skills in a math environment. It'll be a different balance point for each kid based on personality, social skills, internal drive, and bazillions of other factors.

And worse than "timzing and plussing"? "Versing.". As is, "coach, who are we versing today?". It know it's a consequence of perfectly ordinary language development that thankfully my kids skipped. I just respond with correct phrasing and leave it. Kids who develop normally will eventually straighten out.


I understand making material understandable, I've already addressed that.I do presentations and consultations, as well, and I know how to fit language into someone's level, without using improper language,  but as I said, most peoples' receptive language is higher than their expressive language, so I don't want to assume someone doesn't have the intellect they may well have by talking down to them. I think it's an insult to them to do so.  This adaptation of one's language to a more simple form is different than using words one knows are not "words," however.

 

I've also found, through both personal experience and watching others, than when one uses proper language, other people tend to do likewise.

 

Just for the record, I don't know a lot about sports and have no idea what "versing" is. shrug.gif

 

Also, my DH and I grew up in a very working class lower middle class neighborhood just on the border of Chicago. Sadly, I have not seen a good number of our former classmates "straighten out" as they got older. They developed "normally" but were constantly surrounded by people who used words and phrases like "ain't" (which I admit I even use to be funny on occasion, and my kids call me on it every time) "timezing" "irregardless" "him and me went to the store"  "I ain't got none o' that." and other things of this nature. I'm talking about people in their 40s and 50s who never "straightened out" as you put it because either they didn't pursue a  further education, or lost contact with those of us who left the Old Neighborhood and got an advanced education or simply avoided anyone they considered "too fancy" or too educated. I see this as a waste of what could have been good potential. Many of the people I grew up with "dumbed down" their language a lot. Mostly to fit in. (And yes, you can do it just to fit in with only one other person.) Usually to their eventual detriment.  I remember other girls, when we were around 10-12 telling me "Don't raise your hand and get the answer right so much. Boys don't like that." It made no sense to me at 12 and it doesn't now. I married a great boy with a great mind, I wouldn't have wanted anything else. (Not that that's the only reason to use proper language at all, but it's part of it. I think finding a mate with similar intellectual level is important for not only continued growth, but so you have someone to talk to.)

 

Using proper language can make the difference between getting accepted into a good college or getting a good job gaining friends you can relate to or the difference between many important issues.

 

I also want to stress, we have a seriously neuro-atypical family. My husband and my youngest DD have Asperger's, my husband and my youngest and oldest DD have Tourette Syndrome, I suffer from actual diagnosed OCD, and we all cringe at doing things improperly. (You'd freak at the number of times I edit my posts, I have a great fear of leaving anything misunderstood, spelled improperly or not fleshed out so the my point is not misunderstood.) I think these things play into being a bit of a perfectionist, and my children are similar, especially the youngest one.

 

Or maybe we're just a**holes, I don't know. :laugh;)

post #31 of 55

versing as in versus.
Took me a few minutes to get it too. Shows you how much I know about sports too. LOL

post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post
 

versing as in versus.
Took me a few minutes to get it too. Shows you how much I know about sports too. LOL


LOL! OK, I had no idea. It's like "Who are we playing?" :)

post #33 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpybear View Post

KSLaura, I see you are from CO and did a quick search on it. Seems like CO has a protocol in place for identifying and addressing gifted students. Has your DD had a documented learning plan in place yet?


 




We are in Colorado, however, DD is in a public charter school. The local schools are not good (they do have a limited gifted program- primarily designed for older kids). When I asked about it initially(before K), they claimed there was no needed for a gifetd because they provided differentiated work for reading and math. At the time, I thought this might be sufficient.

I'm not really sure what the law says about requirements for charter schools. I'll look into it, though! smile.gif
post #34 of 55

I think the law encompasses charter schools. Here's the website I'm gleaning info from:

http://www.cde.state.co.us/gt/lawsregs

 

I live in a different state and DS also goes to a public charter. They are bound to state education laws. I wouldn't necessarily be waving state laws in front of their face because I wouldn't want to create enemies out of the people educating my children but I'd at least look into it so I'd have the appropriate language to use so they understand that you understand. LOL!

post #35 of 55

KSLaura,  it might also be useful to realize that teachers broadly just use the curriculum as it comes from the publisher.  Good teachers of course adapt to the situation, but the skeletal structure remains the published curriculum.  Most curricula have differentiation materials as part of the curriculum, but they only differentiate down 2 grade levels and up 1, and even this "plug and play" stuff can be difficult to implement consistently.  (there are exceptions, but this is the norm).  If your child is outside that range, then it's not even really going to look like your kid is getting differentiation.  It's tough to be far from the norm!  It takes consistent energy and creativity on the part of the teacher, someone who is likely much more concerned with bringing those below grade level up to level.

post #36 of 55

In case you haven't read it, here's a good article on learning plans, why they are important and how to go about getting one for your child:

 

http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/unofficial_guide.htm

post #37 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post

KSLaura,  it might also be useful to realize that teachers broadly just use the curriculum as it comes from the publisher.  Good teachers of course adapt to the situation, but the skeletal structure remains the published curriculum.  Most curricula have differentiation materials as part of the curriculum, but they only differentiate down 2 grade levels and up 1, and even this "plug and play" stuff can be difficult to implement consistently.  (there are exceptions, but this is the norm).  If your child is outside that range, then it's not even really going to look like your kid is getting differentiation.  It's tough to be far from the norm!  It takes consistent energy and creativity on the part of the teacher, someone who is likely much more concerned with bringing those below grade level up to level.


 




This is exactly what I'm having issues with. Although her teachers agree she is advanced, and could benefit from grade material several levels up, they don't really seem to see it as a priority. DD completes all of her work easily, and doesn't present any behavioral problems. I had one teacher/friend at the school (teaching another grade) advise me not to push the issue, because the teachers needed to focus their attention on the struggling students. greensad.gif It made me feel like a bad parent for even suggesting that my kid might need more than what she was getting. On the other hand, I feel like my DD shouldn't be pushed aside or neglected so that teachers can focus on struggling students.
post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSLaura View Post

This is exactly what I'm having issues with. Although her teachers agree she is advanced, and could benefit from grade material several levels up, they don't really seem to see it as a priority. DD completes all of her work easily, and doesn't present any behavioral problems. I had one teacher/friend at the school (teaching another grade) advise me not to push the issue, because the teachers needed to focus their attention on the struggling students. greensad.gif It made me feel like a bad parent for even suggesting that my kid might need more than what she was getting. On the other hand, I feel like my DD shouldn't be pushed aside or neglected so that teachers can focus on struggling students.

Your child deserves the same amount of effort put forth into every other child in the classroom. My son's teacher would be the first to tell you that it is her job to meet a student where they're at and extend their learning to wherever their potential can take them.

post #39 of 55

I know you said that you didn't want to consider grade acceleration, but it might not be a bad idea.  I'm not sure what the cutoffs are in CO, but here DD is in first and is 5 years old, so she'll be 6 in second grade.  I'd think an 8 year old would do better in at least third grade unless a lot of the other kids were also old for their grade.

post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSLaura View Post

This is exactly what I'm having issues with. Although her teachers agree she is advanced, and could benefit from grade material several levels up, they don't really seem to see it as a priority. DD completes all of her work easily, and doesn't present any behavioral problems. I had one teacher/friend at the school (teaching another grade) advise me not to push the issue, because the teachers needed to focus their attention on the struggling students. greensad.gif It made me feel like a bad parent for even suggesting that my kid might need more than what she was getting. On the other hand, I feel like my DD shouldn't be pushed aside or neglected so that teachers can focus on struggling students.

I agree with grumpybear. 

Your daughter, KSLaura, has different needs from non-gifted children and she deserves to have her needs met as much as any teacher. I'm pretty sure people in this thread have already discussed the very real risk of not giving gifted children what they need.

 

I find the "not struggling" excuse to be disgusting. We should not be waiting until our children are "struggling" to give them the help they need when we know they need it! When I was in college, my depression got so bad that I could barely drag myself out of bed and nearly missed my final- but I was able to get all A's despite missing half of my classes, so all I got was "You don't look depressed" and people assuming I was "fine". As a result, the "well they aren't "struggling"... leave it alone" gets under my skin.

 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Do not feel like a bad parent for fighting for your child! Would your teacher/friend rather you wait and find out that she's the kind who gets bored, stops caring, and ends up failing classes? Maybe your daughter will be one of the ones who is able to handle it, you're certainly doing well in helping her to even if the school doesn't get better, but you shouldn't have to take that risk.

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