Originally Posted by MJB
I haven't been on mothering in ages but I am having some trouble with my gifted son. He is 7 and in third grade.
Until this year he was in private school where he was not especially challenged, but they did differentiate for him and the head of school was well informed about gifted issues. Anyway, this year we decided to try public school for financial and other reasons, and long story short, he hates it. We applied to transfer to Montessori and it was denied by the district. The work he is doing is easier than what he was doing in first grade at his old school. He talks about how mean his teacher is and how much he hates school all the time. They just got their cogat scores back and he got a 26, so hopefully they will have to do something now even though the advanced program doesn't officially start until fourth grade.
He has tested into the John Hopkins gifted program so one option we are considering is homeschooling and using that for some of our curriculum and maybe paying for science at a local private school that accommodates homeschoolers. Another option is trying to transfer somewhere else but honestly other than Montessori I'm not sure public school is set up for kids like him. I would be in favor of another grade skip but my husband is not. If we do homeschool the burden would be mostly on my husband, because I work out of the home gym time and he can work from home most of the time.
Private school is not really an option right now. Any advice from btdt parents?
I would check a few things.
1. Is his teacher 'mean' or just not warm & fuzzy? We had to go over the differences with my DDs….they had adored a 'fun' & fantastic 2nd grade teacher (reminded me of Mrs.Frizzle from Magic School bus) and now have a firmer, but still great teacher. She is sterner- but not mean.
2. Have you touched base with any other school support? I know our school has a great school social worker that works with kid and school- helps them w/ perception and does some light CBT. He works with any child that is feeling negative toward school to help try to solve/brainstorm ideas and/or or works with the classroom teachers to help any situation that may affect a students ability to learn.
3. Have you contacted a GT coordinator? Currently, we are in an area that does NOT have programming. But previously, we were in an area that 'identified' kids in late 1st but as PreK kiddos-- we were contacted and talked with the GT coordinator to help with differentiation for K. (we ended up moving and not attending that school-- but that is a whole different story!)
4. Have you talked to the teacher? I know at conferences, I spoke with my DDs teachers and the next week they had differentiated spelling and math enrichment. (Reading/ Writing is automatically differentiated for ALL students). Maybe subject acceleration or independent supported work. I LOVE that our reading is individualized books with everyone working on similar 'goals' with their own novels ( characterization, plot, imagery, symbolism, etc). It is fantastic and the kids in similar reading levels work in small groups to share ideas. They use math exemplars http://www.exemplars.com/education-materials/math-k-12 for math activities for a small group of kids instead of traditional 'review' that grade level work is doing. Same with spelling: standard 3rd grade words were corn, begin, enjoy, etc. Now a small group of kids have had words like : circumnavigate, ornament, originate, seriously, royalty, etc. All I had to do was discuss it with the teacher-- not only do my DDs benefit, but both spelling & math also have 2-3 other kids in their group.
5. Ask to do the IAS. It is a great tool for skipping. My DDs are only a few months older than your DS (they just turned 8 and are in 3rd)- they went from PreK to 1st successfully- but I would not skip them. We already have some social issues because of it at times. Their school has 3rd graders has 7.75 to 9 year olds when the year started.
6. I am not sure what a 26 on COGAT is. Most scores I have seen are presented in paper work similar to http://www2.rps205.com/Parents/Academics/Learning/Gifted/Documents/CogAT%20Information.pdf But I would use it to advocate for your DS.
7. Do you have a strong Homeschool program? If you do, that may be a good option. Our area has strong support and parents rotate monitoring kids during school time once a week for large multi-age group projects and they meet at a central location 2x a week for 'science' or math instruction from local teachers. It is a great group from what I have heard. Also our homeschool kids have a Lego Mindstorm group, a chess club, etc.
8. Would a transfer to another Elem. public school work? I know in our district, our school is known for being supportive to GT/advanced kids and many kids open choice there from other Elem schools. There is nothing formal, but the principal is supportive and encourages her teachers to differentiate and also they do a lot of work with other grades for multi-age programs. Lots of extra activities as well (Chess, Eco-Club, Lego, Yoga, etc).
Hope you can work out something for your DS!!