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Gifted starting kindergarten early..? - Page 4

post #61 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silliest
Here's a fairly infomative link that might clear up the difference between OLSAT scores and IQ scores(among other things):

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

The short version is that OLSAT is not IQ, and for gifted kids there can even be a negative correlation between the two. (ie, the *lower* the OLSAT, the higher the IQ)
Thanks, that was interesting and actually cleared up something for me. In our district for round one of gifted testing they have kids take the ITBS for the year ahead of them. I wondered why they did that, but according to that site it all makes sense--- it gives a much more normal distribution for the kids who would all score over the 90% on their own grade test. DD still was 95-99% on all subsets, but I know they allowed kids with scores down into the 80s to take the second test.
post #62 of 93
Hi, there. I am reading this whole thread with intense interest because I have gifted toddlers and am researching the school issue. So far I am on the same page as Charles Baudelaire in my thinking. I am considering trying to get the Waldorf school to advance the children a few grades in order to have their emotional and intellectual needs met in a school, but I might have to homeschool a bit first or forever, whatever ends up having to be. We can afford to private tutor forever, so that is where we will go if we need to, but then we won't have a retirement plan, but I figure the babies will have to support me in my old age, hahaha.
I am intellectually and artistically gifted. I was placed in K at 4 and did well there but really should have been skipped again several times later to keep up with my learning but my mother didn't feel it was appropriate for a young girl to be in classes with older teenagers when the school kept telling her their suggestion of skipping me. WRONG. My mother is artistically but not intellectually gifted, at a very early age (around 5 yo) I would balance her checkbook and do her spelling for her, etc... (all 3 of her children were gifted, presumably from my unbelievably smart father). I hung out with teenagers 2 to 3 years older than me anyways in Jr. HS and I developed a bad habit of laziness and not studying because I didn't ever have to. I do not want this to happen to my children. I want them appropriately challenged so that they do not think everything in life should be easy. Life isn't always easy and when things are hard I want them to be able to put their nose to the grindstone and work their smart little butts thru whatever the problem is.
My dh is extremely genius gifted, too frigging smart to be human really, he just doesn't get the human race, has real emotional issues even now and I am going to avoid those problems if it kills me for our own babies. I am smart enough to take care of my smart babies! My twins are 25mos old yesterday, dd is genius intellectual smart. My ds is mechanical artistic intellectual smart. I hired a kindergarten teacher to come here every afternoon all summer long and teach them whatever she is able to for 4 hours, including movement and swimming and zoology (just got back from the Tiger Mountain in Bronx Zoo) and spaghetti letters and rice painting (very cool, you pour a huge bucket of rice and paint with your fingers in it, like sand but a different sensory feeling). She is unable to keep up with their learning abilities and they amaze her and she annoyed them at first from her attitude but now she is adjusting to their giftedness from my coaching her and I feel that the school district should be paying me for her tutoring! She just isn't gifted and can't think outside the box even with 2 year olds but she is learning how to and that's cool. She does say she keeps forgetting that they are 2 but then they act like toddlers, which for me is a no brainer, of course they act like toddlers, they ARE toddlers. But they don't act like other people's toddlers. They are much more intense and demanding and energetic and a ton of other things that I won't bore you with. (too late, huh?)
So here is my point, I do not want to sound critical here, but I probably will. Anyone who thinks you have to *push kids into their heads with academics* doesn't understand an intellectually gifted child and should just let someone else who understands their needs better deal with them because it is truly harmful that *normal children stats applied to gifted children* mentality. My dd counts 1 to 20 on her own all day long since 23 months, she counts pea pods, raspberries, teddy bears, things in my Costco cart, whatever. She does math in her head, 4 apples-1 taken away=3 apples. This is normal in our house, it's not pushing something into her head. Duh, if it had to be pushed into her head then she wouldn't be *GIFTED* and I doubt it would go in at this age. She knows her alphabet and many many words to go with the letters and their sounds. She does puzzles and reads for fun. This is not something pushed on her and I will not allow some uninformed teacher to decide that she *shouldn't be* interested in this stuff. She IS and she is going to get whatever she needs to be happy learning. My ds is her twin, he has different intellectual talents and is extremely gifted artistically. No one pushed him into understanding that clouds look like things such as teddy bears and whales. He just *gets it* as he gets how to use our Makita drill and other assorted tools I just gave up the *it's not safe* mama fears and let him use a couple of months ago. It is giftedness and his gifts WILL BE celebrated in our house and in his schooling, come hell or high water. I am smarter than these teachers. My dh is WAY smarter than the entire Board of Ed put together. No one is telling me we shouldn't be teaching them how to play tennis (my dd begs all morning "tennis mommie") I thought it was too structured for babies so I avoided teaching them the racket part and we would just run around our court with the balls, but they are 25 months old, see their father playing and they wanted to do it. He teaches them each weekend how to play and they LOVE it. I take them out every day it's not raining.

You can't decide for your kids what they will and will not be interested in. You have to let them be SMART if THEY ARE SMART. Otherwise you are telling them that being intellectually gifted is *not being a good child* and they very quickly dumb themselves down to the level their parents think they should be operating at.
post #63 of 93
I haven't read this whole thread, so I apologize in advance if anything I say is redundant. I was a gifted child -- learned to read at age two, and was tested at age four to get into private school K. They decided to place me in grade 1 instead of K. I later went on to skip 12th grade as well and finished high school at 16.

My advice is NOT to start your child early. It was nothing but headache for me as a child. Children are very age-focused in schools. Kids would say, "I don't want to play with you -- you're only five." I wasn't particularly shy, but it was hard to deal with. I think it caused unnecessary emotional pain.

Have you considered a Montessori-type program where the children are not grouped in such regimented age classes? Your child will be gifted and successful no matter when he starts school. I am sure you will have to do a lot of supplementing at home regardless of when he begins anyway, so you might as well put him at an advantage by keeping him out of public kindergarten until he's five.
post #64 of 93
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post #65 of 93
Another vote for Montessori!

The beauty of Montessori is that children are never compared to each other, it's a cooperative envirionment, there is academic, hands-on, and social works to choose from, children are allowed and encouraged to work to their own potential - no matter how high or low - and encouraged to help each other rather than get too far into their heads and be stuck-up about their gifts (whatever they may be). I really don't want to have a child who goes around bragging about how they're smarter than other children or comparing themselves (not allowed at this school)...rather than reaching out with empathy and compassion and also being able to recieve empathy and compassion. I am not into comparing my kid vs. your kid - the kids do pick up on that - and that attitude is soooo not helpful in life. My parents were like that, and it really did diddly-squat for us in the long run other than being constantly worried about measuring up and comparing ourselves. Kids aren't a laundry list of accomplishments. I'm more proud of the compassion she shows to a toddler with a skinned knee than the books she's read.

Being smart and being challenged are important, but so is being a person who can have a conversation with the garbage man, knows how to help friends, visits with peers across the age spectrum. I think Montessori helps to accomplish this, in so many ways.

I used to be worried about "being bored" too (last year) but since then have really mellowed. I think she will find her way, as long as I see that she's challenged and active at school, and not hating it or getting into lots of trouble, then I'm not going to worry or hothouse her. I think there's a lot you can do at home with your son that follows his lead and interests, if you decide to just chill at home. The other beauty of Montessori - no homework! Lots of time for hobbies or personal interests!
post #66 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoyGirlTwinsAPMama
Anyone who thinks you have to *push kids into their heads with academics* doesn't understand an intellectually gifted child
EXACTLY. Thank you for voicing this.

When my son was a toddler, after a long day of "What's this word? How do I do this? More letters [to trace], Mommy. Where's my workbook? Which state is that? I want duplo math. Let's read this again." with no breaks, I sometimes would just want to sit and cry after he finally went to bed. Not because I was sad, but because his insatiable need to learn was that overwhelming and exhausting.

If you have never felt that way, then you will probably never understand how holding back a gifted child can irreparably harm him or her. Imagine asking to eat when you're hungry and being fed only in controlled doses barely large enough to keep you alive. That is what a gifted child feels like when he is not allowed to learn at his own pace. He feels starved.
post #67 of 93
It sounds like some of the parents had some truly awful experiences with GT education themselves, so I am counting myself lucky that my experience was nothing like that. The pervasive theme that I am seeing there is competition. I can certainly see how a child who is told that s/he is better/smarter than others would wind up with some issues and would project those issues onto those who have been deemed his/her peers.

We have the issue of competitiveness popping up regularly amongst parents at dd's school even among those children who have not been identified as GT. I have never told dd that I believe her to be smarter than anyone else nor even mentioned to her that what she is reading is not perfectly normal for children of her age/grade. I see the problems as lying more with the teaching methods and competitive parents who are trying to prove something good about themselves through their children's academic abilities.

In regard to the teaching, splitting children into color coded groups (as dd's first grade teacher did) made it pretty obvious that the green group was doing "better" than the red group when green and red were also color designations for behavior (red being bad and green good).

In re to parents, I am so very bothered by the parents who tell their children that they are "reading at a x grade level" and similar things. These kids go around comparing their 'level' to everyone else's level b/c they have been set up that way by their parents.

In regard to my daughter, if I could find her emotional peers who were not intellectual peers, I would be very satisfied with that. I have been led to believe that other gifted children would be more likely to share her concerns with environmental stewardship, the meaning of life, etc. I was a lot like her as a child and I am the only other (formerly) gifted child with whom I have any basis for comparison. I think that she and I would have gotten along quite well if we were both age-peers. In the mean time, she prefers to hang out with me and teens-young adults.

There are some age-peers with whom she can be herself and not come home upset, but I would love her to have that one true best friend who totally gets her and whose parent is not trying to compare the girls and put my child down to elevate hers. My hope has been to find that with another bright child, but we haven't gotten there yet. On the other hand, it may just be girls. They can really be cliquish and catty even at six and seven. I just don't see my dd being that way and have generally attributed her differing level of emotional maturity (having skipped that manipulative, catty stage) as being part of her giftedness, however it may just be part of her personality.
post #68 of 93
Quote:
My dd counts 1 to 20 on her own all day long since 23 months, she counts pea pods, raspberries, teddy bears, things in my Costco cart, whatever. She does math in her head, 4 apples-1 taken away=3 apples. This is normal in our house, it's not pushing something into her head. Duh, if it had to be pushed into her head then she wouldn't be *GIFTED* and I doubt it would go in at this age.
You have totally misunderstood the point of my message. Yes, there *are* gifted children, and they *are* "born that way". The point is, if they are forced (and yes, in most regular kindergartens/elementary schools, they are *forced*) to do hours of structured academics every day for months on end, you ARE pushing them into their heads. They can't say, wow, this is boring, let's try x,y and z now. Or hey, I'm in the mood to go play and run around outside now, let's go! Their gifts will not leave them. Their gifts are wonderful, and not a curse, and their interests should be honored and pursued. But parents need to understand - as well as the kids - that the rest of the mind and body and spirit need to be cultivated, too, or it leads to all sorts of things ranging from health problems to emotional issues. You need to be healthy and balanced... obviously, they don't need to worry too much about their kids being academically intelligent.... so work on what they may NOT have or what they may actually NEED to cultivate more.

I was considered gifted in elementary school... I already knew everything they were teaching me and I was chronically bored as hell ... I just stopped paying attention because I got so frustrated at the pace the other children were learning at. By the fifth grade I had totally stopped paying attention, and when new concepts were taught I had zero study habits or practice and zero attention span (never had to pay attention up to that point!). Kids get lost in the public ed. system because it's designed to cater to the masses, and the dumbing down of America is getting worse and worse. Even though I excelled at all sorts of things, from gym to acting to writing, I was never recognized or encouraged to take it farther. That's what happens, unfortunately, to a lot of kids nowadays. There are so many kids, so much stuff to "learn", so much paper work for the teachers to do that individual attention is pretty much nonexistent.

I adhere to the philosophy that kids... ESPECIALLY gifted kids... need to develop a love for learning and expanding their minds, and instead what we get is an entire country basing curriculum on how much kids can memorize and how well they can test. That spells doom to gifted kids, especially. They look for other avenues of growth and expansion because academics isn't doing it for them. That's why I ended up so into metaphysics, hallucinogens, travelling, etc. in high school. I had an insatiable appetite to experience learning and growth as an evolving human being... and the memorization of stupid crap that I could care less about did absolutely nothing for me.
post #69 of 93
Ooo... Candiland, you don't live anywhere near me, do you :LOL ? I like how you think ! I had basically that same conversation w/ dd's teacher last year when she was telling us that dd was so bright that she had to be pushed to reach her full potential (even if that involved missed recesses and boxes of flash cards to memorize ). She told me quite sarcastically that I had been clear that the social aspect of school was 'all' I cared about.

I wish that we could do better than public education for our girls. I did homeschool for a while, but since we really do need me to work if we aspire to eat on a regular basis, I haven't been able to do that permanently. I am at least fortunate that my work is very part-time & I can still be a giant nuisance to the school system by advocating for dds a whole lot more than they are apparently comfortable with (yes-man sycophants seem to be more their style).
post #70 of 93
Thread Starter 
at a very early age (around 5 yo) I would balance her checkbook
=lol we had take your child to work day, my parents were teachers....I wanted something interesting so my friend took me to her parents auto dealership - I did taxes all day long....not really thinking about it, they gave me a job I was good with numbers/math....

My dh is extremely genius gifted, too frigging smart to be human really, he just doesn't get the human race, has real emotional issues even now and I am going to avoid those problems if it kills me for our own babies.
=lol I understand, my dh is great, genius gifted says he knows 50 languages (computers) but english and emmotions aren't two of them

Anyone who thinks you have to *push kids into their heads with academics* doesn't understand an intellectually gifted child and should just let someone else who understands their needs better deal with them because it is truly harmful that *normal children stats applied to gifted children* mentality.
=True enough, that even a gifted child in the right age academically is not really served completely as the brain is just go go go And the box doesn't apply...



Being smart and being challenged are important, but so is being a person who can have a conversation with the garbage man, knows how to help friends, visits with peers across the age spectrum.
=Amen focusing on same intelligent peers or only your social, cultural economic group....doesn't help kids long term, if they are going to be leaders they have to understand employees, workers, people in general.



I can certainly see how a child who is told that s/he is better/smarter than others would wind up with some issues and would project those issues onto those who have been deemed his/her peers.
=I am not sure if its just that, there is a lot of angst with gifted kids regardless of programme meeting their needs. Competition I think is healthy but I think really gifted kids know who they are, they don't want to prove it they just want to move on.

We have the issue of competitiveness popping up regularly amongst parents at dd's school even among those children who have not been identified as GT. I have never told dd that I believe her to be smarter than anyone else nor even mentioned to her that what she is reading is not perfectly normal for children of her age/grade.
=Yes it is interesting though, I think of smart and intellectual as a little different. There are many smart high achieving kids that may appear to do better, and I feel for parents who think their kid is 'smarter' than the gifted kids. Partly because you should accept your child for who they really are, and if you place your identity in your kids achievments it sets a very bad tone for the child. A child should be able to take credit for their own accomplishments not try to make a parent happy.... Or normalcy, she is normal for her.

By using 'smarter' I think that it sets some gifted kids up for failure as they expect things to come easier, and we aren't all accross the board gifted. There are academics - my mom is an academic she is very smart, exceedingly smart, started school early, went to uni at 16 graduated pure math and physics by 19.. But she is not an intellectual, not an abstract thinker. She's a concrete thinker, and gifted academically and very advanced. Whereas my dad is a total intellectual, but not achievment academically motivated, but completely cerebral.

Yes, there *are* gifted children, and they *are* "born that way".
=Totally my sons' brain and the way he looked at life was just different from birth compared to my dd. Mind you her dad is artistic and she could watch a dance routine and duplicate it - whereas I still polka saying in my head one two three...and then my dh will tell me I am leading


By the fifth grade I had totally stopped paying attention,
=lol me too, which lead my teacher to ask if I was gifted or gifted with laziness.....I did the work but really why expect more out of me than the rest of the kids....If the other kid would get an A so should I for the same thing....
All this crap about meeting potential....sigh....

and when new concepts were taught I had zero study habits or practice and zero attention span
=lol I had my study skills measured once - pathetic.


I adhere to the philosophy that kids... ESPECIALLY gifted kids... need to develop a love for learning and expanding their minds, and instead what we get is an entire country basing curriculum on how much kids can memorize and how well they can test.
=Amen and when you measure a kid on regurgitation (which is most of public school) you miss the gifted, and a whole lot of other kids.


I think we have to tell gifted kids the truth about life. Studies say what is it a third don't finish highschool? Most go on not to be 'leaders', presidents of companies but to follow their own paths. That being 'gifted' is not enough in life you have to have other skills as well. That people might be threatened by you......

But what is the ideal life for a gifted child? I mean really how is my child best served? If he is ready to start kindergarten but the rigid school system might stifle him - should I be looking for alternatives, homeschooling, half public school days? Hmm what would I have been happiest with?

Actually probably the captian of the loveboat's daughter, every day a different country, port, people, languages, food.....

What are my obligations to my child to find a lifestyle that he can thrive in?
And how do you justify something drastic like homeschooling one child when public school was fine for the other?
post #71 of 93
[QUOTE=candiland]The point is, if they are forced (and yes, in most regular kindergartens/elementary schools, they are *forced*) to do hours of structured academics every day for months on end, you ARE pushing them into their heads. They can't say, wow, this is boring, let's try x,y and z now. Or hey, I'm in the mood to go play and run around outside now, let's go! - that the rest of the mind and body and spirit need to be cultivated, too, or it leads to all sorts of things ranging from health problems to emotional issues. Y
= This is good clarification of your original intent, that you see that the schools are doing this, that memorization is NOT intellectual stimulation or the learning that children need, as you point out so correctly, the 2 do not equate.

.... so work on what they may NOT have or what they may actually NEED to cultivate more.
=Hmmm... I am wondering out loud if perhaps you are succumbing to the normal gifted person's perfectionism? LOL. Are we supposed to be telling them by our actions that their innate abilities towards the academic are not enough and that they need to be able to hit home runs too? (I believe in well-rounded education, I am playing devil's advocate here.)

Even though I excelled at all sorts of things, from gym to acting to writing, I was never recognized or encouraged to take it farther. That's what happens, unfortunately, to a lot of kids nowadays. There are so many kids, so much stuff to "learn", so much paper work for the teachers to do that individual attention is pretty much nonexistent.
= I went to public school and excelled at many things too. I WAS encouraged to pursue everything, it was confusing which to choose since there wasn't enough time to do it all exceptionally. Someone else said it already, it boils down to your own personal schooling experience as to your bias. But I am concerned that I hear this from a lot of parents now. I hear that schools are inundated with paperwork and testing and there is not time to benefit the individuals that are at the edges of the bell curve.

But the real question then is, what do we do about it? What are the choices? I heard that Montessori was HORRIBLE because it stifles creativity. I was told by a bright educator that is not in the public school system that Montessori schools show a child a) how to take a toy off of the shelf, b) how to play with it, then c) how to put it away *properly*. This statement, just typing it!!!, makes me cringe. Is this what you have found with YOUR Montessori experiences? Please tell! I didn't even research Montessori after being told that!

And what about the Waldorf method? Has anyone had experience with it for your gifted child? I spoke to someone on the phone (doesn't mean it wasn't a janitor, it's summer after all). He said that each age group is placed together and if someone in the class is smart they are used to help the children who aren't learning quick enough. OMG! That scared the pants off of me. I don't want my kids being *peer teachers* which is what I did for many a year. I actually liked doing it at the time, but I wasn't being challenged intellectually. Now that I think about it, maybe it helped my leadership skills, and that's important too. Anyways, my dh said he was used in his early education to be a tutor for other kids, younger and older. He happens to be an amazing *teacher*. He is not an educator in his line of profession, but we keep talking about him becoming a teacher in his retirement because of his skill with kids and how he can explain a complex subject so simply. It really is a talent and he has it.

Any comment from anyone about this tutoring/peer teaching as a positive/negative thing for children's education? Is it robbing them or benefiting them (the gifted kids doing it)? I remember the homeschooling issue in Mothering Mag awhile back and how they extolled the virtues of the one room classroom, but I am wondering if the gifted child is getting shortchanged in that situation? I am leaning towards yes as an answer. Any other opinions?

I went to school in the late 60's/70's. I was in lots of different school districts because we moved every year. I had schools where 4-6th graders had open classroom and moved from class to class for math/english/science/social studies. Each math class was splintered up to 4 different ability levels, also reading was the same way. This WORKED, it was fun, it was challenging (although really I needed to be skipped ahead more than I already was). It allowed children to have lots of friends and lots of time to interact with their friends. What happened? Why didn't that stay part of the school system? I excelled and I don't know anyone who didn't excel. My best friend was remedial, we had totally different classes, but we got to hang out for lunch and recess and see each other during class switches at our lockers to trade notes. My boyfriend was sort of normal intellectually, but a total jock and cool kid. We all got along, no one had big problems. Is it just because it was the 60's and early 70's and educators were thinking outside the box? How do I duplicate that wonderful experience that I had?

And BTW, my mother was mentally/emotionally abusive and would beat the living crap out of us with hammers (that was for my older sister, who would push the envelope on back talk) for *talking back to her* when all we were doing was correcting her mistatements and obvious inconsistencies and abuse of power. She had the bad luck of giving birth to 3 gifted kids when she is mentally stifled (to put it nicely). I always think "could I be the way my mother was to my own children?" and the answer is always "yes, if I don't exercise self-control". I don't think cruelty is part of being gifted. I think it is a factor of laziness and evilness (as in, lack of cultivating goodness in oneself). It is easy to be cruel to the weak and hard to be kind and hard to not zing a person when you know how to. IMO it is a moral issue, not a gifted issue. What do I do with my gifts? Do I exercise self-control in my life? These are questions for all persons. If parents aren't teaching these things to their children and the gifted programs of the school system is propagating Hitler's Aryan Race ideas for the intellectually gifted students, well those poor kids will have a heck of a time developing into moral, happy adults.
post #72 of 93
Quote:
And what about the Waldorf method? Has anyone had experience with it for your gifted child? I spoke to someone on the phone (doesn't mean it wasn't a janitor, it's summer after all). He said that each age group is placed together and if someone in the class is smart they are used to help the children who aren't learning quick enough.
We looked into Waldorf a bit b/c one of our dd's was going to miss the ps kg cut-off by 2 weeks, but then they just changed it, so she will now be able to start, albeit as the youngest. I was quite certain that she was ready for kg and didn't want an arbitrary deadline that she only missed by a few days to be the deciding factor.

Anyway, I checked w/ our local Waldorf b/c the private schools around here tend to be more flexible on their dates. The big concern that I had (other than cost & location) was the late focus on reading. I love that they focus so much on letting children be children (there seems to be a big concern for the "magic of childhood" in Waldorf).

However, I wasn't sure that it had enough balance with the areas of academics where my children already had an interest --reading in particular. They told me that dds would be able to start Waldorf kg right at 5, but they would have to spend two years in kg, b/c they missed the cut-off for first grade (their bds are in August & Sept & they wanted them to be 6 by something like June 1 for first grade). They also did not start teaching reading at all until second grade -- not even basic letter recognition. For my girls, that amounted to not starting any reading at all until almost age 8. Given that both of them picked up reading on their own (with some phonics basics from 2 days/week of preschool) at around 4, I wasn't sure that would be a good fit for them. They seemed to actively discourage reading at the preschool/kindergarten level and to redirect children to other less academic activities.

While I can certainly appreciate the value of not pushing children who are not ready to read or do other academics into those things, I don't want them to be discouraged from exploring an activity in which they have show self-directed interest.
post #73 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoyGirlTwinsAPMama
And what about the Waldorf method? Has anyone had experience with it for your gifted child? I spoke to someone on the phone (doesn't mean it wasn't a janitor, it's summer after all). He said that each age group is placed together and if someone in the class is smart they are used to help the children who aren't learning quick enough.
Waldorf is stratified by age. Period. I'm not aware of any Waldorf school that will even entertain the idea of early admission. Strict Waldorf environments even strongly discourage exposing the child to print before they start the first grade. Despite this, I was interested in Waldorf preschool precisely because it was not academic (DD1 already knew everything she could possibly be taught in preschool anyway). I was excoriated by a local Waldorf preschool administrator because my (then 2yo) DD could read. Although we opted to homeschool preschool, I did find another Waldorf preschool (Shining Star) that was much more welcoming and tolerant.

There's always Waldorf homeschool. However, despite its artsy reputation, Waldorf education is highly structured. IMO, a better choice of structured curriculum for a gifted child would be a more traditional classical curriculum (in our case secular) with an eye to choosing materials at the child's level. The more artsy Waldorf elements could easily be integrated.


Quote:
Any comment from anyone about this tutoring/peer teaching as a positive/negative thing for children's education? Is it robbing them or benefiting them (the gifted kids doing it)? I remember the homeschooling issue in Mothering Mag awhile back and how they extolled the virtues of the one room classroom, but I am wondering if the gifted child is getting shortchanged in that situation? I am leaning towards yes as an answer. Any other opinions?
I think we all benefit from a little of this. However, there's a big difference between a one room classroom in which children are expected to be at least occasionally working at their own level and a strictly age stratified one in which children are held back once they have reached the limits of the curriculum, with no exceptions. Genius Denied (cited earlier in this thread) makes it clear that the more gifted a child is, the more the latter scenario is damaging the the child.
post #74 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoyGirlTwinsAPMama
But the real question then is, what do we do about it? What are the choices? I heard that Montessori was HORRIBLE because it stifles creativity. I was told by a bright educator that is not in the public school system that Montessori schools show a child a) how to take a toy off of the shelf, b) how to play with it, then c) how to put it away *properly*. This statement, just typing it!!!, makes me cringe. Is this what you have found with YOUR Montessori experiences? Please tell! I didn't even research Montessori after being told that!
Well... a lot of educators have some very interesting ideas about Montessori that based on too little observation and too much innuendo. I'm not sure how filling out a worksheet with the "right" answers encourages creativity, nor sitting in rows being quiet, nor being told what to do every minute of the day, including when and if you can use the restroom, or if you may or may not pursue what interests one most (i.e. no fractions til grade X!). They're not called toys, and it's not considered "playing," either, so your friend may not have spent much time in a classroom or talking with children and teachers about the pedagogy. A lot of my educator friends seem to have the same ideas, based on their curriculum in graduate school, not on actual indepth experience.

This afternoon, my Montessori-only daughter has spent the afternoon making elaborate paper puppets with q-tips (q-tips for some reason being the craft object of choice for the past several months- a few weeks ago, she made a q-tip pirate ship). Trolls, angels, fairies, unidonkeys (her own creation), unicorns, etc. I am not really sure where the suppression of creativity argument comes from, other than you are supposed to use the materials in the way they were intended (and there is a wide range of acceptable uses), but it's not like they become little boring drones. A main component of the 3-6 Montessori writing continuum is to learn to write and illustrate your own stories...many schools have drama, all schools have art materials for open-ended work. I also like the discipline technique - no gold stars, no comparing, and observational discipline with natural consequences. There isn't a dramatic play corner or etc at school, but I figure she gets enough of that at home.

There are a few things that annoy me about some Montessori - cursive writing being one of them - but compared to a regular school (I attended both, and homeschooled as well), for us Montessori works. My daughter is free to explore both academic and hands-on works to as high as a level as she wishes, or take it easy for the day with sewing or art "work."

http://www.mothering.com/articles/gr...ontessori.html
post #75 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoyGirlTwinsAPMama
Any comment from anyone about this tutoring/peer teaching as a positive/negative thing for children's education? Is it robbing them or benefiting them (the gifted kids doing it)? I remember the homeschooling issue in Mothering Mag awhile back and how they extolled the virtues of the one room classroom, but I am wondering if the gifted child is getting shortchanged in that situation? I am leaning towards yes as an answer. Any other opinions?
I guess that depends on what you mean by "shortchanged," as I consider the social and leadership qualities to be on par with intellectual qualitities. During part of my daughter's day, she might be helping younger children to learn letters and sounds or reading to them; and then later in the day graphing parts of speech. When a child can't read a word on his work, the teacher will remind them to ask another child, so that peer assistance can occur. It's about a good teacher helping the individual child to gain the challenges where needed while also encouraging them to share their "gifts" with others. Being held to a lowest-common-denominator standard would probably be very frustrating though, I agree - i.e. do not pass GO until everyone else is at the same place as you, you gotta help them get there, even if there are insurmountable obstacles to doing so. That's not respectful of the individual child, in my opinion. This is what it was like in my public schools (which were small, rural and two-grade, one teacher), and it was frustrating.
post #76 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoyGirlTwinsAPMama
the gifted programs of the school system is propagating Hitler's Aryan Race ideas for the intellectually gifted students, well those poor kids will have a heck of a time developing into moral, happy adults.
And what gifted program would THAT be? Mind being specific? From what I've heard and read and seen, gifted kids are treated like crap. Not like some privileged race of übermenschen. They are certainly not given half the accomodation and respect that developmentally delayed children are rightfully given; in fact, they are largely left on their own to sink or swim. I find your comment confusing.
post #77 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
And what gifted program would THAT be? Mind being specific? From what I've heard and read and seen, gifted kids are treated like crap. Not like some privileged race of übermenschen. They are certainly not given half the accomodation and respect that developmentally delayed children are rightfully given; in fact, they are largely left on their own to sink or swim. I find your comment confusing.
Yeah, the gifted program in public schools, where I am, is certainly less than impressive at best and abusive at worst. Lotsa, lotsa worksheets and the one thing the state can brag about regarding testing - hey, they always test well! At grade level! The teachers don't work with children's individual needs at all, and none of the ones I met had actually any special training. I think some mainstreamed kids' parents have this impression though (i.e. gifted kids are treated better) - and some gifted kids' parents are actually pretty obnoxious with the competition and etc, which doesn't help.
post #78 of 93
This article might help clarify a whole lot about how gifted programs come to be as they are, and how education can affect gifted kids:

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

Here's a particularly revealing quote:
"A district, by having the majority of their [GT-IEP] plans approved year-in and year-out, is free to misinterpret an abundance of uninformed passive consent as a sign that their gifted education program effectively meets the needs of the students it is designed to serve."
post #79 of 93
Yikes! This upcoming school year will be our intro into the gifted program at dd's school (TAG starts in 2nd grade here), so I have no basis for an opinion at this point. I am just crossing my fingers and hoping that it is a positive experience for her. If this year does not go better than last, our girls will not be returning to the same school the following year.

We are giving some serious thought to moving a few blocks north to get into the district to the north of us that has better educational options. Either that, or applying for school of choice at another school or going with the charter school that will be opening in our district the year after this school year.
post #80 of 93
>>What are my obligations to my child to find a lifestyle that he can thrive in?
And how do you justify something drastic like homeschooling one child when public school was fine for the other?<<

I know *lots* of HSing families who only HS one child, while another goes to Public School, and another to Private school, and maybe another one is in a combination situation. The possibilities are limitless. Truly.

Ignore society, (which for these purposes include anyone but your child and relevant Other Parent) and try to forget what would've made you happy (re-parenting yourself is important, but a separate issue).

Just parent the kids you've got the best you know how and to hell with everything else. If Homeschooling is what they need, give it to them. If it's PS, go for it.

It's always possibly to go horribly wrong, but personally, I'd rather go horribly wrong *trying* to do the best thing I could conceive of doing no matter how insane it looks to others, than go wrong trying to "not make waves".
(of course, sometimes I do still make "waveless" decisions, but I hate it. And I try to avoid it when I can imagine a way of avoiding it.)
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