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The average child - Page 7

post #121 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by my3monkees
Goodness gracious!: I started this thread mainly too have a little fun, so many post lately have been directed to gifted children...What a shame that something started in good humor has turned into this!:
Ah, and therein lies the danger of the internet message board. The threads themselves are like runaway locomotives. I could start a thread on a fun games to play at the park and it would morph into a debate on unleashed dogs' danger to homeschooled vs. schooled children, and then into whether or not vegetarianism and animal rights are a grave danger to society in general, and homeschooled children specifically.
post #122 of 220
Dear flyingspaghettimama,
Your objection was to people segregating based on abilities. I'm wondering how that works for you. Is it okay to have sports where people of greater abilities and talents play together? Should the Olympics be allowed or be banned because everyone has athletic gifts afterall. Is it okay to have a Scrabble tournament where the very best Scrabble players enjoy playing together? Should there be tryouts allowed for an orchestra or should an orchestra be compelled to staff with whoever self defines their own gifts as being worthy? Should mathematicians be allowed to have a conference for mathematicians only or should every person who liked math in third grade be there so as not to self segregate?
post #123 of 220
Hmm...I'm a little afraid to chime in. My son was speaking full sentences at 18 months (philosophizing), oh and he snapped his fingers at 10 months, potty trained himself at 2. Sang entire songs (harry Belafonte)...boy did we think he was a genius. The more I read the more I realized that all of my chatter about how brilliant he was would be detrimental and I stopped. I stopped putting energy into having a genius child. He has since become much more average and IMO more balanced. I think his ideas and creativeness are brilliant. I just don't put a ton of importance on him being "gifted". Could he have been? Could he be? Who gives a bleep? Has anyone heard of Einstein (was considered very odd and didn't speak until I think 4). Why kids need to be identified as gifted, I just don't get. BUT, maybe I just don't have a gifted child so I don't know why that would be beneficial. I think it is really unhealthy for kids to identify themselves as gifted or learning-disabled. They are who they are. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, everyone has to do what works. I do wonder though, with homeschooling, why bother labeling? Why not meet the children where they are without judgement?

I went to a meeting for a new school that is opening locally. About 70% of the parents asked about the gifted program and how their children could get into it. Perhaps the attention and resources are better in school for "gifted" children but, It just seems like a very narrow scope by which to judge a child's potential, especially at a young age.

My kids are definitely average and brilliant...Gifted? Don't know, don't care.
post #124 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama

The human mind is so diverse in its abilities, I just don't think that one label appropriately captures much except what society deems important - namely an acuity for that which can be produced verbally or on paper - usually trivia, arithmetic, language.
Can you think of any reason why these abilities would be embraced as having value more than say ability to find your way across town or to memorize Digimon characters? If you are agree that there are people who have extreme talents in verbally or mathematically, is there a way that we are allowed to talk about that? I certainly agree these aren't the only important skills needed in society, but I would hope we all recognize it is one important set. Is there a way in your world that we are allowed to talk about that without invalidating someone's happiness that their child is particularly beautiful or coordinated or whatever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
I do think all children are special, and have special talents - it's whether or not the parents and society can also recognize the talents/interests/gifts as special and worthy of recognition.
Of course everyone here agrees that all children are special, important and deserve love. Can we at the same time acknowledge that some children and adults have exceptional abilities that are truly unusual and important. I know a child who is incredibly physically talented. That kid is just wired to move in a way that I've never seen in another child. Are his parents allowed to acknowledge that and get him opportunities to explore the limits of his physical abilities?
post #125 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
Can you think of any reason why these abilities would be embraced as having value more than say ability to find your way across town or to memorize Digimon characters? If you are agree that there are people who have extreme talents in verbally or mathematically, is there a way that we are allowed to talk about that? I certainly agree these aren't the only important skills needed in society, but I would hope we all recognize it is one important set. Is there a way in your world that we are allowed to talk about that without invalidating someone's happiness that their child is particularly beautiful or coordinated or whatever.

Of course everyone here agrees that all children are special, important and deserve love. Can we at the same time acknowledge that some children and adults have exceptional abilities that are truely unusual and important. I know a child who is incredibly physically talented. That kid is just wired to move in a way that I've never seen in another child. Are his parents allowed to acknowledge that and get him opportunities to explore the limits of his physical abilities?
Sure, I absolutely don't care if you talk about how gifted a child is within the defined scope, or unusual, or unique in their abilities or accomplishments. I'm not offended at all to hear about all the totally awesome things kids do, in all ways. But no, I won't every agree they're truly important, as in more important than another's gifts. And I'll be just as excited for the kid who loves the Dead White Men as for those who love Digimon. And I don't think it hurts anyone to say "all children are gifted." Just like I don't think there's one kind of "learning" that's more important than another. I don't doubt for a second that society does embrace certain skills more than others, but I also don't have to aid and abet the system or the entitlements that result.

All I'm saying is that children are unique and should be treated as individuals, and defining and segregating them according to a highly artificial standard (CoGAT, Weschler, Stanford-Binet) is questionable. The Olympics ain't free public education or homeschooling, not by a long shot. If we're assuming in the US that public education is on the same plane as the Olympics or playing in the Philharmonic, then I guess we've got more elitism going down than I ever previously thought possible.
post #126 of 220
I don't have a problem with the "All children are gifted" statement in theory. I absolutely agree that everyone, not just children, has his/her own unque gifts, talents, and abilities to offer the world. I really, truly do. I'm a big fan of Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences for that reason.

But the phrase "All children are gifted," *as I have seen it used*, is intended to convey one or more of the following:

"You sure think your kid is special, huh?"
"Honestly, I don't even believe your kid can do that anyway."
"We prefer to ignore your child's needs by saying that he/she does not exist."
"I think you are a pushy, annoying parent."
"Please stop talking about how your child is different. It makes me uncomfortable."
post #127 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijumom
Hmm...I'm a little afraid to chime in. My son was speaking full sentences at 18 months (philosophizing), oh and he snapped his fingers at 10 months, potty trained himself at 2. Sang entire songs (harry Belafonte)...boy did we think he was a genius. The more I read the more I realized that all of my chatter about how brilliant he was would be detrimental and I stopped. I stopped putting energy into having a genius child. He has since become much more average and IMO more balanced. I think his ideas and creativeness are brilliant.

I don't expect everyone to agree with me, everyone has to do what works. I do wonder though, with homeschooling, why bother labeling? Why not meet the children where they are without judgement?
I know. I think I actually thought the sentence, "she'll be so bored in Kindergarten, poor thing." And then I realized almost all the children were bored in Kindergarten because traditional schooling is uh, kinda lame. And then I saw little kids who memorized all their favorite dinosaurs. I saw little kids who could describe in detail their favorite construction equipment. All children deserve a rockin' education that interests them, whether in school or at home.

ITA with homeschooling and the utility of labelling...
post #128 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc
I don't have a problem with the "All children are gifted" statement in theory. I absolutely agree that everyone, not just children, has his/her own unque gifts, talents, and abilities to offer the world. I really, truly do. I'm a big fan of Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences for that reason.

But the phrase "All children are gifted," *as I have seen it used*, is intended to convey one or more of the following:

"You sure think your kid is special, huh?"
"Honestly, I don't even believe your kid can do that anyway."
"We prefer to ignore your child's needs by saying that he/she does not exist."
"I think you are a pushy, annoying parent."
"Please stop talking about how your child is different. It makes me uncomfortable."
Well, I'd agree that this is not cool. Are you sure that's what they meant? What would happen if you said, "totally!"* and smiled? When people have said that to me, I've usually pointed out how I agree, or talk about Gardner as well.

*without the valley girl accent, as I would?
post #129 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
Sure, I absolutely don't care if you talk about how gifted a child is within the defined scope, or unusual, or unique in their abilities or accomplishments. I'm not offended at all to hear about all the totally awesome things kids do, in all ways.
You didn't answer my question. What is the way we are allowed to talk about extreme or unusual intellectual gifts. Not just about accomplishments, but about abilities. What is it that a person is allowed to say about that if the word "gifted" is taboo or can only be used to say "all children are gifted". We are all pretty clear how to talk about people who are especially beautiful or coordinated, what is the way we can talk about intellectual ability?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
But no, I won't every agree they're truly important, as in more important than another's gifts. And I'll be just as excited for the kid who loves the Dead White Men as for those who love Digimon.
And, here we will disagree. If I have a brain aneurysm and I need surgery you can bet that to me the unusual gifts and abilities of the surgeon is of paramount importance. My daily life is more affected by Bill Gates than it is by the guy named Bill I went to high school who plays video games 5 hours a day and works at Blockbuster. Both Bills are people of value and deserve lives of dignity, but they don't make an equal contribution to this planet or to my life. You can feel free to consider the ability to get to the top level on a video game to be an equal accomplishment to composing a great song or saving a life but I don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
And I don't think it hurts anyone to say "all children are gifted."
Does it bother you when people say Tiger Woods is a gifted golfer. Or do you believe all golfers are gifted. The question remains how do we talk about intellectual differences or do we simply have to use language like "all children are gifted" in order to obscure the fact that some kids do have extreme abilities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
I also don't have to aid and abet the system or the entitlements that result.
LOL. Good luck when you need brain surgery. I can give you Bill's number down at the Blockbuster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
All I'm saying is that children are unique and should be treated as individuals, and defining and segregating them according to a highly artificial standard (CoGAT, Weschler, Stanford-Binet) is questionable. The Olympics ain't free public education or homeschooling, not by a long shot. If we're assuming in the US that public education is on the same plane as the Olympics or playing in the Philharmonic, then I guess we've got more elitism going down than I ever previously thought possible.
You may be interested in recent research that discovers differences in brain development among children who score differently on IQ tests. http://eideneurolearningblog.blogspo...f-high-iq.html

Before you were objecting to the idea of gifted children segregating. Is there equally a problem with other groups segregating. A friend's son is a gifted skateboarder. He seeks out opportunities to be with other skateboarders who classify themselves as competitive. Is this type of self segregation acceptable or should they be forced to skate with kids like my son who couldn't stay on the board for 2 seconds in a row if his life depended on it? If they are allowed to self segregate, I ask why it isn't equally okay for my child to segregate with kids who can talk about math or physics at the same level?
post #130 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
Should mathematicians be allowed to have a conference for mathematicians only or should every person who liked math in third grade be there so as not to self segregate?
Oh - I forgot to ask...Have you read Longitude by Dava Sobel? Just wondering...Therein lies the problem with self-segregation and the exclusion of those considered nonacademics...
post #131 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama

The Olympics ain't free public education or homeschooling, not by a long shot. If we're assuming in the US that public education is on the same plane as the Olympics or playing in the Philharmonic, then I guess we've got more elitism going down than I ever previously thought possible.
Okay, let's talk instead about the high school basketball team or the high school orchestra. They select and reward the most talented players. They segregate for particular kinds of training. Is this to be allowed in your book? And, if so why can't children who are intellectually gifted be allowed the same opportunities?
post #132 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
Oh - I forgot to ask...Have you read Longitude by Dava Sobel? Just wondering...Therein lies the problem with self-segregation and the exclusion of those considered nonacademics...
Harrison's contribution was exceptional then? Worthy of writing a book about? But, wait all children are gifted and no one talent or contribution is more important than another right? Is he somehow of more merit or more worthy of discussing because he solved a problem?
post #133 of 220
Roar, we are talking about little children in public school. How is a little child being tracked in public schools akin to Bill Gates (who dropped out of school, BTW) or a brain surgeon? How is a skateboarding interest group akin to public education.

No one's censoring you or other parents. I did answer your question - What I do is say, "my daughter really enjoys reading...she enjoys writing...she enjoys fractions and learning about the night sky...she's sensitive towards the concept death, so don't talk about the graveyards..." I don't use the label, I don't quantify (i.e. she's reading at X LEVEL! She's doing QUANTUM PHYSICS at College level!) just like I don't use labels in our discipline (i.e. she's bad, she's good, she's ambivalent)...I talk about behavior and interests. Because to use the label creates a gifted and not-gifted, a chasm between their child and mine. When a society chooses to institutionalize and publicly fund difference, it perpetuates and exaggerates the societal inequities that already exist.

And now the pirates are hungry, and the flying spaghetti monster says that It IS Time to Spendeth Thine Energy On Dinner. So I am off on me pirate ship, as the beer volcano calls. Whoo-hoo!
post #134 of 220
Quote:
What is the way we are allowed to talk about extreme or unusual intellectual gifts. Not just about accomplishments, but about abilities. What is it that a person is allowed to say about that if the word "gifted" is taboo or can only be used to say "all children are gifted". We are all pretty clear how to talk about people who are especially beautiful or coordinated, what is the way we can talk about intellectual ability?
Maybe I've missed something - has there been a discussion about how you can't talk about your child's intellectual abilities here? I'm not the person you are posing the question to, but my answer is to talk about them anyway you want to. I'm not sure I understand the problem. I don't think anyone said that the word gifted is taboo. Everyone has a different take on what the word means to them, but that doesn't mean you aren't allowed to use it.


And to my3monkees - I surely do apologize for ruining what I thought was an awesome thread. I certainly didn't mean to, but I think it was my misunderstood comment that got people going in the wrong direction. Maybe we can try again later?
post #135 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
Harrison's contribution was exceptional then? Worthy of writing a book about? But, wait all children are gifted and no one talent or contribution is more important than another right? Is he somehow of more merit or more worthy of discussing because he solved a problem?
You are so missing the point. Yes, his idea was important. But the fact is, he was marginalized and ignored by his then-society because he wasn't part of the In-Club. There are many books on many subjects of interest, covering many accomplishments.

What some want to hear here is: Some kids are MORE SPECIAL than others based on societal norms for intellect. Yay for them!

Ohhhh...I must drink so much beer to wash my mind out...
post #136 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
Roar, we are talking about little children in public school. How is a little child being tracked in public schools akin to Bill Gates (who dropped out of school, BTW) or a brain surgeon?
I wasn't aware the discussion here on the homeschooling board was limited to public school but if we want to talk about that for a moment we can. People who have talents deserve to be able to develop them. If we don't have a way of talking about those talents how will it be possible to deal with them. We can say "Joey is a gifted basketball player, he needs challenging opponents and lots of time on the court". But, at the same time you seem to objecting to saying "Patricia is a gifted mathematician and needs to be in a class with kids ready to study algebra".

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
How is a skateboarding interest group akin to public education.
The skateboarder is self segregating with other gifted skateboarders. His parents are acknowleding his needs special equipment, special training and extra support beyond what skateboarders his age of more typical ability get. Are you objecting to that self segregating like you are for gifted kids being self segregated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
I did answer your question - What I do is say, "my daughter really enjoys reading...she enjoys writing...she enjoys fractions and learning about the night sky...she's sensitive towards the concept death, so don't talk about the graveyards..." I don't use the label, I don't quantify (i.e. she's reading at X LEVEL! She's doing QUANTUM PHYSICS at College level!)
Let's take the skateboarding kid. His parents could say "he likes skateboarding". That is an honest statement and would certainly cover it for many situations. It doesn't though provide the information he may need for example to get a sponsor. Nor, does it provide the information he may need to connect with the other kid in town who has the depth of passion and ability he has for skating. In your book it may not matter if he makes that connection, but for him it may be a really wonderful and meaningful thing to find another kid who can talk about skateboarding at this level. And, "he likes skateboarding" doesn't really tell us anything about how deep and important htis interest to him.

So, my son likes math. That is an honest statement and certainly covers it for certain situations. It doesn't though really tell the whole story. People have a set of assumptions about what it means for a nine year old to like math and what a nine year old who likes math needs. If what the child needs is radically different from that based on ability there needs to be a language to discuss that. In order to connect with the people and resources this child needs there needs to be a way to discuss it and sometimes that means using specific words like calculus. Just as the skateboarder's parents can say he's a gifted skateboarder, I'm fine with honestly acknowleding our son is a gifted mathematician. We've been lucky to know reasonable people who understand it is possible to acknowledge unusual abilities without insulting others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
I talk about behavior and interests. Because to use the label creates a gifted and not-gifted, a chasm between their child and mine. When a society chooses to institutionalize and publicly fund difference, it perpetuates and exaggerates the societal inequities that already exist.
I reject the notion that all would be equal if we just use the words to pretend it is. Tiger Wood's parents could say "he is interested in golf" but that doesn't change the fundamental reality that his golf ability was something rare, unusual and worthy of special nurturing.

And, I take offense at the suggestion that if difference is acknowledged it will always be those already in power who will rule. That suggests that you think that poor people or minority people have lesser innate abilities so no matter how we acknowledge abilities they will come out on the bottom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
And now the pirates are hungry, and the flying spaghetti monster says that It IS Time to Spendeth Thine Energy On Dinner. So I am off on me pirate ship, as the beer volcano calls. Whoo-hoo!
I've been touched by his appendage and he found him quite GIFTED.
post #137 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
You are so missing the point. Yes, his idea was important. But the fact is, he was marginalized and ignored by his then-society because he wasn't part of the In-Club. There are many books on many subjects of interest, covering many accomplishments.
That is an argument for noticing, acknowleding and nurturing special talents...not for the opposite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
What some want to hear here is: Some kids are MORE SPECIAL than others based on societal norms for intellect. Yay for them!
Seriously, that is what you are taking away from this conversation? That's a very odd interpretation. What I want is for people to be able to speak honestly about children's abilities and what they need based on those abilities.
post #138 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
Seriously, that is what you are taking away from this conversation? That's a very odd interpretation. What I want is for people to be able to speak honestly about children's abilities and what they need based on those abilities.
Funny, I had the same interpretation... based both on this thread and on years of reading here.

If you tell me that a child is intellectually "gifted", it's not helpful at all to me in determining what he needs. Telling me that a child is a gifted athlete or even a gifted basketball player is similarly unhelpful. Really.

If you say that your child enjoys learning about butterflies, but has memorized the Little Golden Guide and wants a more detailed reference with information about differentiating various sulphurs, I can help with that. If you tell me that your butterfly-obsessed child was invited to join meetings of the local lep club, I can share your pride and happiness about that. If you tell me that your child is "gifted", what exactly is the appropriate response supposed to be?

Dar
post #139 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
So your children are intellectually gifted - why do you take it as a personal affront for someone to say "all children are gifted?" Perhaps other children are gifted socially, physically, or in some way not measurable by (rather debatable) IQ tests. How does that hurt you or your child?
I'm not the person to whom this was written, but I too object to the comment that "all children are gifted," though it would be an illogical distortion to assert that I "took it as a personal affront" or felt that the comment "hurt" me or my child.

I dislike the comment because it is too sweepingly general to have value or meaning. It is as illogical as saying, "All children are retarded" and then to follow it up by saying that some are spatially retarded and can't play Tetris worth a darn, or some are artistically retarded and can't draw better than a stick figure, and so on.

All children are unique. That is not the same as gifted or retarded.
All children have value as humans and are worthy of regard, respect, and love.
All children have unique qualities which deserve approval, but again, this is not the same as gifted or retarded.

One may dispute the meaning of "gifted" or the means by which it is determined, just as one may dispute the meaning of "retarded." (After all, which one was Rain Man and other autistic savants? Gifted or retarded? Or both?). Similarly, one may dispute the meaning of "black" or "white" regarding ethnicity. Am I "white" because my immediate ancestors were from Ireland and Germany, or am I "black" because my ancient ancestors were from Ethiopia? What about Halle Berry? Jennifer Beals? A "black" person with albinism?

In short, the margins, the ways we divide up these terms, is an imprecise craft, not even an art or a science. The term "gifted," like the term "retarded," is a problematic term, but the intent of both terms is to describe a discernible developmental difference from the intellectual norm, a significant enough intellectual difference so that interactions with "normal" people in "normal" settings provide a challenge that must be worked through, if possible.

Like you, by the way, I find the "not gifted enough" discussions I too have seen on gifted boards to be absurd, really. It's like excluding a person from an African-American-hosted discussion board because he or she is "not black enough." Where does one draw the line? And why?

When one asserts that "all children are gifted," they move the term away from what it was intended to mean -- a description of a perceptible developmental difference from the norm -- and into a moral judgment. That makes the term lose its meaning altogether. It would be as absurd as to assert that "all children are retarded in some way," or "all children are autistic in some way," or "all children are hyperlexic in some way."

When people say "all children are gifted," they mostly tend to mean that all children are worthy, unique, and valuable. Far be it from me to deny that children are all of these things! They absolutely are, and the sorrow of the world is that they're not always treated as such. However, "worthy, unique, valuable" are not synonymous with "gifted." Perhaps it is better to say that all children are gifts. Can we agree to that?
post #140 of 220
Quote:
If you tell me that your child is "gifted", what exactly is the appropriate response supposed to be?
Dar, if it was me, you can just give me a hug and say "I'm sorry to hear this".....


For the past 4 or 5 years we have learned more and more to DOWNPLAY the giftedness. For ex: he goes to a tournament and wins 1st place. I downplay the win and focus on sportsmanship, like did he shake hands with his opponents, did he thank the organizer, did he respond to people who sent him friend invites, did he open the door for me, did he help carry stuff in back and forth? I focus on the things we are focusing on learning....social skills....the giftedness part is downplayed...for his own good. I wish I would have downplayed the giftedness from the beginning. Average is nice. I like average. I want my gifted child to be more average or even in his development, rather than super high in some areas and way lacking in others.
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