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How do you know if your child is gifted? - Page 2

post #21 of 51
i looked over the hoagie site and am now a little confused: the impression i took away is that, basically, being gifted means having a comparatively high IQ.

that's it.

it's just not sitting right with my gut feeling, did i miss something?
post #22 of 51
Hi dado,I didn't get that from what I read at all. I mostly read through all of the parents personal experiences though.
post #23 of 51
I think it's fair to say that Hoagies deals mostly with the type of giftedness identified by IQ tests (i.e. language and math skills). This is not surprising because it's a site dedicated to the education of the gifted. Within the realms of public and (to a great degree) private education, it is a child's IQ that qualifies them for gifted programs; in these realms, "gifted" is itself defined by, rather than being indicated by, having a high IQ. There is also much more quality information and research available about these kinds of gifted kids.

Public schools have never catered to those who are gifted musically or artistically, or (at least in the younger grades) athletically.

There is a little information of other types of giftedness at Hoagies, but many of the issues they talk about: perfectionism, asynchronous development, etc. are applicable to many kinds of giftedness.

Musical
Math
Creative
Technological

There is a book about profoundly gifted children by Ellen Winner entitled Gifted Children that deals only briefly with the globally gifted and discusses different types of giftedness in detail.
post #24 of 51
thank you. i will give it a closer reading.
post #25 of 51
Wow tara! What a kid
post #26 of 51
I was given the gifted label in public school when I was growing up, and loved the gifted special classes I was in - but found it to be a burden as well.

My son was in a private school with many conventionally gifted students - early readers, kids who could wiz through math workbooks.

My son is gifted, and can tell you all kinds of complex things about math, but he loathes math workbooks - so in school, his "problem" with math workbooks was interpreted as a difficulty in learning math. Subsequently, he began to say he was "stupid" in math, and began to hate it. Only after 9 months of homeschooling has he begun to see again that math is fun - and that he's good at it. Workbooks are a minimal part of math for us at home.

My son is also highly gifted in science, and in language comprehension. He was praised in school for his complex and rich oral book reports - however, he was "behind" in language arts, because he has difficulty writing his thoughts down (mechanics of writing are still challenging for him). He also has motor planning issues, and so eye-tracking for reading skills has come slowly to him. Consequently, he was given boring baby books to read in school, and decided that he "hated" reading. At home, I can read complex and rich literature to him, and discuss it with him, and I can write down what he has to say about it.

I have to say - I also bought into the idea that gifted meant early reader, and math workbook whiz, so I didn't consider that some of the personality traits my son exhibited were traits of giftedness. I knew he was bright, but I didn't think he was gited. However, when I read about the personality traits of gifted children on the hoagies websight, I realized this description fit him so much better than the "learning disabled" descriptions I had been advised to learn about.

So, we've thrown out the "learning disabled" idea altogether, and embraced the "gifted" idea - None of which has ever been communicated to our son. These are just ways to help me better serve his needs. And I am serving him better by supporting his gifts, rather than focusing on his challenges.

Laura
post #27 of 51
wow. your post really resonated with me. it seems in some ways we've gone backwards while going forwards. as a society it's like we've completely forgotten how much learning and teaching in our history has been transmitted orally, person to person. that kind of activity is now all dumped in the "storytime" bin, as if it were useless and the stuff of childhood.

your son is lucky to have a parent observant enough to catch this!

Quote:
Originally posted by Openskyheart
My son is also highly gifted in science, and in language comprehension. He was praised in school for his complex and rich oral book reports - however, he was "behind" in language arts, because he has difficulty writing his thoughts down (mechanics of writing are still challenging for him).
post #28 of 51
My son also hated reading. I honestly thougth he had dyslexia or some other learning disability and was starting to worry about him. The last 2 days I saw him reading these very large books like encyclopedias. Reading out loud and he was so proud of himself and happy. He said mom I do love to read. He didn't want to read the books that I thought he should be reading. I too read some of the information on Hoagies and it really helped me to see into the mind of my child. Thanks for posting this information.
post #29 of 51
[QUOTE]it seems in some ways we've gone backwards while going forwards. as a society it's like we've completely forgotten how much learning and teaching in our history has been transmitted orally, person to person. that kind of activity is now all dumped in the "storytime" bin, as if it were useless and the stuff of childhood.[QUOTE]

Yes, I agree. Even the Waldorf and Montessori schools I observed were very narrow in their approaches to teaching children and supporting their learning styles. They appeared to be more narrow even than the school my son attended.

And don't even get me started on the public schools....with the near-fanatic emphasis on testing in California, and the drill and kill approach this emphasis fosters, the joy in learning with which children enter school is being squashed on a daily basis.

That being said, my daughter still goes to the private school. We've given her the option to choose, and she has chosen to stay in school so far. She doesn't mind workbooks, and the enrichment classes are many and fun, (not to mention all the friends she has made there...). So, for my daughter's well being, and my own, I do respect her decision and I look for the good in her program. Honestly, there is a lot of good there (including no standardized testing, and no grading system).

Laura

post #30 of 51

waldorfians with "advanced" kids help me out here...

I think if your kid is advanced in a certain area then they're "gifted" in that area--I agree that the label can be a very discouraging thing--I was labeled gifted and sort of rebelled against it, as if to say "there's more to me than this label"--we just need to be careful, i think, in defining our kids for them, rather than letting them continue to define themselves throughout their lives.

I'd say that my kids are both advanced for their ages, often surprisingly so, (they're almost 4 and almost 2) and I want to nurture every aspect of their development (emotional, intellectual, artistic, etc, ) We're currently HS'ing, and I'm drawn to an arts-based, unschooling approach, sort of Waldorfian.
HOWEVER, what I find difficult is striking a balance between letting them just live and learn and feeling like I should be doing more to foster their advanced abilities. The waldorf approach had me feeling like I must have subconsciously pressured her because my daughter knows all the preschool stuff and most of the kindergarten readiness, and is doing beginning reading, none of which we've forced AT ALL, but then I hear of many other HS'ing families whose kids are reading, doing math, playing music, etc, at advanced levels and I wonder if I'm actually stifling my kids abilities by insisting that they fall into the Waldorfian style of learning (which they don't really at all) that seems to discourage knowledge of letters/numbers etc. until kids are a bit older, in favor of...verses and watercolor painting? waldorfians with advanced kids help me out here...
My son on the other hand, who isn't yet two, speaks in full sentences and can count (with a few flubs) to 30 or 40, and I know for a fact that I've never counted WITH him past 10 or so (#of stairs or whatever) and he's just picked it up on his own, from listening to his sister. I often feel guilty because I've done nothing to help him learn letters and at his age now his sister could spell her name and knew all the letters, etc, but I've been discouraged by the Waldorf reading I've done to *teach* him anything at all. I feel like a pushy mom any time I do anything towards helping him "learn things". But isn't it good for general brain development to learn new things, especially in the early years?
isn't it good to know when to end a post?
post #31 of 51
Gifted is such a loaded term. I think all kids are gifted in certain areas and it is up to the parents to see and nurture those gifts. Some kids read early, some kids can do gymnastic feats early, some draw or sing or dance early, some are empathetic to an extroirdinary degree. Often, they don't have an equal development in all areas- and that is certainly OK. Our society needs all of these gifts. My gripe with public schools is they try to make everyone equal in everything, and some kids just excell at certain things (art, music or math) and don't do well at others...
post #32 of 51
I've said it on here before and I'll say it again - I was a gifted child, but I also have some brain related disabilities (long story pm me if you care) and I was subjected to so many tests as a child I began to feel like E.T. Please don't put your son through anything that's not completely necessary. Children in testing begin to feel freakish really quickly. Then you wonder what your "number" (IQ) is. Then when you find out, you go back and forth between feeling too stupid to live up to that large number or really egotistical because "I have an IQ of 175 - I'm smarter than everyone!". Labeling children is IMO never a good idea. Let him do the schoolwork he enjoys and is capable of (which means you will have to homeschool, there isn't a school I know of which allows children to grow on their own like this). Good luck with this.
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Labeling children is IMO never a good idea. Let him do the schoolwork he enjoys and is capable of (which means you will have to homeschool, there isn't a school I know of which allows children to grow on their own like this).
Amen!!!

Just let your child be the wonderful amazing person he or she is. Don't worry about how he/she compares with the rest of the world. We are all unique and gifted in many different ways. The wonderful thing about homeschooling is you don't have to lable, or compare your children. Just let them live and learn....and love learning!

post #34 of 51
I don't agree that testing in and of itself is necessarily harmful. It depends on why the child is being tested and what interpretation is placed on the results. Labeling is a separate issue.

I'm planning to homeschool dd. She will be tested only if I suspected she might be highly or profoundly gifted (something I have no reason to believe at the moment). Such a level of giftedness would be beyond my realm of experience as a moderately gifted individual. It's simply easier for me to proceed with "too many" facts, then pare the extra away to help me interpret reality (rather than letting them define it of course).

However, if dd were to be attending public or private school, she would absolutely be tested so we would be in the strongest position possible to get her needs met. Both DH and myself are bitter about our schooling experiences and how the systems we went through catered to the lowest common denominator.
post #35 of 51
In my experience, testing and "gifted classes" will not help to get your child a better education.

One of the reasons we decided to homeschool 16 years ago, was because our son was gifted. His brother who was and is extreamly intelligent was doing well in 2nd grade in a private school, but when I looked into the options available to a child that was reading the newspaper and teachers manuels at 4, I was appaled!

The schools don't taylor the curriclum to the needs of the gifted child, they simply give them more projects to do. That may work for highly motivated, competive, fast working, gifted kids, but our child would have become bored, restless and a behavior problem.

At home both sons (and our dds as well) have blossomed and been given the chance to learn at the pace that suits them. I must say that I never had a problem keeping my "gifted" child stimulated, motivated, or challenged. In the real world of un-schooling, the possibilities for learning are unlimited for a creative, intellegent mind.

BTW, this son is 21 now. He is taking a "break" from college this year to expand his horizons and make some money.
post #36 of 51
Quote:
In my experience, testing and "gifted classes" will not help to get your child a better education.
It's about more than just education though. I figure that because we're homeschooling that will more or less take care of itself. It's more about understanding the underlying person. DD is young, but advanced for her age. That doesn't mean she's gifted; only time will tell. However, I've been doing a fair bit of reading about giftedness and have learned a surprising amount about myself in the process. I'm not a freak.

It seems we're approaching this question based on our personal experiences. Mine is that I received absolutely no support and was made to feel ashamed at home because I was bright (mom wasn't exactly mentally stable) and like a freak at school because I was different. Having emotional guidance and support wouldn't have made me popular at school, but it might have helped me better understand and value my own needs. I certainly wasn't getting it at home. In high school, I did have the experience of having a counselor who worked with the "better students." Unfortunately the emphasis was on the vocational, but she did help me in some other areas as well. I was told the results of an IQ test, but was almost done high school and honestly didn't place much importance on it.

As for public schools, different districts have different programs available. There's supposed to be a magnet school for gifted students opening in Portland next year... and I do know a gifted boy who is thriving on an individualized program at the public Metropolitan School. However, I don't have any confidence in the Portland Public Schools system. If I thought DD would get the best education possible in public or private school -- gifted or not -- I wouldn't be planning to homeschool.
post #37 of 51

Re: waldorfians with "advanced" kids help me out here...

Quote:
Originally posted by tiffani
HOWEVER, what I find difficult is striking a balance between letting them just live and learn and feeling like I should be doing more to foster their advanced abilities.
snip

Quote:
Originally posted by tiffani
then I hear of many other HS'ing families whose kids are reading, doing math, playing music, etc, at advanced levels and I wonder if I'm actually stifling my kids abilities by insisting that they fall into the Waldorfian style of learning (which they don't really at all) that seems to discourage knowledge of letters/numbers etc. until kids are a bit older, in favor of...verses and watercolor painting? waldorfians with advanced kids help me out here...
Hi Tiffani,

We're also using a child-led approach, but we're not strict Waldorf. We are eclectic, but we do use many ideas from Waldorf, such as verses, natural arts, seasonal rhythms, etc. Our son is advanced in several areas (I posted earlier in this thread), and I don't feel right keeping him from things he loves, like reading/math/science, just to stay in the Waldorf box. He loves to read, so I encourage him to read, and try to provide him with lots of Waldorfy books along with 'regular' books. We really get into seasonal rhythms, and have a nature table at home. We play "math games" which are word problems. I enthusiastically join in his imaginative life, which is almost everpresent. He makes his own storybooks.

My point is that if you are homeschooling, a Waldorf-ish approach doesn't need to be hugely at odds with gifted children. You can still employ gentle learning, imagination, practical skills, etc., without holding them back from things they are interested in at an early age. One reason we chose to homeschool is because our child is so asynchronous. He has many normal 3 year old characteristics, but is very advanced in other areas. He still takes naps most days, but if he isn't taking a nap, he'll lounge on the couch and read an entire Magic Tree House chapter book, or classify his little animals into mammal/fish/amphibian/reptile/bird groups. I'm not going to stop him from doing that, because I see his joy in learning--something that jives with Waldorf texts.

One of our mottos around here is, let him learn how to learn.

Tara
post #38 of 51
Quote:
It's more about understanding the underlying person.
Exactly! So listen to, and observe your child and you will understand! No amount of testing will help you to understand your child as well as spending time with them will.
post #39 of 51

Re: Re: waldorfians with "advanced" kids help me out here...

Quote:
Originally posted by tarasam
snip


My point is that if you are homeschooling, a Waldorf-ish approach doesn't need to be hugely at odds with gifted children. You can still employ gentle learning, imagination, practical skills, etc., without holding them back from things they are interested in at an early age.

Tara
This is my first post on these forums. Hope I'm doing it right :. I had to respond because I too am drawn to Waldorfish ideas and I am also unschooling a very bright kid (or two or three). My eldest has the appearance of the "classically gifted child". She's now 9, was reading novels like Narnia at 4 and 5, was teaching herself how to add and subtract with negative numbers at 5, etc.. She's intensely perfectionistic, obsessive and orderly in some things, yet incredibly stubborn and volatile and often driven by whims.

I was drawn to a gentle arts-and-creativity focused unschooling approach because I figured the academics would look after themselves and I wanted to use my energy to encourage the creativity. Rather than spending my time teaching her math at age 4, I spent it teaching her the violin. Rather than spending money on a language arts curriculum at age 6, I spent it on quality art materials. As time has gone on I've given her access to some math workbooks, but I've left it up to her whether she uses them.

This approach seems to have left her pretty well-balanced, with much more creative risk-taking facility than she had when she was younger. She recently did some achievement testing (just for fun, as part of a homeschooling study we're involved in) and although she might have been farther ahead if we'd pushed the curriculum on her, she scored off the charts on the 99th percentile in everything anyway. So yes, the academics are definitely looking after themselves just fine. What's happened, though is that she's turned a lot of her obsessive intellectual power and energy towards physical and creative skills: she's a very advanced violinist and pianist, a competent gymnast and figure skater, and she still loves imaginative play, sandbox play, getting messy with paint and clay, drop-spinning, knitting and weaving.

Strict adherence to any "method" like Waldorf would never have worked for us because of her asynchronicity. When she lost her first baby tooth (the point at which Steiner would have said she was ready to start learning to read) she'd been devouring fantasy novels for up to 6 hours a day for two years already and it would have seemed contrived and almost cruel to not nurture this interest and utilize it as a source of inspiration in other areas. But unschooling in an arts-enriched environment (a sort of "unmethod" the way we do it) has allowed her to challenge herself intellectually while not becoming a one-sided geek .

An added bonus is that she seems blissfully unaware of grade-levels and achievement milestones. Her closest friend still isn't reading fluently and she doesn't think that's unusual or cause for pity. She'd never think of others in terms of "smarter" or "better" or "dumber" or anything of the sort. When her achievement test results came back she wasn't the slightest bit interested what they were. She has none of the intellectual snobbery I grew up with as a "gifted" child in the school system.

Miranda
post #40 of 51
Quote:
So listen to, and observe your child and you will understand! No amount of testing will help you to understand your child as well as spending time with them will.
No sane person would disagree. However, if someone chooses to have their child tested, that doesn't mean they must stop listening to them. Testing is a tool that I believe can be appropriate in certain circumstances (I've already stated what I would consider appropriate for our family). The most common objections I've seen to testing are, IMHO, secondary to testing.

A parent need not tell a child test results. A parent need not define a child by test results. A parent need not compare their child to other children. A parent need not decide what the child's future should hold because of test results. However, children have been labeled, compared with others and have had unrealistic and restrictive expectations placed on them without having been tested. Either way you've got no guarantees. I think the most important questions that one should ask if considering testing is, "why?" and, "what does it mean?"

I have the confidence that if the circumstances in which we'd have dd tested arise, that we can have it done without damaging her or us. The results may or may not prove useful.
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