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#181 of 204 Old 03-29-2008, 03:51 AM
 
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Letting him have an IQ test doesn't have to mean telling him what the test is for, or what the number is. I didn't find out until I was in high school that when I went to the office back in 3rd grade and that guy asked me a bunch of questions, that was an IQ test. I was in a gifted class for 4th - 6th grade, but my parents and the teachers were really low-key about it, and I never felt like it meant I was super special or anything. I was also really unpopular and other kids (in the gifted class) were mean to me. So much for the idea that being with other gifted kids cuts down on the teasing.
Yes, it's true I could have him tested and he wouldn't know he was being tested (though I don't know -- I saw through one of those when I was a kid, but I was older than my DS is now).

But I don't see the value. What will knowing his score on a test that to my mind is fairly arbitrary give me that I don't already know? It doesn't seem like it would do any good and the potential for harm (IMO) is there.
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#182 of 204 Old 03-29-2008, 03:57 AM
 
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You made some really, really great points!!! I am just now "seeing the light" on how important it is to teach my DS *how* to learn, or as you said, push past his intellectual comfort zones. Things have always been so easy for him, and he has always been one of the "smartest" among his peers. I have JUST noticed that he isn't able to go out of his comfort zone at this point. When something is really challenging (like a math word problem that is even hard for me), he won't try, but rather say it is too hard and he can't do it. We are working on this. Do you have any advice? How do you, or other parents here, plan on getting their "gifted" children to accept challenges that don't make them feel so "gifted?"
Thank you! I appreciate this.

I don't really have much in the way of sage advice here because I am trying to figure this out myself too.

But I have noticed that if we provide an example of working through something that isn't easy, my DS is a lot more likely to stick through something as well. So we try to make sure we push out of our comfort zones too. It can be anything, like exercise -- "Oh I am finding it really hard to exercise today but I'm going to push through because I know I feel so much better afterwards" -- or a particularly frustrating Sudoku -- "This puzzle is frustrating me so much, but I don't want to give up." We also talk about difficult but enjoyable problems we solved at work.

I don't really know if that will work, but heck, it's good for ME.
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#183 of 204 Old 03-29-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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Yes, it's true I could have him tested and he wouldn't know he was being tested (though I don't know -- I saw through one of those when I was a kid, but I was older than my DS is now).

But I don't see the value. What will knowing his score on a test that to my mind is fairly arbitrary give me that I don't already know? It doesn't seem like it would do any good and the potential for harm (IMO) is there.
I agree if you perceive the purpose of testing to be to get a number and you plan to lie to your child about the process, then yes, it would be inappropriate.

If your purpose is to find out more about how the child learns and get ideas that may help with their educational planning, that is something that can honestly be communicated to a child and may be helpful.
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#184 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OP again. What an epic! I went back and re-read my original question and thought about what I've learned. This is what I think I know now. Tell me if you agree.

* The label 'gifted' is largely American but other countries have their own labels and ways of dealing with these children.
* The label itself is helpful to some, but not all.
* The gifted programs vary widely and some are better than others.
* Gifted people are about 2% of the population.
* Gifted people are not simply 'bright', 'high achievers' or those with good grades. They actually learn differently.
* This difference needs to be addressed in their education whether through special programs or as part of the mainstream class.

.... and my own personal conclusion is that I am SOOOO not gifted but I think my DH may have been given that label if he's been in the American system. He was a drop out, 'waster', menial job kind of guy until he was 26 when he decided to do something with his life and he talked his way onto a B.Sc. degree course with no qualifications, got almost straight As (having failed everything at high school), went on to do his Masters and now has a really good job and high salary. Oh, and his brother and father are very, very intelligent and both show signs of being somewhere on the Aspergers Spectrum (DH doesn't). He still thinks he's stupid. That's a 'label' I'm not sure he'll ever get over.
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#185 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 08:02 AM
 
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OP again. What an epic! I went back and re-read my original question and thought about what I've learned. This is what I think I know now. Tell me if you agree.

* The label 'gifted' is largely American but other countries have their own labels and ways of dealing with these children.
* The label itself is helpful to some, but not all.
* The gifted programs vary widely and some are better than others.
* Gifted people are about 2% of the population.
* Gifted people are not simply 'bright', 'high achievers' or those with good grades. They actually learn differently.
* This difference needs to be addressed in their education whether through special programs or as part of the mainstream class.

.... and my own personal conclusion is that I am SOOOO not gifted but I think my DH may have been given that label if he's been in the American system. He was a drop out, 'waster', menial job kind of guy until he was 26 when he decided to do something with his life and he talked his way onto a B.Sc. degree course with no qualifications, got almost straight As (having failed everything at high school), went on to do his Masters and now has a really good job and high salary. Oh, and his brother and father are very, very intelligent and both show signs of being somewhere on the Aspergers Spectrum (DH doesn't). He still thinks he's stupid. That's a 'label' I'm not sure he'll ever get over.
Precisely what I was trying to say in my earlier post about labels. They never go away....they stick with you for life. Why even label a child "gifted?" Because it seems like the more positive side of labeling? It sure wasn't for me, and no I don't think I would have felt excluded even without the label.

Also someone asked the question of how their needs would get met in the public schools without these labels? IMO, these needs should be met at home and not in the hands of someone else. Not trying to ruffle any feathers, I just think that these children were given to US to care for, nurture, guide, etc.. and I think we owe it to them to let them be who they are without labels, and if they aren't getting all they need in the system, then by all means, provide an environment at home where those needs can me met. Does the school system have some secret curriculum they are giving these kids that isn't available to you as well?
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#186 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 08:46 AM
 
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Also someone asked the question of how their needs would get met in the public schools without these labels? IMO, these needs should be met at home and not in the hands of someone else.
Then, what would be the point of going to school for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week? If your needs will only be met at home, then isn't the 35 hours a week at school just a waste of time?
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#187 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 10:39 AM
 
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Then, what would be the point of going to school for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week? If your needs will only be met at home, then isn't the 35 hours a week at school just a waste of time?
Well, it looks like you are a homeschooler, so I think that might answer your own question.
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#188 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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Well, it looks like you are a homeschooler, so I think that might answer your own question.
Oh yeah, homeschooling works for us. But I'm just wishing there was a school system that met the needs of all kids, since homeschooling is not possible or enjoyable for everyone.
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#189 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 11:33 AM
 
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IMO, these needs should be met at home and not in the hands of someone else. Not trying to ruffle any feathers, I just think that these children were given to US to care for, nurture, guide, etc.. and I think we owe it to them to let them be who they are without labels, and if they aren't getting all they need in the system, then by all means, provide an environment at home where those needs can me met. Does the school system have some secret curriculum they are giving these kids that isn't available to you as well?
That's all very well and good for those who have the time, resources, and inclination. I support choice and homeschooling. But a public education is also a basic right for children whose parents don't have those things... even those with "labels."

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#190 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 12:03 PM
 
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Precisely what I was trying to say in my earlier post about labels. They never go away....they stick with you for life. Why even label a child "gifted?" Because it seems like the more positive side of labeling? It sure wasn't for me, and no I don't think I would have felt excluded even without the label.

Also someone asked the question of how their needs would get met in the public schools without these labels? IMO, these needs should be met at home and not in the hands of someone else. Not trying to ruffle any feathers, I just think that these children were given to US to care for, nurture, guide, etc.. and I think we owe it to them to let them be who they are without labels, and if they aren't getting all they need in the system, then by all means, provide an environment at home where those needs can me met. Does the school system have some secret curriculum they are giving these kids that isn't available to you as well?
Okay- IMO in many cases even the perfect environment at home can't overcome the torture that a regular classroom is for a gifted child.

Would homeschooling be better? For many (not all) yes. But homeschooling is a luxury. It's not available to a great majority of families. And no way the best parenting in the world can overcome 8 hours a day of torture.

I don't hear anyone saying, don't label kids with learning disabilities- just help them more at home. That would be TERRIBLE.

Same thing.

-Angela
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#191 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 12:14 PM
 
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That's all very well and good for those who have the time, resources, and inclination. I support choice and homeschooling. But a public education is also a basic right for children whose parents don't have those things... even those with "labels."
:

As I mentioned earlier, the whole school system needs to be revamped. And that's not happening any time soon.

BUT it will happen eons before every family can homeschool.

It is not a realistic answer to simply say all children with different needs should be homeschooled.

-Angela
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#192 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 12:42 PM
 
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Oh yeah, homeschooling works for us. But I'm just wishing there was a school system that met the needs of all kids, since homeschooling is not possible or enjoyable for everyone.
Late to post - but have read the entire thread.

Due to the horrible experience that ds had last year, we were forced to find an alternative school for ds. Luckily, we found a very good program that works very, very well for ds. He may not be globally gifted (gifted in all subjects) but he has some extreme strengths in the mathematical, visual spatial areas. He is also a child that will probably never test well - so wouldn't qualify for GT programs that only test for entrance. However, he is currently working above grade level in a program that is self-directed, teacher led. His school does not label, because they don't need to since they work at each child's individual level. There should be more schools like this - but it is tremendously time intensive for the teachers and not practical in most school settings. Obviously, homeschooling is centered on the individual needs of the child.

DS finds it excrutiating to repeat material that he has already mastered. Most traditional classrooms require a lot of repetition for learning - ds doesn't need this. I can only liken it to a law that require adults to take a drivers liscense exam every year - one that requires you to get behind the wheel and then take a written exam to prove that you know how to drive every.single.year. It's a waste of time. And that's how he feels about repeating worksheets. I watched him have a nervous breakdown last year when he realized that in K he was going to have to learn the alphabet AGAIN - something that he had mastered at the age of 2. He was beyond bored - he was tortured. In his mind, he was reading and spelling before he went into K - why should he have to write the letter A ten times and talk about words that begin with A? Then the behavioral issues started - and I spent most of the year combatting this with the school. They wanted to label him with autism - and he wasn't on the spectrum (we were forced to have him evaluated.) They agreed that he was working above grade level and when he was interested, the work he did was "amazing." But, ya know, he has these meltdowns due to frustration so we're concerned about that....is what the school said. Miraculously, these issues have diminished in his new school where he is appropriately challenged and the teachers celebrate his learning differences/style and work with it, not against it.

For many parents who have a gifted child, it is this type of scenario that drives them to "label" and request testing for GT programs. It is not for pride, it is for sanity.

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#193 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 01:07 PM
 
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I watched him have a nervous breakdown last year when he realized that in K he was going to have to learn the alphabet AGAIN - something that he had mastered at the age of 2. He was beyond bored - he was tortured. In his mind, he was reading and spelling before he went into K - why should he have to write the letter A ten times and talk about words that begin with A?
Yes that was me. I was a fluent reader before I was 3, and I vividly remember how it wasn't just that I was "bored" - it was that it felt like a personal assault to have to go over and over and over the letters in junior kindergarten, doing books' worth of addition problems when I was working on long division, etc. People say it's training for the world of work but I have worked several jobs that were boring and they were still nothing like that.

BTW I was not hothoused - no one ever understood how I learned to read and no one really taught me, unless it was Sesame Street. That was one of my really asynchronous leaps - I just happened to learn to read more or less in a parallel process to learning to talk, as I talked late.

I switched to French Immersion for senior kindergarten and that helped a little, although not socially.

I didn't go back to find the quote but I came back to this thread also to mention that someone said they'd never met a gifted child. Well, that's sort of like saying you haven't met someone who's gay. A certain percentage of population simply is, whether you've met them or not... and you probably have. When I was younger, I came across as quote-unquote gifted learner (I prefer the term asynchronous; I think that's much truer) - it's hard to ignore the 4 year old reading Nancy Drew in the corner. But as I hit the school system first I became more of a "frustrated, angry, miserable" child and then eventually I learned to camoflage my way of learning and lie about where I went to school, or at least be vague.

One of the best expressions of all that difference is, I think, in A Wrinkle in Time - I remember it being such a relief to read about the Murrays and how the narrator (Meg) expressed how she learned differently, how people thought her brother was retarded, etc. It's a great little book for anyone wondering about what it's like on the inside, and (the first few chapters) how schools totally miss it, or used to. I think that's why I keep coming back to this thread - all the skepticism about whether it's an American thing (I am Canadian) or pushy parents - well sure, people can get that way. But it doesn't negate the true phenomenon.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#194 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 02:13 PM
 
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As I mentioned earlier, the whole school system needs to be revamped. And that's not happening any time soon.

BUT it will happen eons before every family can homeschool.

It is not a realistic answer to simply say all children with different needs should be homeschooled.

-Angela
I agree totally, but I don't think the system will ever be fixed as long as politics and money are involved. What exactly do you think the standardized testing is all about? The more high scores, the more money given to the school. Teachers can't really give everything they want to their classrooms when they have to worry about "getting the scores." If you have ever sat in on a school board meeting you would know that the system will never be what you the parent wants it to be. It's much more complex than I have time to go into, but in the meantime, if you are looking for a school that is going to meet the needs of EVERY child, then you are looking for a utopia.

Sure, I wish it existed for every child, please don't get me wrong. I wasn't saying in my statement that EVERY child should be homeschooled. Why can't their needs be met at home when they are in the public school? Is this not possible?? Am I missing something?
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#195 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 02:21 PM
 
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Sure, I wish it existed for every child, please don't get me wrong. I wasn't saying in my statement that EVERY child should be homeschooled. Why can't their needs be met at home when they are in the public school? Is this not possible?? Am I missing something?
Because after spending 8-ish hours in school, the kids have what, 5 hours, tops, before going to bed in which to overcome what they have done (or not done) at school. The kids, gifted or not, need time to run around and be kids. To force them to do extra enrichment stuff after a day of mind-numbing school is extra torture. Plus you have to fit dinner and showers and stuff into that time.

And that's just a practical standpoint. If you are stuck in a room where you are feeling irritated, bored, crazy, stupid, left out, whathaveyou for 8 hours five days a week, that's a lot of feelings to overcome in the time that you aren't there. No matter how wonderful your family is.

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#196 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 02:27 PM
 
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Sure, I wish it existed for every child, please don't get me wrong. I wasn't saying in my statement that EVERY child should be homeschooled. Why can't their needs be met at home when they are in the public school? Is this not possible?? Am I missing something?
Yes. You're missing something. You're missing the fact that 7-8 hours a day in school is literally TORTURE for some of these kids. It is not acceptable to ignore their needs.

Is it okay for children with learning disabilities to learn nothing all day at school and fail and then play catch-up at home?

No. Of course not.

It's the same thing for gifted children.

-Angela
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#197 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 02:44 PM
 
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Yes. You're missing something. You're missing the fact that 7-8 hours a day in school is literally TORTURE for some of these kids. It is not acceptable to ignore their needs.

Is it okay for children with learning disabilities to learn nothing all day at school and fail and then play catch-up at home?



-Angela
Actually, I'm not missing anything at all. I "get it." Can you change the system? If you can, then make it happen so that these kids don't have to be tortured for 7-8 hours a day. And yes, OF COURSE it's not acceptable to ignore their needs. Do you have a solution??
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#198 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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Actually, I'm not missing anything at all. I "get it." Can you change the system? If you can, then make it happen so that these kids don't have to be tortured for 7-8 hours a day. And yes, OF COURSE it's not acceptable to ignore their needs. Do you have a solution??
Yep. I have a solution. *LABEL* children with different learning needs and create and support programs to provide for those needs

Not perfect. But workable for now.

-Angela
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Yep. I have a solution. *LABEL* children with different learning needs and create and support programs to provide for those needs

Not perfect. But workable for now.

-Angela
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#200 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 10:15 PM
 
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Yep. I have a solution. *LABEL* children with different learning needs and create and support programs to provide for those needs

Not perfect. But workable for now.

-Angela

Is it working for your child?
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Is it working for your child?
My child isn't 4 yet... and I am fortunate enough to be in a situation where I will be able to homeschool.

But yes, I have taught a number of gifted children for whom the label GREATLY improved their day to day quality of life. I have taught several for whom I would honestly fear for where they would end up if they were not identified and were not receiving appropriate services.

I know one who was just labeled this month for whom the label and the information that goes along with it opens doors and helps guide his parents to find appropriate programs for him.

FWIW I also know numerous children with other labels that allow them to receive the services THEY need to be successful as well. Children with assorted learning differences that could never "succeed" in an average classroom.

For all of these kids labels can be lifesavers.

-Angela
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#202 of 204 Old 03-30-2008, 11:57 PM
 
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Is it working for your child?
Not Alegna, but I'll answer. I think Laura Loo gave a good characterization of what is likely a common experience, particularly for active boys who go to the beat of their own drum (divergent thinkers).

DS has "behaviour issues" and SPD. He was identified formally as gifted by January of kindie - the label means he's not a "bad kid," or a kid who just needs to have more time outs, or a kid who's badly parented. Now, they have an explanation for his behaviour, and as a result try to find strategies that meet his actual needs. Hoorah for the label!

What drives me crazy is that I see all of these other boys who may or may not be intellectually gifted, but are bright and active and passionate and creative and busy. They all have a 'label'/moniker - and it ain't near as 'positive' as gifted. I think the school system is doing a disservice to many of the kids, and the gifted kids have the same disadvantages along with being asked to attend to curriculum that absolutely does not fit. The label helps, but it sure doesn't solve anything.


That's not good enough for us, so we're likely HSing next year (or two), with the plan to slide him back into public school with a possible skip. We're hoping that he'll have settled a bit by then developmentally and it will be a more positive place for him. This is a very hard choice as it will involve significant sacrifice to HS him.

I'm currently reading The Call to Brilliance - highly critical of the school system, and speaks to the way kids lose their freedom of self-definition and take on the language, labels and descriptors they hear about themselves. There is no quick fix to the widespread problems in the education system, but not identifying gifted kids and providing differentiated resources for them sure isn't going to help the vast majority of gifted kids in schools.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#203 of 204 Old 03-31-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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Okay- IMO in many cases even the perfect environment at home can't overcome the torture that a regular classroom is for a gifted child.

Would homeschooling be better? For many (not all) yes. But homeschooling is a luxury. It's not available to a great majority of families. And no way the best parenting in the world can overcome 8 hours a day of torture.

I don't hear anyone saying, don't label kids with learning disabilities- just help them more at home. That would be TERRIBLE.

Same thing.

-Angela
ITA with Angela here, but she left out that many gifted and/or LD students go home to dysfunctional, abusive, neglectful, or simply over burdened homes. Many parents just lack either the time, motivation, or ability to meet needs that they thought were being meet by the school.

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#204 of 204 Old 03-31-2008, 04:04 AM
 
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Yep. I have a solution. *LABEL* children with different learning needs and create and support programs to provide for those needs

Not perfect. But workable for now.

-Angela
: I would love it if all of my students had the home connection that is necessary and what another person suggestion, but alas, that is not the case. I would love to change the system, it's on my list of things to do. I'll do what I can.
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