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#1 of 13 Old 01-30-2010, 03:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i have a very gifted child, she is 6.5 and reading on a college level. she has a lot of higher level math concepts and has had no real math or reading instruction (beyond me just being a "good mom" and doing all the cool stuff we do). we have not done any musical instruction...either. she thinks she knows everything, and quite often she is correct in her thoughts! she is self taught etc. we have done homeschool co-ops mostly for her to just get to learn how to relate to peers. being brilliant can be isolating, she is also very very spiritual and deep. super human. she can be explosive at times, although this is starting to even out as she gets older.
this year we bought a home and i needed to make some extra money. i got two awesome jobs. one is at a waldorf inspired co-op school. she goes to the k for free (without me, i teach the pre k in a different room). it is small and sweet and 3 mornings a week. and i think she has made HUGE progress on how to relate to peers, respect others, and enjoy being a kid. they make bread, enjoy free play, and create really neat crafts and cooking projects. i also work at a cool arts based afterschool program, again i can bring both children, we do lots of art (both taught and free exploration time), free play outside, and homework time (my daughter does random stuff from whatever random thing we are into at the time, a highlights based geography program and a cursive writing workbook have been a recent choice for this time slot).

between both jobs (planning and travel time included) i am working around 30 hours a week now. i have been saying that i think that this year for dd is all about her getting to connect to lots of children (the afterschool is super neat for this b/c there are 12 year olds who have the same tastes in books and able to converse with her more than her 5-6 yr old friends at waldorf school). she is very social, wants to play with friends and have best friends etc...however, like i said, she also has a difficult time connecting with kids and can be explosive...she often says she feels as if she does not belong.
(although, i see her more often running around, laughing, and having fun with other kids) .

anyway, i was reading the what we are doing in jan thread, and it really pin pointed for me what has been bugging me about this year. she is getting really NO academic stimulation. although we did not do a ton of sit down instruction in years before, we did way more than now, which is almost none. besides visiting the library and what she may get into online (american girl.com) or come up with from a highlights puzzler mag, she is just not getting much food for her hungry brain. i mean sure she has learned how to ride a 2 wheeler (on her first try, no lie) and how to make her own eggs and has began dressing her self and sleeping the whole night in her own room....all wonderful signs of GROWTH....

it is too late, i am rambling...i want to give her the world. cello lessons, chess club, dance classes, i should by a math curriculum, and find some cool multi level book club/discussion group for her...we should take more field trips to caves and museums...

but between my 2 yr old's needs, and the chores (i still wash cloth diapers!), and the fact that after long days out...when we are home we just need to veg/relax....(school nights include lots of lego play and every weekend includes at least one hike), i just do not know where to fit in that above listed group of wants. all of which i think are super important and infact, things she needs to be fed, NOW.

i do not see how i can not work for now, this year and next. how can i fit it all in?
i wondered this year if she would not be better off in a charter school (i put her name in the hat for the 2 lotteries for the two local charter schools for next year, just in case). but even then, what grade do i put her in. she would be young for second for next year, but too immature for 3rd or 4th, despite her brain, being a better fit for that level of work.

but even charter schools have a lot of sitting around and doing nothing and blah blah blah. less outside time. less freedom. there would be free music lessons and dance classes and field trips though.

ok i will stop here:
how do i fit it all in? how to i meet her needs?
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#2 of 13 Old 01-30-2010, 11:37 AM
 
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I say this gently...if she is 6.5 and craving learning that you don't have the time to provide, she needs to be in a school situation. Now is the time to start touring schools nearby and speaking to others about your options.

Mother of two. : 4/05 and 1/07 Wife of one. : 7/01
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#3 of 13 Old 01-30-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by daytripper75 View Post
I say this gently...if she is 6.5 and craving learning that you don't have the time to provide, she needs to be in a school situation. Now is the time to start touring schools nearby and speaking to others about your options.
You say that as though it's an easy decision, and a simple matter to find a school which will meet this child's needs. Personally, I can't see that happening.

OP: Why is it that you think your daughter needs more formal instruction? It sounds to me as though she is happy and doing well from your post. I understand wanting to give your children the world, but perhaps what she needs most right now is what she has. If your daughter is asking for more formal instruction that's a different story, but it sounds to me as though you're feeling somewhat inadequate as a provider. There's no need for that; If your daughter is learning, growing, and thriving, then you're clearly doing your job as a parent.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#4 of 13 Old 01-30-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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If she's taught herself all of that without formal academics, what makes you think she needs or wants formal academics at all? Is she asking for more?
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#5 of 13 Old 01-30-2010, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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she is not asking for more, but i sense an unmet need. i am not a total waldorf-er in that i do not think that ALL small children should NOT have formal learning. but i did think that a little more focus on just learning how to be a blanced and functional child would be helpful, and it has been.

and to the daytripper75 post, the other posters are correct we live in a rurual area and can not afford private school. so our options for formal schooling our very limited. like i posted, i have her name in the hats of the only two lotteries for public charter schools that are the least bit cool (even if she gets in, this will mean me driving for hours each day to and from) but the question still remains, these are not schools for AIG children, they are schools for any reg kid who gets in the lottery. so what grade do i put her in. she would do best on at least a 5th or th grade level and a lot of that would even be too easy for her. but she is still just 6 and not even a very emotionaly mature 6 year old. i have been a public school teacher, i know that in a public school setting she would get about the same amount of one on one from her school specialist/teacher as i can give her now (if not less, they on average get about 2 hours a week with the AIG program).

what i am looking for our suggestions for ways i can weave her gifted educational needs into our busy life AND support that it sounds like she is fine and so am i! (thank you moms who have posted that....she is so special, my husband and i were both bright and endured very lacking public school educations, mostly full of sitting down and wasting time, so i am mindful of her needs!)
anyone BTDT?
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#6 of 13 Old 01-30-2010, 02:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by daytripper75 View Post
I say this gently...if she is 6.5 and craving learning that you don't have the time to provide, she needs to be in a school situation. Now is the time to start touring schools nearby and speaking to others about your options.
As I read it she is in school, attending the Waldorf-inspired KG at the school her mom teaches at. Besides, as others suggest, finding a school situation to suit a 6-year-old reading at a college level isn't exactly a given.

My own newly-7yo is similar. There is one school in our area. KG is play-oriented, 1st and 2nd grades are entirely concerned with attaining literacy. Academically there is little to nothing that would challenge her in the entire K-6 school. She's doing math that their 10-year-olds are doing. She would be far better off with little adult-initiated academic challenge at home where she has the freedom to self-initiate than she would be in a school where there's no academic challenge and little freedom to self-initiate.

To the original poster ... if she's thriving and growing and happy, I'm not sure you need to do anything differently. She's got the literacy and math skills to challenge herself if she is so-driven. My own (homeschooled) newly-7yo probably gets 45 minutes a day of directly parent-guided learning, and most of that is help with violin practicing. Her academics she does almost entirely on her own, and she initiates and motivates that on her own. Ditto for her reading of fiction and non-fiction, her viewing of documentaries, her painting, drawing and paper-crafts, science explorations etc., etc.. Perhaps you could just focus on providing your dd with some resources that she could use independently when she is craving intellectual challenge.

But you know, I've always found that when my kids are making big leaps in other areas of their lives (physical, social, emotional development) there's a natural quiescence on the intellectual front. Her lack of academic engagement this year may simply be part of that.

Miranda

Mountain mama to three great kids and one great grown-up

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#7 of 13 Old 01-30-2010, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you miranda!
i am already ordering a singapore math that we will slip in at homework time at our arts based afterschool program job i work at and she attends with me. i think she will like feeling like all the other kids with homework to do too! and there is a low kid to teacher ratio at this point so i can work with her as needed at that time. i am starting with 1b although it looks like she will already know most of it. there are a few holes in her understanding of some of the concepts in that book and as this will be her first official work like this, i think her feeling a lot of success will be helpful.

if i could choose one other thing it would be a weekly music lesson. thoughts???
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#8 of 13 Old 01-30-2010, 02:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moma justice View Post
she is not asking for more, but i sense an unmet need. i am not a total waldorf-er in that i do not think that ALL small children should NOT have formal learning. but i did think that a little more focus on just learning how to be a blanced and functional child would be helpful, and it has been.
I'm a bit confused. Is she unhappy? Has her behavior changed somehow? What is it, exactly, that leads you to believe your daughter has an unmet need?

I'm nothing like a Waldorfer or an unschooler; I've got no trouble whatsoever with the formal education of very small people, but if a child is happy without it why impose? Your schedule is already quite busy, and your daughter is learning and thriving... so why change things?


Quote:
what i am looking for our suggestions for ways i can weave her gifted educational needs into our busy life AND support that it sounds like she is fine and so am i! (thank you moms who have posted that....she is so special, my husband and i were both bright and endured very lacking public school educations, mostly full of sitting down and wasting time, so i am mindful of her needs!)
anyone BTDT?
As I said before, if your daughter is happy and thriving then her needs are clearly being met. If it ain't broke, why fix it?

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#9 of 13 Old 01-30-2010, 02:54 PM
 
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I'm sorry! I guess it is easy for me to forget that finding quality gifted education isn't easy in other areas of the country. Where I live we have at least 6 options all within 20 minutes.

I was thinking of mentioning a homeschool swap in my previous posting. I don't think that "schooling" always means bricks and mortar. But I do stand behind what I said earlier, if you feel like she needs "more" and you can't give "the more," you need to find a way to provide "the more" one way or another.

Mother of two. : 4/05 and 1/07 Wife of one. : 7/01
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#10 of 13 Old 01-30-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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My personal opinion is that if you have access to a library where she can check out a bag of books once a week, and she reads at a college level, I am not sure that there is much chance of a public school educating her better at this age. Or much of any private schools I've heard of unless you can find maybe a montessori that goes up pretty far in grades for montessori.
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#11 of 13 Old 01-30-2010, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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sorry for the confusion! she is happy often and thriving in many ways, but for all her growth in some ways, i see her deeply brainy side being under challenged.

perhaps a cd rom program i could purchase (she loves to use the computer as i cook dinner) would be helpful. i think a few extra things that i could just let her loose with would fix it.
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#12 of 13 Old 01-30-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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I was going to suggest a computer program or two. Geography, math...

My DD loves freerice.com. We just bought Reader Rabbit Math for 6-9, which I would give a mixed review to, but there are other games out there. If you want something fluffy that also has a learning component, buy her a Webkinz...the best way to earn "money" on the site is to do their educational questions (although I should add that DD has been navigating this site solo for a long while, so I don't really recall how great the questions are).

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#13 of 13 Old 01-30-2010, 07:14 PM
 
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While I think it is definitely worthwhile to check out the schools, I do think it is unlikely (but not impossible!) that the elementary schools will be flexible enough to benefit your daughter. It will really depend upon the classroom teacher. There are teachers out there who can make a child feel included in the classroom culture and activities while giving them more independent work at their level.

So, assuming the schools don't give you a warm fuzzy feeling that they will be a good fit - you need to find some ways to feed the brain while you are so busy. First of all, she seems pretty happy so don't look at it as an emergency - just a need to work on filling. When we first started hs'ing our profoundly gifted dd, I was also working two part-time jobs and it is overwhelming at times. However, despite my 'neglecting' her academic needs sometimes, things have turned out okay so far! It was really hard though because my dd wanted my time to share her ideas, ask questions, and as someone to learn with.

Computer games can be great. My dd loved Zoombinis at that age, as well as Fritz and Chesster. There are also online learning communities that your daughter may be interested in, particularly as she gets older. www.hoagiesgifted.org is a great resource for computer exploration and finding resources.

If you have had any testing done, or would consider it, check out the young scholar program at www.davidsongifted.org. We have found the program very helpful for our daughter.
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