Are your gifted kids in public school? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 41 Old 10-25-2011, 11:46 AM
 
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I don't know.  I think with tools like Kahn Academy, etc. it is actually easier/just as easy to differentiate math--at least that has been our experience. 

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I don't think I would be concerned about giftedness as a parenting issue if my child weren't in public school. We picked a program that claimed to be all about individuating curriculum, but somehow, that's not happening, and I think it's because my DS is strong in math and analytical skills rather than in language arts and reading. I actually had a teacher tell me that my son couldn't go on with arithmetic until the rest of the class was ready. It's almost like they don't know what "individuated curriculum" means, or understand that they committed to it, ha ha. (It's precisely that, actually.) 

 

 

 

I think he's enjoying school at least as much if not more than I did at his age, even though my public school was a lot better at the whole individuation thing. Well, it's easy to individuate curriculum for a strong reader and independent writer with weak arithmetic in an open classroom, and my school in the 1970s had open classrooms. It's much harder to do it for someone who is ridiculously interested in and good at math, but needs help with reading and writing, in a totally regimented, here's-your-desk-sit-down classroom. His teachers keep some fun advanced math problems on hand for the kids after they finish the regular math work, and that's about the size of it. 

 

On the plus side, though, my son enjoys standardized testing (!) loves the reward system they have for behavior management because it's all money and counting, and is getting a lot out of the few special innovative programs this school does have. The school is diverse and he's meeting all kinds of kids, and that's really great. He wouldn't be if we were homeschooling, or sending him to Jewish day school as we'd originally intended to do. It's probably a good thing we decided we didn't have the money to do the latter, considering where and what his intellectual gifts are. 

 

So we're getting something out of school, and what we're not getting there, we're finding other places. 

 

 



 


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#32 of 41 Old 10-25-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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Yes, we're using Kahn Academy. We're using a lot of good tools for math differentiation--AT HOME. At school, my son is still waiting for the curriculum math problems to include single-digit multiplication. (He memorized the times tables on his own.) At home, I'm willing to help him find whatever he wants to know. If it's not online, I take him to the library, or we call a friend. 

 

It's kind of like when I visit my mom. Some people go home to eat their favorite childhood dishes. My mother is not a good cook, and I remind myself, "We're not visiting for the food." Apparently, when it comes to school, you don't go there to learn your favorite subject. You go to meet other children, and to learn to do group activities, and to learn your not-favorite-but-still-interesting-enough subjects, and then you go home and satisfy your curiosity and learn the stuff you want to learn. 

 

There is something alarming and amusing about me being responsible for teaching someone arithmetic. It's really fun to teach him, though. I was so bad at it and he just picks it right up. I did a little algebra with him and it was a redemptive experience--he makes it so intelligible and fun, and I remember it was so hard when I had to learn it. 

 

 

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Originally Posted by carmel23 View Post

I don't know.  I think with tools like Kahn Academy, etc. it is actually easier/just as easy to differentiate math--at least that has been our experience. 



 


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#33 of 41 Old 10-25-2011, 01:33 PM
 
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That set up didn't work at all for my daughter, and disastrous isn't too dramatic a word to describe how it turned out for her.  The first signs of major discontent appeared in grade 3, and only waited until then due to a wonderful grade 2 teacher. 

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#34 of 41 Old 10-25-2011, 02:18 PM
 
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Our son attends one of the lowest achieving 5% of Title 1 schools in our state. He is a kindergartener who is likely profoundly gifted. He started the year reading at a 4th grade level, and doing math that they expect out of 9 or 10 year olds.

 

We have been beyond thrilled with our experience thus far. the teachers created an individual program for him--he goes to the highest reading group in the first grade for 2 hours a day, and then they are completely differentiating math for him (one day a week, the gifted teacher does a flexible small group with him and a rotating group of other children and the other days, she and the math specialist give the teacher assignments that are thematically similar to what the other kids are doing). he still needs to master things like the lower case alphabet, writing numerals, and (most importantly!) how to keep his hands to himself, and how to listen appropriately to the teacher. he is very reluctant to show what he knows, and he guards his talents closely. they are doing an amazing job of making him comfortable enough to really show what he knows.

 

tons of parents in our neighborhood send their kids to the private school for "the intellectually advanced", but I have observed in there, and there is no way their kids are getting a better education than what my son is getting in his "failing" public school.

 

things may deteriorate when he gets older since the school currently ends in 4th grade. we are prepared for needing to revisit when he is in 3rd or 4th grade, but for right now, it is wonderful.

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#35 of 41 Old 10-25-2011, 05:22 PM
 
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Yes, and after a lot of angst prior to the beginning of the year, I feel like we are starting on a path that's working.  My child's teacher is a good advocate, and we have some differentiation/subject acceleration happening.  Is every bit of the day tailored expressly to my child's interests/needs?  No, but I'm not sure that we would find that anywhere except h'sing, which ds doesn't want.  Truly, the key has been the strength of the teacher, and the fact that socially and emotionally my child feels fulfilled.  It's pretty clear that we're going to need to move forward more, but for the moment things are going in the right direction.

 

We're also fortunate that the elem school is an "anchor" of the town--it's not something that can be quantified by test results.

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#36 of 41 Old 10-26-2011, 07:15 AM
 
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My DSC have all been labeled as gifted in our public school system and they are thriving there. Our particular district has a very strong gifted learning program that allows for kids to be pulled out for individual and group instruction in areas where they excel. I've always said that while we have very strong private schools in our area, our public school system is best for kids that are outliers in the curve. If your child needs special instruction for whatever reason, our public school system seems to have the most resources to be able to handle things like that. For instance, DSS 16 is taking an engineering class this semester at our local university. His HS has a plan for kids to do things like that and work with his schedule to allow for travel back and forth to class, labs, etc.

 

I'd suggest going to the specific school your child would attend and ask the principal about their gifted program. If one exists, meet with the gifted resource teacher and learn about the program. Different districts identify gifted children at different ages. In my kids' school district, identification starts in kindergarten. Some schools don't start until 2nd or 3rd grade.


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#37 of 41 Old 10-26-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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In our school every child has their own learning plan (montessori) and they are integrating kahn academy into the classroom.  The kids use the computers for research all the time and this use is considered 'research' even though it doesn't 100 per cent match with the montessori math (which works very well for my kids).

 

So much depends on the individuality of the teacher/school.  I have had to advocate at various levels at every school my kids have been at-- some schools are more receptive then others. 

 

The one advantage we have at their current charter school is that each child has an individualized learning plan, and a lot of independence. There is also little pressure to get a good score and compete, etc. So my kind of anxious older child feels like he isn't being judged and can do work that interests him. Also, process is stressed not product.  So if my kid wants to spend hours researching something and then only write a few sentences--that is fine.  If he wants to build a scale model of a bridge (with the help of some materials from home) that is great, too!


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#38 of 41 Old 10-27-2011, 11:58 AM
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My gifted son does not go to public school. I wish he did. We've agonized over it each of the past couple years (he's in 1st grade). I'm a huge supporter of public schools and my oldest son goes to a great public school. My daughter will most likely go to public school. However, I have been told by people in the schools (principals and district administrators) that they could not meet my gifted child's needs. He is not profoundly gifted but they just don't have the resources for kids who are more than a couple of years ahead. He is just thriving in private school and he would be miserable if we switched him now. He will almost certainly go to public middle school and high school, though, where the public schools get better at differentiation. 

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#39 of 41 Old 10-27-2011, 06:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MJB View Post

My gifted son does not go to public school. I wish he did. We've agonized over it each of the past couple years (he's in 1st grade). I'm a huge supporter of public schools and my oldest son goes to a great public school. My daughter will most likely go to public school. However, I have been told by people in the schools (principals and district administrators) that they could not meet my gifted child's needs. He is not profoundly gifted but they just don't have the resources for kids who are more than a couple of years ahead. He is just thriving in private school and he would be miserable if we switched him now. He will almost certainly go to public middle school and high school, though, where the public schools get better at differentiation. 



I'm curious, what's happening in the private school that meets the needs of your son?  Is he able to work at the grade level that matches his abilities?  I'd love to know how successful programs work.  We don't have a gifted program in our PS, although there is differentiation, and for some, subject or grade advancement.  So much depends upon the teacher though.

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#40 of 41 Old 10-29-2011, 07:39 AM
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I'm curious, what's happening in the private school that meets the needs of your son?  Is he able to work at the grade level that matches his abilities?  I'd love to know how successful programs work.  We don't have a gifted program in our PS, although there is differentiation, and for some, subject or grade advancement.  So much depends upon the teacher though.



Well, first off, they let him in K a year early, which is why we sent him there in the first place. The public schools make no exceptions to the cut-off. We chose to send him there again this year because we fell in love with the school. He gets reading and spelling at his level (for spelling, some kids are doing CVC/CVCe words and he's writing homophones like weather/whether in sentences). There are 12 kids and 2 teachers in his 1st grade class and the teacher is able and willing to delve deeper into the topics they are learning about. They have been making Venn diagrams comparing books, learning about the continents (currently South America), and he is learning new things every day. He can talk about plot and setting, and told his brother he was anthropomorphizing his food. They get a lot of specials-- science lab, spanish, art, music, PE, and computers several times a week each. Since kids have to test into the school, the average student is working at a higher level than the average 1st grader and there is another student at a similar level to my son, so they get to work together all the time. It's better than I knew was possible for a gifted primary student. 

Like I said, I am a huge supporter of public schools, I have a son in public school, all of my friends use the public schools, and my little guy will probably go to public school in the future. 

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#41 of 41 Old 10-31-2011, 04:53 PM
 
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I have 4 children (will have 5) in public schools in a good school district.  Our elementary does not differentiate so well for math, but there are 4 different vocab groups and 3 diff reading groups; much better in the upper elementary grades.  MS starts in 6th grade here; I have a 6th grader taking algebra I and all honors; and I have an 8th grader taking geometry and all honors.  They feel well challenged, love their classes, and cool stuff like dd1's civics teacher did a mock naturalization process for the kids, including an abbreviated ceremony like people who naturalize go through.  He really tried to get them to understand all the steps!  :)  The 6th grade science teacher was teaching the kids how to amend the soil (he's a farmer) and they are planting trees along the creek this fall.  He will meet anyone willing to come at 4 am or something to look at meteor showers.  Such good teachers!  :)  The art teacher is running a manga/cartooning club after school that dd2 loves.  Yeah, we're happy with the middle school and the science, math, social studies, english, PE and music teachers!  And Latin.  Dd1 is in her 2nd year of Latin and loves loves it!  My kids do well in a school setting.  So they are doing well there.

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