I am looking for advice and suggestions - especially from people who know the UK system. My 9 year old is very gifted. He's academically excellent all round but has an especial gift in maths. He has been teaching himself, with a GSCE book in a quiet corner at school this term and has blown through the foundation stage in just under 3 months. His maths 'teacher' (she said herself he has yet to recieve a maths lesson!) hasn't got any further than GCSE herself so is concerned about where to go with him next. The local secondary school have been fobbing her off, saying to teach him more bredth but like me she think's that is nonsence. It's unfair to ask him to keep treading water accademically. I am going to try and put pressure on the schools to allow him to go part time to junior school and have some lessons in the secondary school but it looks like that it going to be up hill to say the least! Home schooling isn't a great option for him as he is behind socially and we live in a small town with rubbish public transport links. The small amount of gifted out of school programs in the area are booked up for the next year and I'm running out of ideas for him!
I'd really love for him to be able to do some learning in a classroom environment with other people working on the same thing that he is. Has any one managed to get any UK schools to agree to this kind of arrangement and got any suggestions? We can keep providing him with new material at home but it doesn't seem to me to be that same as learning and being challenged in a group.
Ruth, mum to B (9), P (8) and T (5)
Can't help in terms of knowledge of the UK, but can you find a teacher, preferably themselves gifted in math, who is willing to mentor him while you try to see if he can take math in the junior school? My son, who is gifted in math, takes a couple of sessions weekly with a specialist math teacher. It had to go in the books officially as remedial math to allow for working around our system (I'm Canadian, in Nova Scotia), but in fact the sessions are being used to teach him at his level.
Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!
Try ordering Ed Zaccarro's "Challenge Math" book. My 9-year-old is loving it. She's at the point where she's learned all the maths normally taught up to about age 13. Having taken her three older siblings through a similar course, I do have some sympathy for the suggestion that you spend time working for more breadth rather than moving forward. My three older kids were simply not ready to move forward in the high school way at age 9/10. Intellectually they were ready for many of the concepts, but the developmental maturity necessary for coping with an upper-school program was not there and everything seemed too dry and overwhelming.
The Challenge Math book is I think targeted at gifted 4th through 9th graders (age 10-15) but we started using it at age 8 and it's wonderful. At the top of the cover it says "Math is often taught as all scales and no music. This book contains the music!" It's a very apt description. It explores many advanced concepts like trigonometry, exponents, statistics and calculus, but in playful ways very suited to younger children. It also teaches advanced problem-solving strategies including linear algebra, the use of Venn diagrams, diagrammatic patterns and such-like and the practice problems are given at three different levels: 1, 2 and Einstein. Thus far my dd is finding most of the Einstein ones too challenging, so our plan is to have her go through the book again when she's a bit older doing the Einstein problems then. They are a challenge: even I have to think hard about some of them! I definitely think the book has enough depth in it for a year or more of study. I can't speak highly enough about this book for exactly the sort of children you and I have. Better yet, it's very well set up for facilitated self-teaching, so I think your ds could probably use it in the classroom on his own with just a little help from time to time.
Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
I'm definitely going to add that book to my resource list as well. As someone who has always struggled in math, I'm quite concerned about homeschooling a boy who is supposedly highly gifted in math. Definitely looking to collect any resources that can help.
Ooh that sounds good. Would definatly help in the immediate future for his teacher (and us at home) to keep him entertained. A teacher suggested today that I start talking to the govenor in charge of special needs as they could help get him a tutor in school (a private tutor is out of the question financially). She's never heard of a child getting an IEP for being gifted, but then no teacher I've spoken to has ever experienced of heard of a kid like mine! Bless him.
On the subject, does anyone have a reccomendation for a book to teach logic to kids?
Ruth, mum to B (9), P (8) and T (5)