I need lesson plans for gifted 9 yr old. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 09-12-2013, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm at a loss and feeling overwhelmed. Evan, who is in 3rd grade, is showing IQ scores in the top 2% and is telling me he's bored at school and I'm pretty sure he's faking his illness today to get out of school. Honestly, he's too smart for me! I don't know what to do with him! Or maybe I'm just too lazy to do hours and hours of research and lesson planning to develop something on his level. He's reading Animal Farm and is loving it and I have a friend who teaches it at the high school and can give me lesson plans for it, but what do I do after that?? Really I think he's faking illness today to stay home and do Animal Farm projects.

He's a very normal kid, many friends, into soccer and baseball, etc. I would say he's a tad more emotional than his brother was at that age, but not significantly.

We live in a small town with not a lot of resources and have lots of sporting activities after school. I really love the school system here, but I'm afraid it might not be equipped to provide for him. There are a couple of private schools in the next town over, but really I don't know that they'd be much better, I mean they are just rich kids, not necessarily smarter kids.

Please help!!
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#2 of 11 Old 09-12-2013, 08:04 AM
 
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It's best to start with the school. Have you had a conference with the teacher yet? What can he/she offer in regards to differentiated curriculum? Has subject acceleration been considered? Giving MORE work at home isn't going to fix the school situation and so it's really the school you need to address at this point.


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#3 of 11 Old 09-12-2013, 08:30 AM
 
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Yeah, good to keep pressing the school.  You'll find the most comprehensive ideas about helping him there.

 

But on your own, lots of hobby-types of activities have redeeming intellectual value and can be useful for helping him feel challenged and you don't need a lesson plan for them: crosswords (for vocabulary), logic problems, sudoku, playing chess.  Lots of these get used in school's gifted programs for that very reason.  Librarians might have some good ideas/lists/programs that may be easily accessible regarding more advanced books.  There might be ways to get into the sidelines of some different clubs/groups at middle/high school where he could do some more advanced work - the schools may help with this, but just asking around may also.  

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#4 of 11 Old 09-12-2013, 12:41 PM
 
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I have a gifted 10-year-old who is homeschooled (so she isn't dealing with 5-6 hours a day of structured institution-based learning) and even we don't use lesson plans for her reading. (We read things together, and discuss whatever we find naturally thought-provoking.) In your case, where your ds is already getting all that school time, I think there's even more reason to avoied piling more school-work on. It sounds like the problem is boredom at school, and you need to solve that with/at the school.

 

My middle two (gifted) kids are teens who attend a small-town public school with no gifted programming. Generally it seems like the more open-ended assignments are, the more they suit gifted kids. Often the answer to accommodating gifted kids in the regular classroom is as simple as the teacher saying ".... or you can come up with an idea for a related project to do instead" any time he or she assigns something. Working with the teachers at the school to allow your ds to be a little more self-directed in challenging himself within the school paradigm might be an easy way to tailor things. Alternatively subject acceleration or curricular differentiation might be possible. The important thing to appreciate is that even grossly underchallenging schooling is not down-time, and kids can get stressed and burnt out if more lessons are piled on top of what they're doing all day.

 

If your ds is not finding interesting engaging things to do during his non-school time, and is craving intellectual stimulation, try to find ways that are as un-school-like as possible to fill those needs: chess or second-language learning, or community theatre or piano or robotics, those sorts of things.

 

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#5 of 11 Old 09-15-2013, 09:51 AM
 
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I have a bright 9yo (homeschooled) who does best with a mix of formal and self-directed learning. Subjects like Latin, formal logic, history of the English language, seem to work well with scaffolding--at least for my very analytical kiddo. I think it can be very satisfying to wrestle with progressively harder problems, and there are some fantastic materials out there with genuinely interesting problems.

 

That's not to discount the value of fallow time, in which I also believe, but I do think that there are great things to be gotten from a lesson plan at that age, if it is more practical to use one in that situation.

 

For schooled children, I have seen the recommendation for advanced work to go deeper, rather than ahead, when possible (so instead of doing algebra, read about history in math or number theory) OR to try doing advanced work in subjects that are not part of the normal curriculum (another language, diagramming sentences, a branch of science that isn't going to come up soon) so that the student will not then be bored in two years when that material does come up.

 

A few suggestions:

anything by Ellen McHenry--mapping the world with art would work well with no supervision needed

Jacobs: Math the Human Endeavor (and Art of Problem Solving books when that is outgrown)

 

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#6 of 11 Old 09-15-2013, 09:54 AM
 
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Adding that this piece really is crucial, IME:

 

The important thing to appreciate is that even grossly underchallenging schooling is not down-time, and kids can get stressed and burnt out if more lessons are piled on top of what they're doing all day.

 

When DS was in public school, it was really hard to balance--in the hours between school ending and bedtime, he had a need for learning something and a need for down time, and it was very uncommon for him to feel that he had had enough of both.

 

If it's possible to substitute real learning for some of the underchallenging work of the school day, that would be optimal.

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#7 of 11 Old 09-15-2013, 11:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domesticidyll View Post
 

anything by Ellen McHenry

 

Wow, thanks for mentioning her stuff: it's really good! I think my homeschooled 10-year-old might get a kick out of her science stuff. Good to have that possibility in my back pocket if she's ever looking for something workbooky.

 

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#8 of 11 Old 09-15-2013, 01:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
 

The important thing to appreciate is that even grossly underchallenging schooling is not down-time, and kids can get stressed and burnt out if more lessons are piled on top of what they're doing all day.

 

Miranda

Amen.

 

It sounds like such a no brainer. Intuitively right. like something you would not feel the need to yell at a teacher or educator or politician who claims that as long as gifted kids are challenged with "extra classes" in the afternoons everything is fine with their mornings being grossly underchallenging.


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#9 of 11 Old 09-19-2013, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not doing this to pile more work on him, he wants/needs it. No, he's not getting much at school and he just really wants some things that he can work on. Man, it is so hard to find anyone that just gets us, in forums or in person, everyone just wants to assume they know what's best :kickcan:

Sorry for the rant
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#10 of 11 Old 09-20-2013, 09:18 PM
 
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Look, people with kids older than yours, and with kids whose IQs are even more off-the-scale, are making suggestions for the sorts of enrichment that tend to work best over the long run ... things outside the realm of traditional academics, things that are intellectually challenging but not school-like, work that is deeper or tangentially related, rather than more accelerated. There is no shortage of such suggestions in the thread above. Experienced parents are also telling you that if he's bored and under-challenged at school, that is a problem that needs to be dealt with. You cannot fix that by adding interesting academics at home: you may make home a cooler place, but that's only going to increase the perception of the deficiencies at school. As you've discovered first-hand, once he was excited about Animal Farm projects at home, he avoided school by faking or over-playing an illness. If you're not prepared to homeschool him, you need to advocate within the school to make his hours there more engaging and meaningful. All the after-school enrichment in the world will not fix that, and the problems will only get greater as the school years roll by, because more and more time-consuming unengaging busy-work will be required of him there.

 

No one in this forum thinks you're a pushy tiger-mom, hot-housing your kid to great achievement over his protests. Truly. Not here. We get it. I was back-packing with my 10-year-old yesterday in the middle of nowhere, on a trip that was supposed to be about survival skills and outdoor education, and she was begging me to teach her more about exponents. "If negative numbers are negative when the exponent is odd, and positive when the exponent is even, what happens when the exponent is fractional, or what if it's pi? Is that negative or positive?" We're all dealing with kids who tend to push themselves forward with all sorts of precocity and drive. We're just trying to suggest -- on the assumption that your ds is going to continue to attend school -- that to create the best situation over the long-term you are best to try to redirect him into intellectually challenging pursuits that are different from the things school tends to cover, and attempt to find a better fit at school in terms of challenge so that he's not so bored there.

 

Miranda

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#11 of 11 Old 09-20-2013, 11:02 PM
 
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OP, I'm recommending richer, slower work, and a variety of enrichment because I assume your DS is bright.

 

 I also had a kiddo who wanted two hours plus of math some days after almost seven hours of kindergarten. I truly do hear and understand about the real want for more. The piece that was hard for me was having a child who also needed, just as much, time to be active and outside, and quiet time to linger. It's hard to hit a saturation point with interesting work and still honor those other needs. At least I found it to be so. It can also sometimes be hard to see the other needs clearly when the brightness and curiosity is so visible, and the need is so clearly not being met by the school.

 

My vote would be to invest some time in finding a few good resources, and then let him work at them on his own without formal lesson plans. Hivemind (forums for classical homeschooling, following the Well-Trained Mind model) has a subforum for afterschooling that might be a good place to talk about formal supplementing. Their accelerated learner forum has searchable archives, and is a great resource for curriculum discussion in general. If the school is willing and equipped to find good materials for you--or to let you send in materials that he can do instead of busywork--all the better.

 

Heather

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