Roll Call: What are your children's ages? Are they gifted? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: How old are your children?
Ages 2-4. Gifted. 0 0%
Ages 2-4. Not gifted. 0 0%
Ages 4-6. Gifted. 1 9.09%
Ages 4-6. Not gifted. 2 18.18%
Ages 6-8. Gifted. 1 9.09%
Ages 6-8. Not gifted. 1 9.09%
Ages 8-10. Gifted. 2 18.18%
Ages 8-10. Not gifted. 1 9.09%
Ages 10-12. Gifted. 1 9.09%
Ages 10-12. Not gifted. 0 0%
Ages 12-14. Gifted. 1 9.09%
Ages 12-14. Not gifted. 0 0%
Ages 14 +. Gifted. 1 9.09%
Ages 14+. Not gifted. 0 0%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 14 Old 08-27-2011, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Note: ***When I say 'gifted', I also mean 'highly motivated, enaged, passionate'.

 

Note #2: I meant to have the option of answering more than one question on the poll, obviously, as many here have more than one child. I don't think I can edit it now. Please answer with your 'average' child in the poll (the child that you tend to post most about, or have most questions about, or use as an example most), and add your answers in your posts below.

 

 

 

I know this sounds grumpy, but I'd really like to find out more about how regular, non-gifted unschoolers are doing as they get older.  It is very clear to me that unschooling is absolutely fantastic for gifted and  / or motivated children.

 

I've been struggling lately with my thoughts about unschooling my bright, but pretty average 9 year old. I worry. She is a perfectionist, with very rigid ideas on how things should be done. She would reject an entire subject area, even if she was initially interested in it, after not liking how a book is designed. She does not like being challenged. She doesn't like typical routes to skill or knowledge acquisition. She is a great kid. Others find her delightful. But in the context of unschooling, I do worry. A lot.

 

I do know that DD would be absolutely miserable in school, so this makes my decision to unschool a little easier. But she is miserable at home too, mostly because of her personality.

 

I don't worry about my 6 year old. He is intensely curious, thoughtful and analytical, and is never bored. He doesn't know basic arithmetics and is not interested in math, is just learning to read, but he is engaged with something all the time. He is eager. He is persistent.

 

My impression of this board is that most members are either parents of older and gifted unschoolers, or parents of much younger unschoolers. (What I consider to be basic parenting with child-lead leanings, rather than unschooling.)

 

Where is a bunch of parents like me? If there were more parents like me, wouldn't be THEY posting the most, since they would have the most doubts and challenges? Wouldn't THEY be seeking support and discussion? 

 

Their absence leads me to uneasy conclusions. For example, that only those with gifted children "survive" the process and emerge with well adjusted and reasonably educated children worth talking about. Or that most parents of average children would eventually switch to more formal homeschooling / schools in middle school years. I don't know. I can't come up with anything more uplifting.

 

 

 


My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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#2 of 14 Old 08-27-2011, 02:32 PM
 
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I'm not sure really how to know if kids are gifted or not.  My kids are 4 and 1.  Your 9-year-old sounds like what is described as Indigo...have you ever considered that?

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#3 of 14 Old 08-27-2011, 08:04 PM
 
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My girls are young, 4.5 and 6.5.  I voted once for both of them.  They are very, very bright I think but not so phenomenally that I would even wonder about giftedness. I credit some of that with our "unschooling approach to child rearing" or whatever you want to call that.  They have the luxury of time to explore and discover on their own terms.


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#4 of 14 Old 08-27-2011, 10:13 PM
 
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Hi there, I am new to the group and new to homeschooling.  I have 2 girls ages 6 & 7, just starting 1st & 2nd grade at home.  We are going to be using a curriculum so I guess we arent unschooling.

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#5 of 14 Old 08-28-2011, 09:11 AM
 
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I have one Ds he's five. After working with truly gifted children I know he isn't "gifted" in the real sense, I think he is very bright and conceptual but no not gifted. I'm going to make one comment on giftedness, I think a lot of kids who are labeled as gifted are just really bright and insightful, and usually from supportive involved families and they are equally as wonderful.


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#6 of 14 Old 08-30-2011, 05:21 AM
 
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Ok, I can't help it. I have to say it - there's no " other" option!
My children are 2 and 5 so yes, a parent of younger unschoolers. My 2 year old seems neurotypical but bright, but at 2 it really should be too early to tell. My 5 year old is different. There was no "too early to tell" with her. She stood out as precocious from long before she started speaking in sentences at 14 months. But...she hasn't been tested as gifted and hopefully (especially if DH has anything to do with it) never will be. So I didn't vote. I don't know if she's gifted or not, posts like Stacey B's make me think I'm just a proud mother & I don't feel comfortable ticking "gifted".

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#7 of 14 Old 08-30-2011, 10:36 AM
 
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I was labeled gifted as a child. I don't really care if my children are or not or if anyone else's child is or not. Unschooling really negates the need for that label in most circumstances and in fact, usually helps to mitigate the side-effects of labeling children in general, which is sort of the point.

 

I have a 9 year old and a 6 year old. All of the unschooling families I know generally don't have children who are exceptionally motivated to learn traditionally academic subjects. I think though that their ideas about success for their adult children have veered from tradition, which may be what you're missing. There's also a tendency, I think, towards anti-intellectualism in some unschooling circles, particularly online, though I don't believe it's the whole truth of their lives at all.

 

I think it's important to try to discern if she's doing well in general, and think about what it is that you feel she's missing particularly. Start a thread about that. I'm happy to talk about it. I'm in a good place right now. Ask me in the winter, and I won't be so confident!


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#8 of 14 Old 08-30-2011, 03:12 PM
 
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I've gone back and forth, and back, and forth, on the validity of the giftedness label and on its definition. The upshot of it for me is that it's really beside the point with unschooling. Giftedness is mostly a way of describing the way in which some kids don't fit the age-levelled adult-administered expectations of group-based learning. And none of that is particularly relevant in an unschooling environment. Our kids aren't being compared to other children. Their educational results aren't being measured. They're not trying to fit into a specific mold. They're not having trouble fitting their education, because they're building their education around themselves and their own needs.

 

However, the same can't be said of the parents of unschoolers. We are being measured and compared: by ourselves, to each other -- in forums like this. And since unschooling parents are presumably not subjecting their kids to tutoring and flashcards and other drill, we can't write off differences as school-parents would to pushy hot-housing. So there's a tendency to feel guilty, or defensive, or inadequate, if we haven't produced kids who are coding apps, writing piano sonatas and winning gymnastics meets at age 11. I used to call this "skylark envy," because of my own reaction to reading David Albert's "And the Skylark Sings With Me: Adventures in Homeschooling and Community-based Education," a recounting of life and learning with two pretty intensely precocious (and separately adopted, incidentally) kids. As parents of kids not doing these things we tend to react along the lines of: are we failing as unschooling facilitators for our kids? are our children somehow defective, missing the "passion" and "commitment" and "natural ability" genes that other unschooling kids seem to have? 

 

So maybe there's a reason to acknowledge the existence of giftedness in the unschooling community. I don't know.

 

I have four wonderful kids who seem to all be very bright. I've learned (even though I sometimes forget) that I need to be a little reserved in unschooling forums sharing specifics about the level my kids are at with their learning.

 

I couldn't answer the poll because I have too many kids. I have on each of ...

 

Ages 6-8

Ages 10-12

Ages 12-14

Ages14+

 

... all probably gifted, but the eldest and youngest most starkly so.

 

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#9 of 14 Old 08-30-2011, 10:11 PM
 
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#10 of 14 Old 08-31-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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My 10 yo ds is either very bright or moderately gifted.  But it doesn't show up in anything academic.  He has all the typical characteristics of a gifted kid, except being an early reader.  He has some asynchronous development and a strong sense of justice and loyalty, for instance.  At the moment, he is passionate about playing Starcraft online and making foam weapons and armor for playing Renaissance Capture the Flag.  I'm not sure how to vote.  It sounds to me that a number of people here are modestly saying their children aren't gifted when they mean they aren't profoundly gifted but might still be technically gifted according to the current standards.  I never really thought much about giftedness, being surrounded by either bright or moderately gifted people. I used to think that was just average and only profoundly gifted people were gifted.  I think if your bright child makes you feel like beating your head against a wall, s/he might actually be gifted, lol. (I'm sure there are exceptions, mellow gifted kids, but they are more rare.)  

 

Here's an interesting (to me, at any rate) checklist I just turned up trying to google the characteristics of gifted children list I had seen some years back.

http://www.tagfam.org/whoisgifted.html#bright

 

Comparison of Bright vs Gifted

 

Bright Child                   Gifted Child

  

Knows the answers.       Asks the questions.

 

Interested.                     Extremely curious.

 

Pays attention.              Gets involved physically 

                                     and mentally.

 

Works hard.                  Plays around, still gets

                                     good test scores.

 

Answers questions.      Questions the answers. 

      

Enjoys same-age          Prefers adults or older 

peers.                           children.

 

Good at memorization.   Good at guessing.

 

Learns easily.                 Bored. Already knew the 

                                      answers.

 

Listens well.                  Shows strong feelings 

                                     and opinions.

 

Self-satisfied.                Highly critical of self 

                                    (perfectionistic).

Source: Janice Szabos as quoted in "The Gifted and Talented Child," Maryland Council for Gifted & Talented Children, Inc. P.O. Box 12221, Silver Spring, MD 20908

 

I guess i'd better check the gifted option in the poll! lol.gif


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#11 of 14 Old 08-31-2011, 09:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post

 

Comparison of Bright vs Gifted

 

Bright Child                   Gifted Child

  

Knows the answers.       Asks the questions.

 

Interested.                     Extremely curious.

 

Pays attention.              Gets involved physically 

                                     and mentally.

 

Works hard.                  Plays around, still gets

                                     good test scores.

 

Answers questions.      Questions the answers. 

      

Enjoys same-age          Prefers adults or older 

peers.                           children.

 

Good at memorization.   Good at guessing.

 

Learns easily.                 Bored. Already knew the 

                                      answers.

 

Listens well.                  Shows strong feelings 

                                     and opinions.

 

Self-satisfied.                Highly critical of self 

                                    (perfectionistic).

Source: Janice Szabos as quoted in "The Gifted and Talented Child," Maryland Council for Gifted & Talented Children, Inc. P.O. Box 12221, Silver Spring, MD 20908

 

I guess this gives a bit of the flavour of some of the differences, but it's very over-simplistic, particularly in an unschooling environment  ... why would they be bored and "already know the answers" if they're leading their own educations? Don't all unschooled kids "play around"? How would unschoolers "get good test scores"? Unschooled kids don't grow up in an age-levelled educational environment so compared to their schooled peers they're likely to be much more socially comfortable around adults and other older people. They also grow up in families where questioning things, and expressing strong opinions, is likely to be valued more than conformity -- because the unschooling choice their parents have made is exactly of that sort.

 

Gifted kids often have amazing memories and incredible drive and intensity, working almost obsessively at things that inspire them, so I'd take issue with those points too.

 

The list seems more concerned with distinguishing between two different types of high achievers in a school environment, but even in that context I think it's overly simplistic.

 

Miranda


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#12 of 14 Old 08-31-2011, 10:09 AM
 
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hehe, well according to that list I wouldve been gifted;)  I went to private school though and there were no "gifted" children.  


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#13 of 14 Old 08-31-2011, 10:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

I guess this gives a bit of the flavour of some of the differences, but it's very over-simplistic, particularly in an unschooling environment  


Sure, I was just getting at "flavour."  it's hard to get something comprehensive especially when the person isn't in school.  A standard academic test would be no good at determining giftedness in an unschooled kid who isn't learning the same things as same aged peers, either.  Anyway, I think I was trying to get at the fact that this poll doesn't mean anything when we aren't defining giftedness the same way:-)  My ds does have to take a standardized test in 3rd, 5th, and 8th grades.  Some states in the U.S. require annual ones.  I was impressed ds scored above average in the 3rd grade one when I felt he was seriously behind academically.  

 


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#14 of 14 Old 08-31-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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My 9 year old is gifted then. I mean, I figured, but still. He's never taken tests and I don't know how he'd do on them, but the rest applies. No clue about my 6 year old. I was gifted. My husband supposedly wasn't. He did poorly in school. I dropped out. He's finishing his PhD right now. I'm not sure what any of it means. I hope my kids find a way to support themselves and explore the world and do really wonderful things, whether traditional or not. I hope that they love people and what they do.

 

I think we're on that path.


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