The average child - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#181 of 220 Old 07-02-2006, 11:12 PM
 
Roar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,419
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestbirths
Have you no respect for that?
I think it is a waste of time with no lasting value other than the entertainment of the person in the moment (which certainly may be of value to that individual but hardly seems to merit recognition by others). Because something is difficult doesn't in and of itself give it value or meaning beyond for the person doing it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestbirths
The time and effort that it takes to get to the level where you could MAKE A LIVING playing video games, and get sponsors?
Whether or not something is compensated with money isn't the determination of value for me. Most of the things I've done that have the most meaning to me were unpaid. And, we can think of all sorts of things that aren't particularly good that people are paid a great deal of money to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestbirths
How come most people would respect a football or baseball or golf player for what they do and not a professional video game player?
I expect that the difference comes from the recognition of the physical process of training - Lazyboy recliner versus weight lifting. Also, it probably has a lot to do with how entertaining it is for someone else to watch. Personally I think they share the danger of people spending years deluding themselves they have the possibility of making a living playing when the vast majority never will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestbirths
Not all people want to study quantum physics all day.
No need to explain that to me - I'd rather poke my eye out with a fork.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestbirths
I have had a child who saved a life, and a child who got to the top level of a video game and I don't rate the accomplishments of one over the other.
Wow, from my perspective that's just nuts. If you say I don't value one child over the other or I don't love one child more than the other or I'm not more proud of one child than the other I'd be right there with you. But, to say that saving a human life, sparing that loss and grief for people who love that person has no more value than winning a video game is just a really sad distortion of values in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestbirths
Originally, I thought that since I had a gifted child they would end up having to use their gifts for something momentus. Something like being a doctor and finding the cure for cancer! I learned over time, that what was important was that the child was happy, and the child pursued his passions, even if he grew up to operate a garbage truck, so be it.
Yes, that is too much pressure for any one person to tolerate and that is really dangerous. This isn't something that should be put on any more reason and in my opinion this is one reason that it is important to have a real meaningful and complete discussion about intellectual differences. Because the parent doesn't say "cure cancer" doesn't mean the child won't hear it elsewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestbirths
In the beginning I bragged on, mentioned, and overly stressed and focused on the giftedness. This made the children coming after this child uncomfortable. It also was labeling the child "this is the gifted one", which is a mistake on the lines of duh in parenting 101.....but I learn things the hard way. A long time ago, I began to see that my over hoopla'd ness about my oldest child's giftedness was some kind of pride thing for me.
It is great that you were able to grow as a parent and learn from your mistakes. I will suggest though it is important to realize that the kind of things you are describing are not an inherent part of acknowleding a child's intellectual differences or needs.
Roar is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#182 of 220 Old 07-02-2006, 11:25 PM
 
Lillian J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 8,976
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
You or your child will also need to be prepared to speak in terms of completing grades or courses for the purposes of college admissions if that is a goal.
Although, it all depends on what college your child is interested in. For whatever it's worth, mine didn't need much. When he was in his teens, he took a couple of high school enrichment classes at the community college, and at some point started taking a few more for college credit. When he was ready to start at a four-year college, he used those for one transcript and I put together a very simple high school transcript that consisted of a simple summary of what he'd done. My transcript had no grades, referred to no grade levels, and referred to no specific courses. He had two scholarship offers before he got around to finishing the application for the third college he was interested in, but they were fine with my simple transcript too. - Lillian
Lillian J is offline  
#183 of 220 Old 07-02-2006, 11:35 PM
 
Bestbirths's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Lyme-Autism Connection Conference
Posts: 2,183
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
But, to say that saving a human life, sparing that loss and grief for people who love that person has no more value than winning a video game is just a really sad distortion of values in my opinion.
The irony is that the one child can spot someone in danger with no preparation or effort. It comes naturally for her, she doesn't work at it, it just is. It is a gift. I was saying I don't hold more value of one gift over another, not that saving a life is not more valuable....it is not considered more valuable in our family everyones gifts are considered equally valuable. Really, where would we be if the people who saved lives couldn't occasionally have some entertainment, relax, play some video games, unwind, play some golf, get some entertainment that they did only for themselves, recharge, to go back out and save more lives. Both gifts are valuable and even complement each other.

The other child spends hours and hours perfecting his passion and gift at video games. They both have equal gifts. I just see it that way.
Bestbirths is offline  
#184 of 220 Old 07-02-2006, 11:43 PM
Dar
 
Dar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 11,249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
The reality is that some kids are MUCH MORE bored in school than others.
FORGET SCHOOL. This is the third time I've said it... this is the homeschool board. I am not going to argue about schools. If your contention is that talking about how gifted your child is will help him get more out of school, then by all means go post about it on the Learning at School board. Do you think the "gifted" label applies to homeschoolers at all? All of your posts seem to apply to schools or class situations.

Quote:
I would like to hear more about your experience arranging mentoring or class opportunities for an atypical learner and how you handled these communications.
Much less formally than you have, obviously. My dad is a physician who knows tons about butterflies and a lot about the natural world in general. He's been a great resource, both when we visit him and via phone or email. I have a good friend who is a history buff, and Rain felt comfortable dropping in on him when she had history-related questions, and he knew a lot about the local flora and fauna. Other mentors just seemed to appear when Rain got interested in a topic - for example, when she started volunteering at a historic farm when she was 7 she met a ranger who knew a lot about farming during the late 1800s, and she and Rain would talk for hours about it. We used to go to lots of museums and meet the people working there and sometimes just talk for hours. Rain has also emailed website owners with questions about the content, and gotten good responses.

Most of the classes Rain has done have been arts-related, not academic... classes seem like the best way to learn ballet, but maybe not the best way to learn other things. She took a couple of homeschool biology classes in Tucson, I think... I remember her dissecting a squid. She's done some group activities with kids who are a few years older than she is, and that generally works out better than having her with her own age-cohort... but that's generally not academic as much as explorational. Learning through being "taught", either individually or as part of a class, just hasn't been her preferred way of learning. She'd rather read, explore, discuss, and ask questions.

People can usually figure out what information a person wants and needs when the learning is a discussion, rather than teacher-based.

Quote:
but the child may still learn very differently. In order to understand that you have to be accepting of the idea of intellectual differences though.
Again, differently from whom? All children learn differently. You write as if there were three distinct ways of learning - average, gifted, and delayed - and everyone fit into one of those boxes. There are millions of ways of learning, and every child is intellectually different from every other child.

Quote:
For me what happens in school matters.
Of course it matters... but not for the sake of this discussion. We're talking about the labeling of homeschooled children as "gifted". The genocide in Darfur matters, too, but let's leave that to a more appropriate board.

Quote:
What does "going around noting" even mean?
I don't know... you're the one saying it.

Quote:
And, it is so okay for my kid to be exactly where he is. To honestly talk about that is going to include mentioning things like quantum physics and college...because those are where he is. The question is why you seem to have decided that means it is better or about beating the Jones, when it is simply about being and following interests which is what I hope most homeschoolers are about.
FWIW, saying "My son can do physics at COLLEGE LEVEL!" is not talking about college. That's about being better-than. If you want to talk physics, I think Richard Feyman was incredible, and I'd recommend his Caltech lectures on physics (I think they're on audiotape) to anyone wanting a basic understanding of the subject. The Cartoon Guide to Physics is also a good resource... a little more basic, but fun. Rain has read nearly all of the Cartoon Guides - we recommend them highly.

I posted something about college just last week - Rain has been wanting to take some college classes for a year or so, but our county made it almost impossible for a homeschooler who is under 16 to go to the community college. Getting into the state university, however, seems much more possible, as long as she can score well on the ACT. So she's jumped into higher math, after eschewing the subject for years. She plans to cover Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry, and Trig, all by October... which seems a tad ambitious, considering everything else she's busy doing, but we'll see...

dar

 
fambedsingle1.gifSingle mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler earth.gif


  

Dar is offline  
#185 of 220 Old 07-02-2006, 11:50 PM
Dar
 
Dar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 11,249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J


Although, it all depends on what college your child is interested in. For whatever it's worth, mine didn't need much. When he was in his teens, he took a couple of high school enrichment classes at the community college, and at some point started taking a few more for college credit.
I miss California...

Here in Kansas, it would seem that I can "graduate" her from high school at any point, and then if she scores well enough on the ACT, the university will accept her as a high school graduate. I don't actually know of anyone who has gone down this path, but that's what the ed code seems to say... and there would be no trasncript required, just the test scores. Of course, she's never taken a standardized test, so I have no idea how well she'll do... I do really well, which got me a great job tecahing test prep classes, so I'm hoping it's genetic.

Dar

 
fambedsingle1.gifSingle mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler earth.gif


  

Dar is offline  
#186 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 12:01 AM
 
Lillian J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 8,976
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
I miss California...
I keep forgetting you've moved!

Quote:
Of course, she's never taken a standardized test, so I have no idea how well she'll do... I do really well, which got me a great job teaching test prep classes, so I'm hoping it's genetic.
I think it helped my son on the SAT to have had a little prep about how the stupid things work - seems to me he got that from one of the SAT prep books... Sounds like you already know pretty intuitvely, probably just from being subjected to them in schools. - Lillian
Lillian J is offline  
#187 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 12:10 AM
 
Roar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,419
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
FORGET SCHOOL. This is the third time I've said it... this is the homeschool board. I am not going to argue about schools. If your contention is that talking about how gifted your child is will help him get more out of school, then by all means go post about it on the Learning at School board. dar
I certainly respect your right to say you aren't interested in discussing how it may relate to school. Many of us attended school, have neighbors who school and live in a broader community and find it interesting to discuss and I don't think there are firm rules on MDC about this sort of thing but someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
Do you think the "gifted" label applies to homeschoolers at all? All of your posts seem to apply to schools or class situations.dar
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
People can usually figure out what information a person wants and needs when the learning is a discussion, rather than teacher-based. dar
Not sure exactly what this means. In our situation our son has tended to get in learning situations with people who were experts or teachers of some sort. It may not be lecture style but it is clear the adult has resources and knowledge to share. Yes, it sorts itself out in time if you carefully select opportunities in the first place. I also now am willing to say things like "ready for calculus" if it helps figure out where to start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
Again, differently from whom? All children learn differently. You write as if there were three distinct ways of learning - average, gifted, and delayed - and everyone fit into one of those boxes. There are millions of ways of learning, and every child is intellectually different from every other child.dar
I could repeat half of my last post, but I don't think that would be a good use of my time. They aren't neat boxes of course for the rest read my last post.

What I'm struck by is that in the desire to be a homeschooler who breaks the paradigm it is necessary to somehow pretend you don't know that there are things that typically happen in certain age ranges. It is like pretending you have no idea that on average kids walk when they are around one. The one that walks at six months is noticed as would be the one who walks first at the age of two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
FWIW, saying "My son can do physics at COLLEGE LEVEL!" is not talking about college. That's about being better-than.dar
What I said.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
And, it is so okay for my kid to be exactly where he is. To honestly talk about that is going to include mentioning things like quantum physics and college...because those are where he is.
Roar
I said mentioning things like quantum physics because it is an interest. And, mentioning college because he attends classes. I said nothing including "he can" or "physics at the college level". Is mentioning an interests or answering "where were you on Tuesday?" honestly "better than" in your book? I'm feeling lucky that we know folks who aren't so on edge all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
If you want to talk physics, I think Richard Feyman was incredible, and I'd recommend his Caltech lectures on physics (I think they're on audiotape) to anyone wanting a basic understanding of the subject. The Cartoon Guide to Physics is also a good resource... a little more basic, but fun. Rain has read nearly all of the Cartoon Guides - we recommend them highly.dar
Cartoon Guides have never been a hit here. Feyman was well liked though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
I posted something about college just last week - Rain has been wanting to take some college classes for a year or so, but our county made it almost impossible for a homeschooler who is under 16 to go to the community college. Getting into the state university, however, seems much more possible, as long as she can score well on the ACT. So she's jumped into higher math, after eschewing the subject for years. She plans to cover Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry, and Trig, all by October... which seems a tad ambitious, considering everything else she's busy doing, but we'll see...dar
We've dealt with the same community college rule and I agree it is really frustrating. Our son took the ACT this year and yes, it makes things much easier to have what is considered proof in hand. Good luck to your daughter. The good thing is that it is always possible to take the ACT more times so even if her math doesn't end up where she wants by October it is still a good experience. No idea how it works where you live but another option may be to audit a class and avoid going through the whole admissions process. Some universities have a "special student" classification to allow for this sort of thing.
Roar is offline  
#188 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 12:35 AM
Dar
 
Dar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 11,249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
What I'm struck by is that in the desire to be a homeschooler who breaks the paradigm it is necessary to somehow pretend you don't know that there are things that typically happen in certain age ranges. It is like pretending you have no idea that on average kids walk when they are around one. The one that walks at six months is noticed as would be the one who walks first at the age of two.
There are certainly typical age ranges for developmental skills, like walking, although even those vary somewhat according to cultural practices. The idea of typical ages for academic skills is a construct of our school system, though. We think it's "typical" for children to read at 6 and start algebra at 14, but there's nothing magic about those numbers... some educational systems teach algebra at 8, or reading at 10. Looking at unschoolers is a good way to get a sense of the huge "typical" age range for most academic skills.


Quote:
I said mentioning things like quantum physics because it is an interest. And, mentioning college because he attends classes. I said nothing including "he can" or "physics at the college level".
That was a quote from FSM, originally... you attempted to use it to attempt to "prove" that that people here believed wasn't okay to talk about an interest in physics, and the point was that physics is fine, it's the phrasing that was off.

Quote:
No idea how it works where you live but another option may be to audit a class and avoid going through the whole admissions process. Some universities have a "special student" classification to allow for this sort of thing
Thanks... I'll look into it!

dar

 
fambedsingle1.gifSingle mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler earth.gif


  

Dar is offline  
#189 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 12:49 AM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
If you want to talk about your child's interest in physics or Jane Eyre or digimon or paleontology or whatever, that's fine. No one objects. If you want to go around comparing or labeling ("quantum physics at College Level!"), well... why? What exactly is the point of noting how much higher and better your kid is that other kids? Why can't it be okay for your kid to just be where he is, and forget beating the Joneses?

dar
(raising hand nervously here before joining in)

Is it in your opinion always wrong to mention 'grade level' as a measure? I am trying hard to see the logic here, but am failing. If I wanted to communicate with someone (who needed to know) about my child's level in some skill, such as reading, it would seem to me to be quite sensible to look up state requirements for that skill and measure my child against them.

Now, I realise that this is something that might raise hackles on some people, so I wouldnt do it if I could avoid it for that reason. With reading, it's fairly simple. I can tell my child's education consultant that she just finished reading the Merlin adventures. Fine. But what about maths? Isn't it easier for me to tell her that we just finished Singapore grade 1, 2 or 3? What is so awful about that? Or if I just say 'she's working at second grade level'. What is so bad? I really don't get how it is wrong to give a clear measure against set, commonly understood criteria, of where a child is in his/her learning.

Isn't the issue really about the need to know rather than the way you communicate the child's level? If I were to tell some parent that I didnt know in the park that my 5 year old child just read the Merlin adventures, that would be fairly obnoxious, whether or not I mentioned grade level. But if I am talking with a prospective school or tutor, or whatever, it's very relevant. Same goes for grade level in another subject. I can look up the state standards and work out what we have covered, and what my child is capable of. Otherwise, there is going to be a sure amount of wasted time and possible frustration for all as they work out where my child should start.

I think where there is a huge misunderstanding of the gifted parent community is the fact that there are some places that feel/felt like 'safe havens' where you could use the 'g' word and assume that nobody thought you were bragging. Maybe some people lurk there and assume that posters would speak of their children like that IRL.

My children have never heard the word 'gifted' applied to them or anyone else. I use it sparingly, where it is needed. For me, it implies a whole lot of other issues, that I then communicate, on a need-to-know basis. Just as I would share information on a need-to-know basis about my child's dyslexia or any other special need. I may say that my child is gifted and quirky, then describe those quirks. But for me, the label 'gifted' is useful when I communicate with people who need to know about those associated quirks. That is often the only way that my children can participate in activities with their peers - if I share that information.

Maybe I should just describe the quirks so as not to offend anyone with the 'gifted' term. But I have tried that in the past, and then had people talk to my kids in words of one-syllable. So yes, at times I have described the quirks, then ellaborated to say that they read fluently already or are totally fluent speakers. Otherwise it is very easy for outsiders to assume that my kids are at the other end of the curve, and treat them like they are slow, which is incredibly distressing for them.

There is so much to comment on in this thread, which seems to be a subject that comes and goes on mdc. I think it is very hard for people who have not parented gifted, quirky or twice-exceptional kids to understand the issues. I also think that it is easy for us to take our personal experiences as gifted adults and turn them into truths for the whole gifted community. I try not to do that - I was one of those gifted kids who even called myself 'dumb', repeatedly, until everyone except me believed it. I had many frustrations due to my own giftedness not being recognised. Yet I try not to ponder on that and allow it to determine how I treat my own gifted children. Instead, I research, I read, I discuss, and I work hard to work out the best path for my own children.

I will make mistakes, I am sure. My children may well come to mdc as adults and curse the way that I dealt with their giftedness! But I will do my best, and I have to accept that in doing so I will annoy some people along the way.

As for average, I was called 'average' my whole childhood, in spite of the fact that I can clearly recall teaching myself to read from cereal boxes at the age of three. 'Average' was a label used for me that was incredibly damaging. I internalised it and turned it into 'dumb' and 'thick'. But it is not the label that is damaging in itself, it is the way it is used. I try to make sure that the only times I use labels for my children is when they are truly necessary and useful.
Britishmum is offline  
#190 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 03:54 AM
 
quaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,047
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
I still can't see how labeling young children is helpful.


The labeling itself is probably not the helpful part. But it may be helpful, for some people, to be able to talk to other parents whose kids are similar to theirs, just as moms of "high-needs" kids might need to talk to other moms of high-needs kids, etc. I've recently connected with another mom on this board whose toddler seems freakily similar to mine in many ways. Both of us have worried about our kids. Both of us have been reassured and helped by connecting. We met in the (gasp!) gifted kids thread.



So, my opinion/experience... when homeschooling, there is not a reason to 'get' that specific label. One doesn't 'need' to have IQ testing done, if one is schooling at home. The exception I'd make to that statement, is if I had a Dougie Houser kid who was ready to go to medical school at 12... and I'd get the label simply to help open doors to get info to help me figure out how to educate such a child. I'd do the similar if a had a music prodigy on my hands... I'd do whatever needed to insure I got the necessary mentoring/training the child needed (if that was his/her interest).

I think in the standard 'gifted' case, the only thing I'd do as a parent, would be if I thought the child was gifted, I'd simply 'confirm' my gut.. and that can be done without tests.


Why? Why even take that approach to get a semi-label, even if not a 'real' label?

I guess I don't find labels all bad.
My youngest WAS VERY high needs. Without that label, I would have thought something was seriously wrong with her... actually took her to the dr's twice to figure out what was wrong. After MUCH researching, I found out this was just her temperment. MUCH different than many parents out there, but STILL just a temperment type. Looking at that criteria, though, and getting that label... did help me. Yes, it can hinder if I take it too an extreme... but I think it has served more good than bad. B/c of that label I have a better understanding of her temperment now, b/c I've been able to share experiences with others. I also know that, yes.... there were other parents out there that loved there kids, but did NOT like them that first year. Can ya understand what a horrible feeling that is as a parent to not 'like' your child? Having the support to know I wasn't alone in that feeling helped immensely. Knowing that others got past the issues I was dealing with helped immensely. Understanding that yes, HN morphs, but it is a personality.... knowing some of the primary attributes of a high need child, helped. We know she is INTENSE and persistent and will lock onto an idea and WILL NOT LET GO, no matter what. We've experienced it, but also had warnings of the possibility of that before it happened, so we were better prepared and had ideas to handle the situation.

Overall the label was not bad. It helped. The big caveat, is to simply insure she isn't defined by that label... that it isn't here is dd#1, and dd#2 my HN child. That would be bad for everyone involved. That is where the danger of labels kick in. Out of the whole experience of raising her to date, though... the part that irked me the most, is one of my family members. Lives 1/2 way across the country, never sees dd, and simply seems to think that 'oh, dd is just a bit more difficult and some kids are like that', and just overall indicated I was making it a bigger deal that it was. Never mind she didn't live it, and never mind she had a very easy-going child that cried never... UGH.



Anyway, wrong vent.... ;-)

To me... the 'gifted' label for a homeschooler is similar. I don't need to have proof positive that my child is 'gifted'. I suspect it, and that is more than enough. It doesn't matter if my child ever knows she is 'gifted'... unless I find that she considered herself freakish/alien/whatever, b/c she felt different. What I have found helpful is as the previous poster mentioned

- support
- understanding some of the attributes/characterisitcs that are commonly seen in children that are 'academically gifted'.


I know some folks don't believe these characteristics exist, and well... I guess if ya don't believe it, then yah, I guess you wouldn't see a reason for such a label for homeschoolers.... but seeing some of these characterisitcs first hand... I do believe certain characterisitcs do exist at a higher incident rate in kids that are 'academically gifted', than in other kids.... just as there are certain characteristics that have a higher incident rate in kids that are HN as opposed to other kids.


So, dd is highly emotional. Emotinoal to an extreme. Yes, other kids that aren't 'gifted' can be highly emotional. Yes, it can be a temperment trait, but yes it also seems to show up at a higher incident in kids that are 'academically' gifted. So, getting good parenting ideas on how to parent through it... well, there is a larger change I'll find help from a group of women/men that are dealing with that more.

For me, the label helps with that.


Dar, I agree, that one sort of knowledge/learning/learning style shouldn't be 'ahead' of another, although it is in our society. I agree people all have talents. At the same time, though, I don't see anything 'wrong' with a parent recognizing that a child probably has a high IQ.... b/c a label can be used to help a parent. It's different, though, if a parent uses that label as the identity of the child, or to make a group of have/have nots, or uses the label to value one child over another.... that would be using a label wrongly.

*shrug*

Tammy
quaz is offline  
#191 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 11:17 AM
 
Roar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,419
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar

I don't actually know of anyone who has gone down this path, but that's what the ed code seems to say... and there would be no trasncript required, just the test scores. Of course, she's never taken a standardized test, so I have no idea how well she'll do.
Dar
Our son found his scores on the actual test were very similar to what he got on the practice test. If you haven't already gotten the packet ACT will send a sample test and bubble sheet which is good practice and of course she can get a prep book for more sample tests. It seemed to help our son to get familar with how to fill out a bubble sheet and how to pace his work a bit.

As far as no transcript, I think you have to also factor in if it is important or necessary for your child to receive merit based scholarships.
Roar is offline  
#192 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 11:19 AM
 
Roar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,419
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
There are certainly typical age ranges for developmental skills, like walking, although even those vary somewhat according to cultural practices. The idea of typical ages for academic skills is a construct of our school system, though. We think it's "typical" for children to read at 6 and start algebra at 14, but there's nothing magic about those numbers... some educational systems teach algebra at 8, or reading at 10. Looking at unschoolers is a good way to get a sense of the huge "typical" age range for most academic skills.
dar
For me that isn't at all a persuasive argument. I'd expect the unschooling community to be full of more kids at the extremes because many people choose to unschool precisely because school wasn't a good fit for them and many of those reasons are genetic (dyslexia, etc.) Even given that sample of extremes I see a very discernable middle that emerges.
Roar is offline  
#193 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 11:23 AM
 
cottonwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar
I'd expect the unschooling community to be full of more kids at the extremes because many people choose to unschool precisely because school wasn't a good fit for them and many of those reasons are genetic (dyslexia, etc.)
I don't know about that. That might be true for homeschooling in general, but the people I know who unschool (we have a fairly large group here in our community) do it not because their children were having trouble with a structured learning environment but because philosophically they believe it best. Most of the unschooling families I know have never used a structured learning environment.
cottonwood is offline  
#194 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 12:24 PM
 
eilonwy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Lost
Posts: 15,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This thread has moved very quickly.

I guess I came off as really angry back there ("me-ow?" catty, maybe) for saying "just leave us the heck alone." Sorry, but it gets very old: You're a pushy parent, you're just a show off, we refuse to acknowledge that anyone is different in any way and that makes us better people and better parents than you, yadda yadda yadda, shut up about your kid and don't make us feel uncomforable ever again. I'm tired of the implication that no "normal" child could possibly be so different from everyone else that other parents will comment on it, that it's all in my head. It irritates me that people assume that, because I choose to use certain words to describe my children in the context of this board in order to communicate with others, I must be using these same words constantly in real life and damaging my children with my expectations. I find the notion that I can or should redirect a child with intrests that are outside of the range of "normal" absurd and, in many cases, downright cruel.

This post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
Stop calling our kids names, and we'll leave you alone, too. Just afford us the same courtesy that political correctness requires that we afford you.
was in no way, shape or form meant to imply that "political correctness is the only reason I don't call average kids names," or any such thing. I don't post that, and I don't say it in real life; however:

Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby
Your comment makes it sound like this board is full of deregatory, name calling comments towards gifted kids, and I have never seen that here.
It is, and I have. Even without the search function, I'm absolutely confident that I could find you *dozens* of examples of this, if you were interested in seeing them. I'm glad that you've never seen them, but I most certainly have, and I know that they're here. Sorry, but I do tend to tense up when I see it starting to happen on other threads.

I didn't post to this thread in an effort to redirect it to the needs of gifted children, or the need for labels for homeschoolers or any such thing. My first post to this thread simply said that parents of gifted children do need a safe haven, because they have to deal with issues that simply don't come up for parents of average children. We have yet to throw anyone off of the gifted thread for not having a smart enough child, or not having a child who's reading at three, or doing a perfect back handspring at seven, or working on Unified Theory at eight. It's simply a place for parents of children who think *differently* from other children to make connections and get advice from parents who've been there and done that. It's not a slam on average children or even less-than-profoundly gifted children, and the label "gifted" is not, inherently, a slam on anyone. It's just an attempt to use common terms in order to communicate. I'm sorry that this isn't the experience of more people who feel the need to seek out resources and support for dealing with their gifted children online. I've visited a few gifted boards, and found many of them unhelpful for the reasons that have been described. It's sad, but it doesn't negate the need many of us feel for a gifted support group.

Do I think that there is ever a need for the "gifted" label for homeschoolers? Absolutely. Sorry, Dar, but not all of us are unschoolers, and even if we are, not all of us have huge, active unschooling support groups available to us. Personally, I don't want to be an unschooler; I don't believe that it's the best way for me or for my children. I don't think it's helpful to say or imply things like, "Well, if you were around more unschoolers, you probably wouldn't see a need for labels of any kind." Not only do I disagree, but I don't think that it's a constructive statement to make.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
eilonwy is offline  
#195 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 12:48 PM
 
cottonwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Our own perceptions of "giftedness" and "intelligence" have little to do with whether someone is actually gifted or intelligent or not. There are always gifts and types of intelligence that are not going to get recognized under a prevailing culture's value system.

There isn't an "average" child. Every person is gifted in some way, although it may not be measurable or obvious in terms of material output or value to others.

I think it's unfortunate that the use of the word "gifted" to describe children who are gifted in very specific and obvious ways implies that children who aren't gifted in those ways simply aren't gifted. I don't think that's the fault of parents using that term, but perhaps an unavoidable result of living in a society that defines "giftedness" in a very limited way.
cottonwood is offline  
#196 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 01:36 PM
 
Roar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,419
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
I don't know about that. That might be true for homeschooling in general, but the people I know who unschool (we have a fairly large group here in our community) do it not because their children were having trouble with a structured learning environment but because philosophically they believe it best. Most of the unschooling families I know have never used a structured learning environment.
The majority of unschoolers you know are second generation and the parents didn't attend school either?

My suggestion was that we all develop theories and embrace philsophies in large measure based on our own personal experience. Many people find unschooling appealing because they themselves had the experience as kids of being one of the extremes who didn't fit neatly. (and further, even though this is the case I do see very discernable patterns of development in these groups).
Roar is offline  
#197 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 03:44 PM
 
quaz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,047
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
I think it's unfortunate that the use of the word "gifted" to describe children who are gifted in very specific and obvious ways implies that children who aren't gifted in those ways simply aren't gifted. I don't think that's the fault of parents using that term, but perhaps an unavoidable result of living in a society that defines "giftedness" in a very limited way.
See... this is where I think much of this thread has focused on, and where I think a few of us have tried to state again and again and again....

there are TWO definitions of gifted that are being referred to on here.

Yes, it's a shame and travesty that the term gifted was picked to refer to academic giftedness, when someone could have just as easily referred to a child that is academically gifted as an AG or IG or fred, or who cares what.

I don't think people that are saying, yes, my child is academically gifted are stating that those that aren't... aren't gifted or talented in one way or another.

I mean I firmly believe all kids DO have gifts and talents, BUT it doesn't mean they are all academically gifted. Yes, the reality and shame is our society for better or worse focuses on this particular gift... as you explicityl said above... our society has a narrow focus on what it 'prizes'.... just as our society also has an obsession with males that are gifted basketball players... but a female that is a gifted badmitton player...not so much. I hate how our society does narrowly define things.



But, with the term gifted there are two definitions going on here. I personally agree with the idea of two definitions and I sure don't think b/c I was academically gifted, that other people I went to school with or worked with or encountered in life weren't gifted. That would be ludicrous!! There are plenty of people that were far more gifted than I was in other areas. Yes, it's a shame that our world doesn't celebrate other gifts more.


And, YES, it is a huge shame that school systems basically only recognize one 'gift' area. That's one of the biggest problems with the system, that they don't deal with each kids strengths/weaknesses individually and find the only way they can deal with it is by subdividing. As Dar has stated, this is a homeschooling board, though.


If a parents uses a label to classify their child as having a particular talent/strength/issue/problem, whether that label is IG or AG or gifted or speech delayed or musically talented or whatever... it sure doesn't matter to me, if the parent is using that label to help their child... it's different if the parent is using it in a matter to make their child 'better' than everyone else.


As stated, I know the main reason and only reason I particularly use the label or have looked into the label is b/c of some of the characteristics that are at a higher incident rate when a child is academically gifted..... just like I have looked into the case that my child b/c she as far behind (based on societies norms) in pronunciation, that there is a higher likelyhood that she could have issues reading down the road. It doesn't mean it'll happen, but there is a statistically higher probability of that happening. it is additional knowledge based on a specific of critieria, that at least makes me aware of a potential situation.

And, yah, people on this board may or may not agree with the idea that intellectually gifted comes with some characteristics and potential issues, but that's fine. We don't all have to agree on that.

I think at this point, I have no idea any more what anyone is loudly discussing.

There are two definitions of gifted, folks that are academically gifted aren't any better than anyone else, there isn't anyone that is just 'average' in life b/c we all have gifts and talents. Our school system and society is screwed up. And some of believe and others don't that a label can be helpful.


Tammy
quaz is offline  
#198 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 03:52 PM
Dar
 
Dar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 11,249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
I guess I came off as really angry back there ("me-ow?" catty, maybe) for saying "just leave us the heck alone."
Well, it does pretty clearly demonstrate that you consider your "gifted" children to be a completely separate group from those "average" kids...
Quote:
I find the notion that I can or should redirect a child with intrests that are outside of the range of "normal" absurd and, in many cases, downright cruel.
I've never seen this said or implied. People have objected to exploiting a child with unusual interests by putting them on Oprah, but that's very different from advising that a parent "redirect" those interests.

Quote:
It is, and I have. Even without the search function, I'm absolutely confident that I could find you *dozens* of examples of this, if you were interested in seeing them. I'm glad that you've never seen them, but I most certainly have, and I know that they're here.
I've never seen any examples of derogatory, name-calling comments towards gifted kids, either... so perhaps finding a few of those "dozens" would be useful, so we could see what posts you're perceiving as being examples of this.

Quote:
My first post to this thread simply said that parents of gifted children do need a safe haven, because they have to deal with issues that simply don't come up for parents of average children.
Really? What isues would those be, that don't come up for "average" (whatever that is) children? Are you saying that average children are never intense, or perfectionistic, or quirky? They're never obsessed with topics that are generally only of interest to people far older? They never learn things more rapidly than most? They're never called "weird" by their age-mates? If that's your definition of "average", then apparently every child I know is "gifted"....

Quote:
We have yet to throw anyone off of the gifted thread for not having a smart enough child
So really, being accepted as the parent of a "gifted" child has more to do with a parent choosing to give the child that label than anything that the child is doing...

Quote:
It's simply a place for parents of children who think *differently* from other children to make connections and get advice from parents who've been there and done that. It's not a slam on average children
Again, the assumption is that there are two ways of thinking - "average" and "gifted". There are a myriad of ways of thinking...

Quote:
I don't think it's helpful to say or imply things like, "Well, if you were around more unschoolers, you probably wouldn't see a need for labels of any kind." Not only do I disagree, but I don't think that it's a constructive statement to make.
And, of course, that's not a statement I made. Quoting the remarks you're referring to would really help clear up a lot of confusion, I think. I referenced unschoolers as examples of the wide variation in "typical" ages for learning certain concepts, because unschoolers determine their own timetable for learning. Saying that children "typically" learn to read at 6 in US schools is meaningless, because that's when children are *taught* to read in those schools.

And I only wish I was surrounded by a huge and wonderful group of unschoolers! I've never had that experience, although unschoolers were easier to dig up in California than Kansas. Still, many of the people in our support network aren't unschoolers or even homeschoolers, or even parents. They're just open-minded folks...
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritishMum
Is it in your opinion always wrong to mention 'grade level' as a measure? <...>But what about maths? Isn't it easier for me to tell her that we just finished Singapore grade 1, 2 or 3? What is so awful about that? Or if I just say 'she's working at second grade level'. What is so bad? I really don't get how it is wrong to give a clear measure against set, commonly understood criteria, of where a child is in his/her learning.
I wouldn't have any idea what kind of math your daughter was doing if you told me she was at second-grade level or had finished Singapore grade 3, honestly. I don't know the curriculum at all, so it would be meaningless. If I were a Saxon math consultant trying to figure out what level of Saxon she would need next, then sure, it would be helpful, assuming that I knew the Singapore math curriculum. It would be more helpful, though, to know which areas she had found easy and which were more of a struggle. If I were a tutor, I'd want to know that she was comfortable with addition and subtraction but struggling a bit with multiplication of large numbers, and that she had been taught the ladder method of long division but didn't appear to understand it well... or whatever.

Really, math up through about grade 8 varies considerably even within the US. If you tell me that someone had completed a basic Algebra course, that's more of a uniform standard of measurement, because it's content-based rather than level-based. Some kids in our district complete Algebra as 6th graders, others not until 11th grade.

Rather than referencing "levels", I find it more useful to reference specific achievements.

When I worked for a homeschool charter back in the late nineties, I had to come up with matching state standards for every "assignment" that my students completed. I used standards ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade for nearly all of my students, regularly. No one ever went an entire month just meeting their grade-level standards (except my high schoolers, because they needed to meet specific grade-level standards to receive credits). I had Waldorf kids, Montessori kids, unschoolers, Abeka kids, and a bunch of eclectic kids... and they were all at lots of "levels". It was kind of meaningless...

dar

 
fambedsingle1.gifSingle mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler earth.gif


  

Dar is offline  
#199 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 04:06 PM
 
Lillian J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 8,976
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm not going to participate in a debate here, but I want to state that I heartily agree with what FourLittleBirds said. I've been around a lot of unschoolers for a lot of years, and I know for a fact that it's generally a strong philosophical decision more than anything else.

I can't think of anyone I've known who's seemed to be unschooling in order to provide for special needs of any kind - although people often do homeschool in one form or another (unschooling being only one form they might choose) because of coming from extremes or in order to meet special needs. I'm sure school wasn't a good fit for many of them - but school wasn't a good fit for most homeschoolers and they don't see it as a particularly good fit for most people. Odd that school keeps coming up in this thread..

The special need many feel for any child to be able to function without artificially imposed structure and expectations is the one that draws so many to unschooling. They largely consider it a matter of trust and respect for their children's uniqueness and abilities. To assume that they've been movitivated by trying to work around variations of learning difficulties or memories of their own difficulties is to project that they would have had vastly different philosophical opinions otherwise. That's simply not the case, and they would be insulted, or more likely amused, to see their philosophy minimized in that way. Not that there would be anything wrong with someone picking a particular path to provide for special needs, but that this happens to be a lifestyle that goes way beyond that and is generally chosen for much broader reasons.

Some unschoolers I know actually preceeded Holt, and unschooled before there was even a word for it or for homeschooling in general - just because it made the most sense to them as the way to bring up their children. Some were influenced when they were pregnant or had babies by the articles of Nancy Wallace many years ago in Mothering - her stories about her children Ishmael and Vita and how they thrived in the unschooled environment. Some were moved by John Holt's writing or by seeing him speak. I know a former teacher who read Holt before she had children and determined to raise her own children with that kind of trust, which she did. I know another former teacher who quit teaching after reading John Holt and finally putting the pieces together to understand some things that were bothering her in the classroom - she quit to stay home and unschool her own little ones at that point. I remember the time she came to her first homeschooling meeting - she was absolutely ecstatic with her new insight, and it turned out to serve her family very well in the years that followed. Others have been influenced by discussions online and by reading any number of good articles or books discussing unschooling philosophy - while some have simply observed on their own the way their children learn, and have tailored their life in an unschooled manner in order to just let that be.

Many unschoolers I know are absolutely fascinated with the subject of learning and the way it works - and they love watching and facilitating the unique process with each of their children. I'm not trying to start an argument for unschooling here - just saying that unschoolers are not coming from extremes any more than any other category of homeschooler.

- Lillian


.
Lillian J is offline  
#200 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 04:52 PM
 
Charles Baudelaire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,882
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
Well, it does pretty clearly demonstrate that you consider your "gifted" children to be a completely separate group from those "average" kids...
Dar, Rynna is more than capable of speaking eloquently for herself, but I'd like to butt in and say that the purpose of any label is to differentiate when it's useful to do so. Parents of their "retarded" children consider them to be a completely separate group from those "average" kids, as do parents of "autistic" kids, or "high-needs" kids. The implication here, as I see it, is that you're accusing Rynna of a tacit élitism in using the label, when in fact (unless I am sorely mistaken), she is using it to draw a definitional distinction, not a hierarchical one.

Quote:
I've never seen this said or implied. People have objected to exploiting a child with unusual interests by putting them on Oprah, but that's very different from advising that a parent "redirect" those interests.
Regrettably, I am too lazy to fish through the pages of this thread, but there were one or two examples even here of parents "redirecting" their children away from outré interests or interests that seemed too academic, if memory serves.

Quote:

Really? What isues would those be, that don't come up for "average" (whatever that is) children? Are you saying that average children are never intense, or perfectionistic, or quirky? They're never obsessed with topics that are generally only of interest to people far older? They never learn things more rapidly than most? They're never called "weird" by their age-mates? If that's your definition of "average", then apparently every child I know is "gifted"....
I think with many gifted children, it's an issue of the degree to which they engage in these behaviors. And for what it's worth, if an "average" child were demonstrating many of these qualities you mention, I would be quite surprised if he or she was not gifted. In my somewhat limited experience dealing with students, the "average" ones tend to be...well, pretty average -- average in perfectionism level, average in interests, average in interests for their age, and so on. If I see a kid coming in to my senior class reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez, on the other hand, or saying that "just for fun" he wanted to read the works of Plato (two actual examples), then I think we're pretty safely in the gifted territory.
Quote:
So really, being accepted as the parent of a "gifted" child has more to do with a parent choosing to give the child that label than anything that the child is doing...
For some parents, yes, doubtlessly, the set of parents we think of as "pushy élitists," yes -- just as there are parents who inaccurately ride the ADD bandwagon so that their child can be labeled as "special" (and there are those parents too, as I'm sure you know). However, there are parents whose child's behaviors, attitudes, concerns, interests, academic products, developmental milestones, and other issues prompt the parent to seek an answer to the question of "Why is my child different from all other children?" and to come up with the definitional label "gifted." In your scenario, it seems as if parents (according to how I read your statement) pluck the word out of the air and stick it on, regardless of what the child happens to be doing or not doing, and that simply is not the case 100% of the time.
Charles Baudelaire is offline  
#201 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 05:00 PM
 
Roar's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 4,419
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillian J
I'm not going to participate in a debate here, but I want to state that I heartily agree with what FourLittleBirds said. I've been around a lot of unschoolers for a lot of years, and I know for a fact that it's generally a strong philosophical decision more than anything else. .
It strikes me as really odd to suggest that as a group unschoolers would not be learning from their own personal experience as students. It seems so contrary to the philosophy itself that learning would be coming primarily from philosophical writings rather than lived experience. Silly me I thought unschoolers were learning all the time and that would include learning from their own life experiences as students.
Roar is offline  
#202 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 05:12 PM
 
NoHiddenFees's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,039
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
Really? What isues would those be, that don't come up for "average" (whatever that is) children? Are you saying that average children are never intense, or perfectionistic, or quirky? They're never obsessed with topics that are generally only of interest to people far older? They never learn things more rapidly than most? They're never called "weird" by their age-mates? If that's your definition of "average", then apparently every child I know is "gifted"....
Oh please. It's sooooo nice to be able to participate in a forum in which I can ask for reading recs for my 4.5 yo (that are appropriate in content for a 4.5yo) without having someone chime in disbelievingly, "she's reading what? You mean you're reading it aloud, right?" Or accuse me of being pushy because we happen to be homeschooling her at HER request. I'm not saying that participation in other forums is not valuable -- of course it is. I read and participate in general forums -- heck, I post here. However, I frequent specific ones as well: TWTM boards, a secular classical list , a gifted classical list (slow) and a gifted homeschooling list (TAGMAX). I don't see that as elitist or exclusionary, I see it as utilitarian. I occasionally get good info from each and hope I can make at least a small contribution as well.

As for the characteristics you mention, saying gifted children are more likely to exhibit characteristic X than does the general population is not the same as saying only gifted children exhibit X. It's disingenuous to suggest anyone thinks that way. Is it not OK to share experiences in a forum of parents with children more likely to display these traits? Or should we stick to more general boards only? [Disclosure: I don't actually participate in the gifted support thread on MDC anymore -- I don't have time to keep up with it.]
NoHiddenFees is offline  
#203 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 05:19 PM
 
mijumom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: here
Posts: 496
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I want to remind everyone od the original post-

"Ok, maybe I'm just PMSing, and feeling rather cranky.
But, please someone tell me that I am not the only person with run of the mill, average intelligence children! They didn't learn too read until I taught them. They don't always jump for joy whenever I show up with an educational DVD. Math problems will send them diving for cover! But they are bright, friendly, fun loving kids. Which is what I want for them to be at this point.
Please,no offense too those who have gifted, highly intelligent children. That is wonderful! But, lately it seems that is what most of the posts are for.
Tell me there are some other children out there that if given the choice would rather watch Sponge Bob all day than do something "educational"!

P.S.-No, they don't get too watch Sponge Bob all day!"



It seems to me that she was looking for support, not a defensive reponse from the "gifted" crowd.

It is so disingenuous for anyone to suggest that we don't live in a society where labels like "gifted" are used to differentiate children via very narrow criteria. I think that overall there is an obsession with academic superiority, or just for superiority in general. If you don't think these labels contribute negatively to many children's educational experience and self-esteem on both ends of the spectrum, then we can just agree to disagree.

If I spend 5 minutes explaining just about anything to my 6 year old, he gets it (almost always has) whether it is math concepts or language etc. When left to his own devices he only dabbles and challenges himself a little. Could he be gifted? Could he learn at an accelerated pace? Maybe. I just don't know yet and I prefer he get there later than sooner. I have no idea if MDC happens to have the few parents that don't have a personal stake in having the smartest kid on the block. You all seem very thoughtful and articulate. My interpretation was that the OP was feeling hormonal and insecure about her own kid and was looking for reassurance from other parents of supposedly "average" kids.

The only appropriate response to this mom IMO is to say yes your child is normal and special and is still "gifted" in the broader sense and potentially "gifted" in the narrow academic sense (sometimes you don't know until they're older).

So, while I really do think all of these posts have been valid, I think that much of the "gifted" group has generally missed the whole point of the OP. Some of us aren't interested in the labels. Some of us just want to feel secure raising our kids in a different mode and seeing as that is contrary to the mainstream emphasis, it can breed insecurity and sometimes even a little hostility. So a mom comes to MDC to get ressurance from alternative, consciencious moms and she ends up with this. I'm not invalidating the conversation (I've been a part of it too) but in retrospect, it seems to have missed the point.
__________________________
mijumom is offline  
#204 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 08:58 PM
 
LeftField's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Land of well-adjusted weird people
Posts: 2,490
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijumom
I want to remind everyone od the original post-

"Ok, maybe I'm just PMSing, and feeling rather cranky.
But, please someone tell me that I am not the only person with run of the mill, average intelligence children! They didn't learn too read until I taught them. They don't always jump for joy whenever I show up with an educational DVD. Math problems will send them diving for cover! But they are bright, friendly, fun loving kids. Which is what I want for them to be at this point.
Please,no offense too those who have gifted, highly intelligent children. That is wonderful! But, lately it seems that is what most of the posts are for.
Tell me there are some other children out there that if given the choice would rather watch Sponge Bob all day than do something "educational"!

So, while I really do think all of these posts have been valid, I think that much of the "gifted" group has generally missed the whole point of the OP. Some of us aren't interested in the labels. Some of us just want to feel secure raising our kids in a different mode and seeing as that is contrary to the mainstream emphasis, it can breed insecurity and sometimes even a little hostility. So a mom comes to MDC to get ressurance from alternative, consciencious moms and she ends up with this. I'm not invalidating the conversation (I've been a part of it too) but in retrospect, it seems to have missed the point.
__________________________
Ok, I honestly stepped away from the thread at some point, so please forgive me if I'm missing something. I'm simply responding to the OP and this last post. I can respect someone not being interested in labels. I can respect someone who is. I can respect people who formally teach their own (OP reference) and those who do not (this last post). I see the OP and the last as referring to two different types and often conflicting types of homeschooling: 1. I teach my kids and 2. I do child-led learning. At any rate, I can respect all this. But please do not assume that all academically focused children are coming from a home where labels are used and where the parent is invested in academic achievement. There are, obviously, all kinds of homeschoolers, all kinds of people and all kinds of related opinions. Some people do school-at-home from toddler or preschool age and have kids who are not really interested in academics (and vice-versa). Some of the most mellow unschoolers have kids who are driven to do academic pursuits (and vice-versa). Personally, I perceive that a LOT of people formally educate toddlers on this forum and a LOT unschool. The diversity in this forum is wonderful. I think people should just talk about their kids and their interests and we should celebrate that. I don't think anyone should be afraid to talk about their kids, I don't think anyone should take someone else's situation as a judgement on their own, and I think we should all be open-minded and happy homeschoolers. So many kids, so many types of learning, so many types of homeschooling, so many personal interests, etc....all good.

Signed,

an alternative unschooling mother of one very academically driven child and one who would rather play, both of whom are very happy and fun-loving kids having a real childhood
LeftField is offline  
#205 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 09:36 PM
 
mijumom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: here
Posts: 496
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
"academically driven"- I really like the sound of that...much better than "gifted" and much more informative to me.
mijumom is offline  
#206 of 220 Old 07-03-2006, 10:55 PM
 
oceanbaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 11,167
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
The special need many feel for any child to be able to function without artificially imposed structure and expectations is the one that draws so many to unschooling. They largely consider it a matter of trust and respect for their children's uniqueness and abilities. To assume that they've been movitivated by trying to work around variations of learning difficulties or memories of their own difficulties is to project that they would have had vastly different philosophical opinions otherwise. That's simply not the case, and they would be insulted, or more likely amused, to see their philosophy minimized in that way. Not that there would be anything wrong with someone picking a particular path to provide for special needs, but that this happens to be a lifestyle that goes way beyond that and is generally chosen for much broader reasons.
Thank you for saying this Lillian. I really cringed when I read the comment that demographics for unschoolers would be skewed because most of them were probably unschooling because their children wouldn't do well in a traditional school environment (or something like that). That misperception is one of the biggest fears I have about homeschooling at all, let alone unschooling. Ds1 would do very well in a traditional school environment. He has no problems with structure, he follows directions, he is generally on the same page as most kids his age (advanced in some areas, slower in others, but generally "on par"), etc. We are choosing to homeschool, and probably unschool, because I think it is a superior way to not only learn but also live.
oceanbaby is offline  
#207 of 220 Old 07-04-2006, 12:32 AM
 
Lillian J's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 8,976
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby
We are choosing to homeschool, and probably unschool, because I think it is a superior way to not only learn but also live. It literally makes me sick to my stomach (and yes, I mean literally in the correct sense) when I think that there are going to be people that will assume he is "weird" or "unable to deal with school" when they hear that we homeschool/unschool.
Well, for whatever it's worth, I don't think anyone ever had that perception about us in all the years we homeschooled. I haven't heard of it happening to any of my friends either. To the contrary, there was the more common misperception that we were homeschooling in order to do a more thorough job of methodically pounding in academics than the schools do. Fortunately, people didn't tend to go on too much about that, but there were plenty of pats on the back, so to speak, and often rolling eyes and shaking of the heads about the sad state of education in the schools. It got uncomfortable and downright awkward in the later years especially, when I'd be standing there next to this big ol' young man, a mature and self-motivated learner of things I had no part in, and people would look at me admiringly and say, "And you teach him yourself? Gee, that's great." I'd say "No, actually he teaches himself," but I don't think many people got that.

And when he was applying for colleges, it was also also very validating, because, instead of fussing over whether he had jumped through all the right hoops, admissions directors were impressed with the way he spoke of the educational freedom he'd had and the positive effect it had on him.

So don't worry about that one. Anyone who thinks you're homeschooling because of deficits has been living on another planet somewhere - the benefits of homeschooling are being extolled everywhere these days. Lillian
Lillian J is offline  
#208 of 220 Old 07-04-2006, 04:31 AM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
Really? What isues would those be, that don't come up for "average" (whatever that is) children? Are you saying that average children are never intense, or perfectionistic, or quirky? They're never obsessed with topics that are generally only of interest to people far older? They never learn things more rapidly than most? They're never called "weird" by their age-mates? If that's your definition of "average", then apparently every child I know is "gifted".... dar
It's not a question of issues that pertain to only gifted children! Of course every child at some time may be perfectionist about something, or obsessed with a topic, or intense.

The difference is the frequency and intensity of these issues.

I do not believe that every child you know has 'quirks' such as refusing to recognise any birthday of anyone that they know, including themselves, because at the age of two they have worked out that one year older = one year closer to death.

Or that every child you know can manage to confine his/her family to the house for weeks on end because of their intensity of emotions that make outings impossible.

Or that every child you have ever known cannot attend any organised activity with their own age group because they cannot act in an 'age appropriate manner'. If they ever do reach 'age appropriate', it's two years too late for them to attend that class.

Or that every child you have ever known would remember the exact order that the magic markers were in their packet when they were purchase, and have a total meltdown if another child inadvertently put them back in the wrong order.

Or that every child you have ever known would have to be protected by his/her mother at the pool on Saturday from the ten year old who, very understandably, asked her why her kid wasnt talking to her, and what was wrong with her.

I could go on. But this sort of comment makes it clear to me that you have not experienced life with a challenging or twice-exceptional gifted child. Believe me, as much as I would not want to change one hair on any of my kids' heads, there are times that I would give my eye-teeth for just one waking hour of 'average' experience.
Britishmum is offline  
#209 of 220 Old 07-04-2006, 04:46 AM
 
mijumom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: here
Posts: 496
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Britishmum- I was trying to stay out of this but how in the world does "gifted" even come close to comprehensively describing your child?

I have a friend who's child is developmentally delayed that exhibits almost identical behavior to what you've described.

I think you have stunningly and surprisingly illustrated how completely insufficient any one label would be in relaying your child's particular quirks and attributes.

Do you really think that other parents of "gifted" children would typically describe their children in this fashion? I highly doubt it. I certainly would never have made those assumptions based solely on someone telling me their child had been formally determined to be gifted.

I really thought that "academically driven" was a wonderful phrase for describing some children in contrast to those that would rather hang out or play. Again, this better captures the spirit of the OP IMO.

BTW- There is no average. Challenging can be applicable to a whole variety of children from autistic to gifted. I honestly don't think I've ever actually met an average child...really. "Average" is just another label we have been using in contrast to "gifted", neither of which apparently tells us much about the child on the whole.

I just googled "twice-exceptional gifted" and I do recognize as I hope you will that yours is a special situation. I still think that label alone would be woefully inadequate in expressing to any other person what your child's needs are and in which ways he/she is gifted or challenged or challenging.

As an aside, I hope you are finding the resources and support you need.
mijumom is offline  
#210 of 220 Old 07-04-2006, 05:50 AM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mijumom
Britishmum- I was trying to stay out of this but how in the world does "gifted" even come close to comprehensively describing your child?

I have a friend who's child is developmentally delayed that exhibits almost identical behavior to what you've described.

I think you have stunningly and surprisingly illustrated how completely insufficient any one label would be in relaying your child's particular quirks and attributes.

Do you really think that other parents of "gifted" children would typically describe their children in this fashion? I highly doubt it. I certainly would never have made those assumptions based solely on someone telling me their child had been formally determined to be gifted.

I really thought that "academically driven" was a wonderful phrase for describing some children in contrast to those that would rather hang out or play. Again, this better captures the spirit of the OP IMO.

BTW- There is no average. Challenging can be applicable to a whole variety of children from autistic to gifted. I honestly don't think I've ever actually met an average child...really. "Average" is just another label we have been using in contrast to "gifted", neither of which apparently tells us much about the child on the whole.

I just googled "twice-exceptional gifted" and I do recognize as I hope you will that yours is a special situation. I still think that label alone would be woefully inadequate in expressing to any other person what your child's needs are and in which ways he/she is gifted or challenged or challenging.

As an aside, I hope you are finding the resources and support you need.
Of course just the word 'gifted' does not give a whole picture of a gifted child like mine. But it comes closest to a one-word explanation of my child's needs out of all the 'labels' that I might need to use.

The truth is that many, many gifted children exhibit similar behaviours to mine. It took me a long time to realise that it was giftedness that was the root of most of my child's unusual development.

There are times when the label 'gifted' is extremely useful to me. If I am talking with someone who is familiar with the challenges of giftedness, often all I need to say is 'my child is gifted and comes with many of the quirks of giftedness.'

That's it. If you really have experience with gifted children, you will understand what those quirks might be. If I visit a gifted forum, I know that people there will have experience of similar challenges to mine.

So, my child is not that unusual, in the gifted world, anyway. Which was my point - it might sound extreme to you, but it would not sound extreme to many parents of gifted children.

The word 'gifted' does come close to describing my child - if I am talking with someone who really understands giftedness. It would not, however, come close if I were talking with someone who simply holds the stereotypical pushy-parent in mind when they hear the word 'gifted'.

As for 'academically driven', that doesnt really describe my children. They love to hang out and play, but their play is not often compatible with the play of average children. They learn simply by existing. I honestly don't know how they have a lot of the knowledge and understanding that they have. I have no idea how my dd knew at the age of two how her pack of magic markers was arranged, but she did. She wasn't driven in any way to learn the order of colours, she just knew them. Like my toddler doesnt seem driven to understand the twoness of two or the threeness of three. He just knows. (I only discovered that today when he gave me 'three fish mama'. )

I guess that for many parents of gifted kids, the label works. It gives us a common ground for understanding the issues that each of us face. For example, until the gifted forum started on mdc, I hadnt met another parent whose toddler had grasped the concept of death in the way that mine had. I hadnt realised that this was a fairly common issue for gifted children, who often grasp facts before having the emotional maturity to deal with them.

So actually, the label 'gifted' is very useful for me in describing my kids. It is useful when dealing with people who understand giftedness. It is also useful in some contexts with people who are clueless. For example, I far prefer to come out and explain to people that they are gifted than have strangers assume that they are developmentally delayed and treat them as such.
Britishmum is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off