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#211 of 220 Old 07-04-2006, 06:15 AM
 
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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.

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Originally Posted by Britishmum
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.



Oooh, see this is exactly what I've been trying to get across. These exact two posts.

Mijumom, on the part in pink, yes, these characteristics that Britishmum describes, comes as absolultely NO surprise to me. These sort of characteristics do come up commonly with kids that have been identified as gifted. The description on death that Britishmum gave... I mean it's hard not to be in tears when your 3 year old is running around with her favorite puppies yelling, mommy when I die I want to be holding my favorite puppies, and HAS to have the acknowledgement several times that YES, when you die, I'll be sure that you are holding your favorite puppies. The marker thing... while dd doesn't exhibit that, I've heard about that many times with kids that are gifted.

So... would I make the 'exact' assumptions about Britishmum's dc that she described? No... BUT at the same time, these items are all quite familiar to me b/c of 'gifted' boards, and b/c some I have experienced.


Of course, there are plenty of other kids that exhibit some of the characteristics that Britishmum describes that aren't academically gifted, but I do know that when I find a group of people that are familiar with giftedness they also understand some of these quirks that are prevalent, and wouldn't bat an eye at what was described, b/c they have heard the similar stories numerous times.

Yes, the term is absolutely inadequete to describe what Britishmum did... but at the same time for me, it's the one reason I 'use' the label. I know if someone truly understand the term, I can find advice/support and answers on some of those common 'gifted' quirks that I've been encountering.... b/c many of the parents have already had to deal with it.

It's also why the term 'gifted' is annoying. B/c of the debates it causes like this thread... where there are those that think parents are implying that others that aren't 'gifted', aren't gifted/talented.... just call the term oogle-schmuggle or something.

The whole idea of pushy parent, my kid did x,y,z at age 1 and is better than everyone else.... and MY kid is oooooh 'gifted' and your child is oh, just average.... that to me is ludicrous, and is not why many used this label.... in fact, my most likely 'academically gifted' child has NO interest in academics. Her passions are completely pretend, stories, building complex structures.... learning via living. The idea of a parent simply using the label as a 'status' symbol, or as a one-upmanship thing, is annoying.


Goodness, my 'mom' is 'average', and I find that term ridiculous when describing her. She isn't average, she is my mom. She has an amazing gift of caring for others, which is far more important in life than who cares what IQ.

It's why in a way the whole idea of a thread on an 'average' child almost feels silly.... just as I'm sure that there are those that feel the whole concept of 'gifted' is silly b/c of the idea of 'setting apart a specific item'.... but when I go with what Britishmum expressed, and I've been trying to, it's why it isn't 'silly' for me.... I know there is a far, far higher chance I'll find the answer on how to deal with some of these 'quirks' than I would elsewhere.


And, yah I know there are those that disagree with the whole concept of any label, or even the belief that there are 'quirks', 'characterisitics' associated with kids that are academically gifted... but it's what I've experienced...

Each of us have our own experiences, and there is nothing wrong with that.

*shrug*

Tammy
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#212 of 220 Old 07-04-2006, 10:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mijumom
"academically driven"- I really like the sound of that...much better than "gifted" and much more informative to me.
It describes something totally different. It is quite possible to have a child who learns at a very typical rate who is academically driven. And, quite possible to have a gifted child who is drawn to nothing academic at all.
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#213 of 220 Old 07-04-2006, 11:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Roar
It describes something totally different. It is quite possible to have a child who learns at a very typical rate who is academically driven. And, quite possible to have a gifted child who is drawn to nothing academic at all.
It also equates giftedness with academic success. This is not necessarily the case, especially for highly gifted children. Questions of motivation and interest aside, most gifted kids aren't globally gifted.
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#214 of 220 Old 07-04-2006, 01:32 PM
 
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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.)

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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.

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Originally Posted by Roar
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.
I'm sorry, I read you wrong the first time. Let me amend my reply:

That might be true for homeschooling in general (I can't really say) but the people I know who unschool (we have a fairly large group here in our community) do it not because their children or they themselves had trouble with a structured learning environment but because philosophically they believe it best.

For the most part the unschoolers I know are college-educated (as am I) and work in professional fields. We were able to handle school just fine, at least in the superficial sense of being able to sit still and pay attention and get good grades and test well. We don't have learning disabilities, we are not unusual in any discernible sense except perhaps in questioning the necessity of school, and we are not opposed to learning from others even in a structured setting. What we are opposed to is coercion in education, and the myriad aspects of a schooling approach that have nothing to do with education and so detract from learning. You don't have to be at the "extremes" (whatever that means) or have disabilities to perceive the problems with schooling.

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Originally Posted by Roar
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.
No one is suggesting that, and the sarcasm really isn't necessary.

Of course unschoolers learn from their own life experiences, and that is partly what informs the philosophy. Philosophy doesn't emerge out of a vacuum.
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#215 of 220 Old 07-04-2006, 01:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NoHiddenFees
It also equates giftedness with academic success. This is not necessarily the case, especially for highly gifted children. Questions of motivation and interest aside, most gifted kids aren't globally gifted.
You both beat me to it. I didn't get a chance to post a follow-up to my last post. I feel as though the spirit of the OP has to do with being academically driven, not gifted. People do assume that the academically driven child is intellectually gifted and the non-academic child is not. Clearly, this is not true. That's why, in an earlier post or two, I said that you can't compare toddlers easily because development is variable. Compliance and an interest in academics may lead to early milestones, but does not make one gifted. It may look gifted in the toddler years, depending on the level of advancement, but it excludes the non-academic toddler who is a "late bloomer" by societal standards.

My oldest is really academically driven and my youngest is not. My youngest is only 2, but my oldest was academically driven at this age. People seem to value the academic drive. People seem to assume that it's more important. It is not. Based on various things that I won't get into here, we believe our happy-go-lucky youngest is as intellectualy capable as his brother, but it doesn't look that way to most people. That's why I object to the assumption that a compliant toddler who tolerates instruction must be demonstrating a gifted capability. THere are lots of non academic kids who are as intellectually able, but it doesn't show that way.

Anyway, even though this thread has gone down this path, I don't think the OP meant to refer to IQ. I think she was talking about the prevalence of academic drive, whether internally or externally motivated, among homeschooled children. I think she was really asking if she was the only one who had kids would were not incredibly academically driven, which is not the same thing as native intelligence. And I have one who is not particularly academically driven at this point. And the one I have who has been academically driven since 1 has never been the type to tolerate instruction; it must come from his own whims or he's not going along with it. And both of them would probably rather watch the Backyardigans on many days. :-) Thats' why I signed my last post with a reference to an academically driven child, because I think the OP is looking for support on that, not on anything to do with IQ.

I have more to say, but we're about to leave for my parents and I have a few other things to take care of. I'll be back later...
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#216 of 220 Old 07-04-2006, 01:42 PM
 
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People do assume that the academically driven child is intellectually gifted and the non-academic child is not. Clearly, this is not true.
Yes, yes, yes. ITA with your whole post.
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#217 of 220 Old 07-04-2006, 02:38 PM
 
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My oldest is really academically driven and my youngest is not. My youngest is only 2, but my oldest was academically driven at this age. People seem to value the academic drive. People seem to assume that it's more important. It is not. Based on various things that I won't get into here, we believe our happy-go-lucky youngest is as intellectualy capable as his brother, but it doesn't look that way to most people. That's why I object to the assumption that a compliant toddler who tolerates instruction must be demonstrating a gifted capability. THere are lots of non academic kids who are as intellectually able, but it doesn't show that way.

Yup, yup, yup!!

This describes both my girls. There are many reasons I believe they are 'intellectually capable' and probably have high IQ that fall in the gifted range, but academically driven?? Oh, goodness, no.

It's why this thread has been interesting to me. It's why I find myself hilariously both vehemently agreeing and disagreeing with Dar at the same time! And OP, I know your original post has been trampled on to death, but ignoring some of the cattiness, it still has been interesting.

People too often in society seem to think that academic drive is more important.... along with 'social skills'. I find many times, folks notice my youngest more b/c she was an 'early' talker....and assume she must be 'bright'.... yet, my oldest with phonological issues and who is more a 'thinker' sometimes doesn't get 'noticed' in that way. As a mom, I find it highly annoying that a stranger will pre-judge my kids based on a quick observation, which all comes down to their preceived notion of what it means to be 'intelligent', which for young kids too often are verbal skills or ability to spout a memorized set of letters... yet a kid who doesn't 'comply' to that standard is overlooked.


Anyway, even though this thread has gone down this path, I don't think the OP meant to refer to IQ. I think she was talking about the prevalence of academic drive, whether internally or externally motivated, among homeschooled children. I think she was really asking if she was the only one who had kids would were not incredibly academically driven, which is not the same thing as native intelligence. And I have one who is not particularly academically driven at this point. And the one I have who has been academically driven since 1 has never been the type to tolerate instruction; it must come from his own whims or he's not going along with it. And both of them would probably rather watch the Backyardigans on many days. :-) Thats' why I signed my last post with a reference to an academically driven child, because I think the OP is looking for support on that, not on anything to do with IQ.


I'd be interested in hearing from the OP, although don't know if your still reading, if this was your thought process, or if you was just tired of hearing about 'gifted' kids. LOL!! I know I did initially respond to the OP's post, b/c I thought the idea of my kids jumping for joy at an educational DVD was hilarious... but throw on Disney?? My oldest is happy as a clam. And for learning? Right now she is too busy exploring her world, which to me is what she should be doing. Living and learning.


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#218 of 220 Old 07-04-2006, 03:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
No one is suggesting that, and the sarcasm really isn't necessary.

Of course unschoolers learn from their own life experiences, and that is partly what informs the philosophy. Philosophy doesn't emerge out of a vacuum.
Thanks, fourlittlebirds for noting that. My post had even cited various examples of people learning from their own life experiences, including those as classroom teachers, but specifically their life experiences with their children, the people this is all about. As some here have already stated, there are unschoolers who did well in school and enjoyed it but want something different for their children, based on things they've learned from various sources, their own thinking through of the options, and experience with their children.

- Lillian
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#219 of 220 Old 07-05-2006, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by quaz


t must come from his own whims or he's not going along with it. And both of them would probably rather watch the Backyardigans on many days. :-) Thats' why I signed my last post with a reference to an academically driven child, because I think the OP is looking for support on that, not on anything to do with IQ.



I'd be interested in hearing from the OP, although don't know if your still reading, if this was your thought process, or if you was just tired of hearing about 'gifted' kids. LOL!! I know I did initially respond to the OP's post, b/c I thought the idea of my kids jumping for joy at an educational DVD was hilarious... but throw on Disney?? My oldest is happy as a clam. And for learning? Right now she is too busy exploring her world, which to me is what she should be doing. Living and learning.


Tammy

Still here! Attempting too follow along, unfortunately my computer went crazy so I am using dh old Mac!
I don't even know, if I remember what my original point was anymore!
When I was refering to average, I wasn't really speaking of IQ. I have no concerns about my dk's intelligence, trust me they are quite intelligent.
But so many of the posts I have been reading lately have been talking about children learning to read at a very early age, or an interest in highly academic subjects at an early age. Emphasis on doing pre-school work. None of my kids at this point at least has shown a real interest in academics. Honestly I never did either. I read everything I could get my hands on, as long as it wasn't deemed educational! LOL My dd is the same way. She has been known to read novels well above her "grade level", but let me suggest she read something about science or history
I was just feeling somewhat insecure that day, over weather my children were learnng what they should be.
I have since reminded myself that is why we homeschool, so that our kids can learn their own pace whatever that may be.
Hope that clarifies a bit. I would explain further. But this puter only types about 1 letter per 5 sec.!:

wife to my modifiedartist.gif and homeschool.gif mom to my 3 monkees dd 15 photosmile2.gif, ds13 geek.gif ,ds 9 nut.gif

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#220 of 220 Old 07-05-2006, 01:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by my3monkees
Still here! Attempting too follow along, unfortunately my computer went crazy so I am using dh old Mac!
I don't even know, if I remember what my original point was anymore!
When I was refering to average, I wasn't really speaking of IQ. I have no concerns about my dk's intelligence, trust me they are quite intelligent.
But so many of the posts I have been reading lately have been talking about children learning to read at a very early age, or an interest in highly academic subjects at an early age. Emphasis on doing pre-school work. None of my kids at this point at least has shown a real interest in academics. Honestly I never did either. I read everything I could get my hands on, as long as it wasn't deemed educational! LOL My dd is the same way. She has been known to read novels well above her "grade level", but let me suggest she read something about science or history
I was just feeling somewhat insecure that day, over weather my children were learnng what they should be.
I have since reminded myself that is why we homeschool, so that our kids can learn their own pace whatever that may be.
Hope that clarifies a bit. I would explain further. But this puter only types about 1 letter per 5 sec.!:
Thanks for the reply. LOL! It's what I thought when I first replied, but with the monster long thread, who thought I'd be nice to verify your original post.

It's what I've seen with my own kids, and even in school for me despite being 'gifted'.

I ALWAYS had my nose in a book. In 'honors chemistry' in high school the teacher would get made I wasn't listening to his lectures and was reading instead, but if I was acing his class, he couldn't complain much.

With my own kids..... oh, they are SOOOOO not into academics. While I suspect/believe both kids fall on the 'gifted scale' IQ wise, but noone would know it. I do read/participate in a 'gifted' board on the internet, which does help me get ideas for some of the 'quirks' that show up.

My almost 4 year old still doesn't recognize all her letters, and that is ok. :-) She can only count to 12. That is ok. She will spend hours inventing stories and plots while playing with playdoh, she spends most her day in imaginary play. We do have a shelf with 'educational toys', but educational toys I define as dominoes, a set of counting bears that are used more for sorting and having grand parties and picnics, jigsaw puzzles, tangrams that both my 4 and 2 year old love, etc. That shelf I set up for the sole reason that they have NO interest in academics, and decided at home we'll go with an unschooling, eclectic, montessoresque type approach. Unit blocks and groovy girls go a long way at this age. ;-) Books... she'd listen to me read for 2 hours if my voice lasted that long. (and she has)


I have many days where I wonder if my children are learnng what they 'should' be, but I also know trying to 'teach' my oldest abc's right now, would be a complete disaster, and she doesn't need it yet. The interest isn't there. Occasionally, I still have that 'panic attack' thinking "UH she is almost to the ripe old age of 4 ;-) and HAS to know it." Then I come back to the real world, and realize, it's fine, she is NOT 4!! LOL!!

I will try to introduce letters from her from time to time... every few months, but when it becomes quite apparent the interest isn't there still (usually within 60 seconds), we drop it. I only do that, b/c I do like the philosophy of exposing them to different things at different time to see where their interests have changed, and 'catching' them when their interest is beginning to bud.

My favorite and latest... I had a few fridge magnets on the fridge. She saw them. I asked if she wanted the rest. She did. She 'spelled' words and asked me what they were. pga and yeb. LOL!! That last a whole 60 seconds. She then took all the magnets to the play area, where all the letters had a massive party complete with pretend cake.

Anyway, thanks for the explanation. I know exactly where you are coming from.

Tammy
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