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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, Zion is gifted. We know this. Everyone that knows him, knows this. Ever read "A Wrinkle in Time"? Think Charles, only our Zion speaks and acts like that with everyone, not just family. I could (and want to) write ON and ON... post after post... about how amazing, how strange, how challanging, how wonderful...etc... (and I probably will)... but first;

Zion is three years old (as of March 12th). He socializes very confidently with adults, tells jokes and has ironic humor without prompting, can spell, potty trained at 18 months without one accident, spoke full sentences before age 2, and enjoys playing with children 8 to 10 more than children his age.

I am looking at a montisori-based preschool 3 to 4 times a week from 8am to 6pm, depending on how much he enjoys it (I am SAH, so it is not a matter of needing childcare; I just think that he needs MORE content than our daily trips and lessons are providing him... he asked for preschool, so preschool I shall provide). I am particularly interested in this school because it is ages 2 through 12, grouping children by their interests and abilities, not just age... and it is all open class space. They provide both general scholastic teaching as well as all sorts of project-based lessons and things like music lessons and language lessons.

Zion speaks Japanese and knows sign language. He also is very musically inclined. He likes people so much and seems to socialize and play with others without frusteration or stress.

My concern; does this sound like a type of school that could foster and provide for his giftedness, and not squash his soft but strong spirit? I am so apprehensive of school in general, because Zion is very VERY sensitive to his surroundings (empathy - how are the people acting and feeling around him) and I am afraid of any institution trying to level the playing field with him or otherwise disciplining him when he is not acting like the crowd, etc...

Does anyone have any suggestions? How do I talk to his new teachers and staff about this... or should I at all? Is a Montisori-based school a good idea...? Zion communicates his feeling amazingly well, so if he was not enjoying the change to being a school kid I think I could pick up on it... but if we are going to do this, I want to give him the best chance of finding a school experience that will help him in his giftedness, not try to mold him differently. Does that make sense?

Please share with me your experiences on school for a gifted child. I always just assumed that I would homeschool, but *blush* I think my kid is too smart for me to keep up with his learning needs without some type of outside content.
 

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I was going to suggest montessori, so it sounds like you're on the path I'd take! A couple of thoughts- 1. let him observe first and get his input. If he feels at all negative about it, trust him. 2. Be aware and watch for changes in him as he transitions in.

If it's a good program he may want a lot more than part time, so look into that now, so you can answer if he asks.

good luck!

-Angela
 

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My DD1 went to a Montessori school and loved it more than anything. She is quite gifted and VERY super sensitive. Montessori really fit her needs quite well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses...

We went and checked it out a few weeks ago, and Zion wanted to start right that second
I get a really good feeling about it...

Hopefully all will be great. Thanks for the input, y'all!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by embers

I am looking at a montisori-based preschool 3 to 4 times a week from 8am to 6pm, depending on how much he enjoys it (I am SAH, so it is not a matter of needing childcare; I just think that he needs MORE content than our daily trips and lessons are providing him... he asked for preschool, so preschool I shall provide).

Please share with me your experiences on school for a gifted child. I always just assumed that I would homeschool, but *blush* I think my kid is too smart for me to keep up with his learning needs without some type of outside content.
I'm glad it looks like you've found a school you like. I have two thoughts.

1. 8-6 is a really, really long day for someone so young. If you have an option to have him there for shorter days I would take that option.

2. I am wondering what specifically you think he needs from a school that you can't provide. You said you aren't smart enough for him. Obviously you are a lot smarter than even the smartest three year old right? I understand thinking a kid needs playmates or that you'd like someone else to have the energy to set up art projects, etc. But, I'm wondering what academic "content" you think a three year old needs that he can't easily get at home.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by embers
I always just assumed that I would homeschool, but *blush* I think my kid is too smart for me to keep up with his learning needs without some type of outside content.
Please don't think that.
Personally I WOULD HS, but I am not here to push that on you - just want to mention the glaring obvious fact that your nurturing helped make him the amazing kid he is.
 

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We are in a similar boat.
my dd was born 1 month after your ds (april 14 2003), but I dont consider her to be "gifted"
She also potty trained by herself by 18 months, knew all the alphabet in English and Hebrew by 20 months, is now reading a little and starting to write her name, she speaks english, hebrew, spanish, german and portuguese. She makes up and tells fairy tales showing remarkable imagination, is friendly, independant and outgoing, writes and sings her own songs... I could go on and on (as could we all).
But still, I dont think of her as "gifted", she is just herself, and I avoid labelling her with anything.
Montessori could be a great option, we looked into it, but decided on unschooling in the end. I really believe its the bet education a child can get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
See, I am still very dedicated to schooling at home... or I suppose "unschooling" may be what I am thinking... I see the whole world as a "class room" and that fostering education in a class may be effecting how a child learns from its world and surroundings by seperating education and personal world experience from eachother.

I liked this school, though... I liked it a LOT. It was what I imagined my livingroom to be if I could design a dream house with no budget
It is nice, because I can pay for the school for certain available hours (8am to 6pm) and for an amount of days (2 to 5) each week. He can come for ANY of those hours or all of them, any of those days or all of them. We live within a SHORT walk, too! I am welcome to be there for any of those hours, too... They have music lessons, language lessons, all sorts of art, dance (several types), horse back riding, sports based on athletic enjoyment and physical training than competition... the class itself is all open (no sectioned rooms) with tables and chairs, couches, cozy floor space, etc. There are toys, stations for music, art, math, writing, reading... and several teachers that focus both on one-on-one and also helping a child with any question that come up.

I suppose that I see it as a supplimental to our home schooling... particularly because he asked for it. And kept asking and talking about it, so I am pretty sure that it was not just a repeat of a concept he picked up from another kid. My son is pretty wonderful about making up his own mind and vocalizing his interests... and this is one of them. We do learning and enriching with EVERYthing in our lives - a trip to the store is a magical field trip. Even still, it seems as if there are certain things that he would excell at that we just don't have the ability to have at home or that I cannot provide well for him (horse back riding for one... math for another - I am just not strong in it and he has such an interest)... and then there is the socialization with other children - and he can gravitate towards the children on his social level becase the class is 2 through 12.

It is expensive, but not prohibitavly so. I think that we will try it a few days a week and see what HE thinks from there.
 

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Dang! I'm jealous! That school sounds like heaven. Where are you? I'd love to send my kids. Heck, I'd like to go there myself. Congrats on finding it!
 

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You don't have to be smarter than the child to hs therm. All you need to be able to do is provide what they need.

For example a child is interested in music, then you find find a good music teacher in your area.

Interested in math? Find somebody in your area who is good at math and would tutor.

Just provide the child and they will take it from there.
 

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That school sounds great! I went to Montessori school and my parents used to say that I never wanted to leave. My father would come for me at 3 pm and I would never be ready and so he'd always come back for me at 5! I started at 2 years old and did full days. I think it really gave me a foundation for excelling academically when I transferred to a regular school in the first grade. Good luck!
 

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Embers, If you haven't done so, check out the "Montessori" thread in the "Learning" forum here on MDC. There is Montessori teacher there (I think her username is "ochoco") certified in teaching 3-6 y/o who posts there. She may have some insight on the gifted child in Montessori school. Good luck!
 

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: I don't mean to burst your bubble here, but I've heard very bad things about Montessori and exceptionally/profoundly gifted children; from parents, from teachers, and from the students themselves.

As to teaching him yourself-- You don't actually need to be smarter than your child to teach him; what you do need is to be open minded and willing to work. When your child asks a question which you can't answer, can you either help him find the answer or find someone else who can help him? Are you willing to put time and energy into the answers that you do provide for him? Gifted children are not often satisfied with simple answers, they want detailed information. If you're willing to do the work, home education will probably be very rewarding for both of you.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by eilonwy
As to teaching him yourself-- You don't actually need to be smarter than your child to teach him; what you do need is to be open minded and willing to work. When your child asks a question which you can't answer, can you either help him find the answer or find someone else who can help him? Are you willing to put time and energy into the answers that you do provide for him? Gifted children are not often satisfied with simple answers, they want detailed information. If you're willing to do the work, home education will probably be very rewarding for both of you.

This is very very true. For me, my oldest son's interests lie in areas that are my weaknesses. What has happened is that it has given me motivation to homeschool myself. I now know a bunch about the Solar System and I'm relearning chemistry and physical science. I'm learning stuff that I never knew I could be interested in (e.g. engines) and it's been a surprisingly pleasant trip. I read a lot about resources and ask online a lot. I've also been identifying people in our lives that do know these things. My chiropractor happily spoke to my son about the spine and nerves. She let him hold the human skull that she normally keeps out of reach of children. My Dad is an electrical technician and he was not only able to talk to my son about electricity, but he gave him a circuit board he had made. My BIL is a mechanic and he has promised to talk engine stuff anytime my son wants to. I don't know all this stuff, but I'm learning how to find it. Initially, I was pretty overwhelmed (and still am sometimes), but in general, it's been wonderful and easier than I thought.
 

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I want to say that I understand the draw towards school, especially if your DS has asked and the school seems wonderful. I do agree that 8-6 sounds like a very long day for a child who has not been away from home before. Is your financial situation such that you would feel okay with sending him for possibly significantly less time? What if it doesn't work for you--can you pull out with a minimum of painful financial consequences? Those would be my concerns.

The idea of my DD having access to all the cool stuff and activities they do at a well-equipped Montessori IS appealing to me.
If I could try it out, I would. I would want to be able to stay and observe a lot initially, though.

As for the fit between Montessori and gifted kids, I've heard both good and bad, but more of the good. As with any school, it is going to depend hugely on the teachers and their individual interpretations of the "style."
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by embers
Thanks for the responses...

We went and checked it out a few weeks ago, and Zion wanted to start right that second
I get a really good feeling about it...

Hopefully all will be great. Thanks for the input, y'all!
yup!!! since he is so excited i would certainly put him in it and see how he does. esp. as he sounds like such a social child.

my dd who will be 4 in sept has been going to ps/dc fullday since seh was 2 because i work. it is a playbased school (she prefered that to a nanny and in home daycare because it was less like home) but i have had to do additional work at home. she loves spending hours on projects - either hands on or learning. so i find we do 'academic' stuff at home and seh does more play stuff at school.

about sensitivities. i guess it depends on ur child and the teachers. i found my dd's first teacher wasnt all that great. but i found my dd handled her well at 2. but now she has a hard time with her. instead thankfully her present teacher really gets along with her so my dd has a much easier time. one of the reasons why i chose the ps she goes to was because their discipline policy was the same as mine at home and most of the teachers genuinely liked and understood kids and the ones who didnt at least tried really hard.

also i want to warn you that even though he asked for it - it may not turn out what he thought it might be. my dd was v. excited when she joined her ps. BUT she would rather stay home with me and do more things which she quickly learnt. that meant we are never home during the weekends. we are always out doing something because she drags me there. i swear i tell my boss i go to work to relax. my real work is at home.

i also sense with her she doesnt like an 'unnatural' children's setting. she really wants to just hang out with kids and adults and not really have them stop their lives for her. sometimes i feel her dream fun time would be to be let loose in a high school where she can go as she pleases and observe life around her while following rules of course.

oh and just so u know till she was 2 she mostly was around adults - except for kids at the park or playground. u know for the socialization thing. and when she joined a dc (we changed quite a few) teh teachers would tell me how she fit right in as if she had been going to one since infancy.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by eilonwy
: I don't mean to burst your bubble here, but I've heard very bad things about Montessori and exceptionally/profoundly gifted children; from parents, from teachers, and from the students themselves.
I'd be interested in what you heard. IME montessori schools vary greatly, but GOOD ones are a good fit for gifted kids in that they have flexible-mixed-age grouping and are self-paced.

-Angela
 
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