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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just babbling a little here.<br><br>
DD is in first grade and is finding the work extremely easy. I don't think she's gotten a point off on any assignment I've seen all year. Her school also is light on homework and low on pressure, which I appreciate. She has math homework twice a week (takes her 5 minutes tops, always very easy) and one spelling test a week (we have never needed to review any of the words because she always knows them all, including the harder bonus words). Although she complains slightly about school being easy and has a bit of an attitude about being good at everything, it isn't a huge major problem.<br><br>
I see other kids her age struggling with the increased expectations schools have these days, drilling math facts, freaking out over reading struggles, and I think their childhood is being fouled by all this pressure and intensity. Is her homework too easy for her? Hell yes, but on the other hand, I'm glad she only loses 5 minutes of her afterschool time to it. We have zero struggles about schoolwork and zero worries and concerns about grades and assignments because she is well above standards in everything.<br><br>
I see how this will become a problem eventually. I know she could be doing much more. But she is 6. Does it matter now? Is this situation maybe BETTER, in these early years, given the negative effects of pressure and stress on little kids?<br><br>
We have the option of moving her to a gifted magnet. I have been told there will be much more homework and that expectations will be much higher. Again, I want this for her...someday. But now? Maybe I should just be happy?<br><br>
You know?<br><br>
(This is a big change in my thinking, and I'm devil's advocating a little. Just putting it out there.)
 

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<p>For us, as long as there was SOME area where the kids were being challenged (and it doesn't have to be academic) I really haven't worried about them coasting in others. Who really wants to be challenged on all fronts at all times? Even average kids don't get this. The kids with learning disabilities and are fighting to keep up every step of the way... well, they don't seem all that happy about it. Why would I purposely put my own children in that situation?</p>
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<p>My kids (10 and 13) have always coasted in some reguard but have been challenged in others. DS loves math and that is the area he pushes for more. He barely ever reads despite being the highest level reader in his school. He hates to write but he does well enough when it's required. My DD is the opposite always pushing herself in writing and skating in math because she doesn't enjoy it. Plus, both have outside activities like music and theatre that require dedication, practice, ect.</p>
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<p>This is a really common stress for those with little ones but you learn to let go of it over the years. If your little one is happy and enjoying her schooling experience, I wouldn't worry about the challenge. Certainly, have her in the higher groups when they are available. If she starts asking for more, by all means give it to her. Make sure she has something that she WANTS to challenge in but it doesn't have to be school where challenge for gifted kids can be iscolating and boring.</p>
 

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<p>I think there are a bunch of different types of challenge young children can be subjected to in their learning and some of them are definitely toxic. I think the challenge of deadlines is toxic: getting piles of homework done before Monday, for instance. The vast majority of elementary school aged kids are not developmentally hard-wired for the executive planning functions that make them respond well to deadlines. I think the challenge of keeping up with some set of extrinsic standards for learning is toxic. Children learn at different rates and in different modes and styles, and when adult and peer approval is contingent upon "meeting learning expectations" a child who is challenged in that sense can easily become fearful and unsure of her ability to keep up, producing a lot of damage to self-confidence and self-esteem.</p>
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<p>On the other hand, I think that enjoyable challenging intellectual and creative work is really good for kids. If the motivation can be nurtured within them, if the work is intrinsically enjoyable and rewarding, that's absolutely the best thing for a young child. Some kids will be lucky enough to encounter some area of learning in school that provokes the kind of passion and interest that produces that enjoyable self-challenge -- a big writing project, a science fair project, art work, chess club, logging AR points. For many it will occur outside of school, perhaps through participation in extra-curriculars like music, martial arts, ballet, 4H, scouting, astronomy club, etc., or just at home: reading, knitting, Lego Mindstorms, entreprenueurship, computer programming. </p>
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<p>I grew up uniformly unchallenged in school despite 2 grade-skips and compressed high school years. At times I was unhappy at school, but when I had nice, open-minded, creative teachers I was basically happy despite the lack of academic challenge. I occasionally latched onto things at school and created my own challenges out of them (an architecture project in 5th grade, public speaking club in 4th through 7th grades), a 10th grade math exam that I was determined to ace despite cutting class more than 50% of the time and doing none of the homework <img alt="orngtongue.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif">) but by and large my challenge came through violin. I worked reasonably hard, and consistently, at times intensively, at violin from the age of 9 and did my first audition for a professional orchestra at age 16. I turned out that when I got to pre-meds in university by a circuitous route with no experience with study habits and almost none of the academic background normally required for coursework in the sciences, I discovered I had the skills I needed to attack big academic challenges. My self-motivated self-challenging in music and other areas had set me up for success in what was the first challenging academic setting I met, at age 19.</p>
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<p>With my own kids I'm mostly giving them lots of time to play and create and hang out and be themselves. With a bit of parental facilitation and greater or lesser amounts of parental support they've all developed at least one or two areas where they are happy to challenge themselves, where they're learning planning, problem-solving, persistence, diligence and so on. </p>
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<p>So yeah, I guess what I'm saying is to not necessarily look within the structure of a school curriculum for challenge. Other-defined extrinsically structured challenge is not really the best sort of challenge for children. I'd look more towards developing areas of passion where your dd can be supporting in challenging herself.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Miranda</p>
 

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<p>I posted a thread discussing similar issues back in October:</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1271719/is-there-a-reason-to-ask-for-differentiation-if-your-child-isn-t-asking-for-it">http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1271719/is-there-a-reason-to-ask-for-differentiation-if-your-child-isn-t-asking-for-it</a></p>
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<p>I also wonder about this. My ds's true passions at this point seem to be legos & video games! He is 6 & in first grade. He does his homework and then wants to be done w/ "school work" for the day - he could be learning so much more in math and reading more books, but he wants to do other things with his time....I agree that too much pressure at an early age can lead to burnout - Too much work and burnout versus not enough academic stimulation...Hmmm....tough issue.</p>
 

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<br><img alt="nod.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/nod.gif"> Our DD loves school but hasn't been particularly challenged by it. She's in 2nd grade. She now takes piano lessons on Saturdays and is very challenged by it. It's a good balance. School should be fun too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, we've been considering starting her on piano. I had a thread about that not long ago. She doesn't express a particular interest in music, so I don't know how it will work. If she had an obvious passion like that where I could see her working hard outside of school and being excited to learn and be challenged, that would help me relax. She is a very good birder (her dad is a major birding geek) and continually works to improve that, keeping lists and so on. So that's something. She is also very artistic, but that's more of a relaxation outlet and isn't quite fulfilling that need, I don't think--like, mostly she enjoys drawing lots of different fairies for fun. She reads, but after a day at school she also just likes to play and be goofy with her little brother and ride her bike and so on, which of course is quite lovely and natural, but I wouldn't say she's stimulating herself a whole lot with books right now (as opposed to during the summer, when she was reading 2-3 books a day).<br><br>
I guess I think that an ideal academic placement could do awesome things for her, but I wonder if my idea of ideal will ever be what she gets at school. I don't know. I am probably assuming too much about the GT magnet. But more homework does not appeal. In a way I feel she's lucky, I guess, looking at how the other kids I know at her age are struggling with some of their school expectations. Do I want to take away that ease?<br>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>loraxc</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1289458/is-it-so-bad-to-coast-in-an-age-when-little-kids-suffer-from-too-much-pressure-and-have-too-much-homework#post_16162573"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
She is a very good birder (her dad is a major birding geek) and continually works to improve that, keeping lists and so on. So that's something. </div>
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That's definitely something. I can think of lots of ways to nurture, facilitate and enhance that interest to make it into an even bigger something: the optics of binoculars and spotting scopes, birding software (iBird for the ipod touch or iphone is awesome), auditory birdsong quizzes, building feeders and bird-houses, planting a bird-friendly backyard, photography, blogging about sightings, keeping a nature journal, sketching, painting, joining a Young Naturalists club, fund-raising for a songbird or raptor rescue facility, travel / ecology / conservation, mapping, etc. etc.. She will probably have discovered some of these possibilities on her own or thanks to her dad, but you could strew other possibilities in her path and see if any grabs her.</p>
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<p>She's really young yet. I would expect that over the next year or two you'll see more interest in developing her interests deeply.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Miranda</p>
 

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<p>I'm of a few minds about this.  I don't want more challenges to come via increased homework expectations, and I don't want my child to feel pressured.  But sometimes I think that having more opportunities to experience increased expectations, more meaningful work, etc. would be nice.  I know that this will come later, so I'm not stressing too much, although in our case, coasting too much generally means behavioral problems in the classroom.  We find the arts to be a good area for challenges, and my ds loves the activity he's involved in.  It challenges him in ways the classroom experience can't.</p>
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<p>My personal pain is that I have a child with an LD and see her challenged beyond imagination every, single day.  It requires a constant level of engagement on her part, and expectation on the part of her teachers.  She meets this challenge with determination and conviction, which I consider to be admirable qualities.  But it strikes me that my other child has never had to be that engaged, or display that level of fortitude in the academic setting.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>moominmamma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1289458/is-it-so-bad-to-coast-in-an-age-when-little-kids-suffer-from-too-much-pressure-and-have-too-much-homework#post_16162367"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I grew up uniformly unchallenged in school despite 2 grade-skips and compressed high school years. At times I was unhappy at school, but when I had nice, open-minded, creative teachers I was basically happy despite the lack of academic challenge. I occasionally latched onto things at school and created my own challenges out of them (an architecture project in 5th grade, public speaking club in 4th through 7th grades), a 10th grade math exam that I was determined to ace despite cutting class more than 50% of the time and doing none of the homework <img alt="orngtongue.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif">) but by and large my challenge came through violin. I worked reasonably hard, and consistently, at times intensively, at violin from the age of 9 and did my first audition for a professional orchestra at age 16. I turned out that when I got to pre-meds in university by a circuitous route with no experience with study habits and almost none of the academic background normally required for coursework in the sciences, I discovered I had the skills I needed to attack big academic challenges. My self-motivated self-challenging in music and other areas had set me up for success in what was the first challenging academic setting I met, at age 19.</p>
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<p>I had a very similar experience but different outcome. Actually maybe I didn't in that I picked up piano pretty effortlessly and switched to flute. I was able to be an all-state flutist and get a scholarship to college without ever *really* practicing. (My piano teacher often complained to my mom about how good I *could* be if only I "ever opened the piano lid between lessons.") I started college FT at 16, aced everything, went to graduate school without ever worrying about school. I did not finish graduate school, though; I didn't like it. I wasn't happy. There were a number of reasons, but from an academic standpoint, I felt I'd reached the pinnacle of intellectual pursuits. There still weren't that many people who worked at my level. The nadir of grad school life was when I used the assigned readings in a seminar to prove my professor wrong. She did admit that the facts didn't bear out what she'd been arguing, and then she cancelled class "to compose herself." The other students were angry at me. Another professor pulled me aside and said that he hoped I stayed in academia because I'd be a wonderful historian and that I needed to understand that few people ever would think at the same level. I didn't stay, though, because it was a devastating moment for me.</p>
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<p>After graduate school, I went into a career field that was not a strength for me. While I love writing and do well at it, I became a reporter, though I'm a very committed introvert. It was hard, and I had no skills to work on something. I didn't know how to improve. It actually took me years to learn what everyone else learned way back in elementary school. I had no clue how to work hard at something. What was worse was that I had no experience with asking for that help or receiving constructive criticism.</p>
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<p>So, for me, coasting through everything is problematic if you can't at some point hit a place where you have to work hard. I don't know if I would've if I'd been skipped or just allowed to pursue my own projects. I was on several competitive academic teams, in band, on student council, etc. I did tons & tons of stuff, but I never learned what challenge looked like. I don't want that for my children. My daughter probably would figure it out on her own, but my son is much like I am. <br>
 </p>
 

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<p>I can't really answer on the part of my child. Yet. Though in his case, I already see a problem with "extracurricular" activities (if you can call it that for a pre-schooler). Even the shortest morning program at the local pre-school (which we need him to go to for daycare purposes and social integration in a country with universal preschool) is socially so challenging and draining that he is hardly able at the moment to muster up the necessary energy and focus for the things that I think would play more to his strengths and interests in the afternoon and challenge him more productively than, for instance, dealing with the noise level of 24 2-6 year olds in a classroom does. So I could wish more of this stuff happened at school in the mornings, and I have have a hunch I will continue wishing that, even though I hope that the social challenges will not continue to drain him so much.</p>
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<p>For myself, I remember that while I enjoyed not having to put that much energy or time into schoolwork that didn't interest me, I would gladly have put more energy and more time into the stuff that did interest me. But it would have been pointless - how much more ahead should I have gone? And while I did put a lot of my time into extracurricular stuff like music, and learning more foreign languages, there just wasn't the challenge that I wanted, in the fields I would have needed it. Evening classes in Spanish were a joke. Violin was okay, but not my passion, I didn't practice without being pushed the way I never needed to be pushed to work my way through foreign language literature. I enjoyed choir and orchestra but always felt they engaged only a very limited part of my mind, not the way challenging schoolwork engaged me, and never felt it was a field in which I might really excel. it was all dilly-dallying, without focus or drive, and the fields I would have had the focus and drive and could and should have excelled were fields where I was limited by school, and felt stifled. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think it's easier if you find your real passion outside of traditional academics and can just enjoy having the time for it.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This has been a great and valuable conversation for me so far--I hope others will add more. Ironically, just after posting this, I got the letter in the mail officially inviting us to apply to the gifted magnet (it was sent out to all the parents of first-graders in our district who have tested into the gifted program).<br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">I can think of lots of ways to nurture, facilitate and enhance that interest to make it into an even bigger something: the optics of binoculars and spotting scopes, birding software (iBird for the ipod touch or iphone is awesome), auditory birdsong quizzes, building feeders and bird-houses, planting a bird-friendly backyard, photography, blogging about sightings, keeping a nature journal, sketching, painting, joining a Young Naturalists club, fund-raising for a songbird or raptor rescue facility, travel / ecology / conservation, mapping, etc. etc..</div>
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<br>
Inspired by this thread, today I asked her,"If you could learn about anything you wanted to in school, what would you learn about?" Her response was "Birds." Not a second of hesitation. I've gotten her all the good nonfiction books I can find at the library, and her dad is of course an incredibly good source and teaches her stuff all the time, but I hadn't fully thought about it from a homeschooly sort of perspective as you seem to have here--thanks. BTW, if anyone else has a birdy kid, we love ebird.com! Amazing website. I should look for some more sites that approach it from a kid perspective, though.<br><br>
 

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<p> </p>
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<div> if anyone else has a birdy kid,</div>
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<p>I had one at that age and is NOW too! (much older)</p>
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<p>in my state, <span style="text-decoration:underline;">we USED the state</span>, we are ranked one of the best for state run parks (and with that you get TONS of FREE classes!) and when they found out my DD's interest level and desire they took it and her! She got into the best of the best birding programs there were and it opened up out of state opportunities as well. She got scholarships to college as well via the programs.</p>
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<p>mine could say and spell and wanted to be an ornithologist at age 6 and told everyone - she is working in environmental business/law now</p>
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<p>for FUN you might want to look into this store (it is ONE of the very best! - <a href="http://www.birdwatchersgeneralstore.com" target="_blank">www.birdwatchersgeneralstore.com</a>) and start a "life log" get a 100 pin and aim for wearing it</p>
<p> </p>
<p>we home schooled </p>
 

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<p>My thoughts on this head more to the practical.  This may be her only opportunity to go to the magnet school, but she can <em>always</em> get back into public school.  I would put in the application and give it a try.  If it isn't a good fit, she can switchback to PS.  If you don't bother to apply, and she becomes up happy in PS, there probably won't be any slots open at the magnet school and she'll be stuck at the PS.</p>
 

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<p>For us (DP & I) it was been fairlly important that our children were challenged in school.  Both of us ran into problems in college because of lack of challenge earlier.  DP did not really realize that you need to read the assigned materials until he was 23 years old and in grad school.  He actually came home and told me that if you don't know something, you *can* just go and read a book about it.  He wasn't a big reader, but never had had to be.  He has to wonder what school would have been like before that had he *ever* read the books.</p>
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<p>I, meanwhile, loved science until I hit Organic Chem.  It wasn't easy and I literally had no idea what to do with it.  No idea how to study, none.  I ended up passing through the year of it and never really taking science classes (other than math) after that.  I switched from a Bio-Chem major to General Science (chem & math emphasis) and Psychology.  I think that having been challenged before I was 19-20 would have helped a LOT.</p>
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<p>DD had some challenge in 3rd grade (she was 2nd grade age and the teacher had them working 2+ full years ahead, so 5-6th grade work).  Now, in 7th grade she is going more in-depth in science which is challenging her, but I see her identify things that are hard as things she is not good at.  I'd like her to realize that working for something is NOT a bad thing.</p>
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<p>DS was thrilled when he moved into the "gifted" program two years ago.  He literally came home beaming saying things like, "If you never make mistakes, you never learn" and stuff like that.  Given his boredom level, and how he was beginning to behave the year before, I think if he is not challenged he just tunes out.  And we definately don't want that.</p>
 

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<p>I don't think it's bad to coast at times. Do you work on challenging things every day? I don't.</p>
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<p>Our older child is 9 and I used to worry about his lack of persistence. Recently, he's become interested in sports, and has become remarkably persistent in practicing. He's not a natural athlete, but he's willing to practice. He doesn't need to practice reading. He does that well naturally. He's only moderately gifted, so he will need to work at some point in time to master some subjects. But in the meantime, he has a fairly interesting play life with his sports (backyard) and stuffed animals. By letting him be and play, he's discovering what he needs to work at and what he doesn't.</p>
<p> </p>
 

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<p>loraxc, i'm struggling with the same question over here. DD is only in K, and i thought she was happy cutting and pasting and writing (all of which need work, she's a lefty and her handwriting still looks like a kindergartener's, so i thought it was a good fit for now). and for fun at home she reads about science (loves anatomy, has a college level textbook that i have to read to her because it's way over her level, but she got bored with the kiddy one years ago). she also keeps a bird observation journal, and now a locking diary. she also likes to do math. anyway, i adopted the approach my aunt and uncle use with their gifted daughters (extremely gifted, the older one got the highest pre-K gifted testing score in the city her year), which is to consider ourselves homeschoolers who send their kids to public school during the day.</p>
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<p>buuuut just over this last vacation she started to complain that they do "baby math" at school, and she doesn't like it. she wants to do the more advanced stuff she does at home.</p>
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<p>so, i've been reflecting (again!) on my own experience as a gifted kid (i have no idea how gifted, and now for the first time ever i'd really like to know, so i can put my experience in the context of my IQ. i have looking online about correlating GRE/LSAT scores to IQ, but my scores were perfect so i ceiling. i also think that may overestimate my IQ because my strengths are precisely in logic/math and  reading).</p>
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<p>ANYWAY, sorry this is so long!!, i wasn't challenged pretty much at all until college. i did the math team from 7th grade on, which was the single most challenging thing i did in my pre-college academic career, but outside of team practice, i didn't practice on my own at all. and i wish i'd been encouraged to, because i did so well without additional instruction that i'm sure i could have done remarkably with instruction. there was also a numbers confusion issue i was dealing with on my own, kind of a bizarre learning-disability kind of thing, but that's not relevant to you kid i think!</p>
<p>still, i went to a top college, got my BS in physics, and switched gears to a master's in science journalism (not because i couldn't hack the physics, but because i knew i always wanted to be a stay at home mom when my kids were little, and i just didn't see physics as giving me that flexibility). i didn't feel like my lack of challenging education held me back at the time, but from an adult's perspective, it may have. more though, a lack of exposure to options beyond physics was limiting. i could have benefited from some career/education guidance when i was in college.</p>
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<p>so, my plan for my DD is to let her move ahead in math, since that seems to be her main interest right now. but i do think childhood should be more about play than homework.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>ok DH needs his computer. hope this was somewhat clear, no time to reread or edit!!!!</p>
 

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<p> </p>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<div> Both of us ran into problems in college because of lack of challenge earlier.</div>
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<p><strong>so true!</strong></p>
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<p>for lack of challenge can cause this for some, I certainly would find some thing to challenge your child at this point until "schooling" increases</p>
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<p>but some people just cost through life!!</p>
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<p>I personally feel lack of challenge cause more problems in the long run and fails to give the necessary coping skills needed when challenges finally do occur. </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>majormajor</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1289458/is-it-so-bad-to-coast-in-an-age-when-little-kids-suffer-from-too-much-pressure-and-have-too-much-homework#post_16164346"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><p> </p>
<p>so, my plan for my DD is to let her move ahead in math, since that seems to be her main interest right now. but i do think childhood should be more about play than homework.</p>
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<p> Yah. The homework. I'd want to find out more about the gifted magnet in that respect - is it really a high achiever program that piles on the homework  (laboring under the delusion that gifted kids just need more work as opposed to more challenging work)? She sounds so far ahead in language arts and possibly maths and science too - would it mean cutting into her afternoons with unchallenging busywork and make her even more unhappy? Maybe you can observe a classroom or ask to look at the homework second graders typically do and estimate how long it would take your DD.</p>
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<p>My thoughts on this head more to the practical.  This may be her only opportunity to go to the magnet school, but she can <em>always</em> get back into public school.  I would put in the application and give it a try.  If it isn't a good fit, she can switchback to PS.  If you don't bother to apply, and she becomes up happy in PS, there probably won't be any slots open at the magnet school and she'll be stuck at the PS.<span style="display:none;"> </span></p>
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<p> i understand that once she's left, she could not switcvh back into her current charter, and her little brother would lose his sibling spot asell. is there a way to enter later into the gifted magnet?</p>
 

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<p>I recently came across this article, and thought it was interesting - maybe just because this topic is always on my mind.  I have one dc that really pushes themselves, and one that does the bare minimum and just continues to slide by.  One child responds to even slight encouragement as meddling, and the other needs more overt encouragement to take risks.  I often grapple with how to balance and support their very unique needs because they both need encouragement in different ways.  It's so easy to know that they need encouragement, but much harder for me to actually figure out how to encourage without pushing or without just letting sleeping dogs lie.  Please do not read this as a supportive hothousing argument -- it's quite the opposite!  I don't think <em>"coasting"</em> is a bad thing at all, and even think it's necessary from time to time, as long as it's not a cover up for not working outside of their "comfort zone."  It's been discussed in this forum before that because early elementary is so easy for so many gifted kids -- especially for those not identified or adequately challenged - that they learn to coast along and don't really learn how to tackle challenges without becoming overly emotional, frustrated or defeated.  When faced with challenges down the road, these same kids back down and drop out even though they are more than capable.  They just don't recognize and move past the emotions of being overwhelmed or discouraged.  Because of this, I think it seems to be appropriate and necessary that all children experience challenge so that they can develop the necessary skills to really work beyond what they think they can do and aren't allowed to coast for too long.  The challenge can be academic, creative, personal or whatever.</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.dyslexiadx.com/articles-helping.php" target="_blank">http://www.dyslexiadx.com/articles-helping.php</a></p>
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<p><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Excerpt:</span></p>
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<p style="font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;line-height:normal;"><em><b>Excellence</b></em></p>
<p style="font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;line-height:normal;"><em>We must learn to push dyslexic students toward excellence. It may seem cruel after watching a person struggle so hard to learn basic literacy skills to push them even more. And yet, this quality is present in all great teachers, particularly the gifted teachers of the dyslexic student. Alice Ansara, Alice Koontz and June Orton are all examples of brilliant teachers who wouldn't let their students settle for mediocre achievement. Instead of letting them rest on their laurels, they continually pushed them to achieve and reach their exceptional potential.</em></p>
<p style="font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;line-height:normal;"><em><strong>Ironically, many gifted children without learning difficulties do not receive this help. Their product is so much better than other children; no one considers that they might be able to achieve even more. They, therefore, do not get an opportunity to push themselves past their comfort zone and develop self-discipline. Perhaps this is why so many brilliant PhD. candidates never finish their dissertations.</strong></em></p>
 

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Yes, Tigerle is right. If we switch her from her current arts charter into the GT magnet, and it doesn't go well, we are in trouble. Our regular zoned school is in very bad shape and not an option at all. We also lose her little brother's spot at the charter if we switch DD to the magnet, meaning we will have to find some other option for him for K and 1 at the very least (magnet doesn't start till grade 2). He has been a somewhat later bloomer than DD, but is showing every sign of also being gifted at this point, though with somwhat different strengths.<br><br>
There is a chance she could get into the magnet as an older child, but it's a small chance. The big opening is in grade 2, since the magnet is 2-5.<br><br>
It may be worth knowing that if we stay in this town, she will almost certainly attend the gifted middle school, since we really don't have another option for middle. So she will be at a gifted magnet eventually. It's a question of when.<br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Both of us ran into problems in college because of lack of challenge earlier.</div>
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This happened to my husband. He coasted for his entire school career, got into a very selective college, and almost crashed and burned his first year. He actually took a year off to get his act together, then returned and became a good student. However, in some ways, I think his whole life has been affected by the contrast between his innate ability (790/790/790 on his GREs) and his difficulties staying on task and believing in himself (he has major impostor syndrome). And speaking of brilliant PhD candidates who never finish their dissertations--that's my husband. He left with a master's and works in the field, but in some ways his promise is unfulfilled.<br><br>
All this said, DD's personality is quite a bit different than his and from mine. She actually has enormous persistence, as long as she's motivated (and she's fairly easily motivated). She also has great self-confidence. I do wonder how schooling will affect these innate traits one way or the other. I'd hate to see her lose them.<br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">is it really a high achiever program that piles on the homework (laboring under the delusion that gifted kids just need more work as opposed to more challenging work)? She sounds so far ahead in language arts and possibly maths and science too - would it mean cutting into her afternoons with unchallenging busywork and make her even more unhappy? Maybe you can observe a classroom or ask to look at the homework second graders typically do and estimate how long it would take your DD.</div>
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These are exactly my worries. Right now, I would not say DD is unhappy at school. She would tell you openly that she doesn't learn anything there (this is untrue, but also not that far from true, either), but that she likes it. Her teacher this year has been a good fit and first grade has gone a LOT better than K did. One of my concerns, actually, is that she may well fight us tooth and nail to stay at her current school.<br><br>
I really am worried about the idea of moving her from a school where she is basically happy and under very little pressure to one that may well be more intellectually exciting but could also fill our lives with busywork and anxiety. To be honest, I also wonder about the community we will find at the magnet. Her current school is populated by quirky, artsy kids of hippie parents, which is a good fit for DH and me. If the magnet is hyperachiever rich kid heaven, as it could well be, we will be fish out of water.<br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">because early elementary is so easy for so many gifted kids -- especially for those not identified or adequately challenged - that they learn to coast along and don't really learn how to tackle challenges without becoming overly emotional, frustrated or defeated. When faced with challenges down the road, these same kids back down and drop out even though they are more than capable. They just don't recognize and move past the emotions of being overwhelmed or discouraged. Because of this, I think it seems to be appropriate and necessary that all children experience challenge so that they can develop the necessary skills to really work beyond what they think they can do and aren't allowed to coast for too long. The challenge can be academic, creative, personal or whatever.</div>
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But boy, I also totally agree with this.<br><br>
It's hard to say. DD DOES get extremely frustrated, emotional, and unpleasant when she meets with something she finds hard. My two biggest accomplishments as a parent have been teaching her to swim and to ride her bike without completely losing my mind from the drama and insanity. Seriously. It was awful. However, she never gave up--in fact, though she found both tasks very hard, she was completely obsessed with mastering them. She isn't a quitter. But she can be completely horrendous when frustrated--like, her behavior would have been wildly inappropriate and disruptive in a classroom.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
 
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