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Is she gifted? Does it matter?


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#1 lauraw4321

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Posted Yesterday, 12:13 PM

I'm very very new here, so please know that if I say something offensive, it is due to ignorance.  I'm asking these questions because this is clearly a place of wisdom.  I've lurked here a bit and it seems that I can be honest about my daughter without being called out for "bragging."

 

My DD5 is wrapping kindergarten at ps, and DH and I are strongly considering homeschooling next year.  A major reason is that she was not challenged academically at all.  Before school started, she took a STAR test and it determined she was reading at 2.3 level.  She has improved in reading (although not due to anything at school) but I haven't tested her to see where she is now. 

 

We had our P/T conference yesterday and they showed us her scores in the (ridiculous number of) standardized tests she's taken compared to her peers.  To say she outperformed them is an understatement.  She frequently tripled the score of the next highest performer.

 

DD gets very interested in a subject (dinosaurs, space, historical events) and devours and retains information about it.  I remember a playdate we went to when she was 3, and she got into a huge fight with a kid who called his dinosaurs "sharptooth" and she kept correcting him with the correct names.  She writes and illustrates stories.  She loves to read and be read to. She is curious and is always asking questions. 

 

I have several questions: Are these signs that she is "gifted" and how does "gifted" differ from just being bright?  Is there value or a need to have her evaluated?  If so, then how do you go about that?  If I provide her challenging and stimulating education at home (i.e. at her ability level, not her "grade" level), is that enough, or is something more needed for a gifted child?

 

Thank you in advance for your feedback. 



#2 Heigh Ho

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Posted Yesterday, 12:29 PM

You are remarkable to remain cool at the P/T conference after finding out they know they aren't meeting her academic needs.  What did they offer for next year? Wiill she be grouped with others in the school that are similar if she continues with them?

 

Gifted is the ability to think and reason very well compared to age peers.  A good website to start exploring is Hoagie's Gifted. 

 

ime, challenging and stimulating at home might be enough, if she's getting other things she needs at school. If there is no independent study at school, it is probably worth nothing but playtime.

 

 



#3 Spring Flower

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Posted Yesterday, 12:45 PM

I'm still new here, too, so I don't have a lot of advice. I checked out every book in the library about gifted kids and their development when I first suspected that my child was very different from her peers. No one book stood out to me, but it did help me process my own thoughts and feelings about how I wanted to educated my children. I second the suggestion to check out Hoagie's Gifted.

 

In terms of testing or evaluation, I don't think it is necessary. We love homeschooling and wouldn't have it any other way! I meet my six year old at her ability level and that is just what she needs. She is in 1st grade because she is 6 but all of her work is above a 1st grade level. Knowing her IQ wouldn't really change how I educate her. It may have helped me in the beginning when I was still trying to understand where she was intellectually but now I feel like I understand her needs by just working with her everyday. 

 

Good luck in your journey! Welcome to the boards!


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#4 Butter

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Posted Yesterday, 01:30 PM

She is certainly ahead of typical for her age.  Whether she is gifted, who knows.  Giftedness is not solely about being ahead of your age-mates (plus it is not uncommon for kids who are ahead at 5 to not be at 8).  Whether it matters?  Probably not.  Would having her evaluated change anything in what you're doing?  You've obviously been doing something right so keep it up.


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#5 SKL

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Posted Yesterday, 01:31 PM

Sounds like she is probably gifted, but I don't see a reason to test unless she needs that in order to qualify for some services.  Were any of the standardized test scores they showed you related to IQ?

 

My daughter is gifted because I say so, LOL, because even upon starting K she was years ahead of her age peers in every academic area, and still is a very quick study and an advanced reader.  This year they gave her a standardized IQ test along with the rest of her class, but I don't have the results yet.  The IQ test for her matters now because it is one of the criteria for the gifted program that starts in 3rd grade.  Plus, I am interested to see what it says.  But in general, it isn't really important.



#6 Crimson Wife

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Posted Yesterday, 02:37 PM

Dr. Deborah Ruf's "Levels of Giftedness" is not perfect (IMHO it places too much emphasis on verbal domains and on "early bloomers"), but it's a good place to start: http://talentigniter.com/ruf-estimates

The first two levels I would personally consider garden-variety bright rather than gifted, but my perspective is probably a bit skewed because I grew up in a Boston suburb and now live in a suburb near Silicon Valley. So the level 1 & 2 kids are pretty common.
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#7 Erin

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Posted Yesterday, 03:40 PM

A STAR test, as well as corresponding grade level is pretty subjective.   In my experience (teacher), it's not that uncommon for kids who come from bookish homes to read at a 2.3 in K.  However, standardized bubble tests DO tend to be pretty objective.  If she's in the 90-99th, she's pretty sharp.

 

 

But unless you're planning on getting her into some kind of TAG program, no, it probably doesn't matter.  I've always been fairly certain (as have other family members) that both of my kids are fairly bright.  Probably in the level 2, possibly 3, range on Ruf's diagram...  But we've never tested because really, it just doesn't matter.  

The child IN school is in a district that has no such thing as TAG, and the child that homeschools is getting an individualized education anyway.  ...And both of them are growing up in a home with two extremely nerdy parents.  ;)



#8 EndOfOrdinary

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Posted Yesterday, 03:51 PM

We homeschool because my son could not be served well in public school.  That is all we needed to know.  In fact, my husband fought our previous school system all the way to the Superintendent of Public Instruction.  He was so bound and determined for Ds to be in traditional kindergarten.  No dice!  Thank Providence!

 

It didn't matter if he was gifted.  At that point, we weren't even going there.  All we knew was that he was reading fluently, and if he did enter K then, it would be disastrous to wait.  If public school doesn't have what looks to be the best academic offering for your child, it doesn't matter if she is gifted. 

 

Like it or not, in a classroom of 25 kids, the teacher cannot do individualized instruction.  The whole goal is to fit the largest section of kids.  If your daughter is not in that middle range of the curve, then she is not going to be served well.  It isn't the teachers fault.  It isn't the schools fault.  It is just the reality of large class sizes.
 

Think about whether you want to homeschool.  If you don't, then it is a more complicated decision.  If your game, then it is more about just jumping in.  If you have reservations personally, you might want to see if there is a group which meets in your area and ask if you can go talk to the parents.



#9 sunnyday

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Posted Yesterday, 05:24 PM

Dr. Deborah Ruf's "Levels of Giftedness" is not perfect (IMHO it places too much emphasis on verbal domains and on "early bloomers"), but it's a good place to start: http://talentigniter.com/ruf-estimates

 

I like this one, and also http://www.bertiekin...h-gt-create.htm

 

If you're not trying to get into a specific program, or to sort out special situations like twice-exceptionality, I don't think testing is merited at 5. All kids are going through such a massive amount of cognitive change at this age.

 

So far I've been okay with my accelerated kids in ordinary programs. We have teachers who are willing to differentiate to a degree that I think is kind of impressive for 20+ kid classrooms. My son has not yet been bored to tears or misbehavior in class, so we do enrichment at home and it's okay. If you don't *want* to homeschool, IMO it's okay to sit back a while longer and see how things unfold. (But if you do want to, why wait until the end of the year? Withdraw her now and start deschooling!)



#10 lewelma

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Posted Yesterday, 05:46 PM

Welcome.

You are right that this is the place to ask these types of questions. The posters here have seen it all and are not judgmental. I second the suggestion that you read hoagie's.

Personally, it was the subtests on the IQ test that were the most helpful to us. Knowing stenghths and weaknesses in mental thinking did help me to better tailor my older sons' education. Knowing he was gifted was not helpful at all.

Ruth in NZ
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#11 Kerileanne99

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Posted Yesterday, 06:32 PM

[quote name="Crimson Wife" post="5610105" timestamp="1398368256"]

Dr. Deborah Ruf's "Levels of Giftedness" is not perfect (IMHO it places too much emphasis on verbal domains and on "early bloomers"), but it's a good place to start: http://talentigniter.com/ruf-estimates
/quote]

For what it is worth, I was in denial for quite some time...I just thought my kiddo was advantaged being an only and exposed to lots of specific materials. I used TalentIgniter on the recommendation of a friend, who happens to be a child psychologist. It depends upon the info you remember and are able to input, but for us it actually ended up being dead-on with the full psychoeducational eval we later went through.
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#12 SeaConquest

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Posted Yesterday, 06:37 PM

I also have a young one and have struggled with the same questions (i.e. is he gifted vs. bright, and does the distinction really even matter). This board continues to be enormously helpful for me.

 

I would like to recommend this article from Davidson, which I found helpful because it also addresses issues of personality type and sex differences in the classroom. http://www.davidsong...s_id_10480.aspx

 

I'm a very reluctant homeschooler for a couple of reasons. I have an extroverted child who enjoys being around his age peers and doesn't (yet?) seem to struggle with the EQ issues that some gifted children face. In contrast, I am an introvert, struggle with mood issues, need my alone time to recharge, and have a newly mobile baby to chase after. We are choosing to homeschool because there is no G&T program in our district until the 3rd grade and private school is financially out of reach for us. But, we are compromising by enrolling my oldest son in a California public charter homeschool program, where he will take classes on site a couple days per week (to give him the social aspects he craves and the break that I need), and I will teach him the rest of the time (he will officially be in K in the fall, but is mostly at a 2nd grade level). I am hoping that this will be a happy medium for us. The charter school does require testing, but not until the 3rd or 4th grade, as I recall. I am OK with it. Depending on how things play out with my son, we may also do some talent search testing down the road.

 

I am not sure if any of that is helpful for you, or an option, but I just thought that I would throw it out there, and welcome you to the board! 



#13 [email protected]

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Posted Yesterday, 06:40 PM

We didn't do any testing until dd hit 2nd grade. We did it then to practice before doing the talent search testing this year (3rd grade). I live in a large metropolitan area with several universities and museums that have cool programs through Duke TIP. We tested primarily to get access to those programs. In the process I did get some information from the NUMATS report that comes with the Explore results that I found somewhat useful. It isn't changing anything we are doing but is more of a confirmation we are on the right track. Not necessary but nice to have.

 

We chose not to do IQ testing because it isn't necessary for Duke or for Davidson Young Scholars and so far we don't have another need for it. We are working on the portfolio to go with Explore scores to submit for acceptance to DYS now that dd is in 3rd we thought it would be nice for locating some peers and resources.

 

This board has been our most valuable resource. Until we wanted to join Duke classes there was absolutely no need for testing. We just used this board to find resources that were stimulating, challenging and (sometimes) fun for dd to work on and moved from one book to the next. 



#14 [email protected]

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Posted Yesterday, 06:44 PM

For what it is worth, I was in denial for quite some time...I just thought my kiddo was advantaged being an only and exposed to lots of specific materials. I used TalentIgniter on the recommendation of a friend, who happens to be a child psychologist. It depends upon the info you remember and are able to input, but for us it actually ended up being dead-on with the full psychoeducational eval we later went through.

 

This seems to be a pretty common response. I remember being pretty sure dd was just "bright" and fortunate to be an only with access to a rich learning environment. This board and getting past the age where kids usually level off has helped me to realize that my perception (much like Crimson Wife's) was affected by the fact that my parents, siblings and a large number of people we spend time with regularly likely have high IQ's.


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#15 JennW in SoCal

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Posted Yesterday, 09:21 PM

 

I have several questions: Are these signs that she is "gifted" and how does "gifted" differ from just being bright?  Is there value or a need to have her evaluated?  If so, then how do you go about that? 

 

 

I agree with others who say there is no need to test, no need to worry about defining if your child is gifted or bright.  Of the 2 kids I've graduated I only tested one and that was because of concerns of a learning disability.  

 

 

 If I provide her challenging and stimulating education at home (i.e. at her ability level, not her "grade" level), is that enough, or is something more needed for a gifted child?

 

 

Yes it is enough!  There are some great programs out there for gifted kids which many families here use and discuss. For a variety of reasons I never pursued those but simply provided a rich environment and met my kids at their level.  They graduated early, are happy and well adjusted young men who have done well in college -- one in an technical arts college and the other in an academically challenging liberal arts college.  

 

I pulled my kids out of school in the middle of my oldest's 2nd grade year (youngest was in preschool) because I realized that they were learning more through my feeding their interests and living life the way the way we do.  It sounds like you are in the same place.  Other than formalizing math and writing, homeschooling didn't change anything as they continued through high school learning through exploring the world and reading wonderful books.  



#16 Crimson Wife

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Posted Yesterday, 11:47 PM

I will say that I'm very glad that we went ahead and had IQ testing done when my oldest was 4 3/4 and we were struggling with the school placement issue. It clarified that it was going to be very, very difficult to find an appropriate classroom placement unless we either shelled out $$$$$ for the private GATE school or moved to one of the few places that offer a public magnet elementary school for HG+ kids.

We had already made the HSing decision by the time DS came along, so testing hasn't been as important for him. He did participate in the free extended norms study that GDC did a few years ago but they didn't give us a full report and we haven't bothered paying for additional testing.

#17 quark

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Posted Today, 12:02 AM

Like Ruth, the sub tests were helpful here. I was partially suspecting learning issues due to his highly asynchronous ways. Once I digested and researched the results the test also gave me confidence to compact his instruction to a more suitable level.

 

Welcome to the boards!




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