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  1. We have always pushed for rigorous curriculum. Our dd8 is very smart. Her IQ is gifted, and she started reading at 3 1/2. My 5 yo is pretty smart too, but she's the baby and knows it. So she is hiding the fact that she can read. :D *I* am dropping the rigorous curriculums. We took a 2 week spring break and had SO. MUCH. FUN. I am enrolling the girls in a co-op next year, for 1 day a week, with some 'fun' classes. We are taking at least 1 field trip a month next year. And we are not going to push through our books. We do not have to do every page of our books, and we do not always need to do written work every day. I am not unschooling, but I am going to greatly loosen the reigns. And we are going to have FUN and enjoy ourselves. And develop and strengthen our relationships. If we miss a day of math, the world will NOT end. <deep sigh of relief>
  2. Hi folks, I've been struggling a bit with my 5th grade son, and rereading WTM for help and inspiration. Whenever I read this book I find myself thinking-THIS is the way I want to be doing school! Then I remember-- oh, this doesn't always work for my particular kid. First of all, it just seems like so much more work than either of us want to be doing. Secondly, my son has never fit well into their specific grade-level models, and I get overwhelmed just trying to think about how to make it all work. I believe that gifted students progress through the trivium differently, but I can't always get a handle on how. It's part of that whole confusing 'asynchronous development' thing. One of the things I'm learning about my son-- and myself-- is that we both are energized by novelty and newness, and I find that mixing up the curriculum throughout the year is very helpful. I'm thinking about creating some type of term or semester system that would actually plan for that, rather than making me feel like we are 'quitting' on things. For example, we are halfway through Latin for Children and though Latin has been a favorite for a long time, we are both waning to the point we can hardly stand it. I think I should put it aside for now and move on to something else, but it makes be feel like we're quitting. Another example is using a core math program and mixing it up with 'Life of Fred' and those 'Key To' books. So you can see that this makes using WTM a challenge. I am wondering how other folks use this program successfully with their gifted kids, and how they adapt it. Part of my problem may be that I need to focus more on their methods rather than specific schedules and curriculum choices. I think if I could do that I may be close to designing something that works. I'd love to hear thoughts on these issues! Thanks! Amy
  3. About some of the stuff you read on homeschool boards regarding the amount and level of work kids are doing? Recognizing that many people are homeschooling precisely because they want their children to have access to higher level / more intensive schooling (eg: profound giftedness)... does anyone else ever feel like the proportions are just a wee bit... um, skewed? I just read a post on another board where a mom said something akin to their 16 yo having almost 70 college credits (was this in addition to high school credits? That wasn't entirely clear - I just scanned it). Maybe things have changed - I only needed 125 credits for my entire baccalaureate. Yes, there are kids out there who can do calculus at 8. I don't know if they understand the ramifications of it, but they can do the calculations. There are kids who have read the unabridged Iliad at 10. I'm certain some of them found it to be thrilling. Could they write a paper commensurate with a book of its level? Who am I to say. But I'm having a hard time swallowing the idea that so many kids are supposedly finishing high school with 8 AP classes, 2 years worth of college credits, half of the Western Canon read and understood, sport, etc. and... STILL BE A KID Someone please tell me that there are some other parents out there who just want their kid to be a kid -- even if they "have the potential" to do harder and harder and harder work (we did that at first, decided it wasn't worth it). I'm seeing a future wherein we will have a whole bunch of burnt out kids who are really going to miss not having had the time to just hang out and be twelve. a
  4. Following on from the discussion about early university, I thought it was worth considering the other side of things: what happens to a young person who enters university at roughly the right age but is bored by the content. A friend has a son who went to university at 17 1/2. He had been a brilliant student all the way through school, despite being accidentally accelerated due to a move between school systems. He got into a very prestigious university due to his excellent exam marks and is now bored. Presumably he would have been able to work at this level a few years ago but now there's no way to skip ahead. As far as I know there is no option available of testing out of courses in the Scottish system. He's stuck and his mother is worried about his continuing commitment. Laura (on her way to bed)
  5. I was lying in bed last night thinking about all the recent discussions about genius/giftedness/IQ scores. Doesn't it seem like someone who tests well would do better on an IQ test? So does the test really test IQ or does it test how well you take tests? I also saw someone posted that you could assume an IQ over 130 if you had scored over 1250 on the pre-1994 SAT. But again, isn't that just a matter of testing well? What if someone has a high IQ but doesn't test well? Or someone has an average IQ but does test well? How do we know that we are not just measuring test-taking skills???
  6. As requested. :) This poll is taking into consideration that scores are different now and this will give us a wider range result than breaking down said scores, but to gives us a rough idea... If you are considered academically gifted please vote, again this poll is NOT public.
  7. Private poll. I suspect many people who are drawn to TWTM are here because it provides such a wonderful framework to challenge asynchronous kids. It's the type of education many of us wish we would have been offered. As a result, I think there is a greater percentage of kids and parents who would test out in the gifted ranges than you would find in the general population. You don't have to have tested to vote...a strong sneaking suspicion is enough for this poll. Elaborate only if you are moved to. Barb
  8. Well curiosity got the cat, so this is NOT a public poll. :D After all this talk on the general board, what are we really dealing with on this board? I'm curious and putting forth a poll, for those who's children have been tested.
  9. This is my burning question of the day. Lately, I've been trying to read a lot of relatively easy-to-understand books on the history of physics to prepare for teaching physics to my rising senior next year. Well, one book I read mentioned that there is probably an average of one true genius born each year. Many of them gravitate toward fields in higher math and science, but not necessarily. We know some obvious ones like Archimedes, Gallileo, Newton, and Einstein. There are many more that are obscure yet relevant. One a year is really not a lot of people. However, I figure that with so many on these boards interested in the academic/intellectual world, somebody must know a true genius. Just for the sake of definition, let's say a genius is someone whose thinking is hyper focused on creative problem solving, and whose life's work has or could change the world of ideas in a significant way. So, what about it? Have you ever met, or do you know, a true genius?
  10. My background is that I was generally a very academically minded school student. Most subjects I was at or near the top of the class without putting in any/much effort. (In case you mistakenly assume I was gifted, I will admit that there were some things I was rubbish at. Like sports. All of them. And advanced math and chemistry.) I found language arts particularly easy. The mechanical aspects of spelling, grammar and expression came naturally to me. I had very little instruction on these (virtually none prior to 7th grade, when I changed from a very average public school to a posh private school to which I had won a scholarship). Now that I'm trying to teach my children to read and write, I am figuring out a lot of 'rules' that I was hitherto blissfully unaware of. I never learned spelling rules, because I simply look at a word and can see (well, 99% of the time) whether it is spelled correctly or not. (I still remember with some embarrassment the day I (at age 6) irritated my second grade teacher because I could spell diarrhoea (that's diarrhea for you Americans lol) and she couldn't.) It's the same with writing an essay. I found it was fairly obvious how it should be set out, without especially concentrating on things like having a leading sentence at the beginning of each paragraph. So to stop waffling and get to the point, I'm seriously wondering how some people become good at spelling (or grammar, or whatever), and how useful things like spelling rules are. Many people don't need them, and a fair proportion of people who have trouble remembering how to spell would also have trouble understanding and remembering the rules (with their exceptions - ah, those exceptions. I mean, the rule "When two vowels go out walking, the second one does the talking" has so many exceptions it can hardly qualify as a rule at all!). I wonder whether a more economical use of time might be to concentrate on reading, then attack spelling later on if the child seems to be having difficulties (which is more or less what we're doing thus far). I guess what I'm asking from those with more knowledge and/or experience, is would my experience be common or uncommon? And with your children, and children you have taught or know of, how many have benefited a lot from learning the mechanics of writing, as opposed to (or, probably more accurately, in addition to) simply being exposed to large amounts of high quality writing? In other words, if you view explicit teaching of spelling and grammar from first grade as essential, go ahead and convince me! Or if anyone thinks the opposite, let me know too please.
  11. Nature vs. nurture has been an ongoing discussion or debate in our home. DH is in the frame of mind that you make a child gifted he/she is not born so. We love to debate here and we love studies! I figured this would be the place to ask about the existence of any study that has compared gifted vs. average children in early childhood. For instance if someone had ever taken two groups of children. One who they worked with an engaged in early learning experience and another group of children that were only played with in a non-educational sort of way. Think pure toys, TV, video games and such vs. people like us that sing the ABCs, watch only videos that have some educational value and work with our children. It is my belief that there are "gifted" children that excel more due to a mix of genetic predisposition, good prenatal care and other factors that affect a child's physical capabilities. For instance not all 16 month old boys can pickup and overhand a ball in pinpoint accuracy or make a basket in a hoop over 90% of the time. Just as not all 2 year old children will be able to actually learn the alphabet in terms of recognition of the letters and understanding that they make a sound and mean something. I wonder if the people that do not believe in the true existence of gifted children are those that do not have them. As My brother was extremely gifted mathmatically and I was gifted in a language sense. We were both in gifted/AP classes throughout our school career but I remember many times in our lives that people would say to my parents that it was just because they were teachers and we were not any different then their child(ren) would have been if they had worked with them early. Ok done with my rambling :P so if you have happened across any such studies or have any input on the subject I'd love to hear from you!
  12. Since my daughter has just taken the SAT as a 7th grader, I have been pondering the fairness of the process. In many schools throughout the US, middle school students with high enough test scores from other standardized tests are "invited" through "Talent Search" programs to take the SAT or ACT in middle school. In reality, although I don't think most people are aware of this, any student can register through the college board to take the SAT without any special "invitation". I found this Washington Post article interesting: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/09/AR2009040904051.html And in particular, this quote: "We don't want young people to game the system," said Richard Shaw, dean of admissions at Stanford University. "What we want them to be is open and honest and transparent." And Shaw said he worried that wealthy students who can afford test-preparation classes would get an unfair advantage. "If you start practicing and working with a consultant in the 10th grade, eventually you might get scores that are off the charts, but that's not something that low-income students will have access to," he said. I have had this same thought over and over again. Many students take the SAT cold. They have no fancy preparation and no repeated testing experiences since middle school. These students are being compared with other students who have savvy parents guiding them to experiences and preparations that will pay off in their scores. So, it really leads me to question how fair it is to allow multiple testing experiences. Doesn't this give already bright students an unfair advantage? And what about low income students or students with less savvy or less educated parents; how are they supposed to compete when some little Johnnys are super prepped and testing for the fourth time in as many years?
  13. First of all I want to state This is NOT an attack on anyone who may feel that one should not "teach" young children. Think of it more as a clarification and a curiosity. By young I am referring to the 3-5 range. I am curious of the reasoning behind feeling it is wrong or objectionable to teach a younger child things like reading or math. I would love to see opinions and links to backing research if possible so I may learn too or see some more background for this stance :) I have seen comments not only here but other boards recently from people speaking out against teaching "young" children in an academic way. Being a product of n early learning environment as well as one of those parents teaching a 3 yo old to read as well as math and critical thinking, I am honestly curious and somewhat perplexed as to why I should not be doing this. Everything I have read when researching brain development tells me that the brain is most able to absorb and learn information from birth to three years of age but the window of opportunity so to speak of teaching a child is from birth to 10 years of age. The more information a child is given the more connections the child's brain will form. When a child is taught something repeatedly during this period of time the child's brain form strong connections that will last a lifetime. This is the root of why they say that if you want a child to really learn a second language to teach them early so they do not miss the opportunity to become fluent in the second language. They also suggest teaching a language that greatly differs from the native language because it utilizes the other sounds of language and forces the brain to look at language much more differently then a child learning one language or two similar languages. When you force or rather teach your brain to look at something from two drastically different perspective you help your brain to form new connections and strengthen the brain's ability to learn and understand other information. For instance with language if you are taught English and Japanese at a young age (only examples language wise) it makes it much much easier to learn other new languages through life because you have a fundamental understanding of many sounds and pieces of language. Now I know play is important, immensely important actually. For a moment though consider play and what it is. Across the animal kingdom from humans to puppy dogs play is how young learn. Dog learn to hunt and defend. Children learn social skills, early reading skills, early math skills, early reasoning skills and so on. I have two older DSDs and I have watched them play plenty. They play in the toy kitchen with DS1, they set up stores and they set up schools complete with a whiteboard and desks. This is how children learn to become adults. So why is it when someone ventures to teach a willing and excited 3 year old to read or math that it becomes wrong? Why are comments like "I would never use curricula for a child under 5!" or "they are too little just let them play" put out there? I mean heck there are curricula out there now made for 3 year old specifically! People come up with misinformed reasoning as to why we should "let kids be kids" rather then torture them with "school". Never mind the fact that you may have a 3 year old begging you to teach them to read. I cannot speak for others but when "school is done here" it is in short sessions and cuddled on our couch or sprawled out on our floor. DS1 has a little desk but I would never in a million years sit him there and force him to do anything! There is no pushing involved and if we come to something that even frustrates him a little it is dropped until he becomes ready to have a go at it again or outwardly asks to try again. i want to know how this can be "wrong". Some food for thought so you all don't think I am talking out of my rear end or anything :lol: you can search for more info on neuroplasticity and early childhood brain development too :) http://www.sciencemaster.com/columns/wesson/wesson_early_02.php http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/famsci/fs609w.htm http://www.helium.com/items/548252-childrens-ability-to-learn-language Vision myths: http://ezinearticles.com/?Can-You-Damage-Your-Eyes-If-You-Read-Too-Much?-Another-Myth&id=818453 http://www.agingeye.net/visionbasics/visionmyths.php If you got his far kudos to you! :p getting off my soap box now
  14. I've only been using MCT Town series for a month now, and after finishing Grammar Town this week we'll be starting Paragraph Town & Caesar's English next week (we use Poetry concurrent with Grammar). We all are enjoying the program very much, and it's given the kids a fresh enthusiasm for the English language. So far, it's all been a good experience. But why do I see on the MCT yahoo list and website the constant references to it being for gifted children? That's not a label I particularly like (I think it is overused), but I also don't really get it in this case. My daughter is bright & quick and learned to read early and all that, but I don't consider her gifted. My son is ESL and has a few LDs, and doesn't fall under the gifted category except under "solving problems non-verbally" (this is based on his neuropsych testing at age 7 that was given for other reasons). Since both of my kids love the program and are learning and *retaining* a lot, why the "gifted" push? I believe that needlessly puts some parents off. Certainly, my dd is catching on to new things quicker than my son, but he is perfectly capable - he just needs a little more drill to cement it. That is true of ALL curricula that we use; it's just how his brain works. Is there something I'm missing? Does it get dramatically harder with the Voyage levels and up? Will I end up having to split up the kids so as not to hold my dd back, as well as not frustrate my son? Thanks.
  15. Different curricula targets gifted children (Moving Beyond the Page, MCT, William and Mary Gifted Education, etc)... My question is: what is the content difference between these curricula verses a "regular" curriculum (meaning not specifically targeting gifted children)? What is the difference between 1st grade W&M or MCT materials verses other "regular" 1st grade curriculum? Or 2nd or 3rd grade.... I hope you understand what I'm asking!!:tongue_smilie: Thanks!
  16. I am looking for any camps - anywhere in the USA or Canada - that are focused on a subject, in-depth, for a week. I already know about the Kansas Archeology Camp and the Nasa Space Camp in Florida. If you know of any others, please share. Thanks.
  17. Silly question, out of curiosity, but how do you know? Do you take them to be professionally evaluated by someone? Take online personality/intelligence tests? Are all gifted and highly gifted children amazing in all their school subjects and a joy to teach...or the class clowns that are always disruptive? How do you know? Thanks for your thoughts~
  18. Hello everyone, My oldest daughter will be starting 6th grade this fall. She was homeschooled from 2nd to 4th. We moved and she had to attend 5th grade in public school, but we are, as planned, going back to hsing this fall. We used Abeka spelling before, but used a grade level ahead of hers. She is just a natural speller, I wish I was. I liked Abeka's spelling, but that is all we use from them. So ordering just 2 workbooks seems wasteful because it costs so much to ship them. Anyway, I have looked at Spelling Workout, but they seem too easy for her as well. Though, I do like the other skills taught in them. But again, they seem a little expensive. I think my daughter pretty well just remembers what a word should look like from exposure to it. I thought about Spelling Power and let her pick her own words to practice. We would also like something that teaches editing skills(and others) like Spelling Workout. Can anyone recommend anything that might work well? Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks, Katie
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