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How Do You Know When Children Are Gifted?


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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~

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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? ~

 

Most definitely not! In my experience they are the most difficult to teach because they are most likely asymetric in thier giftedness. In the beginning, when mine were younger, I was tempted to do an assessment (this was when they were in school for that 3 months that it lasted) just so the teachers could get a handle on how to teach them. I didn't do it, opting to homeschool instead and just teach to the childs abilities. Its a constant dance trying to determine if they are bored or not understanding material, which method of learning is working best or would another be better.

 

As to how do you know - I don't know exactly. Its just something you sense when watching thier behavior with other children.

 

And I dislike the term "gifted" as much as I dislike the term "special needs" because in my opinion, they are often times interchangeable. Its best just to roll with child.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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Guest Virginia Dawn

That's a very complicated question. I've got two children who have exhibited "giftedness" in certain areas.

 

My daughter is very artistic and was getting comments from adults about her drawings at a very young age. Having a gift didn't mean a whole lot to her though and she didn't develop it as much as I would have wished. She mostly just had fun with it. Even today, people exclaim over her drawings and paintings but she is not motivated any further.

 

My oldest son's "giftedness" exhibited itself in an excellent memory and spatial perception. He was solving 1000 piece puzzles at a very young age. He knew most of the countries and capitals on the globe by 6yo, and he could remember the date and day of the week when anything memorable happened to him. I never had to teach him his math facts, and he is a precision piano player. He also plays computer games with his hands crossed, controlling the left side of the keyboard with his right hand and vice-versa. However he is also somewhat obsessive/compulsive and has a great deal of trouble with any kind of creative effort, especially writing on abstract topics.

 

I guess, in my own experience, any obvious talent or ability that goes beyond the norm in potential and reality is a gift. Gifts can take many forms. They may not even make any difference in a child's life when he grows up, especially if he is not willing to work hard to develop his gifts. In the adult, world hard work often trumps talent, especiall if talent is lazy.

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Giftedness is generally tested for like ADHD or dyslexia. The children can be the uber-studious introverted bookworm type or the popular social butterfly. Online tests are very inaccurate (I took one once and it said my IQ was 148. Doubt that. LOL). Kids can be gifted in all academic areas or only 1. Or maybe their gifts are musical, artistic, or athletic. For the most part, though, giftedness on schooling boards mainly refers to academics - and the tests are geared for that as well.

 

My dd was tested as gifted at 6 years old. She was then admitted into a gifted elementary school (full-time, self-contained) which eventually sucked all the bubbly enthusiasm out of her. She was the social butterfly type, bored with the academics, frustrating to her teachers, and felt the only reason to go to school was to hang out with all her friends. :glare:

 

There are many many kids who are ahead of their peers, but are not gifted. And many of these kids even out with their peers by 3rd grade. Giftedness doesn't go away. It also comes with it's own set of challenges, quirks, and particular way of learning. Being at one end of the bell curve comes with similar set of needs being met as does the other end of the bell curve. That's why homeschooling works so well with gifted kids. Since they can be asynchronous, we are able to provide them with an education tailored to their needs. I've noticed that the term "gifted" hardly means anything outside of a school environment.

 

Sorry, I tend to go off on a bit of a tangent with this topic :tongue_smilie:

Edited by Abkjw01
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Well, when I was little I was sent to a college in our city on Tuesday nights where the graduate students played games with me. They also tested my IQ, gave me puzzles to solve, and did other random stuff with me. This was all done because my teachers thought I was some sort of genius and set it up with the college. I guess I assumed that some students are labeled gifted through this process, but I'm not really sure.

 

As for my son, I am not getting him evaluated because while I enjoyed the activities at the college, I look back and feel a bit like a guinea pig. My son is 5 and does multiplication and division, reads well, knows the states and most of the countries (self taught on those), and was called a "little genius" by his charter school teacher a few days ago, but I see no need at all to get him formally tested. He is where he is. He is who he is. I don't need to put him through the kind of testing I was put through. I want him to feel normal. I never did.

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"Gifted" means different things to different people. Certainly, you can have them professionally evaluated and find out their IQ - which is often used in programs for gifted kids.

 

Gifted kids are as different from each other as any other group of kids. Some are globally gifted - they excel in all (or most) areas. Most are asynchronous, sometimes profoundly so. My son is ahead in several areas, but average/behind in others. He's only ever been to preschool, so I don't know how he would be in a classroom setting. But certainly some gifted kids are pleasant to teach and others are not (just like all kids). Gifted kids present more of a challenge to a teacher who really tries to meet individual needs because they learn differently than other children. I haven't been able to verbalize that difference yet - but I see it in my son. It's not just a quantitative (time) difference - there is something qualitatively difference about how he gets information. I'm sure that is more difficult to deal with in a classroom setting. It's a big reason we chose homeschooling.

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Sometimes you can't help but know. My ds spoke his first word - a three syllable word at 8 months old. At 1 and 1/2, he was chattering and chattering away in the backseat of the car. I said, "Could you please be quiet? I can't hear myself think." He said (this is at 18 months mind you), "Confused?"

 

Perfect strangers will turn to me after hearing him say one sentence and tell me that he is gifted.

 

If your child is way off the developmental charts in some area or more than one area, you usually know. If they are only slightly off the charts, it is harder to know.

 

I've never seen the point of testing him, btw.

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When my daughter was in public school, they tested her for the Gifted program that they had. They had some criteria like an IQ above 135, or so (I can't remember the exact number) to admit her to the program. They said it was very common for gifted children to be perfectionists--if it's not easy the first time, they won't try any more. Dd can be very frustrating to teach sometimes b/c of her perfectionism. Having said that, I agree with what others have said, and I really don't think it matters for a homeschooled child, whether they get that label or not. When they're in ps, gifted children can go to a fun program for a couple hours a week to enrich their education. When they're hs'd, you can teach to the child and enrich their education all the time, no matter what their IQ is (and besides, IQ can change as kids learn and grow).

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And I dislike the term "gifted" as much as I dislike the term "special needs" because in my opinion, they are often times interchangeable. Its best just to roll with child.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

 

So true. Some people think my son is "gifted" because he has the ability to memorize and spout many facts at the blink of an eye, and he will retain these facts permanently. He does learn quickly. On the other hand, if I were to put him back into a school system, he'd be labeled "special needs" because of his dysgraphia, ADHD, and Asperger's. I can almost guarantee that if I did get him tested, he would fail miserably. He freezes under pressure and can sense a test a mile away. Last year when he was in a private school kindergarten, the teacher was constantly saying to me, "I know he knows this stuff, but when I call him up to test him, he says he doesn't know." *shrug* To me, he's my boy, and he's just himself. Labels don't matter as long as he's happy. :)

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Online tests for giftedness or IQ are notoriously unreliable. You would get your best evaluation by taking your dc to a professional psychologist or counselor who is qualified to administer such a test.

 

"Giftedness" means different things to different people. If it's for a school district, then having your child tested might be of some benefit in order to help them get into the better classes---at least, that's the way it works in our local school district. I also think the term "gifted" has changed over decades and perhaps even longer.

 

Personally, I'm not a big believer in having my kids tested, but I would do so if it helped them get into more advanced classes in high school. In our high school, being in the "gifted" program gives the kids access to better curriculum, i.e., in math. The kids in the regular math classes receive a math education from a series of books which I consider to be woefully inadequate.

 

Otherwise, however, I would rather not have my girls tested, mostly because I know fairly well already in which areas they are more "advanced" and in which areas they struggle, and I hope to see them challenged to the best of their abilities in all areas. I also try to keep in mind that the total picture of each daughter involves their whole personality and character.

Edited by Michelle in MO
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Thank you, ladies! You have helped me so much. OK, I'll come clean here...it's more than curiosity. There have been just a handful or times through the years when some well-meaning person (that includes complete strangers, relatives, you name it) has made unkind comments about my children. Like my oldest, who attended a public kindergarten, and was told to her face (and also told to me) that she was probably learning disabled because she colored pictures outside the lines and didn't read well. We knew she was smart, attentive, obedient, but those things didn't seem to matter. Oh, should I mention she later made a perfect score in that ACT category and is now a professional artist? Or my second dd, who would peel wallpaper off walls for fun, hang upside down on the piano bench to read, and was often ridiculed for her inability to sit still for anything...she is the same dd who is now easily absorbing *2 weeks* of TOG rhetoric assignments each 4 days of school and still finds time to write thousands of profound words in her books and perform in a local singing/acting group in her free time. Or my 3rd, who is so sweet and quiet that 'she must have socializing issues', who taught herself to read, taught herself to craft and sew, and can run the house in a more organized fashion than I can. And my baby, the one who was teased in a local homeschool co op because she 'apparently didn't know her right from her left', who still plays with her food from time to time, has taught herself to play the piano, can argue masterfully (and win) with the most savvy adult on the most difficult of topics and answer her high school sister's philosophy questions with answers that surprise us all. Maybe I have a big chip on my shoulder. :tongue_smilie: But there have been a few times when I just want to shout at these well-meaning people, "Knock it off! Do you know what kind of children these are??" So perhaps they are all gifted. After all, they're all mine! :D Thanks again for your thoughtful responses~

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Sometimes you can't help but know. My ds spoke his first word - a three syllable word at 8 months old. At 1 and 1/2, he was chattering and chattering away in the backseat of the car. I said, "Could you please be quiet? I can't hear myself think." He said (this is at 18 months mind you), "Confused?"

 

Perfect strangers will turn to me after hearing him say one sentence and tell me that he is gifted.

 

If your child is way off the developmental charts in some area or more than one area, you usually know. If they are only slightly off the charts, it is harder to know..

 

I agree. With my oldest, the fact that she spoke perfectly so early in the two languages she was learning from birth and then the fact that she learned to read by herself in both languages by the age of 4, would memorize vast amounts of facts and was fascinated by so many subjects was the give away. This was later confirmed by her high scores in standardized testing and out of level ability testing. The testing I think definitely helps with school placement if they are not homeschooled.

 

I don't know about my 5 yo. She is very artistic, she produces very advanced art work and is always working on a new project, very creative. I didn't think she was gifted but now I am beginning to wonder otherwise because her interests and her engament with the world are exploding, so I only think time will tell with her.

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Check out Hoagies. It's a great website to explore giftedness.

How did I know? My ds was reading by 2 (not a sign of giftedness in and of itself though) and very precocious with knowledge. He knows things that he's never been taught, makes connections far beyond his years and no, he's a terror to teach. He's easily bored. His self esteem is super fragile and he only does something if he's sure he can succeed. Trying is very, very hard for him. BUT, he's a joy to have around. He's fun to talk to and has the best jokes and trivia facts.

We had him tested at 5 and his giftedness was confirmed and was the reason we began homeschooling.

We have always taught him that learning is his gift and he's responsible for sharing it with others and helping others learn. He enjoys teaching other kids new things and doesn't come off as snotty about it (too often. It's a work in progress).

Check out the gifted board here if you have more questions.

HTH

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Well with the oldest

 

When you are sitting around a park with moms of other 4 year olds who are discussing that they know all their colors, abcs, can count and other various preschool things and you don't say anything because your 4 year old just finished writing out his multiplication facts up to 12 (12 x 12) during his quiet time for the heck of it. Plus, just aggravated the librarian about when would she get some better books because he had read them all :)

now he is working way ahead in math but behind grade level a little in grammar and English

 

The second one looks at you when you ask him his name and honestly you wonder if he can even speak or comprehend from the complete and totally confused look he gives you. BUT he can recite every line from every movie, commerical, show and conversation he's heard his entire life. And engage you in the most delightful thought provoking conversations on a rather profound level. Different talents. Just don't ask him his name!:D

 

The third is only 3 but can all ready command adults into action, take charge and sum up the situation and create a resolution that makes her happy and has the technical ability to rip anything apart and put it back together correctly for the most part (her physcial strenght limits how well it fits but it's in the right place)

 

They are all 3 very different but have some area that is just heads and shoulders above the norm. And you usually discover it's not normal by the shocked looks from other adults. :001_huh:

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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?

 

Without reading the other posts, I will say that for me to call a child academically gifted would mean that he had been evaluated by a professional. If the child has not been evaluated, then I personally would just say that he is accelerated.

 

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?

 

Like all other children, gifted children are all different and amazing and challenging in their own ways. Although there are challenges associated with giftedness, every child is unique.:D And uh, while some gifted children may be compliant and joyfully do whatever schoolwork is scheduled, I think that it is just as probable if not more so that they will have their own ideas about what they want to study and how they want to study it.

 

HTH-

Mandy

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This is a huge problem for me as well. I just posted on the curriculum forum that I was having problems with my dd and her add / sub math facts. She seems to come to the answers in a different way and I was concerned. Today, I found her writing out multiplication tables!?!:001_huh: Now I have to figure out if she's just been bored (so I feel horrible and like I have failed her) or if she just gets some things but still is struggling with some basics or if this is just something she picked up from older dd. There have been many moments where we wondered if she was "gifted" - I really don't like the word - but we have never pursued. Now I'm wondering if I've messed up. Is there a difference between academically gifted and creatively gifted? If so, then I don't wonder about the creative part - she's scary there, but I'm not sure I would agree to the academic part. Oh well, I'm sure it will all work out the way its supposed to.

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And uh, while some gifted children may be compliant and joyfully do whatever schoolwork is scheduled, I think that it is just as probable if not more so that they will have their own ideas about what they want to study and how they want to study it.

 

 

Now that I look back on it, I can laugh... but this (the child with his own ideas aobut what and how to learn something) was a major part of my oldest's personality. Dd, on the other hand, seems happy to follow my lead when it comes to topics, curriculum, sitting at the table, etc. Aren't kids *interesting?* :lol:

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I apparently have had a different experience.. my son had extreme behavior issues in school and got tested by the school. Here in TX, when they want to perform 1 test - they have to do it all...so at the completion of testing, we found out that he wasn't ADD, ADHD, Asperger's, or anything else that they thought he was - he just had a high IQ.. and in certain areas, really high...So, after doing research on this, realized it was the case and the asychronous nature of this fits my son to a T. He didn't read early (in fact just the opposite - refused to read even at the start of 1st grade), he didn't spout random facts, and he isn't a music prodigy. We frankly never thought he was "gifted"...that was the interesting thing about doing the research as to what "gifted" means.

 

He's now though very happy at home and in a curriculum that fits his needs and learning style.

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This is a huge problem for me as well. I just posted on the curriculum forum that I was having problems with my dd and her add / sub math facts. She seems to come to the answers in a different way and I was concerned. Today, I found her writing out multiplication tables!?!:001_huh: Now I have to figure out if she's just been bored (so I feel horrible and like I have failed her) or if she just gets some things but still is struggling with some basics or if this is just something she picked up from older dd. There have been many moments where we wondered if she was "gifted" - I really don't like the word - but we have never pursued. Now I'm wondering if I've messed up. Is there a difference between academically gifted and creatively gifted? If so, then I don't wonder about the creative part - she's scary there, but I'm not sure I would agree to the academic part. Oh well, I'm sure it will all work out the way its supposed to.
I really don't get what to do if they seem bored and gifted in one area in the same subject yet struggle with a different area. This was exactly my problem. It seems one cannot follow a curriculum in this case.
I apparently have had a different experience.. my son had extreme behavior issues in school and got tested by the school. Here in TX, when they want to perform 1 test - they have to do it all...so at the completion of testing, we found out that he wasn't ADD, ADHD, Asperger's, or anything else that they thought he was - he just had a high IQ.. and in certain areas, really high...So, after doing research on this, realized it was the case and the asychronous nature of this fits my son to a T. He didn't read early (in fact just the opposite - refused to read even at the start of 1st grade), he didn't spout random facts, and he isn't a music prodigy. We frankly never thought he was "gifted"...that was the interesting thing about doing the research as to what "gifted" means.

 

He's now though very happy at home and in a curriculum that fits his needs and learning style.

Interesting. Is he not really accelerated?
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Interesting. Is he not really accelerated?

 

I don't understand your question...IQ tests determine "giftedness" not acceleratedness..

 

Frankly I don't need a label, and after doing the research again, I realized that this wasn't the blessing it sounds like. Knowing it however, did allow me to see that he needed a different approach than ps. The OP was how you knew your child was gifted.. I didn't know until the IQ tests told me he was. That is what IQ tests do. I'm sure there are other ways of determining if your child is gifted...

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I don't understand your question...IQ tests determine "giftedness" not acceleratedness..

 

Frankly I don't need a label, and after doing the research again, I realized that this wasn't the blessing it sounds like. Knowing it however, did allow me to see that he needed a different approach than ps. The OP was how you knew your child was gifted.. I didn't know until the IQ tests told me he was. That is what IQ tests do. I'm sure there are other ways of determining if your child is gifted...

I am sorry. You seem to be reacting badly to my question. I only have good intentions of figuring this out for my daughter. DD has shown many signs of being gifted. The fact that she is not accelerated as a result (she used to be) makes me feel guilty. I was wondering how you have adjusted your homeschool for him considering that your adjusting seems not to include accelerating.
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He was EXTREMELY bored in school, thus the behavior issues... but accelerating him wasn't just the answer for us...it was a learning style or learning issue. Part of our homeschooling was realizing what he needed - Singapore Math was an amazing find for him.. in addition, I don't hammer points home - he just fights me..once I realize he has figured the concept out, we move on.. we don't repeat the concept over and over and over and over again - this above everything else has made a huge change in his love of learning. His reading was being held back because he was reading for requirement not for love.. now he picks his own stuff (within reason) and reads his assigned reading without a fight..If he'll read the classics for 30 minutes a day, he can spend 1.5 hours on his chapter books (his choice)..He HATES creative writing.. I don't make him do it.. its like teaching a pig to sing.. He loves Shurley English and doesn't complain at all - he loves the challenge. He loves Word Roots.. I don't push him for the sake of pushing him.. he's learning to love learning now and realizes that it is okay to be interested in things and explore life. I don't know what you mean about we seem to not accelerate him - we do in several areas, but I allow him to explore his strengths and not make his "weak" areas keep pace with the others. Each subject instead has at its own pace - I love it.

Edited by rlowetx
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Thank you Rachel! I am grateful that you took the time to try to help me. "Hammering the point home" is exactly what DD and I clash over a lot! She wants to figure it out on her own and her perfectionism is such that she is mad when I teach her things and she wanted to show me that I didn't need to.

 

I will refer back to your post for some tips when I am not so tired. LOL

 

I can see how my "he isn't really accelerated then?" could be translated to "he isn't really gifted" That wasn't what I meant at all!

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Without reading the other posts, I will say that for me to call a child academically gifted would mean that he had been evaluated by a professional. If the child has not been evaluated, then I personally would just say that he is accelerated.

 

But is there a point at which an accelerated child is obviously more than just accelerated? I don't have the money to have my children evaluated, and since we aren't with the school system, I can't get it done by them either. However, my daughter's 2nd grade assessment test (done by an computerized adaptive test where one test is used for grades 3-12) told me that she was reading at a 9th grade level, scored higher than 10th grade in language usage, and doing math at 4th grade level. I didn't teach her any language arts above what is taught in the 3rd grade Spectrum series so how did she learn it? And math was a whole other issue. She hates math. It's like pulling teeth. Tears every day, yet she was scoring two grade levels ahead. It wasn't until I received these test results that I considered that she might be gifted. Before then, I thought she was just lazy when she complained about doing 3rd grade work in 2nd grade. Now I have my son, who's doing prealgebra as a 7 year old without any problems at all. Learning binary and all of the other bases was like candy for him. Would you say they are just accelerated, or is there a point at which it is obvious without formal evaluation?

 

The fact that she is not accelerated as a result (she used to be) makes me feel guilty.

 

Just wanted to say that you aren't the only one feeling guilty for their "failures" with their kids. Imagine how I felt when I realized that my daughter's complaining about school work was valid and I had been forcing her to repeat what she already knew every day. No wonder she hated school. Her test scores have actually been going down rather than up, in part because she hates school so much that I backed way off and required virtually nothing from her, effort-wise, for over a year.

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I haven't read the other posts, but if someone was wondering about the giftedness of her oldest child it would be hard to tell because parents naturlaly think their children are brighter. There needs to be some point of contrast or testing. I knew my oldest was gifted because he was part of a project that tested five year olds. I suspected he was very intellegent because he taught himself to read at a young age. While the other children have varying degrees of smartness ;) only the youngest is also academically gifted. However, some of the other children are extremely talented in art, music, and dance.

 

One clue that a child is gifted and not just extremely smart is that when they are young they are insatiable about having their questions answered and they tend to stick to topics for long periods of time. Even as preschoolers if they see or find something that is unusual, they will go back to it over and over and ask questions sometimes for weeks or longer. This is different from a strong interest in trains, for example, or looking at bugs and keeping them as pets. The need to know is overwhelming with gifted children until they are brushed off numerous times after which they will start to daydream, watch TV or lose themselves in books.

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It's been interesting reading these. We have a gifted son who did not speak, read, or even walk early... so I thought I'd mention our experience here.

 

He didn't walk till 15 months (it was much quicker to crawl, after all). He spoke at a normal age, but wasn't very comprehendable. He couldn't say over half the letters in the alphabet by age 4 - hence, we had him tested - for disabilities...

 

The report stunned us - and the researchers/testers. At that point he was far ahead in everything EXCEPT speech. As one of the testers told us, 'He's an incredibly bright child, he just can't tell you the way we can. The neat thing is he'll keep rewording stuff until you understand him.' (He could say the other half of the alphabet.) We immediately started him in speech lessons with a qualified teacher. They needed to 'rewire his brain' so to speak.

 

We chose public school for our boys for elementary. In Kindergarten he was in the lowest reading group. Ditto for the first half of 1st grade. He literally couldn't sound out 'was' 3 times on the same page of those basic books. He'd get really frustrated and cry. His speech therapist talked with his teacher and came up with a 'different' plan of working with him and told us to quit working with him at home as he got very frustrated with himself and she wanted to keep home a 'happy place.' We still read to him, but we never had him try to read to us.

 

By 2nd grade he was in the top reading group - and he's never looked back...

 

Now, he's in 10th grade (homeschooling since 7th) and is about to take the PSAT. He seldom gets any wrong on math portions (PSAT/SAT practice), scores in the 95th percentile in reading - wrote a voluntary 16 page term paper last year on genetic engineering (teacher asked for 7 - 8 pages), and while writing is still his toughest subject, he is debating between medical research and biomedical engineering for his future.

 

On top of that, he's very good natured and easy to get along with. I can't recall ever having to spank him - or wanting to. We joke that if anyone will solve middle east peace, he will. I, myself, remain stunned when I think about what we thought his future might be when we took him in for testing. When people ask me how we raised such a bright, wonderful 15 year old I have to say, 'we didn't.' He was given to us... He loves learning and he loves people interaction. If there's one thing that gets to him, it's injustice... but that's all I can think of. If he'd been our only child I'd be wondering why in the world anyone had trouble with child rearing! If he'd been my oldest I'd have wondered what was wrong with my other two...

 

He could go to college now, of course, but I see absolutely no need to rush his future. He enjoys life here - and still has plenty he can learn. He'll have more than enough time for his adulthood when he is an adult.

 

My oldest son is accelerated and EXTREMELY good at math and anything strategy related - from puzzles to mind games to chess. My youngest is accelerated and EXTREMELY good (possibly gifted) at anything nature, and to some extent, science - esp on the Bio end. Both are near the top of the intelligence and academic curve with their peers. Both are delightful boys/teens, but with their 'parenting' needs that fall in the norm. My middle son is gifted (and tested that way). I love them all.

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I really don't get what to do if they seem bored and gifted in one area in the same subject yet struggle with a different area. This was exactly my problem. It seems one cannot follow a curriculum in this case.

 

 

Just a thought, because I totally feel your frustration, but can you either borrow from another hs'er or buy used (cheaper, and then just resell if it doesn't work out) some other choices of curricula for the subjects that you are concerned about and let her peruse them and choose? I didn't do this when mine were 7, but I did do this recently and thier input has made a huge difference. I kind of wish I had considered giving them more [control?] over thier books earlier.

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But is there a point at which an accelerated child is obviously more than just accelerated? I don't have the money to have my children evaluated, and since we aren't with the school system, I can't get it done by them either. However, my daughter's 2nd grade assessment test (done by an computerized adaptive test where one test is used for grades 3-12) told me that she was reading at a 9th grade level, scored higher than 10th grade in language usage, and doing math at 4th grade level.

 

if it was a test like the CAT-9 or the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, what many parents don't understand is that when a score comes back with a Grade Equivalent of reading at the 9th grade level, as you mentioned, or doing math at the 4th grade level, this doesn't necessarily mean that they are actually functioning at that level. Grade Equivalent (GE) scores mean that, if a 9th grader took the same 2nd grade test that your dd took, and your daughter took that same test, she did as well as a 9th grader would do on her test. In other words, she's definitely mastered that material, but it doesn't necessarily mean that she's ready for 9th or 10th grade reading or language arts work. Of course, this applies to tests like the CAT-9, the ITBS, and the Stanford, so this may not be the same type of test your dd took, and in that case we may be talking about apples and oranges.

 

Overall (and I'm not addressing this to you, but just my thoughts about testing in general) is that I'm not a big believer in IQ testing, or at least about parents knowing about IQ tests. In some cases I think it can be beneficial, but like Angela in Ohio, I think many parents tend to think of their kids as gifted, when in reality their kids are really very bright, but perhaps not gifted. I personally think that the term "gifted" has changed over the years and has a meaning to most parents today that it didn't denote 50 years or so ago.

 

I tend to take my father's advice on the subject. Many years ago he heard a talk about giftedness and IQ testing at IBM, where he worked. This educator advised against IQ testing for most kids and parents as well. His thinking was that, if a parent has a truly "gifted" child, they will know it, and like all good parents, that parent will try to seek out the best opportunities and education to meet that child's needs. His other thoughts were these: Many parents, if they have an IQ test performed on their child and that IQ test does indeed show that their child has exceptional mental ability, tend to inadvertently place too much pressure on the child to perform and do well. If the child's IQ test shows that they're "merely" (I put that in quotes intentionally) bright or above average, then some parents tend to be disappointed because the tests do not show what they were expecting or hoping for. This educator's thoughts were: accept your children and love them for who they are and challenge them to the best of their ability.

 

If I had to have my girls take an IQ test in order to have them take advanced classes in public school, which I believe is required in our school district, then I would do so. But, I would rather not do that; I'd rather just encourage them to do their best.

 

My .02 worth on the subject.

Edited by Michelle in MO
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In practical terms, knowing my ds is gifted changes nothing in our homeschool. While he is accelerated in most of his work, we work more in depth than other more formal educational settings and so it's kind of hard to gauge. Add to that the fact that he is organizationally challenged, we've had to really work on some basic organizational stuff that he needs laid out really clearly for him. So the individualized nature of homeschooling (at least for only 2 kids) really helps us.

 

As far as giftedness goes, I did tons of research on the topic when ds was around 4 and 5. But now I rarely focus on it because his giftedness is just one part of him. And it isn't the part of him that is most important to me - his character.

 

BTW - LauraGB mentioned having them help choose the curriculum. I heartily agree with that. I have found that he is remarkably impatient with anything that he feels is too dumbed down or is just too repetitive. We've had a much better time with books that he's helped to choose.

 

Now I'm having to redo all many of my books with dd7 who has her own needs and her own very opinionated take on things.

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My kids are not gifted. But I still love them anyways.

 

My niece is not gifted. She got 100% on her math SAT and 99.9% correct on the others (I don't know scores, etc).

 

She got accepted at every Ivy League school she applied to and currently attends Yale.

 

I hope my non-gifted children are just as successful.

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Just wanted to say that you aren't the only one feeling guilty for their "failures" with their kids. Imagine how I felt when I realized that my daughter's complaining about school work was valid and I had been forcing her to repeat what she already knew every day. No wonder she hated school. Her test scores have actually been going down rather than up, in part because she hates school so much that I backed way off and required virtually nothing from her, effort-wise, for over a year.
Sounds like our stories are similar.:grouphug:;)
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The neat thing is he'll keep rewording stuff until you understand him.'

 

That's so funny! We have the same thing happening with our youngest. His speech isn't very clear yet, but he says A LOT, AND he's completely willing to reword, describe the object, give examples, etc. until we guess what word he was saying. It's amazing. My other two would have become frustrated with not being understood. I can imagine HUGE tempertantrums. Not youngest.

 

Today he told me that he'd llike a stethoscope for his next birthday, but there was no context (so I didn't understand WHAT he wanted for his birthday). He just piped up with that sentence from the backseat of the car. I asked: "Tester coat???" I had NO idea what he was talking about. He repeated himself several times, and when I STILL didn't get the word, he went about explaining that it was used at hospitals, it was black and white, and doctors wear it... until we (siblings included) guessed the word. Stethoscope! Aaaahhh!

 

Isn't that funny?! I never would have imagined a young child would be so patient and creative when communicating -- until I had one like that. He's been doing it for about a year now, I think.

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My kids are not gifted. But I still love them anyways.

 

My niece is not gifted. She got 100% on her math SAT and 99.9% correct on the others (I don't know scores, etc).

 

She got accepted at every Ivy League school she applied to and currently attends Yale.

 

I hope my non-gifted children are just as successful.

 

No offense meant... and I'm not meaning to challenge... but how do you know your niece isn't gifted? Was it somehow "ruled out?"

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Today he told me that he'd llike a stethoscope for his next birthday, but there was no context (so I didn't understand WHAT he wanted for his birthday). He just piped up with that sentence from the backseat of the car. I asked: "Tester coat???" I had NO idea what he was talking about. He repeated himself several times, and when I STILL didn't get the word, he went about explaining that it was used at hospitals, it was black and white, and doctors wear it... until we (siblings included) guessed the word. Stethoscope! Aaaahhh!
Sounds like my DD. My DS on the other hand throws himself to the floor.:tongue_smilie:
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It was pretty obvious in the case of our DS1. He knew all his upper and lower case letters by 18 months, could read and do simple addition/subtraction by about age 2, etc. He was private schooled for a while and moved ahead a grade at the school's behest. When he entered public school, we had him tested first, and he tested two full grades ahead of his age in all areas. During his two years in public school, he also excelled at both cognitive abilities-based and knowledge-based tests, and qualified for the gifted program.

 

I will admit he can be a frustrating student, because he's easily bored but also quickly frustrated by the rare subjects he can't immediately grasp. We've found some methods that work really well for him, but it's a struggle. He knows he's smart, sadly, and it gives him a "why should I have to work hard if I'm already smarter than everyone" 'tude sometimes, which we're working hard to curb!

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This educator advised against IQ testing for most kids and parents as well. His thinking was that, if a parent has a truly "gifted" child, they will know it, and like all good parents, that parent will try to seek out the best opportunities and education to meet that child's needs.

 

I see this as just one more opinion. In practice, though, (and you can see how this is true in many parents' experiences on the accelerated learner forum) many parents do NOT recognize that their child is gifted. My own dh, despite testing that "proves it" still has trouble accepting that his two oldest are gifted.

 

Most gifted children come by it honestly: genetically. Most of their parents are gifted. Most spouses also choose to marry other gifted people. Therefore, it is typical that many in their extended families (grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins...) are also gifted. Their children often seem quite "normal," as they "fit right in" in their families.

 

There's also the gifted denial: "I'm sure it's only because I'm his *mother.* I'm sure ALL mothers think their children are unusually bright." This is extremely common. I've seen people post about "coming to terms" with their children's giftedness on numerous forums/boards and heard discussions about it in person.

 

Sometimes, as has been posted here, one wouldn't think a child is gifted at all (maybe they're not academically accelerated at all or have a learning disability that masks the giftedness). Some parents have been completely surprised.

 

And, although most parents would indeed do their best to meet their child's needs, sometimes the "label" really helps in that department. Access to opportunities, support from parents with experiences, etc. (The same reasons parents with special needs kids usually seek a "label.")

 

Lastly, there's an enormous relief that can be felt when you realize you're not crazy. There *is* something different about your child. You're not "imagining it" or "exaggerating b/c you're the mom." Many gifted kids come with overexcitabilities, sensitivities, etc. and it can be quite a relief to know that it is very common in the gifted population and not due to parenting mistakes. The label can help a parent. (It doesn't necessarily make the parent push the child.)

Edited by zaichiki
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So did my older two! I think *that* is the more common response, actually. (Sometimes I think my youngest is an alien! :tongue_smilie: )
:lol: I just started reading a toddler "I spy" with him at bedtime three days ago and he is already pointing to the pictures and saying the word for everything. If he weren't pointing to it I would have no clue what he was trying to say in the majority of cases. I am quite surprised that he remembers what to call them.
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That's so funny! We have the same thing happening with our youngest. His speech isn't very clear yet, but he says A LOT, AND he's completely willing to reword, describe the object, give examples, etc. until we guess what word he was saying. It's amazing. My other two would have become frustrated with not being understood. I can imagine HUGE tempertantrums. Not youngest.

 

Today he told me that he'd llike a stethoscope for his next birthday, but there was no context (so I didn't understand WHAT he wanted for his birthday). He just piped up with that sentence from the backseat of the car. I asked: "Tester coat???" I had NO idea what he was talking about. He repeated himself several times, and when I STILL didn't get the word, he went about explaining that it was used at hospitals, it was black and white, and doctors wear it... until we (siblings included) guessed the word. Stethoscope! Aaaahhh!

 

Isn't that funny?! I never would have imagined a young child would be so patient and creative when communicating -- until I had one like that. He's been doing it for about a year now, I think.

 

That's exactly what I'm describing and how it worked. Even today, if we don't 'get' something he's saying, he'll reword it until we do. If his speech doesn't come along on his own, I highly suggest finding a knowledgeable therapist as ours did wonders of good for our boy. He is gifted (fully tested), but just needed them to work to 'wire his brain' to speak and read. Once finished, he's flown.

 

This son also remembers practically everything - we call him our 'data base.' 'I' can remember we went to Ft Bragg, California on a trip back in 2004 (he would have been 10). 'He' can remember exactly where we ate, what we ate, what we did, what we saw along the way, and everything before and after. It's amazing. He's also superb at figuring out mystery shows as soon as they 'drop the hint.' Sometimes the rest of us get it and sometimes not. He gets it more often than not.

 

If we go with the multiple gifted-ness theory (what are there, 8 types?), then my oldest is probably gifted with strategy - however that is categorized, but I'm not 100% sure. He's good at it. My youngest IS a naturalist and has been since he could walk and talk. He's one that convinced me the nature aspect needs to be included in that theory. When I taught about it at school once I thought about bringing him in for a demonstration. My middle son has academics (verbal, math), memory, and even tests somewhat high in athletics, but we don't pursue that much. It took him a couple of hours to learn how to sailboard, complete with balance - without ever having been on one (or similar) before. When he was 4 he tested high in everything except speech - incredibly high for many things.

 

I suspect you look for great things from your son! AND the patience these kids have is a delight! It sure beats the tantrums of normalcy (like my other two).

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I don't think there was any reason to think she was gifted. She was just who she was. My family is not big on "labels".

 

It would not have made any difference to them to have her labeled "gifted".

 

I hear you... however, not having been tested or labeled doesn't make one not gifted. (Not saying that she IS -- obviously don't know her -- but it could happen.) My kids didn't suddenly become gifted after they were identified. It was a part of who they were -- identified or not.

 

I'd bet that many kids with perfect and near-perfect SAT scores plus admission to many Ivy League schools would test as having high IQ scores. Of course, NOT having near-perfect SAT scores and going to an Ivy League school doesn't mean a person isn't gifted.

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I don't think there was any reason to think she was gifted. She was just who she was. My family is not big on "labels".

 

It would not have made any difference to them to have her labeled "gifted".

 

I agree with not caring a whole lot about labels. It's part of why my other two have never been tested. My middle one was only because we wanted to catch a disability early enough to make a difference.

 

Just beware that when you call her 'not gifted' as in your first post, you are also labeling her...

 

My personal thought is any student who can max out top standardized tests is gifted with math/verbal skills at the very least. It in no way means they are 'better' (as a person) than those whose talents lie elsewhere. My future park ranger is just as important to me as my future medical researcher... and both are as important as my future micro-financier.

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I kept being told by teachers/other parents that Calvin was extraordinary. I was pretty clueless - it just seemed sweet that he counted all the numbers up and down the streets we passed along by bus when he couldn't yet walk, and that he knew all his letter sounds (because he asked all the time) by the time he was eighteen months old.

 

We had him tested when he was five, because the school was having such a hard time working out how to accommodate him. We ended up home educating him anyway because we moved somewhere without a suitable school.

 

Hobbes was less obviously gifted, partly because of a speech delay. It's taken longer for us to notice just how quick and perceptive he is - he's much more analytical than Calvin. He's not been tested.

 

Laura

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