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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

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Just my 2 cents but when I taught public I was so annoyed that the kids they pulled for "gifted" ed were the overachieving, teacher pleasers, and not the really gifted. Many times they are kids with below average grades who buck the system and get in trouble! PSs ignore these kids. Smart is one thing. Gifted is another. I always looked for the rule breaker who could somehow manage decent test grades even though he really didn't try hard. The pain in the neck that asks a bizillion questions about stuff. One on one many kids can be taught tons of stuff that is above grade level so that is really no indication for me.

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I went to one of our nation's military academies - so I was in college with some exceptionally talented people. REALLY talented. And here's what I took away --- some people are REALLY, REALLY bright. And some people are REALLY, REALLY driven. They may not be the brightest, but they had the best work ethic, the best study skills and the most drive.

 

The number of profoundly gifted (and I say profoundly because to get where we were you had to be the top of the bright people) were really limited. These were the guys who went to class, understood things intuitively, tore through homework (correctly) and still goofed off and got to bed on time while being top 5-10% of my class. Not just the academically gifted - the really, really great at everything people. These are the guys who went on to smoke EE grad school at MIT. That was SO rare where I was. They just stood out. To me - those guys were "gifted".

 

So for me - to be really gifted (and not just one subject strength) is a very rare thing.

 

Now, on the other hand, are the driven. I was shocked at some of the people in my class who graduated at the top because they weren't the brightest. But, man, they would WORK. HARD. And SMART. The used every free period, they went for extra help, they did assignments early and proofread many grafts, they read every assignment before class - you know - all the great study skills we try and teach. [Keep in mind, for most of us, the pretty bright (and average gifted bright kids), we could get by without really using any of those so some of us never really embraced the work ethic.] To me - the lethal combination was sort-of gifted and a work horse. Those are the guys running the world now.

 

So as a parent, I can see the appeal of teaching a kid who's pretty bright to be driven. Or to drive them. To make them the second category of smart work horse. But to me - it's not something I want to do early. I will teach smart study skills. I will teach habits and independence and time management. I will - in high school - have strict standards on these things so the kids are ready for college. I have seen how study skills and work habits can translate to success - and I want that for my kids. In a healthy way. And when they are ready. It's a building process, and we'll do it step by step.

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I went to one of our nation's military academies - so I was in college with some exceptionally talented people. REALLY talented. And here's what I took away --- some people are REALLY, REALLY bright. And some people are REALLY, REALLY driven. They may not be the brightest, but they had the best work ethic, the best study skills and the most drive.

 

The number of profoundly gifted (and I say profoundly because to get where we were you had to be the top of the bright people) were really limited. These were the guys who went to class, understood things intuitively, tore through homework (correctly) and still goofed off and got to bed on time while being top 5-10% of my class. Not just the academically gifted - the really, really great at everything people. These are the guys who went on to smoke EE grad school at MIT. That was SO rare where I was. They just stood out. To me - those guys were "gifted".

 

So for me - to be really gifted (and not just one subject strength) is a very rare thing.

 

Exactly. I have actually met a couple of people like this. They are astounding. One was actually from USMA, LOL. I think too many people have a misconception of profoundly gifted. They think it is "very smart" or "very smart at ____". They don't realize it is how you describe it above.

 

Now, on the other hand, are the driven. I was shocked at some of the people in my class who graduated at the top because they weren't the brightest. But, man, they would WORK. HARD. And SMART. The used every free period, they went for extra help, they did assignments early and proofread many grafts, they read every assignment before class - you know - all the great study skills we try and teach. [Keep in mind, for most of us, the pretty bright (and average gifted bright kids), we could get by without really using any of those so some of us never really embraced the work ethic.] To me - the lethal combination was sort-of gifted and a work horse. Those are the guys running the world now.

 

Funnily enough, I met a whole pack of these from USMA. And you're right - they are doing quite well. LOL

 

So as a parent, I can see the appeal of teaching a kid who's pretty bright to be driven. Or to drive them. To make them the second category of smart work horse. But to me - it's not something I want to do early. I will teach smart study skills. I will teach habits and independence and time management. I will - in high school - have strict standards on these things so the kids are ready for college. I have seen how study skills and work habits can translate to success - and I want that for my kids. In a healthy way. And when they are ready. It's a building process, and we'll do it step by step.

 

We do it, but within the context of "you're still a kid, you need to live as one".

 

Thanks for a great post.

 

 

a

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:grouphug: I know what you're trying to say...and you always have to be wary of info on message boards, but I really, really, REALLY would not consider the parents on the WTM message board to be an accurate (or even remotely accurate) representation of the general population...

 

Also...

 

I have a gifted kid and there is mostly no one to talk to about issues with her. Those kids are special needs, tend to be extremely unusual and bring a slew of unusual problems (which is uncharted territory for a lot of parents, including me). This is probably the only place we can honestly discuss those oddball kids. That's probably why there's so much chatter from those parents. They're probing for information on what's normal/what isn't. :glare:

 

On the other end of the spectrum...

 

I have a son who was placed in remedial Kindergarten when he was in ps. :D "Make me proud, Boy, make me proud!!!" :tongue_smilie: I was also told at a parent-teacher conference (while I sat in the little chair) that he was a Ringleader for the Boys (isn't that good, though? He has leadership skills!) He's planning an epic battle right now between his Lego Atlantis creatures, my daughter's Zhu Zhu pets and his Clone Wars robots. You know that scene in Never Been Kissed where David Arquette is eating that gargantuan container of coleslaw while all the boys scream and chear him on...that's my son... :D And my daughter will just stand there and stare at him in disgust.

 

:rofl: LOL!

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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.

 

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.

 

 

The truly gifted kids are the ones who can do all that you just said while still being kids. They are the ones whose parents aren't pushing but trying their best to keep up. There are just some kids who are very motivated and extremely bright. They want to learn and prefer it to other past-times.

 

Unless you've had one of these kids or known one, it may seem strange, difficult to fathom, and easy to judge.

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OK, now that I've thought about this for a minute...on the HSLDA website, I read something like (please don't quote me) kids who homeschooled for 5 years or more scored on average 3 grade levels ahead of traditionally-schooled kids. I think under 5 years of homeschooling and kids scored 1 grade level ahead. :glare: This is somewhere on their Why Homeschooling link or the Hey, Man, Are My Kids Ruined link or something like that... (sorry I had two cups of coffee, changed 2 diapers and I'm on an incoherent roll)

 

Do you think this is why people perceive a higher number of gifted kids on homeschool msg boards?

 

Like you said earlier, perceptions are probably skewed also because a lot of people end up pulling their gifted kids out of school.

 

Put the coffee down, Starrbuck12, and slowly step away from the keyboard! :leaving:

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I do believe that there are truly "gift" people out there. I know one--a friend of mine graduated high school at 15 and went on to a very, very prestigious university. He learns new languages with uncanny ease.

 

On the other hand, I reflect on my experiences in not-so-great public schools and in a more academically challenging private high school. The public schools that I attended for grammar school were dismal. I was also considered "gifted" in these settings.

 

I went to a private, academically challenging high school and suddenly I was no longer the smartest one. Not by a long stretch! While I was still one of the "smart kids" I was one of many.

 

It really is a matter of expectation. People do range in intelligence, but I think that much of being "gifted" by today's standards is more a matter of working to high expectations successfully. That is totally different from being profoundly gifted--someone who is profoundly gifted is not even ON the charts (like the friend I mentioned).

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The truly gifted kids are the ones who can do all that you just said while still being kids. .

 

I know I'm going to be murdered on this thread...but, gifted kids are REALLY bizarre. It's not just about schoolwork performance - you're talking about driven over-achievers, not gifted kids. My kid (who was identified as gifted in ps) blows off math all the time because she hates it. Gifted kids have really odd behavior and I could give you all kinds of creepy examples. Like I said before, gifted kids are definitely special needs - just like a kid with ADHD, etc. I don't even think I could send my 2nd grader back to ps if I wanted to at this point. I think she would be disruptive.

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I know this isn't a popular opinion, but I think the whole idea of "giftedness" is a crock. It seems like everywhere you go (not just the WTM forums) people are talking about how their kids have been tested, and are different levels of "gifted." I really think that any child who has above average intellectual ability in one ore more areas is being labeled that way, and given that half the population is statistically above average, there are a lot of so-called "gifted" kids out there.

 

ETA: And I'm honestly not referring to anyone specific here- more the people I've spoken with over at CafeMom.

 

I've made this statement before on a different website, and had literally dozens of parents say, "Oh, but little Johnny knew his ABCs at six months old and could read at a sixth grade level by kindergarten!" or something to that effect. And I'm sorry, but being a grade level ahead (or more) in a subject or two doesn't make you gifted. The term has been so watered down by parents desperate to prove that their children are better than everyone else's that it is essentially meaningless.

 

As for the classes the op was talking about, I think that speaks more to the quality of the class than the abilities of the child, in many cases. If you look at what children today are expected to learn, compared to a hundred years ago, and the superficial depth to which we study things, it's quite sad. We aren't getting smarter- or more gifted, lol- we're just expecting less of ourselves, and this is true from kindergarten on up through college. I studied literature and anthropology for five years, and I managed to get a 3.8 gpa while working forty hours a week of night shifts. Not because I'm just so amazingly smart, but because the material had been dumbed down to what I would expect to see in, oh, maybe ninth grade because the other students' educational backgrounds were practically non-existent.

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This is what I think.........who cares!

 

If it makes you feel good to call your child gifted, go crazy. Put it up on billboards for all I care.

 

My non-gifted niece is going to Yale. I have non-gifted family members who went to other Ivy League colleges.

 

Let's see where your non-gifted child is in 10 years and how successful they are.

 

Some of the most successful people I know (multi-multi-millionaires) were not "academically" gifted. In fact one was told by a teacher that he was headed for reform school.

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I wrote a long post, left it, and now wish I could post it.

 

Basically, my experience is that an 8yr old high school level homeschooled student has a lot more time to be a kid than does the average 8 yr old student. Of course, that is because MY 8yo student did less than 10 hours of formal schooling per week (many times WAY less).

 

Homeschooling allowed my student to go faster, deeper, broader, AND to just be a kid. THAT was what I was looking for. I wanted her to have EVERYTHING. Unfortunately, I think I messed up slightly and that a little pushing would have had some positive effects also. I would, if I could do it over again, add a little of that to the mix. I think BALANCE should be key.

 

However, I homeschool for the individuality of it and had a VERY late bloomer who had much more important issues to deal with as a young student. So he caught up (on the low side of average) by 13. At 15, he coasts along. Considering he was never to make it to the level of an 8yr old, we'll take it :)

 

AND I highly doubt most homeschoolers are above average. The HSLDA studies are self-selecting so skewed. If there was a way to test EVERY single homeschool student, I would guess we'd have some odd looking flat top mountain with valleys on both sides. My own personal experience is that at the secondary level, almost all homeschoolers are behind. I'm sure that is skewed based on location though sometimes I wonder as so many other posters here report similarly.

 

So sure, there are some really bright homeschooled kids who start college full time at 16 with some college under their belt, proficient in a sport, and doing volunteer work 10 hours per week (possibly also working on occasion, helping a sick mom, and reading everything she can get her hands on). In my dd's case, this was solely natural talent. This child doesn't work nearly as hard as the average teen (schooled or homeschooled). I worry sometimes that she isn't doing enough and yet she'll have all her adult life to work. Why not float along for a couple more years?

 

Oh, and I looked above. Are driven kids giving up a childhood? or is their's just different? I wouldn't know cuz I was a lazy student (still am <sigh>). But....I kinda think the driven students (regardless of actual level) probably have something on those of us with more natural talent. I think I wish both my kids had just a touch of *that*.

 

ETA: To go with Mergath's post: There seems to be a real pull for EVERYONE to have either:

 

1) a gifted kid

2) something wrong with their kid

3) a gifted kid with something wrong with him

 

Flusterating!

 

But that is a problem across the board, not special for homeschoolers I don't think.

 

I didn't like how PS pigeon holed kids based solely on age because my kids were so far off of age level expectations. However, I do think it's helpful in normalizing a lot of kids. As I work in the secondary schools now, I like seeing how normal my kids are in various ways. Neat stuff.

Edited by 2J5M9K
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SWM- excellent post.

2 of my nieces were in the p.s. gifted programs (different cities) and, while they are bright kids, they aren't gifted like a MENSA member would be. We've known some of those (mainly thorugh Purdue, Fuller, and A.F. associations) and those people are smokin.'

My dh (who has done lots of ed testing) refuses to test our kids I.Q.'s becasue he says too many people get caught up in that instead of training the hearts of their kids. We do have some bright kids hangin' around and we want to challenge that, but we've also known some incredibly bright people with questionable morals/ lack of integrity. It is a delicate balance to challenge, train, disciple and know one's children, let them play and have time to think rather than do, etc.

Great thread.

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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).

 

a

 

:iagree:

 

I am one of those who just don't understand. There is a LIFETIME to be old and responsible. There are 18 years (a very short span in the scheme of things) to be a kid. I want my kids to enjoy every bit of it. Heck, I want to enjoy every bit that I can with them.

 

I graduated 10th in my high school class and received the school's business award. I was smart in the English/Lit/Business side of the brain and horrible with the Math/Science side :D Some things I had to study hard for, others, barely a glance. I wasn't gifted by any means, but I was smart enough to know that if I took all the extra honor's classes they lined up for me that I might lose my 4.4 gpa :lol: Plus, I wanted a life, one that did not end every night with me studying till 10 (I wasn't a late night person). So I took honor's classes in what I knew were my specialties and didn't in others. I was a great balance. I took all the business classes but did not take beyond Biology. My senior year I had three study halls two of which I was aide to the business teacher. And plenty of time to spend with my boyfriend (now my dh) and keep a small part time job for spending money. I kept my 4.4, graduated in the front row with all the other's who had took all the honor's classes or cc classes. I was just unconventional.

 

I guess I'm saying that asta's right. You can be smart, still have a life of a kid, and graduate with honor's. But I do think that high school is where to find your niche and work with those strengths. I don't think you need to wait till college. I don't think that all kids need the 4 years math/ 4 years science typical college course work. I think that all that work bogs down kids who might excel elsewhere but it's ingrained into them that they can't get to college any other way, so they continue to take these courses and don't pursue their strengths. Maybe that's why so many kids can't decide on a major in college, they haven't been left to explore other options other than the rote "college prep courses."

 

I also think that whether the parent is driving the kids or the kids are driving themselves, there is a lot of pride. It starts at how early they walk and talk and it doesn't go away.

 

Our society is so fast paced now that it is hard to stop, take a breath, and slow down. I think in the end it's worth it though.

Edited by Angel
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To me - the lethal combination was sort-of gifted and a work horse. Those are the guys running the world now.

 

 

 

I have one of these, though as a youngster he was tested as gifted when we took him in thinking he was developmentally delayed due to speech issues. The tester told us he was incredibly smart - the best they had ever tested at that age - he just couldn't tell us about it due to his speech issues. They worked on his speech (and reading) for 2 years when he was 4 and 5, and he's never looked back.

 

This kid is a natural academic workhorse. He studies for fun by choice. He's also good at any sport he tries, but not as good as his brother in chess. (I think his brother is one of those gifted lazier ones, but not top of the top gifted.) He has close to a 100% average in all his courses. How much is due to his being a workhorse and how much is due to his giftedness is anyones guess.

 

As parents we've resisted the urge to move him on too quickly. He won't go to college early even though he's ready to do so academically. He scores higher academically now than his senior brother - and his senior brother is no slouch having won decent merit aid for college. (We will let him take cc courses next year as a junior if we can afford it.) I want him to have time to enjoy being a teen. There's plenty enough time for him to make his niche in the world - and I feel certain he will.

 

I see parents that rush their kids - or let their kids move on by their own choice and I wonder - but as for me and my house, I feel we're doing the right thing "making" him stay home and be a teen. To each our own.

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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).

 

This is where I really struggle as a hs mom. My ds is not gifted, but he is very bright and learns with little effort. I actually started a K program with him was he was 2. I thought it was the coolest. "Look at the little guy go." He loved it--I loved it. It did not take much out of each day and I thought it enriched our day in many ways.

 

We have since slowed down dramatically. I think we both started wrapping our identity around his early success. When people questioned hs'ing, I could say "well he is so far above grade level, I just don't think that preschool or K is an option for him." That was how I justified hs'ing. I am over that now and realize that a lot of learning can occur outside of the programs we are using. So I have decided to basically start at grade level and let him do what he wants with it. If he wants more he can do it. If he would rather go climb a tree--go climb it, because I know that he will still be learning in the process of climbing the tree (probably figuring out something about gravity without me even teaching a lesson on it).

 

Because of this I have decided not to put all of our curriculum choices in my signature on the board. I really appreciate when other do, because I learn about resources I have never heard of, but for me I just do not want the kiddos to think that I could sum up their lives in one line. Again, I am not saying that others shouldn't but I just don't.

 

I was laughing with my sister the other day about when I asked her to post on the old board about curriculum choices for a bright or gifted 2 yo. The ladies patiently answered my questions, but now I am thinking they must have thought I was crazy. LOL.

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I know I'm going to be murdered on this thread...but, gifted kids are REALLY bizarre. It's not just about schoolwork performance - you're talking about driven over-achievers, not gifted kids.

 

Not all of them. Like anything else, there's a variety. Some play well in the system (any system) and some don't.

 

Besides, everyone is normal until you get to know them. We all have our quirks.

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I went to one of our nation's military academies - so I was in college with some exceptionally talented people. REALLY talented. And here's what I took away --- some people are REALLY, REALLY bright. And some people are REALLY, REALLY driven. They may not be the brightest, but they had the best work ethic, the best study skills and the most drive.

 

The number of profoundly gifted (and I say profoundly because to get where we were you had to be the top of the bright people) were really limited. These were the guys who went to class, understood things intuitively, tore through homework (correctly) and still goofed off and got to bed on time while being top 5-10% of my class. Not just the academically gifted - the really, really great at everything people. These are the guys who went on to smoke EE grad school at MIT. That was SO rare where I was. They just stood out. To me - those guys were "gifted".

 

So for me - to be really gifted (and not just one subject strength) is a very rare thing.

 

Now, on the other hand, are the driven. I was shocked at some of the people in my class who graduated at the top because they weren't the brightest. But, man, they would WORK. HARD. And SMART. The used every free period, they went for extra help, they did assignments early and proofread many grafts, they read every assignment before class - you know - all the great study skills we try and teach. [Keep in mind, for most of us, the pretty bright (and average gifted bright kids), we could get by without really using any of those so some of us never really embraced the work ethic.] To me - the lethal combination was sort-of gifted and a work horse. Those are the guys running the world now.

 

So as a parent, I can see the appeal of teaching a kid who's pretty bright to be driven. Or to drive them. To make them the second category of smart work horse. But to me - it's not something I want to do early. I will teach smart study skills. I will teach habits and independence and time management. I will - in high school - have strict standards on these things so the kids are ready for college. I have seen how study skills and work habits can translate to success - and I want that for my kids. In a healthy way. And when they are ready. It's a building process, and we'll do it step by step.

 

Wonderful post and dead on from my experience as well.

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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 absolutely agree that there are parents who push their children and get personal satisfaction through being able to say, "My 11yo is doing high school work." But some of those 11yos demand that higher level of work. And some can produce at that level.

 

Calvin got the highest possible grade for his GCSE Biology exam at the age of eleven (it's the rough equivalent of a SAT II subject test, but with no multi-choice component). We began it because he had read widely in the subject and had more-or-less covered elementary and middle-school biology. So I found an approachable high school book and we spent a couple of years snuggled up on the sofa a few times a week learning the biology together (I hadn't done high school biology at school) and jumping up to do the odd experiment. He is very proud of having taken the exam and received a good mark.

 

He decided to take GCSE Classical Civilisation and Chinese this summer, again three years early. It's fun: he doesn't find it hard, as it's just right for him. He is indeed being a kid - the kind of kid he is, not the kid that someone else thinks he should be. Why am I home educating him if I don't respond to that just as sensitively as I tried to respond to his poor coordination? He's a kid when he's studying high school subjects, just as he's a kid when he hangs out with his friends, works on the tree house with his brother or goes on a midnight hike with the scouts.

 

Laura

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I know this isn't a popular opinion, but I think the whole idea of "giftedness" is a crock. It seems like everywhere you go (not just the WTM forums) people are talking about how their kids have been tested, and are different levels of "gifted." I really think that any child who has above average intellectual ability in one ore more areas is being labeled that way, and given that half the population is statistically above average, there are a lot of so-called "gifted" kids out there.

 

The term has been so watered down by parents desperate to prove that their children are better than everyone else's that it is essentially meaningless.

 

Not because I'm just so amazingly smart, but because the material had been dumbed down to what I would expect to see in, oh, maybe ninth grade because the other students' educational backgrounds were practically non-existent.

 

Enough said

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People have always told me they thought my (now 15 yr old) son is gifted. Yes, he's articulate and curious; yes, he thinks fairly logically and can make a really good point. But I don't know that he's 'gifted' (as in intellectually gifted, not artistically or any other kind of 'gifted' someone can be--- although he's not those either! ha ha).

 

What I do know is, he has been exposed. He's been exposed to a lot of different ideas and stories. We've travelled and talked about different cultures. We are open with talking about politics, religion, music, theatre, science, history... the list goes on and on. He's always been very verbal, can think quickly on his feet, and has a very curious personality. We want him to hold on to his love of learning, and we don't push him to do 'more and more'.

 

He loves to learn and read. He's just an interested, interesting kid.

 

In all my years of homeschooling (my kids have always been homeschooled--my oldest is the 15 yr old), I've known countless moms who say their child is gifted. It's become this 'thing' that I know someone will say to me "oh, I had to pull my child out of school because he just wasn't receiving the 'gifted' services he needed" I always have to think 'hmm...' There sure seem to be a lot of gifted kids!

 

Gifted seems to mean 'bright' or 'interested' or 'verbal'. I think I know a handful of truly intellectually gifted people. They are 'more than' bright, interested and verbal....

 

..Laura

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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.

 

I don't really know how to respond. One of my kids is rather as you describe. He's a perfectly normal kiddo in many ways. He plays with Lego and Playmobil, writes comic strips, will spend hours in complex fantasy play with his little sister (often involving light sabers and magic potions or the kids on-going imaginary restaurant)... He rides his bike with the neighbor kids and draws maps of imaginary lands and read Percy Jackson and Alex Rider books and plays video games on occasion...

 

But yeah, academically he's not where most kids his age would be. He's not where most kids two years older are. I feel like I "push" him about as hard as I would push an "average" child of his age to do "average" work for this age. I do want him in the habit of having to expend some effort on his studies, not just coasting through until college (at least).

 

But if you look at the work he does, the subjects he studies, and compared them to his chronological age, it doesn't quite match with "average". I'm okay with that. And as far as I can tell, he has a pretty normal kid life. ;)

 

My other child is very bright. I assume she's likely "as smart" as her brother, but it manifests differently. She's not universally as strong as he is academically. She gets people better. She's a voracious reader, but thinks math is there to torment her (and why do they change the rules almost daily?!)... It's just a different experience raising and teaching her, and my expectations for her have to be a little different. I don't know exactly what she'll be doing when she's the age her brother is now.

 

I do agree with you that I'm sometimes skeptical of what others say they're doing.

 

I also know that home schooling attracts a lot of people with kids who would not fall into the comfortable middle in a classroom situation. Kids for whom academics come exceptionally easily, kids who struggle with learning disabilities (regardless of IQ), kids with ADHD and autism spectrum stuff. Kids for whom "average" just isn't quite going to cut it. These kids would not be as well served by a classroom, and they often end up home schooling.

 

But I do object to your idea that a 10yo couldn't read a good translation of The Odyssey (or do higher level math or write a coherent, thoughtful critical paper, or read the New Testament in Greek, or translate "real" Latin, or understand a college biology text, or whatever else) and not also spend the afternoon building a fort with the neighborhood kids or giggling over comic books or playing soccer (well or badly!), etc...

 

ETA: I do find myself shying away from using the term "gifted" for all of the reasons you (and others in this thread) have mentioned. So many kids are labeled "gifted" now, and it does often seem to be more a statement about the school or the parents and socio-economic circumstances, etc, than about simply meeting each child's needs. I also agree that having a child working a grade level or two ahead in a subject or two does not equate to "gifted"... ... But then I think about putting ds in a classroom based on his age or a one year acceleration? And it's just laughable. And I'm so, so glad that we don't have to face that. ... But I don't describe my kids as "gifted" except, perhaps, in very particular circumstances where that word may be required. For the most part, we're just home schoolers. And I meet my kids where they are. As I would if they struggled academically or were right smack dab in the middle...

Edited by abbeyej
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In all my years of homeschooling (my kids have always been homeschooled--my oldest is the 15 yr old), I've known countless moms who say their child is gifted. It's become this 'thing' that I know someone will say to me "oh, I had to pull my child out of school because he just wasn't receiving the 'gifted' services he needed" I always have to think 'hmm...' There sure seem to be a lot of gifted kids!

 

Gifted seems to mean 'bright' or 'interested' or 'verbal'. I think I know a handful of truly intellectually gifted people. They are 'more than' bright, interested and verbal....

 

..Laura

 

It has become an industry, in a lot of ways, being "gifted." When I was in first or second grade- don't remember which grade they did the testing in- I tested at college-level in several subjects. My mom looked at the results, and said, "Why didn't you do better in math?"

 

Now, if that happens, the parents rush out to buy books on their special "gifted" child, enroll them in special private schools, buy special "gifted" hsing curriculum... Which is probably why half the country seems to be "gifted" now. More gifted kids, more money for the industry.

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Guest Virginia Dawn

Yes, I do wonder sometimes. Admittedly, I don't push my kids as much as I could because I personally don't want the work load that would entail. I like school work to be completely done by 4 0'clock. So we follow a basic course of study and reading, branching off into more specific interest courses in high school.

 

However, almost everyone of my kids kept/keeps learning outside of "school" hours. My daughter taught herself to draw and paint, ds 2 read like crazy through a lot of classic lit. that I didn't assign, ds 3 reads military history--and I recently found that he's been reading up on ethics.

 

My ds 2 is one of those sort-of-gifted driven people. He took a full load at cc at 16yo. He will graduate with a masters at 21. But I don't think he is exceptionally gifted. He just cares enough to do his very best. He even does extra credit in classes in which he is making an A. He was so reliable as a child that I gave him all my teacher's manuals, and he corrected all his own work. That was a gift to me, lol. But even when he finished his assigned work at 1 or 2 in the afternoon, if I asked him did he think he needed to be challenged more, he would say, "No thanks!" and run off to do his own thing.

 

After 18 years of homeschooling, I'm just now getting that self-guided interests are where a lot of the real learning takes place. I agree with the poster that asked why we should cram it all in as fast as we can before they are 18. Of course, because we are homeschooling, we have so many resources and avenues of learning open, that I think it gives us an advantage. Perhaps many of our kids are not so much gifted as academically priveledged. :-D

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I went to one of our nation's military academies - so I was in college with some exceptionally talented people. REALLY talented. And here's what I took away --- some people are REALLY, REALLY bright. And some people are REALLY, REALLY driven. They may not be the brightest, but they had the best work ethic, the best study skills and the most drive.

 

The number of profoundly gifted (and I say profoundly because to get where we were you had to be the top of the bright people) were really limited. These were the guys who went to class, understood things intuitively, tore through homework (correctly) and still goofed off and got to bed on time while being top 5-10% of my class. Not just the academically gifted - the really, really great at everything people. These are the guys who went on to smoke EE grad school at MIT. That was SO rare where I was. They just stood out. To me - those guys were "gifted".

 

So for me - to be really gifted (and not just one subject strength) is a very rare thing.

 

Now, on the other hand, are the driven. I was shocked at some of the people in my class who graduated at the top because they weren't the brightest. But, man, they would WORK. HARD. And SMART. The used every free period, they went for extra help, they did assignments early and proofread many grafts, they read every assignment before class - you know - all the great study skills we try and teach. [Keep in mind, for most of us, the pretty bright (and average gifted bright kids), we could get by without really using any of those so some of us never really embraced the work ethic.] To me - the lethal combination was sort-of gifted and a work horse. Those are the guys running the world now.

 

So as a parent, I can see the appeal of teaching a kid who's pretty bright to be driven. Or to drive them. To make them the second category of smart work horse. But to me - it's not something I want to do early. I will teach smart study skills. I will teach habits and independence and time management. I will - in high school - have strict standards on these things so the kids are ready for college. I have seen how study skills and work habits can translate to success - and I want that for my kids. In a healthy way. And when they are ready. It's a building process, and we'll do it step by step.

 

As a gifted, but not proundly gifted individual, I totally agree...especially with the bolded part. I also graduated from a service academy and saw the difference between the profoundly gifted and hard-working. I don't care if my dc are gifted, but I do want them to learn how to work hard. I entered the Academy gifted, but came out hard-working (I would say that I was always driven). High school was easy for me. I took every AP class offered, two foreign languages, graduated with 64 college credits, played two school sports and a club sport, had a part-time job, and was the president of 3 clubs that I can recall. I was able to do all of that easily and still have a rich social life, REALLY. However, when I got to the Academy, I was bowled over by the academics and stunned that I didn't just get it. It took me about a year to figure out how to work hard and study in order to process the high-level academics and get my non-academic work done. Once I figured it out, I didn't have many problems after that and was able to excel in some (not all) areas. I was prepared academically in a few areas like math and German; but in English, history, and science I was lost (all subjects in which I'd received AP and CC). I was jealous of those who'd struggled through high school because they already had these fundamental skills down and had little trouble applying them to the harder classes. We did have a few profoundly gifted individuals that were double aero and astro majors who went on to do great things in academic arenas, but they were rare.

 

Because of my experience, I'd like my dc to come out of high school knowing how to study and work hard. The only way I know of ensuring those skills is to teach them and allow my dc to apply them to challenging school work. The work needs to be challenging for them, not some state or district standard. Now, my oldest is just finishing K so we're not working on any of this yet. We're working on learning that school is fun. He is ahead in math, but that's because he thinks it's fun and we still haven't found a level that's challenging for him. I anticipate that we'll slow down when he gets there.

 

I doubt that we'll have any of our dc tested for giftedness unless there is a tangible reason. The only reason dh and I were ever tested was for special programs in the ps school system. What's more important to me is just being able to challenge them in school work.

 

If it matters, it make sense to me that hs'ers would often work at a higher level than most of us are used to having gone through the ps system. All students benefit from 1-on-1 and appropriate pacing, right?

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I know this isn't a popular opinion, but I think the whole idea of "giftedness" is a crock. It seems like everywhere you go (not just the WTM forums) people are talking about how their kids have been tested, and are different levels of "gifted." I really think that any child who has above average intellectual ability in one ore more areas is being labeled that way, and given that half the population is statistically above average, there are a lot of so-called "gifted" kids out there.

 

ETA: And I'm honestly not referring to anyone specific here- more the people I've spoken with over at CafeMom.

 

I've made this statement before on a different website, and had literally dozens of parents say, "Oh, but little Johnny knew his ABCs at six months old and could read at a sixth grade level by kindergarten!" or something to that effect. And I'm sorry, but being a grade level ahead (or more) in a subject or two doesn't make you gifted. The term has been so watered down by parents desperate to prove that their children are better than everyone else's that it is essentially meaningless.

 

As for the classes the op was talking about, I think that speaks more to the quality of the class than the abilities of the child, in many cases. If you look at what children today are expected to learn, compared to a hundred years ago, and the superficial depth to which we study things, it's quite sad. We aren't getting smarter- or more gifted, lol- we're just expecting less of ourselves, and this is true from kindergarten on up through college. I studied literature and anthropology for five years, and I managed to get a 3.8 gpa while working forty hours a week of night shifts. Not because I'm just so amazingly smart, but because the material had been dumbed down to what I would expect to see in, oh, maybe ninth grade because the other students' educational backgrounds were practically non-existent.

 

Very well stated. :iagree:

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OK, now that I've thought about this for a minute...on the HSLDA website, I read something like (please don't quote me) kids who homeschooled for 5 years or more scored on average 3 grade levels ahead of traditionally-schooled kids. I think under 5 years of homeschooling and kids scored 1 grade level ahead.

 

Some perspective on this statistic.

 

A kid who scores 1 year ahead of grade on a standardized achievement test is going to be somewhere around the 65th percentile, which is a fine score, but not all that impressive. A kid who scores 3 years ahead of grade level is going to be somewhere around the 85th percentile, again solid but not phenomenal. This would be for a kid at around a 5th grade level. It changes for younger kids. A score more in line with gifted achievement (99th percentile) is going to show as being 8+ grade levels ahead.

 

Scoring 3 years above level on a test like the Iowa indicates mastery of grade level material, not much more, and is what you'd expect of a kid who is being taught to mastery in a homeschool situation.

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My ASD kid is somewhat gifted as well as somewhat delayed. Since the schools couldn't or wouldn't figure out what to do with him, I've taken it upon myself to do so (and then to do so with the rest of them), and it IS rather difficult to determine what is too much and what is not enough - because neither one is good.

 

I think it's a BAD thing to intentionally slow kids down. That doesn't mean they need to spend 6 hours a day working on quantum mechanics before spending some time on their Great American Novel, but I do believe kids should be met at their developmental and academic level.

 

I have a mixed bag of kids. Each one is sufficiently challenged by the materials I present, whether the number on the book/concept/activity claims to be at, below, or above their traditional grade level. And then they go do their extracurriculars, play with their friends, and drag mud, bugs and small amphibians through my house.

Anyone who sees a problem with that is nuts. :tongue_smilie:

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I do agree that the HSLDA probably has biased statistics...

 

I think I said this, but this thread isn't really talking about gifted kids, it's talking about kids who are accelerated, pushed too hard or "get their WWE done really fast". I used to think the gifted thing was a crock too. It would be like saying kids with Autism or ADHD - the parents are just making it up to get attention.

 

Have you ever seen a 6 year-old teach themselves to play the piano by ear and then change keys? As a pianist, watching that cr*p sends absolute chills down my spine. :D

 

Like I said, I thought that stuff was BS until I saw it on a daily basis.

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Some perspective on this statistic.

 

A kid who scores 1 year ahead of grade on a standardized achievement test is going to be somewhere around the 65th percentile, which is a fine score, but not all that impressive. A kid who scores 3 years ahead of grade level is going to be somewhere around the 85th percentile, again solid but not phenomenal. This would be for a kid at around a 5th grade level. It changes for younger kids. A score more in line with gifted achievement (99th percentile) is going to show as being 8+ grade levels ahead.

 

Scoring 3 years above level on a test like the Iowa indicates mastery of grade level material, not much more, and is what you'd expect of a kid who is being taught to mastery in a homeschool situation.

 

:iagree: You're probably absolutely right. I was trying to give Asta a possible reason for her original question.

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The truly gifted kids are the ones who can do all that you just said while still being kids. They are the ones whose parents aren't pushing but trying their best to keep up. There are just some kids who are very motivated and extremely bright. They want to learn and prefer it to other past-times.

 

Unless you've had one of these kids or known one, it may seem strange, difficult to fathom, and easy to judge.

 

:iagree:

 

I have an older son, who never had to study. He read or heard something once and he owned it. I never tested him, never called him gifted. He was advanced for sure. He just devoured information. He would read the encyclopedia for fun. By the time he was 12 he was taking advanced courses. He just recently tested as an adult and his IQ was 158.

 

He had tons of time to play, what took my older dd and ds 5-6 hours to complete, this son would be done with in 30 minutes. He was into all kinds of extra curricular activities.

 

My youngest son seems to be the same way. He just gets things. Taking on the education of these kids is scary, at some point they just blaze past most of us, and we have to look to other resources.

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The term has been so watered down by parents desperate to prove that their children are better than everyone else's that it is essentially meaningless.

 

 

 

I agree totally with this statement; however, I do believe there are some gifted children out there but VERY few. I personally have never met any. Like the others, I have meet children who are very intelligent and excellent workers, but not truly gifted. Gifted for me is someone who can do something so far out there, it is inconceivable. I also agree, gifted usually goes with quirkiness. (Mozart???)

Michelle

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:iagree:

 

I have an older son, who never had to study. He read or heard something once and he owned it. I never tested him, never called him gifted. He was advanced for sure. He just devoured information. He would read the encyclopedia for fun. By the time he was 12 he was taking advanced courses. He just recently tested as an adult and his IQ was 158.

 

He had tons of time to play, what took my older dd and ds 5-6 hours to complete, this son would be done with in 30 minutes. He was into all kinds of extra curricular activities.

 

My youngest son seems to be the same way. He just gets things. Taking on the education of these kids is scary, at some point they just blaze past most of us, and we have to look to other resources.

 

:iagree: Our oldest is very bright. I generally don't call him "gifted" because I haven't had him tested and don't feel the need to because I don't want others to have that expectation of him. I have two others who are bright but not in any extraordinary way. My ds scored 99% in his last standardized test with more than half of the tests he took being totally correct.

 

I meet him where he's at. If he wants to take on a high school class at 11, then we do it. He loves languages and has already done Rosetta Stone spanish and is now working on Latin. He wants to read Animal Farm with me for fun. He composes beautiful piano pieces for fun. Yes, this child will probably have college credits by the time he finishes high school at 16. That's who he is and he loves his life - and he's done with school by 3:30 everyday. He enjoys it.

 

My other two will probably not have those same statistics and that's okay but they are also great little soccer players. The benefit of home schooling is that I can meet each of them where they are at.

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I read a few years ago that 50% of profoundly gifted children were being homeschooled. I think that homeschooling attracts both above average and below average children more than regular schools since they fail worst at those two groups. Regular schools are geared for average children. Parents of the non-average are more likely to look for alternatives.

 

I don't brag about my kids to people except to say that my middle one is an extremely hard worker. But I don't think I have said anything much about it at all to RL people except for some comments like number 3 is a mathy/science/engineering girl. Why would we need to discuss it? I find that people recognize intelligence in the same way they recognize attractiveness. Just like you don't go around telling people who know you my son is very handsomeor something like that, I wouldn't think you would walk around saying my son is very intelligent.

 

I agree with one of the pp that this board population is more filled with outliers than even the homeschooling population in general.

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Personally, I don't care if you want to call your kid gifted or not. Some are truly gifted, some are bright and hard workers, some are just better than the watered down expectations. My concern - the schools ignore them. Our school system has the most pathetic gifted program. If you're identified as gifted, you get invited to one Sat. of extra school that whole year. That's it. Now, if your spec. ed., you get 5 extra classes a day, a personal asst. etc (yes, the spec. ed. is a hyperbole to make my point) I don't have a problem with kids who have special needs getting the services they need AT ALL. However, if we continue to ignore our high performers (regardless of the GT, gifted or no label that we give them) we are setting our country and our next generations up for failure.

Edited by MSNative
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I read a few years ago that 50% of profoundly gifted children were being homeschooled. I think that homeschooling attracts both above average and below average children more than regular schools since they fail worst at those two groups. Regular schools are geared for average children. Parents of the non-average are more likely to look for alternatives.

 

I don't brag about my kids to people except to say that my middle one is an extremely hard worker. But I don't think I have said anything much about it at all to RL people except for some comments like number 3 is a mathy/science/engineering girl. Why would we need to discuss it? I find that people recognize intelligence in the same way they recognize attractiveness. Just like you don't go around telling people who know you my son is very handsomeor something like that, I wouldn't think you would walk around saying my son is very intelligent.

 

I agree with one of the pp that this board population is more filled with outliers than even the homeschooling population in general.

 

:iagree:

 

OK, now here's another question (everyone feel free to line up and slap me now :lol:). Is there any evidence that these kids who are gifted have characteristics similar to kids with autism? I'm wondering this because I have seen a lot of similarities in behavior between my daughter and her friend (who has mild Autism). They like/will do a lot of the same behaviors- like the repetition thing (but on different levels).

 

Sorry, Asta!!!! :grouphug:

 

:auto: I'll leave now. :tongue_smilie:

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Dd likes (asks for with NO prompting, out of nowhere) to watch our college medical lectures and get library books on the corresponding topics. She also still smears butter on her Etch-a-sketch and jumps on the bed naked. (She's 4.) She taught herself to read at 3. We're just providing what she wants, and if she doesn't like it the only things I push are reading a scripture story in the morning and actually finishing whatever page of AAS or MUS we sat down together to do. Then she is free to play dress-up or play cowgirl or knights whatnot (or ask for more medical lectures, lol).

 

I do agree that a lot of people homeschool because the school can't meet their needs, and that a lot of kids perform better anyway with individual attention and tailored curricula, so I'm sure there are a larger proportion of homeschool students working above grade level than in PS.

 

ETA: And there is an official definition for gifted--but a lot of people aren't using that definition when they discuss "gifted kids", true. I seem to qualify over here with test scores (that 99% mentioned earlier) and IQ scores and all that stuff, and dd is matching a lot of the gifted markers so far for a similar level, but we're not testing her or doing anything like that--there's no reason to at her age when we're homeschooling, IMO. I don't need to "prove" to a PS teacher why she'd be bored out of her mind or acting out doing normal PS stuff. We're just following her lead on her education like we will with all of our kids.

Edited by LittleIzumi
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In many respects, I agree with what you have written. Sometimes I think that the "everyone is gifted", "multiple intelligences" (which, I do believe exist and are a subject to take seriously), and so forth is just part of the common U.S. "need to feel good about myself" crutch.

 

Gifted people exist. I don't know how to write the next sentence effectively, because I cannot show my facial expression, nor my tone of voice; however -- "So what ?"

 

I suppose I have a vested interest in the question of "gifted and talented". Under the older, more rigorous means used by schools to locate such students (I'm nearly 55, so I'm talking long ago), I was "TAG". My subsequent school and activities career reflected this brilliantly.

 

Again, I say "So what?" These traits -- which God placed in me, I cannot claim any credit -- have nothing to do with character. I don't care how intelligent and gifted I am (or my children may be) if I fail to love and serve God using my free will throughout all of my life, with the hope that, in the end, I shall be granted salvation and eternal life in Christ. (disclaimer -- Orthodox Christians don't do "once saved, always saved" theology) Non-Christians, also, strive to strengthen and exhibit traditional "good moral" values in their lives. People of any religion are to be honored for that effort, rather than for "giftedness".

 

. . . back to protective cover of nearest boulder. . .

 

 

I know this isn't a popular opinion, but I think the whole idea of "giftedness" is a crock. It seems like everywhere you go (not just the WTM forums) people are talking about how their kids have been tested, and are different levels of "gifted." I really think that any child who has above average intellectual ability in one ore more areas is being labeled that way, and given that half the population is statistically above average, there are a lot of so-called "gifted" kids out there..
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I read a few years ago that 50% of profoundly gifted children were being homeschooled. I think that homeschooling attracts both above average and below average children more than regular schools since they fail worst at those two groups. Regular schools are geared for average children. Parents of the non-average are more likely to look for alternatives.

 

I don't brag about my kids to people except to say that my middle one is an extremely hard worker. But I don't think I have said anything much about it at all to RL people except for some comments like number 3 is a mathy/science/engineering girl. Why would we need to discuss it? I find that people recognize intelligence in the same way they recognize attractiveness. Just like you don't go around telling people who know you my son is very handsomeor something like that, I wouldn't think you would walk around saying my son is very intelligent.

 

I agree with one of the pp that this board population is more filled with outliers than even the homeschooling population in general.

 

:iagree: I think in homeschooling you will find more kids who are gifted or have special needs since the schools often fail these kids miserably. Of course, some people over play the gifted card, but that is not always the case. I also think that some geographical areas may have higher levels of gifted children as well compared to others.

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In many respects, I agree with what you have written. Sometimes I think that the "everyone is gifted", "multiple intelligences" (which, I do believe exist and are a subject to take seriously), and so forth is just part of the common U.S. "need to feel good about myself" crutch.

 

Gifted people exist. I don't know how to write the next sentence effectively, because I cannot show my facial expression, nor my tone of voice; however -- "So what ?"

 

.

 

:iagree: I agree completely. I think the "so what?" for a lot of parents is that some of these kids are really bizarre and the parents are trying to figure out what's normal and what they can do for them. Like...is my daughter playing the same thing on the piano over and over again for 45 minutes OK? I yelled at her and told her piano time was over :lol: but she keeps on playing that darn song over and over. Can you tell we have repetition issues? :tongue_smilie: I would also like to talk to the pediatrician about some of this, but would worry about labels...

 

I agree with everything you said, though. Every child has a special gift from God (my son's special gift is that he's a Ringleader of Other Boys :D).

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Speaking from experience, I call my "gifted" son accelerated. I had him tested. Sure, he scored high. But I still treat him like a 9 year old because he's 9. There was a year or so there when he was 4-5 when I was just figuring this all out that I pushed too hard. That's the down side of having him tested. I knew what he was capable of and pushed for it, not taking into consideration what he was emotionally mature for.

He's the reason we started homeschooling. I didn't want him labeled in school. I didn't want him just sitting there waiting to learn something new until the rest of the class caught up. So we work at his level-which means he's ahead 4 years in math but behind a year in grammar. Go figure. He does really well with latin but his spelling stinks.

There are gifted kids out there. I understand people who think it's a "crock". But, to just stick my kid in a 1st grade class when he was already reading 7 years ahead of that and doing 4th grade math, well what's the good in that?

He still plays with legos and bionicles. He loves comic books and Far Side. He lives for Pokemon. He loves reading college physics books and all kinds of facts books-and remembers those facts. He loves doing "hard" math in his head. I still have to grab the paper and pencil.

He amazes me sometimes. At the end of the day though, I'm just doing what's best for my son and letting him pick the pace of his education. And I make sure he has lots of kid time. It's a tough balancing act-but so far, so good.

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In many respects, I agree with what you have written. Sometimes I think that the "everyone is gifted", "multiple intelligences" (which, I do believe exist and are a subject to take seriously), and so forth is just part of the common U.S. "need to feel good about myself" crutch.

 

Gifted people exist. I don't know how to write the next sentence effectively, because I cannot show my facial expression, nor my tone of voice; however -- "So what ?"

 

I suppose I have a vested interest in the question of "gifted and talented". Under the older, more rigorous means used by schools to locate such students (I'm nearly 55, so I'm talking long ago), I was "TAG". My subsequent school and activities career reflected this brilliantly.

 

Again, I say "So what?" These traits -- which God placed in me, I cannot claim any credit -- have nothing to do with character. I don't care how intelligent and gifted I am (or my children may be) if I fail to love and serve God using my free will throughout all of my life, with the hope that, in the end, I shall be granted salvation and eternal life in Christ. (disclaimer -- Orthodox Christians don't do "once saved, always saved" theology) Non-Christians, also, strive to strengthen and exhibit traditional "good moral" values in their lives. People of any religion are to be honored for that effort, rather than for "giftedness".

 

. . . back to protective cover of nearest boulder. . .

I say not "so what", but let us meet the educational and moral needs of all children.

 

I think it is important to meet the needs of gifted children as it is to meet the needs of other special needs as well. I do not think gifted children are better at all, but I do think that their needs should be met which schools often fail to do.

 

What do you do with a second grader who is reading at a high school level and teaching himself everything he can about history and science? Put him in a second grade class in school? Gifted programs are often a sham and truly do not meet the needs of gifted children. Schools say we do differentiation which also is a sham IMHO. Consequently, some parents with gifted children end up homeschooling.

 

Now, of course, I think all children should be taught study skills, hard work, morals, respect for others, etc.

Edited by priscilla
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A bit of different perspective:

 

According to the IQ test I was forced to take last year, I'm incredibly bright...the psychiatrist was stunned, as he'd never had anyone score as high.

 

My being a '4%er' is a joke. Literally. SpecialMama and I laugh about it, it gets tossed about when I do something really 'duh' btwn dh and I.

 

As I said to my husband, "So what I scored high. I didn't do anything with it!" and that's the whole issue, isn't it?

 

Its not about how 'bright' someone is. Its about what they DO with what they have. Sure, I scored high...but its not like I went to med school, law school, etc. My mother bragged about how smart I was, but I was punished for being 'lazy' when I wanted to do school work. I frustrated my (male) grade 7 teacher to tears, cause I was bright but did just enough not to flunk. I was expected to achieve, yet never given the time and support at home to manage it.

 

Are my kids bright? Yeah. But its teaching them HOW to work that concerns me. Diva is super scary bright in math, but spends most of her time day dreaming rather than working at it. I'm doing my best to try and engage her, teach her to WORK at her math, get it done and get on with something else. Being bright doesn't mean diddly without the ability to buckle down and WORK. I face the same problems with Tazzie. The lil bugger CAN read...when he wants to. And 99.9% of the time, he just doesn't want to bother.

 

Gifted may mean bragging rights to some...but I'd be delighted if I can instill in my kids the desire to WORK. When everything is easy, its boring, and incredibly hard to teach a kid to work at it when they can 'get it' in a glance.

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Can you elaborate on that? I've never heard that before. What's the explanation? :bigear:

 

I may be confusing this with some of the articles that I have about school performance in poorer districts compared to richer districts. I also think giftedness is somewhat influenced by environment as well as genetics and is therefore is a little bit fluid, but I could be wrong since I am trusting my memory of various articles that I have read;). As a result, some children who are economically disadvantaged may not reach their full potential:(.

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I am just interested as to why people seem so upset that people say their kids are gifted. I've seen several threads about this in my short time of following these boards.

Just as it seems strange that some people are obsessed with their kids being gifted, it also seems strange to me that others are just about as obsessed with pointing out that they can't possibly be so.

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I say not "so what", but let us meet the educational and moral needs of all children.

 

I think it is important to meet the needs of gifted children as it is to meet the needs of other special needs as well. I do not think gifted children are better at all, but I do think that there needs should be met which schools often fail to do.

Speaking from personal experience ;), it's not a good idea to let kids -- gifted or otherwise -- coast through without appropriate challenges; that not everything can be absorbed by osmosis is an easier lesson to learn as a youth than it is to learn in college. By that point the solution for many is to drop out, because of feelings of being "too stupid" or because they simply never learned how to work.
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My oldest is very bright. If she was willing to work, she'd be a superstar. She isn't though. She doesn't care. The only thing she has a passion for is watching anime. I worry about her. She has took one cc class this summer and has taken two each semester of her junior year. She'll do most of her senior year at the cc. She should have around 45 cc credits when she finishes high school.

 

My middle is bright, but is also a workhorse. She needs lots of downtime though. I'm not sure she could handle going to school and working part-time on top of that like I did. She never does anything halfway. When a question is asked, she answers it fully even when her "fully" means an entire page of writing that most kids would have just written 2-3 sentences for. It takes her longer to get through her work because she does more work. She's very thorough and detail-oriented. I plan for her to take advantage of dual credit just like my oldest, but she can't start until after she finishes 10th grade. She will probably have around 45 cc credits when she finishes high school.

 

My youngest is very bright, but is also dyslexic, so she works exceptionally hard to get average scores. I am hoping that she will be able to do dual credit as well. She wants to go to Rice and get an architecture degree. That's going to require a LOT of hard work.

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I am just interested as to why people seem so upset that people say their kids are gifted. I've seen several threads about this in my short time of following these boards.

Just as it seems strange that some people are obsessed with their kids being gifted, it also seems strange to me that others are just about as obsessed with pointing out that they can't possibly be so.

It's not strange in that it comes up repeatedly in pretty much every parenting board I've ever been on. I agree that there's over-identification in many school districts; I agree that TAG/GATE programs are usually not geared toward the truly gifted. But I find some of the qualifications used by those making these statements to be a bit disingenuous and, yes, do sense hostility. Thankfully, there's usually not much in the way of hostility here, but the "you should let the child be a child" canard still pops up. We school about three hours a day. I could very easily say to those with longer days or who are more restrictive parents that they should "let their children be children." After all, these are the only years they'll get to play and explore at will. I don't think it should be about gifted or not gifted, it's about freedom, opportunity, and appropriate challenge.
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Speaking from personal experience ;), it's not a good idea to let kids -- gifted or otherwise -- coast through without appropriate challenges; that not everything can be absorbed by osmosis is an easier lesson to learn as a youth than it is to learn in college. By that point the solution for many is to drop out, because of feelings of being "too stupid" or because they simply never learned how to work.

 

:iagree: My dh coasted through elementary and secondary school because he is truly gifted. However, he had a big wake up call in college since he did not need to learn study skills previously since he had not been challenged. Thank goodness he did learn:)

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