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AggieMama

Difficult Situation (cross posted)

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Ok, here is the short version. DD8 is about to finish 2nd grade at a charter school we switched her to at the beginning of the year.  She tested gifted and was to start the gifted program this year at her old school.  We thought the charter school would accept her gifted designation CogAT and MAP scores last year in 92nd-99th percentiles, but they did not.  She was tested again this year at the charter school and failed to meet the criteria.  Her CogAT scores dropped significantly and MAP scores are about the same as they were last year.  This year I was unable to Afterschool a lot as We were adjusting to a new schedule with a long drive home, a new baby, and a very hectic work schedule for me.  DD will stay in charter school next year, as she is much happier in school.  We are going to have her tested over the summer for dyslexia (she reads at a 7th grade level, but there are still signs). We are going to start things back up this summer, but O have a feeling she is going to be very reluctant.  I was just going to have her do ten minutes worth of work today and a major fit incurred.  I know I need to work on spelling, handwriting, and writing.  She is beginning to say she is the stupidest person ever, but doesn't want to do anything extra because she doesn't want to be the smartest.  She admitted today that she didn't take CogAT or MAP seriously.  If I could homeschool I would and do more unschooling/internet based for 6 months or so, but that is not an option.  Does anyone have any suggestions as what to do?

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My kid didn't get into the gifted program either because she didn't take the 2nd grade tests seriously.  It used to bug me, but ultimately she is fine going to a good school without being in the gifted program.  If your daughter is happy in school, then why not just let her be happy in school and forget about the gifted program for now?

Your daughter's IQ type scores should not be impacted by afterschooling or summer school.

Have you considered buying one of those summer bridge workbooks?  The nice thing about them is that the work is finite and the kids can see that.  It is not overwhelming - usually a couple pages a day.  Also some of them are colorful and inviting.  My kids did best with the Brain Quest or Kumon bridge workbooks.  If there are specific areas where your daughter struggles, Kumon or Flash Kids workbooks can address those specific areas in a non-painful way.  But if your daughter is advanced in school, I would probably just encourage her to read what she likes and do interesting activities rather than what feels like "work."

If she would be willing to do independent online work, have you looked into Khan Academy (which is free)?  How about Brain Chase (an online summer enrichment program that includes reading, math, geography, writing, and more)?  One of my kids liked these well enough, but I made the mistake of piling them on top of other work, so it felt like too much.

My kids have gotten to the point (age 11) where they don't want to do any summer "homework."  Instead, I plan on doing lots of games and activities and read-alouds that apply math/science concepts without being actual "homework."

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Our area is highly competitive. My kids perform at "gifted" level, but they don't have the scores to back it up, in part because many people prep for that test. That said, I don't find the gifted program compelling. It's not much deeper, but there is a ton more work. They don't go more than a year ahead, which blows my mind because you can go two years ahead just by doing dual enrollment. And there are many kids not in the gifted program who qualify in more than one area, but not all areas, so it's not like they are alone being bored in school. Here's what we do:

* Beast Academy for math challenges

* Extra language learning

* Lots of offline discussion about politics, literature

* Games, like chess, strategy games, Catan, Carcassonne

* Field trips and hikes

* Music including performance and composition

* Math enrichment with Julia Robinson, Math4Love, math olympiad

I basically have a quid pro quo going on, with screen time earned for homework. If they choose no screen time, then they still have to do the absolute minimum of homework, two pages of math and 10 minutes of practice. The behavior issue of not wanting to do summer bridge work is different. I'm lucky in that many people around here do summer work and my partner and I both had summer homework. So they kind of fight it, but they also know that it's a given and that protest is more or less futile in the long run. Yay for nanas and mothers in law.

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It was very nice to hear that your dd has such a wonderful year at the new school.  What does the gifted program provide in the way of opportunities?

Your dd seems to think high acheiver equals gifted.  I'd ask the school psych to explain that one to her, and sooner not later.  With a 7th grade rdg lvl, read The Great Brain (Fitzgerald) or Surviving the Applewhites with her this summer and discuss giftedness, and opportunities to stretch one's mind and develop one's talents.  

As far as not doing summer bridge work or summer instruction.  I told my dc that part of going to public school is staying on grade level.  Since the school didn't do its job and provide x, y,z per state law because they are gaming the system, the dc must do the work at home with me, or they must agree to private school or home school.  They liked the social, so they did the work.  Summer bridge was sent home by the school -- we ignored it since it was unnecessary review and far below grade level.  The rest was done - science in particular was scout, community, and home activities; math was Singapore Math plus other enrichment at the level they wanted to work at, Writing in ele.  was Spectrum plus daily paragraph, reading was lit not pap, logic was gaming and real life.  None of that changes IQ, and none of it guarantees a seat in college prep in high school, but it does lead to the ability to do college level work and grad in four years.  

What you should do is look into gifted opportunties.  Music, scouts, and on-line is where we found other actual gifted children.  Its like magnetism, they enjoy the company of other students who can speak in detail on a topic, discuss the lit devices in books and movies, or know the joy of AoPS, or just notice details.  With the school program, you should talk to the co-ordinator..they should know that she threw the test, and be aware of the issue of gals hiding their giftedness.  Discuss how the program would benefit her, so you know if its worth it. Me personally, in 2nd, I refused the opportunity.  The students were gifted in the pocketbook and had severe social issues. I would have been an outcast and in sensory overload every day from the noise,  so I stayed in my reg ed classroom as a younger student in a Grade 2/3 room and read extensively in my massive free time.  What I needed was a school that had academics at a higher level and faster pace.  I didn't put my son in the local private gifted school because they were operating lower academically than the public school was in the high expectations classrooms before nclb; after nclb they dropped the gifted program totally. 

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I agree with the others that being in a gifted program at this age just isn't important. My daughter was accepted based on COGAT scores both last year (1st going into 2nd) and this year (2nd going into 3rd), but in the end I decided to have her in mainstream classes because I wanted to improve her self esteem (she's a perfectionist), and I didn't want to increase stress in any way. She's self-driven to learn at home to meet her own needs, especially in the areas that interest her, and I doubt she'd do that if she had more homework, or felt stressed or over-worked at school. So in the long run it really helps her! If your daughter's not doing that now, you might be surprised next year when she's mainstreamed, or over the summer if you just let her focus on the areas that interest her most.

Since your daughter is a good reader, she'll naturally pick up spelling (although that obviously might be impaired with dyslexia.) My daughter does Spelling City at school, and enjoys it (actually asks for it when she has free time after finishing work early.) Writing is my daughter's main weakness...Although she's great at conjuring up stories in her head, she has a harder time organizing them when trying to write. We won't be schooling over the summer, but she reads everything she can get her hands on, and for a long time on her own has been writing sequels to books she loves, as well as plays based on the stories. She makes construction paper costumes, and the whole family acts them out with her. ? So maybe you can try using your daughter's love of reading to encourage her to write her own related stories. You can do the same if she has other passions...My daughter is really into both bugs and space, and she'll do her own research and often incorporates that research into stories she's writing for fun...(She's actually writing about stag beetles now, complete with a diagram, because she wants to read it to the beetle she's keeping in a cage. ? )

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Wanted to add to my comment above regarding the gifted program ... it might be a blessing in disguise that your daughter didn't get in.  Honestly, as much as my kid and I would both love the bragging rights, I think that's the only thing we would love about the program based on what I've seen of it over the years.  They always do an annual theme that seems so boring to me and to many young personalities.  This year's was "the airport of the future."  They displayed their projects at the annual art/music program this year, and honestly I could not get excited (or interested for that matter).  I mean I'm sure those kids were proud of their work, but it was just display after display of typed bullet points and the occasional photograph or drawing here and there.  Now don't get me wrong - my daughter loves airports and enjoys engineering projects - but she would not have loved this program.  Nor any of the prior year programs. 

For whatever reasons (maybe because the gifted teacher is a guy?), they seem to be unaware that gifted kids have many different interests, and they don't all involve robots, projectiles, and outer space.  (40 years ago when I was in gifted classes, it was the same!  Guy teaching how to make video games that blow up stuff.  Boys loved it.)

And then of course this is extra work that you would have to chase on behalf of you daughter, if it wasn't compelling to her on its own merits.  From your OP, you sound kind of busy.  Do you really want to add another responsibility to your plate?

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Another point, sorry.  I think we talked about this before, but I may be mixing you up with someone else.

A pen pal program or summer journal (or both) could help your daughter with the three areas you mention above and be somewhat fun for its own sake.  I think you mentioned your daughter was in AHG and doing the pen pal program?  If so, you could up the frequency of her letters or have her do a paragraph or two after each fun activity to compile into one letter per week or month (whatever works).  Also there is an AHG creative writing badge.  These might encourage her to work on it without being too overwhelming.  A third idea - when my kids were about 8, I had them do PowerPoints to document their progress on certain badges.  The purpose was to help them remember when the scout leaders questioned them, but it was also good to develop some written communication skills.  These skills will be needed in school pretty soon (if they aren't already) as your daughter gets older.  Might as well start in the summer when the stakes are low.

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The school offers basically all day gifted programming if they qualify for both LA and Math.  Her teacher made a rookie mistake by basically telling us that she would make the gifted program this year.  My husband and I knew better because we are both teachers, but it leads me to believe that she will be very bored next year, as she already claims to be bored.  She is resistant to doing anything academic this summer.  We will be doing AHG badges and such, so I will probably have her work on the creative writing badge.  We didn't do the pen pal program because I knew we would be too busy this year.  This is the plan for the summer:

Handwriting Without Tears 3 (remediate handwriting and teach cursive)

Beast Academy 3

All About Spelling 1 (remediate spelling)

Shurley English 2 (combo with sister going into 2nd)

Reflex Math (solidify math facts another area of struggle)

I really wish I could homeschool because she's at so many levels, but I know it's not possible right now.

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I guess I'm a little confused? She's bright in the areas COGAT tests, but behind in the academic areas, so do you know what she was bored with? Could it just be that she wasn't enjoying them, rather than that she was actually too far ahead to enjoy them? I mean, spelling and math facts are boring for any child, especially a highly creative child, but it's still necessary to learn them. (Reading is already differentiated in any classroom.)

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What do you mean by all day gifted program?  Do you mean all day, 5 days per week?  She would no longer be in her regular classroom at all?

Anyway, that is apparently not going to happen for now, so my next question is, you say she is both happy and bored.  I'm not sure what you mean here either.  She doesn't feel challenged but she has a good time?  My youngest has always said she has no real challenge at school, but she isn't really complaining.  She keeps books with her and reads when she finishes her classwork.  The teachers generally don't complain, because what teacher doesn't want to see kids read?  She challenges herself to try to have the most Accelerated Reader points.  She also really enjoys being able to socialize with her classmates.  They make up games, write stories together, and stuff like that.  The overall experience is valuable even though her intellectual challenges generally happen outside of school.

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I had a kid that was reading well above grade level, but couldn't spell. The remediation wasn't to run thru a spelling program as he already knew the phonemes.  What he needed was a list that showed him which phonemes were used when....how to choose to convert what he heard.  A remedial program that showed patterned lists was what he needed - short and to the point. Then you can move on to working on the spelling bee type of resources.  

Why are you doing math ahead of grade level if she isn't interested?  Usually what people do is the grade level material like word problems, geo, logic, and measurement that the school omitted and the dc hasn't reasoned out .

Math facts -- play war and store. The social factor is important.  Is the school asking her to memorize the multiplication facts this summer?

Cursive is taught in 3rd usually...are you pre-teaching or is the school not going to bother?

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She is ahead academically, as in all year she has gotten 4 out 4 (or mastered) on her report card in most areas .  She just has a few areas to shore up like addition/subtraction facts for time.  Regrouping, but she showed me today that she knows how to do it (she doesn't like to).  She also needs to work on spelling.  I want to solidify skills because she suffers from low academic self-esteem.  She's a perfectionist.  She's a very complicated child, as most are.  It's the end of the school year and she has always had a hard time transitioning to summer.  Oh, she did do Beast Academy 2A during her free time at school.

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That sounds like an awful lot of summer work for someone who doesn’t want any. If you have to do something academic rather than enrichment, I would choose maybe two areas max where she needs the most work, perhaps spelling and math facts, and focus on those. Things like Beast Academy could be saved to be used again during next school year.

I think most kids are bored at school at least some of the time, so I wouldn’t worry too much about that unless she is not allowed to do things like read, write, or do Beast Academy if she finishes other work early. There’s no guarantee she wouldn’t be bored in the gifted program either, and it seems like it could potentially worsen her academic self-esteem.

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Solidification comes from over learning....a short period of practice past mastery of skill...generally occurs during the word problem and measurement units for 2nd grade math, right? That can be done with life activities too, such as adding prices and making change. Focusing on timed math fact tests is not something the gifted teachers here recommend - summary here --> https://www.eimacs.com/blog/2013/01/mathematical-talent-and-the-timed-arithmetic-test/.

With all due respect, if you are pre-teaching not at her request, that can have the effect of expressing that you don't believe she is able to learn from her assigned teachers at school. It's very common for special needs students to be pre-taught - dont know if she is in a fully included classroom, but if she is, she is aware.  Whatever the reason, a good school psych, familiar with gifted, can be a lot of help on the self confidence issue and the perfectionism.

I would be interviewing the psych too about fit in the g program, since it was so difficult to learn in the noisy classroom she was in before this one.  How does the g classroom manage conflicting sensory needs?  In my district, they just send the quiet and those who don't want to be poked out of the room, which really is not a solution....might as well not be there, and just report to the library daily, where one has the peace to sink into deep thought.

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3 hours ago, AggieMama said:

She is ahead academically, as in all year she has gotten 4 out 4 (or mastered) on her report card in most areas .  She just has a few areas to shore up like addition/subtraction facts for time.  Regrouping, but she showed me today that she knows how to do it (she doesn't like to).  She also needs to work on spelling.  I want to solidify skills because she suffers from low academic self-esteem.  She's a perfectionist.  She's a very complicated child, as most are.  It's the end of the school year and she has always had a hard time transitioning to summer.  Oh, she did do Beast Academy 2A during her free time at school.

 

The low self-esteem will really be boosted once she's in a mainstream classroom, I bet. So this is another reason mainstreaming should be a good thing for her! I agree with Frances, that does seem like a lot of work and...you've chosen solid programs, but looking at them, with the exception of Beast they're really not that much fun, you know? The last thing you want is to turn her off from learning by pushing rote work. The other commenters have had great ideas on fun ways to fit in the skills you're looking to cement, without her realizing she's learning. You mentioned unschooling, so why not unschool her over the summer? Surround her with activities and games that will draw her in, she's gifted so her nature will be to explore and deepen her own understanding, and the learning will happen naturally and more enjoyably for all of you.

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I would be more concerned about your daughter's feelings that not being in the gt program makes her stupid. I would work more on that than I would be concerned with getting her in to the GT program. It also says much about how she feels about herself in general as well as how she may feel about other peers who are not in gt.

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Sounds like she is gifted and needs the correct placement.  I would share her old scores with the school and ask to be retested.  Do it in writing.  

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Because you mention she is being tested for dyslexia this summer, I wanted to chime in a bit. DD12 has dyslexia. The trouble with math facts can be related to dyslexia, and more drill will not necessarily lead to mastery. The same with spelling. If she is dyslexic, she will need materials meant specifically to remediate that. You might look for an Orton-Gillingham trained tutor for the summer (OG is the gold standard for dyslexia remediation). The trouble I see with your plan is that she will need to spend so much of her time doing work related to her (possible) disabilities, and work that is of a nature that is not likely to result in improvements, because it is not the type of remediation she needs. That will not help her self-esteem and may do the opposite.

I invite you to post over on the Learning Challenges board for some suggestions.

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On 5/26/2018 at 6:53 PM, AggieMama said:

 I was just going to have her do ten minutes worth of work today and a major fit incurred.

 I know I need to work on spelling, handwriting, and writing.   

 

 

Well, kids throw fits about lots of things. I'm the mean mom who would say, it can be 5 pages of work if you don't throw a fit or 10 pages of work if you do throw a fit, which will it be? (pages vs minutes because, dear lord, can some kids drag things out!) 

A kid can do an hour of schoolwork and an hour of chores every day and still have oodles of time to play, daydream, and write angry notes about mom in their diary. I might have one discussion to start, saying that many students get summer work assigned from their schools or their parents, it is not unusual and she is not alone, and it is not a choice. 

Certainly it's awesome if you add in some things like card games and such that don't feel as much like schoolwork, but don't drown in guilt over a few work book pages. It's not going to affect getting into a gifted program or not, imo, but it can be worthwhile on its own. 

On 5/27/2018 at 12:08 AM, Tsuga said:

 They don't go more than a year ahead, which blows my mind because you can go two years ahead just by doing dual enrollment.  

 

 

Gifted education does not need to be about getting ahead (and, imo, should not be). Getting ahead is accelerated education. I would definitely not use graduating early or with a ton of credits to judge a gifted program.

On 5/27/2018 at 8:26 AM, nature girl said:

 Since your daughter is a good reader, she'll naturally pick up spelling (although that obviously might be impaired with dyslexia.)  

 

 

Some kids do, some kids don't. My non-dyslexic, extraordinarily good reader read an incredible amount of high-quality literature over many years - and was also an extraordinarily bad speller for many years. 

OP, the perfectionism is a battle that has to be fought over time. What to Do When Mistakes Make You Quake is part of a highly-regarded series for children, you might look it up on Amazon, and read books like Mindset yourself so you can pass on information. They have a software program called Brainology for kids that we used and liked (a long time ago, it may have changed). It teaches some basic brain science, the importance of effort and persistence (vs "I'm smart bc I know it or dumb bc I don't). She may be a bit young for it, but something to keep in mind for next year, or if you don't mind sitting with her. Homeschool Buyer's Coop used to have it on sale periodically. 

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On ‎5‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 9:36 PM, SKL said:

My kid didn't get into the gifted program either because she didn't take the 2nd grade tests seriously.  It used to bug me, but ultimately she is fine going to a good school without being in the gifted program.  If your daughter is happy in school, then why not just let her be happy in school and forget about the gifted program for now?

Your daughter's IQ type scores should not be impacted by afterschooling or summer school.

Have you considered buying one of those summer bridge workbooks?  The nice thing about them is that the work is finite and the kids can see that.  It is not overwhelming - usually a couple pages a day.  Also some of them are colorful and inviting.  My kids did best with the Brain Quest or Kumon bridge workbooks.  If there are specific areas where your daughter struggles, Kumon or Flash Kids workbooks can address those specific areas in a non-painful way.  But if your daughter is advanced in school, I would probably just encourage her to read what she likes and do interesting activities rather than what feels like "work."

If she would be willing to do independent online work, have you looked into Khan Academy (which is free)?  How about Brain Chase (an online summer enrichment program that includes reading, math, geography, writing, and more)?  One of my kids liked these well enough, but I made the mistake of piling them on top of other work, so it felt like too much.

My kids have gotten to the point (age 11) where they don't want to do any summer "homework."  Instead, I plan on doing lots of games and activities and read-alouds that apply math/science concepts without being actual "homework."

When my son was in public school he was given a GT and got......wait for it...

...

...

...

...

a score of zero, LOL!  As in, he submitted the test with nothing answered.  When I asked him why, he said he didn't feel like doing it.  OK, I let it go because by the time I got the scores, I knew we would be leaving to homeschool, and DS continued in "regular classes" that year.  Which turned out to be better because the teacher let him bring his own books on his level and the GT class was over-loaded, noisy, and chaotic.  DS said his regular class was much more peaceful and calm.  I would be much more concerned that your DD thinks she is stupid at this new school than about the GT program.

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We just finished listening to My Friend Flicka, in which the 10yo main character is a brilliant underachiever.  It was good for my kids, who sometimes doubt themselves though they are both very capable in their own ways.  (There is a fair amount of cussing and brutal realities of farm life, so not sure it's appropriate for a younger kid, but it is something to consider for later.)

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