Jump to content

Menu

Does your child know they are smart?


Recommended Posts

18 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Acceleration occurs when students move through traditional curriculum at rates faster than typical.

I'm tentatively all right with this definition, but none of these examples are inspiring:

18 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Among the many forms of acceleration are grade-skipping, early entrance to kindergarten or college, dual-credit courses such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs and subject-based acceleration (e.g., when a fifth-grade student takes a middle school math course).

Nor do any of them seem to fit what you and others are describing in this thread, when you describe your methods for your gifted children. So I'm not ready to take this website as an authority on how the word "accelerated" should be used.

18 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Fluffing it up and putting a pretty flower on top does not change the reality of her situation in struggling to master very simple/basic math concepts.

I find some of the way people talk about this to be "prettifying" a different ugly truth: you don't have a student who is failing to learn. Instead, you are failing to teach them. (I don't mean to address this to "you" 8filltheheart specifically. I do accept the charge myself at times.) Sometimes I think it's telling that people don't like to put it this way.

Edited by UHP
  • Confused 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, UHP said:

I'm tentatively all right with this definition, but none of these examples are inspiring:

Nor do any of them seem to fit what you and others are describing in this thread, when you describe your methods for your gifted children. So I'm not ready to take this website as an authority on how the word "accelerated" should be used.

I find some of the way people talk about this to be "prettifying" a different ugly truth: you don't have a student who is failing to learn. Instead, you are failing to teach them. (I don't mean to address this to "you" 8filltheheart specifically. I do accept the charge myself at times.) Sometimes I think it's telling that people don't like to put it this way.

I suspect you have never taught a child with disabilities before.  I have been surrounded by them and have friends with them.  My kids with disabilities have been able to master skills that other kids with the same disabilities have not.  The differences in outcome for some students could be due to teaching.  But, that is definitely not a generalized truth. Why? It circles back to the theme of this thread; they are gifted, 2E to be precise.  My kids had good teaching, but they are also predisposed to be able to learn more easily bc they are bright. We have a friend whose dd is also dyslexic.  She also has an IQ of 70.  Her mother is an exceptional teacher with degrees in special ed and a masters where she focused on reading/dyslexic training.  She stayed home to homeschool her dd.  Her dd is now a young adult.  She can't spell beyond a 2nd grade level.  She can't read without an assisted reader.  She is a beautiful young lady, but she had to take an alternative approach to high school education focused on learning trade type skills like flower arranging and cake decorating.  It isn't bc her mother failed in teaching her.  Her mother taught her well.  But the upper limits of what her dd was able to master had a ceiling that is much lower than the avg child, let alone compared to a gifted one.

And then there are students who have the intellectual capabilities to master academics incredibly easily but who are disabled by issues.  Have one of them, too.

  • Like 11
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, UHP said:

I would agree with the formulation: putting a lot of pressure on a struggling student will do more harm than good. Your formulation bothers me. Teaching a struggling student helps, it does not harm. 

She didn't say "teaching." She said "accelerating." And I agree with her: with a struggling student, the best thing to do is to work on the stuff the kid understands well and not to move off it until it's actually intuitive. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/10/2021 at 11:05 PM, mathmarm said:

So, it seem's that we're now having a few over-lapping conversation, without distinguishing which posts belong to which conversation and so my posts lose meaning without the proper context.

In response to the OPs queries:

Do my children know they are smart? I have not asked, but I think that my kids tend to feel smart. They each seem to have a good sense of self-esteem. They are particularly proud of their creative skills and abilities.

Do my children know they are gifted? As someone who observes and monitors her children very closely, I have not seen the common traits of giftedness in them and believe you me I've looked. So far, there are no flags that make me think that getting them evaluated for giftedness is worth it.

It's interesting to note that in a discussion of super-powers, they have both said that they wish that they could be "super smart" or "a genius".

******

Now, there was also the tangent that I spoke to re: The potential of Neuro-Typical children (my understanding of NT is that the childs IQ or cognitive abilities fall within the normal distribution of a bell-curve.) and my (disorganized thoughts) as to whether or not it's developed as fully or wholistically as possible by "typical" public schools.

 

I am not qualified to speak to the experience of raising Neuro-Divergent children--on either side of the bell curve. It's not a part of my lived-experiences or my research.

Yes but I was sure my oldest was just bright until he tested . I knew his brother probably was because there isn't usually a big spread between full siblings but since his development was behind his brother's I wasn't expecting his score.  That was probably the ASD effect.  Neither of them are accelerated except in maths though but then the oldest has mostly been at school and the youngest has other issues.

Edited by kiwik
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread stresses me out, LOL, after all the years I spent working with my eldest to help her keep up with her class.  😛  We mostly did a pretty good job, except that she has never been able to retain very long.  Short of reviewing all the concepts for hours and hours every week - which few young teens want to do - it's not gonna happen.

I do remember car drives when my kids were 4, and I'd ask questions like: "suppose there were 12 leaves on 4 branches.  If each branch had the same number of leaves, how many leaves were on each branch?"  And my youngest would give me the correct answers.  In those days, I thought she'd be mathy, but nope.  No interest.

But back to eldest.  When she was little, she was a pretty willing participant in my tutoring and "afterschooling."  We spent about an hour a day on math alone, from about age 5 to age 12 or so.  (This was in addition to whatever they did in b&m school.)  We used lots of highly-recommended materials, both manipulatives and printed curricula.  She would even teach the harder concepts to show understanding.  I don't think it was done wrong.  It just doesn't stick for her.

While I find it a fascinating question now to ask "why didn't it stick," at this point there's not much I can do about it anyway.  She's busy.  She's highly aware that no 10th grader in our zip code goes home and does "Mom math" after school.  She'll drag out her actual homework to squash any temptation I might have to give her "Mom work."

So I'm glad I made her do the extra work when she was younger and less independent.  I'm all for parents working with young kids at whatever level they can function.  But it's no guarantee that they are going to be math wizzes.

My youngest might have had the wiring to learn that math if she'd spent the extra time every day ... but she wouldn't do it, even as a 5yo.  She would literally run the other way when she saw the learning books come out.  I tried all the brilliant math books; nothing held her interest.  She did enjoy fun reading and engineering projects, so I let her go do those.  I do think that if/when she decides that she cares about a field that uses math - be it engineering, finance, whatever - she will pick up the concepts then, to the extent they are useful to her.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, mathmarm said:

However, to your question: you and I are not co-parenting children. I'm not going to enumerate the reasons that my homeschool is designed the way it is. The only one who needs to agree with my parenting vision or share in the educational values and goals that I have for my children is their father, and fortunately he does.

 

Okay. It’s a discussion board. We were having a discussion and I asked a question because I wondered. 🤷‍♀️

1 hour ago, UHP said:

I find some of the way people talk about this to be "prettifying" a different ugly truth: you don't have a student who is failing to learn. Instead, you are failing to teach them. (I don't mean to address this to "you" 8filltheheart specifically. I do accept the charge myself at times.) Sometimes I think it's telling that people don't like to put it this way.

Like 8, I think this statement sounds like you don’t have experience with students with a wide range of abilities. I have run of the mill bright, and gifted, 2E students, including one with a math disability and a different one with dyslexia. Their respective math and reading disabilities aren’t their fault, but neither are they the result of failed teaching. They just are. My dyslexic was actually taught (by me) well enough to be an accelerated reader by second grade, despite a rocky start and has consistently topped out standardized tests in reading, but that is aided by her intelligence allowing her a lot of good compensatory skills. Her spelling and writing still show the effects of the dyslexia. My kid with a math disability is still not at grade level. That’s not because she hasn’t been taught well enough, that’s because her brain struggles mightily to make sense of the concepts and what another of my kids learned easily in one lesson takes many, many repetitions and a lot of practice for her to master. We don’t just move on because she’s “supposed” to be at a higher level; we keep working at her level. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, KSera said:

But why?  In all these kinds of things, I don’t understand the purpose in going through all these programs in order to teach very young children impressive academic tricks and skills. What is the purpose of that for a very young child?

I do see a reason to accelerate a child beyond the US standard of math education. Mostly because it seems here that a typical bright child would spend K-6 (maybe even 7) doing arithmetic. From 8-12 would cover algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics, and calculus. If one could spend less time doing arithmetic, more time could be spent learning/understanding the "advance" math. 

The other reason is that wealthy, privilege, and/or smart parent kids will naturally be exposed to these skills via the way their parents talk, and approach problems. For example, in our household it's not uncommon for our kids hear us talk about percentages, via tipping, talking about taxes or a discount/sale at a store both my husband and I will "do the math" out loud (because it's faster for us than finding the calculator app on the phone). Some parents just won't be able to provide that organic learning experience for their kids and so it's good to have programs that can get their kids there. (Where I can't provide organic learning experience in phonics. I'm learning it for myself alongside my kids and these programs help me to teach my kids these things.)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Clarita said:

I do see a reason to accelerate a child beyond the US standard of math education. Mostly because it seems here that a typical bright child would spend K-6 (maybe even 7) doing arithmetic. From 8-12 would cover algebra, geometry, trigonometry, statistics, and calculus. If one could spend less time doing arithmetic, more time could be spent learning/understanding the "advance" math. 

That makes sense with older kids. I meant teaching algebra to all 4 and 5 year olds in an attempt to accelerate them at that age. It's the extremely young age part of it that I was questioning. I was commenting on the "Superior Mind" book that attempts to make all kids "gifted" by teaching them these things at very young ages. I just didn't understand why. There are a whole lot of things that seem far more valuable to kids that young than learning advanced math. It's different if someone has a kid that has a special interest and is seeking to learn about something far outside what would be typical for a kid their age.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

She didn't say "teaching." She said "accelerating." And I agree with her: with a struggling student, the best thing to do is to work on the stuff the kid understands well and not to move off it until it's actually intuitive. 

I don't know what contrast you are making between "stuff the kid understands well" and "actually intuitive" stuff.

I don't agree that the best thing to do for struggling kid is to work on stuff that the kid understands well. I think the best thing to do is to locate things that the struggling kid does not understand, and teach those things to him. It may be easier said than done.

25 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

I suspect you have never taught a child with disabilities before.

You are morally correct. I have taught (or perhaps failed to teach) college students, a significant fraction of whom are diagnosed as learning disabled — but many think that these conditions are over-diagnosed in colleges.

(Engelmann thought they were over-diagnosed in elementary schools. I offended you with a paraphrase of his provocation: "why do they call it dyslexia? They should call it dysteachia.")

The pupil that has the most of my attention is a 6-year-old without any alarming developmental problems. I'd like to think she's above average and that the sky's the limit. But I had a few false starts trying to teach her simple things and for a while I was bewildered about how learning works. I've been fecklessly trying to find out what's known about children's education for a year-and-a-half. So far, I don't trust anything I've read very much. Engelmann is an exception, I trust him a lot, but that's not a judgement I arrived at scientifically. It's just a judgement.

Engelmann's career after 1966 was spent studying and serving what he called "low performers." The bulk of these are ordinary kids of little means. In most of his writings, it's operationalized as "kids with an IQ above 80." But he also taught kids with Down syndrome, very significant autism, and "behavior problems." His memoir tells a lot of details about his experiences with these kids, what he was able to teach them and how. The headline claim from these experiences is that all of them — kids with IQs above 80, kids with IQs above 150 (some of the kids in the preschool tested here), deaf kids, kids and adults with Down syndrome, autistic nonverbal kids — can learn much more and much faster than they are usually taught.

Some of his academic writings present evidence for this claim in academic style. Others have criticized it in the same style. I'll never know. But I've found his detailed advice, seemingly optimized for low performers in DI classrooms, to be very useful at home with my little genius.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, KSera said:

I meant teaching algebra to all 4 and 5 year olds in an attempt to accelerate them at that age. It's the extremely young age part of it that I was questioning. I was commenting on the "Superior Mind" book that attempts to make all kids "gifted" by teaching them these things at very young ages. I just didn't understand why.

It's not exactly advanced math. "Teach the 4-year-old algebra" is a synecdoche for teaching them to use letters to stand for unknowns. There's more going on in high-school algebra than that, and the book doesn't make any suggestion of teaching it.

The reasons to teach this little bit of algebra are the claims that (1) 4-year-olds can learn it without difficulty and (2) it makes other things that are coming up easier to explain. One hopes that it's not just to show off, and one hopes that the claims are true.

One analogy about things that are easier to explain: I can imagine teaching a kid to do sums without telling them about the equals sign. When they practiced their sums, they wouldn't see problems like "5 + 1 = ?" but always in a column.

  5
+1
 

They could learn their "addition facts" this way but you would have left the problem of teaching what the = sign meant and what it was good for until later. By teaching it to them early you have less trouble telling them for example that 5 + 1 = 1 + 5.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, UHP said:

I don't know what contrast you are making between "stuff the kid understands well" and "actually intuitive" stuff.

I don't agree that the best thing to do for struggling kid is to work on stuff that the kid understands well. I think the best thing to do is to locate things that the struggling kid does not understand, and teach those things to him. It may be easier said than done.

Yeah, that wasn't really clear. I meant that you shouldn't rush ahead of the stuff the kid already finds intuitive. You should work on the stuff the kid kind of gets and move forward at a pace that allows for good understanding.

My experience is that this pace is VERY different between different kids. As I said, using this approach, I have a 4th grader doing high school math, and she's a 4th grader who definitely doesn't do any math (except occasionally reading Murderous Maths books and Beast Academy comics) on her own time. But the same approach means that some of her friends are still exploring place value and how it relates to the various operations... the pace is set by how much repetition a kid needs with a concept to really master it. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, KSera said:

That makes sense with older kids. I meant teaching algebra to all 4 and 5 year olds in an attempt to accelerate them at that age. It's the extremely young age part of it that I was questioning. I was commenting on the "Superior Mind" book that attempts to make all kids "gifted" by teaching them these things at very young ages. I just didn't understand why. There are a whole lot of things that seem far more valuable to kids that young than learning advanced math. It's different if someone has a kid that has a special interest and is seeking to learn about something far outside what would be typical for a kid their age.

This thread makes me even more aware of the distinction between gifted and taught acceleration.  I do believe that your typical bright child can be taught to an accelerated knowledge based level.  But, equally, I don't think the bright accelerated child is functioning on the same level as the gifted child.  Yrs ago, I probably wouldn't have understood the distinction as well as I do now having taught children with these very distinct differences.

For example, I don't teach my kids preschool academics.  (And I have very firm beliefs behind that decision.  When I was in college, my mentor professor (who was old then for being a professor (he was in in 70s, and I am probably old enough to be many posters' mom since my oldest ds is 32) said his college students "today" were not as academic as previous generations of students.  He believed the quantifiable difference was due to day care, preschool academics, and reduced time in playing.  He encouraged me to do my research on the effect of play on cognitive development.  I did and based on what learned, I made the decision that with my own future children that learning to play, self-entertain, and self-regulate through play were going to be my top priorities.  Those goals have influenced my educational and parenting decisions.

Anyway, my kids start K without ever having sat down writing their numbers, letters, etc other than the things they absorbed simply by living in our home.  They could count, etc simply bc that just part of daily life.  But, no, they would never have been exposed to the symbols 2+3=5.  They weren't taught their letters.  They could recognize the letters that start their names (hello red solo cups and sharpies bc I'd write all of the kids names on their cups when we went on picnics, etc.)  

The pt being that I have kids that have been doing high school algebra at age 10 without any acceleration.  They didn't reach that pt bc of being taught more yrs or more time.  In addition to my firm beliefs about not teaching preschool academics, I am also a very firm believer in limiting academic time even when they start school.  My kids never spent more than 1 hr per day per grade level all they way through to middle school.  So my Kers spent about 45-60 mins on their entire formal academic day.  2nd graders about 2-2 1/2 hrs.  My current 6th grader who is completing Foerster's alg 1 right now isn't there bc she spent more time doing math ages 4-10.  She is there bc she cognitively made leaps that most kids need to be taught and then practiced but she just understood and mastered and moved on without a blink.  There is a huge distinction.

I have other kids who have had to work diligently and methodically through their math books.  They completed one yr at a time, mastered the content, and were solid math students. But, no, they couldn't make those huge leaps in understanding and application without someone filling in the connections and then practicing those skills.

And, btw, you don't offend me, but with the following 

7 hours ago, UHP said:

. I offended you with a paraphrase of his provocation: "why do they call it dyslexia? They should call it dysteachia.")

you reveal that your sources are missing out on decades of research and ignorant bias.  I would be dismissive of anyone's educational philosophy that made such a claim.  The same child I described who taught himself multiplication couldn't read Frog and Toad without struggling in 3rd grade.  Sure.....it was all bc he wasn't being taught how to read.  SMH.  (it is amazing how other children taught by the same teacher could read Charlotte's Web by the end of 1st grade.) By 5th grade, he was finally reading on grade level (albeit very, very slowly).  By 8th grade, he was advanced across all subjects (except spelling like a third grader and still a very slow reader).  By the time he graduated from high school he had completed almost a minor in both physics and math.  He started college taking 300/400 level math and physics courses. 

Anyone who thinks they could take any neuro typical child and get them to that level really lacks perspective in how children across all ages learn.  Anyone who thinks that dyslexia doesn't exist and that all dyslexics could equally overcome the severe disability that he has equally doesn't understand how giftedness can camouflage severe deficits.  

I actually find this conversation humorous bc it reminds of decades old conversations on these forums. There were a few posters back when my older kids were little who insisted that my kids would never catch up to their kids who had been taught to read before K.  They claimed that their kids had already so many books that my kids would always be lacking in knowledge.  I shrugged my shoulders then.  I do now. (bc preschoolers are reading such life-influencing books.  LOL!) Thankfully since we homeschool, we all get to make our own decisions.  I'll take my kids long-term outcomes.  Most of my kids are now adults, so I know how they "turned" out. 🙂  

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

For example, I don't teach my kids preschool academics.  (And I have very firm beliefs behind that decision.  When I was in college, my mentor professor (who was old then for being a professor (he was in in 70s, and I am probably old enough to be many posters' mom since my oldest ds is 32) said his college students "today" were not as academic as previous generations of students.  He believed the quantifiable difference was due to day care, preschool academics, and reduced time in playing.  He encouraged me to do my research on the effect of play on cognitive development.  I did and based on what learned, I made the decision that with my own future children that learning to play, self-entertain, and self-regulate through play were going to be my top priorities. 

This is the philosophy my comments are coming from as well. There are some aspects of my parenting that have changed over the past two decades, but this isn’t one of them. It’s one of the things I’m most glad I did the way I did. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

They didn't reach that pt bc of being taught more yrs or more time.  In addition to my firm beliefs about not teaching preschool academics, I am also a very firm believer in limiting academic time even when they start school.  My kids never spent more than 1 hr per day per grade level all they way through to middle school

I will say that while I don't do the same thing as you do for preschoolers (I do teach them academics, although it takes up a small fraction of the day), I do think that your path is obviously a successful one and I'm not surprised by that. However, I also think we do a lot of things that are invisible to other people. 

What do I mean by that? Well, I used to think the most important thing I did "differently" was teach my kids to read early. People on FB would ask what we were doing for preschoolers, and that'd be what I'd say. But realistically... that WASN'T the main thing I was doing. The main thing I was doing was having a house full of books, and reading in front of the kids, and spending TONS of time talking and reading to the kids, and making sure they had space an opportunity to play, and lots of other things that I didn't think of as "unusual" but were perhaps not happening in someone else's home. 

So... no, teaching my kids to read isn't the main thing setting them up for success. But I honestly don't know what the right course is for a kid who can't count because their parents never expose them to numbers; for a kid who doesn't really get "before" and "after" because those concepts aren't used fluently in the household. For kids like that, perhaps preschool academics IS the way to go, because there's no immersion environment at home that will teach them, and I don't think there's any evidence that non-explicit exposure at school would do it. 

These are fairly incoherent musing. I apologize. It's just that I don't think I know the answers for kids who don't have the background of my kids. My kids were going to be FINE whether I taught them to read early or not (although I'm not sorry that I did.) But I don't know what the right thing is for kids without those advantages. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, KSera said:

This is the philosophy my comments are coming from as well. There are some aspects of my parenting that have changed over the past two decades, but this isn’t one of them. It’s one of the things I’m most glad I did the way I did. 

We've always explicitly chosen non-academic preschools and I very much stand by that decision. I wanted most of my kids' day to be about play. 

That being said, I also taught my kids to read and do math very young, and it didn't actually take that long per day. And I stand by that decision, too. They are, of course, still little, so we'll see... but they get pleasure out of their reading and I don't wish I'd done it differently 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Not_a_Number said:

These are fairly incoherent musing. I apologize. It's just that I don't think I know the answers for kids who don't have the background of my kids. My kids were going to be FINE whether I taught them to read early or not (although I'm not sorry that I did.) But I don't know what the right thing is for kids without those advantages. 

I agree that the considerations have to be different for kids in public preschools from impoverished environments where they’re not getting any of this stuff in daily life. That’s clearly not what anyone is talking about if they’re posting about their educational philosophy on a homeschooling forum, though 😉

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, KSera said:

I agree that the considerations have to be different for kids in public preschools from impoverished environments where they’re not getting any of this stuff in daily life. That’s clearly not what anyone is talking about if they’re posting about their educational philosophy on a homeschooling forum, though 😉

It's what Englemann is talking about, though. That's why I mention it. 

And honestly, I saw a few kids like that in my homeschooling classes. There was one kid who wasn't impoverished, per se, but he had lots of siblings and a nanny who never spoke to him as far as I could tell except to bark orders, and the only math he had ever done was on an app, which meant that he could say that 2+3 = 5 but I very much doubt he knew what visual that referred to. 

What was the right thing for this kid? I have no clue. I wasn't used to kids who didn't have the exposure to make my teaching meaningful and I wasn't sure what the correct approach to that was. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

That being said, I also taught my kids to read and do math very young, and it didn't actually take that long per day. And I stand by that decision, too. They are, of course, still little, so we'll see... but they get pleasure out of their reading and I don't wish I'd done it differently 🙂

I had one that read fluently by kindergarten (very language gifted kid all the way around) and my current little one is very interested in letters as well and is sounding out occasional words and spelling things phonetically such that I won’t be surprised if he is the same way. That’s able to happen pretty organically in our household with the kids that have been interested early. So, it’s not like I’m coming from a Waldorf type philosophy where I keep them from reading early, fwiw. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, KSera said:

I had one that read fluently by kindergarten (very language gifted kid all the way around) and my current little one is very interested in letters as well and is sounding out occasional words and spelling things phonetically such that I won’t be surprised if he is the same way. That’s able to happen pretty organically in our household with the kids that have been interested early. So, it’s not like I’m coming from a Waldorf type philosophy where I keep them from reading early, fwiw. 

I actually teach them explicitly, though. I do 100 EZ Lessons with them. I did it with DD9 at age 3 because she was so obviously ready -- we finished it on schedule without any trouble and she hasn't needed any more teaching since age 3.75. To be fair, this kiddo turned out to be amazing with internalizing symbols and now reads relatively fluently in another two alphabets as well as reading music, lol. Speaking of kiddos that I thought were "normal smart" and are clearly not... 

I also did the same thing with DD5 because she begged me to learn to read. She had much more trouble but she really wanted to be able to do it just like her sister... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think shifting the conversation to children who are deprived of normal development through what historically has been normal parental social interaction is muddying the conversation.  I am assuming that this conversation is taking place within the context of children who are not being neglected mentally, physically, or emotionally.  And, since this is a homeschooling forum, I am also coming from a place where parents are the ones making the decisions, not a bureaucracy.  

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

I think shifting the conversation to children who are deprived of normal development through what historically has been normal parental social interaction is muddying the conversation.  I am assuming that this conversation is taking place within the context of children who are not being neglected mentally, physically, or emotionally.  And, since this is a homeschooling forum, I am also coming from a place where parents are the ones making the decisions, not a bureaucracy.  

 

 

I don't think it's neglect to have a less language-rich environment, though. Or to have fewer toys. 

A boardie was recently talking about a kid she was tutoring who had no geometric intuition due to not playing with any geometric toys whatsoever: no Legos or Tangrams or anything. Is that kid neglected? Certainly not. But sometimes we don't think about the experiences we're providing that other people may not be when we talk about the outcomes for our kids. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure if I was the one who said something about my early reader having read and enjoyed hundreds of books before she was "supposed" to learn how to read.

I doubt I meant to imply that other people's kids who didn't read early were going to grow up deficient.  More likely I was feeling defensive about my choices due to others declaring that kids shouldn't be taught reading early.  Or maybe I was over-sensitive and misread other people's comments that way.

I think ultimately it depends on the kid, and kids guide us as we go.  My youngest made it very obvious that early reading was right for her.  I didn't teach it systematically or force it; she essentially picked up the written word much like she picked up the spoken word.  My eldest learned later, which was right for her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, SKL said:

Not sure if I was the one who said something about my early reader having read and enjoyed hundreds of books before she was "supposed" to learn how to read.

I doubt I meant to imply that other people's kids who didn't read early were going to grow up deficient. 

Most definitely not you.  And the posters most definitely did mean (and not imply) that the achievement gap between those students reading before K and those who didn't read until after K would never be closed.  (Expressed pretty much just like that.).  And those words were spoken authoritatively like only the parents with just little kids know how to do.  🤣 

  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

On 9/1/2021 at 10:04 PM, Gil said:


The Boys are accelerated, not gifted. The Boys do not attribute their abilities to anything besides the work that we do in the home. This has been reinforced time and time again for them. I have told them openly that they are gifted--their "gift" is a father who is able to and willing to invest his time and efforts directly into them.

I don't claim to have a perfect memory of what math programs you were using when, but I do remember enough to disagree with this pretty hard, lol. When did they start calculus, or linear algebra? I remember it being quite young, but perhaps I am mistaken. 

"Gifted" is not a dirty word, and being gifted does not preclude being a hard worker. Having a good math teacher willing to spend a lot of time with them is an advantage for sure, being hard workers is a positive and very helpful trait that they can be proud to have. But they are certainly mathematically gifted, and there's nothing wrong with that. 

All students will benefit from focused instruction from a good teacher, and ample resources and time to devote to schoolwork. However, all students can have those things and still get wildly varied results. You might reduce the discrepancies among the cluster of students in the median, but you are still going to have struggling students and you are still going to have intuitive students leaping ahead. 

On 9/2/2021 at 8:57 AM, Dmmetler said:

Neurodiversity exists. It does not do kids any favors to pretend it doesn't. That goes whether the label is gifted, learning disabilities, ADHD, ASD, etc.

Yep. 

On 9/2/2021 at 7:32 PM, GracieJane said:

 Once I heard a woman talking about her gifted child, that she knew he was different when he picked up the violin as a toddler and plucked some pleasant notes or something. And of course it started a big conflict over “can you recognize giftedness at such a young age” and “so-and-so started piano then”, etc. 

But nobody was in the least struck by this story of a child who lives in a family setting wherein one might find a child-sized violin laying about waiting to be played. 

Having a child-sized violin laying about does not result in pleasing sounds when a child happens to pick it up. I have a feeling you aren't familiar with the truly horrific screeching that occurs when most children pick up a violin for the first time, and that continues to recur for a pretty long time after lessons begin, lol.

If you have two average to even above-average violin students, the one with early access to a violin is likely to progress further, sure. But neither of those students are going to make pleasant sounds upon first picking up a violin. It is indeed pretty remarkable for a toddler to pick up a violin and play anything that doesn't make you want to poke an ice pick in your ears. 

Source: have listened to many children learn the violin. 

 

On 9/3/2021 at 2:16 PM, Clarita said:

Hmm... when I was going to school by middle and high school any kid who did well academically got into APs, STEM fun stuff, gifted was not a qualification. 

In my high school, and the other schools that I am currently familiar with, the gifted program has nothing to do with APs and other activities. It is a program on its own that you participate in, and has no effect whatsoever on what other classes you take or activities you participate in. So I'm sure it varies greatly, as each local district usually makes its own decisions about these things. 

On 9/7/2021 at 12:36 AM, Cake and Pi said:

 Hours of individual tutoring every day by a caring, invested, well educated adult using systematic and well planned instruction will help any child reach their potential, but that potential varies significantly between individuals.

<snip>

Yes, and I think that the 'oh, it's all about hard work' trope does a lot more harm to struggling students than it does to above-average students (although I think there's plenty of harm done all around). 

Hard work is important wherever you fall on the academic scale. That doesn't mean equal amounts of hard work are going to be result in equal amounts of understanding. 

 

On 9/8/2021 at 12:55 AM, Not_a_Number said:

I tried to find some information about this and I kind of can't. What does that mean? They are actually fluent in two separate languages? Or they are fluent in one language and can kind of communicate in another one? I'm far more used to that version. 

 

I don't know whether to classify my kids as NT or not, but I know that teaching them math is much easier than teaching lots of other kids math. And it's not all my great teaching. It's partially genetics. 

ime, it rarely means that are what laymen would consider 'fluent' in two or three languages (easily able to understand and be understood while conversing on most subjects, and able to read, write, and study). I used to work in a grad department that had a large number of applicants who had a native language other than English, and I've spent a lot of time on a local campus with same. They have to pass a language proficiency test to come to the states for university, but the majority are not anywhere near what I'd call fluent (again, in layman's terms). 

I do support earlier and longer foreign language teaching, but we don't have the geographical advantage of living near countries that speak other languages. Europeans tend to be pretty astonished at how you can drive all day long and still be in the same state, lol. And it's easier to get by in casual conversation when you speak some of Language B, but that person also speaks some of your language. We do have that in some pockets of America, where most people have some Spanglish going on and can communicate even when the first person only has a bit of English and the second person only has a bit of Spanish. 

On 9/8/2021 at 9:18 PM, mathmarm said:

We use very systematic programs. By completing the programs with fidelity, you master a very precise skill set and achieve a very defined level. So, I do expect my children to come out of these programs at a roughly comparable levels.

We use programs that are designed to deliver all "typical" students to the same destination on the same time table.

Yes, if you have two students of roughly the same innate ability go through a systemic program at a set pace, they will likely emerge with roughly similar skill sets. But throw in a gifted child, and they might not only leap ahead but make connections that are nowhere in the program at all, winding up with a noticeably more advanced and complete understanding than the other student upon completion of the exact same program. They will simply understand some things intuitively, and also make connections to completely unrelated things (a book they are reading, a conversation they had, an observation they made). 

On 9/9/2021 at 1:39 AM, kiwik said:

I agree too.  By saying it is only hard work you are saying to the struggling child who spends hours doing what a gifted child does in 10 minutes that it is their fault for not working harder. <snip>

My kids know they are smart.  It is better they know that than think the other kids are stupid.  They also know that no one is good at everything.

Even more so, the struggling child who spends hours and is still not able to complete or understand the assignment. That doesn't mean they will never do so, but it's important to know that some kids can work every spare minute and still not be able to accomplish the assigned tasks, much less understand it. 

On 9/9/2021 at 8:02 AM, SKL said:

She requested a transfer to general chemistry.  Her teacher said no, there is no evidence she is struggling (her grade was B+ at that moment).  Teacher went on to say that if she'd just spend 20 minutes each evening on chemistry, she'd do fine.

I wouldn't hesitate to step in here and add my parental voice. 

On 9/10/2021 at 12:07 AM, Cake and Pi said:

When we spend most of our time around very bright children, friends, and family, I think we tend to mistake average kids for being slow and high-average to above average kids as average.  <snip>

It is hard to fathom the number of repetitions needed by children who are actually "slow" with a low-average or borderline IQ when you're used to kids learning something in just a handful of repetitions. There are things my youngest has failed to learn after thousands of repetitions. Like, if people understood the sheer volume of repetitions needed for some kids to learn, they'd see that there aren't enough hours in the day for these kids to achieve beyond grade level, and that doesn't even take into account the delayed reasoning skills and the way new information is never generalized without explicit instruction.

 

Yes and yes! Bolding by me: this is why I take particular exception to posts like Gil's. There are numerous kids with an average or even somewhat above average IQ that could not come anywhere near the math he has described his kids working on in the past. Even if Gil personally planned their course, personally taught it, and then tutored them an additional three hours a day in math alone. Good teaching is critical, but it does not lead to the same results across the board. 

On 9/10/2021 at 7:46 AM, Not_a_Number said:

 I find the anti-genetics attitude on the left really unscientific. 

Yeah, me too. It goes back to when genetics were weaponized against the poor and against people of color, and I think many people feel like they are betraying the cause if they say that potential does vary. 

On 9/11/2021 at 9:11 AM, mathmarm said:

 You will see a group of Dr. Englemann's class of socially disadvantaged preschool students solving such problems if you watch this excerpt until 4m48s and watch this excerpt  until 7m12s. Dr. Englemann explains that the children in this video received 1-2 years of Direct Instruction, 20 minutes a day at his experimental preschool.

 

I had to pause to laugh, because his wobbly chalkboard skills clearly label him as more of researcher than a teacher! 😄

I think the kids look engaged and not going strictly by rote. They actually seem pretty excited about showing off what they know,

I'm in favor of lots of direct instruction myself. An emphasis on whole language at the expense of phonics drives me nuts, because of course many children will struggle to read if you don't, y'know, teach them how to read. And I think it's even more crucial in schools with lower socio-economic settings, because those are exactly the kids who often don't have the background and casual conversation provided at home that can overcome a lack of direct instruction at school. 

Direct instruction doesn't lead to giftedness, though, and I don't think any of the skills in the videos are truly remarkable if the children have been explicitly taught methods to find the answer. I do think they are great videos for showing that children can often do more than we think! 

On 9/11/2021 at 10:21 AM, mathmarm said:

The children immediately recognize the significance of the mistake when Englemann plants the wrong unit in a word problem. One boy is wowed at the idea that a pie would cost $20 as opposed to 20¢.

 

I've told this story on the boards before: When we were looking for a new stove, we had the salesperson look up the available models (good, better, best). He was like, okay, the base one is $700 and the middle one is $900, but you won't want the best one, it's $11,000! `Now, the numbers did change, not just the unit, but this was a grown person, working in the world, and we absolutely could not convince him that this was an error. Doesn't it seem more likely that model just above the middle costs $200 more and not over ten thousand dollars more? Nope, that's what the computer says, it has to be right. 

On 9/11/2021 at 4:23 PM, regentrude said:

Yeah, because people are in a very strange position: 
kids are taught not to take pride in their intellectual achievements. It's ok to be proud of being a good athlete, but heaven forbid you are proud you're good at math - that's "bragging".  

I snipped your post, but the whole thing is good. I live in the deep south, so I feel this deep in my soul 😄

20 hours ago, UHP said:

 Can't I retell your story this way? You located something that your granddaughter didn't understand. You spent a few days trying to remedy it, and found the solution. You taught your granddaughter why 1+2 = 2+1. To me, it is not a very much less auspicious story, than the one about a boy who invents multiplication.

But that is exactly one of the key differences in gifted children: they often learn things on their own, with no instruction whatsoever. An average student may learn it when taught in the typical way, and a struggling student may need numerous ways and numerous repetitions. Do you not think there is a huge difference between a student who needs numerous repetitions and lots of time to grasp an age-appropriate concept, and a student who intuits it before it is even introduced? 

19 hours ago, UHP said:

 I find some of the way people talk about this to be "prettifying" a different ugly truth: you don't have a student who is failing to learn. Instead, you are failing to teach them. (I don't mean to address this to "you" 8filltheheart specifically. I do accept the charge myself at times.) Sometimes I think it's telling that people don't like to put it this way.

So, in the converse, if my child makes great leaps and bounds, far surpassing his peers, that is automatically due to me being a great teacher? 

17 hours ago, Clarita said:

I do see a reason to accelerate a child beyond the US standard of math education.  

This I agree with. 

9 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

 I actually find this conversation humorous bc it reminds of decades old conversations on these forums. There were a few posters back when my older kids were little who insisted that my kids would never catch up to their kids who had been taught to read before K.  They claimed that their kids had already so many books that my kids would always be lacking in knowledge.  I shrugged my shoulders then.  I do now. ( 

I don't make this argument for preK reading, but I do feel it has some merit when the child is much older and still not reading. Yes, a child who has been reading a variety of good books since they were 6, 7, or even 8 does have an advantage over a child who learns to read at 11 or 12, imo. Obviously this is sometimes due to a learning difference, but the 'better late than early' crowd used to be very hyped about waiting and waiting for no particular reason. I'm not sure if that's still a big thing or not. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

And the posters most definitely did mean (and not imply) that the achievement gap between those students reading before K and those who didn't read until after K would never be closed.  (Expressed pretty much just like that.).  And those words were spoken authoritatively like only the parents with just little kids know how to do.  🤣 

Both of my kids could read before kinder, but my oldest didn't really start reading easy chapter books until 6 1/2, even though she was able. I will admit that made me twitch and I really had to prevent myself from intervening, lol. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am also very skeptical of the 1966 videos implying that any child could learn that level of math.  I suspect there was some selection process involved.  These were not just kids randomly plucked from the streets of a low-income neighborhood.  I would also note that as the kids were free to answer when and if they pleased, there's no way to know the level of the slowest kids in the group.

But I agree with everyone that many (perhaps most) schools don't teach kids to the level they are capable of.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

Most definitely not you.  And the posters most definitely did mean (and not imply) that the achievement gap between those students reading before K and those who didn't read until after K would never be closed.  (Expressed pretty much just like that.).  And those words were spoken authoritatively like only the parents with just little kids know how to do.  🤣 

That's just absurd, lol, and I say that as someone who teaches her kids to read early... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, SKL said:

I am also very skeptical of the 1966 videos implying that any child could learn that level of math.

I wouldn't defend "any child" but I would defend "most ordinary children." I'd also defend "many disadvantaged children," I'm not exactly sure what fraction but not a tiny one. I'd like to put it precisely: such children could learn that level of math before first grade, if they got the same instruction that the kids in the video did.

I'm hedging about disadvantaged kids — many rather than most — because the Engelmann-Bereiter preschool had tracks, and the kids in the video were from the high-performing track.

I am attentive to the difference between what the video shows, and what the video implies. Many optimists about childhood education cite Engelmann's career and if the video is a fraud, it certainly implies something dark for those optimists. Or it could be something short of a fraud, a giddy mistake like the manager of "Clever Hans." If the video is a fraud or a mistake, I would have to reconsider a lot.

If the video is not a fraud and not a mistake, would you reconsider a lot? I did, the first time I saw it. Until then I had a fatalistic view of education.

Here's Engelmann's story of that video, from his 1992 book (you can look up its bitter and distracting title) :

Quote

In the summer of 1966, the Anti-Defamation League expressed interest in making a film showing the achievements of the disadvantaged black preschoolers we had been working with at the University of Illinois. Two years earlier, these kids had been selected for the project as four-year-olds on the basis that they came from homes that were judged particularly disadvantaged and nearly all of them had older siblings in classes for the mentally retarded. These kids came to our school half-days as four-year-olds and as five-year-olds.

The school, the Bereiter-Engelmann preschool, received a lot of bad press. It was called a pressure cooker. Sociolinguists took shots at it on the grounds that we ostensibly did not understand "black English," or even know the difference between "thinking and speaking."

Despite our alleged mental deficiencies, we managed to teach these kids more and make them smarter than anybody else had done before or after. That was our goal, particularly with this first flight of kids — to set the limits, to show what could be done. We felt that this demonstration was particularly important because Headstart was looming in the wings, and it was clearly moving in a direction of being nothing more than a front for public health, not a serious educational project. We saw this as a great contradiction because disadvantaged kids were behind their middle class peers in skills and knowledge.

We taught reading, language, and math to our preschoolers. And they learned these subjects. They also learned to learn well and therefore how to be smart. A film showing what these kids could do might moderate what seemed to be the inevitable mandate of the Office of Economic Opportunity to designate Headstart as a "social experience" based on the model of the middle-class nursery school. It seemed obvious that the model would not work.

We rounded up seven of the kids who were in our top group. (We grouped kids for instruction according to their performance.) They were in the middle of summer vacation, and we didn't have an opportunity to work with them before the film to "refresh" or rehearse them. A professor at the University of Illinois found out about the filming and asked if she could bring her class to view it. Why not?

So seven little black kids came into the classroom, sat in their chairs in front of the chalkboard with big bright lights shining on them, with two big cameras on tripods staring at them, and with a class of university students in the background. And these kids did it. There were no out takes, no cut sequences, nothing but the kids responding to problems that I presented, the types of problems I had taught them to work. These were not necessarily the problem types that one would present preschoolers as part of a 12 grade sequence, but they were good problems to show that these kids could learn at a greatly accelerated rate.

 

Edited by UHP
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, katilac said:

Do you not think there is a huge difference between a student who needs numerous repetitions and lots of time to grasp an age-appropriate concept, and a student who intuits it before it is even introduced? 

I don't think I believe in age-appropriate concepts, outside of sex and violence. A kid who is behind his peers has a lot to learn. A kid who is ahead of his peers also has a lot to learn. Some of the techniques to teach kids who are behind, also work on kids who are ahead.

4 hours ago, katilac said:

So, in the converse, if my child makes great leaps and bounds, far surpassing his peers, that is automatically due to me being a great teacher?

An implication is equivalent to its contrapositive, not its converse. Teaching implies learning, lack of learning implies lack of teaching. But no, learning does not imply teaching — unless you count the environment, the muses, and hard knocks as teachers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, UHP said:

Teaching implies learning, lack of learning implies lack of teaching.

This reminds me of an analogy I read on a homeschooling forum when my oldest kids were very young, which I have had occasion to repeat to them several times over the years. It has to do with the active nature of learning and that one can’t teach someone who isn’t making any effort to learn. That it is “equivalent to throwing marshmallows at someone’s head and calling it eating.” That analogy has helped snap crabby kids out of their bad attitudes. Now, this is a different situation that we have been discussing in this thread (that of kids with difficulty learning something rather than a lack of effort), but your statement reminded me of it.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, UHP said:

Teaching implies learning, lack of learning implies lack of teaching.

Maybe you could come to my house and teach my DS8 (low-average IQ + learning disabilities), or DS11 for that matter (gifted, but has ODD and won't learn anything he doesn't want to). It would expand your experiences and perspective in ways you don't yet realize are possible.

Educators simply don't have as much control over the minds of their pupils as you are giving credit for. Although you may be bestowed with bright, compliant children, it doesn't always work out like that. The student has agency and their own unique wiring to contend with. Teaching is not something you do to a child but with them -- or not, if they can't/won't.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not only are we having overlapping discussions, but I think we aren’t distinguishing between levels of giftedness. I did not teach my child to read early. She asked to learn to read early, and I went over letter sounds and tried to do some beginning teaching, and she appeared to lose interest. At 2.5 years old, I saw something odd in how she was reading her books, and asked her to read a passage in an unfamiliar book to me. She struggled and was slow, but she could do it. By 3.5 years old, she was reading fluently and with inflection, better than many adults I know. She went to a play-based preschool a couple days a week, and the lead teacher (who had been doing this work for over 30 years) had never seen anything like the “story times” my kid held for the other kids. Near the end of 4 years old, she tested at an 8th grade comprehension level.

My contribution to that? Being a moderately involved parent. I taught her letter sounds, played some made up letter sound games if we were in the car, read to her a lot, and listened while she read her way through Bob Books and early readers. Most parents I am friends with do all that, and their kids read at typical ages. They may be a bit advanced, but not like my daughter. That was not teaching. Do not even try to convince me that other kids could do this if they just had a better teacher. That’s complete bullshit.

She was moderately advanced in math. Then she found out about Epsilon Camp, and desperately wanted to go to a camp with other kids “like her”. I explained how the requirement that she complete Algebra made this impossible, as applications would be due in about a year and she was in BA4. She was super disappointed, then asked what was between her and completion of Algebra, and totally effing did it. She took the online AOPS Algebra A and mostly breezed through it at 8 years old. Again, I take absolutely zero credit. In fact, my refrain for that year was “this is your goal, not mine. You can stop at any time. It is not my responsibility to bear your stress or to support you more than I would do for any other class.” She would glare at me, mumble, kick something, and get back to work.

On the other hand, she has ADHD, anxiety, and dysgraphia. These are truly limiting factors that cap her acceleration.

There is a real, solid difference between an NT kid who is accelerated and a gifted kid. And by the time we are discussing some amount of gifted+, the difference is absolutely palpable. And a 2e kid is something else entirely.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, Cake and Pi said:

Maybe you could come to my house and teach my DS8 (low-average IQ + learning disabilities), or DS11 for that matter (gifted, but has ODD and won't learn anything he doesn't want to). It would expand your experiences and perspective in ways you don't yet realize are possible.

I wonder if you've misread me as boasting about what a great teacher I am. I'm a miserable teacher. You are certainly right that it would expand my horizons if I could walk a mile in your shoes. I wouldn't walk in them with much grace.

I'm not boasting but I am calling attention to a somewhat boastful personality, Engelmann, and cribbing some of his language. He has my attention because of some seemingly impressive feats like the Bereiter-Engelmann preschool and "Project Follow Through", and (more saliently, if I'm honest) because I tried out some of his advice and it worked.

I do know that snake oil works some of the time by accident. Our kids will be grown, in fact hell might freeze over, before anyone settles it scientifically.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, UHP said:

I wouldn't defend "any child" but I would defend "most ordinary children." I'd also defend "many disadvantaged children," I'm not exactly sure what fraction but not a tiny one. I'd like to put it precisely: such children could learn that level of math before first grade, if they got the same instruction that the kids in the video did.

I'm hedging about disadvantaged kids — many rather than most — because the Engelmann-Bereiter preschool had tracks, and the kids in the video were from the high-performing track.

I am attentive to the difference between what the video shows, and what the video implies. Many optimists about childhood education cite Engelmann's career and if the video is a fraud, it certainly implies something dark for those optimists. Or it could be something short of a fraud, a giddy mistake like the manager of "Clever Hans." If the video is a fraud or a mistake, I would have to reconsider a lot.

If the video is not a fraud and not a mistake, would you reconsider a lot? I did, the first time I saw it. Until then I had a fatalistic view of education.

Here's Engelmann's story of that video, from his 1992 book (you can look up its bitter and distracting title) :

 

I don't doubt that these kids' older siblings had been educated badly.  Racism was such in those days that many communities presumed black children to be low IQ, and it wasn't at all unusual for black kids with normal IQs to be placed in the MR classes.  For that matter, when I was a teen in the 1980s I tutored some bright black kids who had been tracked as low achievers.  Partly because they had not been sent to KG (it was not required in those days), while most white kids were.  And partly because they weren't good at sitting still.  Probably also because of teacher bias.  I saw how some of their test scores zoomed from the lowest quartile to the highest in 1-2 years.  I do think this is a whole other conversation though.  Engelmann wasn't making dumb children smart.  He was giving smart children a chance to meet their natural potential.

(As an aside, one of the issues I saw as a tutor in that environment was sickle cell anemia, which made affected children just too tired to exert themselves.  Nothing to do with IQ or teaching methods.)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Jackie said:

Not only are we having overlapping discussions, but I think we aren’t distinguishing between levels of giftedness.

Honestly, I think it’s partially because it’s hard to know “how gifted” kids are. I’ve never been able to evaluate with my kid, partially because unlike your kid, she doesn’t care about meeting other kids like her and isn’t actually all that academically motivated. And knowing her personality, an IQ test wouldn’t help that much. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I honestly find the conversation rather bizarre.  Is the argument that kids who are taught specifically to their level and in ways they can connect with are all going to function at the same level with no differentiation between innate abilities enabling some children to function at significant levels beyond others?  Or is it simply that many kids are not taught at a challenging enough level and can succeed in mastering more complex materials? Is it that kids who are taught at more challenging levels with good teaching methods will become gifted?  I can't tell.  I personally believe that only the bolded is true.  But I disagree that all children will be able to function at equally high levels based on teaching alone.  I also disagree that giftedness is the result of teaching and that LDs are a result of poor teaching.  

FWIW, @UHP I looked online to see if I could find examples in Horizons using variables, and here are a couple:

image.png.c16ca3be2a97ba9031ef8b108ac2ab4a.png

That example is from the 3rd grade book and the below example is the very first lesson in the 6th grade book (so simple review.)  

image.png.9bde12d9608a5d4a85a77488c6210105.png

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

@UHP  Here is an example from Hands On Equations.  This is the type of question my kids are working on when they are working through the 5th/6th grade Horizons book.  (This is a level 3 verbal problem.  They work on level 1 problems in 3rd/4th grade.)

image.thumb.png.82e7279ac30d5441cf1045690ca282ff.png

I do stuff like this with shapes to fill in before we do variables. My kids don’t tend to need the manipulatives, but we do solve lots of equations before I explain actual algebraic manipulations to them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I do stuff like this with shapes to fill in before we do variables. My kids don’t tend to need the manipulatives, but we do solve lots of equations before I explain actual algebraic manipulations to them.

We don't solve via manipulatives.  Since my kids have been working with variables early on, they just write equations and solve that way.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

FWIW, @UHP I looked online to see if I could find examples in Horizons using variables, and here are a couple:

Thanks. But then, I can't tell, do you disagree with me that ordinary 4-year-olds could be taught algebra to this modest level, and that it would help them if they were?

I am glad to see it done as early as 3rd grade in Horizons, and in Beast Academy. Common core leaves them until 6th grade, see here.

1 hour ago, 8filltheheart said:

I honestly find the conversation rather bizarre.  Is the argument that...

Are these questions for me, or are you only commenting on how many different points of view you can find on this topic? I'll answer them in any case.

1 hour ago, 8filltheheart said:

Is the argument that kids who are taught specifically to their level and in ways they can connect with are all going to function at the same level with no differentiation between innate abilities enabling some children to function at significant levels beyond others?

Not my view.

1 hour ago, 8filltheheart said:

Or is it simply that many kids are not taught at a challenging enough level and can succeed in mastering more complex materials?

I do believe that kids, at whatever level or lack of giftedness, can learn material that is more complex than they are traditionally taught. But I don't like the word "challenge." I give my daughter about ninety minutes of lessons every day, and I think she faces enough challenges outside of this time. I look for ways to make a topic easy for her, and usually back off if it turns out I've "challenged" her.

1 hour ago, 8filltheheart said:

Is it that kids who are taught at more challenging levels with good teaching methods will become gifted?

I guess someone who is learning calculus at 18 is less likely to be gifted than someone who is learning it at 8. But good teaching methods would benefit both calculus learners. The gifted child might catch on in spite of poor instruction, but they would get more out of good instruction. They might catch on faster, and might see some things on their own, but I don't think that changes the nature of the teaching task.

I'm not fond of the word gifted because I hear some fatalism in it: "My child is gifted, so there is little I can do to accelerate her learning." "My child is not gifted, so there is little I can do to accelerate her learning." I believe there is a lot that can be done for both kids.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

29 minutes ago, UHP said:

 

I guess someone who is learning calculus at 18 is less likely to be gifted than someone who is learning it at 8. But good teaching methods would benefit both calculus learners. The gifted child might catch on in spite of poor instruction, but they would get more out of good instruction. They might catch on faster, and might see some things on their own, but I don't think that changes the nature of the teaching task.

 

So, your entire premise is that quality teaching benefits all children?  Obviously.  But to precede that with "less likely" just weakens everything you say.  Again, if both students are receiving "quality teaching," it is playing ostrich to deny the equally obvious truth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

So, your entire premise is that quality teaching benefits all children? 

I believe this but it's hardly the only thing I'm arguing, or the major thing.

8 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

But to precede that with "less likely" just weakens everything you say.

Do you mean when I said "I guess someone who is learning calculus at 18 is less likely to be gifted than someone who is learning it at 8"?

If you think that "less likely" is not doing important work in that sentence then you haven't thought it through. Not all gifted kids have an opportunity to learn calculus early. I bet that gifted kids learning it for the first time at 18 outnumber gifted kids learning it for the first time at 8.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, UHP said:

I bet that gifted kids learning it for the first time at 18 outnumber gifted kids learning it for the first time at 8.

I would guess you're right. Most gifted kids don't have the opportunity to learn it early. Most kids aren't homeschooled and plenty are in school districts where there's no calculus until senior year or at all. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, UHP said:

I believe this but it's hardly the only thing I'm arguing, or the major thing.

Do you mean when I said "I guess someone who is learning calculus at 18 is less likely to be gifted than someone who is learning it at 8"?

If you think that "less likely" is not doing important work in that sentence then you haven't thought it through. Not all gifted kids have an opportunity to learn calculus early. I bet that gifted kids learning it for the first time at 18 outnumber gifted kids learning it for the first time at 8.

Not if you are following your initial premise of each student receiving quality teaching (assuming that quality teaching recognizes the necessity of appropriate teaching.)   

Are we discussing the population in general in the ps system?  (which I personally see no pt in discussing bc the bureaucracy is not listening to this conversation and could careless).  Or are we discussing parents working one-on-one with their children?  (which should be the responsibility assumed when making the decision to homeschool.)

If the conversation is taking place in the vagaries of no direct control over the education in hypotheticals, then the conversation is circular with no real definitions controlling anything.  Since the original conversation seemed to be do OUR kids know they are gifted and turned into does giftedness exist, it now seems like the people are talking past each other and saying who knows bc the hypothetical kid might not have ever experienced quality teaching (which is another obvious if the student's background is completely unknown.....but since we know our kids and their educational backgrounds, that position seems pointless for discussing.

Edited by 8filltheheart
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Not if you are following your initial premise of each student receiving quality teaching (assuming that quality teaching recognizes the necessity of appropriate teaching.)   

Are we discussing the population in general in the ps system?  (which I personally see no pt in discussing bc the bureaucracy is not listening to this conversation and could careless).  Or are we discussing parents working one-on-one with their children?  (which should be the responsibility assumed when making the decision to homeschool.)

I would guess very few kids, including gifted kids that are homeschooled, learn calculus at age 8. Mostly because they don't have anyone to teach them! 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Are we discussing the population in general in the ps system?  (which I personally see no pt in discussing bc the bureaucracy is not listening to this conversation and could careless).  Or are we discussing parents working one-on-one with their children?  (which should be the responsibility assumed when making the decision to homeschool.)

I've been telling you my opinions about education for all students, not just those in the public school system. But I will say that most education researchers have public school students under their microscopes, not homeschool students. Certainly some of this research is garbage. Maybe some of it is of high quality but only useful in classrooms. But maybe some of it is also useful at home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has been a very interesting discussion.  It seems pretty obvious to me that genetics, environment, hard work, and individuals’ personalities all play a role in their level of achievement.  My extremely musical cello boy both grasps new techniques and skills faster with less repetition and has an intensely focused, slightly obsessive aspect to his personality that has him working at his practice more intensely and longer than them.  It is no surprise that his skill quickly overtook that of both his sister who took many, many repetitions to advance in music, and the one who also gains new musical skills quickly and easily, but lacks his driven/obsessive, focused personality. With the same environment and good instruction, my less musical daughter has to work at least 5 times longer to gain the same new skill.

I have also had the experience of taking kids who came from an impoverished, neglected, anti-educational home environment into my home and teaching and raising them in my home environment for a time.  They all three made great gains, but the rate of gains between kids was not the same.  With each kid, I just worked with them at their own level and pace.  Middle sister (7/8) made about 1.5 grade levels of progress in both reading and math over 10 months with me.  Oldest sister (10/11) made about 5 grade levels of progress in reading (coming up to her grade level from dramatically behind) and about half a year’s progress in math (working three years behind her grade level) in 6 months.  Littlest sister with learning disabilities was not doing academics, but went from 2 years delayed to half a year delayed in the 1.5 years she was with me.  Good environment and teaching can make a huge difference, but the same environment and teaching will not produce the same results.

That experience also really emphasized benefits of our home environment that I never even noticed before.  I knew that a stable home filled with books and parents who read extensively and value education makes a huge difference to a kid’s starting place academically.  I never particularly noticed (before we had a 10-year-old constantly telling us how weird we were for it) that we speak with wide vocabularies about a range of topics, often bringing up new things we have learned because we think they will interest those around us as well, that we make up games with complicated, extended storylines, that we ask questions of one another about deeper insights and connections behind many topics, that we frequently reference historical events, that we are playful with words in our conversations together.

Edited by Condessa
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Condessa said:

That experience also really emphasized benefits of our home environment that I never even noticed before.  I knew that a stable home filled with books and parents who read extensively and value education makes a huge difference to a kid’s starting place academically.  I never particularly noticed (before we had a 10-year-old constantly telling us how weird we were for it) that we speak with wide vocabularies about a range of topics, often bringing up new things we have learned because we think they will interest those around us as well, that we make up games with complicated, extended storylines, that we ask questions of one another about deeper insights and connections behind many topics, that we frequently reference historical events, that we are playful with words in our conversations together.

Exactly. I actually noticed this very starkly when teaching kids in my homeschooling classes, who weren't necessarily from impoverished backgrounds, per se, but were definitely less privileged educationally than we were.

Some examples: the kiddo whose nanny basically never spoke to him simply didn't have a decent grasp on normal verbal stuff that he ought to have. Quite a few of the littler kids weren't exactly sure what I meant by "the same thing" when I confidently introduced the equals sign to them -- it was clear that their families weren't nearly as rigorous and careful with their speech as ours is. A kiddo I was teaching didn't quite know what made a full sentence, which was again a problem I simply had never seen. Lots of kiddos seemed unsure about how to use their fingers to represent numbers, which is something I "teach" by example from the earliest of ages, and yet again was a really unfamiliar problem to me. 

 

23 minutes ago, Condessa said:

My extremely musical cello boy both grasps new techniques and skills faster with less repetition and has an intensely focused, slightly obsessive aspect to his personality that has him working at his practice more intensely and longer than them.

I think the level of obsessiveness is an oft-neglected variable. For instance, both DH and I are high achievers. DD9 isn't any less intelligent than we are, but she's simply not as obsessive (at least about academic stuff) and I can easily imagine her coasting at school and simply not bothering to move ahead. So for her, the level of teaching makes a huge difference.

The fact that she's now basically covered Algebra 1 at age 9 without any undue exertions doesn't mean she'd have EVER done so even with access to materials unless someone worked with her at her pace. Same thing with her reading -- she was incredibly easy to teach to read at age 3, but I doubt she'd have taught herself, because she's not really self-motivated like that, at least not as a little kid (I expect she'll grow into it a bit.)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Jackie said:

Not only are we having overlapping discussions, but I think we aren’t distinguishing between levels of giftedness. I did not teach my child to read early. She asked to learn to read early, and I went over letter sounds and tried to do some beginning teaching, and she appeared to lose interest. At 2.5 years old, I saw something odd in how she was reading her books, and asked her to read a passage in an unfamiliar book to me. She struggled and was slow, but she could do it. By 3.5 years old, she was reading fluently and with inflection, better than many adults I know. She went to a play-based preschool a couple days a week, and the lead teacher (who had been doing this work for over 30 years) had never seen anything like the “story times” my kid held for the other kids. Near the end of 4 years old, she tested at an 8th grade comprehension level.

My contribution to that? Being a moderately involved parent. I taught her letter sounds, played some made up letter sound games if we were in the car, read to her a lot, and listened while she read her way through Bob Books and early readers. Most parents I am friends with do all that, and their kids read at typical ages. They may be a bit advanced, but not like my daughter. That was not teaching. Do not even try to convince me that other kids could do this if they just had a better teacher. That’s complete bullshit.

She was moderately advanced in math. Then she found out about Epsilon Camp, and desperately wanted to go to a camp with other kids “like her”. I explained how the requirement that she complete Algebra made this impossible, as applications would be due in about a year and she was in BA4. She was super disappointed, then asked what was between her and completion of Algebra, and totally effing did it. She took the online AOPS Algebra A and mostly breezed through it at 8 years old. Again, I take absolutely zero credit. In fact, my refrain for that year was “this is your goal, not mine. You can stop at any time. It is not my responsibility to bear your stress or to support you more than I would do for any other class.” She would glare at me, mumble, kick something, and get back to work.

On the other hand, she has ADHD, anxiety, and dysgraphia. These are truly limiting factors that cap her acceleration.

There is a real, solid difference between an NT kid who is accelerated and a gifted kid. And by the time we are discussing some amount of gifted+, the difference is absolutely palpable. And a 2e kid is something else entirely.

I have similar stories. I have run into a lot of people that assume that L's level of acceleration is due to my professional background. The fact is, if I could somehow distill how L learned to read into a method, I'd be a millionaire. Or at least have an endowed chair at some college somewhere. Because, honestly, my kid learned to read, as far as I can tell, by osmosis. Yes, our home was a print-rich environment, and yes, I was pretty deliberate in things like going to the library, I did use ASL pretty much from birth in addition to speech-but at least part of that is that with a kid with oral motor delays such that nursing was an issue, the chance of speech delays was high. The other part of it is that because I have dyspraxia and learned ASL to get around MY speech difficulties, it is very natural for me to sign while speaking, and I normally do it when teaching young children because I've often worked in inclusive settings where there are kids who use ASL-and seeing an adult do it and model it with everyone, not just with them, normalizes it. 

 

But nothing in my professional experience would have led me to expect a kid who was reading signs and asking questions about them before 18 months old. Or was reading books from the college library before reaching kindergarten age. Nothing. This wasn't Engleman or Glenn Doman. This was a kid who, somehow, just did it. 

 

And I am very confident that I could do what I did with L with almost any other child, and they would not learn to read so early, or develop verbal skills so early. 

 

The same happened with math. Basically math through about 5th grade just sort of happened. 

 

All my years of training and grad school went out the window when faced with ONE preschooler. 

 

I still don't feel I have a handle on the way L learns, or that I necessarily did the right things. In many respects, I feel I know less about how kids learn than I did 17 years ago. 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...