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ilovemygirl
09-26-2014, 09:27 AM
I've met several homeschoolers lately who are VERY vocal about how gifted or advanced or ahead their child is. I know it's in a mother's nature to brag a bit but this seems a bit odd to me.
These are not kids that were tested, accepted into MENSA or some other thing. It's just self-declared. Which is fine I guess... but I don't see the need to label them this way. Advanced and gifted is very subjective and isn't one of the great things about homeschooling that you can work at your child's own pace?

Personally, I find that being homeschooled often gives a child the opportunity to excel in the things they are good at/interested in while not feeling bad about things they might not be great at. Having time, support and other advantages does not make a child a genius though .. just fortunate to have those advantages.

I respect that people can say/do anything they want but I will admit it bugs me a little because I opted out of public schooling in part to get away from competitiveness and labels. It's just seems so unnecessary. I wonder if these parents feel they have something to prove since they are homeschooling. I know I felt that way when I first started out with my oldest in the very beginning.

Then, I wonder what the kids think when they are hearing these things. Someone with a 5 year old was going on about how her child is doing all 3rd grade work despite not being able to read at all. Her child and mine were both present. Her child seemed very proud and I could see my daughter trying to figure out how that was possible and/or what that meant for her. It didn't upset her but it very well could have if she was a child that was struggling in her work or was not very confident.

I guess what I'm asking is ... does it seem odd to you that someone would want to place a child on the top of a grading system that doesn't really exist.
Does that make sense? Does anyone else come across this?

Solong
09-26-2014, 10:39 AM
All. the. time. I don't get it either. My advice is to just ignore it. Every child does have gifts and struggles, so why question them? It is especially common in early elementary parents, and seems to dissipate by middle school when the late bloomers catch up. Most parents have the ability to see their child clearly, but they need to gain perspective through interactions with many children. It takes time.

aspiecat
09-26-2014, 10:48 AM
The tendency to overtly brag about one's "gifted" or "academically advanced" homeschooled students isn't really about the kid or how advance they actually may or may not be. It's about the parents who are doing the bragging, as I am sure you're aware, right? There are sooooo many annoying homeschooling mums (some dads too) who go on and on about their gifted kids and how they struggle to find material for said kiddos, and how they can't seem to find "appropriate" playmates ("Oh no, Hector doesn't like playing with kids his age...he prefers to be with older children, as he is so mature." *sigh* give me strength.), and so on. Never mind the fact wee Hector is a pain in the arse and the older kids can't stand him.

These types of parents don't need a grade-level to boast unnecessarily about their academic over-achievers. If they can't use a grade ("Hannah's skipped a grade, you know..."), they'll use age ("Xavier is only six, but he's reading Tolkein every night and LOVING it!" *yeah right*)

hehe

Aspie

RachelC
09-26-2014, 10:49 AM
It doesn't surprise me, but like you, I was hoping that sort of need to rank your child would be less prevalent in the homeschooling world. I have been disappointed to see it just as often.

I have a friend who did this when I first met her by way of introduction when asked how old her son was. She described him in terms of grade levels and subjects, and talked about how hard it was to homeschool him since he was on so many different levels. Didn't make sense to me, as grade levels matter not when you are homeschooling. As I have gotten to know her better, I see now that it was insecurity about how well she was doing as a 'teacher'. I think that's the case with most.

I never, ever brag about my kids' talents or abilities like that, other than to close family who don't live nearby and want to hear all the details. People are regularly surprised when they find out how well mine can read, or whatever, to the point of suspicion- "Hey! You never said he was reading at a <whatever> level!" I just shrug. I think they wonder why I'm not making a big deal about it.

Solong
09-26-2014, 11:09 AM
Lol. My mil was visiting for the last few weeks. After gymnastics class she had to ask, "Do they always brag on and on about their special snowflakes like that?" Yes. Yes, they do. It is kind of wonderful, though, that these children are so loved and adored. Why pop any bubbles?

Then, my mil said, "Well, you don't have to brag about you children. All you have to do is look at them to see that they are exceptional." LOL! Yes, it is good to be seen through rose coloured glasses sometimes.

ikslo
09-26-2014, 11:16 AM
My advice is to just ignore it.

Agree. (10 characters)

BakedAk
09-26-2014, 11:29 AM
Oh, but my children are exceptional! They are geniuses! You can tell by the way they wheedle out of math to play Legos!

Actually, though, I have been the parent asking for recommendations for books with themes appropriate to elementary school and reading level appropriate to high school - and I've realized as I was saying it that people might think I was bragging. I really wasn't, though I might have been insensitive. That was a problem I had. It's not a terrible problem to have, mind you, and I get that, but I still needed something with rich vocabulary that wasn't too mature in theme.

Now I use internet booklists and the kids ask the children's librarians for recommendations.

dbmamaz
09-26-2014, 11:53 AM
No, some people are just competitive even when they breathe. And I think some people think bragging makes you a good parent. My mom used to lie-brag about me, which makes me hate all compliments and praise. For example, I got a perfect math score on the PSAT, so she told anyone who could listen that I got a perfect score on the SAT. I hated that so much. I mean, first of all, why does anyone need to know what score I got on a test, and second of all, are you so disappointed in my actual achievement that you have to lie to make it look better?

Norm Deplume
09-26-2014, 11:59 AM
Actually, though, I have been the parent asking for recommendations for books with themes appropriate to elementary school and reading level appropriate to high school - and I've realized as I was saying it that people might think I was bragging. I really wasn't, though I might have been insensitive. That was a problem I had. It's not a terrible problem to have, mind you, and I get that, but I still needed something with rich vocabulary that wasn't too mature in theme.

I've been there too. I don't intend to brag, but having kids who are out of sync with their peers is an issue, especially in an age of YA romance novels being written at a 5th grade level. (Of course, my homeschooled boy who can read at an adult level currently loathes reading anything other than Calvin & Hobbes or Marvel Comics, so it's really moot.)


When my daughter was 3, another mom I knew bragged that her boy (same age) could count from 1-12 and 16-20. :^o): She wasn't alone in the "my kid is so advanced schtick; it pervades mommy culture. To me it feels like party tricks that parents have their kids to to validate their parenting skillz. "My Susie can identify 128 Pantone colors! She's an artistic genius!" or "Little Percival reads the newspaper's police blotter to me at night while I prepare organic spinach souffle." (Yes, I realize that this makes me sound like I don't like people very much. I may be guilty of that some days)

ejsmom
09-26-2014, 12:13 PM
No, some people are just competitive even when they breathe. And I think some people think bragging makes you a good parent. My mom used to lie-brag about me, which makes me hate all compliments and praise. For example, I got a perfect math score on the PSAT, so she told anyone who could listen that I got a perfect score on the SAT. I hated that so much. I mean, first of all, why does anyone need to know what score I got on a test, and second of all, are you so disappointed in my actual achievement that you have to lie to make it look better?

I get that. Mine can be a bit like that, too. I always feel like who I am, just isn't enough for her. No one is. It's about how you can reflect on her. So any teeny achievement (of mine - or any kid or grandkid) that can be inflated will (in her mind) make her look good to others. Or be used to 'brag' on you so she can put others down a little bit. Just AWFUL.

dbmamaz
09-26-2014, 12:36 PM
Yes, EJ's - that is the point, isnt it. They are using their children to stroke their own egos. That different than asking for help finding curriculum.

alexsmom
09-26-2014, 12:38 PM
Whats the Garrison Keillor quote about Lake Woebegon? *Where all the women are strong, the men are good looking, and every child is above average.*

Or to put it the way one of the judges from ink master put it *The weaker the artist, the louder they cry.*

I just exchange a secret smirk with the invisible devil on my shoulder. Yah, right.

ilovemygirl
09-26-2014, 01:12 PM
Thanks for all the replies. Good to know I'm not alone.

You know, I don't at all mind people talking about curriculum and needing things under or over what the average is for that age. We should support and help each other. We should be able to ask questions and say nice things about our kids .... BUT there's no reason to go around finding ways to bring up how awesome/advanced your kid is for the sake of it.

More to the point, I don't even understand what people are saying sometimes! How can a child "be in" third grade (I'm assuming they're using the equivalent of public school 3rd grade) if they can't read? ... at all! How exactly does being quirky and enjoying legos qualify your child as being labeled gifted? It's just bizarre.

There's a fine line between being proud and bragging, for making conversation and forcing conversation, for just telling it like it is/justly being proud and embellishing to stroke your own ego.

aspiecat
09-26-2014, 01:34 PM
It happens all the time in the regular school environment, too. When we moved from Brisbane to Melbourne mid-2007 (DS had recently turned eight and was in Grade 3...the academic year in Southern Hemisphere runs with the calendar, don't forget), DS was put into a Gr 3 class. I was nervous about this as, until this year, what grade a kid was in in reference to their age depended upon the State they were in. This affected the curriculum as well: DS was doing Gr 3 work in Brisbane (QLD), which equated to Gr 2 work in Melbourne (VIC). Still, the registrar decided DS should go into Gr 3 as she didn't believe me *facepalm*.

So when other parents gradually learned about this, they probed me as to how "gifted" DS was. How did I convince the school to "accelerate" him. What tutoring business he attended after school. What drills I put him through every evening. Wait...wut... LOL

The competitive nature of the parents of this school was amazing and I loathed every moment of it. I was basically ostracised at the end of that year when it got out that DS had received the highest scores on the Gr 3 Maths and Science exams. *shrug*

ElizabethK
09-26-2014, 02:11 PM
Like Aspiecat said above, it happens in all sorts of school settings, not just homeschooling. I've seen it in our short time homeschooling, but it was quite prevalent in my kids' public school environment as well. Parents subtly bringing up that their kids were in the GT program at public school, parents saying that they put their kids in private school because public school wasn't enough, or parents who put their kids in private school so they could skip a grade, only to have them struggle in that higher grade. I saw all of those. But I get it: we pulled our kids out of public school because it wasn't enough for our kids.

So , yes, I think it is a lot of parental posturing. I tell my daughter that she is a smarty pants so she will be excited to do challenging work. Do I think she is a prodigy? No, but I do know that she and her brother have unique gifts that I can foster so much better in a homeschool environment. All of us know that our kids are special in unique ways, sometimes it is just easiest to verbalized that as saying our kids our gifted.

Elly
09-26-2014, 02:18 PM
I think that sometimes people want to validate their choice to homeschool, either by explaining that their kid is too advanced for their grade at school, or that they *have* advanced so much with homeschooling. I think probably there are as many reasons that people do it as there are people. I wonder if, as some people suggested, it's partly a beginner homeschooler thing, when parents maybe aren't deschooled. I feel like the longer DS doesn't go to school, the less I even think about what he might be in school. It's much easier just to focus on him as an individual.

Elly

Teri
09-26-2014, 02:21 PM
Is it competitive to state that I have a child with Dyslexia? Or that someone else has a child on the Spectrum? These labels can be very helpful when working with kids. Having a Gifted kid can go way beyond "bragging". There is a lot of time and energy that goes into working with these kids and, often, the school district cannot deal with them, just like they might have trouble with another "diagnosis".
I get tired of feeling like I have to apologize that I have a Gifted kid. It's not a brag, it's just a fact. Just like I have a kid with dyslexia...it's not a brag, it's a fact.

ejsmom
09-26-2014, 03:11 PM
When you have a kid diagnosed both intellectually gifted and diagnosed with a LD or other challenge (ADD/ADHD, ASD, dysgraphia), commonly referred to by schools as "2E", it really IS difficult. It is confusing. It makes curriculum choices a nightmare. There are people who end up homeschooling because the school could not provide what a child needed, because the was tested as highly gifted. That's what happened to us. I didn't know my kid was considered "gifted". He had many, many challenges and other issues and we were concentrating on those. The very last thing we wanted was anything else outside the norm.

I was very upset when I was told my kid, who already was so outside the norm, was also intellectually different. The school recognized it and tested him and told us they did not have the resources to give him the education he needed. Kids who have been diagnosed as gifted often have a slew problems. It doesn't mean they learn fast, necessarily, though it can. They learn differently. They view the world - math, writing, science - in a completely different way than most ways of teaching those subjects are set up. They often have OCD type tendencies and depression. They often appear odd to other people and their parents know it. They FEEL different and often not in a good way. The kids may be able to understand the concepts of advanced geometry at age 7, but breaking down simple concepts (like regrouping where you "carry") in a math problem is difficult because they can't see that - they are breaking the numbers apart and putting them back together in ways that are atypical for 3rd grade math. So many of those kids actually feel like they are stupid. When you find ways to connect with your kid on his own dimension so he can learn, it helps. I was of the attitude for years that "if he's gifted, then we can do just do regular stuff and it will just be easy or fast for him.". That is SO not how things work.

I bet there are many moms with these different ("gifted") kids who do not mean to sound boastful, though may seem like they are. In many homeschool circles unschooling (or a more unschooly approach) is sometimes the norm and people can be critical when you homeschool in a very structured and academic manner (which works best for some kids). Explaining that a child is gifted may just be their way of explaining that choice to be less unschooly, because that is what their kid needs. Of course, yes, a newbie homeschool thing would be to assure everyone how advanced the child is so that people are not critical of your choice. Why are we as moms so sensitive to others' judgements of how we raise/school our kids? Most the time, it's all imaginary, and not anyone else actually judging.

So many silly debates - Mommy Wars, PS vs. private school vs. homeschool, secular vs. religious, unschool vs. Charlotte Mason vs. Waldorf. Why is that? All the homeschool kids I know are really advanced in some aspect, because they've had the opportunity to go with their strengths and make the most of it.And we all worry about our kids in some way. Most HS kids have the luxury of taking their time in the subjects they struggle with. As HS moms we all struggle with something and we are all tweaking and trying to make sure we do what works best for our kids, and we all doubt ourselves and question everything. We need to support each other. We need a secret handshake for "I may homeschool differently than you do, but I respect your choices and do not judge you."

RachelC
09-26-2014, 03:20 PM
Maybe it's different for me, because I taught for a long time and feel really comfortable with kids at almost all levels and subjects. My kids are gifted, but I have never (honestly never) had a need or situation to tell anyone else about it (other than right here, and conversations like this, I guess).

For example, there is a program we participate in that is segregated by grade level. My daughter is 5, so a kindergartner by age. Fine by me. But this meant her options for this program were to sit in a room for three hours learning the alphabet. She wanted, and I wanted her, to experience the other classes: Art, Karate, Science, etc. To do this, she had to be tested and 'officially' moved into first grade. I shrugged and said sure. The people at the district tried to dissuade me, which I totally get: everybody wants their kid tested and to move up a grade. The test is made especially hard to keep this from happening (especially in kindergarten. It's half day here, and most ppl want their kids in full day, so want them moved up to first grade).
Anyway, I didn't prepare her, other than to tell her it was happening and not to worry about it. Long story short, she passed easily, which resulted in the district people changing their tunes and being all butt-kissy. I am not saying my daughter is gifted based on this one incident; I just wanted to show an example.

The point of my long story is that maybe I can't relate to the need to discuss your child's giftedness because I am so comfortable with gifted kids (and kids in general) that it doesn't make me feel nervous about how to teach or interact with them. Maybe I need to remember that most parents haven't spent countless hours analyzing and practicing how best to teach each and every child ;)

PoppinFresh
09-26-2014, 03:34 PM
Haha. When my son was in public school he was in the gifted class but he didn't want anyone to know it - it embarrassed him. He was also embarrassed when he had to go to assemblies and stand in front of the entire school with the rest of the honor roll kids. Now he'll happily tell anyone who asks that what he really wants to do when he's older is...be a welder! I love it. You should see the looks on the faces of the braggy moms and dads.

ejsmom
09-26-2014, 11:17 PM
Haha. When my son was in public school he was in the gifted class but he didn't want anyone to know it - it embarrassed him. He was also embarrassed when he had to go to assemblies and stand in front of the entire school with the rest of the honor roll kids. Now he'll happily tell anyone who asks that what he really wants to do when he's older is...be a welder! I love it. You should see the looks on the faces of the braggy moms and dads.

I love that! Mine wants to operate a big Caterpillar digger. He wants a PhD in marine biology, too, for his own interest and to contribute to the study of certain marine animals, but mostly he wants to work on huge construction equipment. I just want him to be happy doing what does, and pay his bills.

dbmamaz
09-26-2014, 11:43 PM
And again - there's nothing wrong with being gifted and its not supposed to be a secret, but it really shouldnt be just about the first thing you say when you meet a new homeschooling mom. If it comes up, sure, but these people just cant wait to find an excuse to talk about it - and often its clear the kid is really not gifted, the parents are just wearing rose-colored glasses. Most of the time when I meet people whose kids are doing advanced academics, they really dont offer it unless someone asks them what they are using. And I learned my lesson early on - my youngest was ahead in math and when I started asking on my local group for ideas for how to challenge him in math, I got a lot of "well, no wonder he's unhappy, any first grader would be unhappy if you make him do multiplication with negative numbers" . . . uh, no, he asked for it. So its really not useful to randomly bring it up in the general population because they also cant give good advice. One person did message me off list and help me out, though.

crazyme
09-26-2014, 11:50 PM
.... It doesn't mean they learn fast, necessarily, though it can. They learn differently. They view the world - math, writing, science - in a completely different way than most ways of teaching those subjects are set up. They often have OCD type tendencies and depression. They often appear odd to other people and their parents know it. They FEEL different and often not in a good way. The kids may be able to understand the concepts of advanced geometry at age 7, but breaking down simple concepts (like regrouping where you "carry") in a math problem is difficult because they can't see that - they are breaking the numbers apart and putting them back together in ways that are atypical for 3rd grade math. So many of those kids actually feel like they are stupid. When you find ways to connect with your kid on his own dimension so he can learn, it helps. I was of the attitude for years that "if he's gifted, then we can do just do regular stuff and it will just be easy or fast for him.". That is SO not how things work.

I have tears in my eyes reading your post because that is exactly how it is. I worry constantly over his future and how to get him to adulthood intact and healthy. Sometimes I feel alone in this challenge. We have some good friends that have a daughter that is very bright, but it's within the acceptable norms of society, so they don't really understand.

One of the major reasons we started homeschooling was so that he didn't continually hear how smart he is. It was really damaging to his psyche. It's still there, but I also feel like the effects of it have lessened over our HSing years. I wish I never put him in PS. I wish he never learned he wasn't "normal."

Solong
09-27-2014, 02:43 AM
There are so many definitions of giftedness, which is why I prefer to avoid the topic at group gatherings. Parents are often still coming to terms with and trying to concretely define what a 'gifted' label means for their child and their homeschooling. It does strike me as odd when a parent rejects the public school system, but then uses a ps definition of 'gifted', like IQ or standardized test scores, with confidence. Or, just decides via parental (or grandparental, lol) observations that their child is 'gifted'- very odd.

Renzulli's three-ring conception in children is most indicitive of high-performance/high-achievement in adults. I'm not sure I agree with how 'high-performance' or 'high-achievment' are defined in that model, though. It's ALL very subjective, imo. If the girl has asychronous develoment, she could very well be doing G3 work without being able to read. They would be modifying curricula for her (reading out loud, scribing, etc). Maybe mum is using it at as a conversational opener because she is in search of other parents that have similar struggles? I'd just try to connect with her on other topics, and leave the 'gifted' topic alone, as it doesn't resonate with you.

Teri
09-27-2014, 08:41 AM
Here is my struggle with avoiding the topic. I would never just announce it. However, conversations often flow like this:

Interrogator: How old is your daughter?

Me: 11

I: So, what grade is she in?

M: Well, we homeschool, so grades tend to be kind of fluid.

I: ??????

M: If she were in public school, she would be in 5th grade.

I: Oh, that's cool. (To daughter) Have you started taking any foreign language?

Daughter: Yes, I have taken Chinese for 5 years and I decided to start studying German since we are traveling there soon.

I: Oh, wow, Chinese. So.......did you do anything fun this summer?

D: Oh, yes! I went to Advanced Physics camp at UTD...it was SO MUCH FUN! I just love finding the co-efficient of friction!

I: (Looking sideways at me)

M: (BIG CONFESSION) She tends to be a little ahead of her peers. (APOLOGY) Homeschooling tends to allow us to pursue her interests and strengths.

dbmamaz
09-27-2014, 10:43 AM
Reminds me of this comic: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hhdEqc6HYYI/UIH0KR6Ft1I/AAAAAAAACSw/gX40JCnMFdw/s640/not+so+great+epectations.jpg

My kids, though, will only talk about video games.

Solong
09-27-2014, 10:54 AM
Well, I wouldn't avoid that conversation Teri. I'd love to chat with your daughter at that point.

I think the OP is talking about something very different. When I hear people loudly pronouncing the 'gifted' label at gatherings... I fully admit: I avoid. I'm not gifted. My kids aren't gifted. I don't know what definition they are using when they say 'gifted'. So, I avoid until I hear something more concrete. I talk about other things. My assumption is that they are most likely talking about asynchrony, which usually levels off by middle school. There is an assumption, a most likely AND a usually in that sentence - so, sometimes I'm going to be wrong. Often, though, I'll be right and I don't want to get cornered in an uncomfortable conversation about how 'gifted' they have unilaterally decided their child is. It is the same caution I use around mums in denim jumpers and little girls wearing crucifix earrings.

bibiche
09-27-2014, 11:44 AM
It is the same caution I use around mums in denim jumpers and little girls wearing crucifix earrings.

Is it disturbing or just me showing my age that this is the image I get in my head when I read of girls with crucifix earrings?
http://www.stylezilla.com.au/ckeditor-uploads/images/Cross%20It%20Out/madonna-cross-earrings_02.jpg

But I am guessing that is not the kind of girls you are talking about..? Too bad.

Solong
09-27-2014, 12:17 PM
Right, bibiche. Perfect example of when I would be wrong in employing the profiling method with crucifix earrings. Because we would totally be bffs within the week, and I would be WEARING those borrowed earrings at the next gathering. If, however, I saw these earrings on the little girls I'm talking about? I would gather my children and exit immediately. Never to return. Isn't there a horror movie character like that?

I really don't mean to imply that I avoid gifted people.I just avoid conversations where I lack common ground with the other person. Kwim?

dragonfly
09-27-2014, 12:26 PM
This came across my FB feed today: The Misunderstood Face of Giftedness|Marianne Kuzujanakis (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marianne-kuzujanakis/gifted-children_b_2948258.html)

murphs_mom
09-27-2014, 01:15 PM
THANKS for that, Kara! It is the first thing I've read in quite some time that was pretty much on the mark with what the evaluator told us when DD had her testing done. I think the paragraph below nailed it:

Normal giftedness can be easily confused with a diagnosable mental disorder. Gifted kids may talk a lot, have high levels of energy, and be impulsive or inattentive or distractible in some settings -- similar to symptoms of ADHD. It's not unusual for gifted kids to struggle socially, have meltdowns over minor issues, or have unusual all-consuming interests -- all pointing to an inappropriate diagnosis of autism.

That's my kid. TBH, I wish they'd come up with a much better term than 'gifted'. I love my child, I love watching her learn and get excited over things, but (more often than not) her neuro situation doesn't feel like a gift. Much of what we were told about gifted kids (depression, suicide, addictions, etc.) doesn't feel like a gift.

And I have grown soooo tired of all the individuals out there who feel it's necessary to diagnose my child with an ASD 2 minutes after meeting her. This includes her pediatrician. It never occurs to them that she's indifferent about talking to them because their topic is boring, the book she's reading is more interesting, their questions are inane, and/or there's an activity elsewhere that she'd rather be doing. Get off her back! FFS, WHY do we (as a society) feel it's okay to try and force neuro-atypical kids into acting like neuro-typicals? Why can't we just let them be? It really wasn't this bad when I was a kid. I know it wasn't. There were lots of 'odd' kids in my school when growing up. Sh*t, I was one of them sometimes. NO one was sending us off for testing, therapies, interventions, or whatever. We were left to our own devices. I just wish folks would leave DD be. Everyone who really knows her (that would be the folks who've spent more than 30min w/her and actually engaging her) says she is fine. Quirky, but fine.

I think I'm going to print out Kara's linked article and mail it to DD's pediatrician. It's his turn to do some reading, methinks.

PoppinFresh
09-27-2014, 02:09 PM
Yep, exactly that. I don't care what he ends up doing as long as he's happy and can support himself. I actually have a very good friend, who is very smart and holds a PhD from a top university, who, for the last 20 years, has been making his living by delivering pizza. While, to some, it might sound like a lack of ambition for a 50 year old man to be delivering pizza by choice, he's happy and can fully support himself financially. Plus, this job allows him time to enjoy his many hobbies.


I just want him to be happy doing what does, and pay his bills.

Accidental Homeschooler
09-27-2014, 02:21 PM
I agree with Carolyn, that was a good summary article Kara. Yeah, giftedness isn't that much of a "gift" sometimes. It often plays out as more of a burden. When dd16 was in ps she was tagged for the gifted program. I went to the parents' meeting and they talked about the difference between high achievers and gifted kids. Being a high achiever sounded like a much better deal all the way around.

dbmamaz
09-27-2014, 03:13 PM
My school district does not distinguish between gifted and high achievers. the gifted program in the lower grades is only open to kids who score high on tests and behave well, and by middle school the only thing available for gifted kids is a resource room / lounge.

And again - there's a big difference between being honest when asked what your kids are doing academically and introducing your kids as gifted to someone you dont know.

Accidental Homeschooler
09-27-2014, 04:48 PM
Here is the table they gave us at the parent meeting, high achievers, gifted learner and creative thinker were the categories.

High Achiever, Gifted Learner, CreativeThinker (http://www.bertiekingore.com/high-gt-create.htm)

murphs_mom
09-27-2014, 06:24 PM
I shared Kara's link with a HS friend elsewhere and she sent me this one: Who Is Currently Identified as Gifted in the United States?|Scott Barry Kaufman (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-barry-kaufman/who-is-currently-identifi_b_1184076.html?fb_action_ids=102050797034 22344&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B10150573587742053%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D)

Can tenacity be taught? I think that this giftedness without tenacity of any sort means squat. DD lacks tenacity at times and I've wondered if trying to teach her to stick with things (seriously...teaching her to tie her shoelaces had me ready to ship her off to an asylum for whiny children) is an exercise in futility. Kid is bright, but can be incredibly lazy at times. :-/

Accidental Homeschooler
09-27-2014, 06:34 PM
I think that was the thing about high achievers, they are willing to do the work and excel. It was a stupid meeting actually. Before we went we had to fill out a really stupid questionnaire too. "Does your child have unusual interests?" I described dd's collection of plumbing hardware lol. She was loving all things copper and tube shaped. But she didn't care about what they were for or ever do anything with them except collect them lol. But it was sort of unusual for an eight year old girl. The thing was, a lot of kids would have benefited from the gifted program classes and been able to participate just fine , but only the kids who tested into it could participate. It had a very elitist vibe, that meeting.

wolfejj
09-27-2014, 08:32 PM
We are living the 2E experience here too. I agree with the article stating that districts are talking the talk, but not walking the walk. I think it is about money for some districts - perhaps they feel they might lose funding unless they have "results" from the gifted program, and it is just plain easier to find high achieving students and use their prolific output as "proof" that the program works. My DS was in the PS highly capable program for a while, but it became clear rather quickly that it was geared much more toward high achievers than quirky or more difficult gifted kids - despite the district distributing one of those "highly gifted vs. high achiever" handouts to the parents. In our district there is a lot of economic diversity in the population, but the higher income neighborhoods somehow have a much higher proportion of highly capable students, too - there are something like 5 HC schools on the Southern end of the city but only 1 on the Northern side. The inability to find an appropriate program for my 2E son is a primary reason that we homeschool. I do wish there was a different word than "gifted" though - it is such a loaded word and really does not do justice to the different ways that these kids experience the world, or the difficulties that they sometimes face. I try to avoid that word when speaking with other parents, unless it becomes necessary to apply within a snarky response to something obnoxious, lol. Tenacity definitely does not come naturally to my kiddo, but it is something I am trying to teach - albeit slowly and somewhat indirectly. It's ironic that much of the research that districts use to support gifted program funding basically indicates that gifted kids need appropriate challenges to work through so that they learn how to study and don't become lazy.

LadyMondegreen
09-28-2014, 03:26 AM
I think that sometimes people want to validate their choice to homeschool, either by explaining that their kid is too advanced for their grade at school, or that they *have* advanced so much with homeschooling. I think probably there are as many reasons that people do it as there are people. I wonder if, as some people suggested, it's partly a beginner homeschooler thing, when parents maybe aren't deschooled. I feel like the longer DS doesn't go to school, the less I even think about what he might be in school. It's much easier just to focus on him as an individual.

Elly
In my experience, the people who bring up their kids' academic achievements as a way to validate their choice to homeschool have bright but not exceptionally gifted kids. These kids would likely do well in any educational setting, so I can understand why some parents feel like they need to let everyone know how much better their kids are doing at home than they would be in public school. But, when I discuss homeschooling with parents of exceptionally/profoundly gifted kids, they tend to gauge their success as a homeschooler based on how their kids are doing emotionally rather than academically.

ElizabethK
09-28-2014, 09:33 AM
I also wonder if the school system perpetrates a false concept of being 'gifted' due to the GT program. Like the article posted indicated, our public school's GT program largely identified students who were high achievers and bright. They got good grades and were good test takers. The program also created an academic segregation that truly does not serve the larger student population. I think most of the kids at the school could have benefited from the projects the GT program offered, not just the GT kids.

So I think the the public school of gifted probably affects society's idea of what is gifted, and it's a very different measurement from one that would include some of the amazing kids mentioned by the moms in the thread.

ejsmom
09-28-2014, 11:19 AM
I shared Kara's link with a HS friend elsewhere and she sent me this one: Who Is Currently Identified as Gifted in the United States?*|*Scott Barry Kaufman (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-barry-kaufman/who-is-currently-identifi_b_1184076.html?fb_action_ids=102050797034 22344&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B10150573587742053%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D)

Can tenacity be taught? I think that this giftedness without tenacity of any sort means squat. DD lacks tenacity at times and I've wondered if trying to teach her to stick with things (seriously...teaching her to tie her shoelaces had me ready to ship her off to an asylum for whiny children) is an exercise in futility. Kid is bright, but can be incredibly lazy at times. :-/

Is actually that she doesn't WANT to do something that she is capable of doing (laziness), or is that she fears doing something that is difficult, that she may get wrong, or struggle with? That perfectionism and overwhelming fear of failure often holds back kids like we are discussing here. When they can just "get" things so easily most of the time, they are unfamiliar with how to go about learning when something takes time, practice, and is not instantly picked up.

alexsmom
09-28-2014, 12:06 PM
Normal giftedness can be easily confused with a diagnosable mental disorder. Gifted kids may talk a lot, have high levels of energy, and be impulsive or inattentive or distractible in some settings -- similar to symptoms of ADHD. It's not unusual for gifted kids to struggle socially, have meltdowns over minor issues, or have unusual all-consuming interests -- all pointing to an inappropriate diagnosis of autism.


What kid does that not describe? At least every boy I know would fit that description.

Theres a difference between bragging that your kid is gifted out of the blue, and the sincere mentioning of it during a relevant conversation about your kid. I have a friend on the east coast with a very bright boy and was in a public charter school for 'gifted' kids. While discussing making friends, she says to me *its really hard for him to make friends because he spends all day with 6th graders studying (whatever) but socially he wants to be playing Ninjago.*

But I think way too many people want to label their kids as gifted (a euphamism for *superior* imo). As parents we know our kids are amazing. As homeschool parents we should know that so much of whats considered *advanced* happens to be what we have taught to our kids. Going forth and not hindering our kids natural tendencies is wonderful, but it doesnt make them some sort of intellectually advanced human. Are there prodigies? Yes. Some kids have an amazingly uncanny ability to understand some things. But at the end of the day (or beginning) they still put their pants on one leg at a time.

I was raised being told how smart and gifted I was, I did all the public school gifted programs and the advanced placement classes in high school and it was all super easy for me. And at the end of it I had delusions of grandeur about how I was so much smarter than *average* people like those who had to go to community college *snicker snicker*. Getting those delusions of grandeur checked earlier in my life wouldve made me a better person sooner.
I tell my son hes wonderful, and really good at math, and it amazes me that he seems to have his own way of getting the right answers and quickly. But I dont want him thinking hes better or smarter than his friends. And labeling him as *gifted* would be giving him those sorts of ideas.
But thats my feeling. ;) Sorry for the long rant.

murphs_mom
09-28-2014, 01:28 PM
And labeling him as *gifted* would be giving him those sorts of ideas. But thats my feeling. ;) Sorry for the long rant.

Glad you brought this up. We have never told DD what her IQ score was when we had testing done, and we've never told her that they labeled her as gifted. At that time, we told her that we were going to have some tests done to help us figure out how she learns best. The evaluator said some stuff in front of her ("She's smarter than the average person and always will be.", "She'll have a hard time finding others who are like her.", "As IQ goes up, quirkiness tends increase also...and she's quite quirky.") that I really wish she hadn't, but we chatted afterward with DD about it and were able to deflate some of those statements. Kid still has a big ego. Too big. She doesn't like being wrong and it does happen that she's wrong sometimes. I wish doctors and other professionals would learn to keep their yappers shut in front of my child. Positive news or negative, it doesn't matter. Until she's much older (maybe 14yo and up), we're going to buffer what she hears.

I still say that going for testing was a good thing. It less us know that we weren't imagining her learning abilities (people thought we were just projecting our desire for her to read well...that she wasn't actually reading or comprehending), that we weren't pushing her (too many folks were criticizing us...thought we were strapping her to a chair 20hr a day and forcing her to work), and that we were in the ballpark when it came to the materials we were using for her (she was working 2 grade levels above what she'd be doing in PS, she was pushing for more, and it was freaking me out). It isn't, however, a lot of info I would have wanted DD to hear or know about. I don't see too many benefits to a kid knowing their IQ or that they are labeled.

We did have a conversation with her that acknowledged that, yes, she does learn some things more quickly than other kids, but we're quick to remind her that they can do some stuff better than she can: run, ride a bike, jump rope, sing, etc. We've let her know that she's just a bit different than other kids, that everyone is different in some way, and that we love her just the way she is. She gets told, almost daily, that NO ONE is perfect...we all make mistakes.

Free Thinker
09-28-2014, 01:33 PM
We are new to HSing, but the delusions of grandeur as a PP mentioned are one reason we have decided to HS. My oldest is the only one we have had tested, and she did fall into the 'gifted' range and was in the gifted program for school. It is so hard getting other parents to understand that Gifted does not mean smarter, or that they get their work done quickly without effort. It's a LOT of work to parent a gifted kid. Mine is what I call a context learner- she needs to know ALL the information, and the bits that the PS gives is never enough. I have had to supplement history and science all thru her PS experience, and that's a lot of hard work! She also has a hard time w/ peers, always has. SHe's a great kid, but sometimes does not understand why the other kids do not connect the dots like she does. She understand things that other kids do not, and her interests are a lot different, too. What I have noticed in the last 2 years is that she has 'dimmed' her light, to be more like peers. It's sad. We are hoping that HSing will help her to be able to move at her own pace, but right now I don't even know what that means. She is loving our history program, HO, and I don't feel the need to supplement it b/c we have such great conversations about stuff. We just started RSO Biology 2, and I think the labs are going to be so much fun for her, and I hope the explanations will be enough. If not, I have a college biology book she has always enjoyed reading. I have had other parents say things thru the years, at school, about how wonderful it must be to have such a smart kid- they have NO idea! It's a lot of work. Being gifted does not mean you are smart. My DD is bored- and she's been getting 98-99%s her entire school career. I look back and wish I had decided to HS sooner, but it just wasn't an option for our family at other times like it is now. Schools (at least ours) do not offer that 'extra' that she needs. Kids w/ special needs get their needs taken care of by teachers and aids, but Gifted kids get left to just sit while the rest of the class learns stuff they have known for years. To me, the label of 'gifted' means not typical, or asynchronous, in their learning abilities. I think that in order to qualify at school, the IQ tests have to say a certain number. I have no plans to test my other kids, but I am pretty certain that they are gifted as well. As a new HSer, I am really scared to take them beyond the level of book they are in now. I am okay w/ history and science, but the reading, math, ect. that is more than a grade or two beyond them makes me worry they will miss something. If I were to tell you that my child is gifted, or I sense that they may be gifted, I am telling you that I do not think some of what I am seeing is typical, and I am asking what your opinion is. I only see my own kids, so I do not know what 'normal' may be for others. I am not trying to compare my kid or one-up you. I'm just asking for advice on what to do with my kid. So, just another perspective :)

FWIW, the G-word is something that, as a parent, I really do not try to throw around. I find other parents sort of stiffen up, and are not comfortable with it or feel threatened by it. I've tried using 'advanced' and gotten the same response. When I first started talking to some HS moms about possibly HSIng a few years ago, it was clear pretty quickly that their kids did not have the same needs mine did. Notice I used the word NEED, because it is a need for kids like mine. THey would not be happy with simple explanations, or just coloring a picture. It has been really hard to try to get my HSing stuff together, but I think I've done a good job for my first year! We are still tweaking, but I think overall that the kids are all happy.

murphs_mom
09-28-2014, 01:35 PM
Is actually that she doesn't WANT to do something that she is capable of doing (laziness), or is that she fears doing something that is difficult, that she may get wrong, or struggle with?

It depends upon the situation and time. For the shoelaces, it was initially frustration because she wasn't learning it as quickly as she wanted. After she was starting to get the hang of it and could do it, suddenly she didn't want to be bothered with the task. It was "too boring". She finds menial tasks (laces, hair brushing, sorting laundry, putting away groceries) to be fascinating and fun to do for about 2min. Once she's figured out that there's no big learning curve or fun to it, she wants no part of it. Expects others to do it because it's no fun for her. Disinterested. Some stuff requires physical oomph but no real mental challenge (pulling weeds, for example). She's intrigued to do the activity once or twice and then she's done. Because it's "too hard" (said with full whine). That's the laziness creeping out.

I've asked her who's going to vacuum the floor, do the dishes, hang the laundry, and water the garden when she grows up if all those things are too boring. Without missing a beat, she told her it would be her husband's job. According to her, she's having three babies and will leave them at home with dad while she goes off to work. I hope I live long enough to meet this man. :rolleyes:

dbmamaz
09-28-2014, 01:43 PM
I tell my kids they are smart - partly because they feel so dumb when they dont get things right away, I want them to know that thats not it. But I also tell them it doesnt do you any good if you dont do the work. The first two were IQ tested - first one was tested to get in to a gifted school, which we quit after the first year. The second was tested twice as part of his evaluations when he was struggling - one had him in the gifted range and the other had him in the . . whatever is right below that. But struggled with just dealing with the frustrations and structures of school, obviously my son struggled a lot more than my daughter.

I havent tested the last one. for anything. But he's clearly pretty smart and very different. I dont expect he will do particularly well in school because i dont think it will be a goal of his. He just wants to do things he thinks are 'cool'.

But i also think its more about meeting their needs. I mean, my kids are not interested in academic topics. My daughter taught herself to draw and to do web programming because those are what interested her. My youngest likes game programming a lot. The middle one . . uh . . . uh . . . well .. . idk. Dh told me last night that Orion is not as smart as I think he is. Mmm, maybe you dont understand what I mean when I say smart. Dh IS genius level IQ and does not call anyone smart unless they are at least as smart as he is.

melissa
09-28-2014, 03:31 PM
Is actually that she doesn't WANT to do something that she is capable of doing (laziness), or is that she fears doing something that is difficult, that she may get wrong, or struggle with? That perfectionism and overwhelming fear of failure often holds back kids like we are discussing here. When they can just "get" things so easily most of the time, they are unfamiliar with how to go about learning when something takes time, practice, and is not instantly picked up.

Yep, that is my ds to a tee.

RachelC
09-28-2014, 11:17 PM
The tenacity you're talking about can't be taught, exactly, but it can be developed. First, model it yourself, obviously. Talk about when something is challenging for you, and when you've failed, and how you feel about it, and what you plan to try next.

The second part is more important and more difficult. Get rid of all the unchallenging 'educational' stuff you're doing: workbooks, textbooks, online programs. They perpetuate the problem in so many ways. The child is bored by them, and is learning that dreaded equation smart = easy. I am smart if I can do things easily. If something is difficult, that would mean I'm not smart. I shrink from anything that is hard because it might out me as not as smart as everyone thinks I am. I tell ya, THAT is a giant part of why I hate these labels.
You don't have to worry about what your child does for play. They usually choose challenges, naturally. Also, don't demand that they read challenging books. Let them pick what they like. That works itself out, too. As far as 'curriculum' or whatever, find some things that truly challenge your child. Then, do them together. Help. It isn't a test, and your child gets plenty from working it out with you. It doesn't have to be solo. Let your child guide when possible, and definitely let your child (and you) get it wrong, and struggle, very often. Your child should be having to work out solutions, and getting things wrong at first pass, most of the time. That is when true learning and growth occurs. Every great mind (inventor, writer, artist, etc.) failed many more times than they succeeded.
Once he/she has gotten over a bit of the fear of failure, mainly from sheer repetition of the experience, he will likely take on some of the challenges himself. Don't make requirements for the progress, but it's okay to make some requirements for time spent working. Make it fun! Like I said, do it together if needed. This is called scaffolding, and can be slowly removed, incrementally, as your child is ready.

You can help a child learn to embrace challenges. It takes patience and planning, and letting go of standards a bit, but if you have a truly gifted learner on your hands, then you should know that he/she can learn an enormous amount in a very short amount of time. Don't be worried about falling behind.

murphs_mom
09-29-2014, 12:22 AM
...but if you have a truly gifted learner on your hands, ...

Aw, crap. Well there's the problem (facepalm): I've got one of those fake gifted learners.

Solong
09-29-2014, 12:29 AM
This topic obviously hit a nerve. What I'm getting from the thread is that the WORDS 'gifted' and 'advanced' have no standard definition. Even some of the links have discrepancies. I'm more likely than ever to give wide berth to the words at group events.

Labels without (shared!) meaning don't help. Sometimes just being specific about a child's needs is enough, without the label. I could tell you that my dd has dermatitis herpetiformis, but do you really want a 20 minute lesson in immunology? Of course not. It's a one hour coop class and both of our kids will need help at some point. It is enough for me to say that she is on a medical gluten free diet. If I announce that my ds has anisometropic amblyopia, are you ready to debate the current best practices of pediatric ophthalmology? I don't even like spelling the word 'ophthalmology', and he's my kid. I'll just mention that it is important to protect his left eye, because that is the only one he can sort-of see with.

"My kid is gifted" is just not a great opener. IMO.

murphs_mom
09-29-2014, 02:04 AM
So if I have a t-shirt made up that says "My little sh*t is smarter than your little sh*t", that would be considered ill-mannered? Man, I'm just never gonna get all the nuances of this socialization stuff. No wonder my kid has issues with it. Genetics. It's a bitch.

Peace out, ya'll.

Accidental Homeschooler
09-29-2014, 06:55 AM
I think it often comes up when the subject moves to "why" you decided to home school. And the "why" question does tend to come up pretty quickly, in my experience anyway. And after explaining it a few times, people might just be looking to get it out of the way and bringing it up too soon. That would be my nicest explanation for it. And why not give people the benefit of the doubt on this one and let it go. Lots of us are insecure about the decision to hs, especially initially. And as Carolyn pointed out, some of us struggle a bit with social skills too, just like our kids lol and so I just let it pass. I do think gifted kids (by whatever definition you want to use) are over represented among hsers, as well as kids with learning differences. And the kids described as "creative learners" in the link I had earlier in this thread, are, I am betting, over represented too, any kid who is likely to fail spectacularly in a ps classroom. I guess this would mostly be the case for people like me who tried ps and had it fail for their kids.

I actually have a harder time with the hs "zealots", as I think of them. They are the ones who never even considered putting their kids in ps and can't understand why anyone would lol, well, anyone who really loves their kids and cares about their education. I would way rather hear how brilliant your little genius is than about the damage one year of ps does to a child's curiosity and love of learning...

hockeymom
09-29-2014, 08:58 AM
I'm late to the party, but I have to say, AH, that I loved the link you posted. Of course there is overlap (as stated), but it's really spot on.

Basically, people talk about it either to boost themselves up (which undeniably happens in unwarranted cases), or because they are so damn lonely/frustrated that they are searching for anyone who might commiserate with the challenges of raising a gifted kid. If you don't understand how that can be, then you aren't raising one. Simple as that.

I think this entire conversation shows the gross misunderstandings between high achievers and giftedness. As has been pointed out, the misunderstandings and misdiagnosis are perpetuated in the public schools, where kids who can write pretty cursive and get good marks end up in so-called GT classes (or more likely an hour every week or two). The parents are so proud that their snowflakes get to take a little field trip or collect water bugs in the creek "for observation" as a reward for being smart, but the reality is that those "enrichment" opportunities are still completely missing the mark for truly gifted kids. In general, we think of the straight A students as gifted, reassure ourselves that "all kids have gifts!", and end up not understanding the conversation.

BakedAk
09-29-2014, 12:33 PM
I hit the like button about a billion times while reading this, even though I guess people were arguing a little. There are so many comments that I'd like to add my 2 cents to, but talking about "giftedness" always leaves me a little verklempt, because I remember all too well the feeling of being a complete fraud - how can people think I'm smart when my work is such crap? I don't want that for my kids.

Whatever we label or don't label our kids, however we blunder through conversations with other moms (braggy or curious or socially inept), we are all working on finding the best way for them to learn. If I remember that mistakes are good, that we learn from imperfection, I might stress about this less. I know it's off-topic, but I wonder how to teach that lesson when I never really learned it myself?

dbmamaz
09-29-2014, 12:43 PM
Oh, Melissa, I'm definitely having one of those days why I wonder why I ever had kids when I'm pretty sure I did everything wrong

Solong
09-29-2014, 01:06 PM
It's gone a bit sideways in places, but it is a worthwhile conversation for me. Much easier to have here vs @ gymnastics or art class - so, my thanks to those willing to participate.

I am not raising a gifted child. I totally DO believe that all children have gifts. I also think that some have bigger learning differences than others, and I've always considered the 'gifted'/'advanced' label as just that - a learning difference. These are my built-in biases, but I'm still open to discussing them further.

How do mums of 'gifted' kids respond to this opener? Where do you go after, "My child is gifted."?? Other than your internal happy place?

dbmamaz
09-29-2014, 01:11 PM
How do mums of 'gifted' kids respond to this opener? Where do you go after, "My child is gifted."?? Other than your internal happy place?
You mean if a random person begins a conversation that way or injects it in where it doesnt really fit? I just smile and say "Oh" and try to sound vaguely interested without inviting any further discussion.

Now, if they say something along the lines of, we are having trouble finding a math curriculum becasue he says its all too easy - then I'm happy to talk about math curriculum options.

i was labeled as gifted as a kid and 2 of my 2E kids have been in gifted programs at different schools. And while I think it should have a real meaning, its not a word I use much, and someone who uses it out front and out of context is just not someone I expect to enjoy hanging out with.

And while sometimes thats because they are likely very competitive people, its equally likely because my bright-but-super-quirky kids are NOT defined by their achievements, and most truly gifted kids have no patience for my kids weirdnesses, they just want other kids who actually enjoy talking about academics.

That was what I loved about the last college I attended full time - at Penn State, kids would be in class talking about how much they puked over the weekend, but at New College, kids would be gathered around the keg talking about what they were working on

Solong
09-29-2014, 01:31 PM
Perhaps I should've just stuck with my own advice in my first post in this thread? idk. It does all seem to boil down to self-segregation/inclusion-exclusion. I'm happier just floating around and bumping into different people, without getting too invested in one person or group in particular.

My other bias is that I was 'labeled' so many times as a child. We moved each year or two, and the labels adults slapped on me varied wildly. My conclusion was that adults really don't know wth they are talking about when they assess a child's ability or potential. Also, that they are too heavily invested in the labels themselves (looking at you, ma). That was a long time ago, but I'm still very skeptical of labels. Very, very skeptical.

ETA: I think that being cool with mistakes and failure were the sunny side of my childhood. I stopped caring about 'looking dumb', or 'sounding stupid', decided that other peoples expectations were meaningless to me. Of course, my skin is now SO thick that I am often socially lost. I'm cool with that too for the most part, though.

So, if you want to be able to celebrate mistakes? Take risks, fail often, callous your ego and be able to laugh while you are the target of major stink eye.

Accidental Homeschooler
09-29-2014, 01:54 PM
It's gone a bit sideways in places, but it is a worthwhile conversation for me. Much easier to have here vs @ gymnastics or art class - so, my thanks to those willing to participate.

I am not raising a gifted child. I totally DO believe that all children have gifts. I also think that some have bigger learning differences than others, and I've always considered the 'gifted'/'advanced' label as just that - a learning difference. These are my built-in biases, but I'm still open to discussing them further.

How do mums of 'gifted' kids respond to this opener? Where do you go after, "My child is gifted."?? Other than your internal happy place?

Lol How about, "Oh, I'm sorry." Or "Really! How many therapists are you seeing? We are down to just one now."

hockeymom
09-29-2014, 02:43 PM
How do mums of 'gifted' kids respond to this opener? Where do you go after, "My child is gifted."?? Other than your internal happy place?

I've only ever heard it fom public school moms who (pretend like they aren't trying to) brag that their kiddo is in the GT class at school. The only polite thing to do is say oh, that's great, and move the conversation on.

I'm sure I've looked like a total jackass when talking about DS, either if I incorrectly size up my companion or if I'm having a particularly challenging day/month. I would never start a convo "hey! My kid is gifted!" but it's probably come out that way. I'm honestly over having to apologize for the fact of it though, or of admitting its challenges.

I'm not sure what you mean by "internal happy place", though, in the context of said hypothetical conversation?

dbmamaz
09-29-2014, 02:45 PM
Seriously, wish I had an internal happy place. I assume she means when you write off whatever the person said and ignore it.

Kinda like the whole Alot article - I love that - Hyperbole and a Half: The Alot is Better Than You at Everything (http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html)

Accidental Homeschooler
09-29-2014, 03:52 PM
I like that alot Cara!

What I wish is not for a happy place. I wish for a time machine so I could go back and tell my past self what to do differently and WHY. I wish parenting was not such a learn on the job kind of experience.

dbmamaz
09-29-2014, 04:24 PM
Seriously. I have 2 that are no longer kids and still dont think I know what I'm doing.

Accidental Homeschooler
09-29-2014, 05:19 PM
Seriously. I have 2 that are no longer kids and still dont think I know what I'm doing.

That is because all the hard won wisdom you get from raising the first one doesn't apply to the second one, and I am assuming the third, though I don't have a third. Maybe if you have enough of them there is some overlap, I don't know, like six or eight maybe lol. Maybe by the time you are in Duggar territory they start repeating.

dbmamaz
09-29-2014, 05:36 PM
I still like to believe that people who come from more uniform stock (like 90% of your relatives are from the same country or something) and have no mental health issues (instead of our 3 or 4) will have more consistent kids - kids who are all pretty much like each other, like mom and dad and all the cousins. But most of us arent so lucky.

ejsmom
09-29-2014, 07:33 PM
Not only am I unsure my child is actually from my DNA, I'm not sure he's of this planet most of the time.

hockeymom
09-29-2014, 07:51 PM
Kinda like the whole Alot article - I love that - Hyperbole and a Half: The Alot is Better Than You at Everything (http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html)

Thanks for tomorrow's grammar lesson! :)

BakedAk
09-29-2014, 08:04 PM
I'm not sure he's of this planet most of the time.

I say that about my DH.

Norm Deplume
09-29-2014, 09:10 PM
I've only ever heard it fom public school moms who (pretend like they aren't trying to) brag that their kiddo is in the GT class at school.

Our state completely cut GT funding, so our school district followed suit. So PS moms here are sometimes really not bragging-- they're pissed that their non-average student is either completely ignored or worse, put in the inclusion class with the kids with learning disabilities. I know a lot of folks humblebrag about their special snowflakes, but I've seen how horrible it can be when the school isn't even a little equipped to deal with kids who can think/learn way beyond their classmates.

aspiecat
09-30-2014, 08:42 AM
Seriously, wish I had an internal happy place. I assume she means when you write off whatever the person said and ignore it.

Kinda like the whole Alot article - I love that - Hyperbole and a Half: The Alot is Better Than You at Everything (http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html)

LOL - whenever we see a commercial on the telly for Save A Lot, DH and I both intone "Save Alot!" - pronounced "A-lit" - coz you know...the sign and all that...

aspiecat
09-30-2014, 10:04 AM
The local high school here is absolutely NOT able to deal with kids who test out at having a high IQ. DH hated being called "gifted" simply because he had the highest IQ the county had ever seen. Thing is, he is gifted at Math - he was reading high school Math books when he was four years old - but he is also good at anything academic, simply because his brain soaks up information like the proverbial sponge. He has an eidetic memory, to make things "worse". So his classmates who were labelled as gifted at other subjects were still not as good at those subjects as DH - he aced every subject every grade-level (unless he deliberately got a lower score, which he did to piss teachers off from time to time LOL) without any effort, and that brought doubt into how "gifted" those other kids were.

This experience of DH's is a great example of how the label "gifted" gets thrown around willy-nilly. A high IQ does not equate to being gifted, not in my book. Having a natural inclination towards something does, however. I consider Lydia Ko, the NZ teen golfer who took the word by storm in recent years, to be gifted. I do not know her academic successes, nor her IQ - but she is a talented golfer. I consider Sandra Bullock a gifted actor but again, although she had an eclectic education, she is not gifted in the academic sense. However, both these women are not always going to surpass everyone, and most certainly many people would disagree with me about Ms Bullock.

"Giftedness" is so thrown about as a term that I fear it's lost it's true meaning. We are brainwashed into thinking it means a high IQ and able to ace standardised tests at school. We are to believe it means a sure-fire way to a successful career and life; that this person will love being gifted, will be motivated, tenacious and, above all, ALWAYS be better than almost anyone else.

Aspie

dbmamaz
09-30-2014, 10:48 AM
Actually, in the academic world, gifted DOES mean a high IQ and a different style of learning academic material.

Accidental Homeschooler
09-30-2014, 11:34 AM
There are a lot of ways to be gifted that can't be measured. I mean, there are gifted athletes, dancers, musicians, painters, poets, sculptors....

But being gifted in academic areas like math or language can be measured. Measurements aren't perfect but I don't think they are useless either. The ps here and the University's program for gifted children have different percentile cut offs too, for what they call gifted. The University program says the top 6% and the PS said the top 4% but I am thinking PS just wanted to limit services to fewer kids because of money. But really, what would be the difference between a child who tested at the 93rd percentile and one who tested at the 92nd percentile? There would be no difference of any significance in their educational needs. And in our school district a child who is gifted in one arena and struggled in others would not be eligible for the G&T program, even if, for example, they were off the charts in math. In the district my sister's kids are in they have two G&T program tracks and students can be eligible for one or both.

If every child were looked at as an individual, as you really can do with hsing, then testing could still be helpful in planning. It just would not be used to label and sort. And that is what I see as the whole problem. The testing information is used to sort and allocate resources and that makes it competitive and judgments about value/rank start creeping in. At least with grades, a bright hard working student can do well, they have some control. IQ tests make a judgement about you (or your child, which is even harder to take) that you have not control over and so, especially when being used to allocate resources, just feel mean. And because they can never capture the whole person, and aren't intended to, they are sending a message about what is important. Only things that can be measured are important and that is, of course, so not true. IQ does not predicts happiness, or even success. And yet it has all this weight.

aspiecat
09-30-2014, 11:35 AM
That's what I mean, Cara: why should the academic world dictate what giftedness is? There are many, MANY kids who are gifted academically but they do not test out well in cognitive tests. And my husband was constantly told he was gifted in ALL academic areas when in fact it was only one - Mathematics. He happened to have more fun in Biology (studied micro-biology at university), hated History and English, and tolerated everything else. Yet his critical thinking in all academic areas surpassed every other kid he came across in not only classes but also academic meets - to the extent other district, regional and state academic teams asked he not be allowed to take part in competition...he would answer all the questions for his team 100% of the time and 100% correctly, no matter the topic. (I ought to add he didn't care that it was bad form LOL.)

He was, however - and remains - only gifted naturally in Mathematics. It just so happens he appears gifted in other academic areas because he really was always better than everyone else he came across. The school couldn't see that - no surprise, though. Schools have redefined "giftedness" in a way that is totally wrong, IMO.

dbmamaz
09-30-2014, 12:31 PM
I still think you are confounding giftedness and passion here. Just because he doesnt care about the subjects doesnt make him not gifted.

Norm Deplume
09-30-2014, 06:45 PM
And in our school district a child who is gifted in one arena and struggled in others would not be eligible for the G&T program, even if, for example, they were off the charts in math.

And kids who are 2E are sometimes ignored by both the G&T people and the LD people. DS is in the gifted range in verbal ability, but his processing speed is WAY lower than it "should" be, and his working memory isn't great either. But because those two things kinda cancel each other out, grade-wise, in school, neither his gifts nor his needs were going to be addressed.

Aroura
10-02-2014, 07:48 PM
I am sure I am guilty of this sometimes, but I also find it annoying so I do try to avoid it. If I do, it is the sort that happens accidentally while seeking help looking for materials as others here have mentioned.

My husband, however, does this annoying trick thing all the time. My daughter became very interested in dinosaurs at about 2-1/2 or 3, and she loved to say all their names and know all their features. My husband would have her recite this stuff to strangers in the grocery store and anyone who would listen. He also taught her a few big words and their meanings, like onomatopoeia, and have her recite that to strangers while bragging about her intelligence, while I cringed inwardly and tried my best to ignore it all. I probably should have spoken up, but he's very alpha when he is talking and does not tolerate interruptions.

At first she would do it with all the pride a 3 year old could muster. By the time she was around 5, she started refusing to do his little show. I could see she had begun to resent being shown off like a prized animal doing tricks. At this point I did step in and point out that she did not seem to want to do it anymore, so why push her? He is a little more relaxed about bragging about her now, but only a little. It is completely an insecurity thing! The only person he brags about more than her is himself. He just requires constant ego stroking to feel ok about himself.
This all sounds terrible, but he is a wonderful man, this is just a flaw, and one that seems pretty common, so I accept it, even if it does still make me wince a tiny bit inwardly.

Accidental Homeschooler
10-03-2014, 09:12 AM
I am sure I am guilty of this sometimes, but I also find it annoying so I do try to avoid it. If I do, it is the sort that happens accidentally while seeking help looking for materials as others here have mentioned.

My husband, however, does this annoying trick thing all the time. My daughter became very interested in dinosaurs at about 2-1/2 or 3, and she loved to say all their names and know all their features. My husband would have her recite this stuff to strangers in the grocery store and anyone who would listen. He also taught her a few big words and their meanings, like onomatopoeia, and have her recite that to strangers while bragging about her intelligence, while I cringed inwardly and tried my best to ignore it all. I probably should have spoken up, but he's very alpha when he is talking and does not tolerate interruptions.

At first she would do it with all the pride a 3 year old could muster. By the time she was around 5, she started refusing to do his little show. I could see she had begun to resent being shown off like a prized animal doing tricks. At this point I did step in and point out that she did not seem to want to do it anymore, so why push her? He is a little more relaxed about bragging about her now, but only a little. It is completely an insecurity thing! The only person he brags about more than her is himself. He just requires constant ego stroking to feel ok about himself.
This all sounds terrible, but he is a wonderful man, this is just a flaw, and one that seems pretty common, so I accept it, even if it does still make me wince a tiny bit inwardly.

This is to share with your dh Aroura lol. I think it is OK to share our kids accomplishments and express pride/wonder in them. But it should be about things they do (and learning all those scientific terms is an accomplishment, a vocabulary accomplishment lol). I think they are good tips for how to talk about your kids in front of your kids too.

The Right Way to Praise Your Kids (http://www.webmd.com/parenting/guide/the-right-way-to-praise-your-kids)

aspiecat
10-03-2014, 05:18 PM
Cara - not confusing passion and giftedness at all. Especially having a husband who is good at everything he does shows me this.

Just because he is good at everything he does...this doesn't make him gifted at everything. Even to the extent that there he has never met anyone better than he is an ANY academic subject. Then again, he is disabled and has met few people outside of our tri-state area. However, he has been told by many academics and researchers that he is in the top 0.01% of intelligent people in the world (people used to travel from afar to test him).

You see, being PASSIONATE about something is a HUGELY important part of what makes someone gifted. If DH had been as passionate about History as he was about Math or even Biology, he would be able to be labelled "gifted" at History. Yet his dislike of the subject stopped something inside him from having that intrinsic "gift" for History. Sure, he can still blitz everyone around him regarding the subject, but his "gift" is NOT for History.

In other words, being the best at something does NOT make you the best at it...

CrazyMom
10-20-2014, 04:16 AM
Do I think people who brag on their kid's abilities are annoying? Sometimes. But mostly, I think it's kinda cool to see parents enjoying a warm fuzzy proud moment. It's a big deal. Holy cow, my baby pooped/winked/smiled/farted? Lets tell the world!

Yep, some people will overdo that chit.

Me, for instance. LOL. I'm not gonna say my kid is "gifted" (makes her sound like a phone psychic!)....but she is one of those genetically unusual weirdos who drew the "born to be a smartypants" card. Not sure how that happened, since hubby and I are pretty average folks. Hubby's parents were doctors, however, and my dad was an engineer.....so it's probably true what they say about smarts skipping a generation. LOL.

In addition to my kid being an academic whiz....she's also probably the most gullible human being I've ever met.
Seriously. If you stare over her shoulder intently and say "Octopus?" She will actually turn around and look. "Where?!"
She has very dark humor. She swears like a sailor. She borrows (steals!) your best socks without asking, and drinks orange juice out of the jug. She's a firey little tart, too. Gets furious. Bursts into tears and screams at you with the wrath of every woman ever wronged. She's obsessed with justice. She has zero fashion sense, and is the most nervous driver you've ever witnessed.

But the kid calls college Calculus Two "her easy class" and has brown-nosing down to a terrifying predatory maneuver that would rival a velociraptor.

I hate how society sees academic merit. It's NOT a measurement of effort. IT's a measurement of what happens to be in your genetic code. I hate when they do pizza and ice cream and special recess as a reward for testing well or getting good grades. It's wrong.

It's kinda like finding a kid who has just gorged on a hamburger, an ice cream cone, and a gourmet coffee.....and buying him a candy bar while the hungry kids watch. It's mean spirited.

You won the genetic lottery. Congratulations. In addition to earning more money over your lifetime, things will come easier to you, and you won't suffer as much as these other people. By all means....lets throw you a pizza party to celebrate your specialness.

In other cultures....it's seen as a negative to make yourself look good instead of using your talents to help bring recognition to the sum of your peers efforts. It's seen as childish and selfish and offputting to witness self-aggrandizing behavior. In America we reward self-agenda nonsense. We give kids special privileges who get A's in their sleep....and pay no attention to the D student who works hard to bring his grade up to a C.

crunchynerd
11-04-2014, 06:47 PM
For an interesting look into giftedness, the term, the controversy, the pushback, and the troubles parents with kids they don't know quite what to do with/for, I would invite anyone to go check out Hoagies' website on the subject, as well as Gifted Homeschoolers Forum.

ejsmom
11-04-2014, 11:18 PM
There is also a difference between what the schools want as "gifted" and those who measure "gifted".

For the schools, "gifted" means "performs well": that kid tests well, can spit out the right answer, neatly, and is a high achiever almost effortlessly maintaining the highest grades while being involved in the "right" extracurricular activities.

Most highly/exceptionally/profoundly gifted kids are so not that. They often have some level of asynchronous ability which is incredibly frustrating for them, often struggle with performance/test anxiety, anxiety related to perfectionism, fear of failure, OCD, sensory issues, and often have higher levels of depression. They are often lonely because it can be difficult to find peers or age-mates that have the same interests, or even understand how they view things. Even academics can be a struggle because the way they process information is so vastly different than the way most material is taught/presented.

murphs_mom
11-05-2014, 06:06 AM
Yup, Hoagies is a really good resource. GHF is okay, but I managed to get booted...tread there with care. :p

crunchynerd
11-05-2014, 04:46 PM
Murphs mom, if you don't mind disclosing, how did you get booted? I mainly read digests, but want a warning if there's one to be had. Plus if they booted you, they lost cool points with me.

alexsmom
11-05-2014, 08:29 PM
(Imagines an awesome flame war back from Murphs Mom's *wild days*.) ;)

crunchynerd
11-05-2014, 09:56 PM
(Imagines an awesome flame war back from Murphs Mom's *wild days*.) ;)

She's an outspoken woman, and I love that about her. "Well-behaved women rarely make history"

murphs_mom
11-06-2014, 05:44 AM
Wellll, to be honest, it really was my faux pas. In my defense, however, I'd like to state (for the record) that I was just exercising my first amendment right. The site owner felt otherwise.

The very short poop is that a couple of years ago (or more), one of the other members on the site was finishing up her latest writing efforts. She was an author of science-based activity books for kids and she had requested permission to post a survey to see what adults thought of her books (I'd seen them around...they were pretty good). The site owner took offense at her request and posted an unnecessarily terse (IMO) response to the request and denied it on the pretense that the site existed solely for the edification of those who were parents of gifted HSers. I called BS on her reply. More than once, the site owner AND her pool of boot-licking lackeys had posted their own business ventures on the site and were actually pimping the stuff. This woman was just wanting some feedback so she could improve her future books. Honestly, it was an innocent and genuine request.

Since I felt sorry for the author and felt bad because the site owner had given her virtual equivalent of a public flogging, I sent her a sympathetic PM to let her know that not all the members felt the same way the site owner did. So here's the part where you get to giggle so hard you pee a little: it wasn't a PM at all. I accidentally sent it to the whole fargin' list. Oh. My. Goodness. The dookie hit the fan within a good 10min cause one of the lackeys immediately sent me a PM to let me know that my message had gone out to the whole list. This was around 2am. It took until the next morning for it to reach the site owner. Needless to say, she cut off my membership immediately and sent (what I can only assume) what was a scathing PM to me. I never read the thing. There was no point...I was relatively sure of what it would probably say. Meh.

I had joined that site with the hopes of learning about decent educational resources that might appeal to my junior egghead. In the 2+yr that I was on the site, I spent more time sifting through puffed-up parents who were more interested in sharing where on the great pecking order of giftedness (like it friggin' matters) their little snowflake fell vs. actually sharing resources. I think Hoagies and this site are far more informative. There were a few nice, normal folks on the site and I did learn about the book review biz (that DD does reviews for now) on the site, but that was it.

I was a bad girl. I got spanked. And then I moved on to a real site. :_p:

crunchynerd
11-06-2014, 07:39 PM
That stinks. I have a lot of respect for Corin, and have benefited from the GHS email digest. But I have also benefited greatly from your posts and from this site, and I'm sorry you fell afoul of list politics. It could happen to anyone.

But what 'real site' are you talking about? I'm intrigued!

murphs_mom
11-07-2014, 01:43 AM
But what 'real site' are you talking about? I'm intrigued!

This one. ;)

Starkspack
11-07-2014, 08:51 PM
This one. ;) Carolyn, your story cracked me up. I think everyone has a story about how they accidentally sent an email to the wrong person - it is so embarrassing! Crunchynerd, I'm so glad you asked - I wondered about it, too. :_p:

lmanthony
11-07-2014, 10:16 PM
I have to admit, I am new to homeschooling, so when I hear/see about other peoples kids being gifted, it almost always makes me feel insecure about how I teach mine. However, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Most of what I feel is my own thing, because truthfully I still feel insecure about our homeschool. With that being said, there are times when I just want to tell them to stuff it ( I know I'm a bad person). When my kiddos were in ps, not many of the mom's liked me and thought (and often commented on) that my youngest (who has adhd) was stupid. He isn't and that was the main reason we left. So again, having dealt with trophy moms, past their prime might I add, I have become a bit jaded and defensive. So I try to remind myself that not everyone is like that and it isn't said with a negative undertone.

alexsmom
11-07-2014, 11:02 PM
Hmmm I wonder if Modesty is considered a virtue?

I have a joke about trophy wives, which probably isnt very gracious of me, and shows a lack of willingness to get to know other kinds of people.

How do we know that light travels faster than sound? Because some people can look bright until you hear them talk.

See, you're not the only one who gets jaded and defensive. My other cynical mantra is *Stereotypes are a real timesaver*. Because some days, it feels better to nourish that inner grumpbucket.

Its also a lot easier to say *dont let random peoples criticism or meaningless bragging get to you* than it is to really ignore it. :-/

dbsam
11-08-2014, 04:40 PM
I have to admit, I am new to homeschooling, so when I hear/see about other peoples kids being gifted, it almost always makes me feel insecure about how I teach mine. However, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Most of what I feel is my own thing, because truthfully I still feel insecure about our homeschool. With that being said, there are times when I just want to tell them to stuff it ( I know I'm a bad person). When my kiddos were in ps, not many of the mom's liked me and thought (and often commented on) that my youngest (who has adhd) was stupid. He isn't and that was the main reason we left. So again, having dealt with trophy moms, past their prime might I add, I have become a bit jaded and defensive. So I try to remind myself that not everyone is like that and it isn't said with a negative undertone.

I understand. I become defensive when I hear talk of giftedness, partly because of my insecurity about my ability to teach and also anxiety about my children's abilities, or lack of.

Plus, I live in a neighborhood where just about every child is supposedly 'gifted' - according to their parents and/or the fact that they are in the GT classes as school. My sister's children are also considered gifted - by the same critera. So, when people tell me their children are gifted I often do an internal eye roll. I understand there are a lot of different definitions and presentations of giftedness; I just do not believe all the children I know are truly gifted - some test well, others are pre-taught, etc. I typically stay out of gifted threads or forums but reading threads like these provide, to me, different perspectives. Maybe I will not be so jaded going forward.


p.s. I don't think I have every heard a HS parent IRL say their child is gifted. There are children that excel in an area, or many areas, but I have never heard their parents refer to their children as gifted. I feel like the HS parents I've met IRL are much less competitive and more accepting of difference than the parents with schooled children.

belleweather
11-11-2014, 07:25 PM
But honestly, having a gifted child is NOT all-that, and when I hear parents brag about it I'm usually thinking that either their kid is only gifted in Lake Woebegone terms ("All our children are above-average!") or that they're not doing a very good job of parenting a gifted learner, much less educating one.

I resisted the label of gifted for my middle kid for a really long time -- even having his test scores in hand -- because being a gifted kid isn't easy and raising one isn't either, and I was kind of hoping that he'd round himself out and be more on the level with his peers and those challenges would go away. Many gifted children are very un-even in their skills in ways that make their lives tough. My kid is a first grader who is academically working at a third or fourth grade level, but is emotionally behaving more like a four year old. He can't seem to make friends and constantly feels self-conscious and singled out because he's not like his classmates or age-mates and he knows that he's doing things 'wrong' socially, but can't understand why. So now he's six and he's got a mess of phobias and anxieties, and thinks there's something wrong with who he is as a person and doesn't have the vocabulary or ability to process that because no matter how well he reads or does math or integrates concepts, he's still only six.

Sure, he might grow up to be Steven Hawking or Bill Gates. On the other hand, he also has a much higher statistical chance of suicide, self-harm, mental health issues and depression and drug and alcohol abuse than the general population and no higher statistical chance of a high-achieving career. So seriously, what's to brag about?

Solong
11-24-2014, 10:21 AM
So. I was approached by a mum of a gifted child. She actually opened with, "Hi, I'm so-and-so and my son is highly gifted." She had heard that my dd10 was taking 'university classes', and wanted to know how I 'got her in'. Last year, my dd took a ce class in Beginner Beekeeping at the Community College. Perfect example of the telephone game disorting truth into a total lie.

I sat and talked with her about our homeschool style and resources, none of which resonated with her AT ALL. She very clearly wanted the accelerated approach, and I suggested that she could check out those types of forums. After 45 minutes of awkward conversation, I met her son. He happens to be in my son's group. They are both three years old.

My first instinct was to back out with an excuse of running an important errand while the kids were in group... but, I stayed. I thought of this thread and I stayed and I listened.

dbmamaz
11-24-2014, 11:25 AM
hahaha that is SO HYSTERICAL. This mom and her son are going to be in for one rough ride when he starts to rebel

alexsmom
11-24-2014, 01:43 PM
ROFLOMG
LOLOLOL
How long into the conversation before you realised this highly gifted protege was three?
What does highly gifted even mean at that age? Ties his own shoelaces? Recites encyclopedic knowledge of dinosaurs and tractors? (We are currently watching All About John Deere for the zillionth time at the insistance of my young non-speaking protege - sure, he doesnt talk, but im from Lake Woebegone, all our kids are above average. ;) )

ikslo
11-24-2014, 03:17 PM
They say as a child
I appeared a little bit wild
With all my crazy ideas
But I knew what was happening
I knew I was a genius...
What's so strange when you know
That you're a wizard at three
I knew that this was meant to be

-Joni Mitchell, Twisted

Solong
11-24-2014, 04:21 PM
ROFLOMG
LOLOLOL
How long into the conversation before you realised this highly gifted protege was three?
What does highly gifted even mean at that age?

I didn't realize it until the very end, which doesn't say much about my conversational skills, I'm afraid. I had to google 'roflomg'.

I don't know what highly gifted means at any age - which is my whole problem with the 'gifted' label. I tried to probe as to what HER definition of gifted was with regards to her child... but, she was evasive... or, I was uncomfortable... probably both. I'm guess she engaged me in conversation, thinking that we would be simpatico with the whole gifted talk. Then, by the time she realized her mistake, it was too late. For both of us. We were locked in, and everyone else was avoiding us. I got a few sympathetic looks, but no rescue came. She was a nice lady - we just have very little in common beyond the fact that we both have three year old sons.

I always thought that when friends that had drifted away during adulthood had children of their own, we would have SO much in common, we'd reconnect again. It happened a few times. Mostly, though, we differed so widely in our parenting styles that it brought an abrupt end to lingering affections. I thought they were crazy, they thought I was crazy. Not wizard crazy, either. Just plain loco.

Starkspack
11-24-2014, 07:39 PM
Ok, I would never have believed anyone would introduce themselves that way - "Hi, I'm so and so and my son is highly gifted." Egads. Sounds like you handled it perfectly nicely, though! That is really funny. Planning for university at age 3. Classic. :_o:

murphs_mom
11-24-2014, 10:22 PM
IDK, I've introduced DD and I several times as, "Hi, this is my daughter who's profoundly quirky and I'm a simpleton with zero social skills...pleased to meet you. Will you be our new besties?" Never has worked. Maybe I should try AnonyMs' new friend's approach!

mckittre
11-25-2014, 02:53 AM
So funny!

One thing I have noticed (my oldest is only in kindergarten), is that it's very easy for a kid who's taught individually to get very asynchronous, very quickly. For instance, I have a 5 yo who could give you explanations of the stability and characteristics of different chemical compounds to rival a middle schooler. But writing down the compounds is much harder. Because, while he knows the periodic table, he does not know his lower case letters! This same kid can figure half of 118 in his head, while being stumped by 34+11 on paper.

I thought this was weird, now I think it's probably very normal for kids who get to learn on their own time table. A family friend that saw him explain chemistry the other day said he was "a child genius" (in his presence! Drove me nuts!). If you saw him try to read or write, you'd think very differently. Basically, kindergarteners don't usually do 3 hours of science a day, and when they happen to, they are quickly beyond "kindergarten level".

Maybe parents just get to see the best side (the excited, advanced, inhaling information on the stuff they love side) of their own kids so much--especially if they can adapt the teaching to that specific kid--that they get a skewed perspective.

dbmamaz
11-25-2014, 09:29 AM
well, most kindergartners would have no interest in doing that. there are definitely some signs of being advanced at an early age. But that doesnt mean its time to start planning to send them to college at 10. There are so many things that happen along the road to growing up

Free Thinker
11-25-2014, 10:36 PM
I think I would have shared some sympathy. Raising a gifted 3 year old is not easy- did you ask what he had taken apart to examine lately? :) I've got a 3 year old that may likely be gifted, I don't know yet. She is a real handful. In my experience, the more 'gifted' in academics, the harder the more intense they are. 3 is WAY too young to determine giftedness, even if they are reading. My ODD did test as gifted, and honestly looking back it was evident at birth if I knew what I was looking for. She was never 'typical' in development, she was never still, never napped and always asked 50 questions about everything. She was never satisfied with easy answers, and seemed to grasp things very easily and make her own conclusions. WHen she was about 4 she told me Santa couldn't be real, because there were too many kids for one person to see them all in that amount of time. Reindeer cannot fly. And there are no such things as elves. :)

dbmamaz
11-26-2014, 12:21 PM
Not all gifted kids are intense like that, though. My first child was sweet, mature, thoughtful, responsible, calm, very self-directed. But i would never lie to my kids about anything. I grew up jewish and was really rather horrified at the thought of that whole story. I never talked about it at all, and we didnt celebrate christmas, until we met my ex-MIL. My daughter was 2, and her grandmother was going on and on about santa clause. I dont remember if it was that year or the next that my daughter turned to me and said, "Thats not real, though, right?" I was trying hard to let her dad handle it however he wanted, but I couldnt lie to her when she asked me point-blank like that.

My boys were much harder, behavior wise. but not all gifted boys are, either. My kids are all 2E, and just barely gifted (the youngest has not been tested, so who knows, I guess)

firefly77
02-02-2015, 04:54 PM
I hit the like button about a billion times while reading this, even though I guess people were arguing a little. There are so many comments that I'd like to add my 2 cents to, but talking about "giftedness" always leaves me a little verklempt, because I remember all too well the feeling of being a complete fraud - how can people think I'm smart when my work is such crap? I don't want that for my kids.

Whatever we label or don't label our kids, however we blunder through conversations with other moms (braggy or curious or socially inept), we are all working on finding the best way for them to learn. If I remember that mistakes are good, that we learn from imperfection, I might stress about this less. I know it's off-topic, but I wonder how to teach that lesson when I never really learned it myself?

I know this is an old thread, but I've just been through it all and also hit the "like" button about a million times. This comment really describes my school experience well, which is why I have no plans to have my children tested. If their learning situation seems to make testing necessary then I will reevaluate. For right now though, I feel like we're fine in our own little bubble exploring our interests and being kind of weird all by ourselves.

I can't see any harm in sharing that your child is gifted, though, if it happens naturally in the conversation. Leading with it seems forced and probably more for the parent's sake than the sake of the kid in question. I mean, if my kid were on the spectrum or had a learning or psychological issue that had been diagnosed I would most definitely not lead with that in a more or less social setting. Not out of shame, but with the understanding that my child is many things in addition to dyslexic or gifted or whatever.

CrazyMom
02-02-2015, 09:53 PM
Once upon a time, in order to be considered "gifted" and have access to gifted programs, your kid needed to prove a 130 IQ on at least two monitored tests. I think this is probably still true of most reputable gifted programs.

The word "gifted" gets thrown around a lot and has been all the all the rage at home school meets and elsewhere. I once had someone tell me that their child was "emotionally gifted." What? Is he a published greeting card author? Write a best seller? Does he give hugs like no one else on Earth? (Sorry, but no one on the planet beats Down's kid for that particular skill)

Remember that King of the Hill episode where LuAnn took an IQ test and turned out to be a "genius" just like Peggy? There are a TON of sites on the net JUST LIKE the con artist in that episode.....that prey on parents who desperately want to believe their children are gifted....sites that manufacture all sorts of vanity certificates and other such horse shit. It's a business.

Truly "gifted" kids are pretty rare. They are NOT dime a dozen overachievers like my kid. They're a whole different animal.

Elle recently met a genuinely "gifted" kid....a 13 year old guy who was accepted to U of M at age 12, who is studying neuroscience. He's part of her organic chemistry study group, and she says he's sort of alarming and bizarre to talk to. Very social awkward guy with a ton of anxiety and facial tics. She says he's absolutely brilliant, but he's very alien, very blunt, and has a hard time with friendships and eye contact, and has gnawed his fingernails off down to bloody stumps. He's a terrific asset to the study group when you can get him to talk, but he literally leaves bloody smudges on his pages and pages of notes...and keeps nibbling (which is freaking her out more as time goes on). She thought he was a fascinating character and made a few efforts to befriend him....but said he wasn't having it. LOL. "He looks at me like I'm a cabbage. It's like being visited by a grey." LOL.

I can't imagine it's an easy life to be so hopelessly out of synch with your peers that you can't enjoy the normal childhood experiences, or have typical friendships. Double edged sword. True giftedness...I have to think...is at least as much of a curse as an advantage.

alexsmom
02-02-2015, 11:42 PM
You sort of wonder if a 13yr old is emotionally mature enough to be away from the home nest? Even if everyone is polite to him and patient with his *quirks*....
Would it have hurt to keep him in a more familial environment instead of the mass institution that is university? As homeschoolers, we often scknowledge that the school factory isnt suitable for everyone, perhaps the same consideration about genius and university would be warranted?

Biting his fingernails to nubs seems to indicate hes not all that happy with his situation in life. Uggg. I feel bad for whatever is pressuring him to be in college at that age.

BatDad
02-02-2015, 11:47 PM
The districts I taught in, well, kids were gifted with IQs of 110. All it meant was that they left my room once a week to go play chess and build things with popsicle sticks. It was kind of sad, because those students often chose to just stay put in my room because their gifted teacher was not challenging them.

Accidental Homeschooler
02-03-2015, 10:21 AM
The districts I taught in, well, kids were gifted with IQs of 110. All it meant was that they left my room once a week to go play chess and build things with popsicle sticks. It was kind of sad, because those students often chose to just stay put in my room because their gifted teacher was not challenging them.

110? That is interesting. I would have made that cut and I am so NOT gifted lol.

ejsmom
02-03-2015, 12:39 PM
I agree with you wholeheartedly, alexsmom.

PoppinFresh
02-03-2015, 12:55 PM
110? I'm not a big believer in IQ scores, I really don't think they prove anything, however, if I did believe in them I'd question the 110 cutoff. 110 isn't that far above average. Average is 90 - 109.

My son hated the gifted class. He'd leave his regular class to go to a different class where they just gave them more boring worksheets. He begged us to have him removed from the gifted program.


110? That is interesting. I would have made that cut and I am so NOT gifted lol.

CrazyMom
02-03-2015, 02:00 PM
Elle was invited to attend the Battle Creek Math and Science center for highschool. She went through an interviewing process, wrote tests and got accepted in eighth grade to their highschool program. She was supposed to be bussed to this center for half the day, and spend half the day at the regular high school....adding like....two extra travel hours to each day, and I'd have to have her to school an hour early. It was a wonderful opportunity....but it required a LOT of sacrifices. Due to so much time being taken in travel...she would have little time left over for art classes, creative writing, anything interesting that wasn't a core requirement. She would not have lunch with her friends and would not be back in time for drama practice. The center's holiday schedule was out of synch with our school, too...so she'd have to attend class at the center when her school was on vacation.

Was a great opportunity for prestige (they had some biotechnology courses Elle was drooling over)....the Math and Science center has an awesome reputation....but ultimately she chose to stay at regular school.

Hubby and I didn't know quite what to think about this, and neither did several of her teachers who questioned "our" decision not to send her.

I asked her...and she said it was "just a lot". A lot of time commuting (almost four hours of car/bus time per day), a lot of pressure, a lot of change. She'd just gotten through her first year of public school.

I asked...are you having second thoughts about the big genetics dream? This seems like a great opportunity if that's your goal.

She kinda laughed at me. Yeah, of course. But there are a lot of ways to get there, Ma. Seems like a cool place but it takes itself kinda seriously.

College might be like that, too.

Yeah, but....that's college. I'm 13 for God's sake. This just seems.....like a lot. Look, I talked to a counselor about what's available at the highschool. I can still take AP Chem, AP Bio and AP Calc. I'm still sad about the Biotech, but I think I'm doing the right thing. If the highschool didn't offer good classes, I'd go to the center. But honestly, all the colleges want are AP...they don't care where it comes from.

So you're not having second thoughts?

No way. It's all good, Ma. I got this.



And apparently....she did.