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Lou
03-09-2012, 02:31 PM
My son has always been clever, but socially always a bit different from his peers.

Even when he was a baby, I was part of a fun mommie group that got together several times a week. We did music classes, gymboree classes, dance, swim, etc together. I saw these other babies doing what they were doing and what mine was doing. My son would just 'know' things, colors, shapes, musical instrument names, letters, sounds, words, etc. I taught him thru life like, when he asked a question I would answer, but I never sat down and tried to teach him lessons (like homeschooling, until this past year)

I would read parenting books, he NEVER fit them. I started searching early for what his difference was. I couldn't pin point it, but he was bright, yet socially different.

When he was younger he never had tantrums. I was always horrified with what my friends were dealing with in regards to their children's tantrums. Then my daughter came along, who had PLENTY of tantrums and I realized I was just lucky. HOWEVER within the first year of my daughters life, my son started having tantrums. I thought, great, my daughter has taught him how to get his way. (he was 3.5/4 years old when tantrums started) So as MY son starts having blow out tantrums, all my friend's kids stop.

He joins a private preschool. He has some bully situations, I differ from the teachers. It's supposedly the best school, I keep him in. Tantrums and emotional challenges begin to intensify. The teachers tell me it's normal. I feel deep in my bones this is NOT normal for my son. Might be normal for my daughter or other children, but this is NOT normal for him.

I have him evaluated privately because he started to loose some skills he had MUCH earlier then other kids. The evaluator tells me he's fine and he's self correcting to fit in with his peers. And side note: any child that reads before the age of 4 is generally autistic. (WHOA, what is that side note!)

I take my son to the Autism Center to be evaluated. They tell me he has SOME social traits, but not enough to be on the spectrum. My mind starts researching like a mad dog. Aspergers maybe? ADHD maybe? I don't know. School continues, he enters kindergarten. October of that year, they tell me "he's all in his head, he's at 1st grade level for math and reading, and 2nd grade level for science" but socially he's having tantrums, which should have been slowed way down by then. (according to the teacher)

By Feb he's having tummy aches, saying the teacher is mean, puking before class, yada yada yada, straw that broke the camel's back, we pulled him to homeschool.

He immediately was happier. Still cries at the drop of the hat when an unexpected disappointment takes place. But over all he's a TOTALLY different child. I'm fairly convinced he must have/be Aspergers.

He is evaluated at speech (because my daughter's speech therapist heard a difference while talking to him during my daughter's appt) he has a rare form of studdering and some social deficits.

He starts to have some OCDish type behaviors.

We have him evaluated again because it's just simply getting too tricky to decide which direction to go with him.

In the meanwhile, the speech therapist works on his studdering with him during a social club class he takes with two other boys his age.

I'm seeing so many things I can fit into the Asperger's box. I'm sure they will see these things too, but then after the evaluation, I start thinking, they are going to tell me he has SOME behaviors, but not enough to be on the spectrum (same as when he was younger) And I'll be at the same place, with no answers, totally unsure what direction to take our homeschooling with him.

I just got the test results back. Apparently he is not on the spectrum (at this time, whatever that means?) I asked if he was on the high end or could be on the high end, they doubted it. Said if two other outside sources (like a teacher, therapist, etc) were to contribute to the test, it's possible he could get some points on the ADOS test, but at this time, no.

Apparently his IQ test results show that he is in the "superior" range. 130 or greater is the top range. He scored 126. The woman told me that he would of scored much higher if he wanted to participate more in the test, but he got bored and asked to be done now! (which is something I hear all the time) And then he'll just refuse and not comply. She also said that he is the third highest IQ score she has seen in her 18 years of working there. The two children that scored higher were sevants and severly autistic. So he is the first child she's "had the pleasure of dealing with that enjoys and engages in social interactions"

NOW WHAT? I have NO CLUE what to do with a child that has gifted needs. The specialist suggested I enroll him in gifted courses thru the public school, but not to have him in a class room, because that setting would be horrible for him. I don't know if the school allows a child to sit in a gifted course here and there and homeschool the rest? I feel so lost and totally unsure of where to take our homeschooling?

I have seen the results of him being home. He's coming back around to his self learning and happy self. I do NOT want him in a classroom setting all day every day NO WAY! But when I asked if I should get 2nd grade curriculum for him, I was advised NOT TO, because he's far beyond that, but the truth is his reading and writing aren't beyond that, and reading and writing are part of learning, so HOW DO I KNOW what to teach him, where to go with this, what gaps I might miss, not to bore him, I feel a massive overwhelming ahhhhh what do I do to engage him and stimulate this mind so that he doesn't plateau! :( Which she told me can and will happen if he is bored long enough. :(

I always think of the generalized child with thick glasses and his nose in a book or tinkering with electronics and the nasally voice when I think smart, high IQ. I have NO IDEA what my son's main interests are. I don't know what direction he would want to fly in, but I want to support him the best I can in whatever he needs. Just wish I knew what his needs were! WHY OH WHY isn't there a parent manual for those of us that truly care!?!?!? So frustrating. I'm proud of him and his high IQ, but it seems like it's also scary, very scary for me who is responsibly (mostly) for his homeschooling experience.

Anyone out there with ideas on finding gifted classes that are NOT connected to the public school. Or if so thru the public school how that works?

Accidental Homeschooler
03-09-2012, 03:26 PM
I don't understand why you can't teach him at home. I understand he is gifted, but he is still only six. You are still smarter than he is:). At some point maybe he will pass you and you will need to do something else to keep him challenged/engaged but I don't see why that is necessary now. If he is at a second grade level for writing choose a second grade curricula for writing. If he is at a fourth grade level for math, get a fourth grade level curricula for math. Be happy! He is not on the spectrum, just brilliant. How many parents wouldn't love to hear that instead of Aspergers. Maybe the tantrums at school were just about the frustration and at home he can work at his pace and that is why you are seeing him do so much better now with hsing.

Lou
03-09-2012, 03:29 PM
Contacted the local public school against my dislike of that idea. Apparently our local public school doesn't have a gifted program. So Monday the school should be contacting me to give me some other ideas. It was a pleasant call, we'll see where that goes. The other school that is slightly in our area has a gifted grade, so the kids are there all day every day like school. I don't want that. Hoping to find something that would allow him to attend once or twice a week for an hour or two, three max and then homeschool the rest of the time.

I never really realized gifted can be just as scary as Aspergers (which is what I was prepared for, wasn't prepared for this shocker!)

What do other parents do?

Lou
03-09-2012, 03:34 PM
I don't understand why you can't teach him at home. I understand he is gifted, but he is still only six. You are still smarter than he is:). At some point maybe he will pass you and you will need to do something else to keep him challenged/engaged but I don't see why that is necessary now. If he is at a second grade level for writing choose a second grade curricula for writing. If he is at a fourth grade level for math, get a fourth grade level curricula for math. Be happy! He is not on the spectrum, just brilliant. How many parents wouldn't love to hear that instead of Aspergers. Maybe the tantrums at school were just about the frustration and at home he can work at his pace and that is why you are seeing him do so much better now with hsing.


I can teach him at home, but when I asked if I should get 2nd grade curriculum I was told oh no, he's way past that, his score is the equivalent to 15 points higher then the women who gave the test according to her! I honestly have NO CLUE what's going on in his head.

AND his reading and writing aren't up to par with more advanced then 2nd grade requirements. If I could do all the reading and writing, we could possibly move higher, but then there are gaps that I might miss? Which will screw up his later down the road lessons. I'm totally lost here! Maybe even more so then if I got the Aspergers. I was totally ready for that! I'm now totally lost!

Gabriela
03-09-2012, 03:55 PM
Whoa.
That's a lot to process. And I see why you worry. I don't know if this will help, but here goes -

I haven't and probably won't have my son diagnosed. I was never diagnosed and neither was my father.
Pretty sure all three of us would be on, or close to on, the spectrum.

I was placed in gifted classes in public school and absolutely hated them. Homeschooling would have been much better for me.
My father was very academically gifted but not very emotionally intelligent, and I think my son might be as well.

This is my mantra:

If there is something I can't manage to teach him in the next 9 years, he will pick it up easily later on.
If he is extraordinary at something, doors will open for him. Scholarships will be granted. Invitations and opportunities will come.
The best a parent can do in this case is to be alert and ready for these open doors,
and make sure our kids are properly dressed for the occasion, confident, happy, well-nourished (food and book-wise), and loved.

I would just keep doing what you've been doing, given that he's happier since you started homeschooling. That sounds about as successful as it gets.

baker
03-09-2012, 03:57 PM
I would investigate curriculum and homeschool styles and not plan on buying a big-investment "boxed" curriculum. You can find free placement tests for math online. Other than that, follow his intersts -he's young. Don't worry about copying what the PS is doing. Make sure he has plenty of books around,toys like blocks, legos, art supplies. Maybe introduce him to a foriegn language or instrument.

aselei
03-09-2012, 03:58 PM
Hi there. My son has Asperger's and is very, very gifted - he's also 6 and technically a Kindergartener. Due to his Asperger's and his IEP, he's taken two IQ tests - with vastly different numbers - the last psychologist also figured he would score even higher if he was interested in the test. We started with a virtual academy and they let him do 1st grade math and 3rd grade everything else (he tested at 10th grade reading - but he has the fine motor skills of a five year old). The virtual academy ended up not meeting our needs and I've now developed our own curriculum that is working really well for us and allows for his different abilities. A lot of the math programs have placement tests (Saxon, Singapore, etc.). We're starting with Singapore and MEP (1B), but we can totally change it if need be. He's doing 3rd grade grammar, but he will do 5th grade next year. For literature, we're focusing on upper elementary/middle school novels - I just have to find things that appeal to his interest level.

I believe it's totally possible (and desirable) to homeschool someone like my son. There isn't a placement that would fit him. And it's okay if it takes me a little bit to figure out what is best for him - he's learning and having a great time. He's also a Kindergartener and I don't need to stress out if I need to change things - we have a lot of time ahead of us. Good luck!

Accidental Homeschooler
03-09-2012, 04:02 PM
Are you close to a University? The one here has weekend and summer programs for gifted kids. My dd has done some. They are more about providing extras than replacing school though. Even if you aren't close enough to get to one you could probably call and talk to someone. The staff/faculty here are very helpful and do a lot of advocacy for kids who are gifted and not doing well in ps. It still seems like hsing would be perfect for someone in your son's situation. Maybe someone from the school that has the better gifted program would be willing to sit down with you. There are also some sites/forums for hsing gifted children, maybe check them out. There are probably some hsing books about this also. But that is what I do when faced with a problem/challenge, read at least three books about it before I can take action.

Gabriela
03-09-2012, 04:03 PM
Hi there. My son has Asperger's and is very, very gifted - he's also 6 and technically a Kindergartener. Due to his Asperger's and his IEP, he's taken two IQ tests - with vastly different numbers - the last psychologist also figured he would score even higher if he was interested in the test. We started with a virtual academy and they let him do 1st grade math and 3rd grade everything else (he tested at 10th grade reading - but he has the fine motor skills of a five year old). The virtual academy ended up not meeting our needs and I've now developed our own curriculum that is working really well for us and allows for his different abilities. A lot of the math programs have placement tests (Saxon, Singapore, etc.). We're starting with Singapore and MEP (1B), but we can totally change it if need be. He's doing 3rd grade grammar, but he will do 5th grade next year. For literature, we're focusing on upper elementary/middle school novels - I just have to find things that appeal to his interest level.

I believe it's totally possible (and desirable) to homeschool someone like my son. There isn't a placement that would fit him. And it's okay if it takes me a little bit to figure out what is best for him - he's learning and having a great time. He's also a Kindergartener and I don't need to stress out if I need to change things - we have a lot of time ahead of us. Good luck!

I love this.
This to me sounds like what education should be like for EVERYONE. We should all be able to learn at our own pace in everything. This is ideal. This is what homeschooling allows us to do.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
03-09-2012, 04:08 PM
Okay, I don't use the "g" word in reference to my kids (let's not go there again, right? :)) but they are very bright and work well ahead of their grade levels in most areas.

RE: what level curriculum... some subjects, math for instance, are a pretty straight forward sequence of skills that build upon each other. I think of it as a long road. My kids could probably grasp math a couple years ahead of where there are now, but I need to make sure they don't miss a particular skill set along that road. They go at their own paces, but they can't really skip anything either. In other words, I would not advance a kid in math unless I was sure they had mastered the material before the new level. Does that make sense?

Other subjects do not have a clear sequence of knowledge. I usually end up picking materials that are intended for kids who are a little older as far as content, but I'm also aware that my kids may not have the attention span for a 100-page book, no matter how interested they are in the subject. You may be able to choose books for history, science, etc. for kids who are older and provide a little more in-depth information. For reading, you can try to encourage him to read books that are a little more difficult that he's used to sometimes.

I don't feel daunted by the academic stuff--the behavioral struggles are much more frightening to me. I think as parents we are lucky to have enough time with our kids to be very attuned to their abilities and interests. As long as I'm paying attention, I don't think I can go to far wrong. :)

ginnyjf
03-09-2012, 04:30 PM
Hang in there, Lou! You might want to check out the Hoagie's Gifted Education (http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/) page. It's a lifesaver.

hockeymom
03-09-2012, 05:05 PM
From what I'm learning, the characteristics of Aspergers and giftedness can look very similar in some kids. That's where we're at, but I don't foresee testing in the future. It would be nice to know, though, as methods of dealing with issues might be quite different and I'd be more confident in how I approach the issues we have.

I'm with the other posters though; with intentional parenting and lots of love, there really isn't anything major your son is going to miss out on. Now, if only it was that simple! :)

naturegirl7
03-09-2012, 05:39 PM
Lou - Is my son at your house too? LOL
While I have not pursued the evaluations, but DH and I often wonder if DS would be diagnosed with something if we got him tested. Definitely ADHD and probably aspie spectrum or sensory processing.

He learns like a sponge - always has. He taught himself to read before he was 3, while I was taking the laid back throw some letter magnets on the fridge and read to him a lot approach. He intuitively "gets" stuff that some adults struggle with. He has a photographic memory and will walk over to his book shelf, pick out a book, and flip to an exact page when we have the audacity to question some obsecure random fact he is lecturing us on. He loves science and gets giddy over reference books when we go to local eco centers. He was jumping up and down, squealing like a 12yo girl at a concert - cuz Daddy came home with his new Cross Sectional A&P book. Seriously. He BEGGED to ripped off the shrink wrap and attacked it like I have never seen him attack a present. He then sat and read it for the next 2 hours. He cried when my hubby took it away so he could start studying.

But at the same time, he has no patience for himself and gets ANGRY when he can't do something perfect right away. His fuse is super super short. Meltdowns are still pretty common around here and he is almost 7. It was actually pretty good, but we moved in Jan from Fl to NJ and he has really really regressed thanks to the change. After he calms down, we talk it out and he is able to explain how he was feeling. But in the moment, it is all feeling - anger and frustration. He gets really upset/sad over changes and even the smallest disappointment. Hell hath no fury like my child told no. A few weeks ago he cried for almost a half hour cuz I wanted to take a shower while he played with Daddy. Makes my head SPIN every day.

He had delayed speech (but was signing full sentences shortly after 6 months) that has come far but still battling a lateral lisp. On our own cuz speech therapy was BAD for him. They did not understand his frustration level or work with him at all. THe speech therapist wanted him to be eval'd for gifted and for ADD after the 2nd session. He would come in super excited about something he was learning at home (like math) and she just wanted him to make FFFFF sounds for 40 mins. ANd be totally cool with constant corrections like "No, that isnt right. Try again. FFFF" *I* couldn't even handle it, how could an active, highly sensitive 5yo?! Tantrums resurfaced and he started biting his nails - to the point they bled. His self esteem was tanking. After a few weeks I said screw it and pulled him out. We just work on it thru modeling and "hidden" speech exercises at home. He also has some intense tactile issues. Didn't like finger painting and is weirded out by a lot of textures in clothing, toys, food, etc. Can't mix foods AT ALL. Some can't even be on the same plates. But is very very touchy feely. Overly affectionate even. He plays well with his friends from FL - who he has grown up with and learned boundaries with. But now that we moved. He is struggling with establishing new boundaries - like why don't all kids like me or why doesn't he want to hold my hand. Social relationships stump him still. Slowly, he is learning though. Lots of modeling and reinforcement.

So yeah, some traits but nothing concrete. Nothing worth pursuing evals over. It's something we have skipped cuz honestly I don;t think it will help us. It won't change WHO he is or how we parent him. We do attachment parenting and gentle discipline and while it takes work, it really works for him. We won't be sending him to school or doing anything different with his schooling. I still keep him on record with his age group for grade level, but his curricula is 3-5th grade for most stuff (except math which is 1st-2nd depending on the topic). I use curricula that give me flexibility with resources so that I can add more challenging books and activities. Then you are stimulating them, but building on fundamental concepts. I don't hold him back, just let him pursue his own interests on the side of whatever we are currently learning. He does outside classes - basically to pursue his passions and work on social relationships.

Hang in there. You can totally do this - even without the official diagnosis. HSing will be a blessing - you can work on his level for each subject, work with his learning style, work with his frustration level and behaviors, and he'll stay happy! :)

BTW - we are using Singapore and Math Mammoth and Cricital Thinking Co. logic books for math, Story of the World with Usborne and other books for history, Elemental Science Grammar Biology with more advanced reference books (it actually lists various options), Grammar Island for LA (LOVE IT!), Minimus Latin (he requested to learn Latin). Lots of games, websites, activities, field trips, etc to stimulate. He also does independent study for fun - like Greek Myths. He discovered it about 6 months before we got to it in history and devoured it for 2 months. Kinda had a been there done that feeling when we finally got to it for our studies. So we reviewed, added a few activities and moved on. I mainly use MM as supplemental - take a break from the frustration of Singapore struggles and move on to something fun in MM like Clocks or Geometry. I prefer regrouping, he prefers geometry cuz it is "easier" LOL After a side trip, we go back to regrouping and he is more focused and less frustrated. Breaks help a lot. :)

Jeninok
03-09-2012, 05:59 PM
This is very much like the story of my son. His IQ was 125, but they were quite sure it could have been higher had be been fully engaged, but he also had a large gap between some scores, 18 points in one instance between verbal/conceptual and whatever test it was that tested his actual production of that understanding. He fully understand higher concepts but can barely remember basic addition facts. He is eating up 8th grade level science as long as I do most of the dictation for him. I accidentally had him doing a grammar/language arts book at a 9th grade level, and he was sailing through it. But even though he understands the language, knows the technical terms, and speaks wonderfully, he can't write a legible sentence without serious effort.

Almost no threshold for frustration, correction, or boredom. If he can't do it perfectly, right away, he gets mad and wants to quit.

He also has some social issues, not enough to be Aspie, but enough to get him a diagnosis of Non verbal learning disorder. He is also ADD, but he is not hyper, or defiant, or aggressive or any of the other things that go with the lack of impulse control in the typical AD/HD boy, he is just mentally all over the place, no organization, short term memory and processing issues, and all the other fun executive function challenges.

I don't know of any boxed curriculum that would work for him, he needs to be engaged, challenged and kept interested, but it has to be done incredibly gently or he just falls apart.

WindSong
03-09-2012, 06:08 PM
Wow, that must be a lot to digest right now. I can see how you need to think very differently now about his needs. I second the recommendation to check out the Hoagies gifted website. I also like this site (http://www.giftedhomeschoolers.org/index.html) for gifted homeschoolers. Of course there are many books on the subject. Look into A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children by James Webb. I also recommend Five Levels of Gifted by Deborah Ruf. Once you get over the shock, I'm sure you will feel much more confident about being able to meet his needs while homeschooling. IMO, you have been thrown a wonderful curve ball. :)

dragonfly
03-09-2012, 06:19 PM
My dh tells me that he learned to read when he was about 2. As an Air Force brat, he attended many different schools. In some, he was put into special ed. The teachers didn't believe that he was really reading and understanding what he read. They were wrong. That, and it would help if he could actually see the board. So, he got glasses. He was also labeled a troublemaker. He finished class assignments so much more quickly than the rest of the class, that he spent the rest of the time being disruptive, and then being put on a stool at the front of the class. One teacher printed out a whole stack of worksheets for him (probably hoping it would last a few weeks). He happily plowed through them in one day. Probably the biggest challenge for a gifted child is boredom. If you can figure out how to keep him interested, and go at his pace, I bet you'd make a lot of progress.

I mention Calvert, not because I'm necessarily recommending it for you, but because they have wonderful education counselors, whose job it is to figure out what grade level a child should be placed into in their courses, and how to adjust their curriculum to better suit the individual child's needs. They were excellent with customer service whenever I called them asking for advice. I don't know if Calvert would work for you, but maybe there are other providers or something that can help you out with placement and other suggestions.

Penguin
03-09-2012, 06:22 PM
Oh Lou! That must be hard. We've finished our evals for B and go back next Tuesday for the results/diagnosis. I am more afraid of *not* getting the Asperger's diagnosis that I expect than anything else.

As far as schooling goes -- I've been catering to his levels on stuff. He can read anything he wants to, and devours a lot of history and science books as well as fiction, so I've basically given up on teaching him science and Soc Studies. He already knew the grade level things I was supposed to be teaching him according to the curriculum I was using (MBtP). We work on Math (Right Start, I LOVE it), about 4 lessons each week, and I try to do some kind of writing, but since he is reluctant, and behind (possibly first grade level?) I haven't found the perfect curriculum for us yet, so it's much more inconsistent. Other than those two attempts at "school" you'd think we were unschooling.

Good luck figuring it out. I really think you can mostly follow his lead.

AmyButler
03-09-2012, 06:36 PM
As others have suggested, Hoagie's gifted is a lifesaver. There are also a number of books out on parenting gifted children, and they help a lot. SENG http://www.sengifted.org/ is also very good. Gifted behavior and interaction with the world can look very similar to ADHD and AS disorders, but they aren't and the treatments for them don't help and often lead the the child believing there is something wrong with him/her. Even some of the sensory issues (like not liking the feel of certain cloths or tags in clothing) are common with gifted. I would really suggest reading the books, they have helped me with some of the real frustrations with my daughter.

dbmamaz
03-09-2012, 06:50 PM
Ok, one big thing - if your child is gifted, you really dont have to worry about 'gaps.' Anything he doesnt learn he will pick up quickly. The reading/writing thing is something that should proceed at his pace, but if you want to also do things wehre you read to him and take dictation, thats great - if thats what it takes to keep him engaged and let him fully express himself.

my younger is very advanced in math and I gave up on curriculum. We do living books, and some curriculum-ish books,whatever he's interested in. We get science books in whatever he's interested in

honestly, gifted kids will tell you when they are bored - so just do more with them, or move faster, or find something more challenging.

i was also gifted, my kids were all id'd gifted in school (except for the youngest who wasnt in long enough). The important thing is to keep up with them. no worry, really

Jeni
03-09-2012, 07:14 PM
I wouldn't get a 2nd grade curriculum either. You can just work with what you have. If you feel he needs more, then supplement the lesson or whole subject with more advanced material. Other then that, keep him at his own level for now. I've never had my dd tested, and I don't think she's gifted by any means, but she did test at 4th and 6th grade levels in some areas. The first question my mom asked was, "Are you going to get a 6th grade curriculum for social studies?" No because she would miss out on so much in those years we skipped. It would be the same for you. Even though he's super smart, missing that year or two might be something that could cause a problem down the road.

dbmamaz
03-09-2012, 08:01 PM
see, i TOTALLY disagree with that. Making a gifted child do boring work is a sure way to get them to hate school, learn lazy habits, and get in to big trouble. You should keep them challenged. i mean, if you mean they should still read good books, study music, learn history, sure - but not with the grade-level products which bore them to tears

Numericmama
03-09-2012, 08:14 PM
My friend's son is most likely gifted. He comes from a long line of high IQs from both sides of his family.

They are unschooling - because he will pick up any gaps and he reads 3 books a day. He plows through stuff so quickly. And he can turn around and explain thermal dynamics, with understanding and not parroting, to anyone willing to listen.

So, for academics they are unschooling. He has a few friends that she makes sure he spends time with on a weekly basis as much as possible. Like our sons are peas in a pod. They seem to be interested in the same things - so they can play together really well. And she has worked really hard on emotional intelligence. I think that more of her energy has gone to reflecting his feelings, etc than anything else.

He also has some of the physical - motor challenges. So they are doing physical exercises for that. And yes, he is resisting and it is really hard and leads to melt downs! But for her, the social aspect is very important. So she works on that side of things a lot.

For example: I am "teaching" a simple Lego machines class to the boys. We have a pre-planned project that after completing, observing and discussing they can than have free range experimentation with the kit. Now that I am thinking about it, I am sure that they are a bit bored when doing the "lesson" part with me, but they are polite about it and go through the steps. Even if it is at a fast pace. :)

As he gets older then they may take advantage of other opportunities, but for now they are happy homeschooling. And he is happy. My friend's husband was in a local gifted program, and while there were great benefits, the program was highly competitive. Sometimes highly competitive environments can turn ugly or produce ugly results, which doesn't fit with their family values.

My son (who is bright but not gifted) has some reflex problems. I have heard really good things about "brain gym." to work with that. I can't say anything about it yet myself, but to be a fully healthy person, I think that the body should be integrated and working well. So if you notice things like that about your son, you may want to do some exercises to try and help his physical body work well. We have spent about 5 minutes a day on our activities and I can see a noticeable improvement.

Here is a theoretical question:
If the gift child - or any child for that matter - becomes easily frustrated and gives up quickly, how do we teach or help to establish perseverance? My friend is a Double Bass teacher. She told me that she has many students who are more talented who are outperformed by those with less talent who have learned to work hard? How do we develop the "character." My oldest son has vision therapy so I think he is getting the lesson there, but I will have to help my youngest establish that. Running into a challenge, striving and applying yourself and then overcoming (is what I mean.)

Jeninok
03-09-2012, 08:36 PM
Here is a theoretical question:
If the gift child - or any child for that matter - becomes easily frustrated and gives up quickly, how do we teach or help to establish perseverance? My friend is a Double Bass teacher. She told me that she has many students who are more talented who are outperformed by those with less talent who have learned to work hard? How do we develop the "character." My oldest son has vision therapy so I think he is getting the lesson there, but I will have to help my youngest establish that. Running into a challenge, striving and applying yourself and then overcoming (is what I mean.)

This is what I struggle with most I think. Right it means pushing him through math even though he hates it, because he loves science and will need those math skills. I keep reminding him why we are doing it. I am also forcing him to stay with martial arts at least for a year. It is really hard for him, he has some balance and coordination issues, and frankly he doesn't like getting sweaty and working hard at anything. So even if he doesn't love it, I do feel like it is something that could be beneficial for him, and also something he might come to enjoy as his muscles get used to it and his balance improves.

He didn't want to go at first because he was so traumatized by his PS teacher that he though this teacher hated him too because he was stupid and no good :Crying:
Now he doesn't want to go because he is sore afterwards, so I am trying to stretch, and work on balance and proper posture, with him everyday, I am using ballet techniques, but I don't tell him that!

Lou
03-09-2012, 09:23 PM
Oh my, so many wonderful replies. THANK YOU, they all in one way or another make me feel less isolated and lost. THANK YOU.

So many of you described my children (both of them) in one way or another, so it's nice to know one is not alone. :)

Reading everyone's posts gives me a sense of calm, that this won't be as hard as I currently perceive it to be. I'll be reading a TON on the topic over the next ahhh forever ha ha! I already have my library list to check out next week on our weekly library visit. :) Plenty on my amazon.com wish list. RIGHT NOW, my brain is tired! I am going to re-read all of these tomorrow and redigest after a good night's sleep!

Numericmama
03-09-2012, 10:02 PM
So interesting Jeninok.

Some of our visual therapy has included physical therapy. He has this one foot move he does that I remember from ballet! It really makes me wonder.

I just got this book

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0942143027/ref=asc_df_09421430271931142?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=asn&creative=395093&creativeASIN=0942143027

from the library to see if I could work on some of the reflexes on our own. Finally at 8.5 my son was able to grasp about half of swinging on a swing today. It was so great to see him gain a bit of speed and maintain it. But he isn't moving his upper body up and down. My girlfriend was watching him swing and she said that it looks like his arms are wonky. But, he has start rhythmically rocking himself as he is preparing for sleep at night. When we started that move he couldn't even do it.

Try this: lay on back. press your heals into the ground (lightly - don't grind) and move your toes up towards your head then down away from your head - both feet at the same time - to rock your body. Nothing else should move. It is a very integrating exercise. At first his thighs and arms would wiggle too! I don't know what it is like to feel so out of touch with your own body. I can isolate and flex a muscle at will, so this is weird to me. But the important thing is that it is directly linked to brain connections. Crazy how our bodies work!

mratts
03-09-2012, 10:05 PM
Ok, while it is very unusual of me to post without reading each and every reply to make sure I'm not duplicating, I don't have time tonight, but I really really want to reply to you.

Your story could have been written by me, almost verbatim. Two years of homeschooling under our belts, and in that time I have learned that my son has ADHD (and he's medicated for it, it's an absolute necessity with him), he has PDD, which means he's "on the spectrum" but doesn't fit into any of the four named categories, and he is highly gifted. When the psychiatrist called with the results, I heard the line - "We have never tested anyone with an IQ that high. I'm not sure how accurate it is, because our tests weren't designed for that." He capped it. Well, I knew he was smart. My husband is still having a hard time dealing with the number. I could get him tested with a different test to compare, but it's not necessary for me to know an "accurate number". It's enough to know the kid's smart. The PDD really kinda upset me. Well, if he was an Aspie, there are BOOKS for that. Something I could read and then know and then live. But what about the "not quite" kids?? Like MY kid?? Well, as they say, you meet one kid with autism, you've met one kid with autism. And it sounds like, even if you don't get an actual diagnosis, you can help him with his particular needs.

I highly recommend the book "Kids in the Syndrome Mix" by Martin L. Kutscher. It won't all apply to your situation, but a lot of the emotional issues you're dealing with are covered, as well as some very good tips for how to deal with your son in a productive manner, helping him cope and helping you achieve peace in your home and peace of mind. I picked it up at the library and I plan to buy it for several people in my son's life so they can better understand him.

A little note (well, it probably won't be little. I'm rather verbose, sorry!) on asynchronous development - the issues of 11th grade science and 1st grade writing, for example. My son is there. He reads on an 8th grade level, his science is great, geometry fab, but he can't do simple arithmetic or write his name neatly. I wanted to make sure he had basic math facts 0-20 memorized so we could move on to multiplication and division. 90 addition questions. 5 minutes. We'll do it daily until he can get them all. Ok, today was day 5. He's been steadily improving and I've been SO proud of him for dealing with the timed-problems (a huge anxiety for him). He managed to get 48 done - correctly - yesterday. Today I could see him struggling. But I realized he wasn't struggling with the MATH - he was struggling to write the numbers!! So I grabbed the pencil and had him call out the answers. He'd written for the first 2.5 min, I wrote for the last 2.5. He got 68 correct this time. He knew them. He just couldn't write them! Ok, next time, we're going thru orally and if he gets them all, we'll move on to other math, and just have practice writing the numbers.

I felt SO bad for him. He never said "but I KNOW the answer!!" He was just painstakingly trying to write his 6s and 8s, so much trouble for him.

I'm learning something new about my son every day. And I'm trying to accommodate him while still challenging him. It's ok if some of the higher level work is oral. Use the Socratic method with him for those things he can't write. And he can build up his fine motor skills in something that he doesn't have to think about, so he can concentrate on letter formation.

Don't try to get a single curriculum for him. He is asynchronous, his work should match his ability in each subject. And if you find something that interests him, follow that interest as far as he wants to. I like to go to the library with my son and pull about 5 books on different topics, then spread them out on the table and say "ok, which one this week?" He'll pick one and I'll shelve the rest and then find more on the topic he chose. If I simply say "what do you want to study?" I get a blank look or "I dunno". If he can see it, it's much more engaging.

As far as math, you can google "end of the year test" and find some practice math tests for him. I like to use california's simply because they have great core standards and most grades have practice tests readily available with a question or two from each skill. If you take a few days to go through the tests and see what he has mastered and what he still needs to work on, that could give you an indication of what you need to get, or you could pull resources off the internet until he's ready for the next "grade" for that subject. I'm sure there are more accurate measurements than practice tests, but I like the "free" part of my method! :)

Writingworkbooks.com has secular handwriting pages you can print off the internet (free!) that are about high-interest subjects. We have printed (but not yet used) the Dinosaurs workbook. My son actually gave me a huge hug when I showed it to him. Way better than "The quick red fox jumped over the lazy brown dog" or whatever.

Let's see...I use SuperTeacherWorksheets.com for a lot of what we do. There are some free sheets you can print, not exactly sure how it works now because I'd been using them free for a year when they switched to paid membership and I knew I liked it so I paid the $20 to get the membership. Lots of high interest stuff there too, especially in science, but they have pretty much any subject you might need for elementary and I've found them very helpful.

Oh! I downloaded two fonts (free) that are a big help when I'm creating things - like spelling test sheets. Primer Print is a good one because all the letters are formed like you would write them, especially the a's. The other one is Penmanship Print, which is wonderful because it makes the dotted line lines. You can resize them to meet your son's needs, etc. I don't think you can make just the type gray if you wanted tracing, but other than that it's a great font. You just use hash marks (```) to make the dotted lines where you have nothing typed.

Ok, my brain is dry for now, but I want you to know you are NOT alone. I'll come back and read all the replies tomorrow, because I'm sure there are several gems in there I'll be able to use. Sorry I've babbled so long!!

Jeninok
03-09-2012, 10:16 PM
I get what you mean about being totally disconnected from their body, he is almost 11 and can't ride a bike. I am really clumsy, but I also can isolate my muscles and if I take the time I can be graceful, and have good posture, maybe without early dance I would be a total mess though.

He can skateboard, and ride a razor, and sort of roller skate. But riding a bike is just too many things to coordinate at once, trying to balance all that left and right and arms and legs and the mid-line muscles all together is totally impossible for him.

I am having a hard time picturing what you are saying...is this laying on your back with with your palms on the floor then stretching your entire legs up over your head towards the floor, or bending your knees to draw your feet towards the head??

He is totally out of touch with his body, last night I was trying to show him a simple stretch.... square your shoulders, bend at the hips while keeping your back straight and reach towards the floor....he could not do it without totally collapsing his shoulders and crumpling at the navel. I tried telling him to pretend a yard stick was taped to his back but he really thought he was keeping everything straight and bending at the hips.

We also do lots of things that cross the midline, even if it is just having him sweep the floor.

Numericmama
03-09-2012, 11:34 PM
Jeninok -

If you look at this page

http://www.rhythmicmovement.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=21&Itemid=47

on the bottom in purple is a picture of what we are doing. I move his toes back and forth 10 times and then he does 10 times.

About not having full body control - my girlfriend had her son looked at at the local school to see if they could access some OT services as a homeschooling family. She was told that if they had to help every geeky math kid then they wouldn't get anything done. But really, he went to the local children's hospital and was diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder. So they were doing HANDLE (Holistic Approach to NeuroDevelopment and Learning Efficiency) which was helping him. But it's really parent intensive and life happens.

We are taking baby steps. I figure if it takes us years to get it all put together, as long as we are moving forward, I'm happy.

We should just have a post for SID - it's becoming quite common now. I know a ton of kids with physical challenges from uncomfortable touching sand and fingerpainting to not feeling when they've been injured and have blood coming from their leg.

Lou
03-11-2012, 11:55 AM
Gabriela - according to the woman I spoke with, my son COULD plateau if he's not continually challenged. So the pressure of challenging him without taxing his little body, soul & mind is one challenge I have and I'm not sure how to do it, but all of these messages have given me some ideas to start with.

Free Placement Tests for each Subject - if anyone has links to various places I can get my hands on FREE placement tests, PLEASE SHARE those links with me. I would like to see where he's at in each individual subject.

Accidental Homeschooler - I do plan on reading at least three books on the topic of gifted. I have my library list and Tuesday I'll be raiding the library of all their books on the subject. :cool: I really want to read up more on the emotional side of gifted. He is far more sensitive and sensitive about things that never really seem to apply appropriately to the situation.

My son is apparently "Gifted" but he doesn't seem "Motivated" in any certain area. Nor does he seem "Motivated" by anything that takes WORK to accomplish.

AddlepatedMonkeMama - I think it was you that mentioned you can't go wrong if you are pay attention (or something on those lines) and that is a BIG worry for me, because I don't think I always am paying attention. I recently was watching videos of my son when he was younger because the speech therapist wanted some clips to see if he did what he does then and now. Anyhow, I found far too many clips that had him clearly trying to tell me something and me up in the clouds not getting at all what he was saying. But rather cruising along with my own agenda. :( He would be saying "mama, letter F" then making the F sound really hard and me telling him not to spit on the table. Him trying to repeat and tell me "no mama, F Ffffffffff, like Fire. Me replying, I told you not to spit, I don't care if there is a fire, you don't spit a fire out, please stop spitting at the table. CLEARLY we were on different planets there and I didn't see it then, so what am I missing now? Another example, he's asking me to STIR in one video and I think he's asking me to SHARE, so he keeps telling me to STIR MAMA STIR and I keep going on to the lesson of SHARING. I do worry dearly about not being on the same planet together and me missing his needs!

Hockeymom - mentioned intentional parenting and lots of love. I try my best, but look above, trying to teach spitting is rude and sharing is great, I missed his real message to me. :( I will try my best to HEAR HIM instead of insisting he hears ME.

Hoagie's sounds like and looks like a good page to know of, I have book marked it and will continue to check it out, but curious if anyone has any specific area of that web site to direct me to. There seems to be A LOT of info!

Naturegirl7 - I think your son is here, so when do you suppose you can come pick him up? ha ha! ;)

Aspergers - if my son was NO WHERE on the spectrum, can it be that somewhere in the future he would be on the spectrum? Do you think those social deficits that affect AS kiddos also affect (or is it Effect?) gifted kids? In the same way? Different?

Jeninok - No threshold for frustration, correction, or boredom...can't do it perfectly right away, gets mades and wants to quit! This is EXACTLY my son. If it isn't easy from the get go, or go exactly as he has planned (which is not often the case, because his idea is grand and his planning for the grand thing is not) then he cries, refuses, melts down and spends 30 minutes under his covers on his bed. How do YOU (or any others that want to voice opinions) handle that situation? You also mention, needing to be engaged, challenged and kept interested, but has to be done incredibly gently or he falls apart. This too is EXACTLY my son. How do YOU (or others) do this?

I have to break this up into two messages, because it's too long. Sorry!

Lou
03-11-2012, 11:56 AM
Book suggestions - THANK YOU everyone for the list I have to work with now.

Dragonfly - you mentioned the biggest challenge for a gifted child is boredom. We live a VERY MELLOW lifestyle. He gets bored at times, but I kick him outside to play. Should we again get rolling like we used to do, lots of music, swim, dance, kung fu, etc classes, or stick with our very mellow life? We used to be GO GO GO GO when he was younger now we are Slllllloooooowwwww and not engaged in any classes at the moment (except his social club class that teaches social skills with the speech therapist) And does CALVERT do free testing if you are not using their curriculum?

Penguin - I was similar to you in re: to expecting the AS Dx, and not knowing what to do if they told me otherwise. Well they told me otherwise and then they told me he's NOT even on the spectrum, which I was convinced he was on their in some way. It's like being dunked in a dunk tank. You're at the beginning all over again. I will say that ONE thing that changed was instead of looking at what's wrong with my son and working so hard on trying to fix it, I now look at my son and see what's right and want to work so hard on keeping it right. (if that makes sense) We have had a rough week too, both of my kids are going thru some sort of emotional growth spurt because they are both testing waters of whinny, bickering, etc. They both have had playdates all week and to be honest, they are more compliant with each other when outside friends are not a part of the scene. They work better with me too when we limit the playdates to one or two a week, but any more then two seems to bring on the "I don't need you, I have someone else out there to entertain me" mentality.

Unschooling - maybe I need to read more of John Holt's books and figure out just how to unschool the best way possible for my kids? I don't know, I have to let go of MY need to do curriculum if that is the case and I'm not sure I can do that? UGH. I want to, but is it in me? I worry that I'll get lazy or involved in my own thoughts and projects and push my children's questions or desires to learn aside? (like right now, my kids are talking about reading and learning and I'm online typing, not guiding. BRB)

Well that went over like a fart in church - I read the stuff he was having trouble reading, he didn't like that he didn't know the answer to the question, he melted, quit and decided he doesn't want to do that anymore! DONE! Shut down! :( All I did was read the question he wanted me to read.

AmyButler - I have checked out SENG but it doesn't seem totally clear to me what they offer? no products to buy, no forum to chat on, ????? I'm lost there??? What am I doing wrong? It must be more then ads for their products you can't buy??????

AS, ASD, ADHD, learning disabilities, dyslexic, disgraphia, etc I have read all sorts of books on these topics. LOADS AND LOADS. however, I haven't read many on GIFTED. The check list seemed to only sort of fit when he was younger and I felt odd saying my child is gifted. Seemed like something a parent of a young child brags about and I was sensitive to bragging, since he did do things much faster and easier then his peers. I always down played my son to others. I feel bad about that now too.

Brain Gym - I actually have been looking into this lately. Wanted to see next week if the library had the book before I buy it. My son can do some things quickly and easily, but other things can't do at all. IE: Riding a bike, we have never taught him, he just got on a bike without training wheels at the park (not his) and rode it, we came home and took off his training wheels and he rode off no wobbles, no falls, nothing, just perfectly rode. Yet a Pogo stick frustrated him dearly. Jump rope, he can do, but that skill comes and goes. Swimming, he was in swim lessons all spring & summer from the age of 9 months, still can't swim, but thinks he can. He can SORT OF swim, but gasps, swallows water, messy swimmer.

Establishing Perseverance in a gifted child that wants to quit things that are hard. How do you do this? I NEED the answer to this!

Your messages make me think I need to get him into some classes again, I just hate classes because most of them are AFTER SCHOOL and I honestly don't like my son having to deal with the school kids, it's painful to watch. They are snotty, bratty and mean (even with their best friends) and he feels tormented by their actions. I know that their actions are fairly average comments of school children, so no other parents are stopping it because it's not all that out of the norm, but for him, it's painful. :(

Rhythmically Rocking - is there a video of this? I need a visual aide here. Really curious to do it, but not sure exactly what you're describing.

Anxiety in timed tests - The timer in general strikes panic in my son. If I say I'm going to set the timer, he freaks. Even if his sister is doing something he wants to do and I say I'll set the timer and in 5 minutes your sister will have to stop and give you a turn, he panics and says "never mind I don't want to do it anymore" or if it's the opposite and I say I'll set the timer and in 5 minutes your sister gets a turn he panics and says "she can have it now, I'm done" ..........if I set the timer for clean up, he panics and cleans roughly, sloppy, and most of the time ends up crying and not finishing. The timer is ONE way to get him to do some things, but in MOST cases, if I mention the timer, he panics. Another one that gets me, is We can take a 20 minute break from lessons, go play for 20 minutes. If I set the timer for 20 minutes he panics and says never mind I don't want to play. But if I don't set the timer, he's gooooood to go play!!!

Mratts - I like the pull 5 books and see what his subject of interest for the week is. I will give that plan a try this next week (we go to the library weekly) thanks for that idea. As for the socratic method of asking him questions so he can come to the conclusion is something we do, but if the questions are too many (in the case he's not getting to the conclusion) he will shut down on me. And that topic will not be able to be approached for months if ever. It is one method I do use, but I have to be quick to stop, because his "shut down" is instant, there aren't a lot of signs to indicate when the "shut down" is coming.

California's Simple - what is this? Is each subject separate?

We are members of the superteachersworksheets.com I didn't think $20 was too much for a FULL YEAR of membership.

Clumsy - I don't know if I would put him in the Clumsy catagory. He seems to be OK physically, he was early with all the large motor skills compared to his friends. Walked long before his 1st birthday. I think he was 9 or 10 months old. He was jumping with two feet on the trampoline by the time he was 15/16 months. Rode a bike without training wheels at the age of 4. HOWEVER, those 'events' make him want to quit instantly if something doesn't come easy (like mentioned above) He isn't the kid that runs into walls, or falls down often. BUT when he took wrestling classes the teacher would try and put his foot somewhere and he would fight it. Then the teacher would show him with his body the stance he wanted and my son insisted that was the position he was currently in (which he wasn't even close to!) soooo the fact that he doesn't know where his body is, is clear to me, however he's not so much clumsy. I'm just not sure what he is?

Corrigan - you described me. I was in gifted classes, I attended private, then public, I got bored and thought the lessons were silly. I pretty much successfully dumbed down in high school. I don't want that for my children!

Jeninok - what is SID?

I want to THANK EVERYONE who replied! I got a LOT out of the replies and have some sort of beginning ideas of my plan. There is direction now. THANK YOU! :kiss:

dbmamaz
03-11-2012, 12:19 PM
My youngest is gifted but most things make him shut down, and for him, I really liked the Moore's better late than early philosophy. I have scaled way back on everything. For me, i think its about trusting him that he knows what he needs, to develop. When he was younger, he chose a lot of logic-building video games . . . as I was looking for logic curriculum for him, I realized he already had it covered.

That thing about plateauing - i dont buy it at all. In school, yes, kids work hard until they realize there's nothing in it for them and then they give up. If your son withdraws when you teach, correct, time, whatever . . . just dont. Yes, pick out library books, watch documentaries, read books to them without quizzing afterwards. I'm convinced that really bright kids dont need to be taught step by step like other kids do, it can mess up their own path.

like my son - if we are doing math and I try to encourage him to do one step at a time, he screams at me. if i ask him if he needs help, he screams at me. If i bite my tongue and dont say a word no matter how long it takes, he finally comes up w an answer and can usually tell me how. and then, if its wrong, i either tell him its wrong and let him try again, or i write it down the way i would do it, and mention that this is why writing problems down is helpful.

anyways, i see what you mean with the F - no spitting - issue. Yeah, you need to listen better and worry less about being polite and more about exploring the world and expanding his interests.

i do NOT think classes are an answer, not unless he's asking for classes.

idk, i think you have to try a lot of things and ask what he likes. hes' really still so young . . . so many boys arent really ready for organized academics at that age no matter how smart they are - smart isnt the same thing as precociously mature. You will have to really think outside every box and doubt every rule . . . you'll figure it out eventually!

Lou
03-11-2012, 12:39 PM
My youngest is gifted but most things make him shut down, and for him, I really liked the Moore's better late than early philosophy. I have scaled way back on everything. For me, i think its about trusting him that he knows what he needs, to develop. When he was younger, he chose a lot of logic-building video games . . . as I was looking for logic curriculum for him, I realized he already had it covered.

This is totally us. He will get into something, I'll run out and get any and everything I can on the topic and he'll be done with it. I have learned to not do that so much, but that was the first several years of his life. Can be frustrating for a parent who's trying and getting nothing in return, but it makes sense now. He's done with it and ready to move on to something else. I have read Raymond Moore's books and agree with them in the better late then early parts. I simply don't know what the 'gifted' aspect bring to the situation?

That thing about plateauing - i dont buy it at all. In school, yes, kids work hard until they realize there's nothing in it for them and then they give up. If your son withdraws when you teach, correct, time, whatever . . . just dont. Yes, pick out library books, watch documentaries, read books to them without quizzing afterwards. I'm convinced that really bright kids dont need to be taught step by step like other kids do, it can mess up their own path.

He seems to soak in things I'm not 'teaching' so I'm sort of curious about fully unschooling, but two hurdles, mom & dad! I love curriculum and Dad still thinks school at home and stay on level is important (which I wonder if this new news has changed his opinion?)

like my son - if we are doing math and I try to encourage him to do one step at a time, he screams at me. if i ask him if he needs help, he screams at me. If i bite my tongue and dont say a word no matter how long it takes, he finally comes up w an answer and can usually tell me how. and then, if its wrong, i either tell him its wrong and let him try again, or i write it down the way i would do it, and mention that this is why writing problems down is helpful.

This is also us. And it's not always (or ever) easy.

anyways, i see what you mean with the F - no spitting - issue. Yeah, you need to listen better and worry less about being polite and more about exploring the world and expanding his interests.

I agree, I need to stop! I'm getting in my own way. DH needs to stop too! But not sure if he can or will or desires to?

i do NOT think classes are an answer, not unless he's asking for classes.

he does ask for some classes now. There was a time he didn't want any. and there was a time he wanted a ton. ALL of them bring some degree of frustration. Kung fu and swimming seemed to bring the least amount of frustration

idk, i think you have to try a lot of things and ask what he likes. hes' really still so young . . . so many boys arent really ready for organized academics at that age no matter how smart they are - smart isnt the same thing as precociously mature. You will have to really think outside every box and doubt every rule . . . you'll figure it out eventually!
I'm sure we will figure it out somehow. Just hope it's sooner rather then later and hopefully no little self esteems are damaged along the way.

Jeni
03-11-2012, 01:03 PM
Language arts and math placement tests.

https://eprcontent.k12.com/placement/placement/placement_langarts_2.html

https://eprcontent.k12.com/placement/placement/placement_math_1.html

dbmamaz
03-11-2012, 01:06 PM
yeah, it sounds like socially your family leans a little conservative rule-following? and honestly, i just dont so its harder for me to give advice that fits in that sort of life! I wonder if some sort of minimal testing showing he's capable of working at or above grade level each year would help them relax some? its frustrating because some of the expectations of school are the ability to sit still and write down boring, repetitive things . .. which is even harder for a gifted kid to do than for an average kid to do, sometimes, and doesnt really help long term success unless you want to be a factory worker or a book keeper! Sometimes its fun to remember how many of the big names in history only had a few years of formal schooling but were still wildly successful.

and honestly, as parents, we all make mistakes no matter how hard we try not to. I have 3 kids all older than yours, and when they were all young, i was sure i'd do everything right and they'd never be 'damaged' . .. now i have plenty of regrets. but life is like that and as long as you keep trying, they'll know you meant well in the end.

dragonfly
03-11-2012, 02:11 PM
And does CALVERT do free testing if you are not using their curriculum?

Yes, and for the early grades, you can print out and administer a placement test yourself. You can read about it here:
http://homeschool.calvertschool.org/get-started-homeschooling/placement

And by boredom, I meant specifically school-type work. Doing endless worksheets on topics that the child already knows how to do, making them do things the long way, instead of the way that they figured out works faster and better. Stuff public school is notorious for doing. To go back to my dh again, he was once in a class (elementary, I don't remember which grade), and the teacher assigned the class the task of adding up all the numbers from 1-100. Dh quickly figured out how to do this the short way ( 101x50), and finished right away. That was "wrong." The teacher wanted everyone to do it the long way--probably so she could get caught up on her work whilst the kiddies toiled away quietly--so he got in trouble for that.

I wouldn't call my own ds gifted, but it was clear from kindergarten that he picked up on math concepts quickly. I accelerated his pace over the next few years in math--not skipping anything, just moving more quickly--so by fourth grade, he was two years ahead. That seemed right, so we stayed there. I'm sure that if I hadn't done so, he would have been bored to tears, and more than a little annoyed with the math books. He was relieved to be ahead, if for no other reason than the books he was using were no longer full of "silly" illustrations.

Numericmama
03-11-2012, 05:07 PM
I don't see any videos for the rhythmic rocking thing. Maybe I can get a video of us doing it. My husband has an iPad2. I'll check with him to see if it videos.

Lou
03-11-2012, 05:25 PM
yeah, it sounds like socially your family leans a little conservative rule-following? and honestly, i just dont so its harder for me to give advice that fits in that sort of life!

... as long as you keep trying, they'll know you meant well in the end.

Hubby more so then me when it comes to 'rule following' and I support him because we are a team, but when it's JUST ME there are less rules to follow. And since he's been home now for a month he's SORT OF loosening up becuase to some degree he sees how it works during the day. But he's still more rule oriented then me.


Yes, and for the early grades, you can print out and administer a placement test yourself. You can read about it here:
http://homeschool.calvertschool.org/get-started-homeschooling/placement
thanks, I'll look into the placement testing

And by boredom, I meant specifically school-type work. Doing endless worksheets on topics that the child already knows how to do, making them do things the long way, instead of the way that they figured out works faster and better. Stuff public school is notorious for doing. To go back to my dh again, he was once in a class (elementary, I don't remember which grade), and the teacher assigned the class the task of adding up all the numbers from 1-100. Dh quickly figured out how to do this the short way ( 101x50), and finished right away. That was "wrong." The teacher wanted everyone to do it the long way--probably so she could get caught up on her work whilst the kiddies toiled away quietly--so he got in trouble for that.

I am glad to hear the difference, I'm totally NOT into boring worksheet after worksheet. I like worksheets, but if they are bored, I don't force it. We do live a fairly boring life though and the kids have plenty of time to 'create' whatever they want outside, but sometimes I worry they don't have free for all playtime as often as I'd like. They do it, but there are lots of times they would rather watch a show, play a video game, etc and I limit that during the day time hours, especially if it's warm and sunny outside.

I wouldn't call my own ds gifted, but it was clear from kindergarten that he picked up on math concepts quickly. I accelerated his pace over the next few years in math--not skipping anything, just moving more quickly--so by fourth grade, he was two years ahead. That seemed right, so we stayed there. I'm sure that if I hadn't done so, he would have been bored to tears, and more than a little annoyed with the math books. He was relieved to be ahead, if for no other reason than the books he was using were no longer full of "silly" illustrations.

This is good to hear, because we took this past year easy on 'school at home' stuff and I feared my son maybe got bored and didn't excel. I'm pretty sure the Kindergarten year was torture for him in many ways, but the academic boredom even more so. Which scares me that maybe two years were boring in two different ways, but to hear you say you excelled over a period of two years gives me hope that long term goals are possible and it doesn't have to happen RIGHT NOW!


I don't see any videos for the rhythmic rocking thing. Maybe I can get a video of us doing it. My husband has an iPad2. I'll check with him to see if it videos.

I'd love to see a clip of it, but don't worry if it's a hassle. :)


Off to go check out all those placement links. THANKS!

Jeninok
03-11-2012, 05:42 PM
Lou,
I don't have any great advice, I just try to not loose my temper when he is having a total meltdown over something ridiculous...like the simple label reading worksheet we did the other day that resulted in a total freak out.

But I don't let him just give up and fall apart just because he doesn't like something. I don't load him up with a lot of busywork, and if I see he gets a concept we move on, so I do expect him to complete most things, and if he freaks out and falls apart, he can do it later. Temper tantrums do not get you out of stuff, especially at almost 11!!

I allow him to dictate larger writing assignments, he is enjoying and understanding higher level science and history, but his writing skills can't keep up. I see no problem with dictation since the point is to make sure he is learning.
I also sometimes dictate his math answers when we need to do more problems to make sure he understands. This keeps his frustration level down and we can go much further.

Math Mammoth has really been great too, it has just enough color to keep him from feeling like it is overwhelming, and it is broken up into small chunks on each page. But it isn't visually over stimulating and it goes very incrementally with skills.

Compared to his old math books from PS, he said it is like reading in english after trying to decipher math written in russian this whole time. (it is also cheap!!)

AmyButler
03-11-2012, 06:32 PM
SENG has a resourse library that has a lot of free articles on line, they also sponsor parent groups (you can check if there are any in your area) and sponsor webinars. I have used to read a lot of the free articles but not got involved--we had a really good parents group at the school my daughter was in in VA.

ginnyjf
03-11-2012, 07:15 PM
Lou, a good place to start on Hoagie's is at the homeschooling portal, here: http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/home_sc.htm Good curriculum suggestions and then you can branch out from there. Hugs!

Jeni
03-11-2012, 09:05 PM
Yes, and for the early grades, you can print out and administer a placement test yourself. You can read about it here:
http://homeschool.calvertschool.org/get-started-homeschooling/placement

And by boredom, I meant specifically school-type work. Doing endless worksheets on topics that the child already knows how to do, making them do things the long way, instead of the way that they figured out works faster and better. Stuff public school is notorious for doing. To go back to my dh again, he was once in a class (elementary, I don't remember which grade), and the teacher assigned the class the task of adding up all the numbers from 1-100. Dh quickly figured out how to do this the short way ( 101x50), and finished right away. That was "wrong." The teacher wanted everyone to do it the long way--probably so she could get caught up on her work whilst the kiddies toiled away quietly--so he got in trouble for that.

I wouldn't call my own ds gifted, but it was clear from kindergarten that he picked up on math concepts quickly. I accelerated his pace over the next few years in math--not skipping anything, just moving more quickly--so by fourth grade, he was two years ahead. That seemed right, so we stayed there. I'm sure that if I hadn't done so, he would have been bored to tears, and more than a little annoyed with the math books. He was relieved to be ahead, if for no other reason than the books he was using were no longer full of "silly" illustrations.

I got in big trouble for reading an assigned book for English in one night. I guess I was supposed to take weeks like the rest of the class. I think the teacher was afraid I wouldn't be able to do the work down the road because I would have forgotten the text. From what I recall that wasn't an issue.

Lou
03-11-2012, 09:31 PM
Lou,
I don't have any great advice, I just try to not loose my temper when he is having a total meltdown over something ridiculous...like the simple label reading worksheet we did the other day that resulted in a total freak out.

But I don't let him just give up and fall apart just because he doesn't like something. I don't load him up with a lot of busywork, and if I see he gets a concept we move on, so I do expect him to complete most things, and if he freaks out and falls apart, he can do it later. Temper tantrums do not get you out of stuff, especially at almost 11!!

I allow him to dictate larger writing assignments, he is enjoying and understanding higher level science and history, but his writing skills can't keep up. I see no problem with dictation since the point is to make sure he is learning.
I also sometimes dictate his math answers when we need to do more problems to make sure he understands. This keeps his frustration level down and we can go much further.

Math Mammoth has really been great too, it has just enough color to keep him from feeling like it is overwhelming, and it is broken up into small chunks on each page. But it isn't visually over stimulating and it goes very incrementally with skills.

Compared to his old math books from PS, he said it is like reading in english after trying to decipher math written in russian this whole time. (it is also cheap!!)



I think 'writing' things out will allow us to get a lot farther along, because when he does answer math questions and the numbers are written backwards, then he catches it and we have to erase and do over and then there's a few attemps to get it 'just so' and that drives me nuts, and then also sets me in the 'writing' mode instead of math and I find myself focusing more on the numbers and form of the numbers and direction they are written, over the important part of IS THE ANSWER RIGHT?

I don't often loose my temper, because I can feel it boiling up before I loose it and I typically tell the kids, mommie is about to get frustrated, please go play for a bit while I calm my body down. And that typically buys some time to clear thoughts and come back to the work in a better frame of mind. But if we heat up and get frustrated quickly I just stop what we are doing for the day at a good stopping point.

I have printed off all of those placement tests and will work on those this next week with both kiddos. My daughter is clearly somewhere between 1st & 2nd grade levels, but she's only 4, so I don't want to push her too hard. I'll finish the tests on both of them before deciding what level to aim for.

I do like the idea of unschooling. I think I will try to encorporate more unschooling into our day. Today my son watched a bunch of videos from "HERE COMES SCIENCE" and then at dinner he wanted to show daddy the videos, so they did, then a discussion of speed & velocity came up, so daddy had to go get his chronograph and before we knew it, we were measuring nerf darts at the dinner table. Last week we boiled some water with the centerpiece candle. So we have an 'educational' atmospher, but science is really DAD'S thing. I'm good at it, I get it, but I can't explain it and I am terrible at pronouncing the correct words. Anyhow, point is, I'm guessing a lot of unschooling type things can take place in our home and gaps can be filled that way.

My son has NEVER been one of those kids that asked a lot of questions. He never went thru that "WHY? WHY? WHY?" phase (neither did my daughter) So I'm never sure what his interests are until they are peaking, then he's got it and it's over. Unschooling seems like it needs that type of child, the one that will ask questions and verbally desire more and more and more information. That is not my son. (or my daughter)

lakshmi
03-11-2012, 09:32 PM
What do other parents do?

THEY HOMESCHOOL!!!!!

DON'T YOU DARE PUT HIM SCHOOL OR I WILL PERSONALLY DRIVE MY ASS OUT THERE AND BITCH SLAP YOU. (in the most loving way of course.)

Lou
03-11-2012, 09:36 PM
Ha ha, I'm giggling to myself, because it seems many of the gifted kids have gifted parents (which makes sense) I too was gifted as a child, but yet I'm clueless now. ha ha! I must of excelled in dumbing down!

Lou
03-11-2012, 10:10 PM
THEY HOMESCHOOL!!!!!

DON'T YOU DARE PUT HIM SCHOOL OR I WILL PERSONALLY DRIVE MY ASS OUT THERE AND BITCH SLAP YOU. (in the most loving way of course.)


Ha ha, of course I wouldn't put him in school! I was advised to let him take a couple gifted courses as 'enrichment' to our homeschooling. But that doesn't seem like an option anyhow. Our local school doesn't have a gifted program, the schools in the next town over do, but your child would attend gifted classes all day long every day like regular school and the school that does have gifted classes per subject won't allow a child to be tested for it until 2nd grade and they can't be involved in the classes until they are in 3rd grade.

I'm leaning towards getting serious and figuring out exactly where my kids are with each subject and then just teaching the different subjects per their levels. I will read and write if I have to for him until his writing is up to par.

I'm going to talk with his speech therapist next week and hit up the library for more info, ask all my questions here for you guys (my weath of info right here!).

My brain is muuuush, but I will continue to get ourselves set and ready for fall. I figure between now and then I can become a gifted parent expert, right! ha ha! :cool:

skrink
03-11-2012, 10:19 PM
Looks like I'm late to the party, but I sympathize with your situation. Dd did eventually get the Aspie diagnosis, pretty much by default, but the gifted aspect is there, too. She has scored all over the darned place, depending on her mood. The last IQ testing was a disaster. The easy questions - "Those are for babies! That's too easy! Do you think I'm stupid??!!" The hard questions? Um, meltdown time. She still did quite well. I'd love to get a clearer picture of where she is but I don't know how to do that.

I struggle with how hard to push. She grasps concepts easily, understanding complex ideas really quickly, but she loses interest fast and doesn't like to work to get any further. I have to drive the train ALL THE TIME and it gets exhausting. I'd like her to take ownership of something here, work independently, feel vested in the outcome. But she doesn't. And I'm not sure how to get there.

So, no ideas, but you've sure got lots of company!

Lou
03-11-2012, 10:26 PM
So, no ideas, but you've sure got lots of company!

I didn't realize I had so much company until this post! I am very very very happy I am surrounded by so many great folks! :)

dbmamaz
03-11-2012, 11:14 PM
btw, you cant really figure out 'levels' for science and social studies. Different schools teach those things in different orders. It really doesnt matter when they learn what. Its more important to engage them there.

singapore math has level tests, too. and for language arts - i mean you know if he can read or not, you dont need a test for that. If he's reading, you probably dont need formal phonics. You probably know if he's ready to write things on his own - like would he draw a picture and write a caption under it? Does he need handwriting practice? If he's reading books quickly, find harder ones (only if they are subjects that he is willing to read, tho).

another idea is to show him the science topics at intelligo and ask if he's interested in any of those topics.

and history? idk, i just started going through in date order starting from the big bang, and switched to US history after the Renaissance. But i didnt start history until Raven was in 2nd grade, before that we just read books about various historical figures and discussed holidays.

naturegirl7
03-11-2012, 11:30 PM
Ha ha, I'm giggling to myself, because it seems many of the gifted kids have gifted parents (which makes sense) I too was gifted as a child, but yet I'm clueless now. ha ha! I must of excelled in dumbing down!
LOL!! I know, I was thinking that too! I think back to my enrichment classes, and while it was a good program with things like art and creative writing and extra intense science - it was for an hour once a week and it barely challenged me. I was BORED. I was an A student but I never learned to study cuz I didn't need to. I felt like I was wasting my time and wished I could be off learning and doing more interesting things. Even college, I was so bored and frustrated with classes, I stopped going. I'd show up for the test and that was it. My profs didn't appreciate that much and it caused some issues. LOL Another gifted college dropout here - eventually I went back on got my nursing degree but I hated every minute of it. I see so much of myself in my son and I am determined not to kill his love of learning with boredom. But it is so hard!! It is hard to constantly be doing and to keep up with his appetite - he devours things so rapidly. And so out of sync sometimes. Today he was playing on the demo for Timez Attacks (my attempt to accommodate his love of video games and sneak some math practice in there). He got frustrated with the add/subtraction game so he jumped ahead to the multiplication. He was doing it too. I was blown away. He played the multiplication for well over an hour and was close to tears when I asked him to get off so he could head to the park with Daddy and play. I love that he is excited to learn it, but at the same time I worry cuz he needs to know the basic stuff too. That is one of our biggest challenges.

I love that so many of you mention sensory issues and writing issues. It is nice to know that I am not alone! Writing is a HUGE hurdle here and we often dictate instead. His motor skill just can't keep up with his brain. We are still muddling thru a basic kindergarten ZB handwriting book. If it wasn't for the fact that it has mazes scattered thru it, he wouldnt touch it at all. He even complains about how babyish the mazes are ;) Definitely going to check out the Rocking thing. I also have found that gymnastics and dance help a LOT. He is the most uncoordinated, clumsy kid ever. But gymnastics and dancec have helped so much. He can get those wiggles out, be daring in a safe place, learn to follow instructions, learn some self control, and his confidence - real self esteem confidence not bravado - is improving. We started with a basic dance class of ballet, tap, and jazz. He LOVED tap. Then he saw the older boys hip hop class and wanted to do that so he is in both. Or was until we moved. Still trying to find a good boy friendly studio here. Anyways, he loves hiphop and loves tap. Jazz is "ok" and he tolerates ballet LOL It has helped his coordination and balance and muscle control. Cutest thing is that when he is doing his math, he stands instead of sitting (the easier to fidget!) and without thinking about it he'll start shuffle stepping. When he taps his way thru math, it is a much much easier day!

BTW we unschooled completely until starting Kindy when we had to do more record keeping. I have curricula that we very loosely follow and still unschool a lot of it. I have found stuff that is literature based so it is unschooly and adaptable. Grammar Island is like magic for LA - he pulls it out to read it for fun. Same with his Usborne history books and the science books we got to go allow with Elemental Science. SOTW audio books loaded on my phone have proved to be one of my most prized sanity savers. He can't get enough of them. And he is so chill when he listens to them!

findemerson
03-12-2012, 03:37 AM
My son is similar in many ways listed on this thread. I personally have no intention of testing him though. As a matter of fact, this is why I chose Charlotte Mason method for him. I like unschooling but need structure, etc. Nature activities keep him engaged. The addition of music and art history also keeps him busy. We also do map work/geography type things. I haven't formally started history but I pick out biographies to read to him. The classical books keep him entertained and on his emotional level while providing the higher vocabulary necessary for his age. Not all of them are boring--for instance, the original unabridged Pinocchio was very fun! I tried logic and that was a flop because they are so boring/easy for him. So, I plan on starting him with computer programming along with his foreign language this year (he turns six in a few weeks). I plan on a musical instrument but not yet--he's so small the only thing he could coordinate would be a recorder and well, he's not allowed to have a whistle these days, lol, so...

I design a lot of my teaching around units--like we're studying X this (month, quarter, semester, etc) and we'll watch movies, read books, do activities, etc about X. If it turns out to be a dud, we'll wrap it up early and if it's exciting we'll stay at it longer. He's not bored any longer and the more things I expose him to, the more he chimes in his opinion. I got StartWrite so I could give him word/number practice that was, well--practical. The idea came from a tongue twister/riddle book he had--So, this is what he "copy-writes". He makes up a lot of his own math problems--So, I put them on the sheet so he can copy those and he's proud to show friends and relatives his "creation" and pretend he is teaching others. By making it a game and keeping it short--I've edged him into writing independently (sort of). Oh yeah---I used mazes and connect the dots for hand coordination and then when I stopped making him print and got him to trace italics and cursive--we went from 20 min to 2 min at the table and it's legible. I had to try a few different fonts but, again, Startwrite saved my butt on this one.

I've also found educational games online; along with board "mind" games like Blokus, mastermind, etc keep him entertained and some he can do himself. I also keep A LOT of books around--all kinds: humor, reference, chapter books, picture books, etc. And I got him magazine subscriptions--he likes the science and travel magazines--since they are always coming and new topics--again, no boredom. I don't follow CM down to the letter...but it is probably 80% of our focus and then other stuff. For example, narration is a bit different: he and I read or do something and at dinnertime, his father asks him what he did that day. If he can remember, I know to move on...if he struggles, I know to keep the pot on the back burner for now.

The only advice is to really get to know your kid. I mean, if you asked my kid what 6+2 is, he'd say "idk". BUT, if you asked him the same question like this: If I had 6 and you gave me 2 more how many will I have? He gets it right every time. We've been working on the words plus -minus/add -subtract for weeks; but in the meantime, he can add and subtract high numbers. So, I guess I'm also telling you to try many different things--the number line is trash in my house--he can follow you do it but he can't do it himself--Had I stayed on these concepts, I'd be sitting at the table writing a thread about how my poor boy struggles in math and I can't understand it since he is so advanced with his other thinking skills, lol.

-HTH-

Lou
03-13-2012, 11:08 AM
btw, you cant really figure out 'levels' for science and social studies. Different schools teach those things in different orders. It really doesnt matter when they learn what. Its more important to engage them there.
this is what I thought too, but I've been given a grade level for science (back when he was in kindergarten) so that must of been a 'school' thing? Because I can't find a sicence placement test for him.

singapore math has level tests, too. and for language arts - i mean you know if he can read or not, you dont need a test for that. He CAN read, but WONT and stumbles when asked to read. So I don't know what "level" he is at when it comes to reading. And that was a specific question asked at the evaluation. As for MATH I know he "UNDERSTANDS" multiplication/division, but when I ask him to do LARGE NUMBER subtraction/addition he sometimes will do it, sometimes not. He will verbally do it all, but he doesn't always want to "perform" on paper or even verbally if asked to do something in a performing type way. If he's reading, you probably dont need formal phonics. You probably know if he's ready to write things on his own again, he will write ON HIS OWN, but he will not write if formally asked and he perceives it as performing, or if he's bored with it and doesn't want to do it. I suspect he can read and write better then what I'm seeing, but details of school work get in the way, silly techincal things like words that don't sound like they look, he has low tolerance for that. Maturity will being along the ability to understand that not ALL things must follow the same rules. My daughter is somewhere in the 1st/2nd grade level for writing, because all the preschool/kindergarten stuff is far too easy for her. I sure would like to get her tested too, so I could know from the get go what I should be doing with her too!- like would he draw a picture and write a caption under it? He does this on his own. He will take his journal and draw a picture then write something about it under the picture, but if there is a formal worksheet that requires, this he shuts down. And he won't write in his journal often enough to keep some sort of writing practice ball rolling. I tried getting him an e-mail and a blog so he could at least type at a higher level, but again, he isn't interested in doing that but maybe once a month (if I remind him) Does he need handwriting practice? YES! If he's reading books quickly, find harder ones (only if they are subjects that he is willing to read, tho).

another idea is to show him the science topics at intelligo and ask if he's interested in any of those topics. I'll have to go check that place out, I'm not familiar with it.

and history? idk, i just started going through in date order starting from the big bang, and switched to US history after the Renaissance. But i didnt start history until Raven was in 2nd grade, before that we just read books about various historical figures and discussed holidays.

..........

Lou
03-13-2012, 11:08 AM
This is what we do now, read history stories for fun. Listen to Audio stories, etc but nothing formal yet. I felt we needed to master the reading and writing first. But now I am having a different outlook. Maybe we'll 'master the reading and writing' over time, and unschool or relax school more advanced subjects so he doesn't feel the pressure, still enjoys them and oh shoot I'm not sure how we'll do this, I guess I'll have another 1st year of homeschooling. Ha ha!


LOL!! I know, I was thinking that too! I think back to my enrichment classes, and while it was a good program with things like art and creative writing and extra intense science - it was for an hour once a week and it barely challenged me. I was BORED. I was an A student but I never learned to study cuz I didn't need to. I felt like I was wasting my time and wished I could be off learning and doing more interesting things. Even college, I was so bored and frustrated with classes, I stopped going. I'd show up for the test and that was it. My profs didn't appreciate that much and it caused some issues. LOL Another gifted college dropout here - eventually I went back on got my nursing degree but I hated every minute of it. I see so much of myself in my son and I am determined not to kill his love of learning with boredom.Ditto! I feel emense pressure to not let it go. My mom counted on the teachers to not let it go in me and that failed, I can't do that to my children. But I also can't recall school so much, just the fun social parts, so I don't fully remember what about school was so boring? (if that makes any sense?) When I think back to school, I thought it was great, had so much fun, etc, but the truth is I enjoyed the friends, the social aspect, the sleep overs, the parties, the play time, etc. I don't really recall LOVING any particular classes, well I did love MATH and SCIENCE, but only when we were actually DOING something. Then there are aspects of ME, that I do recall and think Oh my son is just like he, he'll love this, but in that particular aspect, he is just like my husband and HATES it. :( Grrr he's very tricky to teach! ha ha! But it is so hard!! It is hard to constantly be doing and to keep up with his appetite - he devours things so rapidly. And so out of sync sometimes. Today he was playing on the demo for Timez Attacks (my attempt to accommodate his love of video games and sneak some math practice in there). He got frustrated with the add/subtraction game so he jumped ahead to the multiplication. He was doing it too. I was blown away.My son did this last year to me, he was playing on a math computer game website and I just left him to do his own thing, I came back to find him doing algebra, graphing, multiplication, etc. So sometimes I feel a bit lame doing adding and subtracting with him in his singapore math work book. He played the multiplication for well over an hour and was close to tears when I asked him to get off so he could head to the park with Daddy and play. I love that he is excited to learn it, but at the same time I worry cuz he needs to know the basic stuff too. That is one of our biggest challenges. Luckily, for dh & I, the park will stop our son dead in his tracks. PLAYTIME with friends is far far far more important then any other activity! My daughter on the other hand can get tired of friends and playtime with friends. She often (not more then 50% of the time, but often enough to notice) she needs to shut out the world and play with her imaginary friends. SOMETIMES she prefers her imaginary friends to real friends. And she is also very choosing on who she will play with. I have some friends who have children her age, that we get together with. She has NEVER liked this one little girl, who is bright, similar personality to my son's. There is another little girl she doesn't like playing with, but will play with her in a one on one situation. And unfortunately she will also say her mind, IE: I don't like you and I don't want to play with you, please leave me alone. I'm glad for her to be using her words and not hitting or some other way of communicating that, but gees, embaressing for me, harsh for the little girl who is being told this.


I love that so many of you mention sensory issues and writing issues. It is nice to know that I am not alone! Writing is a HUGE hurdle here and we often dictate instead. His motor skill just can't keep up with his brain. We are still muddling thru a basic kindergarten ZB handwriting book. If it wasn't for the fact that it has mazes scattered thru it, he wouldnt touch it at all. He even complains about how babyish the mazes are ;) When my son was 4 I bought this maze book for him http://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Mazes-Kumons-Practice-Books/dp/4774307106/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1331649922&sr=8-8 and he loved it so much that he did the WHOLE THING, yup the ENTIRE BOOK while sitting and waiting in the doc office for our turn. There were a couple he finished IN the exam room while waiting between the nurse and doc, but he was SOOOO into it, he couldn't set it down. MAZES have to be his favorite thing too! But like yours the handwriting is missing some fine tuning! I'm totally interested in the brain gym exercises! Definitely going to check out the Rocking thing. I also have found that gymnastics and dance help a LOT. He is the most uncoordinated, clumsy kid ever. But gymnastics and dancec have helped so much. He can get those wiggles out, be daring in a safe place, learn to follow instructions, learn some self control, and his confidence - real self esteem confidence not bravado - is improving. We started with a basic dance class of ballet, tap, and jazz. He LOVED tap. Then he saw the older boys hip hop class and wanted to do that so he is in both. Or was until we moved. Still trying to find a good boy friendly studio here.There is NO boy friendly NOTHING here. I live in a "MACHO MACHO MAN" area. bit on manly sports, competitive, etc gag! I will be signning him up for kung fu, because it does some similar things, without the 'that's lame' vibe. There is also swimming (which has been an adventure!) and a couple 'gym/ballet' classes that are for younger kids, that he could 'be involved in, if his sister is enrolled. They will let him do it, and he won't know he's enrolled in a younger kid thing, KWIM? Anyways, he loves hiphop and loves tap. Jazz is "ok" and he tolerates ballet LOL It has helped his coordination and balance and muscle control. Cutest thing is that when he is doing his math, he stands instead of sitting (the easier to fidget!) and without thinking about it he'll start shuffle stepping. When he taps his way thru math, it is a much much easier day! We use those big exercise balls as chairs. My daughter is FAR MORE figgity then my son, which is a new thing, was the other way around last year. But the balls work great for us.

BTW we unschooled completely until starting Kindy when we had to do more record keeping. I have curricula that we very loosely follow and still unschool a lot of it. I have found stuff that is literature based so it is unschooly and adaptable. Grammar Island is like magic for LA - he pulls it out to read it for fun. Same with his Usborne history books and the science books we got to go allow with Elemental Science. SOTW audio books loaded on my phone have proved to be one of my most prized sanity savers. He can't get enough of them. And he is so chill when he listens to them! We have and will and do listen to ANYTHING Jim Weiss narrates, because his voice puts my kids into a total trans and they love his stories!

..........

Lou
03-13-2012, 11:09 AM
My son is similar in many ways listed on this thread. I personally have no intention of testing him though. As a matter of fact, this is why I chose Charlotte Mason method for him. I started out with Charlotte Mason, but then got lost in the curriculum shuffle. I never felt like we were "doing" enough with Charlotte Mason's method and then I thought maybe I was doing it wrong? I tried FIAR and that seemed a bit slow too. I would LOVE that type of schooling, but I worry that I'm not doing enough. How does one know if they are doing it right? I like unschooling but need structure, etc. Nature activities keep him engaged. I'm also a bit learly of nature hikes, because I'm not a giant fan of the wild life that lives so close to our house, moutain lions, bobcats, etc I just don't feel like I know what to do to protect my kids if we encounter one. The addition of music and art history also keeps him busy. My son LOVES music, he is gifted in that are, but formal piano lessons killed it for him. He won't play on the keyboard anymore. He won't participate in music classes of any kind anymore. He totally shut down. He will swing on the swithe swing and make up songs, but he shut down his music passion. We also do map work/geography type things. I haven't formally started history but I pick out biographies to read to him. The classical books keep him entertained and on his emotional level while providing the higher vocabulary necessary for his age. Not all of them are boring--for instance, the original unabridged Pinocchio was very fun! I tried logic and that was a flop because they are so boring/easy for him. what do you mean you tried logic? a logic class? or work book? I always think those are things my son would like and he doesn't. He also gets VERY UPSET if something happens in a cartoon that isn't logical. Jokes, humor, sarcasim, etc he doesn't get at all. In a cartoon recently which reminds me of this, he freaked out, cried, melt down time, because one of the kratt brothers (WILD KRATTS cartoon) accidentally turned into a tree. He freaked about that, because they are supposed to ONLY turn into animals! Not nature! we had to delete that episode from the queue just incase it were to come up again. And now he's TRYING to enjoy wild kratts again but leary that some freaky thing like that might happen again! So, I plan on starting him with computer programming along with his foreign language this year (he turns six in a few weeks). I plan on a musical instrument but not yet--he's so small the only thing he could coordinate would be a recorder and well, he's not allowed to have a whistle these days, lol, so...

I design a lot of my teaching around units--like we're studying X this (month, quarter, semester, etc) and we'll watch movies, read books, do activities, etc about X. If it turns out to be a dud, we'll wrap it up early and if it's exciting we'll stay at it longer. He's not bored any longer and the more things I expose him to, the more he chimes in his opinion. I got StartWrite so I could give him word/number practice that was, well--practical.I need to look into startwrite, had not heard of this before now. The idea came from a tongue twister/riddle book he had--So, this is what he "copy-writes". He makes up a lot of his own math problems--So, I put them on the sheet so he can copy those and he's proud to show friends and relatives his "creation" and pretend he is teaching others. By making it a game and keeping it short--I've edged him into writing independently (sort of). Oh yeah---I used mazes and connect the dots for hand coordination and then when I stopped making him print and got him to trace italics and cursive--we went from 20 min to 2 min at the table and it's legible. I had to try a few different fonts but, again, Startwrite saved my butt on this one. My husband HATED writing sooooo much that he gave up on it as a child, and his writing is HORRID! So much so that he joined our hand writing practice. I gave him a cursive sheet to practice and he mentioned that he never really learned cursive because he was so over hand writing by the time it was taught. And he wished he didn't give up because cursive was SO MUCH EASIER! He said kids should be taught cursive first. I have contemplated it. Sometimes I feel like giving it a whirl and seeing if we can just forget the printing and go right into cursive. Why not?

I've also found educational games online; along with board "mind" games like Blokus, mastermind, etc where? keep him entertained and some he can do himself. I also keep A LOT of books around--all kinds: humor, reference, chapter books, picture books, etc. And I got him magazine subscriptions--he likes the science and travel magazines--since they are always coming and new topics--again, no boredom. I don't follow CM down to the letter...but it is probably 80% of our focus and then other stuff. For example, narration is a bit different: he and I read or do something and at dinnertime, his father asks him what he did that day. If he can remember, I know to move on...if he struggles, I know to keep the pot on the back burner for now. this sounds more CM like we did, maybe I'll give that another whirl? just feel unsure right now to commit to anything specific...darn evaluation's curve ball! ha ha!

The only advice is to really get to know your kid. I mean, if you asked my kid what 6+2 is, he'd say "idk". BUT, if you asked him the same question like this: If I had 6 and you gave me 2 more how many will I have? He gets it right every time. We've been working on the words plus -minus/add -subtract for weeks; but in the meantime, he can add and subtract high numbers. So, I guess I'm also telling you to try many different things--the number line is trash in my house--he can follow you do it but he can't do it himself--Had I stayed on these concepts, I'd be sitting at the table writing a thread about how my poor boy struggles in math and I can't understand it since he is so advanced with his other thinking skills, lol.
-HTH-


THANKS EVERYONE! Just talking it thru helps me a lot!

mratts
03-13-2012, 02:20 PM
Lou, been crazy busy, still haven't had a chance to read this whole post - but I will darnit!!

I wanted to clarify something I said that seems to have been murky. I google "end of the year tests" and find practice tests from the state of California. It's not a brand name. An example (because I'm not seeing one from CA right now) is one from Georgia - http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/canbylane/files/62352F0E85294E6399876B4061F9663D.pdf.

As far as asking questions, I try to see how enthusiastic Matthew is when answering to decide whether or not to ask another question. Sometimes I just say "tell me something exciting you learned". That doesn't always get an answer, but it does at times. Another way to go is (make sure you really haven't read the book in this case) say "This is something I don't know about - can you teach me?" At least for my son, this is a HUGE thrill. Anytime he gets to teach Mama something is a good time. I tell him I don't understand, I need help. He knows I'm fibbing, but he plays along, quite seriously. He'll also teach his sister, when she cooperates enough to not smack him away. Even if she's not facing him, he'll keep going. I can listen in and see if he gets it.

I've been thinking a lot about your post the last few days though. My son is on a different wave length from his peers. But he's still a kid. He LOVES learning...about what he wants. But there are still things that he doesn't want to do. So I offer choices. This week and next, he's got 10 short books just filled with facts, and questions I wrote for each one. He gets to pick a book each day, but he knows that he's got to get thru all of them, so if he chooses only the "fun ones" (bugs, snakes, etc) he's gonna be stuck with the ones he isn't as interested in (military support, Middle America History) at the end of next week. And I remind him every day. But that gives him the feeling that he has some control over what he's learning, even though he'll get to it all. Same with workbooks. He asked for a new Spectrum Test Prep book (I think he likes filling in the bubbles), and this one is 3rd grade. For the most part, it's all super easy for him. Math, over his head (starts right off with multiplication and division, and we're still working on memorizing addition facts). Anyway, I told him this afternoon he had to pick 4 pages to do. Any subjects, as long as he picked the first available in any subject to work on, no skipping within subjects. This is pretty routine for us with workbooks (which he just likes to do at times. He gets excited at office depot and picks out a new one for down-times like spring break.) He gets to all of it, but he isn't stuck with specific work on a specific day. If he's feeling language-artsy that day, he can pick that, sciency, go for it, mathy, have at it, all mixed up, he can do that too. Over the course of a week he'll do all the work for the week, but he gets to choose what he does which day. This is an approach I'm going to try to transition to for the rest of our work too, as long as he doesn't end up throwing a fit every Friday because he doesn't like what he's left with.

Alright, Matthew's been babbling at me this whole time, and so I hope this was semi-coherent. Glad you're getting some good ideas!

dbmamaz
03-13-2012, 09:19 PM
ok, couldnt read every single comment, but my take is that gifted kids dont need the repetitive practice that other kids do - they dont really need worksheets. They learn differently and you dont have to force them to try to do the 'normal' thing.

also some states have yearly expectations for history and science, but its not universal. thats one of the great freedoms of homeschooling is that you dont have to follow anyone else's schedule.

sorry i am not on top of my game, maybe tomorrow or the next i'll have more to say here . . .

Lou
03-13-2012, 11:17 PM
I am so tired tonight, my eyes are going crossed. I'm going to come back tomorrow to re-read the above posts with a clear noggin. :) It was a LONG day and my little guy has been ultra sensitive today, and maintaining a positive outlook with his emotions today has been draining on me. Glad it's bedtime for all of us. :)

Lou
03-21-2012, 12:51 AM
so between reading this, that and more lately........it seems that many gifted children end up homeschooling so they can have a more custom exprience. And it seems that unschooling works well for many gifted kids.

FOR ME. unschooling completely as a lifestyle probably wouldn't work, because hubby would be too hard to buy into that plan and I have a curriculum addiction that I'm not really ready to give up completely.

However, I do think I am coming to grips with working on reading & writting as "subjects" in the AM and then have child led relaxed schooling the rest of the day. (for now, until we figure out what's working for us)

I'm a bit torn, because all of the gifted behaviors according to the books, are charateristics of my son BEFORE he started preschool/kindergarten. Traits I'd like to get back, but unsure how? if possible? etc. I'm pretty sure he is timid to branch out and explore like he used to. The natural curiousity has been killed in him to some degree and that breaks my heart!

Anyhow, I really appreciate all the suggestions and help wrapping my mind around having a child that has a definite need from me and one I'm not 100% sure how to give.

lakshmi
03-22-2012, 11:32 PM
Lou, those behaviors are gone because of schooling. If you stop doing it they will come back. It is sort of freaky but they will.

Lou
03-23-2012, 01:21 PM
Lakshmi - do you think the formal reading/writing lessons will kill it like school did? Or do you think the majority of the day being relaxed child led is enough to bring out the 'curious kid' again? ???????????????????? Curious minds want to know your opinion (and any one else's opinion too!) :)

lakshmi
03-24-2012, 12:20 AM
I am not sure... I think that a Sabbath Week schedule is the best. And I have no idea what else to call it. lol.

The regular school that we were doing caused my kids to freak out.. All they wanted to do was iPod and video.. bleck. BUT... they have been more curious and productive in a childlike non video way recently but we've had two weeks off.

Today we started back, but i am trying to FLOW... and chill and not get wacky on them. And it may be okay. They still like MBTP, but even that went a little long today. We're not doing math right now because the concept is math. So they're just doing reading and stuff.

What I am doing and what I think are different. I think that the unschoolers have a point about not doing any lessons. Just answer the questions and set things up for them to find. BUT, I am still doing MBTP with sit down lessons. I am sort of dreamy and in my head and I don't think of stuff to do. I do not strew well. I am like boring.

I am too torn to talk about this. ABETO yooooo hooooo where are you.....

Honestly I've been telling myself this a lot..... they won't be doing this when they're 20.. And if they are will it bug me? A child in a home with love and opportunity will not squander his/her time. If there is cool stuff to do, then they will do it. And if an adult is around to sort of give them some background info.. then great..

Why is the chiicken slimey? Oh it has fat.. what is a fat is it a vitamin? no.. etc.... I had to google, today how to substitute for an egg in baking. My daughter was making cookies. ... That is learning. it was also some tough math.. I am certain we covered fractions, but i think making the cookies will likely cement the idea in her head. At least the names....

So, to answer your question.. I think that if you want some structure to your life, plan an hour of work until they're 9 or 10. And do what you can. Give a little reading and a little math. If they need it they will use it and if they use it they will remember it. I know I do. And children are adults in training, so their brains work like ours.

If we have jobs we hate we don't come home and do all sorts of other fun things. We come home watch tv. drink beer or smoke, or whatever to escape from the miserable existence...

rambling!! l8r

Karenwith4
03-24-2012, 12:41 AM
Lakshmi - do you think the formal reading/writing lessons will kill it like school did? Or do you think the majority of the day being relaxed child led is enough to bring out the 'curious kid' again? ???????????????????? Curious minds want to know your opinion (and any one else's opinion too!) :)

I think you deserve to take a deep breath and step back and let yourself settle into the news.
Many many parents homeschool gifted kids and there are lots of resources out there to help. The TagMax email lists are excellent. Hoagies (which I noticed mentioned up thread) is also great.

We pulled my eldest out of grade 1 because school was not working for him academically, socially, wholistically - at all. He had a ed-psych assessment as was reading and doing math many years ahead of his grade level. He did regain a love of learning, but to this day his learning remains his own and not something he is willing to make a performance of - he's in grade 8 (age-wise) now and he is only now developing the maturity to start the documentation process (on his own) as we plan for post secondary school.

I think it is fine to follow his lead, continue to have a rich learning environment, seek out opportunities for him to follow his interests and passions to the depth and bredth that he needs. For me homeschooling my son means mostly finding interesting things to put in his path and then getting out of his way. I'd skip the worksheets unless he loves them and find another way to document his learning (your journals, photographs, by video, - make this your responsibility not his).
I'd also not get too far ahead in your curriculum planning and buying, as in my experience engaged gifted learners may go deeper into the topic or follow it to a different path and only finish when their curiousity is satisfied. Freedom to pivot is what makes learning for these kids engaging. Trying to hold them to a scope and sequence is a losing battle IME. For example I bought my son "3 years worth" of high school level critical thinking curriculum last year thinking he would finish it in a year - he loved it and finished it in 2 weeks and went on to read widely on the topic, search out lectures online and locally, talk to a mentor etc. I've learned not to preplan his learning. He wanted no part of a formal art curriculum but loved a gigantic book on art history a friend gave him and has spent a month or so reading and sketching from it. He's completely departed from his intended book list for this year (that we drafted together based on his interests last September). Instead he has decided to read and compare "classic fantasy" books and so has re-read Narnia, Lord of the Rings series, Wrinkle in Time series, Philip Pullman and a variety of Ursula Le Guin and Susan Cooper among others, and has been keeping notes on themes, characters, settings etc as research for his own book. (/shrug - what am I going to do - say no?)

I'd save your curriculum $ and use them instead for good tools (lots of books of all sorts, hands on exploration materials, a good microscope and chemistry kit, lots of memberships/trips/lectures, lego mindstorms, etc.) and to subscribe to services that let you/your child put unit studies together easily (like the United Streaming videos, lots of magazines, online lectures/classes etc.) or have interesting experiences (like First Lego League or science olympiad etc)

For our family we developed the philosophy that skills development is the parental responsibility but that content sits squarely on the shoulders of the kids. I want my kids to learn to read widely, write clearly, and thinking critically. I want them to have the essential math skills to pursue their goals, to have the observational skills and reasoning skills that comes from studing science, and to be able to hold varying points of view that comes through studying humanities. I intend to expose them to a wide variety of topics and experiences but I don't much care of they can recite the kings and queens of England unless they want to. Data is everywhere - it's the ability to assimilate it, to think critically, to assess it's validity and to make connections between ideas or facts that is important to me.

My role is a facilitator, an observer and a coach. He's too far ahead of me to teach much content wise. His general knowledge of history and geography passed mine before he was 8 or 9. I need to keep interesting things in front of him and help him realize areas he may be missing, or need work on, or skill/knowledge gaps that he may not be aware of, and to help him find mentors. I also need to help him "get out of his head" and pay attention to his physical, social and spiritual needs.

I also parent two kids who struggle with very different learning challenges, and who are late readers and need much different support and resources from me, and one kid who hits every milestone bang on as if she wrote the books on academic development. Frankly my academically gifted child is the easiest to homeschool (but not necessarily to parent) on almost all levels (the only drawback is the cost of materials to keep him engaged). So take a deep breath and enjoy the ride. It's a fun one.

dottieanna29
03-24-2012, 10:06 AM
Hang in there, Lou! You might want to check out the Hoagie's Gifted Education (http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/) page. It's a lifesaver.

Definitely check this out. There's also a yahoo group that you can post questions that is very helpful.

First, ((hugs)) I know EXACTLY what you are going through. We are dealing with the same thing right now although I am extremely relaxed and laid back so I'm not really experiencing the stress you are. Part of the reason we started homeschooling was because we knew my son was "advanced" but there's no way he would sit quietly in a classroom being bored. He also is slightly awkward socially and we've been thinking both Asperger's and ADHD. It's only been recently, after talking to some people IRL, that we are seriously looking into the possibility that he is actually gifted. Both Dh and I were "gifted" and hated school for different reasons.

I use separate curriculum for each subject so that ds can work at the appropriate level for him. I also let him use the computer more than I would otherwise because it keeps him interested and engaged, although I am careful about what he is playing on. He is very quick to learn computer and video games and loves looking into all the tricks and tips to advance faster.

He is behind or on level for handwriting so I use 1st Grade Handwriting without Tears and take it very slow. I also do a lot of the writing for him in our other programs or let him use white boards and Magna Doodles. He is ahead on reading so we ditched OPGTR but he does ETC and Reading Eggs, along with a 2nd grade Reading Comprehension from Spectrum. His favorite things to read are Field Guides and Encyclopedias. He's not at all into reading Chapter books or stories (unless it's swiping my science fiction/fantasy books). We do All About Spelling at a moderate pace. He is most advanced in math so I use Math Mammoth and do a mix of topics each day/week. He does 4 to 6 pages a day, some addition/subtraction and one from either place value, money, time, geometry or whatever topics are there. We're getting ready to move into 3A and B. I also bought an Algebra Readiness for 2nd graders book from the last Scholastic Dollar Days sale that is mainly logic puzzles. He LOVES doing these although he finds them pretty easy. We're doing US History put together from various things and REAL Science Odyssey. I don't think I will ever be able to use a boxed or virtual curriculum with this kid. It just doesn't allow the flexibility he needs.

One of our local universities offers classes for gifted kids in the summer and on weekends. They also offer classes for parents to help them deal with their gifted children and gaming groups like Pokemon or Minecraft for the kids where they are able to play with kids at the same level, regardless of age. This program is part of the John Hopkins Gifted and Talented Search so you might be able to find something local by starting there. http://cty.jhu.edu/welcome/
You could also check the website for your local universities and look for "community services". Around here it seems to be mostly the state universities that have these programs.

Good luck on your new adventure. :-)

dottieanna29
03-24-2012, 10:15 AM
Lakshmi - do you think the formal reading/writing lessons will kill it like school did? Or do you think the majority of the day being relaxed child led is enough to bring out the 'curious kid' again? ???????????????????? Curious minds want to know your opinion (and any one else's opinion too!) :)

We do formal lessons but I am extremely relaxed. We literally only do formal lessons 3 or 4 days a week, sometimes only 2 and it takes ds about an hour in the morning for math/reading and then we do Science or Social Studies in the afternoon all together. He doesn't love "school" but doesn't hate it either and will sit down and get it done so he can get back to his computer games. He loves to read his encyclopedias, loves to write stories and make up imaginary games with his sister, etc. The only things he thinks are "school" is the actual stuff where he is sitting at the table. He is very visual so worksheets are actually what he likes but he doesn't even realize that all the file folder games, board games and computer stuff is actually school too.

So, at least for my kid, doing formal school has not taken away his desire to explore and learn on his own. Just like watching tv and playing computer games has done nothing to reduce his extremely vivid imagination.

dottieanna29
03-24-2012, 10:19 AM
Cutest thing is that when he is doing his math, he stands instead of sitting (the easier to fidget!) and without thinking about it he'll start shuffle stepping. When he taps his way thru math, it is a much much easier day!



I had to laugh at this. My oldest has been in dance since she was 4, with tap being her main interest and what she's best at. She taps EVERYWHERE she goes and has for a very long time. Her feet are never still which I'm sure drives her teachers crazy since she goes to public school. :-)

Lou
03-25-2012, 12:33 PM
I am not sure... I think that a Sabbath Week schedule is the best. And I have no idea what else to call it. lol.

The regular school that we were doing caused my kids to freak out.. All they wanted to do was iPod and video.. bleck. BUT... they have been more curious and productive in a childlike non video way recently but we've had two weeks off.

When I hear stories of other kids protesting their school work, it sounds much more difficult then I would deal with. If my kids protest (which is actually rare) I find a good stopping point and take the day off or the next couple of days off. We are pretty relaxed in that regard. I will take them on a spontanous field trip instead. Make a playdate, something to get their mind off the school work. But most of the time, the kids just do their work and then get ready to move on to their 'free time' this might get more tricky as they get older and more is required, but it might not if they are independent learners who educate themselves via their own interests. (unschooling)

Today we started back, but i am trying to FLOW... and chill and not get wacky on them. And it may be okay. They still like MBTP, but even that went a little long today. We're not doing math right now because the concept is math. So they're just doing reading and stuff.

What I am doing and what I think are different. I think that the unschoolers have a point about not doing any lessons. Just answer the questions and set things up for them to find. BUT, I am still doing MBTP with sit down lessons. I am sort of dreamy and in my head and I don't think of stuff to do. I do not strew well. I am like boring.

I have always strewed, I didn't know it had a formal name until I stumbled on a unschooling post here on the forum. My kids have always found educational toys, paints, projects, playdough, beans, scales, sewing, etc things around on the tables in our house and our in our yard. They are totally used to stumbling upon something and exploring it for eons. BUT when I don't put anything out, they can't seem to think of anything to do except watch a cartoon or play a computer game. :( Luckily I have a plethora of educational DVD's & computer games they can choose from so it's not mindless screen time.

I am too torn to talk about this. ABETO yooooo hooooo where are you.....

Sounds like you want to unschool, but can't bring yourself to accept it fully? Do MBtP in the mornings and then unschool the rest of the day.

Honestly I've been telling myself this a lot..... they won't be doing this when they're 20.. And if they are will it bug me? A child in a home with love and opportunity will not squander his/her time. If there is cool stuff to do, then they will do it. And if an adult is around to sort of give them some background info.. then great..

Why is the chiicken slimey? Oh it has fat.. what is a fat is it a vitamin? no.. etc.... I had to google, today how to substitute for an egg in baking. My daughter was making cookies. ... That is learning. it was also some tough math.. I am certain we covered fractions, but i think making the cookies will likely cement the idea in her head. At least the names....

So, to answer your question.. I think that if you want some structure to your life, plan an hour of work until they're 9 or 10. And do what you can. Give a little reading and a little math. If they need it they will use it and if they use it they will remember it. I know I do. And children are adults in training, so their brains work like ours.

If we have jobs we hate we don't come home and do all sorts of other fun things. We come home watch tv. drink beer or smoke, or whatever to escape from the miserable existence...

rambling!! l8r

LOL, I retreat to my bed with a book when I'm trying to escape dishes or other unwanted activities.

Lou
03-25-2012, 12:53 PM
I think you deserve to take a deep breath and step back and let yourself settle into the news.
I have gotten back to my normal self now that the initial shock is over. We are doing well. Feeling more settled, but that is also because I've read a few books on gifted kids now and have a better idea of what it means.

Many many parents homeschool gifted kids and there are lots of resources out there to help. The TagMax email lists are excellent. Hoagies (which I noticed mentioned up thread) is also great.

We pulled my eldest out of grade 1 because school was not working for him academically, socially, wholistically - at all. He had a ed-psych assessment as was reading and doing math many years ahead of his grade level. He did regain a love of learning, but to this day his learning remains his own and not something he is willing to make a performance of - he's in grade 8 (age-wise) now and he is only now developing the maturity to start the documentation process (on his own) as we plan for post secondary school.

My son has never appreciated any kind of performance type anything.

I think it is fine to follow his lead, continue to have a rich learning environment, seek out opportunities for him to follow his interests and passions to the depth and bredth that he needs. For me homeschooling my son means mostly finding interesting things to put in his path and then getting out of his way. I'd skip the worksheets unless he loves them and find another way to document his learning (your journals, photographs, by video, - make this your responsibility not his).

he is very much into photography, we gave him the camera (which we do often) the other day and he took photos, explored the timer on the camera, some video, etc and then we went to the local drug store and developed his photos (gotta love the $20 spent on prints of who knows what) so he could make his 'creation' which is now sitting in a bin waiting for him to 'finish' it. :/ I bought him a camera of his own for Christmas, but the gifts weren't even, so we held the camera out until his birthday. He'll get it soon. :)

I'd also not get too far ahead in your curriculum planning and buying, as in my experience engaged gifted learners may go deeper into the topic or follow it to a different path and only finish when their curiousity is satisfied. Freedom to pivot is what makes learning for these kids engaging. Trying to hold them to a scope and sequence is a losing battle IME. For example I bought my son "3 years worth" of high school level critical thinking curriculum last year thinking he would finish it in a year - he loved it and finished it in 2 weeks and went on to read widely on the topic, search out lectures online and locally, talk to a mentor etc. I've learned not to preplan his learning. He wanted no part of a formal art curriculum but loved a gigantic book on art history a friend gave him and has spent a month or so reading and sketching from it. He's completely departed from his intended book list for this year (that we drafted together based on his interests last September). Instead he has decided to read and compare "classic fantasy" books and so has re-read Narnia, Lord of the Rings series, Wrinkle in Time series, Philip Pullman and a variety of Ursula Le Guin and Susan Cooper among others, and has been keeping notes on themes, characters, settings etc as research for his own book. (/shrug - what am I going to do - say no?)

I'd save your curriculum $ and use them instead for good tools (lots of books of all sorts, hands on exploration materials, a good microscope and chemistry kit, lots of memberships/trips/lectures, lego mindstorms, etc.) and to subscribe to services that let you/your child put unit studies together easily (like the United Streaming videos, lots of magazines, online lectures/classes etc.) or have interesting experiences (like First Lego League or science olympiad etc)

I'm going to look into the things above that are NOT green, because all of the green we already have/do, and they rarely interest him. Finding his interest has been a horrible journey. We have done/purchased/etc MANY MANY MANY things and so far we can't totally pin point his interests. They are ever changing. It's almost like when HE thinks he has conquered it, he's done, but he doesn't accept that there is far more to the concept he feels he's conquered, if that makes sense? And he can't stand having someone TELL him or SHOW him something that is different from his idea of how it should be. He will drop the interest the second he things he has conquered it or that someone else is telling him something that conflicts with what he thinks to be correct. (that is a tricky aspect of being his parent) Many parents have told me that with age and maturity that will change, that he's still young. I don't know if that is the case or not?


For our family we developed the philosophy that skills development is the parental responsibility but that content sits squarely on the shoulders of the kids. Can you tell me more about this, details on how this works. I might like this for our home. I want my kids to learn to read widely, write clearly, and thinking critically. I want them to have the essential math skills to pursue their goals, to have the observational skills and reasoning skills that comes from studing science, and to be able to hold varying points of view that comes through studying humanities. I intend to expose them to a wide variety of topics and experiences but I don't much care of they can recite the kings and queens of England unless they want to. Data is everywhere - it's the ability to assimilate it, to think critically, to assess it's validity and to make connections between ideas or facts that is important to me. My daughter does this naturally my son does not.

My role is a facilitator, an observer and a coach. He's too far ahead of me to teach much content wise. His general knowledge of history and geography passed mine before he was 8 or 9. I need to keep interesting things in front of him and help him realize areas he may be missing, or need work on, or skill/knowledge gaps that he may not be aware of, and to help him find mentors. I also need to help him "get out of his head" and pay attention to his physical, social and spiritual needs.

out of his head? I never seem to get that term. My son's teacher would always tell us "his totally in his head" sooooo what does that mean? Sounds to me like a good place to be? What is "IN YOUR HEAD" and how is it a bad thing? Doesn't all mental concepts have to pass thru your head? Isn't your brain in your head? Doesn't your thinking mind happen in your head? I'm sooooooo lost on that phrase, not against it, I just honestly don't get it? Maybe I'm in my head?

I also parent two kids who struggle with very different learning challenges, and who are late readers and need much different support and resources from me, and one kid who hits every milestone bang on as if she wrote the books on academic development. Frankly my academically gifted child is the easiest to homeschool (but not necessarily to parent) on almost all levels (the only drawback is the cost of materials to keep him engaged). So take a deep breath and enjoy the ride. It's a fun one.

You sound like you are describing my two. My daughter hit all milestones early, but she fit parenting books when it came to ways to help this or that, my son never fit any book anywhere. My daughter is the harder for me to teach, my son is easier. My daughter though still has the curiousity where my son has lost some of his. Both kids are gifted (I'm assuming) because my daughter had some testing done and she capped out on their scale and was the highest for those particular tests. Yet both are very different in their needs, desires, etc polar opposites to parent and teach.

Lou
03-25-2012, 01:31 PM
Definitely check this out. There's also a yahoo group that you can post questions that is very helpful.

First, ((hugs)) I know EXACTLY what you are going through. We are dealing with the same thing right now although I am extremely relaxed and laid back so I'm not really experiencing the stress you are. the stress is over. :) It only lasted a couple days, I'm back to my relaxed self now. I just had to read a couple books on gifted children to get an idea of what I was working with, once that was done, all is well here. Part of the reason we started homeschooling was because we knew my son was "advanced" but there's no way he would sit quietly in a classroom being bored. He also is slightly awkward socially and we've been thinking both Asperger's and ADHD. that is what we were thinking, so I focused on how to help the "what's wrong" and forgetting about the "what's right" aspect. So once I got my head wrapped around helping to maintain and encourage what's right I relaxed a bit and things have been OK in our house. He still has some melt downs but they are understandable now. I think it's odd that he's gifted and has some social things I notice but isn't on the spectrum at all. That is odd to me, but apparently what I see as social gaps aren't social gaps in their test. It's only been recently, after talking to some people IRL, that we are seriously looking into the possibility that he is actually gifted. Both Dh and I were "gifted" and hated school for different reasons. I was gifted, DH was dyslexic, but as adults we have taken IQ tests and mine is only a couple points higher then his, so I'm guessing he was gifted as well as a child and never identified.

I use separate curriculum for each subject so that ds can work at the appropriate level for him. I also let him use the computer more than I would otherwise because it keeps him interested and engaged, although I am careful about what he is playing on. He is very quick to learn computer and video games and loves looking into all the tricks and tips to advance faster. Ditto here too.

He is behind or on level for handwriting so I use 1st Grade Handwriting without Tears and take it very slow. I also do a lot of the writing for him in our other programs or let him use white boards and Magna Doodles. He is ahead on reading so we ditched OPGTR but he does ETC and Reading Eggs, along with a 2nd grade Reading Comprehension from Spectrum. His favorite things to read are Field Guides and Encyclopedias. He's not at all into reading Chapter books or stories (unless it's swiping my science fiction/fantasy books). We do All About Spelling at a moderate pace. He is most advanced in math so I use Math Mammoth and do a mix of topics each day/week. He does 4 to 6 pages a day, some addition/subtraction and one from either place value, money, time, geometry or whatever topics are there. We're getting ready to move into 3A and B. I also bought an Algebra Readiness for 2nd graders book from the last Scholastic Dollar Days sale that is mainly logic puzzles. He LOVES doing these although he finds them pretty easy. We're doing US History put together from various things and REAL Science Odyssey. I don't think I will ever be able to use a boxed or virtual curriculum with this kid. It just doesn't allow the flexibility he needs. We can't use boxed either because we are all over the place with all the subjects as well as I easily find aspects I love about one part of a boxed curriculum and other parts I dislike, so if it isn't the kids that make that challenging, then it's me. ha ha!

One of our local universities offers classes for gifted kids in the summer and on weekends. They also offer classes for parents to help them deal with their gifted children and gaming groups like Pokemon or Minecraft for the kids where they are able to play with kids at the same level, regardless of age. This is something I'm currently researching, so far nothing in my area that I can access. I'm not giving up and will keep searching. HOWEVER, your pokemon comment made me think, there is a pokemon league in a town near us. HOWEVER, this is where it gets tricky. My son LOVES pokemon, the characters, the shows, the games. BUT He doesn't get that it's a CARD game and the way to play the game. He gets frustrated and will shut down if another child is 'teaching him' about something like POKEMON where he deems himself the expert! I'm hoping that age and maturity will help him accept that others have information he does not have. And some things don't just come easily! SOMETIMES someone else is more of an expert then you are! That is our biggest hurdle! If we could get over that, he'd soar to heights unknown! Maybe if I could find a kid he looks up to that is also into the same things? Just so tricky! This program is part of the John Hopkins Gifted and Talented Search so you might be able to find something local by starting there. http://cty.jhu.edu/welcome/ Thanks I will!
You could also check the website for your local universities and look for "community services". Around here it seems to be mostly the state universities that have these programs. so far everything I'm finding won't accept kids until they are in the 3rd grade (or that age range) so that is what leads me to believe they are expecting a certain degree of maturity? I don't know, but they won't accept you regardless of your grade level if you aren't in that grade/age range (if that makes sense) It doesn't matter if a child can do 5th grade work and is 5 years old. that child has to wait until they are in 3rd grade and 8 years old before they are allowed to join the gifted programs around here.

Good luck on your new adventure. :-)


We do formal lessons but I am extremely relaxed. We literally only do formal lessons 3 or 4 days a week, sometimes only 2 and it takes ds about an hour in the morning for math/reading and then we do Science or Social Studies in the afternoon all together. He doesn't love "school" but doesn't hate it either and will sit down and get it done so he can get back to his computer games. He loves to read his encyclopedias, loves to write stories and make up imaginary games with his sister, etc. The only things he thinks are "school" is the actual stuff where he is sitting at the table. He is very visual so worksheets are actually what he likes but he doesn't even realize that all the file folder games, board games and computer stuff is actually school too.

Same here. Our schooling is relaxed, we will sit down for a little school, then educational adventures for the rest of the day, all child led. The best is when they school ALL DAY LONG and have no clue they are schooling! I love days like that! :) LOVE LOVE LOVE those days!!!

So, at least for my kid, doing formal school has not taken away his desire to explore and learn on his own. Just like watching tv and playing computer games has done nothing to reduce his extremely vivid imagination.

.......... Had to have ten down here. :)

kohlby
05-07-2012, 09:24 PM
Hi, we do a child-led curriculum approach. So not unschooling, but I still think it falls under relaxed. My oldest didn't have obvious signs of gifted at 5. In fact, he had zero interest in learning to read and behavoir issues. He doesn't have Aspergers, nor ADHD, but has some sensory issues that we had to work through that made it harder to realize he was gifted. He also learns out of order. His memorization skills aren't off-the-charts but application and analysis is amazing. At 4, he couldn't count outloud to 20 - but taught himself to add decimals with carrying using an abacus. So, we knew there were some smarts there but so much is set up with memorization and he didn't have a lot of that. His speech was also delayed for articulation.

We stumbled into homeschooling knowing that all-day kindy with an impulsive wiggly boy with sensory issues who learned out of order would not work in a public school setting. He's 8 and in third grade now. He's learned to deal with the sensory quirks. His behavoir issues are gone as a result. He's no longer in speech therapy. And it's obvious that he's gifted by now. We started the first grade math at the start of first grade. He's now in Algebra I - and we didn't skip a thing. (But this same kid can't tell you the months of the year in order). He struggled to read "Mat sat" at the start of first grade but was reading Harry Potter by the end. By not pushing it when he wasn't developmentally ready, he learned to love to read - and quickly caught up and then some. We're pretty random on science, just doing what he's interested in. Until 3rd grade, writing was him writing his own stories. And even though we did a formal curriculum this year - Michale Clay Thompson - he still had time to write a book. I was a bit nervous about adding a formal curriculum in, but he did great with it! He was ready for it - in 3rd grade. In first grade, the only formal curriculum we had was math. But we moved at his pace which helped him from being bored as he did 3 years of math in one year. Handwriting is still behind but writing his books help. He writes it, edits it, and then rewrites it. When rewriting, it's important to HIM that it's neat, which makes a huge difference. Also, he draws a picture on each page which helps with motor skills. When he was in first grade, we used his love of video games to our advantage. If he did three pages of a dollar tree printing workbook and marked the best letters, he got 30 extra minutes of video game time. It was great since it got him to want to practice instead of us forcing it on him.

stunatadonna
05-08-2012, 11:29 AM
Along with Hoagie's Gifted, I would highly recommend http://www.giftedhomeschoolers.org/ They have TONS of stuff on there about gifted and Twice Exceptional children.

Everyone else has given some really great ideas. The only thing I would add is that keeping up with gifted children, especially 2E kids, is exhausting - mentally and physically. Be sure and schedule some breaks for yourself or you may go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. :)

Beth

lakshmi
05-08-2012, 10:47 PM
Well that is great to know, I must not have gifted kids... lol.. I can keep up with them. lol