Author Topic: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)  (Read 74722 times)

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Lady Snowdon

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2013, 05:15:53 PM »
I applaud the use of "he's something, alright!" as a response when asked directly "Isn't he gifted?  Can't you just tell he's so gifted?".  I don't think there's any way to tell from limited social interaction if a child is "gifted" or not.  I was considered gifted as a child (where did all that intelligence and brain power go, I wonder?), but unless you got me started on a few specific topics, like Sherlock Holmes, you wouldn't have been able to tell just by meeting me at a party. 

My other thought is that "gifted" should never be an excuse for "we don't discipline our child at all, in any way, shape or form".  I would employ lots and lots of bean dip when Carol asks again if her beautiful gifted child can hang out with Josh. 

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2013, 05:30:52 PM »
I question what the purpose of labeling children as "gifted" is.  Are they placed in accelerated classes?  Do they do statistically amazing things as adults?  I guess I just don't see the value in labeling a child as "gifted" unless there is some heightened expectation or performance that is typical of those labeled in this way.  Personally, like some of the other parents on this board, I have uncontroverted proof that my child is beyond amazing in every way (;-)) but I see no reason to make an issue out of this because it would either place a lot of undue pressure on her or make her extremely socially awkward and likely unhappy because she would not be able to relate to her peers.  I confess I just don't get it.

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2013, 05:38:37 PM »
I question what the purpose of labeling children as "gifted" is.  Are they placed in accelerated classes?  Do they do statistically amazing things as adults?  I guess I just don't see the value in labeling a child as "gifted" unless there is some heightened expectation or performance that is typical of those labeled in this way.  Personally, like some of the other parents on this board, I have uncontroverted proof that my child is beyond amazing in every way (;-)) but I see no reason to make an issue out of this because it would either place a lot of undue pressure on her or make her extremely socially awkward and likely unhappy because she would not be able to relate to her peers.  I confess I just don't get it.

It's useful because a gifted child in a regular education program will likely be so bored through school that it will kill any love of learning or ability to study later in life. There are, of course, exceptions to this, but that does seem to be the tendency. I was in a gifted program starting in middle school. It made a world of difference to me. I still had a difficult time when I got to college (zero ability to study; it sounds absurd--how do you not know how to study?--, but it's a real thing); however, I think it would have been much, much worse if I hadn't had those few years. I wish I could have started earlier.

ETA: It's hard to express the above without sounding like I'm bragging. Compared to the other kids in the gifted program, I was not exceptional. I think many of my classmates benefited even more from the gifted program because they were so gifted that it would have been almost impossible to have a normal experience growing up. The social aspect is another major benefit of being labeled "gifted." You aren't the weird one anymore; you're one of many like you.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 05:44:16 PM by MrsJWine »


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Utah

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2013, 05:47:58 PM »
On the main homeschooling board I frequent, there is a forum for "accelerated learners" (read: gifted) and another forum for "learning challengers" (read: learning disabilities).  It is not infrequent for the same person to post on both forums about the same child.  You definitely have kids who are doing college-level calculus in fifth grade at the same time as struggling with dyslexia and an inability to write a coherent paragraph.

One of the things that we notice, once we've been on the boards for a while, is the frequent appearance of new homeschooling parents with kids in the preschool or early elementary years, who are looking for information for their "precocious" or "gifted" toddlers or little kids.  Usually they define this as the child having started to read at 3, or can do addition at 4, or is reading a year or two ahead of grade level at K or 1.  The child is, admittedly, doing well.  But most people don't really define "gifted" or "precocious" that low.  My first grader reads on about a third/fourth grade reading level.  I think she's smart and she loves to read, but I wouldn't consider her "gifted."  Gifted would be if she were reading AND understanding books at close to a high school level.

The main reason that I'd see in labeling a child "gifted" would be if you need special services/schooling for your child.  A truly gifted child is generally not well-served by staying in a classroom based on their age.  And skipping a year or two may not work, either, because they may not be able to socially handle being in a class with older kids, not to mention that not all gifted kids are gifted in all subjects.  So having your child registered as "gifted" might be what you'd need to get the school to allow your child to, say, take classes at the middle school in the afternoon, while staying at the elementary school for the morning.  Or getting in to certain special private schools or getting a private tutor.  Or, if homeschooling, to help find other parents with children who are so far advanced, so that you can all share ideas and difficulties of parenting such a child.

The specific scenario given, though, makes me doubt the mom's label of her son as gifted.  If she's labeling strange childish behavior as "gifted," then I'd doubt that she has any real idea of what "gifted" means.  Yes, he might be gifted *and* weird, possibly because he's so far beyond other kids in intelligence that he has trouble figuring out how to relate to them (imagine yourself suddenly turned back into a 3-year-old... would you be able to join in activities and games with other 3-year-olds and have fun and not seem different?).  But she's not doing him any favors by labeling activities that *aren't* gifted as being so.  The little boy actually reminds me a bit of a daughter of a man dating a relative of mine.  She was apparently a micro-preemie and adopted as a young child, and has a mix of ADD and asperger's, I believe.  She acts in very similar ways to this boy.  I think she's growing out of it a bit, though, as she's a good bit older than him now.

Twik

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2013, 05:48:12 PM »
I question what the purpose of labeling children as "gifted" is.  Are they placed in accelerated classes?  Do they do statistically amazing things as adults?  I guess I just don't see the value in labeling a child as "gifted" unless there is some heightened expectation or performance that is typical of those labeled in this way.  Personally, like some of the other parents on this board, I have uncontroverted proof that my child is beyond amazing in every way (;-)) but I see no reason to make an issue out of this because it would either place a lot of undue pressure on her or make her extremely socially awkward and likely unhappy because she would not be able to relate to her peers.  I confess I just don't get it.

"Gifted" is usually a term used for children who get placed in accelerated classes. They are one extreme of "exceptional students" for whom normal teaching methods and speed are not adequate/appropriate; not because they're slow, but because the speed of their learning outpaces that of their normal age group.

This can be a serious educational problem, because when a child takes 10 minutes to master what his/her friends take an hour to learn, the child has 50 minutes to either space out, or get into trouble. Imagine if every day at work you finished all your assigned tasks in an hour, and were expected just to sit there quietly while your colleagues caught up. This is the problem for the gifted child, in many cases.

"Gifted" is not supposed to be about bragging rights for parents, it's about finding the right strategies to get the best out of the children, with minimum frustration and waste of time. It's human nature, of course, for parents to see a "gifted" label as a gold star for their child.
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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2013, 05:53:08 PM »
I question what the purpose of labeling children as "gifted" is.  Are they placed in accelerated classes?  Do they do statistically amazing things as adults?  I guess I just don't see the value in labeling a child as "gifted" unless there is some heightened expectation or performance that is typical of those labeled in this way.  Personally, like some of the other parents on this board, I have uncontroverted proof that my child is beyond amazing in every way (;-)) but I see no reason to make an issue out of this because it would either place a lot of undue pressure on her or make her extremely socially awkward and likely unhappy because she would not be able to relate to her peers.  I confess I just don't get it.

It's useful because a gifted child in a regular education program will likely be so bored through school that it will kill any love of learning or ability to study later in life. There are, of course, exceptions to this, but that does seem to be the tendency. I was in a gifted program starting in middle school. It made a world of difference to me. I still had a difficult time when I got to college (zero ability to study; it sounds absurd--how do you not know how to study?--, but it's a real thing); however, I think it would have been much, much worse if I hadn't had those few years. I wish I could have started earlier.

I wound up in a lot of accelerated or extra-curricular activities for precisely that reason. I made better friends with people who shared my interest in learning cool stuff, and I dialed in on my studies because more on my schedule meant I had to exercise my underused prioritizing skills. My DH very nearly got diagnosed with ADHD, then it turned out he was just bored out of his gourd in class. As far as accomplishing amazing things as an adult, well, give us another decade and I'll get back to you. ;)

A Gifted label shouldn't be an excuse for Connor's parents to sit back and chuckle over his perceived precociousness. If anything, it should be a signal that they should up their game to nurture and challenge him more - just because he, say, learned to play chess at four does not mean that he will pick up on every other facet of being a good human without some parental instruction.
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EllenS

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2013, 05:53:47 PM »
Our school system, as far as I know, does not use the term "gifted" but does offer "enrichment" classes starting in grade 3 (8-9 years old).  I think it's a plus that a student can be offered enrichment in some but not necessarily all subjects - makes it more skill-based (you're doing very well in math, let's get you some more challenging material) rather than identity based (you are gifted, so you're too good for "regular" classes).

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2013, 06:02:43 PM »
...Or evil Cicero would say "Oh, i don't think that would work, after all Conner is sooooo much more advanced than Josh, i'm afraid he would be too bored playing *simple* games and holding *regular* conversation. but i hear that MENSA is looking for new members. why don't you try them?"

Nooooooooooo, please, no. 
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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2013, 06:04:20 PM »
Oh, forgot to mention.  The way the mother talks about him, I almost wonder if she believes in something along the lines of the "indigo children" concept.  That would explain why she thinks he's "gifted" despite his bad manners and odd, childish behavior.

BarensMom

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2013, 06:06:53 PM »
I question what the purpose of labeling children as "gifted" is.  Are they placed in accelerated classes?  Do they do statistically amazing things as adults?  I guess I just don't see the value in labeling a child as "gifted" unless there is some heightened expectation or performance that is typical of those labeled in this way.  Personally, like some of the other parents on this board, I have uncontroverted proof that my child is beyond amazing in every way (;-)) but I see no reason to make an issue out of this because it would either place a lot of undue pressure on her or make her extremely socially awkward and likely unhappy because she would not be able to relate to her peers.  I confess I just don't get it.

It's useful because a gifted child in a regular education program will likely be so bored through school that it will kill any love of learning or ability to study later in life. There are, of course, exceptions to this, but that does seem to be the tendency. I was in a gifted program starting in middle school. It made a world of difference to me. I still had a difficult time when I got to college (zero ability to study; it sounds absurd--how do you not know how to study?--, but it's a real thing); however, I think it would have been much, much worse if I hadn't had those few years. I wish I could have started earlier.

ETA: It's hard to express the above without sounding like I'm bragging. Compared to the other kids in the gifted program, I was not exceptional. I think many of my classmates benefited even more from the gifted program because they were so gifted that it would have been almost impossible to have a normal experience growing up. The social aspect is another major benefit of being labeled "gifted." You aren't the weird one anymore; you're one of many like you.

I was labeled "gifted" in the 8th grade - up to that point I had been in the "regular" classes and did quite well.  Once placed in the gifted program, my grades and social life went down the tubes.  The advanced classes were already writing essays and working advanced algebraic problems, while the normal classes had just been introduced to learning sentence structure and pre-algebra.  I was behind the academic eight-ball from the get-go. The friends I had from my previous classes shunned me because I was "gifted" and the gifted kids shunned me because, compared to them, I was "stupid" and "ignorant."

I told my mother and, although she fought for me, the counselors and teachers kept saying, "she's brilliant, she'll figure it out."  I spent the next five years with barely passing grades and zero social life.  My first year of college was devoted to remedial English and Math, learning the things I should have learned back in middle/high school.

Simply labeling a child as "gifted" without proper guidance and knowledge of the individual, is simply irresponsible. 

Now, in Connor's case, I think that he probably doesn't have any friends, due to either his "gifted" label or, more probably, his behavior.  So Carol is trying to force Jessie to make Josh be friends with Connor.  Jessie needs to say once, "Josh has a very busy schedule," then dump a vat full of beandip on Carol.

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2013, 06:12:35 PM »
Right, I think this Connor kid sounds horrid. If he is gifted, they're doing their best to make sure he never learns the necessary skills to relate to people and get along in a workplace. It doesn't matter how genius you are if everyone hates you.

The gifted label may not help all kids, but it does help very many. I think the results will vary widely based on the child's personality, the school system, the parents, and much, much more. Just because it hurts some kids doesn't mean it's universally bad. Like it or not, a label is sometimes the only way to work out a path through the school system that will meet specific needs.


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Utah

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
« Reply #41 on: October 21, 2013, 06:36:06 PM »
We're going through this with Babybartfast right now.  She's reading and doing arithmetic better than almost all her peers - but her kindergarten teacher is going nuts because Babybartfast can. not. follow. directions.  She's got it in her head that reading and math is *all* she has to learn, so if she already understands the concept, she doesn't see the purpose in doing the worksheet / following along / not talking / not getting distracted with other things.  She wants one-on-one adult attention like she had been getting when she was home with me, and she's acting out in a variety of ways to get it.  We're lucky that her teacher is absolutely fantastic and is willing to work with all the children trait by trait instead of labeling them each "good kids" or "bad kids" - Babybartfast gets enrichment work for academics (e.g. reading story books instead of the basic "cat sat on the hat" primers) but she's lagging behind her peers in fine motor skills and general not-being-annoying-to-adults-ness.

(DH and I have been careful to always praise her for how hard she's working and how proud she must be of herself for her accomplishments, but regulars on this board might not be surprised to hear that my MIL tends to praise her with things like "Wow, you're going to be the smartest girl in your class!"  Any guesses why Babybartfast is having so much trouble taking direction?)

Anyway, all that is to say that "giftedness" (in the academic label sense) has absolutely nothing to do with behavior, but there are a lot of parents who latch onto whatever "my child is awesome" labels they can find and use those labels to excuse their child's shortcomings.

EllenS

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2013, 06:54:49 PM »
We're going through this with Babybartfast right now.  She's reading and doing arithmetic better than almost all her peers - but her kindergarten teacher is going nuts because Babybartfast can. not. follow. directions.  She's got it in her head that reading and math is *all* she has to learn, so if she already understands the concept, she doesn't see the purpose in doing the worksheet / following along / not talking / not getting distracted with other things.  She wants one-on-one adult attention like she had been getting when she was home with me, and she's acting out in a variety of ways to get it.  We're lucky that her teacher is absolutely fantastic and is willing to work with all the children trait by trait instead of labeling them each "good kids" or "bad kids" - Babybartfast gets enrichment work for academics (e.g. reading story books instead of the basic "cat sat on the hat" primers) but she's lagging behind her peers in fine motor skills and general not-being-annoying-to-adults-ness.

(DH and I have been careful to always praise her for how hard she's working and how proud she must be of herself for her accomplishments, but regulars on this board might not be surprised to hear that my MIL tends to praise her with things like "Wow, you're going to be the smartest girl in your class!"  Any guesses why Babybartfast is having so much trouble taking direction?)

Anyway, all that is to say that "giftedness" (in the academic label sense) has absolutely nothing to do with behavior, but there are a lot of parents who latch onto whatever "my child is awesome" labels they can find and use those labels to excuse their child's shortcomings.

We are having a little bit of this with DD1 as well - she thinks that it's all about "knowing" the answers.  We try explaining to her that she needs to learn the process and the skills, so when she meets a really hard question/problem she will know how to go about solving it.

I hate praise about "being" smart.  It took me an inordinate chunk of my adult life to learn how to DO smart instead of BE smart.

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
« Reply #43 on: October 21, 2013, 07:28:34 PM »

Nobody, but nobody cares that your kid is gifted. I get (as a parent) how absolutely wonderful it is to watch your kid grow and learn.  But aside from a comment to the grandparents and maybe with her teacher, no-one else cares, nor should they.

Deetee, I couldn't agree more.  I get that parents are going to be full of pride watching their children grow up, but just because little Timmy started walking at six months doesn't make him gifted nor does it mean that I want to hear about how he is gifted. 

In the case of Connor, I think the parents are doing a huge disservice to their child allowing him to act like that.  As he gets older he's going to find that most of his peers are probably going to shun him if he acts the same way that he does with his parents.  Can you imagine being part of a group of people and some random guy saying that everyone is fat and then saying some weird non-apology?  You can claim he's gifted all you want, but I wouldn't hang out with that guy ever again. 



kherbert05

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not?
« Reply #44 on: October 21, 2013, 07:38:37 PM »
I question what the purpose of labeling children as "gifted" is.  Are they placed in accelerated classes?  Do they do statistically amazing things as adults?  I guess I just don't see the value in labeling a child as "gifted" unless there is some heightened expectation or performance that is typical of those labeled in this way.  Personally, like some of the other parents on this board, I have uncontroverted proof that my child is beyond amazing in every way (;-)) but I see no reason to make an issue out of this because it would either place a lot of undue pressure on her or make her extremely socially awkward and likely unhappy because she would not be able to relate to her peers.  I confess I just don't get it.

In the US Gifted kids are special needs and part of Special Ed. Teachers are required to provide differentiated activities to challenge them, they are grouped together with other high performing students in classes and  in my district are pulled out for specialized instruction once a week.   FYI - kids who are Gifted (not Honors) tend to see the world upside down and backwards - they don't give a fig about subjects that don't interest them, tend to obsess about subjects that do interest them. They also tend to have a higher than normal rate of LD's which might point towards their brains just being wired differently. 


Honors kids tend to be more even. They care about grades. While they will have favorites, they won't tank in English to spend more time on a Math project. They have a lower rate of LD.


My coworker has two kids nearly identical IQ scores one is  Honors and one is GT their differences were driving her nuts till I told her that  On the day the Earth ends the honors students will do their homework - The unchallenged GT kids are the ones that blew it up. (She had come home to Her GT kid having taken several kitchen appliances apart)

There is some debate in the US educational system that these different categories are actually caused by the US systems inability to adapt to the students.


$ to donuts this kid is only ID'ed by his parents not by the school. (For one in my district this type of behavior is reason to boot you from the program.) Some parents will do anything to get a GT designation for their kids. IF that fails they will fight tooth and nail  to get a LD diagnosis. The LD diagnosis gets the student accommodation on various High Stake Tests. More time, larger print, reduced answer choices.

Edited to remove the weird size and font tags that just showed up.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 07:40:44 PM by kherbert05 »
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