When you see a list of gifted traits, it's basically my son in a nut shell. He thinks differently, plays differently, and connects things that kids his age wouldn't be expected to, he loves concepts and ideas. He consumes books and stories at a rate that no one can keep up with. Wakes up early to listen to audiobooks before school. Lately, he turns everything going on in our life into a math story problem. The other day I set up a kids YouTube profile for him… the parental controls are locked, and an adult needs to unlock them by answering a "hard" math equation. He just answers the equation, unlocks the controls and resets the timer. He's like that with everything. Always finds the loop hole, defies authority, uses his abilities for himself and doesn't like to demonstrate or show off his knowledge.

I first suspected he was gifted when he was 3 and realized that preschool was not going to meet his needs at all. He was in trouble all of the time and was manipulating their discipline system. They were not teaching any academic skills that he didn't already have and there weren't any options for differentiation. (I understand that social skills are important. He can and does demonstrate age appropriate social skills when his intellectual needs are being met.)

I ended up homeschooling him for 2 years of preschool. Went to public school for KG, homeschooled for 1st (pandemic), and is back at public school for 2nd.

I have been able to meet his needs better with homeschool (moved as fast as he wanted to in reading instruction, gave him time for hours and hours of audiobooks, did lots of science and history, let him do multiplication to his hearts content).

I want public school to work for him… in KG it was always that he needed to get his behavior under control before we can look at him in any other way. He hated KG math b/c it was slowing him down... he knew the answers and didn't want to draw out a visual answer for every little equation. Reading instruction was too slow at school and he made little progress. He came home, worked with me and went through several grade levels of reading instruction in a summer.

In 2nd, his behavior is much improved... he's enjoying new math curriculum that's a bit more out of the box and creative, he is way beyond the reading instruction and is under challenged. His math sheets at school have elaborate drawings on the back because he has so much extra time after completing the assignments. He doesn't like to write and always finds the loop hole in the assignment. Spelling is challenging. His teacher says he's a leader in the classroom and I suspect that's because he is confident, outspoken and opinionated. His academic grades are good, but he gets grade penalized for behavior regularly. He does not the have the "high achiever" traits - he does not study school subjects hard (although he'll study things he wants to learn), he does not teacher please. He is OK at school, but definitely doesn't love it and would rather be at home. Our home life is pretty enriching after years of homeschool and that helps keep his needs met. - I read to him a ton, I work with him on reading instruction at a higher level, we talk about and do a lot of math/science/history experiences.

The gifted program at school starts at 3rd grade. So far he didn't qualify for gifted with the CogAT test. MAP testing will happen soon to identify for giftedness in Math and Reading. His prior Map testing isn't off the charts… but could be close to making the gifted cut-off.

From what I understand CogAt and Map testing are achievement based… which, he's not motivated by achievement and not a demonstrator of his abilities. He's more like a questioner or an out of the box thinker.

I'm just sort of curious how you other parents see this. What does this look like from your perspective? Can any one relate? I have the option to have him retested for "cognitive ability" through school, should I? (I'm not even sure what the gifted program is like and if I think it would serve him well. If he's not in the gifted program and because he doesn't require any intervention, he will probably have a "study hall" period during the day where I'm guessing he could read and may be happy doing that.) Or should I just keep doing what I have been doing and giving him enrichment at home? Maybe he's not gifted? I do know that he's very intellectually needy, he seems to be the happiest and calmest when he as a lot of information to chew on. Maybe intellectual neediness does not equal being gifted?