Gifted Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum.
CLICK HERE to Log In. Click here for the Board Rules.

Links


Learn about the Davidson Academy’s online campus for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S.

The Davidson Institute is a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students through the following programs:

  • Fellows Scholarship
  • Young Scholars
  • Davidson Academy
  • THINK Summer Institute
  • DITD FaceBook   DITD Twitter   DITD YouTube
    The Davidson Institute is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

    How gifted-friendly is
    your state?

    Subscribe to the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update

    Who's Online
    1 registered (sj4iy), 0 Guests and 66 Spiders online.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Newest Members
    hannahjeni, Catherine86, Chaj, AlanLuiz, Jach
    11221 Registered Users
    October
    Su M Tu W Th F Sa
    1
    2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    9 10 11 12 13 14 15
    16 17 18 19 20 21 22
    23 24 25 26 27 28 29
    30 31
    Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
    Topic Options
    #143622 - 11/29/12 09:15 AM Getting picked on -- starting already?
    MegMeg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    This is just breaking my heart. Hanni is in pre-K, and has had an ongoing issue with letting an adored friend mistreat her. Now the problem seems to have expanded. The teacher is reporting to me that when other kids do or say mean things, Hanni says it's okay for them to treat her like that. At home I've heard her say things like if she stands up for herself, So-and-So won't be her friend anymore. (The teachers are, of course, working to stop the mean behavior as well as working on Hanni's reactions to it, but they can't control everything every minute.)

    I'd been hoping that she was more socially adept than most of my family tends to be as youngsters, and in many ways she seems to be. She is friendly, alert to social cues, enjoys playing with kids at preschool. But on the other hand, she is starting to show signs of serious nerd-dom. Her current preferred outfit is a rashguard with a bathingsuit over the rashguard, capri pants (yes, it's winter), and socks pulled up almost but not quite to the bottom of the capris. She looks like a total dork, and is blissfully happy in this outfit. She's not the type who will only talk about her current obsession, and her play is very age-appropriate ("We're bears! This is our cave! Let's snuggle in our cave!"), but her vocabulary and way of talking is insanely adult, and she likes odd turns of phrase.

    I don't know how much any or all of this is off-putting to the other kids. At any rate, many of the kids in her pre-K class have older siblings in public school, and they bring that vibe into the preschool. I'm wondering if Hanni is starting to get targeted for being an oddball.

    It's clear to me at this point that public school is out of the question. If she's needing extra nurturing and social guidance in this highly nurturing little preschool, imagine what would happen to her in an overcrowded public school. (Our local is the "best" school in the county, but frankly, in this day and age that's not saying much.)

    Now I'm starting to wonder, would things be particularly better at a private school. There is one private nearby that emphasizes social-emotional development and community, but they don't let kids work above grade level and they use Everyday Math. Then there's an "advanced" private school, where they do a really good job of figuring out where each kid is at academically, but I've heard reports of bullying there.

    In my heart I really really want to homeschool her. She's just such an obvious perfect fit for homeschooling. I'm just really worried about the strain of making that work. (As some of you know, I'm a single mom with a demanding career -- flexible hours, but not a lot of spare energy. Some money to throw at babysitters, but not an infinite amount.)

    Anyway, thanks for listening -- just needed to express all this.

    Top
    #143625 - 11/29/12 09:22 AM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: MegMeg]
    gabalyn Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/12
    Posts: 351
    Oh, that sounds really awful! That kind of treatment from peers can be very damaging for a kid, especially one who is sensitive. And I think that kind of bullying goes on a lot in most places. I have homeschooled my two all the way through. They are 8 and 10. In many ways, I feel that homeschooling is a lot easier than most people think it is. I homeschool in a major city, and there are a lot of supports here. But it also is not nearly as time demanding as most people think it would be. If you would like to talk about the nuts and bolts of homeschooling a gifted young child, I would be happy to tell you more about how I have made it work. Feel free to PM me.

    Top
    #143627 - 11/29/12 09:43 AM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: MegMeg]
    deacongirl Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/03/10
    Posts: 948
    she is young for it to totally apply but I would strongly encourage you to read Rosalyn Wiseman's stuff on social aggresion in girls and how to handle it. I think that you could certainly explain it to her at her level. Hopefully she can learn that it is NOT ok to be treated like that and what to do about it.

    Top
    #143631 - 11/29/12 09:59 AM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: MegMeg]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    When we contemplated homeschooling, we had feedback along the lines of "What about socialization?"
    My frequent thought (occasionally voiced): "Have you read Lord of the Flies"

    Play and playgrounds at school have a life of their own and they are handed from class to class over time as they morph and take on a life on their own that teachers have little direct control over.

    It seems so complex when the correct, "taught" way to "user your voice" particularly when it is quite an adult voice reads even nerdier to other kids.

    Successfully implemented, I think your daughter's approach can be healthy, first off: it removes the power from the people doing the teasing, secondly: it allows her to have control over the acceptable bounds by providing negative feedback when her chosen line is crossed, and if you are going to march to your own drummer, make sure he beats that drum loudly. Not everybody is comfortable with self-deprecating humor and other ways of retaking control without conflict or want their kids to be that way.

    In an ideal world...?

    Top
    #143643 - 11/29/12 10:43 AM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: Zen Scanner]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: Zen Scanner
    When we contemplated homeschooling, we had feedback along the lines of "What about socialization?"
    My frequent thought (occasionally voiced): "Have you read Lord of the Flies"


    I have this same thought.

    The more I think about this issue, the more I come to believe that the key to a successful adult life is to unlearn all the social behaviors you learned on the playground. The alleged social benefits of public school are actually a social hindrance, because of the toxic environment, IMO.

    Top
    #143645 - 11/29/12 11:06 AM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: MegMeg]
    ellemenope Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/16/11
    Posts: 155
    We are in a similar situation with our PreK DD. She is by far the youngest in the class, with the majority of the class being at least 6 months older than her, and a few red-shirted almost 6-year-olds. DD is also small. Many of the kids in her class are a whole head taller than her. She also seems to have held onto her baby look a little longer than most. When she walks in the class many kids comment about how cute she is. They even come up to her and squeeze her cheeks or pat her on the head.

    In many ways it is great that she has always been the youngest. She is a chameleon, matching her behavior and learning to those around her. But, in other ways, it is not. She is treated like a toy. I have seen her get manipulated. She is learning to be more of a follower. I think she is becoming even more reserved. She is also an easy target for picking on. And, as I observed recently, many of the older kids in her class are introducing some mature topics into their play as well as queen bee drama.

    But, she is happy. The first few weeks were rough for her I think, looking back. But, I think she is happy to have her niche in the class. Many of the kids are writing letters and words, and I am glad she is seeing that is normal, though none are reading yet.

    We are looking into schools for next year. We, too, have pretty much decided that public school, even the magnet school, would not be a great fit for her. For one, the academics even in the academic advanced schools will not be a good fit. But, more importantly, I think she will get lost in the shuffle. She would require no attention academically and happily perform at the level of the class. A lot of the privates would be the same way.

    We have found a school that I think would work, but they are very progressive and exclusive. They are not academic focused at all, especially in the lower grades, (although thankfully they do not use everyday math.) Yet, they are doing something right because over half their upper grade students score in the top 5% on the ERBs. I think that sounds good, but its probably more a reflection on the families they attract. Their whole shtick is the sense of community, feeling loved and safe, emphasis on arts, building confidence, thinking outside the box, and having fun. It's mostly reggio with a lot of individualized instruction and a no limits attitude. It really aligns with my ideals of childhood, and I have now heard of many stories of shy children blossoming there and their parents credit the school's approaches.

    Top
    #143697 - 11/29/12 03:30 PM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: ellemenope]
    MegMeg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    Originally Posted By: ellemenope
    Many of the kids in her class are a whole head taller than her. She also seems to have held onto her baby look a little longer than most.

    Hanni is also really small for her age, a genuine shrimp. But she's really skinny, too, which paradoxically makes her look older (more facial definition, I think). I do wonder whether the size thing adds to the oddity. Probably size by itself wouldn't matter, but . . . the kid who looks like a little elf, wearing her raincoat backwards all day and using the word "et cetera"?

    Top
    #143721 - 11/29/12 06:18 PM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: MegMeg]
    MegMeg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    More info from the teachers today, and from Hanni herself. It's a whole combination of things making her into an oddball. We don't watch movies at our house, and all the other kids talk about the movies they watch, and she feels left out. The kids talk about how she's the shortest. They talk about how she has the shortest rain boots.

    Another advantage of homeschooling: kids get thrown together in all combinations of ages, sizes, dress styles, and home environments. I just want her somewhere where she can be herself.

    Top
    #143771 - 11/30/12 07:32 PM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: Dude]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    Originally Posted By: Zen Scanner
    When we contemplated homeschooling, we had feedback along the lines of "What about socialization?"
    My frequent thought (occasionally voiced): "Have you read Lord of the Flies"


    I have this same thought.

    The more I think about this issue, the more I come to believe that the key to a successful adult life is to unlearn all the social behaviors you learned on the playground. The alleged social benefits of public school are actually a social hindrance, because of the toxic environment, IMO.



    Yup.

    No advice-- other than to note that for some kids, this kind of social acumen (that is, some combination of being a doormat and being pained at not fitting in better) seems to just BE (as opposed to being a conditioned response to something).

    My DD hasn't ever really been exposed to that kind of social scene since she's never attended a "school" setting since she was about two, and yet she's always been that way. From our perspective, it can look a lot like letting others walk all over her-- they can be really awful to her and she just shrugs rather than countering.

    She just shrugs at our assessment of things, too, and points out that her way is probably the best option overall, that anything else is only going to escalate things. Trouble is, she's all too often right about that.

    Painful to watch, though-- definitely.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #143797 - 12/01/12 05:04 PM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: MegMeg]
    SwimMom Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/20/12
    Posts: 3
    Loc: California
    Love Hanni's school outfit! Her way of wearing a rash-guard makes complete sense. Sounds like she's comfortable just being herself.

    Regarding private school, "fit" is everything. Many private schools in our area say they meet the needs of every child, but most have fixed curriculum and teachers who have no training or experience teaching to gifted kids. Kids who think outside of the box disrupt their program. It's helpful to figure out whether your child fits within a particular school. It's virtually impossible to make a school fit to your child. You may want to consider schools tailored specifically for gifted kids where it's okay to be different.

    Top
    #143798 - 12/01/12 05:16 PM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: Dude]
    CCN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/25/12
    Posts: 978
    Loc: BC, Canada
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    The alleged social benefits of public school are actually a social hindrance, because of the toxic environment, IMO.


    Yup. No one thinks of this, though, when they criticize home schoolers for denying their kids the common school social experience. It's almost as if they see being bullied in public school as some kind of rite of passage. The pack mentality rears its ugly head. sigh.

    Top
    #144003 - 12/05/12 07:00 AM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: CCN]
    MegMeg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    Update: holding my breath!

    Went to an open house for my top choice of private school for next year, and it turns out that right now they have a mid-year opening in K. They sounded cautiously open to discussing taking Hanni early (she'll be 4y8mo in Jan). I have a meeting with them on Thursday.

    This school just seems awesome. It's tiny -- 48 students for K-6 -- with just four "classes" that are roughly grouped by age/ability (e.g. this year there's a K-1 group and a 1-2 group, and then a 3-4 group and a 5-6 group). Every kid gets to work at their own ability level, so they have kids in "2nd grade" working on the 4th grade math book, or whatever. They offer a rich program in the arts, writing, science.

    And best of all from my perspective, they have successfully created a culture of "nice kids go here." They expect families to be self-selecting for this value when they enroll, they work hard to build community once the kids are there, and if a kid is an ongoing problem they are asked to leave.

    Just hearing this made me want to cry with relief. I had a long conversation with Hanni's preschool staff, and they were so nice and sympathetic about the situation, but it was all about "helping the kids work through this" and "they get through it eventually" and "we have a particularly challenging group of kids this year" and even "Kid X has been picked on by her older sister and is working through her issues." I can totally see their point of view, in that they are a feeder school for the public schools and larger private schools and they have lots of families with siblings who are passing down the Lord of the Flies ethos. If they tried to expel every kid who was bringing that into the preschool they'd be out of business. But that doesn't make it RIGHT. And that's where they almost had me. They almost had me buying that viewpoint that this is just the way it is at this age and they are all learning how to manage these issues etc.

    But then I look at Awesome Little Private School, where no one has siblings in public school, and where they have successfully managed to keep out the Lord of the Flies. And I think, YES. It CAN be this way, I could take Hanni completely out of that environment at a single stroke, and there is nothing "unnatural" or "unrealistic" about it.

    Trying not to get too invested in this scenario. Hanni may bomb the assessment -- I'm going to be bringing her along to the meeting and they're going to be looking for whether she's ready for K in social-emotional terms. Honestly, she's a totally normal 4.5 year old in emotional development. She may just not be ready.

    Thanks so much everyone for listening, and thanks for all your great replies.

    Top
    #144025 - 12/05/12 09:36 AM Re: Getting picked on -- starting already? [Re: MegMeg]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: MegMeg
    I can totally see their point of view, in that they are a feeder school for the public schools and larger private schools and they have lots of families with siblings who are passing down the Lord of the Flies ethos. If they tried to expel every kid who was bringing that into the preschool they'd be out of business. But that doesn't make it RIGHT. And that's where they almost had me. They almost had me buying that viewpoint that this is just the way it is at this age and they are all learning how to manage these issues etc.


    See, I don't agree with the idea that "this is how it is" at a certain age. If teachers enforce rules appropriately, preschoolers will get in line. My kids went to a daycare place run by a woman who would not accept this kind of thing. If a child was mean to another one, she'd send the mean kid off on time-out and explain that "This isn't how we play here. We're all nice to each other. If you can't be nice to the other kids, you can play all by yourself." And she meant it. She was very, very effective, and trained her staff to use the same approach.

    I realize that if it's a very big school, this gets harder, but still, they're, you know, preschoolers. Kids at that age are very malleable.

    Good luck with the private school. Keep us posted.


    Edited by Val (12/05/12 09:37 AM)

    Top
    #144143 - 12/06/12 05:23 PM Thrilled! Terrified! (was: Getting picked on) [Re: Val]
    MegMeg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    Hanni just got accepted to Awesome Little School for mid-year jumping into kindergarten. Now I have to make a decision!

    I met with the two lead teachers. One of them enticed Hanni away and chatted with her, while the other teacher proceeded to terrify me with all the reasons why it would be bad to jump a 4.5 year old into the middle of a kindergarten year. While trying to make it clear that I wasn't trying to be a pushy parent or talk her out of her professional opinion (because if it's going to be a bad idea I want to know that), I tried to fill her in on what Hanni is like. She started to say things like "You're starting to talk me into it," which made me terrified that I was talking her into the wrong thing, and then the other teacher came back with Hanni and said "she's brilliant" and "we'd be delighted to have her starting in January." The other teacher quickly assured me that she was on board and trusted her colleague's opinion after assessing Hanni.

    AAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!

    What if I'm making a terrible mistake???

    Top
    #144148 - 12/06/12 06:09 PM Re: Thrilled! Terrified! (was: Getting picked on) [Re: MegMeg]
    petunia Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/17/11
    Posts: 146
    I know it's scary to make a big decision like this. Look at the extremes, though. What's the best that could happen? The worst? Can you handle both those? You aren't investing a huge amount of money (like buying a new house and moving to a new school district) nor are you making a non-reversible decision. If it works, that's great! If not, then you do something else. After all, it is Kindergarten and lots of kids do Kindergarten twice (red-shirting) so you can always move her to a different Kindergarten or put her in the public Kindergarten in the fall.

    I know it's easy for me to say. I made the decision for mine to skip 2nd grade and was very comfortable with it until this year (7th grade) when he's with kids in band who are 3 years older than he is, but he's happy with the skip and it has been good for him. I don't really regret it; I just wish sometimes he could have stayed "little" longer.

    Good luck with your decision!
    _________________________
    What I am is good enough, if I would only be it openly. ~Carl Rogers

    Top
    #144150 - 12/06/12 06:58 PM Re: Thrilled! Terrified! (was: Getting picked on) [Re: MegMeg]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    I think the school sounds lovely. But...I don't know if I would fully buy 100% into the "only nice kids" part. I feel like advertising that they kick the mean ones out wouldn't sell me. I'd be a lot more interested in a school with a great mediation program, a lot of evidence of cross-grade friendships, etc.

    Top
    #144153 - 12/06/12 07:22 PM Re: Thrilled! Terrified! (was: Getting picked on) [Re: MegMeg]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: MegMeg
    What if I'm making a terrible mistake???


    Hmm. Here are some random thoughts.

    1. I read through some of your old posts on this subject. It looks like you've considered this idea pretty carefully for a long time. Great!

    2. It's a very small school. My kids went to very small schools for a while, and for them at least, it was a wonderful experience (now the two youngest go to a "big" school with around 125 kids in preK-8). The school you've described sounds big enough that there will be a solid number of kids in your daughter's class, yet the numbers will be a long way from inhibiting individualized attention.

    3. Your daughter's experiences with the pre-school sound, err...sub-optimal. How bad are those problems compared with the unknown of a mid-year grade skip?

    4. How does your daughter feel about all this?

    5. Grade skips can seem weird and even scary at first. You're moving into unknown territory and going against the conventional wisdom. It feels strange (yet exhilarating). I know; I've been there. smile Try to remember that your daughter isn't like most other kids, and therefore, the conventional wisdom may not apply to her. Also, little kids tend to be quite accepting in situations like this. If the grownups said that Hanni should be in this class, they must be right. Hi, Hanni! This is where we put our coats! Wanna play?

    The only way you can know if the skip will work is to try it. Everything else is just speculation.


    Edited by Val (12/06/12 07:35 PM)

    Top
    #144156 - 12/06/12 11:40 PM Re: Thrilled! Terrified! (was: Getting picked on) [Re: MegMeg]
    ColinsMum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/08
    Posts: 1898
    Loc: Scotland
    If the teachers think she'll be fine, and it sounds as though they do, she'll be fine. Remember that 4.5 is young to start K in the US but not considered too young to be in that kind of environment everywhere. Here a child who is 4.5 by the start of a school year starts by default, and it doesn't sound as though the expectations are lower than for US K. (This system has its problems, I think, in that not all children are ready at this age, but anyway enough are that a system based on this assumption isn't a disaster.)


    Edited by ColinsMum (12/06/12 11:42 PM)
    _________________________
    Email: my username, followed by 2, at google's mail

    Top
    #144159 - 12/07/12 04:38 AM Re: Thrilled! Terrified! (was: Getting picked on) [Re: MegMeg]
    DeeDee Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    Originally Posted By: MegMeg

    AAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!

    What if I'm making a terrible mistake???


    It doesn't sound like a terrible mistake. And if it is, you'll find a way to fix it. That's kind of how it goes, I think. You make the best choice you can, and from what you've written, this sounds good to me.

    DeeDee

    Top
    #144206 - 12/07/12 12:35 PM Re: Thrilled! Terrified! (was: Getting picked on) [Re: MegMeg]
    MegMeg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    Thank you all, for talking me back down! I've called the school and told them yes, and I'm going to be talking to the director of the preschool this afternoon to tell her that I'm pulling Hanni out.

    I feel a bit like I did when I decided to get pregnant. Like, this is INSANE, how can anyone possibly make this kind of life-changing decision, but on the other hand, I know that I'm not going to decide to NOT do it. So I might as well go ahead and do it.

    Top
    #144211 - 12/07/12 02:01 PM Re: Thrilled! Terrified! (was: Getting picked on) [Re: MegMeg]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Yippee!

    When is she going to start?

    Top
    #144213 - 12/07/12 02:26 PM Re: Thrilled! Terrified! (was: Getting picked on) [Re: MegMeg]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    What lovely news! Best wishes to your DD (and you, of course) as she embarks on this new adventure. smile
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    Top
    #144221 - 12/07/12 07:46 PM Re: Thrilled! Terrified! (was: Getting picked on) [Re: MegMeg]
    MegMeg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    Thanks! She starts in January.

    Top
    Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >


    Moderator:  M-Moderator, Mark D. 
    Recent Posts
    NYC pivots on admission criteria
    by indigo
    Yesterday at 12:11 PM
    The ultimate brag thread
    by LazyMum
    Yesterday at 03:07 AM
    How do you choose a profession?
    by LazyMum
    09/30/22 04:13 AM
    Introduction
    by indigo
    09/24/22 08:17 AM
    Math acceleration and teacher attitude questions
    by AlanLuiz
    09/23/22 10:52 AM
    Davidson Institute Twitter