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    #154379 - 04/24/13 12:02 PM What should we do? HELP! (sorry so long)
    1frugalmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 312
    Loc: Central United States
    I feel like we are failing DD9! I have a nagging gut feeling that we aren't doing enough or maybe we are not doing the right things for her. She is still getting into trouble in class (just not as much as she was 2 years ago), she is extremely apathetic to school in general and as I've mentioned in other posts it seems she has lost her spark for learning, she quite often will just slop something down on a worksheet as quickly as possible in order to be done with her work, she never comes home excited about what she did/learned in school, and now she has told us all her classmates "hate" her. She couldn't tell us why they would feel this way just that she knows they do. In our home, "hate" is a very strong word, and our girls know we don't use it, so for her to use this particular word is very disconcerting.

    We have had concerns in the past about DD's social skills, but teachers, daycare, etc. have always told us she plays just fine with others and she has friends. If a kid is bothering DD she will sometimes walk straight up to them and growl or bark at them which is sort of funny to witness, but also probably not helping DD out in the eyes of the other kids. It seems as though nothing that other kids say or do really bothers her, but now that she claims everyone "hates" her maybe she really is affected more than we realize.

    We considered counseling for DD, but I contacted the local mental health centers we have and absolutely NO ONE provides services for gifted children, and they didn't know of anyone that does. Of course they were more than willing to set us up with a counselor, but if the counselor doesn't really understand gifted kids will it do DD any good?

    DD went through her testing at the age of 7 and she was given what was called a psychoeducational assessment where she was tested using the KABC-II and Kaufman achievement tests. We also provided the testers with the (worthless IMO) ADD/ADHD scales that DD's teachers had completed that all said she was probably ADD/ADHD. She completed the testing in 1 setting since we had driven from several hours away, but I think normally it would have been at least 2 sessions of testing. I wish we had known about the different tests at that time because we may have asked about using the WISC-IV since that seems to be the most popular test. At the time we weren't testing for IQ - we just wanted to rule out any disorders that the school was throwing out to us. I've read some posts on here about neuropsych testing or what seems to be more complete testing, so I wonder if there is some further testing we should do. Would any different test give us different, more detailed information?

    DD gets a gifted pull out 2 times a week for about 1 hour each time. She doesn't get any differentiation or acceleration in the regular classroom other than some higher level spelling words (which we asked for, but isn't in the GIEP) when the teacher remembers to give them to her (I know the teacher is busy and this time of the year is crazy, so I get that she can't always remember).

    I think we probably need to reconvene the GIEP team and talk about a plan for next year (DD's gifted teacher agrees). I'm concerned about next year because DD will move to a different part of the building and will have at least 2 teachers that have already proven they don't understand DD and have no desire to try to understand DD. When we have the GIEP meeting I plan to go over the information we received from NUMATS after DD took the Explore test. I hope the school will be willing to make some changes based on the recommendations from NUMATS.

    What are your thoughts? Should we do any further testing with DD or do you think this is just a matter of a poor fit since she has no accommodations in the classroom? Would counseling help if the counselor has absolutely no experience with gifted kids? What are we missing?


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    #154391 - 04/24/13 01:54 PM Re: What should we do? HELP! (sorry so long) [Re: 1frugalmom]
    gabalyn Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/12
    Posts: 351
    1frugalmom, is homeschooling even a remote possibility? I realize it isn't for everyone, but it has worked so well for us academically, socially, and emotionally! I would be happy to tell you more if you are interested. I will just say that I sometimes have trouble relating to a lot of what is on this board because our experience homeschooling has been so easy, simple, and pleasant. I realize not everyone can swing it, of course. Just offering it in case it strikes a chord!

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    #154394 - 04/24/13 02:17 PM Re: What should we do? HELP! (sorry so long) [Re: gabalyn]
    1frugalmom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 312
    Loc: Central United States
    Originally Posted By: gabalyn
    1frugalmom, is homeschooling even a remote possibility? I realize it isn't for everyone, but it has worked so well for us academically, socially, and emotionally! I would be happy to tell you more if you are interested. I will just say that I sometimes have trouble relating to a lot of what is on this board because our experience homeschooling has been so easy, simple, and pleasant. I realize not everyone can swing it, of course. Just offering it in case it strikes a chord!


    I would like to hear how you do your homeschooling. Do you do any online classes?

    We thought about signing DD up for some online classes just to see how she does and how far she can go in math and language arts, but there are so many to choose from and not sure where to start. We don't want to spend a lot of money and then find out she has no interest in sitting in front of the computer to do school work.

    That being said - I just don't know if homeschooling would work for us. I'm sure a lot of people have said that and then after they tried it found out they were wrong. We are not against homeschooling, just don't know if it would work for DD and how we would manage it. I work full time, DH works full time and he is also doing online college classes in order to change careers.


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    #154396 - 04/24/13 02:19 PM Re: What should we do? HELP! (sorry so long) [Re: 1frugalmom]
    Dbat Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/12
    Posts: 353
    Hi,
    So sorry you're having this trouble. I have to say, your DD9's comments echo what our DD9 was saying about school last year, which was a very bad one for her. In her case, we think she is PDD-NOS (i.e., on the autism spectrum due to her social issues) but with support from teachers/supervisors and peers, she can do just fine. However, last year there was another girl who was bullying her and others and the teacher just didn't get it--at least two of the other girls sought counseling due to the stuff this girl was doing, but the teacher (unlike previous teachers in the same class) didn't see it and the other girls including DD kept getting in trouble because of conflicts with this girl. So perhaps your DD is having conflicts with one or more other kids and isn't quite sure how to handle it?? Have you gotten any useful information from her about exactly what is going on, or is the teacher supportive and can provide any helpful advice? Sorry I don't have anything more helpful to say--in our DD's case, how well she has gotten along has depended totally on whether the teacher gets and supports her--if so, it's great; if not, it's a bad situation all around. I hope you can figure out how to help your DD; I know it can be very difficult. But if the teacher(s) aren't ones who get your DD, it may be much better to homeschool if you have that option. Best of luck.

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    #154397 - 04/24/13 02:32 PM Re: What should we do? HELP! (sorry so long) [Re: 1frugalmom]
    gabalyn Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/12
    Posts: 351
    I'll send you a pm when I get a chance to sit down and type out something comprehensive!

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    #154398 - 04/24/13 02:32 PM Re: What should we do? HELP! (sorry so long) [Re: 1frugalmom]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: 1frugalmom
    I would like to hear how you do your homeschooling. Do you do any online classes?


    Our DD8 is homeschooling 3rd grade using standard brick-and-mortar teaching techniques (books, worksheets, writing assignments, etc.), augmented with video, free online content, and projects as DW deems appropriate. With reference to the state's published guidelines on what a 3rd grader should be studying, DW is pretty much making it up as she goes along.

    Like most, she felt completely unqualified, but it's all working out very well.

    I help out whenever I'm needed.

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    #154422 - 04/24/13 05:14 PM Re: What should we do? HELP! (sorry so long) [Re: 1frugalmom]
    jaylivg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/06/11
    Posts: 116
    I totally can relate to your post . I am experiencing the same thing with DS .

    If i were you i would try to see the counselor , even if they never work with gifted children . Who knows maybe it might work . We took DS to this one counselor , it was only our first meeting , and by showing him the communication card we got from school , immediately he said DS seems ADD/ADHD , without even seeing DS yet . We never went back to that counselor ( he claimed that he worked with school for 22 years ) . We found another counselor , she seems like she can understand DS and i can't really say that it's working for us 100% because DS still gets in trouble at school on and off . That's why DH really thinks about homeschooling DS . Like you , i don't mind homeschooling too , but i just don't know where to start either . It seems so overwhelming . Although usually during summer , i would do some work with DS .. kinda like homeschooling , we're working on reading , math , etc .


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    #154431 - 04/24/13 08:13 PM Re: What should we do? HELP! (sorry so long) [Re: 1frugalmom]
    bluemagic Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    The trick in getting her counseling is to request the help because of her behavior not her giftedness. My DS14 had major problems with explosiveness & stress in 6th grade. We took this to the insurance and received over a year of counseling for him. You probably want to find someone who has worked with gifted kids but don't use that as the reason FOR the counseling.

    Good Luck.

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    #154464 - 04/25/13 07:52 AM Re: What should we do? HELP! (sorry so long) [Re: 1frugalmom]
    gabalyn Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/12
    Posts: 351
    Okay. Since a couple of other people mentioned homeschooling, I'll post my thoughts here instead of as a PM.

    First, I think that one of the wonderful things about homeschooling a gifted child is about what DOESN'T happen. They don't have to sit in their seat for hours each day doing boring, repetitive, dumbed-down worked. They don't have to allow themselves to be repeatedly patronized by adults who have no idea how sophisticated their intellect is. They don't have to put up with receiving empty rewards for doing busy work. They don't have to put off asking their many questions. They don't have to stop reading because the period is over. They don't have to read Magic Tree House books when they want to read The Lightening Thief just because the teacher said they had to stay on grade level. They don't get bullied or pick on because they are different.

    So even if you unschool the early years, and provide essentially no structure or challenge, at the very least, they will avoid a lot that is unpleasant and potentially damaging. And I think most HG+ kids will find their way to filling their time with lots of wonderful, enriching activities. Many people feel intimated by the thought of having to re-create school at home, but really it is a total paradigm shift.

    We didn't quite unschool the early years, but we very nearly did. And I will just say that in spite of the bare minimum of structured instruction through about grade 3, my daughter met or exceeded DYS cuts for the EXPLORE for every subject except for math. Even her math score was "gifted." I just put that right up front, because I don't think that more free time for these kids necessarily affects their achievement. In fact, my daughter got a perfect score for English on the EXPLORE. With almost no formal grammar or spelling instruction. Why? Because she reads.all.the.time.

    My personal belief is that it makes sense to limit the more enticing uses of screens and media if your homeschool has less structure. We have done so, and here are some of the things my kids do and have done with their unstructured time:

    Program a video game
    Draw your own animated movie
    Read
    Listen to audio books
    Write a novel (or at least the first ten pages of several different ones!)
    Read
    Play an imaginary game
    Play chess against the computer
    Read
    Bake cupcakes
    Build amazingly creative deep sea creatures out of Legos
    Read

    All that said, I am not now nor ever have been a die-hard unschooler. My kids always did some structured stuff, but in the early years,(through about 3rd grade) it could be as little as 20 minutes a day, three or four days per week. We did math online with Dreambox. My son used Reading Eggs for reading.

    We also did a lot of projects, which I have detailed elsewhere, but will mention again here. We raised monarch caterpillars; we baked "hardtack;" we made a Sumerian feast; we brewed our own mead; we mummified a chicken; we captured live yeast to make bread; we made edible models of atoms, and the earth; we wrote in cuneiform on "stone" (play dough) tablets; we celebrated Chinese New Year.

    We also took (and take) trips: to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown; to Valley Forge; to go fossil hunting for megalodon teeth; to Washington DC to see the Terra Cotta Warriors; to NYC to go the American Museum of Natural History, to see plays, and to see the Pompeii exhibit. And even to Mexico to Chichin Itza and other Mayan ruins, and to London to stand on Tower Green where Anne Boleyn was beheaded. (Off season rates because we weren't on a school schedule!) Yes, both of my children really enjoy gore.

    Now that they are older (8 and 10), we do have more structure. I do feel that, at this stage, it is important that they be challenged, that they learn what it is like to apply themselves, and persist through something that doesn't come easily. My 8 year old is completing 4th grade math through EPGY. My daughter right now is taking a cryptography class through Center for Talented Youth. She also takes both grammar and literature through onlineG3. She LOVES all of her classes, is extremely self-motivated, and is being challenged both in terms of time management, and in terms of ideas and learning. She also still has tons of time to read for pleasure. I am hoping that my son will take a mythology class from Athena's Advanced Academy next year, and my daughter will begin a writing class also through CTY.

    The onlineG3, Athena's, and EPGY classes are not expensive. CTY classes are, but we as a family have determined that it is worth it to us to take some classes through them. (For one thing, they are an accredited middle school, so she will have somewhat of a transcript if and when we apply to high school.)

    When you homeschool, there is no negotiating with the school, no trying to find the "least worst" solution, no time wasted coercing a bright child to do what is boring or meaningless. My kids play instruments, compete in fencing and chess tournaments, put on plays with their friends, and sing in choirs.

    I am extremely lucky, in that there is a large community of gifted homeschoolers here, and my kids attend a learning center two days per week where they get to be with friends and engage in group projects that facilitate social learning. (And I get a break.)I honestly don't know if I would enjoy homeschooling as much or feel as good about it if both my children and myself didn't have very rich social lives. Not every community offers this.

    In addition, I work part-time, and am able to set my own schedule. Again, not a luxury that is open to all. I think it would be very difficult but not impossible to homeschool if both parents are working full-time. If you could find another compatible family to trade off with, or hire a tutor, or even leave the child alone, depending on their age, and their ability to get school work done in the absence of a parent, you might be able to cobble something together. Certainly, you don't need to do direct instruction for more than a couple of hours a day. If you think about it, the amount of time that kids spend in school actually doing school is maybe two hours, when you subtract time waiting for other kids to stop talking, or catch up, time spent lining up, doing silly work to fill time, etc.

    I hope this is helpful!


    Edited by gabalyn (04/25/13 04:19 PM)
    Edit Reason: because it was pretty ironic that my post had a grammatical error just I was explaining about my daughter's excellent English abilities!

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    #154485 - 04/25/13 10:57 AM Re: What should we do? HELP! (sorry so long) [Re: 1frugalmom]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2513
    Gabalyn, I'm not the OP, but that was a terrific, informative post. Thank you so much for sharing! I'm going to save this thread for 2-3 years down the road when my son is kindergarten-age.
    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

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