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    #219301 - 07/09/15 08:59 AM Confused on My child
    Maren Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/08/15
    Posts: 4
    I am new on this forum and hope that I can get a sanity check on my child. I have read every post on gifted children I could read on the internet and still I am confused on my child and the question of Is he or isn't he gifted????? (I am so confused)

    My son will be entering 2nd grade this year. When he entered kindergarten, he did not know how to read. We had practiced his site words and math facts (add/subtraction) the summer before so he knew words entering into K. At the end of K, he had been tested to be at a GE level of 2.6. At the end of 1st, his reading tested at GE 4.6.

    Short story on his math abilities, his Star test score at the end of 1st grade is at SS 643, GE >4. I feel comfortable that he understand and can do math problems thru 3rd grade. We have worked on 4th grade math and he is stronger on some 4th grade skill then others but I think by the time school starts in a month, he should be pretty strong in the 4th grade math skill sets.

    My problem is that my son did not just start reading on his own or doing 3 digit multiplication on his own. He has worked really hard to get where he is today. We read 30 minutes a day and do math 30 minutes a day outside of school (including the summer months) and in 2 years, the above results are where he is in math and reading. The star results show that currently for both reading he is at 99% PR. Once again, he did not just magically get there on his own but he and I have worked together on his reading and math.

    Is he smart or gifted? Does every child have the potential if they applied themselves to test higher then their current grade level? Can I expect other children to catch up with him in 3rd grade with their math and reading abilities?

    I would love to hear if anyone has an opinion on my son. My sister who has a girl the same age says that I expect too much out of my son but I think 1 hour of school work, outside of school/summer in place of his eyes glued to a computer/TV is not too much to ask for in a child. Am I wrong?

    #219303 - 07/09/15 09:34 AM Re: Confused on My child [Re: Maren]
    playandlearn Offline

    Registered: 11/14/08
    Posts: 309
    I won't comment on whether your son is gifted. I think no matter what label a kid gets, as parents we want to find the learning environment that matches their needs, instill in the children that strong work ethic is required regardless of innate abilities, and everyone will be able to achieve something with hard work. Even if a few other kids catch up next year, so what? Your son will still be better off than not working hard.

    I think whether an hour is too much depends on the child. If your son thinks it's appropriate, it most likely is. If he gets tired, frustrated, impatient or tells you that he doesn't want to do it, then it's too much. My kids didn't do that much extra math at that age (actually didn't do extra math at all in 1st grade), but they did plenty of music instrument practice. So I'd say watch your son, he'd let you know.

    Edited by playandlearn (07/09/15 09:35 AM)

    #219304 - 07/09/15 09:39 AM Re: Confused on My child [Re: Maren]
    cmguy Offline

    Registered: 03/30/14
    Posts: 387
    Can an IQ test distinguish between "gifted" and "high achiever"? (and BTW I think the ability to work hard and achieve is a great thing for a kid to have). An IQ tests is not cheap, but it may help answer some questions.

    I think an enriched environment is only worth so much - a kid also has to have the potential to take advantage of it.

    #219306 - 07/09/15 09:49 AM Re: Confused on My child [Re: Maren]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4299

    Your child appears to have accomplished enormous growth and high achievement with your support. You know your child best. As discussed often on the forums, there is a fine line between supporting a child's growth and abilities by setting high, reasonable expectations -vs- pushing a child, which in many cases may not be sustainable and/or may lead to social, emotional and/or trust issues. (Search for posts on hothousing or tiger parenting.)

    Originally Posted By: Maren
    I am confused on my child and the question of Is he or isn't he gifted?????
    Formally identifying a child as "gifted" most often occurs through a process of IQ testing.

    My problem is that my son did not just start reading on his own or doing 3 digit multiplication on his own.
    Gifted children do not match all of the common early milestones. However there is often a complexity of thought and ideas, evidence of making connections between concepts, and a creative/innovative/novel aspect to their questions and answers. This may be different than rote recitation of facts.

    He has worked really hard to get where he is today... he did not just magically get there on his own but he and I have worked together on his reading and math.
    Even children who meet early milestones do not do so magically but are typically thought to have keen awareness, strong powers of observation, internally motivating levels of curiosity, and/or focus which fuels their ability to learn from casual exposure to concepts from others in their environment (indirect instruction). For example, experiencing a parent reading to them, they may begin to match sounds to words on the page, without explicit direct instruction.

    Does every child have the potential if they applied themselves to test higher then their current grade level?
    Unfortunately, no. For example, a child with an IQ of 70 may not perform like a child with an IQ of 130. However, current understanding is that a child with an IQ of 70 (nature) may have strengths and interests which can be built upon... and may be supported (nurture) to learn more than children with an IQ of 70 typically learned in the past.

    Can I expect other children to catch up with him in 3rd grade with their math and reading abilities?
    This depends upon the child and the environment (nature and nurture). Although external systems may frequently make comparisons among individuals, internalizing a pattern of comparison with others may become toxic. Some may say it is better to focus on being the best self one can be, rather than focusing on being the best in a certain group, when measured by specific criteria.

    I think 1 hour of school work, outside of school/summer in place of his eyes glued to a computer/TV is not too much to ask for in a child. Am I wrong?
    This may depend upon whether the learning is fun and engaging, especially for a young child. Kids may benefit from being encouraged to listen to their internal voice which expresses an interest in a topic or area of study, and receiving support to find resources to feed that interest (which reinforces being internally motivated), rather than having areas of study prescribed (which may eventually lead to a child being externally motivated and possibly feeling quite under-confident in choosing his/her own path and persisting on his/her journey).

    Also, do not underestimate the value of physical activity and imaginative play.

    The work of Carol Dweck, and her book mindset may be of interest.

    #219307 - 07/09/15 10:47 AM Re: Confused on My child [Re: Portia]
    Maren Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/08/15
    Posts: 4
    If my child had complete control over his day, he would be on the computer most of the day if not all the day. One of his favorite games is Mindcraft. If he was bored of the computer, he would then move over to the TV where he has discovered that the Disney channel makes non-cartoon shows that he is interested in. However, because I refuse to allow him to be glued to the TV/computer, currently he will never have a day that he can make all the decisions on how to spend his time. When it is not hot, he is forced to go outside with his siblings and ride his bike, play on the jungle gym or shoot some hoops with me. I try to balance his day between school/school work/outside play/ and computer/TV watching.

    #219308 - 07/09/15 10:54 AM Re: Confused on My child [Re: indigo]
    rac Offline

    Registered: 10/02/11
    Posts: 57
    My guess (and I am just a parent, not an expert): Your son is definitely smart (as in above average). Gifted - not sure at all. It wouldn't be surprising that he is ahead of the class with an additional hour of individual instruction year-round (which I would expect to be much more focused than in a classroom setting). When I look at the elementary school guidelines - they are set very low, and there is a lot of repetition built in (addition from 1-10, 1-20, to 100 etc.).
    My kid tested as gifted, and while we don't do nearly as much academic learning as you at home, I think what is amazing about him is that he understands concepts very quickly, with minimal "instruction" and repetition. I still don't know how to teach a kid how to read. Though he reads in three languages well above official grade level. And while he is not at the same level as some of the kids on this board, his math is still years ahead as well.
    So my question back to you would be about how your son learns. And was there anything unusual about him in his first years? For instance, at his second b-day, my eldest did 60-100 piece puzzles essentially by himself (though he did want us to sit next to him).

    Edited by rac (07/09/15 10:56 AM)
    Edit Reason: typo

    #219309 - 07/09/15 11:25 AM Re: Confused on My child [Re: rac]
    Maren Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/08/15
    Posts: 4
    He is my first child and I had no schooling expectations and didnít really do anything with him until the summer before K when I just wanted to see what he could learn. (and to make sure he was not on the computer/TV for the full summer with nothing to show for his intellectual growth). The only thing we noticed is that he does memorize things fairly quickly. We noticed that he had that skill when he was around 3. His Pre-K teacher said he was a fast learner. In K, he was moved to an accelerator class that met 1 hour a day. While only 3 students in each class could go to the program and it was a rotation on which 3 kids could attend from each class, he was invited to attend as a full time student to the class. His K teacher was also impress how quickly he learned to read and towards the end of the school year, she asked him to read to the class during reading time so she could work on other projects. In first grade they had a pullout gifted class for 1st grade that he was a part of. In that class, he helped tutor some K students (their whole class did that). The teacher let me know that she used him to also help teach some of his other classmates math to those who were struggling. She said sometimes a child teaching another child a concept could teach it on a child to child language level where the child would understand it better from coming from another child then coming from a teacher (adult language level) He will again be in a gifted class for 2nd grade and I hope his new teacher will at least put him in a math class that actually teaches him something new so I donít feel the need to continue math enrichment outside of school as up until now, the hour he spends in math at school is not teaching him anything new and it bothers me that he is not learning on his pace but what the school needs him to learn to pass that grade. I have no idea what his potential is at math but I would like his abilities and not the school to make that decision.

    #219310 - 07/09/15 11:26 AM Re: Confused on My child [Re: Maren]
    gsth Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/02/15
    Posts: 7
    My son's path is similar to yours, and my questions are the same as yours. When my son was in Headstart, we discovered a "children's college" at our local 2 yr college. Started taking a phonics and math class every Saturday, year-round. A year later when he started kindergarten, he could read every sight book, and could add and substract 2 digit numbers. By then at the children's college, he advanced to multiplication and division. So at the start of 1st grade he could easily do 2 and 3 digit numbers. By the start of 2nd grade, he was doing fractions. As to reading at the college, he was doing 4 grade grammar. Then, in the middle of second grade, we entered CTY talent search. He got High Honors. Started taking CTY classes online. Again, year round. He should finish CTY/Thinkwell algebra 1 in a couple of months (weak "A" average). He now at a CTY Summer residential program studying data and chance.

    At school, he will enter 5th grade. I have always used the term "advanced", when describing him. We don't allow any TV or computer playtime during the week. The time commitment is 50 minutes CTY math, and 10 minutes vocabulary (WORDLYWISE) 3-4 times per week. In addition, on the weekends, he does a packet of math/English test-like material that I prepare. There is great flexibility in the schedule. We have gone weeks w/o any extra work when school work conflicted.

    The payoff: 3rd grade scored 100% on ERB math section; 4th grade scored three "9" stanine, and a "7" on CPT-4. Don't know if true, but was told that these results would get him into most elite boarding schools in U.S. Yes, there is exra work on his part, but w/o televison, he needs something to fill the time. Plus, he is so proud of his success and numerous awards. Again, I consider him advanced.

    #219312 - 07/09/15 01:22 PM Re: Confused on My child [Re: Maren]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4299
    You may wish to remove your son's name from your post. Commonly our children are anonymously referred to as:
    DC dear children
    DD dear daughter, sometimes followed by age (DD7 = age 7)
    DS dear son, sometimes followed by age (DS10 = age 10)

    Acronyms are covered in this thread: List of Common Gifted Acronyms.

    #219313 - 07/09/15 01:51 PM Re: Confused on My child [Re: Maren]
    George C Offline

    Registered: 03/12/15
    Posts: 282
    Originally Posted By: Maren
    Outside of the fact that we knew he could memorize fairly quickly. (He started showing signs of that skill at age 3) There was nothing that we saw in his behavior that said "Wow, what a genus". Being our first child, I had no academic expectations but when his P-K teacher said he was really smart I decided to spend the summer with him to see what he could learn before entering K. He learned over 250 words and add/subtraction up to 15.

    It seems to be that it is often much more apparent to others how bright / gifted / advanced our children are than it is to us as parents. We had heard a ton from friends about how well my DS talked for his age and how personable he was. Even we as his parents had figured that part out but didn't necessarily think that it meant a whole lot. When he was 2, a retired school teacher told us out-of-the-blue that that she thought he was a genius, even though he wasn't doing anything even remotely prodigious (and she wasn't using hyberbole, either). I still don't get that one. To be honest, we didn't realize the level of his intelligence until the results of his IQ assessment came back. Even then I was convinced that the psychologist had made a mistake. She hadn't.

    This is, apparently, a common phenomenon. Here are a couple of recent threads:

    Anyways, if you don't really see a problem and the school is challenging him enough, I wouldn't worry about whether he tests at the gifted level (arguably about 2 SDs above the mean, or about 130 on most IQ scales). However, if you feel that the school isn't going to lead on being able to challenge your son adequately, it's worth getting an IQ test to gain some perspective about how your son learns and what his areas of strength and weakness are cognitively. That also will give you more information to be able to make a case for your son for different types of acceleration (if necessary).

    Edited by George C (07/09/15 01:54 PM)

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