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    #215773 - 05/08/15 10:47 AM Re: Absurdity [Re: BrownTiger]
    Dude Offline

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    HK: Some of my post-HS social experiences were similar to your DD's, even though I was not accelerated. I graduated at 17, but then I worked for a year before joining the navy, so I was very age-normal for my cohort.

    And still, I found that "my people" were 3-5 years older than me, and those were the people I gravitated to (and who, in turn, gravitated to me). I got left out when they hit the bars stateside (not a problem overseas), and my nickname was "Junior." I hit a social sweet spot when I turned 21, but slowly "my people" started moving on (enlistments ended, new duty stations, marriage), younger people came along, and I just didn't connect with them the same way, so I began to experience a different kind of social isolation.

    So, being of normal age doesn't necessarily help a young gifted person socially.

    #215775 - 05/08/15 11:39 AM Re: Absurdity [Re: BrownTiger]
    HowlerKarma Offline

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    That's true-- my own experiences were much like your own, albeit I was in college. smile
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    #215821 - 05/09/15 07:14 AM Re: Absurdity [Re: BrownTiger]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4311
    I agree with cammom, eco21268, Ivy, and others who suggest working on marital communication and focusing on the child's needs and interests.

    Early college experiences need not be fraught with angst and/or a sense of social exclusion due to being under age with a perception that campus social life is centered on drinking and/or sex. Many students successfully find a group or activity for healthy social inclusion (campus jobs, ski club, service clubs, and fitness center activities such as zumba, yoga, and weight room are just a few examples for meeting students with common interests, outside of classes). YMMV.

    In addition to early high school graduation and matriculation to college, there are numerous other ways to secure placement of a young but highly accomplished student in a college or university course. This article from the Davidson Database provides many successful anecdotes, creative how-to's, and helpful resources.

    #215822 - 05/09/15 07:19 AM Re: Absurdity [Re: BrownTiger]
    NotSoGifted Offline

    Registered: 04/14/12
    Posts: 447
    While the whole tiger parenting thing is concerning, I'm not sure why your DW is stressed about scoring 230-240 on MAP math a year from now if she is already doing 6th grade math. My youngest is in 5th, but in advanced math (supposedly 6th grade math, whatever that is). She took the MAP math yesterday and scored 262 - she has never done any math outside whatever they do in school. Also, there are plenty of kids in her class that score higher than that.

    I don't know how your school is set up though. Even scoring high on the math stuff doesn't get you some super advanced placement in our district. Things have changed a bit, but middle kid got 9th stanine in quantitative and qualitative math ERB in 5th grade, so then she sat for the IAAT (Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test). At that point, 5th graders who scored in the 9th stanine for IAAT then were placed in Pre-Algebra. That was middle kid's placement, but if a kid scores 96th percentile or better on the Algebra readiness test, why the heck don't they go straight to Algebra I?

    #229393 - 04/11/16 12:00 PM Re: Absurdity [Re: BrownTiger]
    Val Offline

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3290
    Loc: California
    Coming in late to this thread, but I wanted to comment in a general way.

    Overall in the US, educational options for HG+ kids are woeful. The law forces public schools to focus on lower achievers. Worse: too many schools and teachers don't understand cognitive giftedness. Our curriculum is based on textbooks that are often subpar. Private schools can be better, but then again maybe not, and not everyone can afford them. Etc.

    Forums like this one can help, but personally, I've noticed a trend here that can encourage people to skid. By this I mean 1) a focus on what may not be the most important questions, and 2) that an idea grabs hold and the negative side of it isn't taken as seriously as it should be.

    With respect to point 1, I wonder about all the test result threads that have been popping up here in the last year or so, and if they're creating an unhealthy atmosphere. Tests are important, but they're only a small part of an overall picture, and besides, it seems to me that the person who did the testing would be in the best position to interpret a child's disparate scores or answer questions about his/her performance.

    A good example of point 2 is acceleration. When I first joined this forum, people talked about it (or homeschooling or whatever) as a least-worst option. I don't read so much about that idea anymore. Instead, I read a lot about the positive aspects of accelerating, with negative ones (e.g. the OP in this thread) being downplayed: no really, my kid fits better with kids who are 3-5 years older. That fact may be true when the topic of conversation is chess club or Jane Eyre, but it's simply FALSE when a 12-year-old is bundled with 15-year-olds who spend a lot of time talking about dating, athletics, staying out late on Saturday night, and etc. etc. It's important to consider how the 15-year-olds feel about the little kid in their midst, or about the 12-year-old's level of comfort with those kids.

    I still struggle with how best to challenge my kids, and they've struggled with the consequences of being much younger than grade-peers. I've had two co-worker friends who were radically accelerated and the OP's statements mirror theirs. Yet I get a sense on this forum that there's a groupthink at work, and that it's dismissive of this very real problem. I wonder if we have some emotional overinvestment in acceleration (subject or whole-grade), test results, and a feeling that a course of action is essential because someone else took it.

    I'm just trying to write as someone who's been around the block a few times and who's seen what happens when a skipped student gets to middle school, high school, or college. It's tough. And IMO, the literature from gifted groups over-encourages acceleration and glosses over the negative sides of it.

    It's easy to get caught up in the ideas of giftedness and challenge, but the reality is that the motivation has to come from inside, and 6th grade math in 3rd grade won't put it there (and maybe won't even force a HG+ kid to have to work to understand the ideas anyway). Many gifties hit a hard wall when they get to college and have to work hard to keep up and/or don't get an idea the first time it's presented. So college is one stage of life when the student has to dig down deep and either develop internal motivation or not. Sure, s/he may be motivated to work hard at activity A, but life is full of tasks that are a means to an end, and many are hard to master. For a giftie, struggling to learn to do them well can be a hard lesson, and those of us who are HG+ ourselves are all trying to help our kids avoid some of the problems we had. Acceleration seems like a natural option. But at the same time, we need to listen to the people who were accelerated and not trade one difficult situation for another.

    Understand, I'm not saying Don't accelerate! Don't test! I'm just saying that I think that the focus here has become skewed, to the detriment of the whole community.

    Finally, my best results have always happened when I turn off the emotions and the ego. That might help a lot here.

    #229399 - 04/11/16 12:45 PM Re: Absurdity [Re: HowlerKarma]
    bluemagic Offline

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    That's true-- my own experiences were much like your own, albeit I was in college. smile
    I went to college at 17. I figured out how to get of of H.S. a year early and never did senior year of H.S.

    Looking back on it I did have fairly rough social problems in my freshman year. Academically it was fine. Although when I went to college early I was treated just like all the other 18 years old. I had none of the can't do thing because of my age issues, but that was back in the 80's. I dated guys and didn't even realize age of consent in the state I went to college in was 18 till many years later.

    #229401 - 04/11/16 12:56 PM Re: Absurdity [Re: BrownTiger]
    ConnectingDots Offline

    Registered: 09/06/13
    Posts: 848
    I also went to college at 17, although I turned 18 three months later. No acceleration. Whatever problems I had were largely academic, the result, I believe, of being unwilling to speak up when I didn't understand a concept fully. (I.e., having been so far ahead of classmates for 90% of the time, it wasn't in my skill set to have to ask for real help.)

    Socially, I don't think there was any issue that age would have changed.

    Edited by ConnectingDots (04/11/16 12:58 PM)

    #229405 - 04/11/16 01:10 PM Re: Absurdity [Re: BrownTiger]
    bluemagic Offline

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    On the other hand my husband stayed in H.S. But took single subject (math) acceleration classes. He finished all of the math they offered at the local H.S. (including Calculus) by 9th grade. His parents were offered the chance to move him to college early and they declined. Keep him with his peers in H.S. He isn't a hugely social person but he made good friends in H.S.. And at the same time gave him a major challenge taking math & computer science classes at university at a young age. This seemed to work well for him and in my opinion it made him a more well rounded person that he might have been otherwise.

    #229412 - 04/11/16 03:22 PM Re: Absurdity [Re: BrownTiger]
    aeh Online   content

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3713
    Good points, Val. I hope I am not inadvertently contributing to excessive test emphasis by being in a position to suggest interpretations. (Though we are among those families who have chosen not to pursue formal assessment.)

    In general, I agree that any discussion benefits from greater nuance. Every child and family system is different, and has different options available to it, each of which will inevitably have trade-offs. The nature of exceptionality in a standardized system is that one will always be seeking the least-worst solution. The GT community, possibly even more than other parenting communities, ought to be aware that, as much as every success is worth celebrating, the solution may not generalize to other situations.
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

    #229415 - 04/11/16 04:24 PM Re: Absurdity [Re: BrownTiger]
    HowlerKarma Offline

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Honestly-- I'm going to offer a bit of an addendum. A few people who know me better more privately know the back story on this little addendum and can vouch for just how hard-won this knowledge actually is.

    My DD, now nearly 17, has had a much harder time coping with being so different this year than last.

    Bad things can happen to anyone-- her age didn't MAKE it happen, and it definitely didn't really impact how well she's been able to cope, let's just say that I know that statement is true by virtue of having been a college professor and having seen it unfold before.

    But what I would say is that children are NOT their test results. Children are, first and foremost, individual to the core. Those idiosyncracies play together to produce absolute singularity when considering things like radical acceleration.

    Now for the part that is pretty strongly opinionated.

    MOST children, even PG ones, probably have no business as "regular" college students at anything under 17-18yo. Maturity is far, far more than the ability to learn quickly and solve complex problems in vector calculus.

    Our daughter was well-suited to college-- I would make the same choice about acceleration again. (I'd do some other things far, far differently, but that's another story and not for this venue).

    Understand that I would NOT place a child with most 2e issues, any mental health challenges whatsoever, or emotional/social deficits on a college campus while being well under 18. Would not do it. I think-- and this may be among the most judgmental things I've ever posted on this forum-- that it is distinctly unwise to do that on any campus intended for your adults who have legal autonomy and generally are busy spending that autonomy doing things that are unwise-to-downright-dumb.

    The reasons are completely pragmatic. If your child becomes ill in class, nobody will walk him/her to the nurse-- they're expected to make their own way to student health or the local medical clinic. If your child experiences a roommate dispute, they have to live with the situation or negotiate a better one-- themselves. If your child is found in violation of a college policy, the college is under no obligation to notify you-- and they won't.

    Kids do dumb things. They do them at 18, too. But the younger they are, the more life experience they tend to lack. The more SHELTERED or NAIVE they are, the more life experience they tend to lack.


    What that means, in summation, is that a 12yo who has had to work hard at high school-- spending long days keeping up with schoolwork after a radical acceleration at age 10? May not be in a good position over all to be entering college at 13 or 14. Not only will they be missing that 3-5 y that everyone around them has-- they also will not have made up much ground if they were scrambling to keep up academically rather than doing it with ease and spending a LOT of free time maturing socially and emotionally (like their older peers were doing).

    On the other hand, a socially savvy child, one that is globally advanced in social/emotional maturation as well as cognitively and HAS spent that time doing what other middle- and high-schoolers have? Well, then-- yes-- maybe. But only if you have some idea what you're getting into.

    Unfortunately, to some extent, I think that this die is often case back in 1st-3rd grade, and whether or not you accelerate is probably BEST determined then, when they can adjust and move with their cohort, learning the same things alongside them for almost decade.

    Our daughter DID do that. She wasn't "accelerated" so much as "compressed" three years-- also sort of functionally "jumped" from being about 2-3yo to being about 5-8yo during a period of 18 months or so-- developmentally, and naturally. We didn't make that happen, it just did.

    Know your child's quirks. The WORST area to be more or less synchronous in development, when considering acceleration, is probably executive function, IME. There is far more acceptance for social quirkiness or immaturity now than used to be the case. But college now is brutal for executive skills.

    We knew that our daughter was going to need to be reigned in wrt dating partners being FAR TOO OLD for her. Our rule is that she can't date anyone who isn't also an undergraduate, and she hasn't tested our limits within that by dating anyone who is a returning/non-traditional student. Her friends have to understand that we're more involved with her than THEIR parents are because she is still dealing with some horrible stuff, and also because she is so young.

    I also still have to push her to not procrastinate when she is feeling avoidance over her perfectionistic ways. No, I don't check her homework and haven't done a bit of that since her first year of high school. But I do regularly sniff out whether she's skipping class or turning assignments in on time.

    Each and every HG+ child is a singularity. By definition. The patterns of asynchronous development that emerge in adolescence are profoundly not those of NT people-- but they are also not those of any other HG child, either.

    Being PG is hard. The wrong placement can make it even harder. frown

    For our DD, not being accelerated was the wrong choice-- I firmly believe that, seeing how she is "older" than the 18-19yo freshmen who are actually 3y older than she is... and seeing how her maturity matches best with the peers who are juniors and seniors right now, and are 20-23.

    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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