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    #246940 - 03/17/20 07:35 AM Feeling stuck and frustrated
    SunnyMomof1 Offline
    New Member

    Registered: 03/11/20
    Posts: 1
    Hello,
    My daughter will be entering 2nd grade in the fall. She is at a school that has gifted certified teachers, but no official gifted program (they did a (Gifted)IEP for her at the end of last year, but I feel it is so they could check the box... her only IEP goal set for 2 years was to 'enhance critical thinking' - it feels like a boilerplate goal.

    She entered Kindergarten excited about learning and fired up about her school. In the first year she quickly lost her enthusiasm for learning. She plowed through the sight and spelling words within the first two months and was not really given anything else. She also met all of the math goals in that same time frame.
    We felt that her teachers last year dismissed our assessment of her needing a greater challenge (I believe they were overwhelmed with their class) so we had her tested for gifted in the hopes that she would be challenged by a more rapid curriculum. We've been disappointed. We love her teacher's personality which helps her kind of like school a little, but the only acceleration she has been given is advanced spelling. I now feel that her pace of learning has slowed as a result of not being challenged.

    When she was 5 (in Kindergarten) she would tell me that she is bored and doesn't learn anything new in school. At 6, she told me that she learned more from her preschool science teacher than she learns in 1st grade and now at 7 she says she 'doesn't learn anything new in school' and asks why she has to do so many worksheets drilling adding and subtracting when as she puts it 'My brain already knows how to do it'.
    She is not extremely gifted (IQ is 133) so I feel the administration somewhat dismisses her.

    This school was supposed to be THE school to get into and yet we have been sorely disappointed. There is a dedicated gifted school close to us that is supposed to be one of the top gifted programs in the country (families move here to send their kids to it)- but I worry with her not having an extremely high IQ, it might be overwhelming.

    We have considered private school, but feel spending $30,000 (the local cost) is extremely high for elementary - we would be talking $300,000 for the remaining years of grade school.
    I would love to hear suggestions from other parents who also felt the public school programs didn't cut the mustard and what you did that worked well.

    Thank you!

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    #246989 - 03/27/20 09:42 AM Re: Feeling stuck and frustrated [Re: SunnyMomof1]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3591
    Welcome! Sorry for the delay in any responses. New posters usually see a little delay in posts.

    First, you have an opportunity during the current widespread stay-home orders to gather some more anecdotal information about your DC's current academic level and rate of learning, and to renew her enthusiasm for learning. If your DC is not in school, take this time to experiment, perhaps with some of the many online programs that currently are offering free access. Or let her explore her own learning around the house or in the yard, if you have one. Download a range of books from the library and let her read/listen to them.

    I'm sure you'll hear from some other parents shortly. For us, we knew from the beginning that public school was unlikely to suit our children. We started with tiny private schools that were willing to be flexible about age of entry, single subject acceleration, and whole grade acceleration, then tried various combinations of partial homeschooling and full homeschooling. One entered public school for the first time in recent years, at the secondary level. We've made decisions year-to-year, even month-to-month.

    So start by taking a deep breath. You don't have to--and can't--and shouldn't--make a decision now for her entire educational career. Her needs will likely change many times over the next decade, and your choices will change with them. You will probably also make decisions that don't work out optimally--we all have--and that's okay. Very few of them will be truly irretrievable, as long as you feel the freedom to seek out other options as soon as it becomes apparent that it's not a good fit.

    Welcome, again!

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    #246998 - 03/28/20 05:08 AM Re: Feeling stuck and frustrated [Re: SunnyMomof1]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2031
    I would like to say it will get better but... Usually with girls they start dumbing themselves down after a few years and the boys go quiet or start making trouble. That allows the teachers to virtuously claim there is no need to do anything because they all even out by the third grade. Private school may not be better as it is not a matter of resources as much as of educational theory.


    Edited by puffin (03/28/20 05:10 AM)

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    #246999 - 03/28/20 09:52 AM Re: Feeling stuck and frustrated [Re: SunnyMomof1]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1523
    We were in NYC when DD was young and she got into a good gifted program. But we also started with online math with CTY. Paid for it but wanted the credentials. Also put her in a light weekly mandarin program and also a bunch of other extracurriculars -- academic and athletic to keep her busy and let her explore stuff. We moved to Canada in 4th grade and the gifted programs were crappy. I should have accelerated her at that time but didn't. By 7th grade we put her into an accelerated private school. It was a big adjustment. Since her study skills were so bad from being in a easy academic environment. It took 4 years to get her discipline on track. She continued Chinese as a self study when we moved, and it was slow and hard to get support but this year she is pushing to do the AP exam. That challenge is making her work on it 5+ hours a week on it. Plus doing her stuff. And with the virus social distancing, her school resumed online. Good thing about paying tuition. The whole story about MIT being harder than Harvard, when you go to a demanding school with a competitive peer group, you have to up your game. The curve is just too much to the right. Teachers expect more. So think about what you can do now and what are your options down the line. Because the study habits don't fix themselves that fast when the environment is easy.


    Edited by Wren (03/28/20 09:54 AM)

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    #247000 - 03/28/20 10:27 AM Re: Feeling stuck and frustrated [Re: puffin]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4206
    @puffin, you said it well! Truthful, succinct, eloquent. I think we both wish that we had cheerier facts to share. Unfortunately this is not a good time for the gifted.
    Originally Posted By: puffin
    it is not a matter of resources as much as of educational theory.
    BINGO!

    Common core standards ushered in a slew of measurements and data collection to enforce uniformity and compliance with teaching to the standard. The current educational theory is equal outcomes for all pupils. Teachers and schools are rated/ranked according to closing gaps... achievement gaps, excellence gaps.

    It can be difficult to advocate successfully when the schools' rating/ranking and the teacher's job may be on the line... making them rather disinterested in meeting the academic & intellectual needs of gifted pupils.

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    #247006 - 03/30/20 12:44 PM Re: Feeling stuck and frustrated [Re: SunnyMomof1]
    greenlotus Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/14
    Posts: 566
    Our children have now been in high performing private and public schools, and I can say neither was better than the other. It depended on the teacher, ultimately. We did offer outside classes to the girls (AoPS and others), and younger DD was grade accelerated. Older DD jumped into sports.

    I would not spend the money on pricey private schools unless they really address the needs of HG+ students. I would save the money for college.

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    #247009 - 03/30/20 04:51 PM Re: Feeling stuck and frustrated [Re: indigo]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2031
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    @puffin, you said it well! Truthful, succinct, eloquent. I think we both wish that we had cheerier facts to share. Unfortunately this is not a good time for the gifted.
    Originally Posted By: puffin
    it is not a matter of resources as much as of educational theory.
    BINGO!

    Common core standards ushered in a slew of measurements and data collection to enforce uniformity and compliance with teaching to the standard. The current educational theory is equal outcomes for all pupils. Teachers and schools are rated/ranked according to closing gaps... achievement gaps, excellence gaps.

    It can be difficult to advocate successfully when the schools' rating/ranking and the teacher's job may be on the line... making them rather disinterested in meeting the academic & intellectual needs of gifted pupils.


    The other one I have heard lately is that gifted programming is not beneficial because while it improves test scores it make the kids less nice. To me that means obviously it is your gifted programmimg that is a fault as done properly it will make them more rounded and thoughtful people and raising test scores should never be an aim.


    Edited by puffin (03/30/20 04:52 PM)

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    #247010 - 03/31/20 05:08 AM Re: Feeling stuck and frustrated [Re: greenlotus]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1523
    Originally Posted By: greenlotus

    I would not spend the money on pricey private schools unless they really address the needs of HG+ students. I would save the money for college.


    I agree that all private are not geared to HG. DD's school was built as an HG school by the university. You test twice to get in, it accelerates math and science in 7th grade and there are no lower level math courses. Hence the peer group is more or less HG.

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