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    #272 - 07/23/06 01:25 AM My Gifted Child's Entering First Grade (First Post)
    Sugar Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/23/06
    Posts: 7
    Loc: Las Vegas, NV 89143
    Would like say how glad I am to have stumbled upon this website, and to extend my hi's and hello's to other parents out there in the same situation.

    My son and I live in Las Vegas, NV, and this gifted tyke will be entering first grade this September 2006. I'd like some thoughts on how to best approach his school for a 1st grade "plan of attack", so to speak, to best help nurture his academic growth.

    Before he started formal schooling, all the signs where there of giftedness, as we parents, can know. This would be an awfully long post if I were to recount each amazing piece.

    To fast forward, my son entered Kindergarten last August 2005 in a public school, and he was given a reading comprehension test by his teacher sometime December 2005, and he scored above Grade 6 level (his teacher said the test only went up to grade 6, but that he was probably well beyond this level). Since this point of testing, he's had the school's GATE specialist & Literacy specialist come to see him. The GATE specialist even contacted the Nevada's Board of Education Highly Gifted Program people, and they in turn, contacted me to ask premission for a pre-screening of my son.

    I never really got to speak with the Highly Gifted Program people from Nevada's school board, but only spoke with my son's teacher who first said that they were going to proceed with full testing. However, a few days later, she said that they decided to wait until he was in 1st grade to test him. After reading posts here, I realize this is probably because they can only administer the test every few years to a child.

    Now that my son is entering 1st grade, I was wondering what my plan of attack would be for my son. GATE classes really don't start till 3rd grade, and as a single mother, I cannot afford private school education (although I'm exploring scholarship options). Although my son was bored to death with Kindergaten's carpet times, I kept him at Kinder level and didn't really pursue things much back then because I wanted to give him time to socially adjust to school with his peers.

    However, now that he'll be in 1st grade come September, I wanted to meet with his school officials beforehand to see what sort of programs they had available for a Kindergartener with above grade 6 level reading, and how they can meet his needs.

    Any thoughts or suggestions from other parents out there? Thanks in advance.

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    #273 - 07/24/06 02:45 AM Re: My Gifted Child's Entering First Grade (First Post)
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Welcome ((smile and hug))
    I've got a few questions -
    1) Can you homeschool?
    2) Can you move to Reno?
    3) Have you applied to Davidson?
    4) Have you read Re-forming Gifted Education?
    5) Do you allow your son videogames? TV? what guidelines?

    Here's some "gross" generalizations -

    1) Kids who don't have access to electronic media keep their own initiative to learn much longer.

    2) Kids who don't have to spend more than 3 hours a day in public school keep their own initiatvie to learn much longer.

    3) The time to really "stuff them full of information and ideas" is when they are age 4-9 and "parent centered." Age peer interactions are find for summer camp, team sports or scouting. Remember kids are discouraged from developing social relationships in school - what they are being encouraged is to adjust to a "group" environment.

    4) by age 10 - 12 you'll see a shift of interest to peer or other adult mentor. this is the time to develop social relationships outside the family. Some kids loose interest in "academic pursuits," some maintain their interests. Others are ready for community college, university, or perhaps Davidson Academy in Reno.

    Take home messages is - your son sounds wonderful and ready to learn and soak up everything he can about learning about the world around him. Make the world around him as enriched as you can manage. Write back with more questions -
    Smiles
    Trinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #274 - 07/24/06 04:02 AM Re: My Gifted Child's Entering First Grade (First Post)
    mayreeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/20/06
    Posts: 156
    Loc: AL
    First grade can be horribly boring..... if they suggest a grade skip, seriously consider it. My DS skipped first and actually enjoyed second - even though it wasn't nearly as challenging as he needed. At least it didn't have as much boring repetition as first.

    Our school had the reading specialist who works with 4-6th graders work with DS. It was great enrichment. They encouraged him to read books at his level in the accelerated reader program.

    I would very definitely apply to Davidson Young Scholars program. It can be a great help in trying to deal with the challenges.

    Mary
    _________________________
    Mary

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    #275 - 07/24/06 05:19 AM Re: My Gifted Child's Entering First Grade (First Post)
    Sugar Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 07/23/06
    Posts: 7
    Loc: Las Vegas, NV 89143
    I am so glad to have come across this forum!

    Hi Trinity,

    1. Homeschool, I really doubt it. I'm a single working mother who just recently went through a divorce, so I'm here trying to make things work out in all aspects for my son - jobwise, emotionally, financially, etc -- while at the same time, making sure he gets the best attention possible to meet his needs. I doubt I'd have the knowledge and time to homeschool him. frown
    2. Move to Reno? We moved to Vegas about 2 years ago because of lower cost of real estate here compared to the Bay Area. I'd have to seriously consider this in a few years' time I suppose (I have read about the Davidson Academy there and would consider the possibilities of moving for my son -- as much as I dislike snow smile ).
    3. I just recently discovered this site and read about the Davidson Young Scholars program, and I will be applying for it in behalf of my son.
    4. Read about reforming Gifted Education? No, not yet.
    5. TV and video games? Yes, and sigh, probably more of both lately than before. As I mentioned, I recently went through a divorce, and I've been pretty lax on TV/video games/computer time, that he probably soaks in a lot more than he should. frown

    Hi Mary,

    Yes, I will be applying to the Young Scholars Program as soon as I can. smile

    ------
    UPDATE: I spoke with the GATE program office for Clark County, and I was told that the whole process takes a bit of time. That after the Highly Gifted Program's prescreen of my son, and their decision to continue with formal testing once he enters 1st grade, it may take awhile for this to actually happen. I was told that there's a waiting list in Clark County, as there's only 2 psychologists on hand. She suggested that as soon as school starts, I meet and work with the GATE teacher in my son's school to try and follow up on the testing, and to see what programs/steps would be best suited for my child. Or that in the fall, I could contact UNLV's psych department who may be able to administer the Stanford Binet tests for free/nominal charge.

    Some Questions: I was wondering though, shouldn't I meet with the GATE teacher/school principal before school starts and not after, to inquire about placement/programs for my son? I'm just worried about adjustment issues if he starts off in 1st grade and they decide to skip him, which could mean changes for him again. Also, I should be able to get access to my son's school records right? I was planning to use whatever notes the teacher/GATE specialist/Literacy Specialist/Highly Gifted Program folks made on my son's files for when I apply for the Young Scholars Program.

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    #276 - 07/25/06 03:29 AM Re: My Gifted Child's Entering First Grade (First Post)
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    I think meeting before school starts is a great idea - I hope they agree.
    I think it's the law that you can have access to your son's file, but it could be different in your state, I guess. Pediatrician is also a good source for reccomendations, as they are quite aware how unusual it is to do the various milestones at your son's age.

    As far as screen time, don't feel bad, Ruf suggests that lots of PG kids end up spending lots of time in front of screens cause no human can keep up with them for so many hours! It's the old cause and effect question - Is my son obnoxiously demanding a explaination for whatever's stuck in his craw at this exact second because he's so used to the instant feedback of video games - OR is he so into video games cause he craves to process/learn at such a fast and intense level?????? ((let's take a laughing break, here, ok?))
    Sorry to hear that the divorce was recent and difficult. You are still human even if your kid needs way more than what a human can provide. Isn't that the interesting part?

    The reason I asked about Reno, is two fold - on one hand, a child need only be doing "middle school" aged work, not be middle school aged to attend. On the other hand, there will be many bright siblings of Davidson Academy moving to the area, so there is a commitment to helping the local public schools accomidate the influx of PG and near PG siblings. Doesn't that just sound heavenly? To me the idea of my son being able to attend a public school with his age mates and
    a diverse group of children that includes significant numbers of like-ability kids and teachers who have "real life" experience with helping these kids get their needs met, is very appealing. For now, it would be too destructive of the rest of my life to go for it, so I understand where you are comming from. (((lip sticking out for both of us)))

    OK back to reality. I would push the school as hard as you can bear to meet and plan over the summer. If you can get them to give him end of year tests and see if he can start the gifted program NOW with the 3rd grades, that might be good. (And I do mean with a few grade skips, or as a "concurrent enrollment" plan.)

    This is scary stuff 'cause there isn't usually an ideal set up, just a "least - bad fit."

    Smiles and Hugs -
    Trinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #277 - 07/31/06 02:06 AM Re: My Gifted Child's Entering First Grade (First Post)
    mayreeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/20/06
    Posts: 156
    Loc: AL
    My kids spend more time that ideal with the screens too.... However, there are so many great games out there for them that I don't feel too bad about it. Some have really helped my DS tap into his creativity - which had always been hard for us to do as he didn't like more traditional activities.

    I too moan over not being able to move to Reno.... I keep hoping they will open a SouthEastern US branch.... maybe Atlanta?

    Mary
    _________________________
    Mary

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    #278 - 08/01/06 12:08 AM Re: My Gifted Child's Entering First Grade (First Post)
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Mary -
    Computer Games that help develop creativity? Please name names?

    I will say that runescape and world of warcraft have done wonders for touch typing and a kind of social interaction and for feeling "normal."

    I think that there is a lot of room for exciting things to be learned online and at the computer. Atlanta sounds terrific - like Connecticut without the snow! ((wink))
    Trin
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #279 - 08/02/06 12:04 AM Re: My Gifted Child's Entering First Grade (First Post)
    mayreeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/20/06
    Posts: 156
    Loc: AL
    Roller Coaster Tycoon unleashed a whole new side of my son. Can't guarantee it would with every child, of course. However, creating an entire theme park from scratch and designing your own rides is very creative. He loves all the tycoons.

    As I understand it, the games can be played 'to win' and some folks really get into the making money side - but he who never enjoyed drawing or writing was suddenly given the tools to sculpt an entire virtual zoo or ski resort or golf course.

    I have been shocked and happy with the results of the tycoon programs.

    Mary
    _________________________
    Mary

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    #280 - 08/11/06 05:26 PM Re: My Gifted Child's Entering First Grade (First Post)
    mommygiraffe Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 08/11/06
    Posts: 6
    Loc: East Greenville, Pa
    Mary, I couldn't agree more about the tycoon software. We have both Roller Coaster and Zoo, and both my children are obsessed. My son has Asperger's, though, and sensory and anxiety issues, and I had to laugh when his first roller coaster was a totally flat sqare.

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    #281 - 08/14/06 12:30 AM Re: My Gifted Child's Entering First Grade (First Post)
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Sounds like my kind of 'coaster!
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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