Messing up her social domain... again

Posted by: Dude

Messing up her social domain... again - 02/28/12 07:52 AM

DD7's G/T program just added a part-time gifted teacher, and as a result, DD's time in G/T pull-out each day has been increased by about 40 minutes. Yay. DW and I secretly suspect we had something to do with that, because at our last meeting with the school we had the district G/T coordinator in attendance, and as she ticked off the benefits DD was currently enjoying, she said DD was getting X minutes in math and Y minutes in language arts from the gifted program, in accordance with state requirements, to which DW and I immediately said, "No, she isn't." DD was getting 2 hours, and that was significantly lower than X + Y.

Mind you, this meeting was an extension of the now 1.5yo argument my DW and I have had with the school over why they won't just skip DD to 2nd grade. The school has been against it all along, because of the nefarious social argument. The district has weighed in on the side of the school.

So, now she's got more minutes. Now DD's gifted class doesn't end until her 1st-grade class has finished lunch and gone to recess. The school is now presenting us with the option of allowing DD to go to lunch and recess... the most social part of the day... with the 2nd and 3rd graders.

Of course, now the problem is she doesn't know anyone in 2nd and 3rd grade, because she's been stuck in a 1st grade class all year. I'm obviously tempted to say, "If you'd have just skipped her into 2nd like we asked, this would be a non-issue."

The school has asked DD about how she feels about eating lunch with the older kids, and she seemed reluctant. I asked her, too... and it seems she's concerned about being picked on by taller kids, and that it's already a problem for her with the taller kids in first grade. Arrrgh. What's really frustrating is that the argument for keeping her with her age peers has always been about social development, yet they're constantly doing things that interrupt that. First it was the G/T schedule and 1st grade schedule conflicted over art and PE, now this.

So, as I understand it, our options are:

- Have them cut DD loose from G/T early so she can go to lunch with her 1st-grade class.
- Have her eat lunch with the 2nd-3rd graders and see if she can make any new friends.
- Use this as another tool to push for a grade skip.

I'm still weighing this and I need to explore this further with DD, but I'd like to hear your thoughts.
Posted by: bzylzy

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 02/28/12 08:05 AM

We've not been successful with skip either and my DD is not shorter than everyone else. They usually use organizational skills or just a general "it's not our philosophy" though I think after this year we might push alot harder this spring.

If I were you I'd keep her G/T minutes, eat lunch with the 2/3 graders and yes use it as another tool to push for grade skip. It sounds like you have a good relationship with your DD and can mentally coach her out of her being nervous, and I bet she'll be totally successful. Getting along just fine first, making new friends second.

Posted by: ABQMom

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 02/28/12 08:07 AM

Oh what a tough decision. It would be so much easier for her to establish herself as a "peer" with the older kids in the classroom where the interactions are moderated and filtered a bit more by the teacher. I think I'd see this as an opportunity to launch another salvo their direction for the skip...
Posted by: knute974

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 02/28/12 08:30 AM

I too would push for a full skip. What they are doing right now makes it so that your DD is not part of either class. It makes her like a cork bobbing between two islands. In the long run, that approach seems more socially and emotionally perilous. If she goes into 2nd, it may be a tough transition but ultimately that will become her class.
Posted by: 2giftgirls

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 02/28/12 02:23 PM

I also would be hesitant for lunch with the older kids if SHE doesn't want that or is worried about it. I'd hate to see her so overly concerned about lunch that it intereferes with her enjoyment of her enrichment time.

I think I would choose enrichment over the lunch socialization but I can see how the school might turn this into you DECLINING the GT, kwim?

I guess, what I don't understand, is, why isn't she doing GT work while the rest of the first grade class is doing the regular math or what have you?
Posted by: 2giftgirls

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 02/28/12 02:24 PM

and fwiw, Butter is WAY short...there is even a 5yo at The Diva's school that is an inch taller than her, hahaha! But, at the same time, she's never been picked on or bullied and actually prefers hanging with older kids...

bullying is never tolerable, in my book and that shouldn't matter whom you are eating lunch with
Posted by: Dude

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 02/28/12 02:57 PM

Originally Posted By: 2giftgirls
I also would be hesitant for lunch with the older kids if SHE doesn't want that or is worried about it. I'd hate to see her so overly concerned about lunch that it intereferes with her enjoyment of her enrichment time.

I think I would choose enrichment over the lunch socialization but I can see how the school might turn this into you DECLINING the GT, kwim?

I guess, what I don't understand, is, why isn't she doing GT work while the rest of the first grade class is doing the regular math or what have you?


The G/T class isn't enrichment... it's the replacement for the regular math and language arts she'd be doing in the 1st-grade classroom. She does math and LA at an advanced level in the G/T class, but then she's supposed to rejoin her homeroom for the rest of the day.

Her first grade class now does math and LA during DD's G/T hours, though that wasn't the case early in the year. DD's G/T minutes were increased at the same time her 1st grade class' lunch time was moved up. DD is in a G/T class for 1st-3rd grades, and it ends just in time for 2nd-3rd to take lunch. DD is the only 1st grader in G/T, so she's the only one impacted.

DD's not being asked to go to lunch with older kids or lose G/T entirely... she'd only have to give up the extra 40 minutes. That's still not cool.
Posted by: bzylzy

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 02/28/12 03:05 PM

I used to be warned (including from my mother) and worried myself about the older kid thing, but there are kids in my DD's class and grade that swear, watch R rated movies are exposed to stuff I wouldn't let her be exposed to so I've gotten disillusioned with that idea. She notices and talks about everything, so I have to deal with it anyway, talking through things etc...so why not let her experience a more comfortable intellectual fit while we're doing it? I've grown into this opinion over the last year.
Posted by: LNEsMom

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 02/28/12 07:53 PM

Depending on what your dd wants to do, I would go ahead have her eat lunch with the older kids and then revisit the grade skip issue with the school. If she's doing well at lunch, then they've totally lost any credibility for the "social difficulties" argument against it. And by their own doing.

Something like, "Well, I know your concern with the grade skip was the challenges it might create for her socially, so this lunch switch has been a great way to test that out. Now we know she will do fine, so let's get that grade skip going!" wink

Or maybe she does have a hard time, and then you will know that too and can respond accordingly. I would suspect, however, that if she is already doing GT with the older kids, she wouldn't have too much trouble.
Posted by: Grinity

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 02/29/12 02:23 PM

Originally Posted By: master of none
So she's in class with the other GT kids in grades 2 and 3 that are going to lunch? Is that correct and she knows some kids? If so, I wouldn't be as concerned.

I'm wondering about that as well. I'd try and persuade DD to give it a try and then you'll see. Flexibility is the name of the game!

Best Wishes,
Grinity
Posted by: Stephi1307

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 02/29/12 08:01 PM

I have practically no experience since my son is only starting "real school" next year, but from what I've read the best thing to do with a gifted kid is try things out. If it was me I'd have her try the lunch with the older kids for a few weeks. Then if it works out you have a good argument for a grade skip and if not you can say its not working out and put her back with 1st grade lunch. If you explain it to her like that she might be willing to give it a try. If you don't try you really won't know if it would have been better or not. good luck =]
Posted by: Dude

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 03/01/12 06:14 AM

Originally Posted By: master of none
So she's in class with the other GT kids in grades 2 and 3 that are going to lunch? Is that correct and she knows some kids? If so, I wouldn't be as concerned.


I wouldn't be as concerned, either, if it wasn't for the fact that these older kids are also gifted. So they're not only older, they're also mature for their age... meaning DD still looks like a little kid to them.

DD went out to lunch with the older kids Tuesday, and none of the GT kids wanted to sit with her.

If they'd just skip her, she'd get along with the other older kids just fine.

Anyway... the school has proposed an alternative schedule, where DD gets to skip the (totally useless) morning meeting, get an extra 20 mins of 1:1 time with the GT teacher, and then cut out 30 mins early to join her 1st grade class for lunch. So that's the way we're going.
Posted by: bzylzy

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 03/01/12 06:33 AM

Ouch, what is that, inter-gifted bullying through social isolation?

It's good that they offered an alternative though.
Posted by: ABQMom

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 03/01/12 07:04 AM

That sounds like a better plan for her; glad you were able to work it out that way.

It's funny how special classes can be that way - with all of the kids realizing they don't fit in but not necessarily wanted to be too attached to anyone else that is gifted either for fear of looking like they don't fit in instead of just feeling like it. This happened in a couple of instances with my older son, and it just seems to be a chemistry thing of one or two kids leading the rest of them down that track.
Posted by: Grinity

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 03/01/12 01:25 PM

Often gifted kids are less likely to judge by size or age, but my guess is that the lower LOG gifted are less like that and more interested in social competition. Sometimes gifted groups can be very territorial and nasty. This reminds me of the insecurity that Dweck's entity theory of intelligence kids display. Sad.

And sometimes some year-groups of kids are just meaner than others. I hope that experience with this particular bunch doesn't sour her on older kis altogether. It isn't her height...there is something wrong with that particular situation.

Anyway 1to1 time sounds great for now
Smiles
Grinity
Posted by: Dude

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 03/01/12 01:42 PM

Not only are the other kids gifted, but almost all of them are older by 2 years. The class has 9 kids, and 7 are 3rd graders. There's one 2nd grader, and then DD.

Then again, DD has a gifted friend in 4th grade.
Posted by: Grinity

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 03/02/12 12:29 PM

And I wonder how many of the 3rd graders are old for grade. Not that I think giftedness is more associated with old-for-gradeness but I predict that it5 is common for school folks to confuse the two.

But the main point is that it isnt size and it is unlikely to be age...hense the 4th grader...more likely to be LOG or personality or the effects of entity hypostesis view of giftedness.

Smiles
G
Posted by: Dude

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 03/02/12 01:04 PM

There's a high likelihood of at least some of them being old for 3rd grade, because red-shirting is all too common around here. That wouldn't account for it entirely, because the kids do have to be assessed by an IQ tool, and that's age-controlled. But it's not like the standards are all that high. DD is solidly in the middle of the MG range, and she crushed the requirements for GT.

I'd also suggest the fact that 7 of 9 of these kids all leave the GT class and go to the same (or at least similar) classes, lunch and recess together, which helps them form very tight cliques, to which DD would be an outsider, is a major factor.

One of the things we've asked for is that the school move the first graders they're screening for GT to the top of the pile, to help end her isolation there. I'm shocked that here we are in March now and they still haven't identified anyone, because DD has already identified one that's not even in her class. We met her at DD's birthday party, and between the mom's comments and the kid's behavior, she exhibited all the classic signs.
Posted by: bzylzy

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 03/02/12 02:21 PM

These kids always find each other...a tiny little new girl in DD's music group is sticking very close to DD. She's very, very quiet (the new girl, certainly not my DD) but you can practically see and hear the gears going full time behind her eyes. Luckily, being very nice to every kid is one thing nobody has ever found fault with in my DD.
Posted by: C squared

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 03/02/12 03:19 PM

So glad a better schedule worked out!

My son was full-grade-skipped in 2nd grade (it is maybe the only example that occurred in our district in 10+ years, and it is a medium-sized district with 3500 kids in K-12, so it was an unusual circumstance in our town). But this really didn't remedy the situation, so by the time he hit middle school/6th grade, he was selected with 4 other kids to skip 6th grade math and join the 7th graders for math. This would have been fine, but same lunch problem--he had to eat lunch with the 7th graders.

This was a double problem for him (he tried it for 4 weeks, and was so miserable, we opted out). First problem--he felt a little like a pariah in the 7th grade lunch, so it was fairly miserable. Second problem--he is a really social guy, so he REALLY missed his 6th grade friends. They no longer have recess, so this was his one chance to truly socialize. So even if the 7th grade lunch was tolerable, or even mildly pleasant, he still would have been sad to miss the 6th grade lunch.

Our solution: we felt that the social stuff is way more important than the academic stuff. But we weren't totally okay with disregarding the advanced math, as we'd like him to be with those other advanced kids in high school. So, we left him in 6th grade math (yes, a boring review, but a kind/sweet/energetic/fun teacher who does her best to keep him interested), and did EPGY's online 7th grade math at home that year. This year, he's in 7th grade, and he did EPGY's 8th grade math at home. One more year of this extra work, and he can slip into the year-ahead math at the high school. So, it cost us to pay for the online class, but was 100% worth it to keep him with his friends/class for lunch. Too bad the schedule is set up to force them into this weird decision of lunch vs. more appropriate math class!

I guess this long response is partially to encourage you to realize that they probably learn so little, even with the gifted teacher, that losing out on a 40 minutes of gifted class could probably be made up at home in 20 minutes one-on-one with you!!! So I would focus on happiness. A little bonus after-schooling with you can provide some challenge. But it seems you may have managed the best of both worlds. Good luck!
Posted by: Grinity

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 03/02/12 09:56 PM

Great idea about screening the 1st graders...ask for the party acquaintance bt name. It is the referral system that gate the id process...for good or ill.
Posted by: Grinity

Re: Messing up her social domain... again - 03/03/12 06:06 AM

Originally Posted By: master of none
In 3rd grade, dd told the teachers that they had missed one for GT and that person was added. Then she made more recommendations as the year went on- and all were accepted. (GT at that age was based on teacher rec and the teacher had never taught GT kids before). It doesn't hurt to speak up-- unless the process is so automated that people don't really have a say.

Wow...that must have spoken volumes to your DD about her ability to both 'know what she knows' and 'do something positive about it.'
((Goose bumps)0
Thanks for sharing that story
Grinity