Gifted versus High Achieving

Posted by: Mama22Gs

Gifted versus High Achieving - 07/16/09 07:37 AM

Hi again,

DH and I are looking at various schools in our area for DS7. We had him tested recently at JHU/CTY and are waiting for scores but were told he's gifted (don't know LOG yet). I've posted a few times before, and noted his current parochial school has not (in K or 1st) been open to accommodations for him. Granted we didn't have scores yet, but the culture seems to be NOT to provide accommodations.

So, as we have been looking at schools, we found one that has a great academic reputation, although it's not a GT school. The concern I have is that I've heard it's very competitive academically and that there is pressure to achieve. I've heard that it's more the norm there than not for kids to be performing above grade level, but am not sure how to determine whether that's because the kids are GT or because they're being pushed to achieve.

DS7 is a pretty anxious kid and I don't know how he'd react in a competitive environment. I do think it's necessary for him to learn how to overcome academic challenge (which he's deifnitely not getting where he is), and to understand that he's not ALWAYS going to be the smartest person in the room and that that's okay.

I wonder what you think about a "competitive" academic environment for gifted kids, and any suggestions you might have for determining the right fit for a gifted seven year old.

Thanks and hope you're enjoying your summer!
Posted by: playandlearn

Re: Gifted versus High Achieving - 07/16/09 08:04 AM

Personally I would look more at the method of instruction instead of whether it is competitive. I would find a place where the approach matches my kid's learning style. My kid would definitely do well in a competitive environment (and he does), as long as the competition is healthy (some places do go overboard and I certainly would avoid those). What matters to me is whether my kid will be in a place where originality, creativity and self-initiative are valued, whether children are encouraged to be deep thinkers, and whether they are required to do their personal best. Some schools are high-achieving by letting kids do lots of drills and the instruction is moer or less teaching to the test, they can score very high in tests but this is the kind of place I avoid at all costs. smile
Posted by: Dazed&Confuzed

Re: Gifted versus High Achieving - 07/16/09 08:15 AM

I agree w/ Playandlearn. I'd also look at the amount of homework. will DS have time to pursue his own interests afterschool?
Posted by: Taminy

Re: Gifted versus High Achieving - 07/16/09 09:21 AM

Originally Posted By: playandlearn
Personally I would look more at the method of instruction instead of whether it is competitive. I would find a place where the approach matches my kid's learning style.

I would agree. My DD HATES competition and would do very poorly in a highly competitive environment. She often withdraws when she feels she is being judged relative to others. However, when she has the opportunity to take on something unique and master it, she really thrives. One thing you might look at is whether "competitive" means individualized work with very high expectations for quality, or group work with competition for the "best" outcome (e.g. every student researches a topic of interest and presents it in a form of their choosing, vs. everyone writes a 3 page report and the "best" report goes on the bulletin board).
Posted by: Floridama

Re: Gifted versus High Achieving - 07/17/09 11:33 AM

Some people have labeled our school as competitive, but I don't really see it. We have high standards and students can earn awards for meeting them, but I only see this as motivation to do your best.
We do have a few competitive parents in our grade and I tend to avoid them. Of course the competitive parents are usually the ones complaining that the school is too competitive...go figure

I would not worry too much about the school yet, you can not know if the shoes fits until you try it on.