Gifted Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum.
CLICK HERE to Log In. Click here for the Board Rules.

Links


Learn about Davidson Academy Online - for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S. & Canada.

The Davidson Institute is a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students through the following programs:

  • Fellows Scholarship
  • Young Scholars
  • Davidson Academy
  • THINK Summer Institute

  • Subscribe to the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update Newsletter >

    Free Gifted Resources & Guides >

    Who's Online Now
    0 members (), 174 guests, and 16 robots.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Newest Members
    Word_Nerd93, jenjunpr, calicocat, Heidi_Hunter, Dilore
    11,421 Registered Users
    April
    S M T W T F S
    1 2 3 4 5 6
    7 8 9 10 11 12 13
    14 15 16 17 18 19 20
    21 22 23 24 25 26 27
    28 29 30
    Previous Thread
    Next Thread
    Print Thread
    Page 1 of 2 1 2
    #121793 02/03/12 01:22 AM
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 710
    M
    Madoosa Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    M
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 710
    I have written, re-written and deleted this about 8 times in the last few days. But I need to talk about it and I need all of your incredible thoughts and brain power on this one.

    Last year some of you may recall we had issues and had to meet with the school over Aiden. Well, not even 3 weeks back at school and we are right back where we were.

    Over the 6 week break things were awesome in terms of communication, desire to learn returned, enthusiasm returned everything was great (despite his grandmother dying things were good).

    To cut a long story short he cried all the way to school today. He is angry and when I take him to his room to try help him deal with the anger without hurting anyone else - I get hurt. These outbursts are happening every day now. He has stopped speaking to us again about his feelings and thoughts. He says he doesn't want to read, do maths, do science experiments or anything new. He says there is no point.

    I am devastated that he has lost his sparkle and that he has lost the desire to learn. That he no longer enjoys it is obvious to me.

    The school don't see this - they keep saying he seems happy etc. But I know he is terrified of the "naughty corner" and the other measures they have in place. He was told last year that Grade 0 (K) would be real work, that it would be exciting and challenging, but it's not for him. With the result that he fluffed his reading assessment and has been pegged at DRA level 8 (he ended last school year on DRA level 11 and reads at home on DRA level 18 or more). He started chess, was asked if he can play (which he can basically) and was then taught how to set up the board again. He was told if he talks he will be kicked out and not allowed back in, so he sat there and endured it.

    I fear that he has learnt to do at the level that is offered, simply to avoid the punitive arrangements at school. I worry that he has learnt that this is all there is, that he will not learn anything new at school. He is only 5 and this scares me. It's affected the entire family, and DH and I are arguing more, baby is more needy suddenly and little Nathan is trying so hard to be good that it's not normal.

    I called the school and they have agreed to a meeting early this next week. Iam waiting for the confirmed date and time.

    I would be happy to homeschool DH feels he needs to be in school, that my now newly found freedom of time in the mornings is good for me and it means I have time for Dylan on his own too, since Nathan started at the same school now as well.

    How do I word it to the school? I can only see three solutions:
    1. grade skip (it will work temporarily as he settles to writing, formal school etc for grade 1, but he is essentially on a grade 2/3 level AFAIK)
    2. Give him the real work promised. He told his teacher he wants multiplication, he has not done anything remotely similar.
    3. pull out and homeschool.

    Sorry for the very long ramblings. I need to know how to verbalise this to the school. I have gotten their own key phrases together already, and am ready to demand what they promised - an individualised learning plan. but what else can I do to prepare? how can I help Aiden right now? Do I keep him home on monday with me?

    please help!


    Mom to 3 gorgeous boys: Aiden (8), Nathan (7) and Dylan (4)
    Joined: Oct 2011
    Posts: 2,856
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Oct 2011
    Posts: 2,856
    My DD had a similar problem with K, though not to this extreme. His hiding of his abilities has somewhat handicapped you in your efforts to get him appropriate differentiation, which can take forever even in the best of circumstances. Considering how strongly this situation is affecting him, and how difficult/long it can be to make this work in a school situation, in your place I'd pull him out of school today and begin homeschooling.

    I assume your DH's reason for stating Aidan needs to be in school is for social development. If that's true, it's probably worth pointing out how sending him to a place he hates is unlikely to help him win friends, and that homeschooling now at K does not preclude him going to school later.

    Homeschooling a gifted child takes up a lot less of your time than you might think. There's going to be some time for you to shop for materials and plan lessons, but the actual schooling part took my DW less than three hours a day. Aidan won't be wasting his time waiting for other kids to get it, other kids to finish their work, standing in line waiting for other kids to quiet down, etc.

    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 471
    7
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    7
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 471
    Geez, sure you're not talking about me or my eg/pg DS6???

    Tuesday, I wrote a letter saying I wanted to withdraw my eg/pg son from his private gifted school due to his social/emotional needs being unfulfilled and increasing frustration and depression. Yes, I see the lost of enthusiasm and sparkle too. Yes, he doesn't want to go to school most days either.

    My son's school/teachers responded to my letter by discouraging me from withdrawing my son from the school and told me that if we did withdraw him that we would still be liable for the remainder of the tuition, which really pissed me off.

    Yesterday I wrote another letter to the school saying that we would try to keep eg/pg DS6 in kindergarten for the remainder of the year, but that we may have to withdraw him if his emotional/social needs deteriorates.

    Here's an SENG article on what can happen if there's a mismatch.
    http://www.sengifted.org/archives/a...octor-fit-in-the-care-of-gifted-children

    Last year, my son had the physical and emotional psychosomatic conditions from being in an appropriate setting - so this isn't bunk.

    This year we're in a similar situation with the math. Last year, my son was in pre-k and was doing addition, subtraction, and started to multiply visually at his other school; in fact last year the teacher was going to put him in the 2nd/3rd grade class for math until the headmaster flatly refuse to accelerate a pre-k by so many grades or accommodate a eg/pg. This year, the school refuses to let my DS6 move on from addition or do subtraction or multiplication or anything else until he masters the timed math tests! The teachers are taking a very traditional approach to math and really destroying my son's passion and love for the subject, which is heartbreaking. He definitely won't be returning next year; I'm just trying to keep him there until the end of the year.

    What to do???
    1. Write rather than verbalise! Put everything in writing, then you've got a paper/digital trail and documentation. Say you've noticed and are concerned about your son's level of frustration/depression/social-emotional needs/etc. Ask how the school might be able to help your son at school and at home to reduce it.
    2. Supplement at home and see if it helps or changes the situation.
    3. Get the real work promised. Yea, em, trying that myself with the math. See how much the school/teachers are flexible or willing to budge. If they're still stuck in the mud, see #2 or #4.
    4. Homeschool.

    Joined: Jul 2011
    Posts: 332
    I
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    I
    Joined: Jul 2011
    Posts: 332
    I would pull him out and homeschool. Can you find a group setting where he can socialize and play, without the academics? Maybe some sort of class or group?

    All this angst is totally unnecessary, especially since he is so young. You need time for yourself, too, though. I think a nice middle ground would be some sort of group or activity he can be dropped off at.

    Is he pretty independent when he plays by himself all day?

    I think *you* should find a way to get some alone time to relax , too, if you have to give up the mornings. You deserve that. wink

    Last edited by islandofapples; 02/03/12 09:22 AM.
    Joined: Dec 2005
    Posts: 7,207
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Dec 2005
    Posts: 7,207
    Originally Posted by Madoosa
    How do I word it to the school? I can only see three solutions:
    1. grade skip (it will work temporarily as he settles to writing, formal school etc for grade 1, but he is essentially on a grade 2/3 level AFAIK)
    2. Give him the real work promised. He told his teacher he wants multiplication, he has not done anything remotely similar.
    3. pull out and homeschool.
    please help!

    For the school show them work samples that are done in his own handwriting.

    For DH, consider using some of the money you were spending on school for a tutor/babysitter - some way to get your a break and some babytime.

    (I believe that what the littler ones get from being part of a pack far outweighs what they get from mommy-alone time, but this isn't the time to try and convinse DH. Instead find out what his actual concerns are and try to find measurable outcomes as ways to monitor if in fact DS is turning into a spoiled brat (or whatever) )

    Good luck!
    Grinity


    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com
    Joined: Aug 2011
    Posts: 739
    P
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    P
    Joined: Aug 2011
    Posts: 739
    Madoosa it has taken me numerous tries to get myself to read your post because it keeps bringing me back to where we were with dd last year. Kindergarten was absolute misery for her. Nightmares, crying in her sleep, begging not to go to school. "Please Mommy I'll go to kindergarten anywhere else just please please don't make me go back in that room." It was awful -I really, REALLY feel your pain.

    My dd totally shut down in this environment - she didn't work below her abilities she just shut down completely. I got her classroom changed but the damage had already been done. It was late January (halfway through the school year here) before she would even acknowledge that she knew her letters in school. One day she read 3 levels of books for the second teacher but never read for her again. I kept asking for interventions for a documented fine motor deficit and to figure out what was going on with her reading. The school kept refusing saying "She'll never qualify - she's too smart." It was an extremely punitive environment and by the end of the year my happy, outgoing little girl was totally disabled by anxiety. Once we finally got her screened it turned out she has major ld issue that this school would not only refuse to address but had been actively punishing her for.

    I don't know what your system is like in South Africa. I can just tell you that I kick myself every day - and will continue to do so for a long, long time - for having kept her in that environment. Twice I actually pulled her out of her classroom with the intention of withdrawing her from school only to be convinced that the school would address the issues. Now that we are in a very supportive school environment dd is slowly coming around. She had a substitute teacher last fall who yelled and that seems to have been the "breakthrough trigger" to make her uncomfortable in this school too. Although she has MUCH less anxiety she started having headaches (daily for a while). It will take us years to overcome the damage caused by that bad school situation.

    If I had my situation to do over again I would have pulled her in a heartbeat. I had a bad feeling about the teacher from the first time I met her. As soon as dd started shutting down I knew my feeling was correct. If you have the option to home school or can afford a private alternative I would most definitely look at it very seriously. I also would look at getting your ds into a play therapy situation - if he was enduring anything like my dd experienced last year he may need some help working through it.

    Good luck! And I commend you for working to address it.

    Joined: Feb 2009
    Posts: 40
    D
    DrH Offline
    Junior Member
    Offline
    Junior Member
    D
    Joined: Feb 2009
    Posts: 40
    It doesn't sound like he should be in school.

    Simple fact is a child in Kindergarten isn't going to learn anything other than ABCs how to count to 10, colors and shapes... The schools have no desire to put forth effort to teach kids at that age, they are really just mass baby sitting centers. If your child wants to learn home school them instead of Kindergarten. My kids went to Kindergarten because they wanted to be around other kids, not because they expected to learn anything.

    Before the first day we explained that Kindergarten wasn't really school it was just organized playtime. We taught them when they were home from school, and it worked well that way... but if they had expected to learn in school they would have been very upset with the reality of it.

    I suggest you home school.

    Joined: Sep 2011
    Posts: 342
    2
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    2
    Joined: Sep 2011
    Posts: 342
    I second the homeschool option and especially like Grinity's suggestion of either tutor for Aiden or maybe a daytime playgroup or class so you can still have alone time or special time for Dylan.

    Personally, I would have given up ALL my own free time if I had realized what was happening to Butter earlier. I also could kick myself for all I didn't see, all that wasted time, etc. I should have known, in the beginning, when she could actually read and most of the other kids couldn't...oh well, hindsight is 20/20.

    I also second Dude's assertion that socialization in a poor fitting environment is not helpful...not to mention (this is my new "go to" socialization argument...) I don't send my kid to school to socialize. ANd I don't keep her locked up in the house the rest of the time...Butter has Girl Scouts, two different dance classes now and all those other things she does at her school, seperate from academics.

    Butter also never acted out like that to me, she's pretty stoic actually. But now I see some behaviors (like refusing to do work) as her way of telling us it wasn't right for her. My friend's son, Mr B, was more like you are describing, verbalizing that he didn't like the school, asking to be homeschooled, etc...

    In the end, you will have to decide what IS best, but I'm sure that sending him to a place he hates, a place that is "dulling his shine" day after day, is not a good option. If you can't convince that school to give him what he really needs, I'd pull him out asap!


    I get excited when the library lets me know my books are ready for pickup...
    Joined: Jul 2010
    Posts: 1,777
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Jul 2010
    Posts: 1,777
    Kindergarten is supposed to be the fun year. Darn. Hugs.
    The squeaky wheel gets the oil.
    Let them all know that you're not going to have an unpleasant whole year in Kindergarten sour your kids attitude on school in general. They're impressionable and it's their formative years.
    FWIW, I wouldn't necessarily insist that they actually make sure he's learning much at this age, but I would insist that they prove to you that they'll find a way to make a positive first impression of school, learning, and education in your little boy's mind.
    Tell them, "who am I going to believe, you or my lying eyes?" If you're Saying your kid's miserable and crying to you about it, tell them answering that he's happy does not change what you see. Tell them, "maybe you haven't seen it, but I'm letting you know it's there". Surely they won't call you a liar. And if they try to comfort you like a hysterical new mom, remember, this isn't the first two months of school where it's not unusual for kids to cry. This is the second half of the year. He should like Kindergarten by now. Kindergarten, of all things.

    Remember my thoughts are just thoughts. My kid doesn't start school until next year.


    Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle on a calendar
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 710
    M
    Madoosa Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    M
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 710
    Thanks everyone again!

    Grinity - he has been at this school for two years already, on the same playground with the same kids etc. It's a new year here for us (the school year started only on the 18th January), but it's a Gifted School, and the teacher has his file and entry assessment done when he was 2.5 years old. They KNOW what he is capable of.

    Update:
    Meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning 10am. I will have half an hour only, so am compiling an e-mail now to address the concerns so that we can trouble shoot instead.

    His teacher called me aside Friday at pickup to chat, she was very open and concerned (obviously she has been in th ejob less than 8 weeks and already a meeting! lol)

    The usual platitudes were exchanged: he is so small, youngest in class, can't give 3rd grade maths as he will get bored in 3rd grade, we prefer to go wider instead of deeper (I asked why they have to be mutually exclusive). And it went on and on. Eventually she asked what I wanted. And I said that he wants what his friend in 2nd grade gets - spelling tests, projects, homework etc. So she has suggested she put together a project book for him - where he will get assignments daily across a variety of subjects to do.

    I asked for writing, drawing, thinking, applying knowledge kinda things. She still has to get permission but is hoping to formalise it in the meeting and start on wednesday.

    I will still push for more in-class differentiation too, but at least this way she can see what he is really capable of. And she agreed to "substantially" increase his reader level and see what happens.

    I am scared to believe it, but I really really hope it happens. Will give you another update tomorrow after the meeting.


    Mom to 3 gorgeous boys: Aiden (8), Nathan (7) and Dylan (4)
    Joined: Apr 2009
    Posts: 1,032
    N
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    N
    Joined: Apr 2009
    Posts: 1,032
    Originally Posted by Madoosa
    The usual platitudes were exchanged: he is so small, youngest in class, can't give 3rd grade maths as he will get bored in 3rd grade, we prefer to go wider instead of deeper (I asked why they have to be mutually exclusive).


    Arrrrgh! Don't fall for it! There is no shortage of math to learn. If he's done with third grade math in Kindergarten, then he can do what comes next, and next, and next. If they're afraid that the third-grade teacher won't know high enough math when he gets there, they need to figure out that there is math online. There is ALEKS, there is Khan Academy, there are all those other things mentioned around here. He will not learn all the known math in the universe before third grade, or before sixth grade, and if he does, that will be the least of their problems.

    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 710
    M
    Madoosa Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    M
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 710
    Soooo we had the meeting today.

    To sum it all up - somethings were agreed to, others were not:

    - Reading assessment will be re-done tomorrow. They will start on a reasonable level and test up instead of down. I am also to send in the books he is reading at home. They will also test on that to get a full picture. Turns out the teacher from last year (her and I had personality clash and she didn't seem to like Aiden) neglected to keep his reading file up to date so the teacher this year just went according to that.

    - The teacher and the deputy headmistress will have a meeting with Aiden this week to explain the school terminology, why he cannot get homework and why he should speak up about what he wants. They will try and remove his fear around the discipline methodology that they use.

    - They are keen to give him mini projects in line with his ability. This will be extended to all the kids and this will supposedly give them the scope to do as much or as little as they want. It seems it will not really have formalised requirements.

    - They will NOT go deeper in maths (fear of gaps being detrimental later on); if he can do all the stuff the other kids do he will then be allowed to do something more complex. But only at pace of classroom. So if they are counting to 20 he may count to 100 sort of extension. And he has to prove he can do the other stuff first. I gave his teacher a list of the basic maths stuff he does well and am compiling a list of the maths he still needs to work on, and she said she will try slip some of the other stuff in to "test" as per the school's requirement.

    - They blathered on again about the essential-ness (is that a word?) of cutting, glueing and colouring.

    They also said that from second term (Semester), this class will be more like a Grade 1 setting. Writing and intro to spelling included. This starts mid April for us.

    I am giving them three weeks to implement and see results with this. If things are not substantially better both at home and with his passion for learning, I am demanding a grade 1 trial basis. If they refuse even though it's not working, we will pull him and homeschool. I think that then no one can accuse me of not jumping through every single hoop required of me.

    Thoughts? Comments?


    Mom to 3 gorgeous boys: Aiden (8), Nathan (7) and Dylan (4)
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 710
    M
    Madoosa Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    M
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 710
    oh yes and also - their eyes nearly popped out their heads everytime I referred to international research, commonly documented issues with HG+ kids, and kept referring to specific books, studies etc. They were very nervous once they realised that I am not just "another parent" but that I know stuff about Gifted Education and Gifted kids.

    was my LOL In yer face for the day ;)(mean and petty right?)


    Mom to 3 gorgeous boys: Aiden (8), Nathan (7) and Dylan (4)
    Joined: Oct 2011
    Posts: 2,856
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Oct 2011
    Posts: 2,856
    One bit of advice: Never accept the "gaps" argument. It's an argument from ignorance, and the solution to ignorance is information. Your son can have an achievement test that demonstrates exactly where these gaps may exist. Those gaps can then be filled, and he can move on.

    Dude #122218 02/07/12 12:21 PM
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 710
    M
    Madoosa Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    M
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 710
    Originally Posted by Dude
    One bit of advice: Never accept the "gaps" argument. It's an argument from ignorance, and the solution to ignorance is information. Your son can have an achievement test that demonstrates exactly where these gaps may exist. Those gaps can then be filled, and he can move on.

    EXCELLENT idea! thank you! I am going to chat to his teacher about this next week - after we sort out the reading and other accepted ideas smile They can give him a Grade 1 or Grade 2 assessment and see where he has these gaps.


    Mom to 3 gorgeous boys: Aiden (8), Nathan (7) and Dylan (4)
    Joined: Dec 2005
    Posts: 7,207
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Dec 2005
    Posts: 7,207
    Sounds like you are doing everything you can to give them a chance. I think you may have an ally in this years teacher. After the reading assesment the next question will be....are there any other ks reading at this level? Will your son have to be privately tutored in every subject be the k teacher?

    One step at a time I guess
    G


    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 710
    M
    Madoosa Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    M
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 710
    Originally Posted by Grinity
    Sounds like you are doing everything you can to give them a chance. I think you may have an ally in this years teacher. After the reading assesment the next question will be....are there any other ks reading at this level? Will your son have to be privately tutored in every subject be the k teacher?

    One step at a time I guess
    G

    I already know that there is only one other K student who reads at a similar level. She is Aiden's best friend, but this year they are in different classes. She is 11 months older than him and has no issues showing what she can do. In his class there are 2 others who are reading, but below where they tried to start him now (so effectively where he was about 18 month ago).


    Mom to 3 gorgeous boys: Aiden (8), Nathan (7) and Dylan (4)
    Page 1 of 2 1 2

    Moderated by  M-Moderator, Mark D. 

    Link Copied to Clipboard
    Recent Posts
    Testing with accommodations
    by blackcat - 04/17/24 08:15 AM
    Jo Boaler and Gifted Students
    by thx1138 - 04/12/24 02:37 PM
    For those interested in astronomy, eclipses...
    by indigo - 04/08/24 12:40 PM
    Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5