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    #12429 03/23/08 05:37 PM
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    skyward Offline OP
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    Hello,
    I have a daughter who just turned three. When she was a baby she did everything early. She crawled at 5 months and walked and talked by 8 months. She was potty trained by 16 months. We live in a pretty rural area and it has been hard to find resources for very young children. Our local library has a program for children to visit museums and we can get up to one pass a week, so I was doing that for awhile and still try to on days that she is not at school. Around 16 months she started asking us why peers of her same age would not talk to her or play with her and was getting very upset about it. At this point she was a very young toddler and the peers her age could not talk much yet. I asked our local school district if she could attend a preschool program with older three year old children because she seemed to be drawn to children that age at the time. They said she was way to young and that they required children to be potty trained. When I told them that she was they just said no. So my husband and I found a private school near our home that agreed to admit her at 2 years old. My daughter was very excited and started this program last fall. She seemed to do well for the first couple months and was learning alot socially and has made alot of friends. Then around December she started complaining that she was bored, and that she did not want to go any more. I had a conference with the teacher and was very shocked when I saw her work. It was much less advanced that what she dose at home. At home she draws people with a head, body, arms, legs, fingers, toes, eyelashes, eyebrows, hands, feet, and sometimes internal organs like intestines, a heart, or brain. Her people at school were just a head with a line out of it. The teacher also told me she needs to work on writing her name which she also dose at home, she also writes other words like mom, dad, foot, and I love you. So I was very surprised. The teacher said she is very intense and needs to learn to take turns letting other people talk. Before this when ever I asked how she was doing the teachers said, oh she is doing great. I am pretty sure she is advanced and she relates much better to older peers or adults. The school dose not seem to be the best fit for her. I am trying to decide what to do next fall. At the current school she will be able to start the four year old program in the fall with the same teacher. The public school would have her do a three year old program again, or I could keep her home with me. I also have a son who just turned one and a baby due this fall so I don't know how much time I will be able to devote to the constant questions, and she is very intense and high energy. When I ask her why she dose'nt like to draw or write at school she says it takes to long and she likes to do it her own way. The public school says I need to have her screened and tested to see if she can start kindergarden when she is four, but she just turned three and I don't know if testing would be a good idea at such a young age. The public school has also told us that they strongly discourage children starting school early and that this is our first child and we should'nt make her grow up so fast. I don't feel like I am trying to make her grow up. I am just trying to keep up. Any one out there with advice.

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    Hi Skyward!
    Welcome - I'm so glad you found us! Wow - brain and intestines! No wonder you are getting flak. You don't deserve it. Don't worry about testing being bad for her, she will probably have a wonderful time.
    When would the screening be?
    Do you have an local folks who could come over and hang out with her during the day if you keep her home?
    Does she have any friends at school still?

    This does happen, and it is scary! ((hugs))
    Grinity


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    skyward Offline OP
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    Thanks for replying its hard to find other parents to talk to. The school wants her to be screened right away. She has made a lot of friends at school and the kids she has really connected with we try to get together with once a week if we can. Sometimes her grandmother takes her for the day or an evening here and there. Thats where she is tonight. Her grandmother also started taking her to plays at a local childrens theater which she loves. Although the next day I have to recreate all the costumes so she can act out the plays. I love her questions and I try to induldge her curiosity, I just know it is going to get harder with three kids in the fall.

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    Wow, It sounds like you and her grandmother are doing a great job of mobilizing to get her the cultural enrichment which is so important. Which makes me wonder about the 'workbook' approach. How do you feel when I suggest that you go down to the local bookstore and get some workbooks aimed at Kindy or first grade to have on hand for when you daughter needs to be busy and you need some peace? I think Ania was in a similar situation and did that. I'm not saying you should force her, just make them availible and see if she enjoys herself. I've heard stories about children finally sleeping better at night after being introduced to those 'stupid workbooks.'

    Many parents react negativly to those workbooks, particularly if their child is advanced and they've already had folks telling them that they are ruining the child's childhood, but I know that you are just trying to keep up, and some children NEED this amount of stimulation or they are just too hard to live with, and also not quite their full selves.

    Which school wants to do the screening? What tests do they use? Is it a one-to-one sort of thing? How much information are they willing to give you after the screening? Not all gifted children will 'perform' and 'reveal' their true level of giftedness on any particular day for any particular test - still, there is a good chance that your daughter will do really well and that will give everyone more to information to help her. Advice: Call up the folks who want to screen her - find out answers to the above questions, and schedual her.

    More Advice: If the above advice is hard on you in someway, start a topic called "Mom fears early screening - please help" and you'll see that many many of us started off the same way.

    My son went to daycare from age 7 weeks, and he was having the same thing you discribe about his feelings getting hurt because one of the little girls 'wouldn't talk to him' - really she didn't talk at all! It didn't enter my mind for him to go up to the older group - but I wish it had. I do think that children are born with particular temperments, but that these temperments get shaped by the experiences we have the whole rest of our lives - and I feel like I am still playing catchup with him at age 11, trying to convinse him that all children have lovely, enjoyable qualities if you take the time to know them. I think that the years he spend with kids who 'couldn't talk' were really hard and isolating, starting even at age 3 or 4. We tried to describe a 'mouth-speaker' which develops in various children at various times, like some are tall and some are short, some flowers bloom in the spring and some in the summer, etc. You can see that our early approach was to teach him how to modify himself to fit in, and that's good, to a point, but I think we really went overboard with it - hey, we were good at it - and neglected the leg where you modify the environment to fit the child.

    Smiles,
    Grinity


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    Just to chime in that as long as the child enjoys it and wants it, you're not ruining a darn thing--especially not a kid's childhood!--by feeding their desire to learn by whatever means works.

    GT kids aren't like other kids in that respect. They NEED to learn. If you're just keeping up, not driving the train, then don't let the school mess with your head and make you insecure.

    You're the expert on your child, and it sounds like you're doing what you need to do. smile


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    skyward Offline OP
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    Thank you again for the advice. I went to target and let my daughter pick out some work books. I let her get the ones she wanted and did'nt pay attention to the ages suggested. She picked one on addition and a book of mazes. When we got home she finished half of the addition work book while I was making dinner. She also loves the mazes and can do these with out alot of effort. It took her about five seconds to do one maze. The maze book said it was for 4,5 and 6 year olds, and the addition book was for k-1st graders. I am just amazed because I did'nt know she could do these things. I don't understand one minute I will be trying to get her to count 20 easter eggs and she gets to about 12 and then rushes and ends up with the wrong number and runs off to do something else. So I think mabe she is still learning her numbers. Then she will turn around and do something like this where she did 7 pages of addition and I think well she certainly can count then. Is this normal? How do I know if she is gifted or not, and how would the school know. Also are some of the work books easier than the ages listed say. I know she is an unusual child because the conversations we have are just not the things a three year old would discuss. She came to me yesterday and told me dinosuars are terrible lizzards and that only the carnivors are mean because they eat meat. She said it was wrong that they ate other dinosars, and asked why we eat meat and asked if dinosars eat dinosars why we don't eat people. I get alot of questions that seem unusual. Also when she was two it took me months to explain the questions she had after watching the movie Annie. She also memorized all the songs in the movie and sangs them for us. This was really funny in the store when she was 2 and she would ask me to buy her something specific and when I said no she would sing its a hard enough life. Any one else out there getting unsual questions. I am going to the library today to get some books on gifted children, and I am going to get her some harder mazes and another math book. It would be great to hear form other parents who can relate.

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    Hi skyward

    My DS is two years old and has started asking questions and saying things that just seem so out of left field for a 2 year old. For example, yesterday we were looking at a photo album that his daycare lady gave us filled with pictures of all the kids in her care. There was one photo of the kids riding on the hay ride at the pumpkin patch. DS looked at it and said, "oh this was at the pumpkin patch. It was a blustery day, the leaves were blowing everywhere."

    Blustery, REALLY??? I think he probably picked it up from one of his Thomas the Train movies, but still to put it into context like that, WHAT!!!

    He is really into trains and wants to know what every part of every car is called and what it does. Finally I had to go to the library to check out a book about trains because I had no idea how to answer his questions.

    Originally Posted by skyward
    I am just amazed because I did'nt know she could do these things. I don't understand one minute I will be trying to get her to count 20 easter eggs and she gets to about 12 and then rushes and ends up with the wrong number and runs off to do something else. So I think mabe she is still learning her numbers. Then she will turn around and do something like this where she did 7 pages of addition and I think well she certainly can count then. Is this normal?


    I am on the same page as you here. The other day DS was able to recognize all of his letters when we were at the children's museum. The next day I was telling my mom about it and trying to get him to "perform" for her and he didn't get a single one right. So yes, I think that is pretty normal. Best of luck with you DD, she sounds lovely!

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    Hi Skyward,
    I'm glad your DD enjoyed the workbooks. Once she gets to her 'readiness level' they should by you a little peace.

    Yes, the reccomended ages on those things are 'for real.' Please take my word for it, ok?

    Your daugher is probably young for formal testing, but some parents like to document their development, see the website http://www.educationaloptions.com/ for a summary of the book 'Losing our minds, gifted children left behind.' which I particularly reccomend to help you start wrapping your mind around the various LOG, Levels of Giftedness.

    Remember that whoever you are talking to about Giftedness has their own definition of Giftedness. I think of Gifted children as having special educational needs beyond what is ordinarily offered in school. I also think of it as an 'Alternate Path of Development' which helps explain why your DD can add, and may or may not be good at counting. Expecting her to learn X first, and Y after, then finally Z just won't work.

    Enjoy your reading!
    Grinity


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    skyward Offline OP
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    Just an update on our DD. I went in for a surprise visit to observe our DD at her preschool last week. I was very concerned to see her interact with the teacher. She was being put on the spot to perform academic tasks that are far easier that what she was capable of. Like counting to six she refused and seemed very annoyed. The Teachers aide said this was her common response to school work in the program and there seems to be a general opinion that she is just to young to do the academics. My DD has been complaining that she is bored. She seems like a totally different kid at school and has requested to stay home with me for the second time since Dec.

    I feel really bad because we put her in this school so she could meet some peers. And have a good experience. I am worried now that it has damaged her self confidence and excitement to learn. The teacher seems kind of negative towards her. Like when she asks a question about something the teacher acts impatient and just shuts her down. The teacher also acted a little disturbed when our DD was pretending to draw the childrens blood while playing doctor in dramatic play. My DD picks up on these things and comments on these subtle reactions wondering if she said something wrong. My instinct is to just bring her home. But my husband thinks she should finish out the year.

    A few months ago someone at the public school said we should have her screened. I asked about that possibility on friday and was told that we should wait until she is 3 years 9 months and we recieve a letter from the school district requesting screening.

    I do not know what to do. I feel like her creativity is being stiffled where she is. There are not alot of options where we live. You either go to the public school or the private one and both seem to have very set ways of doing things.

    I am thinking I should keep her home and start like a K-first home schooling thing even though she is young. She is right on the brink of learning to read and is sounding things out and knows quite a few sight word and signs. She likes addition and subtraction and mazes and puzzles. I also found a dance teacher who is very creative and is all about the children being individuals and expressing themselves. The arbouretum near us has a cool program for 3-5 year old where parents can go with the kids that I think she would like.

    My main reservation is the social development. I am very shy and it is hard for me to provide social opportunities for her. She has met one friend who is GT and a few months older who she plays with regularly. The mom has been very helpful and has become a good friend of mine.

    Any advice of thought would be helpful. It is also nice to have a place to vent.

    Last edited by skyward; 03/30/08 07:57 AM.
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    I'd ask him why he thinks so.

    It doesn't sound like there's any benefit to finishing out the year to me, but there's clearly a lot of damage that is being done.

    If they won't make the work more challenging, then I'd pull her out immediately, FWIW. She's too young to have her love of learning destroyed so thoroughly.


    Kriston
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    Hi Skyward, I agree with Kriston's suggestions.

    Short-term negative experiences can play out long-term (IMO).

    I'm sorry you're going through this.

    Best wishes!
    Ann

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    I just saw your edit, skyward, so I'll add to my response accordingly, if you don't mind.

    Home schooling can be harder for introverts, but if you can 1) join a homeschooling group, and 2) find a good babysitter (or two!)--especially one who can drive and who is willing to take your child to activities--it makes all the difference. This is experience talking! I'm an introverted HSer who couldn't survive without her HS group or her sitters! crazy

    Generally speaking, the ideal homeschooling group is a secular or diverse group, unless you are actually of the religion that the HSing group is. Trying to "pass" as a religion when you're not is usually not worth it, from what my HSing friends tell me. (I never had to go that route, since we have an active secular HSing group in town.)

    As for the sitters, look for homeschooling teens or for college students who are available during the day.

    As your child gets older, it does get easier to arrange drop-off playdates that don't require you to be social, but get your child plenty of time with friends. Be on the lookout for those!

    Also, look into open gym time for preschoolers or classes that might interest her at your park department or local gym. Bring a book or some earphones and people will mostly leave you alone even as your daughter is getting time with people.

    Even time in childcare at the YMCA or similar organization is good. 2 hours of childcare per day is free with membership at our local YMCA, so I get some time to myself and some exercise, and my kids can get some time with other kids. Everyone wins!

    I hope that helps. It is possible to be an introvert who homeschools and get enough social time for your child without losing your mind. It just takes a little more planning and effort up front to get it arranged.


    Kriston
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    skyward Offline OP
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    Hi
    Thanks for the advice. I talked to another friend today who's child is also in my DDs class. She had alot of the same concerns I have been having and said she thinks I should bring our DD home right away. I think I will do that. Any ideas on how to address this with the teacher in a nice way that won't make her feel bad and burn any bridges. I don't want to alienate our family or our daughter in the community. We know many people who attend the school and I don't know what our choices will be down the road regarding this school. She is on spring break until the middle of next week so I have some time to think about how to handle pulling her out.

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    The usual advice is that the less you say, the better. Remember that while this is the absolute center of your personal universe, your child is just one child of 18 or 20 or whatever, and that's just for this year.

    If you want to try to maintain a personal relationship with the teacher specifically, you might want to wait to tell her that you're pulling your DD out at the end of the day on your child's last day of school. If you aren't worried about the teacher personally, then I think I'd just call the school and announce your decision over the phone.

    I wouldn't recommend telling anyone anything earlier than the last day of school for your DD, though. Imagine what it would be like to teach a child who has given you two weeks' notice, so to speak...awkward! All the school or the teacher really need to know is that your daughter is gone and there are no hard feelings. But the less you say, the easier it is to make a clean break. You don't want to put yourself in the position to be pressed for details, or worse, to be given the hard-sell as they try to keep your DD in class. Ugh. Less is more.

    You can say something like, "We have decided to remove DD from the program for the rest of the year, but we appreciate all that you've done for her this year. Thank you!" is probably enough to dispell any potential bad feelings without requiring further explanation. They might be curious, but there are no bridges burned there. If further inquiries follow, be kind, be complimentary, but be evasive. Telling them the truth is probably not going to help you to maintain good relations, but you can't tell them lies either. The only option is to tell them nothing...in as nice a way as possible!

    Just be sure you're honoring the contract you have with the school. Disputes over money are what burn bridges!

    Good luck! I hope your DD has a better April and May now that she'll be out of that classroom.


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    One thought: if your daughter wants to say goodbye to friends, then you might need to give the teacher a bit more notice. But I think I'd try to discourage that if I could help it. Better to just have the friends over for playdates and skip the goodbye scene.

    Of course, I'm not a big fan of "rampant emotionalism," so if the closure is something that is required in this situation, then you have to give more notice.

    Not much more, though...


    Kriston
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    skyward Offline OP
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    Thanks for the advice. I don't care so much about the money. It is more important that my DD is happy. I think I will bring her home and talk to the school about it later to see if we have to pay the rest of the year. If we do that would be sad but oh well.

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    I hear you. Glad to help. I hope it goes well for you and your DD.

    K-


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    Hi Skyward:

    I'm coming into this late, but I just wanted to 2nd what kriston is saying.

    bk

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    Originally Posted by skyward
    The Teachers aide said this was her common response to school work in the program and there seems to be a general opinion that she is just to young to do the academics.

    I do agree to pull her really soon. I left my son in a situation where the teacher was irritated with him and it crushed his self esteem - I so regret my old perspective. Kids who are sensitive to what other's think will pick up this kind of thing.

    As for not burning bridges, just agree that she is "too young" for the situation and say thanks! Do the good-bys at home with playdates. You can always ask DD what she wants onces she is safely home.

    Best Wishes,
    Grinity


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    My thought is that you may not actually be shy around people of similar levels of Giftedness, you may just be gaurded around people who don't 'get your jokes' or view the truth of your life sympathetically. Like Horton in Horton hears a Who, among those birds and monkeys.

    Just a thought,
    Grinity


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    Originally Posted by skyward
    A few months ago someone at the public school said we should have her screened. I asked about that possibility on friday and was told that we should wait until she is 3 years 9 months and we recieve a letter from the school district requesting screening.
    How old is DD now? Waiting doesn't seem like such a bad idea, with all the HS opportunities it sounds like fun! I doubt you'll get a letter from the school district though - LOL! I guess I would suggest writing a letter and mailing it (not email) to the school and requesting the screening in writing. You know that thing where each person tells a different story each time you ask? If you put it in writing then you might get a response in writing and that's more likely to be useful.

    Best Wishes,
    Grinity


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    skyward Offline OP
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    Hi,

    Thanks for the response. The comments about being guarded are right on.

    DD is 3y 5m. My original thought with preschool was that if I put her with kids who seemed closer to her age she would do ok, but after this preschool experiment I am not so sure.

    The public school is not being very helpful, and I have concerns about the quality of the curiculum. I thought mabe if she went early she would not be so bored.

    I did some research on other schools in the area and found a really good one about 10 min from our house. This is also a public school but they have open enrollment. This school seems very flexible and has alot of the programs I have come across while looking for information regarding what to do for DD. I would feel confident sending her there at her normal time when she would be 5 almost 6. I am going to contact them next week and ask some questions.

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    Also,

    DD is doing great at home this week for spring break. She seems so excited about everything. She has been having fun writing letters to her friends and grandma and seems excited to do anything new. When I asked her what her favorite part of the day was yesterday she said everything. I really like having her home and she seems much happier than we have seen her for a couple of months.

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