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    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Originally Posted by master of none
    I'm not asking for perfect, truly I'm not. I'm wanting develops work ethic, is challenged in at least a few things, doesn't think he's the smartest person in the universe, has a couple good friends, and isn't treated hostilely by people around him.


    Interesting. I think that it's a good thing to keep the basic goals in mind and not waste effort hand-wringing that it's not perfect. I think those goals are excellent ones. I don't think kids need perfect, just some basic efforts to be make in their direction. Even if the efforts fail.

    But of course your kid deserves much more. And I like the idea of asking for EPGY instead of ALEKS.

    Grinity



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    Gradeskips - yes they are accepted as a best practice around here, due to the Davidson's book, Genius Denied.

    But, while full skips have some attractive features, no one answer is best for everyone.

    I particularly like the idea of subject accelerations with or without full skips for the part of the gifted range that falls around 3 standard deviations from the mean. But that takes a school system that is functioning well enough to keep things going. My brothers were sub. acc. in Math, for years, then when they got to 6th grade, the oldest class in the building, they did 6th grade math again. My husband got summer birthday plus sub. acc. with a nice bunch of friends in Math and Language Arts, and seems much for comfortable inside his skin than I was with only an early enterance.

    Sometimes it is really hard to sort out the effects of skips, versus just being different, versus the attitudes that come in from the outside. Sometimes folks post here and aren't sure if their kid is 'really gifted' - to me, if they need to post here instead of calmly venting to their friends, it's a sign that they have gifted kids, or at least kids at a higher level of giftedness (LOG) than the people they see around them.

    BTW - I want to go on record about how stinky it is that US culture is so biased against short males. I've been reading 'Ender's Shadow' recently, and I always thing about the main character being smarter than everyone else AND shorter than everyone else - what a pain!

    Smiles,
    Grinity


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    not to hijack the thread, Montana ...

    [quote=Grinity
    I'm one of those who hasn't ever homeschooled, but I do have romantic notions about it. At 9 years old, is there any harm in letting them learn only what they want to learn?
    [/quote]

    oh no harm at all, actually - HE'S fine and has been insistently learning what he wants to learn his entire life. (we got one of those laminated placemats of the periodic table and he has memorized the entire thing because he WANTS to) it's ME that has "problems" with the "but what is he SUPPOSED to know?" stuff. He teaches me to just let go a lot.

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    Maybe I'll ask for EPGY instead of ALEKS, eh? [/quote]

    Just thought I'd chime in about EPGY...
    We've been working through the math sequence with DD, at home on our own, hopefully in preparation for a big acceleration in school at the end of the year. It's a great program - however - some of the lectures in the course are not explained very thoroughly. DH and I make sure that we watch over her as she does these to make sure she "gets it." I would be concerned that a kid doing it on his/her own at school, if not closely supervised, might not understand certain topics. For instance, the 6th grade course has a lecture about bases other than base 10. Fine, but, they explanation is so brief that I had to research it on the internet and explain it a different way to make sure she understood.
    Not sure how ALEKS works or how EPGY is in lower grades, but just my experience.

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    montana Offline OP
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    I'm jumping on and off line now b/c of my baby. But I wanted to ask, just how much would you tell the school? I'm having a hard time deciding how to present this, where to start. The person evaluating him wants us to say nothing if we possibly can until she's done. This is very hard. B/c to begin with, we thought he was probably having trouble b/c bright rather than other causes. And now we have the WISC-IV and WIAT-III scores. So I understand wanting to wait for full results and coming up with a plan, but honestly, I feel like it's beyond awkward to go in to the school and say, we just want this classroom eval b/c we're worried and say nothing about all the other concerns (which we've brought to the school last year and in September to no avail, but never had scores to back us up before). But that's what the psych. is advising.

    I'm so tired of trying to make the school feel listened to and respected and deferred to, of taking months to try to ease a teacher along to asking US if maybe, just maybe, the work is too easy. I don't feel up to doing it again this year.

    And I worry that my perspective is warped. I started school in a K-8 trailer house. It was terrific. There were 3 in my class, but I could listen to all the other lessons and just work as fast as I wanted to- I was in 4th grade math and 6th grade reading by the start of 2nd grade, when we moved, and no one ever said there was the slightest thing weird about that. Then after I moved, it was to a school that had about a class and a half worth of kids/grade, so they had mixed-age classrooms up til junior high, when they started subject accelerating me as schedules worked. It just made a lot of flexibility built-in easy. So these are my public school associations. I keep feeling like, if they could do it in rural MT 30 years ago, just what on earth is your problem, wealthy CT school district?? But I'm pretty out of my depth, understanding how schools work now, out here. I'm not sure what's reasonable. Is my experience giving me a warped idea of what public schools can and will do?

    ACS, I cautiously mentioned a skip to my son, just in the abstract, and he wanted to be skipped to 6th! lol. or, panic, or something! But I don't think he can figure out all these issues about friends/puberty etc for himself at this age. It sounds wrong to say I'm glad someone else felt the same way, but I'm glad to hear it's not just us. Even with my subject skips...when I was two years ahead in math, and walked over to the high school in 7th grade...I felt very out of place and the teacher was hostile. When he had to send my grade back, he rolled out 20 feet of paper towel and scrawled the grade across it, so I had to roll this enormous thing up and carry it back to the secretary at my school. The next year, they had me do it again with a girl whose family that teacher was friendly with, in the class one year ahead, and that was easier. I just found some nice, quiet girls to sit with and stayed with them through HS, until we ran out senior year and a different math teacher was willing to run a higher level class before school started for us. Strangely, when I was in language classes with kids 2 years ahead, just b/c the language classes were inherently mixed age, I didn't feel out of place. It's when I was skipped somewhere I 'shouldn't' be that I felt bad.

    So these experiences, in a small town, too, I should probably add...as we're in now, by CT standards...made me just worry inside when I read things that suggest that a kid with DS's scores should skip 3 years (though not all at once). I've wanted the sort of friendly flexibility my school came up with, which had mixed age classrooms, subject skipping, internships, pull-out program, teams and competitions. I'm just not sure how to get there, or how to judge if it's the least bit possible. I know my mom had to do her share of principal-talking and school-board agitating. So probably from her perspective, it wasn't the simple friendly experience it seemed to me. Well...except for the algebra I teacher!

    And Grinity, I never had stats, nor tried to figure them out. Frankly I'm not sure what a standard deviation is supposed to mean, though I'll ask dh tonight-- I've avoided for too long! But where IS 3 deviations above the mean, score-wise?

    And I may go buy Genius Denied, or consider sucking up my embarrassment with ordering it at the library. I didn't get it b/c it seemed more anecdotal and I was looking for research and prescriptions.

    And my son seems to have an attitude like you describe...he does seem, I think, to feel the need to prove himself smart MORE b/c of this skepticism...it makes him more focused on being smart, and less generous to others, too. He told me he doesn't like to teach others b/c then they know the secrets. Sadness. He didn't use to be that way.

    And I have definitely not been sure my son(s) is/are gifted. Sometimes they seem so absolutely average to me. And they never were the prodigies I'd see when I occasionally went over to the Babycenter gifted board. But then they'd do something that seemed so scary smart we'd be stunned. But then they'd fall back into being their usual selves...kind of as if a fish jumped out of dark waters and you just see the flash for a minute and are left saying, did I really see that? Are those ripples, or am I imagining things? The doubt has made me really susceptible to believing what people say about wait and let the schools figure it out. I'm really as glad to have finally decided to go for testing just to remove the wondering what we're dealing with as for any other reason.

    ok, crying baby boy so jumping off, but twomoose, thanks for the head's up on EPGY. that's too bad...I'd thought it would give better instruction than it looks as though ALEKS does on the free trial.

    Mom of Short Boys


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    Hi montana - welcome. Wow - you've got a lot on your plate right now! i don't have a lot to add, but your latest post made me think of a few things.

    One - I liked Miraca Gross "Exceptionally Gifted Children" if you're looking for citations. I think she talks about all the major studies on HG kids. Borrow the most recent version - it has updates on all the kids.

    Two - We have been wondering, worrying about acceleration of our DS4. I think this really, really depends on your kid's personality. I was young (late summer bday) but miserable in school, and if I had known skipping was an option, I would have begged for it. I finally got to do dual enrollment in my senior year of high school (taking all my classes at the local university), and I was so glad to finally be free from school! All my good friends were never my agemates. My DH was young (early fall bday) and hated being smaller than the other kids for sports. We would prefer, if possible, to have our kid with agemates but with subject acceleration, at least to start out. But as time goes by, DS keeps on learning, and things change, so we don't know where he'll start school next year. We are happy to have learned here of homeschooling as an option, just in case. Also - all the bad history your family has related to skipping can actually be a positive for your DS - you know what pitfalls to look for and what to explain to him ahead of time.

    Three - This board is full of wonderful, supportive people with kids who have tried and done well or not so well in many, many different situations. What doesn't work for some, definitely works for others. And what works for a few months may not work later. Don't be surprised that you'll probably have reassess education every once in awhile. But luckily, you won't have to go back to square one, because I believe with each reassessment, you will have learned at least something about how your child learns. smile

    Good luck!

    P.S. - I have a short boy too!

    Last edited by st pauli girl; 11/17/08 04:26 PM.
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    Originally Posted by montana
    And I have definitely not been sure my son(s) is/are gifted. Sometimes they seem so absolutely average to me. And they never were the prodigies I'd see when I occasionally went over to the Babycenter gifted board. But then they'd do something that seemed so scary smart we'd be stunned. But then they'd fall back into being their usual selves...kind of as if a fish jumped out of dark waters and you just see the flash for a minute and are left saying, did I really see that? Are those ripples, or am I imagining things? The doubt has made me really susceptible to believing what people say about wait and let the schools figure it out. I'm really as glad to have finally decided to go for testing just to remove the wondering what we're dealing with as for any other reason.

    Lovely discription - much more beautiful than my version:
    "If he's so gifted, then why is his fly unzipped?"

    Also - I wanted to point out to you that with your friends and family that you mentioned in your early post about gradeskip dread, your kids probably are quite average amoung the people you know best. This is how it often is.

    What you describe about being subject accelerated is one of the reasons that I like a full gradeskip, once you get settled in, you can go back to being a regular kid, particularly if you start early. OTOH, if the full skip isn't enough, it can be a 'permission giver' to be with the older kids for a few subjects. Much nicer when you can 'go up' with a friend or two, yes? And with a gradeskip as a base, it's easier find other kids who are ready to go up with you.

    Of course the pace will still be a problem, but then again, things don't have to be perfect, just what you said before, yes?

    I strongly encourage you to go to your library. CT has a great Interlibrary Loan system as well. Think of it as boldness training. Really. Besides, the librarians have a code of honor, I think. Besides, you can order from home, and pick up when they arrive...

    Here's an article about it, with links:
    Library From Home





    Our Card Catalog iCONN databases Netlibrary-downloadable audio InfoAnytime



    Today�s library is more than a physical location. You can access these library resources from home 24/7 for help with homework or to find information and fun books to read! Visit our Bibliomation�card catalog� by clicking here .You can check your record by choosing the �My Account� tab and entering your library card number. If you�d like to check other libraries in the system choose �Bibliomation Global� at the top of the page. If you would like to place a hold find the desired item and then click on the �request item� box in the lower right hand corner.

    If you would like to order a book which is not in the Bibliomation card catalog (above) you may try the Connecticut statewide interlibrary loan system, which is called reQuest. If you use this link you do not need to enter your library card number at all. You will be sent to our reQuest portal and the books will automatically come to our library. If you cannot find the item in either Bibliomation or reQuest please come into the library to see if we can get the book for you in another way. We aim to please!


    Anyway, you are going to be at this meeting. Tell them he's really unhappy and not playing with others. Tell them you've seen a big increase in his competetivness and a big decrease in his tenderness to others. Tell them to test him on their end of year tests and to keep going until he gets less than a 75%. Don't wait for the scores - they won't mean a thing to the school folks. Don't wait for Davidson YSP, they may or may not be impressed. Just tell them to use their own tests and not to stop until they find where your kid actually is. Then they can try subject or full acceleration for a while and see if it works, and if it doesn't, you can always try homeschooling.

    He could do 6th grade 5 times! Start thinking about what your school has to offer like a Menu, One from Colum A, Two from Colum B, and be ready to try stuff.

    Also, contact Connecticut Associate for the Gifted and see if you can hire a Parent Advocate to go to the meetings with you.

    my favorite trick is to schedule meetings at the end of the day, and not let them go home until your demands are met. Perhaps not this meeting, but the one where they met to review the findings of all the end of year tests they gave him.

    Basically you are between a rock and a hard place, so think temporary and short term solutions, ok?
    Smiles,
    Grinity



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    Originally Posted by montana
    Even with my subject skips...when I was two years ahead in math, and walked over to the high school in 7th grade...I felt very out of place and the teacher was hostile. When he had to send my grade back, he rolled out 20 feet of paper towel and scrawled the grade across it, so I had to roll this enormous thing up and carry it back to the secretary at my school.
    I'm so sorry that happend to you, but really, if you had had that particular teacher 2 years later, I'm sure he would have found some other way to try and humiliate you. And imagine if you had developed an attitude while you waited around to be challenged in Math? Anyway, I don't get why some people are in the teaching profession in the first place. Mostly I think it's good people who just don't have any basis for understanding, but occasionally there are real bad apples, and they do make accelerations of any kind a bear. If you do get an acceleration of some kind, be sure that you have observed the 'recieving teacher' in action with real children. Most are good, some are nightmares.

    ((shrug))
    And you thought being home with a newborn was going to limit your social life...
    Grinity


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    No pressure here, but I would like to make one quick comment about homeschooling and the social issue:

    Quote
    Kriston, I have considered grade skip and homeschooling. Homeschooling I think about but worry about socialization,b/c my son really likes being with groups that are WORKING for him. Also, I worry about me. See braindead, above, and small baby. And we would be a lot more secure if I can get a job, you know? we're kind of scrambling a bit just now- we moved into this town last year FOR the school system and safe neighborhood thing. It's frustrating to think if we'd stayed in our mold-ridden place on a 60mph road with no children around, we could maybe have afforded private school. So there's money, there's worry that I wouldn't be a good teacher, there's ds's loneliness-- but there's also this feeling that we would be butting heads terribly, that it would be too much closeness or something. He's terribly strong willed, and probably I am too, really. It just feels like a good idea intellectually IFF I could keep it together to actually teach instead of leaving him to his own devices while I read things and fed the baby...but I don't really trust myself on that, and I have this worried feeling that then our relationship would become contentious instead of safe for him.

    Did you know that there are homeschooling groups you can join to get that group dynamic? We have participated in MANY group activities (there's practically one available every day!), and DS7 has found a lot more like-minded peers there than he had found in the schools.

    Not every area has groups as active as our area, but it might be worth looking into if you're interested and the social issue is the main reason you're rejecting it. Everyone who homeschools has the same issue, after all, so we do work to solve it.

    And you might find that your DS is a lot more willing to cooperate if the work you're giving him is interesting and challenging. Plus it's perfectly fine to say, "What do you want to study now?" and follow his lead. DS7 and I are partners in his education, so while it is my job to make sure he is working and learning and not falling behind (Ha! As if! wink ), it's his job to decide what interests him and to pursue it. I set minimum daily requirements, and he does the work. I have his buy-in, so we very rarely have power struggles. If we do, it's usually a sign that we need to pick out some new topics to study.

    I can't help you with the "baby brain" though. That's a real roadblock! :p It is a temporary one though.

    I never push HSing on anyone. (Heck, we'd still be in the public schools if our local ones worked for us!) But I do try to point out ways to make HSing work if you think it might be useful. There are lots of misconceptions about it, and I'd hate to think that someone rejected a perfectly good solution out of misconceptions and urban myth.


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    montana Offline OP
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    Grinity wrote: if you had had that particular teacher 2 years later,...

    actually, I did have him- very small school. He was much kinder to me when I was not two years ahead, but only one, and downright civil when I had him on grade level. sigh. maybe it's a little bad to have worries about grade skipping in part based on someone who is not that nice.

    But I wanted to say, I'm not at all saying all grade-skipping is bad. Clearly, for most kids here, it's working much better than options. It's just that for me, with my friend and family history, it's an option that makes me awfully anxious, and reading that it's thought to be about the only option for kids with scores like my son makes me extra anxious!! I hope I haven't made anyone feel bad- I've all along worried about how to tell whether my feeling that my son's particular personality made him a better or worse match for a generally desirable thing, not thought it a dreadful idea.

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