lanie's picture

The Giften Child Question

I see throughout the discussions that are posted, quite a bit of reference to Gifted Children.  I realize that different school methodologies handle this definition differently. Which is obviously quite a concern for parents who simply want what is best for their children.  I have been reading a lot, here, about moving children on to higher grade levels in order to give them the percieved academic foundation they need for success in school.  My question is this, Is it possible, that what might be in these children's best interest afterall, would be a stronger foundation in maturational growth? In my mind, the definition of maturity is not the acquisition of knowledge, but rather the ability to use the knowledge that you are acquiring.  When maturity is in place, in a learning environment that individualizes instruction and allows for the growth in all areas of development, of creative, independent, learners, who understand the responsibility they have to learning, everyone benefits. I am interested in what you all think! Lanie

chriscnaz's picture
"When maturity is in place, in a learning environment that individualizes instruction and allows for the growth in all areas of development, of creative, independent, learners, who understand the responsibility they have to learning, everyone benefits."

I agree, but unfortunately in underfunded schools with a very diverse group of children that is not likely to happen.  Should we still strive for it - YES, but should we wait around until it happens??

The option to skip grades should be a well thought out one to include more than just academics, what about social, behavioral and functional concerns?

Other options such as differenitatied instruction within the same grade level seems to be a good compromise, but also hard to maintain fidelity to due to restrictions such as staff ratios, funding, and other resources.

What about children like my 10yr old son who is "twice exceptional" meaning that while he is considered gifted due to capabilities and demonstrated strengths in certain areas, also has learning difficulties in other areas?  If we wait until all areas of development are equal we have missed an incredible opportunity to tap into natural talents and abilites.

There is no proven right or wrong answer which is probably why you see so many different perspectives in addressing gifted learners.


gail Hanson's picture
gail Hanson

My third daughter was extremely bright, but also had depression unrelated to her academic experience.  Because there are so many different dynamics involved in a child's school experience, school will never be able to perfectly meet every child's needs.  I'm not saying the attempt shouldn't be made.  It is just true that there are 16-18 hours a day that happen outside of school.  Those hours are the family's responsibility, and most families do a good job of meeting that responsibility. 

I think that acknowledgement on the part of school staff that raising any child is a complicated task would foster better communication.

I think that giving serious attention to the input of the parents would foster better communication.  Maybe have a meeting where the whole focus was gaining data from the parents--their observations and efforts.  This might actually give you useful data, and it would almost certainly make it so that the communication for the rest of the relationship would be more useful.

gail Hanson's picture
gail Hanson

I stayed with my class through 7th grade, then (because I was in a rural, 7-12, small school) I just took math classes with the older kids.  Many of the subjects I had individual assignments, (English, History, Science) in class with my peers.  I took some classes correspondence (German, geometry, calculus), and we had a seminar class (with my peers) to help me develop social, reasoning and negotiating skills.  The class was called Medical Occupations.  And I edited the (weekly) school newspaper.  As I look back at it, I am astounded at the resources that were dedicated to my education.  But it wasn't that much money.  It was flexibility,  talent, creativity and concern.   

Oh, and what am I doing with my talents after all that investment?  I am raising my children.  I can't think of anything more important.

mythreeguys's picture

Also a first timer on here, just realized that the thread is quite old. However, my son just tested into the gifted program in all three areas, and I have been more inclined to research other families experiences.
My son is in second grade. In K his teacher thought he would do well moving up to first grade due to his intellegence and also the fact that he has a Sept. birthday, therefore missing the cutoff by less than two weeks.
We decided to keep him in K and it has worked out well for him. With his personality he has an opportunity to be a peer leader and have a good time being social and basically just be a kid.
That being said all kids are truly different. We have found many teachers at his school to be wonderful resources in the decision making process.