Homeschool supplemental programs?

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Okay, first off, I have to confess that I am in a very rotten mood, so if I seem a little disorganized....

Patricia is 6 and would be in first grade. Thus far, I have kept her out of school and informally homeschooled her. A few weeks ago, a publicly-funded homeschool support program became available through a local school district. I enrolled my daughter, and she has been attending three classes.

But here is where the problem enters. There is no allergy policy yet. I had not envisioned a situation that would cause a problem. However, one of the days we have two classes straddling the lunch hour. There is a common room, and that is where everyone is between classes.

To my utter horror, half the kids at the table pulled out pb&j sandwiches. I bit my tongue, and my friend (her mom is allergic to peanuts) talked to a lot of the parents after I left. All but one of them agreed that peanuts could/should be restricted if not completely banned.

Well, today, that one mom decided that she was not going to let me set up the most isolated table as peanut-free. I didn't even have a chance to ask her if she would be willing to move to a different table, and she was telling me that I could just go sit at a different table... that was in the middle of all the other tables. I tried to explain that I wanted a table that was far away from all the others. She would not even listen.

Anyway, my friend intervened again, and the woman grudgingly moved... and was quite rude about the whole thing. Needless to say, I am ready to quit the program.

Patricia isn't learning anything there anyway. The reading class is a joke... the teacher reads to the kids and they do crafts. The math class is even worse. I had enrolled her for the social aspect. And already she has had to endure a kid chasing her around the room with M&Ms.

Anyway, I just wanted to get all this off my chest. I don't know what to do. She really enjoys the classes. I really can't stand to be around the other parents... most of them either have special needs kids or are militantly fundamentalist about something or other.

I am convinced now that my daughter will never get a fair education... whether it be because of her allergies or her giftedness, race or gender. Life really sucks.

On Feb 27, 2006

I know you're mad and depressed about this. Maybe this program is not right for you. But what is your vision for your daughter's education? What do you want for her? Maybe there is a way to work toward that goal.

Cathy

On Feb 27, 2006

I was mostly looking for playmates for my daughter, a chance for her to experience the classroom and be around kids who are more, uh, normal. She doesn't need to be in school. She taught herself to read when she was three. She does 3-4 grade level math, reads at a high school level. I was hoping to find other parents with highly gifted children.

I do have her in art classes and gymnastics classes. But yeah, I think this program is just not a good fit.

On Feb 27, 2006

I am sorry that you are having such rotten experiences.

I learned a while ago (through something I read...) that with highly to profoundly gifted children, it is frequently unrealistic to expect them to find true peers in any setting of children. We have found this to be true.

My daughter participates in art and sports in order to interact with [i]chronological[/i] peers, and we spend time at the library, etc, and with older kids at enrichment style activities (or even with like-minded adults) to find [i]intellectual[/i] peers. Having pen pals has helped a lot in this respect, as it has proven depressing to my daughter that her "friends" get mad if she wants to talk to them about the latest Harry Potter book or how inspiring she finds the James Herriot stories. Chronological peers are not enough-- and if you try to go that route, it makes them (especially girls) feel pressured to "dumb down" to fit in better. That makes them feel bad about something they should find a joy!

Anyway... we've had the same troubles with programs that include the lunch hour. We try to avoid this at all costs, but let the instructor know that there may be issues if we can't.

I would like to recommend a couple of very helpful books for you (and indirectly, your lovely bright little girl!):

Creative Homeschooling for Gifted Kids by Lisa Rivero (I think the new title is less, er, 'elitist' but it is still a good book)

Gifted Children by Ellen Winner

The Well-Trained Mind, 2nd edition, by Susan Wise Bauer (and her daughter, whose last name escapes me at the moment...)

Anyway, we have concluded that being PA and having another exceptionality makes fitting in to a regular school environment nearly impossible. Particularly if that second exceptionality makes your child "specially advantaged" in any way. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] Too easy to treat them like little adults. Scary when they are PA.

This is the number one reason why we will not participate in ANYTHING controlled by someone else unless we have a 504 plan in place. You'd certainly qualify for 504 protection, if this progam is publicly funded.

Maybe if your daughter is enjoying the experience, that is enough... sometimes it has to be for us, too. We've had to accept that the fact that our DD sometimes takes away a "different" set of experiences is really okay. It is just part and parcel of who she is and how she processes things. Different ways of seeing the elephant, you know?

[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited February 28, 2006).]

On Feb 27, 2006

My son is in a public school only for gifted kids and my daughter is in a class only for highly gifted (test scores/IQ greater than 99.9% of the population). Have you considered this? They are each with their intellectual peers. It has been wonderful for both of them. Or is it that the public school does not want to accomodate the pa? I homeschooled my daughter for a short time, but she really wanted to be around other kids. A class just for highly gifted was the perfect solution. Triciasmom, I am not sure what city you are in, but Corvallis Mom you are probably in Corvallis? I had the impression that Corvallis was very education oriented, so I would be surprised if they do not have separate schools/classes just for gifted/highly gifted.

On Feb 27, 2006

It is, but when you have a population of 55,000 people of whom 20% or so of the adults possess advanced degrees (about a third in science or engineering), well... this is a population which is exceptionally sensitive to "elitism." When it doesn't include their own children, naturally. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

(Corvallis, where everyone is 'above average' in the words of Garrison Keillor)

The other problem we face in Oregon is that the school revenues were gutted about fifteen years ago and the public schools (which used to be among the very finest ANYWHERE) are now beginning to literally fall apart at the threadbare seams.

TAG programs are always the first to go, and Corvallis has been no exception, sad to say. There is a core group of parents here that provide enrichment opportunities, but I always feel a bit guilty participating because space is so limited and they clearly feel this is "for the kids who are stuck with regular classroom work which doesn't fit them...." I can't really disagree with that sentiment. I am more hopeful that distance education will eventually be better positioned to fill this gaping hole statewide. We still have several very fine universities, and they also offer enrichment to TAG kids. BUT this doesn't really begin until about 3rd grade. And if you are homeschooling a highly gifted kid, then you have to prove it.

This is the catch-22 we found ourselves in, and is one reason why we've chosen the cyberschooling route since they have no problem giving our daughter an appropriate academic placement (3rd grade) and are also placing her with the TAG teacher, who will presumably understand when she finishes a semester's worth of work in a subject in less than a month. This way, doors will be opened to her to participate in summer enrichment activities through the universities even though she is chronologically several years younger than "entry age." She is thrilled with the idea of not being "locked out" of appropriately challenging things just by virtue of her age. This has been a problem for us even here, where kids who read fluently by age 5 are not that rare. (*sigh* But kids who read at a college level by that age still are... and in this environment, other parents are openly hostile if your kid is "too gifted.") We've learned to just cruise along under the radar, check out whatever she wants to read whether it is in the juvenile section or not, and teach our daughter algebraic thinking and physics at home. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

(Sorry to hijack your thread... but I definitely feel your pain... what's the point in participating in "enrichment" if all it teaches my daughter is how nasty the behavior of other people is?) Her allergy has already introduced her to that concept pretty thoroughly, but thanks for playing.

I have to say that I feel pretty strongly that gifted girls are very ill-served by "regular" classroom environments. We have never regretted our decision not to send our daughter to kindergarten 18 months ago. We kept her out of preK because of PA, but we kept homeschooling because of her giftedness. DH and I were both savaged by elementary school teachers who loathed/totally misunderstood gifted children. Not a good experience, but it makes us much better advocates.

On Feb 27, 2006

Tricia's Mom,

Have you considered trying to reach out directly to other TAG families? There is usually some way to do so... perhaps the SD knows of open enrichment activities intended for TAG children that you could participate in instead? YOu can also check out SENG's website or Hoagie's Gifted Education webpage. Lots of good links there.

I think that the bipolar HSers are a definite west coast phenomenon.... the militants lined up on one side of the room, growling at the freewheeling unschooling crowd on the other... with the special needs parents in between, wanting to be anywhere else in the world. Right? Lions and tigers and bears-- Oh my. LOL!

I also wanted to point out that there is a perfectly good reason why it is hard to meet other people like you when you are a gifted child. Statistically speaking, you could take any 1000 children and put them in a room and find ONE other child who is highly gifted. And they may have totally incompatible asynchrony as compared to my child. Or maybe they just don't "click." [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] This means that most small elementary schools only have one or maybe two highly gifted children, and they won't always be friends.

So I really think to find peers, you have to find a larger group of likely peers to choose from. Most children are homeschooled because their parents have some beef with how the school system does things... which makes us, being fairly neutral on the subject, quite remarkable!

Good luck. If it were me, I would probably pressure the program's director to do something about the food situation, as this is clearly rather dangerous for your daughter. But I would keep going if your daughter is enjoying it. Perhaps she enjoys people-watching. My daughter likes any fresh audience for her conversational skills. So I don't think it is necessarily a waste even though she isn't getting anything academic out of it. Maybe she's getting something [i]different[/i] and that is okay too.

hugs}} for you both. Pretty clear you have had a few of "those days" with this situation.

On Feb 28, 2006

Hi Triciasmom,

I'm sorry you are dealing with such a difficult person. Really, it is only one bad apple, if the rest are willing to work with you. I would approach the supervisor of the program to see if there is a way to keep your daughter safe - they can set the rules, and you shouldn't have to deal directly with her. If it is a school environment, even if it is a special program, they do need to keep your child safe, so that you can continue attending, if you think that it is a good match for your daughter. You may want to look for a program with mixed age children, where yours is one of the youngest. That has worked well for us in the past. Also, it may be advantageous to organize a class or camp yourself, hire an instuctor, and invite like-minded children to participate.

We homeschool both ds11 and ds9 and deal with similar situations - with both the food allergies and giftedness. On one hand, we are fortunate because when a situation or class is not a good fit, academically or socially, we can find another situation without having a lot of red tape or having to deal with teachers, principals, or school boards. Sometimes, I feel that I too quickly bow out of situations instead of persisting to try to create the situation that we need. We try to pick activities where food is not an issue. And, if it is a situation where we really want to participate and there is to be food, then we need to go through things similar to others who have their children in schools.

Recently, my ds attended a class at a science center that ended up being wonderful (both academically and with his food allergies), but originally, we had been told that ds was too young (missed the age by 3 weeks for a 9-14 year old group) - this group ended up working perfectly for him, as he completely understood all the material. We had been given information about how they deal with food allergies that was not acceptable to us. I contacted the supervisor and after a bit of back and forth, he was allowed to participate. So, I guess, pick your battles. If it is something beneficial, "go for it"; if not, don't feel badly to drop it any find something with a better fit for your daughter.

CorvallisMom, We love those books. I do feel that there are more gifted individuals "out there" than the statistics show. Many are not served well in their school situations, so temporarily lost. Other do homeschool, but they might not be found in the typical homeschool situations, so just harder to find.

Keep looking!

Good luck to all. I wish we were closer geographically.

Naturemom

On Feb 28, 2006

Sorry, Corvallis Mom, I did not follow. 20% of your population has advanced degrees, but those people don`t want their kids in separate schools or classes for gifted or highly gifted? I don`t follow. Usually it is the parents of the gifted and highly gifted kids that want their kids in separate classes or schools so that they will be challenged, and it is the parents of the kids who are not gifted who object. Or is it a money thing? (not enough money in the school system to do it?) As far as the testing, it is supposed to be done by the school district. It has been great for my daughter. She is around other girls at her intellectual level, and yet they still know how to be kids. Her highly gifted class has more girls than boys. I am glad she does not have to "dumb down" to be socially accepted. It took me until university to be in that situation.

On Feb 28, 2006

Thanks everyone.

The program administrator sent out an email this morning that effectively bans all peanut products from the program completely until March 15. At that point, he hopes to have a food allergy policy in place.

Corvallis mom, you are totally right about the chronological v. academic peers. The friend that suggested this program to me has a dual masters degree in specialized and gifted education, and she also has a son who is just a little younger than Patricia and also gifted. We joined the program to give the kids a chance to experience the whole 'kid' thing.

When I asked Patricia if she was really actually learning anything, she snorted and grinned. She learned how to wrap her friend with a roll of toilet paper, as they were exploring the Magic Treehouse book about mummies. *sigh* Do they actually do any reading in this 'reading comprehension' class? No... 'cause normal K-3 kids apparently don't know how to read.

I am in Bellingham, and so there is a University here. But I struggle with the balance of providing adequate challenge for Patricia and still allowing her to have a childhood.

I don't know what the public schools offer for 'gifted' ed, but nothing about the public schools here impresses me.

I've never had Patricia evaluated to see just how big that brain of hers is. All I know is that I often forget that she is only 6. She reads Dickens and Lewis Carroll, loves poetry and anything that manipulates language (puns, clever riddles). She easily assimilates anything I give her, whether it be 3rd grade math or books on dinosaurs or great works of literature.

How many of us are there here... parents of highly gifted AND PA kids? Any correlation between giftedness and a tendency toward severe allergies?

On Feb 28, 2006

I don't know, but WOW. What a question. It does seem like an awfully high percentage of people here have kids who read at really high levels at amazingly young ages... so I think anecdotally it is possible. Then again, maybe we are just self-selected on this site. I don't know.

As far as being supportive of TAG, Corvallis [i]is[/i] .... but the problem is that [i]everyone[/i] in town feels a healthy sense of entitlement to be [i]in[/i] such programs... and there has to be a cut-off somewhere. Fundamentally, it isn't really about money, but in practice it can turn out to be. When you can't fit half the student population into the TAG program, you're going to anger about a third of the highest income people in town. And [i]then[/i] you do what has been done here... you "differentiate all learning environments to support different learning styles." After all, a good learning environment for gifted children is a good fit for most children. At least in EdSpeak. It turns out that because a lot of parents push for inclusion of their bright but not exactly "gifted" kids, TAG ends up being watered down for the kids who really need it. I personally think this line of thinking is a load of cr*p. Kids who are highly gifted are as different from "bright" kids as average children are from those who are moderately retarded. But in a town like this (and Bellingham may be pretty similar given that the demographics are also similar) having TAG children is a status symbol. TAG now really only exists at the higher grades.

But heaven help you if your child really [i]is[/i] in the top .1% because there is really open hostility from other "TAG" parents...maybe they are afraid that if programs see too many of the real deal their bright kids won't be included. I don't know. So there is NO wiggle room on age requirements for anything here. Never. Which is weird, because in Eugene or Portland, we don't face those problems. Just here.

This is terribly sad for my daughter. She totally gets that, but we also have found that the most effective strategy for us is to go for a multi-age group that will allow her in as a [i]third grader[/i], not according to chronological age (6). Better still if it includes TAG kids. But she usually needs to be among the youngest participants to get anything out of it academically. So her best fit is with a group of 3rd to 5th grade TAG students. We just have difficulty finding groups that will let her in at 6 years old, even though she can easily operate within that environment. She says she plans to go to college when she's 12. (Her handwriting is gonna need a lot of work... unless she's going right to med school! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ) Her dad and I have both emphasized to her that once she's in college, her age will not matter to those around her. This makes it easier to bear when older kids dismiss her as being "just a little kid," without giving her a chance.

She also already sees the potential in a cyberschool where she can interact with classmates without them [i]knowing[/i] a priori how old she is. So if they both like James Herriot and want to be large animal veterinarians, it doesn't matter that she's 6 and her friend might be 11.

Your daughter sounds a lot like mine, actually. I have seen that snort and grin response too. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] We just keep going and let her enjoy "social time." (shrug) The only situations I try to avoid are those where I know she'll be shut out of something that she would [i]really[/i] want to do and forced into the group with the "little kids." That makes her mad, mad, mad.

edited to fix italics. I hope.

[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited February 28, 2006).]

On Feb 28, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Corvallis Mom: [b]It does seem like an awfully high percentage of people here have kids who read at really high levels at amazingly young ages... [/b]

I just wanted to join in late to say that reading and giftedness don't necessarily go hand-in-hand. Mariah is "talented and gifted" (in the greater than 99.9% based on IQ) but reads at or below grade level because she is also LD in reading. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

This thread is very interesting reading for me because as much energy as it takes to address Mariah's PA, it seems it's really the least of my concerns some days....

On Feb 28, 2006

That is a very good point, actually... because for all the parents who "figure out" that their kids are reading (really reading) at three or four.. there are an equal number of TAG kids who are delayed in reading-- and express special ability in another area.

When you add it together, it [i]really[/i] seems like there are a lot of us here.

That's the other thing that drives me batty locally-- there seems to be a real misunderstanding that "bright" or "capable" doesn't necessarily mean TAG. So if you have delays in some areas, you can get locked out of the TAG program here. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] Contrary to what [i]I[/i] know about gifted kids, I tell 'ya. So they are taking a hallmark of truly gifted children that becomes more pronounced the more gifted they are, and using it to deny some of them appropriate opportunities (especially those lower-income kids who don't have all the advantages of early literacy/interventions). Pretty bass-ackwards if you ask me. (I know, nobody asked... gifted ed. is a major soapbox for me.) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] It's just that for upper-middle class kids like mine, it is sad but not crippling to have a TAG program watered down to fit "bright" kids... but for a disadvantaged child, it is catastrophic. And I would gladly give my daughter's position in such a program to a poor, minority child who was more gifted than she. (But that makes me the minority, I know... lots of people here talk the liberal talk but really think that the amount of property tax they pay ought to give them a carte blanche pass to anything public.) I would never have dreamed that too much public support for TAG programs could be a problem, but boy have I ever had an education living here.

My daughter has had just enough experience to have decided that if she can't find any peers, she just won't do any school for about three years. Then she'll "match" the other smart kids, she reasons. This is so sad to hear. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] (I mean, it makes me laugh a little too...since I see the flaw in her logic)

I know [i]just[/i] what you mean, Gail. "Driven" seems like a nice euphemism for what I'm up against some days! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

It is definitely what tipped the scales for us regarding HSing and also regarding 504 status.

[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited February 28, 2006).]

On Feb 28, 2006

Gail W,

The gifted child thing is a complicated area... I know what you mean about the gifted but LD too. My step-daughter has ADD and Asperger's. She tested very high in math but could not sight read a book until 4th grade. However, she could practically recite the book back to you if you read it to her.

She did eventually get the reading thing down, and now, at almost-17, she likes to read. She and Patricia sit and read Nancy Drew books together.

I don't know about other gifted kids, but both my step daughter and Patricia obsessively collect strange and unusual facts and spring them on me when I least expect them. I will ask Patricia what she wants for lunch and she will tell me all about the structural differences between a T-Rex and an Allosaurus... in minute detail. Or I will ask my step daughter what she is learning in school and she will tell me that the male anglerfish attaches itself to the female's body and essentially becomes part of the female... or something like that. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

On Feb 28, 2006

You mean to tell me that not all children propose theories about the causes and consequences of animal adaptations?? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] LOL!

I usually get treated to the deep philosophical stuff or math concepts in the car. Weird facts tend come out during dinner prep...or while she is playing the piano. Outrageous or just plain weird imagined things she saves for when we are working.

Any time either of us is most likely to go "wha??" [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] I think she does it for our response, mostly.

Does your daughter build her own "wall of sound" when she is working or playing? Mine sings to herself or talks. Constantly... to the brink of madness for me or DH. The ironic thing is that I distinctly remember doing the same thing. I still work best when I have a radio playing all day long.

On Feb 28, 2006

I knew that you ladies would understand. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] At 12, reading remains a complete mystery to her.

IMO, I wouldn't say that Mariah is truly "gifted". That's the label the school system gave her though based on her really, really high IQ number. But I'm certainly not going to argue with the school on this point. (I mean, my "number" isn't nearly as high, so what would I know? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )

Okay, here's a question ... I recall your girls are younger, both age 6, yes? Mariah is older, 12, in 6th grade now, Middle School, and the "social" thing really hit at around age 8 and hasn't stopped being extremely important to her. Given that our kids don't "fit" academically and also socially in some ways that you're discussing here...

Do you think your child's "giftedness" (or "giftedness" + "LD" if that applies to your child) has had an effect on how you manage your child's PA? If so, how?

I guess I'll just say that for us, Mariah not "fitting" academically and socially certainly has made a difference in how we've approached the school. I think her other 'differences' has made me fight harder for her to receive PA accommodations so that she can have access [i]and[/i] "fit in". KWIM?

(Please let me know if this should be it's own thread.)

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited February 28, 2006).]

On Feb 28, 2006

It makes it harder for me as her mom, I think... but her PA is such that it just isn't negotiable, really. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] We don't have any leeway there.

But being PA makes being "different" in any other way even harder. (I really think this is a girl thing, too.)

She finds both things extremely isolating socially. I worry about her.

And Gail, asynchrony can happen to all gifted children-- but it doesn't change the fact that they see the world differently. They are just plain faster to process it all and more observant, curious, and perceptive. They are driven and driving. Nothing to do with any particular skill set. I've read in many places that the ideal IQ score is somewhere around 120-130. Bright, but not so out of synch that the world doesn't make sense. Every ten points away from that and you have more trouble relating to the world. My daughter is like my Dad-- probably around thirty points out. More "different" than either me or DH. We understand just well enough to feel for her, but not to live in the world she inhabits.

She is often horrified by the sheer ignorance/stupidity of adults. It sometimes scares her or makes her mad that these idiots are running the show. (hmmmm... should scare me, too, now that I think about it! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img] ) Naturally, nobody listens to a 6 yo but us. She is a budding activist, but still has trouble writing down all her thoughts. Very frustrating for us all.

I wish she knew (other than theoretically from what we say to her) that there really are other kids just like her.

She has found having a PA penpal to be very liberating in this respect.

edited to add: truthfully, without the TAG label, we might have tried to do the public school route in the usual way. We might have even tried it with just an IHP rather than a 504. But dual exceptionalities make a 504 an imperative thing, IMO. So I guess that is one way that we've altered our choices for managing her PA.

[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited February 28, 2006).]

On Feb 28, 2006

Patricia has a running dialogue going all day, all the time... she calls it the AQ game... Animal Queen, or something like that. She builds these enormously complex piles of 'stuff' from all over... books, toys, shoe strings, wine corks, oven mitts. It all has some part of a huge imaginary world that she has created.

Patricia's big car activity is Mad Libs. She tries to get her 2 year old sister to provide nouns and verbs... to a rather hysterical effect (her, trying to explain what a verb ending in "ing" is to her little sister). LOL!

As for managing PA, Patricia is very aware of her allergy and explains it to people. She reminds me to read labels, and she is very good about always asking first if something is safe or not.

And yeah... we are running topics all over in this thread, but it works for me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

Corvallis Mom... would your daughter be interested in a pen pal? Email me.. [email]AmyAmy4734@aol.com[/email]

On Feb 28, 2006

LOL! Activist... that would describe Patricia too. She has a passion about all things environmental. And she has quite an opinion about a certain US President too.

On Feb 28, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Corvallis Mom: [b]And Gail, asynchrony can happen to all gifted children-- but it doesn't change the fact that they see the world differently. They are just plain faster to process it all and more observant, curious, and perceptive. They are driven and driving. Nothing to do with any particular skill set. I've read in many places that the ideal IQ score is somewhere around 120-130. Bright, but not so out of synch that the world doesn't make sense. Every ten points away from that and you have more trouble relating to the world. My daughter is like my Dad-- probably around thirty points out. More "different" than either me or DH. We understand just well enough to feel for her, but not to live in the world she inhabits.[/b]

This hit me like a ton of bricks. This is exactly our situation. I completely respond to her feelings of isolation and sadness.

I think that has made me really go to bat for accommodations for her at school. Not to re-negotiate the safety measures that are required, but to make sure that her safety isn't achieved through [i]segregation. [/i]

On Feb 28, 2006

Here you have to be tested by the school district in order to be in gifted or highly gifted classes or schools. So no matter how many people have a sense of entitlement that their kids should be there, their kids won`t be in a gifted school unless they actually are gifted and they won`t be in a highly gifted school unless they are actually highly gifted. So, I guess Corvallis Mom, you are saying they don`t test the kids to see who belongs in highly gifted and who doesn`t? That sort of defeats the purpose, doesn`t it? It isn`t a highly gifted class if anyone who feels entitled to can put their child in. So I guess what I was asking is don`t they have classes or schools in Corvallis for kids who really are gifted/highly gifted? Because what you are describing, where anyone who feels entitled can put their child in, is not a class for highly gifted. My daughter`s class is a class that you cannot put your child in unless their IQ is over 150 based on tests given by the district. Any parent can request the testing, but any parent cannot request the class. Only the test results will determine if the child goes in a highly gifted class.

On Feb 28, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Marizona: [b]Here you have to be tested by the school district in order to be in gifted or highly gifted classes or schools. [/b]

Same here, but I believe the cut off score is 135. What happens here is that teachers/parents can make a "case" for children who don't make the overall composite score, but have a strength in one particular area such as music or math. So, like Corvallis mom, parents tend to push to get their kids in by this more subjective evaluation if their child doesn't meet the composite WISC II score.

On Feb 28, 2006

Well, I won`t say that parents don`t push to get their non-gifted kids in classes for gifted. But I will say that if their tests results don`t show them to be gifted, then all the pushing in the world from the parents doesn`t do any good. After all, if all a parent has to do is say their child is gifted when they aren`t, well, I know a lot of parents who would be doing that. But then it really isn`t a class for gifted---it is just a class for kids with parents who believe their kids are gifted, KWIM? And let`s face it, there are some parents who are not really able to be objective about their kids` abilities. Those parents are everywhere. So each school system really should have classes for kids who are gifted and highly gifted. I thought they all did until this thread was started.

On Feb 28, 2006

Yes, Gail, that is is exactly... and remember that parents here are pretty savvy. They definitely know how to work the system. So they "bargain" about cutoff scores, etc. etc. And frankly, our SD is pretty small in terms of numbers. Less than 10000 kids. So pullout classes and special "enrichment" activities are about it until junior high when they can cram 800 kids into a building. Truthfully, there probably really only are about three dozen kids who qualify district-wide at any given grade level if you use a strict cutoff on a standardized test. That certainly doesn't give you enough kids within a neighborhood school to have an individual TAG class for K-6. So to have TAG classes in the elementary setting, you can either collect all those kids from all over the district or you can lower the bar until it doesn't meet their needs or you can "differentiate instructional techniques" which is what is usually done. You also have to understand that our district is currently squeezed financially to the point that many middle and high school classes have 35-40 kids in them. The high schools restrict how many classes you can register for... because there isn't enough instructional time to go around. It is horrifying; college bound kids have only four classes but two study halls. TAG is pretty low priority as far as the district is concerned. They feel that those kids can take care of themselves, in rather typical fashion. The year DD would have entered Kindergarten, her class would have had 25-30 children in it. They will NOT test for the TAG program until 3rd grade here. It is also evidently a one-time deal... so once you are in, you are in, but if you miss that third grade evaluation, you are probably out. When I asked how gifted children were given other opportunities in K-3, I was met with blank looks and shrugs. I guess they aren't "gifted" here until they reach the chronological age of 8 or so. This theory has been confirmed by friends with kids in the district's schools.

Pullouts. Same as what DH and I both experienced in the early 70s at the dawn of TAG education. That and MOS instructional techniques. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

We are hoping for the best with the charter cyberschool. They evidently have a lot of TAG kids. Surprise surprise.

Oh, man... the piles of stuff. Little bits of plastic and cut up cardboard. Cloth napkins... and string. And the handlettered signs... and little "comics," I guess you'd call them. Graphic vignettes showing everything from a mother grounding her child for "34 weeks. No TV either." to the three little dogs and the big bad cat. My daughter loves Mad Libs.... but can't stand the suspense well enough to restrain herself from looking! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Does anyone else have a kid who reads (I am not kidding here) as many as a dozen books at a time?? This is so bizarre to me. Easily the single most peculiar thing she does. Drives me crazy, actually... she leaves them open all over the house!!

My daughter is also an ardent environmentalist in the making. She's been pressuring us to get a hybrid. Since that is the practical technology right now. But she intends to drive a solar car. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

I think my daughter would love to write to your daughter. You can e-mail me through my profile... just make sure I know what it is from the subject line or I'll accidentally report you as spam! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/redface.gif[/img]

[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited March 01, 2006).]

On Mar 1, 2006

my PA and gifted daughter reads and reads, she is in 1/2 day K and will read 3 hours when she comes home, if I let her haha

On Mar 1, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Marizona: [b]So each school system really should have classes for kids who are gifted and highly gifted. I thought they all did until this thread was started.[/b]

My DD received one hour of pull out for a 'gifted' class of grade-level children in elementary school. In Middle School, 'gifted' kids may opt to schedule for a 'gifted' class in lieu of their study hall period. So her current (gifted) "Apogee" class is still essentially pull out. The dilemma this presents to us is that study hall is also the time she would receive special ed services for her LD. So we are forced to choose which service 'beyond the regular classroom" ~ giftedness or LD~ she will receive. She has an IEP that provides her accommodations in the regular and Apogee classrooms, such as extra time for test taking and for her teacher to read a test question to her if she's having difficulty with it. But because we wanted her in the 'gifted' program, she receives no [i]services [/i]from special ed for her LD. Unbelievable really. I would think there would be more kids who fit in this "dual exceptionalities" (it that a term?) who would challenge the SD on this....

Edited to add: the "weaknesses" that were discovered on her WISC testing are [i]relative[/i] to her overall "strength". Her composite score still places her in "gifted" (or in Marizona's sytem, "highly gifted"). Her "decoding" score is still above average, but several standard deviations from any other score. So her LD diagnosis is based on the significant [i]relative [/i]weakness of her decoding ability. Hope that made sense.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited March 01, 2006).]

On Mar 1, 2006

I would like to suggest finding a Girl Scout Troop for socialization. Everything they do is about trying new things and accepting other people.

Council Finder - Searchable database by USA zip code, State or Council Name

[url="http://www.girlscouts.org/councilfinder/"]http://www.girlscouts.org/councilfinder/[/url]

On Mar 1, 2006

Someone asked in a previous post whether there could be a link between PA and gifted children, since gifted children seem so common here. My theory is that the link is between PA.com (NOT PA) and giftedness. Just being here shows that you are educated and literate enough to find this site and understand and participate in the discussions. But more than that, it means that you value education (which is why most of us are here in the first place--to educate ourselves on PA), and, if you are here because of your child, that you care very much about the welfare of that child, and will likely go above and beyond the minimum effort to do what is right for that child. All of that put together makes "giftedness" in a child more likely. Most of the parents here provide an environment where our children thrive. And most of the parents here are intelligent, so the kids are likely to inherit the potential for intelligence from them.

BTW, my 10-year-old DD recently tested at an adult reading level, and my 7-year-old PA DS is both gifted and learning disabled. I have always attributed it to their inheriting the potential for intelligence (I'm not too dumb, but DH is one of the smartest people I've ever met), and that we have been nurturing their minds from birth, and continue to do so. And, yes, I would love if the schools could teach more to the gifted kids (we are in a small town, the numbers don't make it practical) but am very pleased at the services DS is getting because of his unique (to our school) blend of IQ and LD. But I don't worry too much about their not getting gifted instruction. I let the schools cover the basics (multiplication tables for example) but supplement their education at home, informally, by teaching them (or learning with them) about whatever their interests are, and whatever subjects come up through life, and sharing them more info and more details about some of what they are learning at school.

On Mar 1, 2006

Jimmy's mom, do you mind my asking, what type of LD does your son have?

This is interesting because Mariah's high IQ and LD also seems unique for our school. It just doesn't seem like it would be that uncommon....

We've sorta approached things opposite from how Jimmy's mom has by addressing the LD at home~ we put Mariah in the school gifted program at school and supplemented at home with a private instructor/tutor who specializes in reading. Given the expense of private instruction ($75/hour) the annual cost compares to tuition to a private school.

On Mar 1, 2006

Sorry, still have not figured out how to do quotes.

Originally posted by Corvallis Mom: "Truthfully, there probably really only are about three dozen kids who qualify district-wide at any given grade level if you use a strict cutoff on a standardized test. That certainly doesn't give you enough kids within a neighborhood school to have an individual TAG class for K-6. So to have TAG classes in the elementary setting, you can either collect all those kids from all over the district or you can lower the bar until it doesn't meet their needs"

It is the same here. My kids don`t go to the neighborhood school, they go to a school for gifted kids. It is soooooooo worth the 30 minute drive to seem them really thrive with their peers. They are with kids from all over the district. It cannot be a neighborhood school, because as you pointed out, there would not be enough kids who are really gifted to fill it. Usually it is just one or two schools per district at each age level (elementary, middle, high school). It is so worth the drive to see your kids thrive in the right setting.

Gail W., the cutoff here for highly gifted is IQ greater than 150 which corresponds to top 0.1% of the population. The cutoff here for gifted is 130. There are 5 different types of tests they use. This is to pick up the kids who are really gifted but don`t do well on one type of test, but may do well on another. So they don`t just do the WISC. This is really their job---to find whichever test will show the child at his/her best. When my daughter got tested, she got a different test from the other kids and I asked why, so that was how I found this out. Also, some of the kids get tested orally and some get a written test, again depending on their strengths. There are several LD kids in both of my kids` classes.

On Mar 1, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Marizona: [b]... So they don`t just do the WISC. This is really their job---to find whichever test will show the child at his/her best. When my daughter got tested, she got a different test from the other kids and I asked why, so that was how I found this out. Also, some of the kids get tested orally and some get a written test, again depending on their strengths. There are several LD kids in both of my kids` classes.[/b]

<> You gotta love a School District who knows its job and does it. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Mar 1, 2006

Gail, I don't mind you asking what kind of LD DS has, but I can't tell you. He defies any kind of definition it seems. Last week a neuropsychologist ruled out NLD. So we muddle along without a diagnosis. But in a nutshell, he can't read or write. Actually, he is improving, but is still well below grade level, and is really struggling. He is very articulate, has a huge vocabulary, his knowledge of science and history are at about a middle school level (he's 7 and in 2nd grade), and has been teaching himself multiplication. But he's having a very hard time learning to read. And writing is far worse.

On Mar 1, 2006

Hate to butt in here, but is it possible this isn't so much a "delay" as just your son operating on his own unique schedule of development?

I ask because our daughter has done this with many things-- mostly physical tasks or milestones. She just wasn't ready to do them until she was just [i]ready[/i] and then it was like there had never been a delay at all... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] I am sorry I can't describe this any better than that. It just seems like very frequently gifted children have these areas of rather extreme asynchrony. It is just because they are not wired like other kids.

My daughter had fantastic small motor skills up until about 36 months old (really, freaky good) but then she slowly slipped off the curve, and is only now catching up again at 6 1/2. It is like she couldn't focus on that while she was teaching herself to read and learning all this science and arithmetic or something. So you could ask her to "color" something and her answer was to scribble all over it with a single color and hand it back, "Done." So maybe he is just having trouble because this isn't what his brain is telling him to do right now...just a thought. Obviously, this doesn't apply to kids who have a particular organic cause of difficulty reading or writing (like a sensory processing disorder or something).

Asynchrony is (IMO) the very hardest thing about gifted children... hard to explain why your "so smart" kid still can't tie her own shoes or ride a bicycle at 6, y'know? Not for lack of trying on our part... then one day, she just [i]does it[/i] like it was never a big deal. And when you ask when/where she learned how, she just shrugs. Arrrghh. Some of it can be perfectionism, too... even learning to stand, cruise and walk our daughter was like this. She didn't stand until she knew how to sit, and she didn't walk until she knew how to stop.

We have to remind ourselves of this ALL THE TIME. So I don't know that this is your situation, obviously, but could it be playing a part?

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

On Mar 1, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Corvallis Mom: [b]Hate to butt in here, but is it possible this isn't so much a "delay" as just your son operating on his own unique schedule of development?

I ask because our daughter has done this with many things-- mostly physical tasks or milestones. She just wasn't ready to do them until she was just [i]ready[/i] and then it was like there had never been a delay at all... [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] I am sorry I can't describe this any better than that. It just seems like very frequently gifted children have these areas of rather extreme asynchrony. It is just because they are not wired like other kids.

My daughter had fantastic small motor skills up until about 36 months old (really, freaky good) but then she slowly slipped off the curve, and is only now catching up again at 6 1/2. It is like she couldn't focus on that while she was teaching herself to read and learning all this science and arithmetic or something. So you could ask her to "color" something and her answer was to scribble all over it with a single color and hand it back, "Done." So maybe he is just having trouble because this isn't what his brain is telling him to do right now...just a thought. Obviously, this doesn't apply to kids who have a particular organic cause of difficulty reading or writing (like a sensory processing disorder or something).

Asynchrony is (IMO) the very hardest thing about gifted children... hard to explain why your "so smart" kid still can't tie her own shoes or ride a bicycle at 6, y'know? Not for lack of trying on our part... then one day, she just [i]does it[/i] like it was never a big deal. And when you ask when/where she learned how, she just shrugs. Arrrghh. Some of it can be perfectionism, too... even learning to stand, cruise and walk our daughter was like this. She didn't stand until she knew how to sit, and she didn't walk until she knew how to stop.

We have to remind ourselves of this ALL THE TIME. So I don't know that this is your situation, obviously, but could it be playing a part?

[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img][/b]

[i]Thank You[/i]. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

probably could have written that post myself. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/cool.gif[/img]

And in particular the "perfectionist" part. When he does something.......[i]he needs to do it masterfully[/i] or he's just not interested. Like his father, [i]failure is not an option[/i].

My six year old didn't talk until the month of his fourth birthday. Then progressed at a maddening but delightful rate to full, articulate, adult conversation. In depth, verbose, accurate, [i]walking dictionary[/i]. Actually, he leaves most adults in his dust. Talks just to hear himself. Lots of sound. Constant. And when his mouth isn't moving, his feet are. Something needs to be moving. Sort of like a personal metronome.

Come to think of it, he's never had a use for anything childlike. Including milestones. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]

That said, he had the freakish fine motor skills even at 10 months. Almost like he'd do things just to watch us [i]watching him[/i]. He still enjoys cat and mouse, I mean.

On Mar 1, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Jimmy's mom: [b]Gail, I don't mind you asking what kind of LD DS has, but I can't tell you. He defies any kind of definition it seems. Last week a neuropsychologist ruled out NLD. So we muddle along without a diagnosis. But in a nutshell, he can't read or write. Actually, he is improving, but is still well below grade level, and is really struggling. He is very articulate, has a huge vocabulary, his knowledge of science and history are at about a middle school level (he's 7 and in 2nd grade), and has been teaching himself multiplication. But he's having a very hard time learning to read. And writing is far worse. [/b]

Has he been checked for either dyslexia or eye issues? One mom was telling me that her sons have 'wandering eye' problems, and so they don't see an entire word with both eyes... they see the first part of one word with left eye, the last part with the right eye, and so it is a lot to decode.

On Mar 1, 2006

About milestones.... I know one boy who didn't want anyone to hear him talk until he was certain that he could say the words correctly. Sometimes his parents would 'catch' him practicing the words quietly when he thought no one was listening. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

For my daughter, she had incredible fine motor skills but couldn't jump with both feet off the ground at the same time until age 5.

My younger daughter could walk by the time she was 13 months or so but refused to until she was close to 16 months old... and then wanted to run, not walk.

Both girls occasionally skip developmental stages altogether. I don't think either of them have ever been 'average'... either way ahead or way behind.

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