The gifted child is a mixed blessing and I am doubly blessed.
Cosmo Boy had been in a great GT program in Big Town from Kindergarten. It was challenging, but only once a week as I recall. In Small Town, they re-tested. It took a long time to get through all of the referrals and tests, but in the end we were told he was very “smart”, and easily qualified. We got a meeting with all of the interested parties and an IEP was developed. I wish I’d known more at that point, but I’ll be ready for next year.
This last year he had a “challenge” class almost every day. It was for 45 minutes, just after lunch recess, every day unless something unusual was going on (assemblies, testing, etc). the teacher was new yet very in tuned with the variety of challenges needed by this special group. They did hands-on and project-based learning: created Power Point presentations on deep space, learned origami, and tinkered with model cars and helicopters. The 3 challenge classes (3rd – 5th grades) even got to have their own field trip! They were even set to have a professional artist come in and share about perspective with them, but time ran out with all of the testing and Field Trips at the end of the year. I don’t know how Ms. GT determined the curriculum, but I was impressed with the diversity. This class made a world of difference for my son who was more than bored with the classroom lectures and getting a spelling word marked wrong if his “s” went above the middle line (apparently making it appear to be a capital letter to the teacher).
Now Curious Girl is also gifted. Anyone who has spent time with her is aware that she learns quickly and independently. She knew her letters before the age of 3 and taught herself to read. She participated in science camps with elemenrtary aged kids from the age of 3. She is now entering 1st grade with the reading level of a 3rd grader.
Sounds wonderful? Well, I’m dreading school starting because our school doesn’t have GT until 3rd grade. I tried to get her put a year ahead when we moved to Small Town, but was told “we don’t do that here.”. For kindergarten, she had a very sweet teacher, but she didn’t like school. She would tell me she didn’t learn anything anyway and ask if she could stay home instead. I’m concerned 1st grade may be more of the same. Yet, when she is challenged, she takes off! She was playing with this toy:
given to her this summer and enjoyed creating circuits to put a ceiling fan in the house and then made chairs and furniture and measured to decide where to put them. She is currently reading Magic Treehouse. While CosmoBoy blogs, she can be found learning Spanish online or looking up how to pull out a loose tooth.
I’m looking for a community of parents with Elementary aged Gifted kids. Please let me know if you find a good one.