Looking for recommendationsto help with highly gifted 11 year old boy

Cheryl - posted on 07/14/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My son is going into the 6th grade in a very rural NC area. He was identified as gifted during his 1st grade year in school - which in this area is rare as testing is not done until 3rd grade - because the teachers just could not "keep him busy". Since that time, he has been receiving AIG services, but still says that he is "bored" with school. Teachers every year have recommended that he be skipped up a grade, but our administrator does not believe in doing that and refuses. He has scored in the 98th percentile in EOGs, including Science. One of his teachers said that the public schools here were not equipped to handle a student like him and that we need to look at private schooling for him. She recommended one that is about 45 minutes away from our home, but is entirely our of our reach financially.
I have been doing a lot with the boys at home in regard to studying their areas of special interest and so vocabulary is high and content knowledge of many things is high. (His older brother is starting high school in the fall and is also gifted). Does anyone have any information on what avenues that we can pursue?
I do not want for my son to have a bad feeling about school and right now he definitely does. Any help/recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

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Becki - posted on 08/26/2009

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Have you considered homeschooling? It may be difficult in your area, you said you were rural. Even if homeschooling is not an option look online for homeschooling co-ops in your area-you should be able to find some online. They may be able to provide you with co-op classes or direct you to a solution. Many home school co-op classes are taught by local or former college professors, that want quality education for their own and others children. Many also provide for social, sports and academic challenges that keep the children excited. Or try adding online education! There are great opportunities for learning online, languages, science- you name it...I found a multitude of free classes.

Jen - posted on 08/25/2009

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Your public school is REQUIRED to provide services for your son under State Law!
"The law, Article 9B, created a multi-tiered system of responsibility and accountability for building a foundation for North Carolina's gifted children. All parts of the foundation — the State Board of Education, the Department of Public Instruction, the local board of education and its system's administration, teachers, parents, and the community — must work together to support the state's high-potential children."
This was taken from an article on www.ncagt.org the website of the North Carolina Association for the Gifted and Talented. The site has many resources and advice for parents fighting the fight for their children's education.

Rebekah - posted on 08/02/2009

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Read this report on acceleration and send a copy to the administrator at your school. http://www.accelerationinstitute.org/Nat...
Also, I would tell them that it's too bad that they aren't equipped to handle him and they'd better get up to speed because they are required to meet the needs of their students.

Christina - posted on 08/01/2009

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My son felt like this in 1st grade. The recommendation from Ball State Gifted Center was get him into a private school. I couldn't afford it, but I went with the local Catholic School that offered financial scholarship and really pushed my son academically. The students with high ability who are not challenge will slip academically to fit in with their peers by the time they hit middle school. Gifted children push you for more. Listen to them. If your principal doesn't support you, it is time to go. I had to make the choice and am glad I did. At 13, my son has skipped 5 grade, is taking high school geometry and yearbook and is very happy.
Keep going to people in your areas about what resources are available and be the advocate for you son. You will have a new child on your hands. He will be happy and thrilled to work.
Best wishes.
Christina

Tina - posted on 07/23/2009

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Hi. I agree that raising a middle school aged boy who is gifted is very frustrating. I was also categorized as gifted when I was in school - I went to junior high and high school at a private school and now, as an adult, realize how I was cheated out of many of the opportunities that my son has. The variety and accelleration of classes in a private school are so minimal that it's hard for someone who is gifted to be stimulated adequately. The same could be said about what is available in a rural district. Looking back at the last few years, I also realize that he was limited in elementary school, even though he participated in the Gifted and Talented Program that our district implemented. Various levels of classes should be introduced to him in his junior high years and that should help. The junior high teachers here also tend to understand gifted kids a bit better than the elementary level ones seemed to have. What it basically comes down to for us is each teacher's willingness to help him succeed and be challenged. These teachers have countless resources if they know how to do their jobs. My son has learned that he needs to communicate with each teacher and work as best as he can with those who are not willing to challenge him (he tends to not complete assignments that bore him and we're working on committing to completion of all.....uuuuuuh lol). It's a frustrating time, but my son is going into 7th grade and I am sensing a substantial bit of relief. There are also online resources available to him - and, believe it or not, a book entitled Chicken Soup for the Gifted Teen's Soul. Something else that has helped my son is involvement in the Boy Scouts - it gives him something to use as an outlet other than merely school. I hope that helps. God bless.

Miriam - posted on 07/18/2009

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Talk to your local University under the Educational Psychology Dpt. They have graduate students alway looking for children like yours to try new curriculums and new ways to challeging them. Talk to the principal of the school and request a team meeting to discuss better options for your son. Communicate!!!!! Communicate!!! keep fighting for your son.

Amy - posted on 07/17/2009

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My son (10) was just placed into the gifted program in our area this past February. He goes 1 day per week to the Learning Enrichment Center in our area in place of the normal school day. He really enjoyed the end of the last school year and is really looking forward to going again this year. You may want to try checking with your states educational board to see if there is some type of 'enrichment' program that they could help you with. I began asking about my sons abilities in Kindergarten and it took until 2008 to get the ball rolling. Also, maybe there is something online that would interest him. Good Luck!

Megan - posted on 07/16/2009

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My 9 yo son is gifted and, even though we are in a school district that is supposed to be really good, they are not sure what to do with him. He is in the GT program, so he gets some relief for part of one day a week, but other than that, he is bored. One thing they have done is allowing him bring in extra material to do when he is finished with the assigned tasks. This keeps his overactive brain engaged in something besides tormenting those around him. :)

We have also attempted to combat this by putting him in sports and music outside of school. He has a knack for music, so that is very rewarding for him. He does not really have a knack for Tae Kwon Do, which is one the sports he is in. As a consequence,he has to work very hard at it (a skill he is NOT learning in school b/c everything is so easy). He had wanted to quit for over a year and acted up all the time, didn't learn his material, etc, but we kept him in and kept "riding" him b/c above all, really gifted kids will eventually suffer if they do not learn to do things that they find challenging. He is now one test away from black belt and has learned to enjoy it and stopped fighting us about it (hooray!). My point (and I do have one!) is that, if the school will not cooperate, find a way to challenge him outside of school so that he learns that skill set.

Sandi - posted on 07/16/2009

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I am a mom of a gifted 11 yo son as well as Head of School at a small, private school for gifted children in Tacoma, WA (Seabury School). A great book, if you haven't already found it, is Re-Forming Gifted Education by Karen Rogers, Ph.D. It is a great resource for parents who want to better assess what their child needs as well as see the full range of options for their child. Another great resource is the Hoagies Gifted website (www.hoagiesgifted.org), which is a clearinghouse with tons of information on gifted kids. Grade acceleration, while highly supported in the research about gifted kids, is often met with resistance by schools. Become educated about it as well as other options because you are likely going to have to educate your son's educators about how to meet his needs. I strongly recommend taking a look at the private school near you too. They might be able to assist you with tuition - don't assume it's out of reach without talking to them. Our school helps families with financial aid all the time, as do most schools. And as you look at options for your son, don't forget to think about finding a place where he can interact with kids who can be true peers for him. Kids who can relate with him on an intellectual as well as a social level. One of the greatest gifts my son gets from being at our school, and the gift we offer all kids attending our school, is the chance to spend their day with kids and teachers who really GET them - who understand what it is to be someone who has a driving passion to know everything there is to know about molecular biology and still love watching Sponge Bob or the Simpsons. That kind of environment gives kids the chance to learn the give and take of building friendships and working in partnership with others, and gives them a chance to have a place where they feel "normal." Whatever options you look at, that is an important component to consider in my experience as a mom and as an educator of gifted kids.

Good luck to you!

Detearie - posted on 07/15/2009

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My son was always talking and getting in trouble. I found out it was because he would finish all of his work and get bored. I spoke with his 4th grade teacher and she agreed to give him brainteasers to keep him busy. Then in 5th grade he was accepted to the IB Magnet program starting in 6th grade. IB is an advanced honors program which really pushes the kids to keep them busy. When he finished 8th grade he already had 3 high school credits, both of his foreign language credit and a math credit. Unfortunately he chose to swith to CBA (Communication Broadcasting Arts)magnet program instead. He is still in all advanced honors classes and just finished his freshman year. I guess what I am trying to say is see if there is a magnet program available in your area that he would be interested in and see about advanced honors classes.

Heather - posted on 07/15/2009

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I too have a gifted son and fortunatly moved to a school system that has a special program for them. All I can say is you need that support system from the school or your child will get bored because they aren't challenged. But if you can't move your efforts at home make a difference too. My son's teacher suggested Duke TIP. You might check it out on the internet. He can take online classes and interact with other kids that are like him.

Zoriana - posted on 07/14/2009

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I know how hard it is. I have one going to the fifth grade and sometimes I tell my husband I just need to rest from looking for things to do with him. We are always on the go but it is on me, I am the one planning every single day, hour, and minute. I got really frustrated with public school and did put him in private school but I have heard of other programs outside of the school setting that will work on accelerating instead of tutoring. One of those (not really sure about the spelling) is Kummon or Kummos. Also I have learned that enrolling them in some things that they are not really interested or things that they don't want to do is good. My son hates sports and is not coordinated at all so he has to choose from three choices: soccer, tennis, or baseball. Weather he likes it or not ,he has to do it. It helps with his coordination, social skills, It also helps them to understand others and communicate better. He has learned how others feel when frustrated since he is the one that gets frustrated at times. I found he lacks a lot of these skills; he thinks everyone thinks like him. Anyhow, keep him busy not always with what he likes but what you think will make him a better person in the future. Best Wishes as we know how hard this journey is...

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