Public School is just not meeting my child's needs

Detria - posted on 01/14/2009 ( 31 moms have responded )

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My husband and I are seriously considering homeschooling our children because we just can not seem to get our children's school to really meet their academic needs. We've known my son was gifted since he was 4 and reading chapter books. This was later confirmed. However, the only thing the school does is say "yep, he's gifted but there's nothing we can really do.' When he started Kindergarten they did their initial assesment of him. He started kindergarten knowing everythin they wanted him to know at the end of Kindergarten. So they did the 1st grade test- same result. We just knew they were going to come up with some plan to help meet his needs, but nope. Socially he's doing a lot better but I feel like we've had to compromise in other areas. I remember being at a crossroads when we visited the therapist and she said either the school system is going to have to meet his needs or they will expect him to slow down until the other children catch up. I feel like that's what's happening now. If I have to do additional lessons and reading assignments when he gets home from school I might as well homeschool.



Has anyone had success with their public school meeting the needs of their giftted child?

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Manda - posted on 04/14/2009

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Wow! While I wish I could have read every post here because the conversation is incredibly interesting, I skipped a bunch. Therefore, I apologize if I am repeating something someone else has covered.

First, I should say, OMG, why would anyone that is supposed to be working with children to help them advance educationally make those incredibly backward and seemingly uninformed statements?!? She is obviously not in any position to be giving advice.

Next, I think I should tell you about the homeschooling program that we just started using for my daughter this year. It's an online program called k12. It offers daily and weekly lesson plans in order to help parents keep track of their children's curriculum, tests children after most lessons with immediate feedback, and requires online classroom sessions with other students and conferences with homeroom teachers. My daughter has really excelled in this program, moving up into the second grade last month, even though she is technically supposed to be in kindergarten.

The kids are required to complete at least 90% of the classwork for each grade in order to advance. Therefore, I should add that my daughter does get bored with it because she still isn't up to where she should be (she tested into 3rd grade at the end of her kindergarten year), but the perk is that you can work at your pace. If your child is having a productive day they can kick out lesson after lesson to get it done and if they're having a bad day you can take them to the movies or the park to give them a break and reinforce their efforts. I really like this program and am would certainly recommend it to anyone. The one complaint that I have with it is that they approach religion in a way that I disapprove of. I am a strong advocate of the separation of church and state for constitutional reasons, but was willing to accept it because I like the program. They do have a strange way of approaching other religions aside from Christianity with a grain of salt. They treat them as fables of sorts, while they treat Christianity as history. It's all history, to an extent, but it's all also speculated, so that's my beef. If you can handle dealing with this issue and possibly explaining it to your children (I couldn't possibly let my child go on learning about it without explaining a little further), then you should be fine. If you don't want to approach religion though, don't bother, it's interwoven in the curricula, though I should add that it is certainly NOT the main focus and that many religions are touched upon. Just not as well as Christianity, obviously, since that's the primary (from what I know) religion here in the US.

I certainly hope this helps and if you have any questions, please feel free to message me. I don't check CoM frequently, but am on FB a lot, so feel free to send it that way. GOOD LUCK!!!

Angela - posted on 02/15/2009

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Quoting Detria:

  First because she said every parent thinks their child is gifted and only time will tell if he really is gifted.


Baloney! When a child is reading chapter books at age 4, he's gifted and needs additional stimulation or he will become bored!



Second, because they don't like to label children (gifted or LD) at such an early age.


This is completely garbage. Why not label a gifted child, if that is what he is? This is a cop out on her part.



Lastly because she felt that we were actually pushing him too hard and not that he was gifted. Her exact words: "Show me a 3 year old who can read and I'll show you paren'ts who are probably pushing their children to do so much too early."


The ignorance of this statement absolutely blows me away! My daughter first started reading when she was two and it came as a complete shock to me because I wasn't trying to teach her to read at all. She just picked it up because we read to her every night. The fact that this individual is so clueless about gifted children leads me to believe that you are doing your son a disservice by keeping him in this school. I highly recommend looking into your options.



Their main concern was socialization. Again, her exact words were: "No one's going to care how smart he is if he can't make friends his own age."


I've heard that baloney before and it is incredibly ignorant. My friends who homeschooled their children had plenty of opportunities for socializing. Plus, they fit more of the curriculem into a day and had more time for play than you find at public school.



We do have a gifted school but it does not start until the 3rd grade, so we were told to wait until he gets into the 3rd grade.

 





I really think that given the situation, you should homeschool until 3rd grade. It is obvious that his current situation is not helping him scholastically and could actually set him back if he becomes bored.

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Noelia - posted on 04/18/2011

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no, and we are considering homeschooling too, my son is 4 and he is in a 1 grader level or may be more, and they not let him start kindergarden bc he born after september 1st, I can't pay a private school right now

we are in florida and his theacher tell me that in florida they not allow grade skiping in public schools

Kelli-AdventurezInChildRearing - posted on 03/28/2011

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nope. we homeschool ! we really enjoy it because it gives him the freedom to explore topics that are of particular interest to him.

Manda - posted on 04/14/2009

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Quoting Lisa:



if you are a Christian, go private; if not a Christian, go private anyway. Charter homeschooling will keep you under the public school umbrella, requiring you to teach to their tests, when your kids will thrive doing unit studies together, going to science museums, the library... You don't even need to buy a bunch of curriculum, especially when they are young.





I charter out through my school district, so our program is paid for since my daughter is technically enrolled in a public school, but the children are allowed to work at their own pace. They are not required to do lessons or unit studies together and, yes, the tests are theirs, but it is always possible to go above and beyond what is laid out for you and to expand upon what is obviously deemed as important to the curriculum. I've found that my daughter's homeroom teacher is grateful to have a gifted and motivated student in her classes. My daugther seems to be much ahead of where the rest of the students are and catches onto everything immediately, so her teacher has helped us to advance her into the next grade fully and legitimately, while also giving us advice on how to maneuver around in the system to use it to our advantage. I would recommend chartering out 100%. We've had wonderful luck!

Erika - posted on 03/08/2009

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My oldest (of 3) daughters is gifted and in second grade in public school. I would like to home school her, but have no clue how to do so with her younger sisters around. I can't afford a sitter for them while I work with the oldest. (#2 will start kindergarten in the fall, but youngest just turned 2 in Dec.) The school has a gifted program, in which she has been placed, but they are starting to tell me that she doesn't pay attention or do her work. When I said that she was bored, I didn't get much reaction. I'm not sure what to do. I have asked for another conference with her teachers this week but am not sure what I can ask of them.

Does anyone have any helpful comments?

[deleted account]

Public school can never meet the needs of a gifted child the way that you can! Homeschool!The absolutely best thing you can do. No one cares for your children the way you do. Often the gifted in traditional schools will be bored to tears and will learn to act out or tune out. Neither is the one you want for your precious ones! There are support groups across the country to have park days together, field trips, moms meetings...if you are a Christian, go private; if not a Christian, go private anyway. Charter homeschooling will keep you under the public school umbrella, requiring you to teach to their tests, when your kids will thrive doing unit studies together, going to science museums, the library... You don't even need to buy a bunch of curriculum, especially when they are young. Check out books, read, read, read. Explore, keep a nature journal, oh, there is so much joy in seeing your children learn, and getting to learn along with them!

Charline - posted on 02/15/2009

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There are a lot of internet related sites...will pull some up for you...that are great for gifted children.  We are our children's best advocates, but the reality is that some schools can't, don't, and won't step up for gifted students.  You will find individual teachers, but as a whole their hands are tied, too.  My son was teaching other kids in K and 1st grade.  I was furious....just give him other material...let him go to a different class for reading....the only thing they did was pull him out once a week for a gifted hour.  I am lucky in that regard because they did have that 1 hour a week that he was stimulated, but in reality it is sad that was all they did.  We moved from that school district to a smaller school district  and I thought that it might get better.  It didn't because the mentality is that if these kids are gifted then they don't need help....the ones that need help are the ones that can't do it. I am getting off what I wanted to say and I apologize.  First and foremost I would go to the school and request (demand) gifted testing and if they refuse I would take him myself to an accredited assesor and have them done....they are pricey, but then you would know.  My son was declared profoundly gifted at the age of 5....he has been tested repeatedly for school admissions and such and it has never lowered.  So, I know they can test him at this age.  Once you have testing done, then go to the school and see what they will do. In the state of MO you can get  an IEP for giftedness....they don't tell you that you can...you have to know your rights....contact your Department of Education and find out what your rights are.  Then I would go online... there are different organizations that help either by the clout of belonging or by helping with summer tuition programs and such.  Scholarships are even available.  My son  and daughter belong to various programs...some cost money... others go by income.  Become educated.  We do a lot at home.  My son is in 5th grade now and it has been hard to watch.  Kindergarten, first and second grades were hard...he would take a bag of books to school and read all day after doing school work.  He would mentor the other kids.  Although I wanted more for him I believe those experiences helped him to be a great kid.  We did a lot.....just getting him more information....he craves it.  Find what your son craves and let him learn all about it.  I kept it fun even while I taught it.  Anyway.....I just wanted to say....the school isn't going to help 100% a lot has to come from you....it is hard, it is draining, but in the end it will be worth it.



We finally put our kids in a private school.  Their scores were so high on the admissions tests that they received scholarships.  It didn't help with all costs and I am in the process of writing places...those organizations he belongs to....to see how to recieve help.  I know of one mom who asked her bank and walmart and other places and they helped because they understood the need.



One organization is the National Society of the Gifted and Talented.  They have online resources once you are a member.  Remember most of the places if not all will want test scores to confirm membership.



http://www.nsgt.org/



 

Angela - posted on 02/15/2009

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Hi Detria. First, you need to call and make an apt. with the school principal a.s.a.p. to discuss the education of your son. At his age, they can determine the course of the rest of his education. I had the same concerns when our daughter started school and was fortunate that her elementary school created a special program just for her where she went and had one on one time with the vice principal until they determined a course of action. She stayed in her grade level; however, was taken out and sent to work with higher grades in the subjects she excelled. By second grade, she was placed in the FOCUS program which is our school system's gifted program.



I realize that we were extremely lucky because we landed in a terrific school system. If she had not been encouraged by the school administration, she easily could have been labeled as adhd or a problem child because she is so smart and yet so active. Instead, she is now 13 years old and still active in the gifted program. She is in her second year of accelerated math which will have her well into the high school curriculum by the time she is done with middle school.



I think that you need to let the teachers and staff at your son's school know that you are a concerned and proactive parent. You would be amazed at how many parents really don't care and the school staff usually responds favorably when they find a parent who is actively taking part in their child's education. And if they don't respond favorably, you will immediately know that your son is not in the right school for his needs.



It is to a school's advantage to encourage the gifted students because it raises their test scores and gives them a better profile.



Good luck to you! It is quite challenging to be the parent of a gifted youngster; however, the rewards are fantastic!

Tracey - posted on 02/15/2009

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You will never find all the answers to a gifted program in one place....We need programs from all over the place.  Why don't we start a program for gifted children ourselves?  Programs that can be enlisted as a child needs them...  Theres over 10,000 parents in this circle !!!  Since Oct last year !!! 



YOur child can dictate the next program needed, and we, the members, can research, offer the best available programs we've seen  Together with the children we can  create exactly what we/they are looking for, .

Detria - posted on 02/03/2009

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I have really enjoyed reading all the posts and suggestions. After talking to my husband, we both agree that maybe for right now we just need to sit tight until the end of the school year. This doesn't mean that we won't challenge our kids at home, just that we won't make any serious changes to their education right now.



I'll never forgot what an educator who was testing him told us: "unfortunatley, schools are more equipped to deal with deficiencies rather than giftedness. You'll come to a cross roads where you'll have to decide to push the issue or go along with what most schools do with gifted children- try to hold them back as much as possible until the other children can catch up." I really feel like I've let this year slip by without meeting his needs. A lot of the things he's asked me to do so I said no to because most 1st graders don't do that (for example writing in cursive and writing their own 50 page chapter books). No more! Even though it will be time consumming and I have no idea how we will balance it all, for the remainder of the year, I'm going to follow a home school curriculum after school and on weekends and hope that it will challenge him (and my daughter) and meet their educational needs. I've already gone through the diagnostic testing and the results were that he should start with the 3rd grade curriculum.



Thanks again for everything and I hope that you other mothers find what will work best for you.

Molly - posted on 02/03/2009

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Quoting Deborah:

I wanted to post this for both you and Lucia. blogs.edweek.org/teachers/unwrapping_the...

It is a blog from a teacher and if you scroll down to around November 11 and earlier you will see some great advice for arguing against the ludicrous comments made by teachers and principles. It gives me hope that there are teachers out there that care!

Also there was another link (if I can find it that I will post for a collection of comments and the stories behind it. And I find it interesting that you both live in VA and having the problems you do when the state is a mandated gifted state with partial funding. Of course this doesn't mean they will recognize gifting in the early school years but you would think they would have better training on gifted and not use all the catch phrases!


Thanks for the link! 



 



I just discussed this with my dd's teacher at conferences.  Teacher recognizes that 3rd grade curriculum doesn't meet her needs.  Teacher is very willing to do alternate things with her but seems to be at a loss for just "what" to do with her.   Meeting with our Talent Development teacher this afternoon, then going to start talking with others until I find something to challenge her.



 



Spoke with last year's teacher who was quite good at keeping my dd challenged.  She says she  adjusted her lessons to accomodate the different abilities of the kids in her class each year.  Plan to do more talking with her to get the details. 



 



Detria - can you would with  Talent Development people in your district to bring some things into your classrooms?    It's unfortunate that you have to be pushy about this, but I think you will  need to be that way.

Tracey - posted on 01/31/2009

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Well what can I say?  Its clear that YOU will BE THE ONE IN CONTROL OF THE EDUCATION! !!!!!  How could anyone possibly depend on a system thats not gifted in itself?       A gifted person relying on an inferior system?  Come on now!!  Except for the socialising, I don't see much point.



If finance is an issue, sponsorships, scholarships can get you into some pretty exciting schools for free



You can trade work for fees



You can invite interesting people from all walks of life or culture to the shcools to lecture, show and tell, or perform, and interact.  That way you can have some measure in feeding the natural curiosities of your child and at the same time uplift the schooling of their friends.



go to open days at various industires, technologies, for a few eye oopeners.



and you  can learn and practice with your children mental photography for $200  which would just about eradicate the need to go to any school ever again.  www.zoxpro.com/timeflight.htm



Learning is a lifetime occupation,  there is never any end to it.  Don't stress or panic, always plenty of time and life isnt only academic.



Anyway,  lots of good luck to you all. . .I know that handing your child over to the govt for education is the most scariest thing in the world!!  but thats my whole point - dont disempower yourselves!!



take care



 

Becky - posted on 01/31/2009

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I am lucky because our school district has a choice - we have three multi-age classrooms based on the reggio emilia philosophy that allow our kids to pace themselves.  You may want to investigate topics such as "differentiated instruction", "reggio emilia" and "unschooling" - I hope this helps -

Megan - posted on 01/31/2009

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We're in the same boat. There's nothing the teacher says she can do with my 8 yr. son except give him busy work. He is either gifted or highly gifted but even though our school district is good they don't have a "gifted program" they only have enrichment and pretty much leave gifted kids to themselves. We've started looking at private schools but they've told us they can't help. W'\e've started to look at out-of-district school enrollment but they want atleast $8,000 to enroll him. Might as well send him to either a gifted school that's 40 min. away or a Montessori school. I wish that money wasn't the problem but because it is we're also starting to look into home schooling him. Not an option we wanted to take but it may be the only one we can afford.

Juliet - posted on 01/31/2009

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We are in a similar situation, and have made the decision to homeschool when this school year is over. However, Max has been in private schools, not public. The schools in our area are not very good. Even sending him to a wonderful private school equipped to handle gifted children, they are not equipped to handle Hightly Gifted Children, in my opinion.



My sister homeschools my nephews (twins), who are highly gifted as well. They just seem to be challenged and happy, and there are tons of programs in the city for homeschooled kids-- children's theater, science museum activities, zoo activities. We're very nervious, but excited about going this route.



I hope you find a path that feels right for you and your kiddo.

Danielle - posted on 01/31/2009

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I am in the SAME boat. Although I don't know if my children are truly gifted or just super-bright. My son has a high IQ, but seems to be fine with the public school situation (he's in 2nd). It's my daughter currently in kindergarten that is not getting what she needs. She is now reading chapter books (wasn't at 4 though) and is learning less than nothing in kindergarten. I say "less than" nothing, because I really believe that so far being in kindergarten has dragged her down a little bit... almost broken her spirit in a way. The teacher admits she doesn't socialize well with the other kids and only plays 3rd and 4th graders at recess time. I don't really want her playing with the older kids, but what's the alternative?



Part of the issue is that there are 25 kids in her class and some are on the upper level - though admittedly not quite at her level, and some don't know how to say their ABC's (seriously). There is no aid and one teacher - it's terrible! As a matter of fact, I have an appt with the superintendent, prinicpal, and head of the school board tomorrow to discuss the overcrowded classrooms in our district. I hope it goes well.



Homeschooling is not an option for us - absolutely nothing wrong with it, but it's not for us, that's all. I really don't know what else to do. At this meeting, I plan to ask if my child was to be tested as "gifted" would she qualify for an IEP - Individual Education Plan. That is a plan that is tailored to a child that has THEIR goals on it that the teacher must help them reach, these goals are not the same as the rest of the class.



I've only ever heard of it for kids who are disabled (mentally or learning) and who are behind... but why should our children be so different? They should be getting what they need too, right?

Shauna - posted on 01/30/2009

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I know what you mean. My son's Kindergarten teacher had the same attitude when I asked to have him tested. She then went on to tell me that they don't test children for G&T until 1st grade. That was a total LIE! They would have tested him if he was "teacher recommended". They did however put him in talent pool which was better than nothing. Fortunately the G&T teacher was the talent pool leader and she made sure he was tested in 1st grade. His 1st grade teacher was a big help also. She has two gifted children of her own and she recognized the signs. So he's been in G&T 2nd and 3rd grade (this year).



He's 8 and he already made his own claymation movie with the video camera my mom bought him for Christmas. He didn't ask us how to do it, he just did it and then showed us the finished product. I'm glad we didn't skip any grades because now his teachers and I are working on his leadership skills. They know he already knows the concepts and he picks up what he doesn't know VERY quickly. So he is learning how to influence group discussions and how to work with others to help them learn instead of blurting out the answers.



He watches the History Channel, National Geographic Channel, and Discovery Channels mostly. Sometimes he watches cartoons but tends to get bored with them. He is reading fiction books now. For 1st and 2nd grade he had it set in his mind that nonfiction books were all that you should read because fiction books turned your brain into mush with all of that fake stuff in there. LOL It was a bit of a battle to get over that hurdle.



My biggest challenge as a mom of a gifted kiddo is making sure that he gets more than enough time to be a kid, joke around, and play, because we are so strict on school work, learning, and behavior. I would regret it if he looks back on his childhood and feels like we made him grow up too fast.

Tracey - posted on 01/30/2009

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hi ,



my experience with the public schools in australia , is that they always allowed me to educate my kids elsewhere during the school cirriculum, if i thought it was more beneficial.



I always chose on a day to day basis, whether they would learn more at school today or somewhere else in the community.  I was very lucky and was never questioned on this.  For a while, my young daughters practically ran one of the small schools in areas of projects , fundraisers, subjects etc



They have taken weeks off for travelling around australia, or  for rehearsals to perform at cultural centres, or to do seminars in reiki, or important life enhancing events, whether family oriented, acadamic, sporting, recreational,  performance or art, or politics



I always made those decisions.  and usually regarded public schooling as an option when we had nothing ourselves to offer.



I now have happy well adjusted gifted adult kids, who absolutely love children and are capable of relating to adults in any capacity,

Deborah - posted on 01/15/2009

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I am so happy that I was able to give you some information that might help. What do they say? Knowledge is power and hope you can use the information you have accumulated to your advantage.

So IS this child you are talking about in the same school district? IF she is you can clearly use that to your advantage. In fact, I really hope she is in your district b/c then you have a case that they can not ignore. Good luck and please keep us posted.

Detria - posted on 01/15/2009

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THANK YOU! I was not aware that VA was a mandated gifted state. So after som quick research to find out what that means and more specifically what it looks like in VA, I found our states gifted instruction policies on the states dept. of education website. A lot of valuable information! While I am happy to find this resource and feel like I know have some arsenal, I'm still frustrated that it seems the state is not living up to all they claim.



Ironically, my husband told me of one of his co-workers mentioned to him today that her daughter, who has a late birthday and is currently in pre-k, did a kindergarten assessment and scored a 100% so they wanted to move her up to 1st grade and that the our city gifted coordinator wants to test her for giftedness based on that. My first reaction was, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME!" Before our son started kindergarten he scored a 100% not only on the kindergarten assessment but the 1st grade assessment as well and they did nothing! At least I have some renewed hope and information to take to them.

Deborah - posted on 01/15/2009

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I wanted to post this for both you and Lucia. http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/unwrapp...

It is a blog from a teacher and if you scroll down to around November 11 and earlier you will see some great advice for arguing against the ludicrous comments made by teachers and principles. It gives me hope that there are teachers out there that care!

Also there was another link (if I can find it that I will post for a collection of comments and the stories behind it. And I find it interesting that you both live in VA and having the problems you do when the state is a mandated gifted state with partial funding. Of course this doesn't mean they will recognize gifting in the early school years but you would think they would have better training on gifted and not use all the catch phrases!

Lucia - posted on 01/15/2009

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They really don't ~ they're more focused on getting the lower end of the spectrum caught up ... they figure the gifted children will be fine because they're already ahead & it wouldn't be "fair" for them to get MORE ahead while others struggle to keep up. They just won't accept that they're doing a great injustice to the gifted ones!! Sad thing, isn't it?

Detria - posted on 01/15/2009

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We're in the city of Lynchburg and it sounds like you've been met with exactly the same thing we've experienced. I just donk think they get it and feel our frustration.

Lucia - posted on 01/15/2009

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Detria ~ What county in VA are you at? I'm in Loudoun County ... but I'll tell you ~ Virginia as a whole is such CRAP when it comes to giftedness. When I was enrolling my daughter in school, they wouldn't even consider testing her ... hadn't met her, but wouldn't consider it!! I have asked time & time again what can be done so that she's not bored (she brings AT LEAST 12-15 "busy sheets" home per day ~ those are worksheets she gets to complete after finishing her classwork & waiting for the school bell to ring ~ & mind you, she laughs at the sheets herself) ... only to hear "there are several children in our class that meet or exceed her level" (which, after observing her class once I know is a LIE!!!)  Anyway, when I enrolled her the principal said to me "think of how great she'll feel when she's able to help her peers who aren't at her level" ... uh ... my initial thought was that she was joking, & when I realized she wasn't, I said "I expect my child to go to school to learn things she doesn't already know ... unless you are sending her home with a paycheck, I do NOT intend to have my child TEACHING others!!!"



Well ... long story short ... Loudoun county has 1/2 day Kindergarten, so I enrolled her & allow her to get out of the house for 3 hours. I've tried to contact even the school board officers, superintendents & such & all they say is that "it's up to the teacher & principal of that school" ~ It's a no win situation & unfortunately, I can't afford to have her tested privately.  :(

Detria - posted on 01/15/2009

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Thanks Alicia. We've talked to both his K and 1st grade teachers about what we could do alternatively for him. While they both recognized that he is probably bored with the current curriculum and that the work they give him is too easy, they have not been able to do anything differently.



My daughter is in K now and her teacher will assign her 'book reports' to do to try to keep her motivated but my son, who is a little ahead of my daughter has not been so fortunate. My husband and I will certainly take everyone's suggestions and comments when deciding what our next step will be.

Alicia - posted on 01/15/2009

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You may have to have your kids tested privately. The school is almost right in saying they don't want to label kids gifted too early. Truth is he may not be gifted, just really far ahead right now. Reading is kind of like walking; most kids will learn how, but at their own pace. Early reading doesn't, alone, mean gifted. That being said, I think it is baloney that schools place such black and white rules on above average learners. If you feel that your kids are gifted you will probably have to have outside testing and take that information to the school and ask for an IEP meeting. Yes, an IEP can be for gifted kids too. This will ensure that your kids academic needs will be met and you can decide with the school how this will be done. I have never liked the pull out programs for gifted kids because I know how easy it is for them to live in their own heads and the social skills will slide. Talk with the teachers and see if you can develop some alternate lessons and activities together. You may be surprised that he/she wants to help but just doesn't have the knowledge, resources or time. Lastly, if you are going to push the school district expect a lot of push back. I find it easier to ask the questions and let them brainstorm solutions. I also offer to assist in the development of alternate activities. Don't get me wrong, I love it when my son takes one of his "projects" to school to show off. He is in kdgn and regularly does his own research projects FOR FUN. I know this only helps to reinforce my claims to the teacher that he is not challenged by the curriculum.

Detria - posted on 01/15/2009

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Thank you guys for your answers. While we are originally from NC, we actually now live in VA (but are considering moving back to NC now that I'm done with school). I know he's had the basic tests, STARS, PAL's, etc. and nother cognitive functioning and some neuro-something or the other. I'm almost certain, however, that he has NOT had an IQ test. We do have a gifted coordinator for our school distric and I've been in contact with her. Her answer to me was to wait. First because she said every parent thinks their child is gifted and only time will tell if he really is gifted. Second, because they don't like to label children (gifted or LD) at such an early age. Lastly because she felt that we were actually pushing him too hard and not that he was gifted. Her exact words: "Show me a 3 year old who can read and I'll show you paren'ts who are probably pushing their children to do so much too early." Her suggestion was that we let him run out and play and not focus on him reading, etc. I tried to tell her that we don't push our children but that he really has a strong desire to read and enjoys it. Their main concern was socialization. Again, her exact words were: "No one's going to care how smart he is if he can't make friends his own age."



We do have a gifted school but it does not start until the 3rd grade, so we were told to wait until he gets into the 3rd grade. When I approached the subject about a plan for him to meet him where he is, I was told that under the IDEA and other mandates. They only have to meet the needs and make IEP for those students who have a deficiency; they have no obligation to meet the needs of a gifted student.



I will ask the coordinator about the IQ test b/c I hadn't thought of that. Again, thank you for your input.

Samantha - posted on 01/15/2009

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I agree with Deborah.



We are all our childrens best advocate and we need to push for what they need. It's not the time to worry about what anyone will think of you coming in and push push pushing. Our children deserve a quality education and we have to demand that they get it.



Homeschooling is always an option and they can even go online to a number of different schools. You might also want to consider skipping grades. Go as high up the chain as necessary in your school district until you get some real answers that work for your child.

Deborah - posted on 01/14/2009

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Detria,

What tests has your son been given? When you say assessment are you talking about standardized testing? Has anyone given him an IQ test? Also what state do you live in? Am right that it is NC? NC is a gifted mandate state but partially funded which might mean that your school district does not have a big gifted program. Do they have a gifted coordinator? Have you meet with them? Public school can work if you know how to work the system. First if you don't have the IQ test, push for one. This will give you an idea of where he is in regards to his agemates. He might be a few years ahead. Also if you are getting the famous comments about needing to learn to be bored or the other kids will catch up ... those are red flags that the school and district need a crash course on what gifted kids really are about. There are other options out there... charter schools, gifted schools so don't think your only option is homeschooling if the public school doesn't come to their senses.

But you are right that homeschooling is an option and you shouldn't have to give him additional lessons: The teachers and the school should be coming up with an individual plan for him. But again, you will need to put on your marching shoes and remember that tact is a big bonus when dealing with the system. Schedule a meeting with the teacher and principal and go in ready to argue the importance of teaching your son and not leaving him bored.

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