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  1. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    683
    What do you know about the gifted program in your area? My nephew was in the gifted program and all it amounted to was extra worksheets. It was a joke. Gifted programs vary a lot, so find out all you can about yours before signing her up.

    As to homeschool, we have considered it. We know quite a few homeschooling families around here. It looks different for everyone, but our state apparently makes it pretty easy to do. A lot of our friends participate in homeschool co-ops. Some of her curriculum can be very expensive, though many people tell me that Ambleside Online is both free and fantastic.

    Our son is only 2, so I don't know what we will ultimately do. Maybe you could start out homeschooling her after school, just doing supplemental learning at home with her and see how it goes. My parents did a lot of this, and I never put together that we were doing extra school until I was an adult. We did astronomy, mechanics, chemistry, and carpentry with my dad and reading, cooking, baking, sewing, budgeting, and grocery shopping with my mom. They were always signing us up for extra art, language, and music classes in the community as well.

    I think homeschool can be great, it really depends on the parents and the particular kid. But it is also not a terrible thing for her to learn to make things work at school, even when she isn't feeling very challenged by the material. It is a good thing to learn how to handle boredom, too. These are very helpful skills in the real world.

    We have good friends whose daughter is bored at school- she is seven and very academically advanced. She is also kind of a know-it-all. I mean, I love her, but she is. They told her that since she feels like she already knows everything, now is a good time to learn to be kind and patient and help the teacher. They have talked to her teacher and the teacher has allowed her help with all kinds of little classroom tasks.

    In the end, it all depends on what works best for you and your family. Will you have the time and energy to homeschool while taking care of the baby? Do you know people locally who do it? If not, is there a support group you can join? What are the laws and regulations in your area regarding homeschooling? What kind of curriculum would you want to follow? Will you have to pay for state testing?

  2. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    1,186
    Hey there!

    What you are describing with your dd is exactly what led us to begin homeschooling when our oldest was 3 years old. She was very advanced and I continued to give her more to do at home....it just seemed natural that if she enjoyed counting and could grasp simple addition that we'd move on to a little more complex addition ya know? (as one example). It was at the point where, when she was 4, I could not imagine sending her to school for fear she'd be bored. There was a school specifically for gifted children in our city (approx 1 yr accelerated curriculum) and she interviewed when she was 4. They offered her enrollment, but our family situation changed and she wasn't able to attend-- we continued to homeschool. It was the best choice for our family.

    It's been some time since I really spent much time reading about gifted education. I know most programs do not start until 2-3 grade because that is when many experts belive that kids "level off" -- I guess it's not as uncommon for children to be early readers, better at math, or excel in other areas... but around the 2nd or 3rd grade they sorta all catch up with each other unless they are quite advanced. I don't know how much I really buy into that because what standards are we using to evaluate that kids are "leveling off" --is it just that the advanced kids have stopped being so "enthusiastic" after years of being bored? is it that we haven't challenged everyone enough so everyone can achieve the lower standards?

    I read a great book called "Genius Denied" which talks about how our public schools are failing the smartest ones in the bunch. (((attention everyone -- please don't turn this into a "is my child gifted" "stop bragging about your child being gifted" etc convo!!))) I've also read articles (I can dig a few of my favs up if you would like) which really break things down and make you wonder. Let me give you one example that really hit home for me and DH. 100 is the average IQ. (and yes, IQ testing or measuring is not perfect) a child who is 1 standard deviation below the average (30 points = 1 standard deviation) -- IQ 70 will likely be receiving special education services. They may or may not be able to be in a regular classroom due to the pace or material covered. They might feel like a "fish out of water" in some regards being in a classroom of average (100 IQ) children. However they can usually be accomodated. The other side of the scale, a child with a 130 IQ may be eligible for gifted programs ....which, as you've pointed out don't usually start until 2nd grade, may only include extra worksheets, might just be a pull-out program for 1 hr a week to do an extra curricular class, etc. Some schools have stand-alone gifted classes and those may be what the 130 IQ child needs. Just as the child with a 70 IQ feels out of place in the standard classroom, the 130 IQ child does too.... yet very little is done for the "gifted" child. When you go 2 standard deviations from the average it is even more apparent. a Child with 40 IQ is definitely in a special classroom, but a child with a 160 IQ is told to slow down, help other students, or do an extra worksheet.

    We chose to homeschool so our daughter could continue to learn at her own pace whether she leveled off by 2nd grade or not. She, in my opinion, never has experienced that leveling off. Over the years I did learn that we had to "slow down" on some of the core items though -- and just continue to add in "enrichment" type classes. For example, we have chose not to do extra history, reading/language arts, and science classes each year in our curriculum, but for Math...she takes an online class through Stanford so she can continue to go several years ahead. She likes to learn languages so she fills in her free time with Rosetta Stone Mandarin!


    Homeschooling is such a broad topic and I'm sorry if I've already rambled. To answer your specific questions and echo what others said -- there are so many resources for homeschooling out there. Co-ops are great if you live in a larger city or suburb area. Parents join together to offer classes to the group of kids -- either taught by professionals or the parents...depends on the co-op. We've only been part of "specials" co-ops for extracurricular classes like art, PE, literature, etc. Parents teach classes they are experts on or just enjoy teaching. I taught the high schoolers in the group yoga for example because I'm a certified instructor and a few of the girls in the co-op wanted to learn yoga. One mom wanted to do a drama class so my oldest was in that class one "semester."

    Curriculum varies. You can have something that is basically all online where you just monitor her progress or you can have more interactive where you present lessons (from plans they give you)....or do it freestyle and make your own lessons and topics from scratch! If you aren't fully on board with the homeschool thing, you could try maybe "afternoon schooling" with your DD -- find a topic she likes and build a little lesson or assignment around it a few days a week after school. Go to the library and have her pick out books she likes and spend time going through those after school. This would allow her to continue to stay with her age-mates in school but still get a little extra at home. You could see if the local community college offers classes for kids either at night or on weekends. Some large colleges also offer "Super Saturday" -- enrichment classes for kids (some are only open to "gifted" (tested) kids). Our oldest went to those for several years and loved them.

    We use a multi-age program now where I teach the same daily lesson to our girls and then they do assignments associated with it based on their age. The program is from My Father's World. We previously used Sonlight and I really liked that alot, but it was too time consuming for me to do two separate daily lessons with the girls and help them with all the other assignments that come from the "core" stuff.

    I really love homeschooling my girls because I've learned so much myself and I love watching them learn too! The two oldest are going to be in school next year when we move -- it's a small boarding school that we'll be living on the campus of so it makes sense for them to attend -- and I think I'll miss teaching them! I think I'll probably start "home-preschooling" our 3 year olds at that point!

    Feel free to ask me other questions. It's one of those topics I could talk about for days so I'm really not sure where to go with ideas and suggestions for you.



    a few old threads:
    http://nameberry.com/nametalk/thread...=homeschooling

    http://nameberry.com/nametalk/thread...=homeschooling

    http://nameberry.com/nametalk/thread...=homeschooling

    http://nameberry.com/nametalk/thread...=homeschooling
    Wife to one great guy
    Mama to six pretty ladies: Scarlett (12), Penelope (9), Alice (3), Fiona (3), Lucille (16 mo.) & Coraline (16 mo.)

    & 4 angels gone before us: Christian (7 wks), Amos (6 wks), Naomi (16.5 wks), & Hosanna (6 wks)

    ~We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.~

  3. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Humboldt, California
    Posts
    291
    Standard deviation for IQ is actually 15, and >2 standard deviations from the mean is considered statistically exceptional (5% of the population) in a normal distribution.
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    Can you tell I'm studying statistics?
    Proud furmom to:
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    Currently loving:
    Elysia Maeve~Marina Isolde~Linnea Violetta~Minerva Sophronia~Merida Ianthe~Eleni Finola
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  4. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    683
    @sidura

    I hear what you are saying about standard deviations and children feeling out of place in a regular classroom. And yet, most school districts now are moving towards mainstreaming children with lower IQs- meaning that a child with a 70 or even 40 IQ could be sitting in the regular classroom, participating as much as possible. Oftentimes, a special ed teacher comes into the regular classroom and works with those who need it rather than pulling kids out. There is definitely a movement away from pulling kids out of the regular classroom because educators believe that it is valuable for all of the students to have the experience of including everyone. Students with cognitive difficulties also do better when they are surrounded by higher functioning peers.

    My husband went to a public magnet school for the gifted from third grade until graduating high school. In some ways, it was a wonderful and enriching experience. In other ways, he says that it has really hindered him in life. Every single classmate had IQ of 130 or over. That is just as limiting as every single person you know having an IQ of 70 or below. IQ is, after all, just a single measure of intelligence.

    Our son is two, so I have no idea what his IQ will be when he is in third grade. But even if he qualified for the school my husband attended, I wouldn't send him.

  5. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Humboldt, California
    Posts
    291
    That was @crunchymama. I'm all for mainstreaming kids as much as possible. Sometimes they can be fully integrated, sometimes it's just for classes like art and PE. Sometimes exceptionally bright children can get so bored they start acting out in school. Some kids really need to be challenged constantly, and just thrive on it. Hopefully, that challenge can happen in a classroom of similarly-aged students. Bright children may be advanced academically, but they're still at the same level emotionally, socially and physically as their peers.
    Proud furmom to:
    Pepper, Kuno, Mia, Rosalind, Gwendolen & Cecily
    Currently loving:
    Elysia Maeve~Marina Isolde~Linnea Violetta~Minerva Sophronia~Merida Ianthe~Eleni Finola
    Tiernan Hugo~Felix Lysander~Orion Casimir~Caspian Milo~Evander Anslem~Leonidas Gavin
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Cosima Helene & Emrys Jasper

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