Article about education for the gifted

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Registered: 05-18-2005
Article about education for the gifted
38
Tue, 09-25-2012 - 7:28am

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Registered: 05-13-1998
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 10:38am
It's my constant complaint... activities these days just require so much time. Every instructor wants to be the sole focus. You are either in a rec program for beginners going once a week or you are in a competitive, advanced program that wants you 5 days a week. It's probably just my area but it's why my DD didn't continue with violin. I mean, she does continue to play fiddle with her grandpa here and there for fun. She play holiday music with us at Christmas. She just can't possibly fit in any sort of orchestra because they all want her 3 days a week. We don't really support the "renaissance man" these days. But I'm a broken record....
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Registered: 12-06-2010
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 12:16am
I have to agree with Deborah. I was surprised that violin is so huge where turtletime lives that it has become a standard instrument. Here my kids are almost freaks for being as interested as they are in their instruments. And I live in a country where the violin is iconic.
That said, after all this talk I wonder how much my family is being judged behind closed doors. My kids do BOTH violin AND Odyssey of the Mind. :smileywink:
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Registered: 04-09-2006
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 10:04pm

My response was a bit tongue in cheek as well...

No, (where I used to live) I don't think I had any students quit lessons because they weren't going to be concert violinists.  In fact, some students quit lessons even though their parents encouraged them to continue (in fact, one had just bought the kid a $1,400 violin package...the local violin shop had perfectly acceptable instruments for a lot less)...it really did seem that there wasn't much time left over for music.  My violin students were almost all involved in one or more academically oriented clubs, in the orchestra for the musical (or performing in the musical), learning to drive, going to sports events and dances, dual enrolled in college...and some had jobs. 

Deborah 

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Registered: 05-13-1998
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 7:26pm

In our community, the pressure cooker schools push violin from an early age. These schools fill the uber-competitive junior symphony and the supposedly more community oriented civic youth orchestra. These schools dominate the honor orchestra every year too. They have parents who want the to achieve high in music but actively discourage them from being musicians for a living. No, around here, violin is considered an acceptable "extra-curricular" to pad out the college application.

But yes, I'm used that as an example of what seems widely considered an acceptable extra-curricular for a college transcript wheras something like being involved in the model railroad club from an early age and eventually volunteering hours at the model train museum is looked down upon in the elite high schools in our area.

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Registered: 04-09-2006
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 5:56pm

'We know too many kids in these schools that give up on the quirly little things they are passionate about so they can add their resume to the pile of "4.5 GPA, violin playing, president of the Key club." It's our quirky differences and how we develop them than make us interesting isn't it?'

Hmmm....I wish my students had heard that playing violin makes them academically desirable in an ordinary sort of way...I can't say how many I have lost (just as they were getting to the point where they were getting pretty competent) to "rigorous academics" in the 8th or 9tyh grade.  Math Olympiad, Odyssey of the Mind, and the like are the bane of my existence!  :smileywink: ("I can't practice on school nights.  I have to do do my homework and build my robot.") 

Deborah

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Registered: 12-06-2010
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 4:09pm
"In the end, what made the difference was quality teachers, flexibility, open-ended  curriculum and opportunities to accelerate (grade or subject acceleration.) These were things that benefited ALL the kids and didn't cost the school anything."
I agree. Too bad most schools don't, at least not around here! I don't think we'll see any real change until the kids now entering school have finished. Or until the old-school administrators give way to a new generation of educators.
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Registered: 05-13-1998
Sun, 09-30-2012 - 12:32pm

The further we get in our children's education, the less I'm sold on specialty gifted programs and schools. I'm not saying they don't work for some kids. I just wonder if it really is the best use of limited school funding. My kids have had pretty much everything.... pull-outs, gifted clusters, stand-alone gifted classes, highly gifted tracks, you name it. In the end, what made the difference was quality teachers, flexibility, open-ended  curriculum and opportunities to accelerate (grade or subject acceleration.) These were things that benefited ALL the kids and didn't cost the school anything. 

Personally, I think high school is messed up in general. AP's aren't working. They take a semester college class, spread it out over a year and then make-up a ridiculous amount of busy work to justify it being twice as long. They are still in that "we don't trust you to learn this how you learn best so we're going to have you learn it EVERY way in hopes that something sticks." Then, kids pay for test scores many colleges won't even accept for units anymore. My 15-year-old is taking her courses at the community college now for actual, transferable units and she doesn't have a fraction of the work load she did in AP's.... and she feels like she's learning more. I feel the pressure creates self-centeredness at an age where they don't need any help in that department lol. It also wastes their experimental years. 

I'd never send my kids to a pressure cooker high school. I don't care about the reputation. Those schools in our area graduate impressive kids on paper but they graduate kids who are all look very much the SAME on paper. We know too many kids in these schools that give up on the quirly little things they are passionate about so they can add their resume to the pile of "4.5 GPA, violin playing, president of the Key club." It's our quirky differences and how we develop them than make us interesting isn't it?

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Registered: 05-18-2005
Fri, 09-28-2012 - 10:54am

Ladybug, I love your comment about dc who "has to be met all over the place"!  Our 2nd grader is a 2E also, and sounds like for similar reasons (IEP for fine motor and hand/eye coordination.  Handwriting and drawing are big problems.)  We've been lucky to have teachers so far who really get and practice differentiation.  They get a lot of special projects where they can go as simple or deep as they like, and they get to choose their own books for reading, their own topics for current events, etc.  They just started having a special cluster teacher for math.

Gwen

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Registered: 12-06-2010
Wed, 09-26-2012 - 2:06pm
Yes! Exactly. And DD was in a situation where she felt increasingly frustrated. If she had been a year or two older, maybe it would've been okay, but at nine life is still very concrete. Good players play 1st violin, the best one of all gets and always keeps the first seat once he/she is at the right age.
Now she's just playing in a small ensemble during music elective with eight other "advanced" fifth graders. It's not at all a challenge, but at one hour a week is much, much less taxing on her time and patience than the double-duty orchestra. She's enjoying it. Lesson learned, I guess.
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Registered: 12-06-2010
Wed, 09-26-2012 - 12:38pm
Also (can't edit from my phone) did I mention that all the other players "graduate" to first after one year in orchestra? That's essentially the problem, in a nutshell.