Do you ever wonder if your child will lose out if you don't get on the prep/drill bandwagon?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2005
Do you ever wonder if your child will lose out if you don't get on the prep/drill bandwagon?
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Mon, 08-13-2012 - 9:28am

My son's G&T class has a mixture of Tiger Parents and kids whose parents just roll with their kids' intellectual proclivities.  We're starting to see classmates' families around again after a summer apart.  I'm floored at the level of academic drilling some of the parents have put their kids through over the summer.  Some have been tutored through most of the upcoming year's curriculum already.  One kid's mother made her do dozens of book reports on top of math cram school.  (These are kids aged 6 or 7).  I've been bucking this trend.  My kid went to an ordinary Y day camp with lots of active time.  He reads his head off on his own initiative (including history and science topics), but I certainly haven't made him memorize the times tables yet.  I am occasionally beset by niggling doubts, that my laid-back style can cause him to fall behind his classmates.  Opinions?

Gwen

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006

That was my point, I think...

Deborah

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2010
I said "pushed", Deborah. Pushing is not enrichment in the same way that reading to your kids is not forcing to do twelve book reports.

Both of my children have benefited from enrichment in their lives. As soon as it looks like cramming or parent-driven academics, I would no longer define that experience as such.

And Gwen, a good teacher ( which I'm assuming your son's teacher is?) will not fly through material that parents have crammed into a six-week summer break. This is a gifted program, isn't it? I doubt those kids are really able to internalize a demanding curriculum during summer vacation. Don't let yourself feel pressured.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Well..,.IMHO the kids who are getting the high stress year round school experience are most likely missing out big time...in learning to pursue their own interests, learning how to structure their own time, and so forth. I don't necessarily agree with the "leveling out" theory: I think that some of my kids' abilities are related to the fact that they had an enriched environment as a child...but I think that is the key. "Enriched" is not the same as "coerced".

I would not be concerned at all if much of the class walks in already familiar with the year's work...the teacher knows what the objectives for the year are, and what the objectives were for those kids in the previous year. It doesn't matter if my gifted kid (or non gifted kid) is "behind" his peers. The destructive educational methods and objectives should have no effect on my efforts to enable my child to learn in a joyful, unforced, environment. I will not allow my kid's educational experience to be poisoned by those who are driven to get their kids "ahead" at any cost.

Deborah
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2005

I guess I'm concerned that if it becomes the norm for much of the class to walk in the first day already familiar with the entire year's material they will either consider the others "behind" or dash on ahead without really teaching the material that half the class knows already.

Gwen

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2010
I don't think it's really possible for parents to permanently push heir kids ahead beyond their abilities. That's something that really only works in the the beginning years of school and ends up levelling out.

Are you afraid that your son will not manage the curriculum this school if other parents work ahead? Do you think your son's teacher is aware that some kids are being pushed? Teachers aren't blind, and I'm guessing she must have some idea.

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