Hi! I'm new here.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2011
Hi! I'm new here.
15
Wed, 04-27-2011 - 1:00pm

My name is Debbie and I am mother to two wonderful children, a 7 year old daughter and 4 year old son.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2009
Wed, 04-27-2011 - 3:19pm

Welcome on board, Debbie! It sounds like your daughter is advanced in her development and I can totally understand your worry about her losing her love for learning if she's not challenged. Even though the school doesn't offer much, could you talk them into allowing your daughter to bring challenging things to school to do there? We went this road with my middle daughter, who was only reading in school before that, and it did work out well both for her and the teachers (who learned to understand what she was capable of). I agree testing at this point is not the most important, and I'd continue to keep your eyes open to see if problems agree. The fact that she has trouble socializing with age peers is one I often see among gifted children. And often the mistake is made to call these kids 'socially behind' or 'emotionally unstable', whereas if you put them among developmental peers all of a sudden they do show the social skills everybody thought they lacked....and emotionally they thrive too!

Suzanne
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Wed, 04-27-2011 - 3:50pm

Welcome, Debbie.

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-31-2011
Wed, 04-27-2011 - 8:26pm
Hi Debbie, my ds was in a small school for first grade and had a very similar experience. I found at that age that reading/writing/spelling wasn't a problem -it's easiest for the teachers to differentiate on that - give them a more advanced book, spelling list, let them write more complicated or longer stories, etc. Math was a big issue though, as it is very, very tough for kids to sit through 2+3 =5 when they are ready for a lot more. If she starts complaining about math, that is the area that I'd recommend looking for something different, like taking math with the second or third graders, etc. I second Miranda's suggestions on looking for an expansion of interests outside of the academic arena. And have fun! These kids are so fun to be with at this age. I had a great time reading what my ds was reading and talking about it, and sharing his interests in dinosaurs, etc.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Mon, 05-02-2011 - 2:13pm

Another welcome here.

I wanted to comment on your not wanting to get her tested for fear that she would feel more astranged from her peers than she already does. Testing may not be of use to you in your situation. Personally, we didn't test until we had a specific reason to... that meant 12 for DD and 8 for DS. However, don't not do it because you think her knowing will alienate her from her peers. Truth is, most kids seem to be relieved when their giftedness is acknowledged even if it's just within the family. I'd encourage you to talk to your child about how she is different... not dramatically, just matter-of-fact. Some people grow tall, some have beautiful singing voices, some can run fast, some process information well.

We live in a large county but within a rural pocket. Our school district is very small. The gifted program was not re-introduced until my eldest was in 5th grade. Gifted programs and gifted peers aren't the end all. I'll be honest, being with other gifted kids in a school setting has done very little for my kids. They have actually prefered high-achiever classes

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2002
Wed, 05-04-2011 - 12:51pm

My son was reading by age three, was spelling some words, had a really good memory and never fit in with age mates and we live in a rural area.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2011
Fri, 05-06-2011 - 1:09pm
Thank you all for your insight and advice. My husband and I have a date tonight to have dinner and discuss what path would be the best one for us to take.

I do plan to meet with her teacher and ask about having her tested to find out exactly what her reading level is. So far, she has only been tested using the DRA2, which goes through typical 2nd grade reading, and aced that early in the school year. I need to push a little to have her tested to see what level she is reading on and then work with her teacher and the school's lead teacher to have her pulled out for reading with whatever grade would be appropriate next year. I may ask the same for math, although I don't know if they have an standardized testing for the lower grades.

We do involve her in outside activities. She has taken dance classes for 3 years now and absolutely loves it. She is also in Girl Scouts and sings with a local children's choir. She has expressed interest in horseback riding, so I am gathering information about signing her up for lessons starting this summer.

I hope to be able to do a lot of fun, educational activities with both her and her younger brother (who is also bright in his own regard, but not as far advanced for his age as she is). We have a membership at a museum that is about a half hour drive away, there are programs at our local library, etc.. I want to supplement that at home with "hands on" types of learning activities such as gardening, taking nature walks, and so forth, in addition to daily reading and some practice writing. My daughter does well with "book work", but my son is definitely a more active, physical child, so I have to try to balance their two learning styles. I think the summer will go well. I'm not sure what, if anything, I will try to do as after school enrichment the next school year. That is something for me and my husband to discuss, after a little research and thought.

With my younger child starting kindergarten next year, I will have more time to volunteer at their school (and with the looming budget cuts and anticipated loss of personnel, I'm sure they will have a greater need than before for volunteers.) I hope that by being able to be present in the school and more directly involved, that will give me more insight into how to best proceed.

Thanks again for all your input. I will be checking in here regularly!
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
Sun, 05-22-2011 - 6:27pm
Does the school have a gifted program available? I know our school does and the children get into it much like they get into the special ed. program.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2011
Mon, 05-23-2011 - 1:40pm
They have an AIG program, but it isn't available to students until they get to 3rd grade. My daughter is just finishing 1st. I'm not sure how much the kids actually get out of it. I haven't researched it much since she won't be eligible for a while. Added to that the pending budget cuts all our schools around here are facing, whatever they are currently doing may not continue if they don't have the funds to do so.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Fri, 05-27-2011 - 1:41pm
Hi Debbie, I wanted to give you this link to our Homeschooling board which I think could be a great resource to you as well~

http://forums.ivillage.com/t5/Homeschooling/ct-p/iv-pphomeschooling

They might also have some ideas on how to supplement her learning at home.

Welcome to the board! :)
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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Fri, 05-27-2011 - 1:58pm

If she's finishing 1st and the program starts in 3rd, then it's not really that far off. Next year will be the year that decisions about eligibility and placement will be made, and I would suggest that you start your research in the next couple of months.

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

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