Newly tested gifted sisters.Where do we go from here?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-10-1999
Newly tested gifted sisters.Where do we go from here?
8
Tue, 02-19-2013 - 12:00am

 Hi everyone.

I have posted in the past and lurked for years.  Saturday my kindergartener and third grader were tested by a private tester.  Our school district uses RIAS, so that is what the tester used. 

DH and I didn't tell the girls they were being tested.  We told them we were meeting with someone who works with schools and kids and they would do some fun activities.  They were fine with the explanation.  ODD did say that she didn't think that she did really well.  She likes to only answer if she *knows* she is right.  YDD skipped out of the room and wanted to know when she could come back.   

Our girls get along well and support each other in spur of the moment science experiments, they like watching history and science, cooking shows and HGTV.

The girls are at a private school that teaches on the gifted level.  My third grader (ODD) is a good student.  She is a great artist, plays violin, is in the chorus, has danced, played soccer...  well rounded.  I have heard that  her classmates think there is too much homework, it's too hard.  She doesn't feel that.  She does put pressure on herself. Her teacher has taught 3rd grade for 30 years and taught gifted for about 7 years.  She is considered the "tough" teacher in the grade level. ODD doesn't see her as a tough teacher at all.  I feel ODD is doing well and I'm not sure if I should say anything. I don't want her to feel too pressured. She has food allergies, is allergic to antibiotics, atypical febrile seizures and this already sets her aside as different.  Her teacher told us that her group in class recently went above and beyond in a research project.  The teacher said it was textbook group work and she was very impressed.  The teacher also mentioned that ODD doesn't do anything she doesn't want to do (socially) but is a big cheerleader for her peers and seems to know how to stay out of situations when trouble starts.  She is kind and caring. The teacher said that ODD is a unique kid.  ODD will come home from school with a subject in mind, research and write a report.  For fun.  And not let anyone see it.  A few weeks ago she decided that she thought homeschooling might be a good option.  She could start a farm in our yard. She would grow most of our food, she would need a cow, a horse and three chickens.     She tested 133.     

 My kindergartener is another story.  We tested because of her, and thought we should test both girls because they are both very bright. We didn't want them to think too much about the testing. She is very social, athletic, plays violin...  Also very well rounded.  Never slept. Needs to be mentally and physically exhausted  everyday.  Always behaves and holds it together at school.  Her self control is unbelievable.  She also needs to be handled in a certain way around the family. When / if she loses it ...  HUGE.  She has super high standards and an unbelievable sense of fairness and right and wrong.   A teacher friend noticed that she was tracking when she was being read to at 4 months.  Just seemed to know colors/ numbers/ how to read without being taught.  She notices that she isn't called on.  She notices that people make comments like "Well of course you know that." She is very socially aware.  She is very kind and caring.  She took over her JK garden when she found the adults let it go.  She has an amazing sense of humor and "gets" things her sister and even adults don't get.  She tested 152.

What do we ask for? I'm not sure where to start. Thanks!

 

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-10-1999
Tue, 02-19-2013 - 12:05am
I wanted to add DH and I currently are not planning to tell the girls that they are eligible for gifted. Thoughts/

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Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998

Hi there and welcome to the gifted board. 

I have a 12 and 16-year-old. The best bit of advice I can give you is to focus on one year at a time. Do what works for the now. Fully expect that your kids will mature and go through stages continually altering what is right for them. Don't be afraid to make changes. Don't hold off on something that you feel your child needs out of fear that it will mess up their later.

Start small with school accomodations and work your way up as needed. Pay attention to what your child wants.... they may not want to be challenged on all fronts at all times. They may allow themselves to have math a bit easy while they throw themselves in language arts, for example. They may choose a slower path at school while taking on a lot of leadership then come home and find their challenges outside the classroom. Your child is their own best advocate. Encourage them to talk to their teachers about what they need. 

In the early years, many gifted kids seem to be good at everything. They will eventually start to narrow their focus and as sad as it is to watch the violin gather dust or the drawing pencils lost in the desk drawer, know that it's a natural progression and one that needs to happen if only because there is not enough time in the day once you get to the higher levels of ability.

What to do now? Well, your children haven't changed. Have you been having issues at school? If so, address them. Just based on what you said, your eldest seems to be doing great. She's bringing work in class up to her own level. She's challenging herself outside of school. It sounds like your youngest might need a little more than she's getting in school if it's an effort to "keep things together." Take some time and try to identify if and what your girls need individually.

Keep things with the school positive. Always make appointments, don't try to catch them before class and such. Don't use the word "bored" ever. Focus on the social/emotional impact of underchallenge... harder to dismiss. Always be aware of your options.

That's all the general advice I can offer. Hope you are able to find some help from the knowledgable ladies here. u

Avatar for cmlisab
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011

" Don't use the word "bored" ever. Focus on the social/emotional impact of underchallenge... harder to dismiss. "

Oooh, I love this! Great advice! I'm pretty sure I've used that word before in IEP meetings so I'm defnitely going to concentrate on wording things better.

Keylyn- Welcome to the board! 

Lisa

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Tue, 02-19-2013 - 12:45pm
I just saw this. I personally think it's good to talk to your kids about it. You don't have to use labels if you don't want but believe me, kids know when they are different and if you don't confirm this, they'll start to think something is wrong with them. Recognize that they learn differently... it's not good, it's not bad, it's just a matter-of-fact. Recognize their special talents along with the special talents of the people around them. Focus your compliments on their hard work and creativity but don't dismiss that they are built differently.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2005

Hi Keylyn:

Welcome to the board!  It sounds like your older child is already in a good learning environment.  Even if it isn't "hard" for her, she seems to have room to learn at a pace that suits her.  I wasn't sure what the schooling situation is for your younger child.  Is she entering K, or 1st next year?  Are you considering the same private school for her, or do you have public gifted programs as an option?  A school program may still be suitable even if you need to give a child supplemental learning opportunities outside of class.  Keep us posted!

 

Gwen

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-10-1999
Sat, 02-23-2013 - 11:49am
Turtletime. YDD was asking me why some kids in her class are not able to do things that she can do. I was very proud of her and the way she asked the question. I explained to her that just like babies- learning to walk or talk or crawl, people learn and grow in different ways. I told her that learning comes very easy for her, but for others it may take more time to learn learn to do certain things or learn to read. That eventually everyone learns to read. We came up with a few examples and I was able to point out how a few of her peers learn and are doing math and reading like she is. She loves to help her friends, so her response was, "Oh, I understand what you are saying." Thank you for your posts. I'm in new territory here and appreciate hearing from everyone.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-10-1999
Sat, 02-23-2013 - 12:04pm
Gwennyc Thank you for the welcome! YDD is in kindergarten at the same private school. I met with her teacher and the principal yesterday to go over results. YDD's teacher used to teach first grade and has been in contact with coworkers both at ur current school as well as in the public schools who are or have taught gifitec classes. She has started sending home additional math homework once a week from the gifted program. Now she will do so twice a week. There is another child in the class who is ahead in math so YDD isn't alone in this extra math. :) When the children do writing workshop the other children do one sentence. YDD has been asked to do two. With the principal we spoke mostly about next year. The school usually has kids follow the path of their older siblings as far as teachers go. If this holds I know there are two kids who are reading at high levels who will be in her class. I also mentioned the child who is doing math with YDD now. He is new to the school this year and would be a nice addition to the class next year. I found out that ODD's 2nd grade teacher (last year's tacher) used to teach gifted. She was wonderful and ODD's best teacher yet. If the track holds I believe YDD will be fine, now hat we have "proof" of what I have been telling everyone for years.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002

Just a small point, and it may be that you've already addressed this, but I thought I'd mention it anyway...

I prefer to explain to my kids that it is certain kinds of learning that come more quickly and easily to them than to many other children. The types of learning my kids are good at tend to be highly valued within the school system, which will in some ways make life easier for them. But I want them to understand that other kids have learning strengths that they don't necessarily have, and to make it clear that not all things will necessarily come easily to them, and that sometimes we grow stronger and kinder by doing things that don't come naturally to us. I take pains to point out other kids' learning strengths ("Jesse is just full of social graces and understands exactly how best to respond to others and put them at ease" or "You know what Liam is like with soccer! And remember when he came cross-country skiing for the first time ever and made it up Beaver Hill without wiping out?" or "Cynthia already speaks two languages fluently and is picking up Japanese like crazy -- and she's only 6!")

I think it's important that gifted kids (a) not get the idea that they are expected to always learn everything quickly and easily lest they hit bottom the first time something challenges them and (b) develop appreciation for the diversity of intellectual and non-intellectual learning strengths in their community of friends. 

You're probably covering these bases already, but I just thought I'd mention them anyway.

Miranda

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