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Old 04-22-2013, 12:25 AM
 
1,341 posts, read 4,314,190 times
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I think the main problem is the terminology. "Gifted and Talented". My child is "gifted"...I can see how others might feel that it makes their "just smart" kids average.

Maybe if there was a different wording for "gifted and talented" . How about "The Accelerated learners program" better yet....how about a name that just sounds awful...."The extra homework group". LOL. How many tested children would would there be then?

In all seriousness, if a teacher said to me..."I think your child may be gifted, have you had them tested". Maybe I would sit up a little taller and do just that. As a parent, I would certainly want to explore my options to offer and encourage the best education possible..they only get to do it once.

As far as testing at 3? Unless a teacher mentioned it to me, or the signs were so obvious (re-canting the digestive system)..I am not sure if I would do it.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:25 AM
 
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mom, I don't even have a year before we need to be in the Garland school district for my kids to be tested for the G&T schools. I wasn't sure my son would make the cutoff. They took the test so I could have reasonable confidence that he would. You might not have the option of changing districts to meet your kids' needs. But working from home, I can live anywhere around DFW and aim to get my kids the best "free" education that I can afford.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:38 AM
 
1,341 posts, read 4,314,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MobiusStrip View Post
mom, I don't even have a year before we need to be in the Garland school district for my kids to be tested for the G&T schools. I wasn't sure my son would make the cutoff. They took the test so I could have reasonable confidence that he would. You might not have the option of changing districts to meet your kids' needs. But working from home, I can live anywhere around DFW and aim to get my kids the best "free" education that I can afford.
My statement wasnt about the school district. We dont live in the DFW area...moving in the summer. We are focusing on the plano/allen area because we are specific towards the IB program for our older one. Our situation allows us to work from home as well.

I just was more interested in the conversation regarding the testing of children at such a young age.

Do whats best for your family situation.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:10 AM
 
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Yes, I am not sure about Garland but like I said was not even sure my son would score in top 10%. The results on the test they took, though maybe not perfectly accurate, are high enough that I don't have to worry should we decide Garland is in our future. Currently I am leaning toward Plano too. I never realized what an angst-ridden decision this could be.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:03 PM
 
1,385 posts, read 1,782,032 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gymrat View Post
My D was in the GT program and I saw what PISD is talking about. Kids everywhere! Took me back at first then I realized this was how this kind of kid operates. These kids are not in a box. They can not be put in a box. Yes, they had some structure. It was not a classroom of chaos nor was it your typical class where every student does the exact same thing at the exact same time. I really liked that even in 1st grade in the magnet the kids were already changing classes between the 3 teachers for each subject based on what level they were on in that subject. Even within the GT classroom you will have kids that move at different learning paces than their peers. How accomodating are the teachers and the school in allowing such? Say a kid is blowing right thru all of the math classes do they have the resources at the school to accomodate that child? Will they allow them to be taken to the next school level (elementary to middle school and middle school to the high school) for a math class? One of my D's peers was allowed to do this. He is now at TAMS.

I am not a big fan of the pull out programs that some districts institute or they do on the neighborhood level if the parent does not want their child at a magnet school. Basically, the student does all of the same work as everyone else. Except a few times a week for sometimes an hour at a time they are pulled out and given "extra work". This is when a kid that is exceptionally bright flounders and can be deemed a "distraction" in the regular classroom. I saw kids in my D's GT classes that if they were in a "normal" school they would be in the office every day all day long. In the GT classes they are given the chance to expand that energy into something useful. Some kids dig reading a dictionary. And this could be when they are seen as "different" by their peers in a "normal" classroom and the bullying could begin. I personally liked that my geeky kid was around kids that were just like her and they all thought they were normal and nothing special about them.

Yes, I had that kid that taught herself to read at 2. She could do simple math by 3 and was constantly taking things apart to see how they worked. I would buy her workbooks from the teacher supply stores and just had them on her shelves for her if she wanted to do them. She loved them. She played with her puzzles, barbies, hot wheels, fisher price little people, etc. Even now as a teenager she is not into watching tv and has never gotten into playing video games. She has had it all available to her but she prefers doing things with her hands and has always enjoyed being outside and active.

Best of luck to you in your journey with your kids. It can be a lot of fun. Trying at times but always fun
You are very fortunate...Good job in raising a smart kid!
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TX75007 View Post

DFW schools. The general rule for parents of GT kids is to go to the schools with a high % of number (>10) National Merit Finalists in the Senior class. The publics are Plano, HP, Coppell, Flower Mound, and Paschall.
I wouldn't assume that a high number of national merit finalists is indicative of a strong gifted program. In Flower Mound it's a reflection that there are a lot of bright kids in Flo Mo, that all take the PSAT their sophomore year and then if they score well are invited to participate in a summer camp and fall PSAT prep class at their HS before taking the national merit qualifying PSAT junior year. And while the HS's are very strong academically and offer as many AP classes as one could want, the elementary and middle schools have more limited offerings. I believe the elementary program is a half day a week pull-out and the middle school program consists of a separate language arts/reading class.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TX75007 View Post
If your child is ranked in the top 3% in terms of IQ or achievement tests, then it makes sense to send them to schools that have a track record of educating kids that are that smart and which have lots of those kids. Plano, Coppell, and Flower Mound can fill up entire class rooms with kids in the top 1%. Dallas, Garland, and Fort Worth would struggle to fill up a front row with the kids of the same caliber. Outlying school districts like Prosper or Royse city will have one or none of these kids every year.

Expectations are higher in the Tier 1 schools. The kids' peers are focused on learning and other geeky stuff. And the curriculum and pace are tiered for the smarter kids. Teachers expect kids to be smart.
I think we are in violent agreement I agree that kids should be challenged in school -- ALL kids, really. I agree that parents need to stay aware and stay vigilant, and not just assume that their kid's school will provide the appropriate level of challenge, because it very well might not. I agree that gifted/exceptionally smart kids may be more of a challenge to, errrr, challenge I agree that if you have your pick of school districts, like the OP does, it's probably better to choose a really strong school district, especially if you're the parent of a gifted kid, or two.

The one thing I disagree with slightly is that I just don't see NMSF stats as being a huge indicator of a really strong school district, especially if you're looking at the elementary level. They're just another data point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomadVAMDILFLTX View Post
I wouldn't assume that a high number of national merit finalists is indicative of a strong gifted program. In Flower Mound it's a reflection that there are a lot of bright kids in Flo Mo, that all take the PSAT their sophomore year and then if they score well are invited to participate in a summer camp and fall PSAT prep class at their HS before taking the national merit qualifying PSAT junior year. And while the HS's are very strong academically and offer as many AP classes as one could want, the elementary and middle schools have more limited offerings. I believe the elementary program is a half day a week pull-out and the middle school program consists of a separate language arts/reading class.
Exaaaaaaaaactly. And, at least when we were looking last spring, Flower Mound/LISD schools offered *no* gifted classes for kindergartners, and I believe it was only an hour or so each *week* for first graders, increasing each year until it was either a half day or a full day by 5th grade, I can't remember. But, they did indicate that the program would be changing in coming years, so that might not be the case now.

I'm not hatin' on Flower Mound here: We live here, and are very impressed with the schools. Just trying to be realistic about what they are, and are not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MobiusStrip View Post
Back2Texas. I am in Fort Worth (Eagle Mountain district) but have little desire to stay here. I work from home so have some flexibility as long as it is within 50 miles of my cost center in Coppell (where I don't even have a desk so never go to). My kids were born mid July but not due till late October. While I am concerned about making sure they are socially mature enough for kindergarten, my main worry is that my son will hit puberty a yr or more after some of the other boys in his class when he hits middle school. In my heart, I think waiting a year is the wisest move, no matter how smart they may be. But then I cringe at having to pay for yet another year of day care, I am embarrassed to admit. :/
Ooooooohhhhhh, I don't envy your position on that one. My oldest and youngest have summer birthdays, as do I. I started kindergarten "on time" (so, shortly after I turned 5), my oldest did as well, and we're fully anticipating that our youngest will, too -- although given that she's not even 1 yet, we still obviously have a few years to work that out

My oldest was definitely prepared academically to start K. I had some concerns around her self-control, or lack thereof. Her kindergarten teacher has really done a wonderful job with her, understanding that her tremendous energy is what makes her who she is, but channeling it in the right direction so she's not completely out of control. I'm glad we didn't hold her back, because it simply would have made it that much harder to challenge her. We'll deal with what puberty throws at us when we get there

The other reason I asked about cutoffs was that if you don't have to decide on a school/district next spring, you could take your time finding out about what the different districts offer. I went to an LISD info session for incoming kindergarten parents last spring, and found myself wishing I'd had the information I got there *before* we decided to move in to LISD. Nothing bad or game-changing, but it just would have been nice to know about, for example, the fact that each school has different lineups of specials classes.

Anyway. Since you may need to decide in time for enrollment next spring, I would suggest visiting some schools. Preferably *now*, before school gets out for the summer. Then you can ask about their curriculum, what their "typical" kindergartners are working on, what their gifted and talented programs look like, etc. And start to get a feel for the schools, and where your kids might fit in best.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:56 PM
 
297 posts, read 407,296 times
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FYI: For a child to qualify for a magnet school for "gifted" students in elementary school most districts with such will not take a kid into kindergarten if they were held back. Same for 1st grade. If the child is ahead academically if you were to hold them back then they would not be allowed to participate in such a program. Just something to consider.

Oh, my D had a boy in her kindergarten class that was labeled "gifted and talented" with a summer birthday. He actually has a very late summer birthday. So late that when school started in August he was still 4. That kid is now at TAMS and will be attending MIT this Fall. He was the kid that blew thru the math classes and was allowed to go up grades for his math classes. All kindergarten kids are "immature", that is part of just being a kid that is 5 years old. Some are thought to be not as "socially advanced" by their parents and they wish to hold them back a year. Again, there are kindergarten classrooms all over that are full of kids just like that. It is just part of being 5. If the kid academically has the skills and the thirst to learn..... let'em!

Did anyone see the story recently about the family whose kids all started college at very young ages? They sent 6 kids to college by age 12. They allowed their kids to explore with no limits what they wanted to learn and were interested in. Kids have the potential if given the opportunity.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:47 AM
 
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They sent 6 kids to college by age 12.
Man I feel sorry for those kids. You only get about 20 years to f' around, and if you don't spend them between 0-20, they are gone forever. The next 80 you spend working for the man and being part of the system. No need to speed that up.

When I started college, I was 17 for a few months, and not even old enough to rent a movie at the time. College at 12 would be like prison.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:53 AM
 
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Did anyone see the story recently about the family whose kids all started college at very young ages? They sent 6 kids to college by age 12. They allowed their kids to explore with no limits what they wanted to learn and were interested in. Kids have the potential if given the opportunity.[/quote]

To me, it is all about balance. If you have an advanced child, how do you allow them the opportunity to explore and reach their potential, while also conforming to society norms? I have a 12 year old cousin who is off the charts and attends a magnet school in another city. His parents constantly urge him to reach his potential and constantly learn (everything is education-history channel instead of cartoons, etc). They complain that he is so much smarter than kids his own age that they don't make good friends. Before the current school, they moved him up in grades. He is more interested in sci-fi so they don't encourage sports, etc.

I don't know how he is going to make it when he grows up. I don't care what job you have, you need to be able to interact and work with people that are less bright.

Using your example above, I think it is terrible idea to send your kids to college at 12. Really, what is the point? You have the rest of your life to work hard and why not enjoy childhood? I am not saying don't push your kids, but be reasonable. Further, college is supposed to be fun. Those kids at Duke work hard at school, but they also camp out for basketball games and drink plenty of beer.

To me, the perfect balance is private schools. The kids can be pushed, but the schools encourage a well rounded child. They insist on community involvement, sports, etc. At least in lower school, they insist that your time is spent on activities that are not just about learning.
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