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Unread 07-05-2010, 09:09 PM
 
8,284 posts, read 4,024,937 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyme4878 View Post
My oldest is slightly gifted. What I have learned is that what gifted really equals (from our own experiences to those of several friends) is having trouble in the classroom. They are bored or inside their own heads and therefore act out or don't do classwork or bring up a random subject in the middle of math. I agree with the few other earlier posters who say they don't worry about their average child's future success but do over their 'gifted' child. I worry about him socially, I worry about keeping his motivation going in school, I worry about him thinking he is smarter than everyone else, I worry about him missing key information/knowledge because he thinks he doesn't have to listen because he already knows the subject at hand.
I teach at a public science magnet school for the "gifted" where only the top 20% or so are really gifted and the rest are above average hard workers. I have never seen, taught or mentored a "slightly gifted" child like you describe. Even when bored they rarely act out and the only really troublesome issues we see are big fish small pond ones for our graduates who go on to programs where they are the small fish.

Perhaps your sons issues are not because he is gifted.
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Unread 07-06-2010, 05:40 AM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,467 posts, read 3,030,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoExcuses View Post
Average is average for a reason; it's the middle of something, the norm. If so many kids were exceptional, then there would have to be as many on the very low end as well, with the most being in between. That's how it works.

For some reason people have established a game/competition out of multiplying themselves. It really has nothing to do with the kids, the competition is between the parents. The kids are the game pieces.

I don't know where the mentality came from that each person must be better than the next, each child better than someone elses. I didn't grow up that way.

Just take a peek at the parenting forum. Mothers compete for who has the most expensive stroller, the most expensive sports for their kids, the most popular sports for their kids (LAX seems to be big right now.). It's astounding how many say their kids are in AP or G/T classes. Each one's child or children is/are better than their peers.

It's the parent's compitition.

Nobody wants a loser for a child. It would make them look bad.
I'll add there's something to be said for marketing as well. Oh looky here: If you plop your INFANT in front of this "YOUR BABY CAN READ!" video, they'll be able to interpret Chaucer before they can walk!
Yes, I'm being facetious, but I continue to be agog at what some people will do in order to "compete."

I'll sound like a crusty old curmudgeon I'm sure, but I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again: We live in a "bigger, better, faster, more" society.

We demand the best "stuff" the best "education" and IMHO, we delude ourselves into thinking that cramming more and more information into younger and younger children will make us "competitive" when in fact, also IMO, that we are going to raise a generation of children who are lacking in the ability to think or do much for themselves by themselves.
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Unread 07-06-2010, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
20,271 posts, read 13,851,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reloop View Post
I'll add there's something to be said for marketing as well. Oh looky here: If you plop your INFANT in front of this "YOUR BABY CAN READ!" video, they'll be able to interpret Chaucer before they can walk!
Yes, I'm being facetious, but I continue to be agog at what some people will do in order to "compete."

I'll sound like a crusty old curmudgeon I'm sure, but I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again: We live in a "bigger, better, faster, more" society.

We demand the best "stuff" the best "education" and IMHO, we delude ourselves into thinking that cramming more and more information into younger and younger children will make us "competitive" when in fact, also IMO, that we are going to raise a generation of children who are lacking in the ability to think or do much for themselves by themselves.
You are correct. What is really wrong is that we don't value education. It's something we tolerate. School is an evil necessity. Teachers are the enemy (of both parents and students....it's no wonder unions fight to get what they can...). We have a bad attitude towards school/education.

One issue is we educate everyone. In other countries it's an honor and a privilidge to get an education. Students know they've been given something special.

Cramming more and more in doesn't help the problem. It makes it worse. School becomes even more demanding and teachers seen as even more unreasonable. Students feel attacked.

To fix this, we need to start with an attitude check. We need parents teaching children that an education is a privilidge and they should be honored to live somewhere where it's given to them for free. We also need to get the amount taught and the time we're given to teach it in line. I'll use my own subject as an example.

Michigan has done a wonderful job of breaking up the chemistry CCE's into 12 three week sections or 36 weeks. Given there students are out of school 12 weeks during the summer, two weeks at Christmas and one for spring break, ther eare only 37 weeks of school. Now take out labor day, two days for thanksgiving, Martin Luther King's birthday, three days for mid winter break (we no longer do a week), Good Friday, memorial day and 3 or 4 in service days for teachers during the year and you're down to under 35 weeks BEFORE the first field trip or pep assembly pulls students from our classes. Going in, I don't have the time the state says I need to teach my subject matter. If I hit a home run every single day, I won't make it. Not surprisingly, one of the most common criticisms I received last year in my end of year evaluations from my students was that I go too fast.

If you really want me to teach 12 three week sections then you need to give me 36 whole weeks to teach plus a few days for those times when a lesson isn't a home run. We need about four more weeks added to the school year. My students need to feel like I'm not cramming material down their throats in a marathon.
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Unread 07-06-2010, 07:35 AM
 
27,777 posts, read 15,487,666 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taben View Post
In talking with other parents, online or in real life, it is interesting to me how many parents speak of their children as being exceptionally bright. If they have 3 kids, they are all exceptionally bright.

Does anyone have 'average' kids anymore? Why is it a bad thing to have a child who is in the middle of the pack? We have one who tends to do very well in school (not exceptionally bright, just a very good student who also works hard), another who is not great but gets by just fine and one who struggles to stay in the middle of the pack.

I find myself, constantly, surrounded by folks fighting to have their children in advanced classes (one mom who knew our oldest was placed in honors English for the fall actually called and asked about her grades and test scores from 8th grade so she could fight to get her 'exceptionally bright' child moved up to that class!). Others seem to look at me with pity or awe when I say how proud we were of our youngest for passing his math final and not having to go to summer school, as he worked really hard all year.

I'm sorry, but is the day of being proud of kids who do their best, even when that best does not eqaul exceptionally bright, done and gone? I find the same with sports, music, etc. It does not seem okay for your child to be in recreational soccer AND be proud of that. Most seem to think their exceptionally athletic child must be in elite soccer and that playing piano is no accomplishment...they have to be in a rated program. UGH!
I think this can be a regional thing and even varies by localities.
In my experience, certain Chicago suburbs were way more high-strung in this way....and from what my friends have told me the east coast is very much like this as well.

My one friend has described the whole east coast college admittance thing as a giant pecking order\bragging rights for the parents thing. Meaning, if your kid can get in an ivy....you go there instead of to say....a state school with a better program solely because of the prestige.
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Unread 07-06-2010, 07:40 AM
 
1,980 posts, read 2,217,711 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Call it what you will. You are paying your kids for grades.

Eh and what is wrong with that?

I don't have kids-- personally, I never plan on having kids-- I am far too selfish about what I want to do in my own life than to have children.

Anyhoo, I was an over achiever but in sixth grade I HATED vehemently reading Great Expectations. HATED IT.

I was a voracious reader so not as if the task was too much for me-- I had read the heavy hitters of Dickens and Poe the summer between 3rd and 4th grade and the fourth grade year. I ended up finding Dickens to be too wordy and dull and never hit Great Expectations until it was required for school.

I basically refused to read it-- and my mom "bribed" me $2.00 for each of the remaining chapters. I think I had 20 some chapters left.

For a kid who never got more than 15.00 a month for allowance-- this was just enough incentive to get me to finish.

The last joke was on me though-- I ended up loving the book.
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Unread 07-06-2010, 07:44 AM
 
27,777 posts, read 15,487,666 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
You are correct. What is really wrong is that we don't value education. It's something we tolerate. School is an evil necessity. Teachers are the enemy (of both parents and students....it's no wonder unions fight to get what they can...). We have a bad attitude towards school/education.
We've hashed on this before but again....I agree 100%.

We live in a entertainment (sports falls in that category) dominated culture where education, hard work etc. have fallen by the wayside.

The millionare that built their business from scratch is called a fat cat.....the athlete that makes 30million a year for hitting a ball is a hero.

But really, that's not so much the problem....it's that our kids formative years are developed in a system up through highschool where sports rules. They have pep-rallys, all over the newspapers, the players get perks and praise. Star players move to different towns where they find their parents jobs just so West-podunk, Texas can win the state 2A championship. Meh.
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Unread 07-06-2010, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Texas
40 posts, read 115,105 times
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As a teacher .... you nailed this one perfectly!!!!
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Unread 07-06-2010, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
20,271 posts, read 13,851,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovetheduns View Post
Eh and what is wrong with that?

I don't have kids-- personally, I never plan on having kids-- I am far too selfish about what I want to do in my own life than to have children.

Anyhoo, I was an over achiever but in sixth grade I HATED vehemently reading Great Expectations. HATED IT.

I was a voracious reader so not as if the task was too much for me-- I had read the heavy hitters of Dickens and Poe the summer between 3rd and 4th grade and the fourth grade year. I ended up finding Dickens to be too wordy and dull and never hit Great Expectations until it was required for school.

I basically refused to read it-- and my mom "bribed" me $2.00 for each of the remaining chapters. I think I had 20 some chapters left.

For a kid who never got more than 15.00 a month for allowance-- this was just enough incentive to get me to finish.

The last joke was on me though-- I ended up loving the book.
If that's how you want to coerce your kids into doing something, nothing is wrong with it. I take issue with the OP claiming his/her children are learning that good grades are their responsibility when what they are learning is good grades get you cash.

I take an opposite approach. Good grades are expected. My kids get enough allowance and other opportunities to earn money. They lose privilidges if their grades are not what they should be. I want them to keep getting good grades. Paying for grades only works as long as you pay.

I really don't care how another parents chooses to get their children to do their homework but don't call it something it isn't. If you want to teach responsibility, then hold children accountable. If you want to teach them they get rewards for doing X, Y or Z, go ahead and reward them for doing those things. Just don't try to tell me you're teaching them responsibility because you're not.

I bribe my daughter to do more than 2.5 hours a week of piano practice. I pay her $5/half hour for every half hour beyond 2.5 hours. 2.5 hours is her responsibility. That's what she needs to maintain her current level. More means progress. It also saves me money. If she spends 2.5 hours a week practicing, she has a lesson every week at $50/hr. If she does 5 hours a week, she makes fast progress and her teacher lets her go two weeks between lessons so it doesn't cost me a dime. Yes, it's bribery. I wish I could say it is instilling an appreciation that hard work pays off but it's not. It's just a way for her to earn money. If I stopped paying her, I'd be nagging her to finish the 2.5 hours that is required of her.

It is what it is. This is my way of maximizing results during the short window we have before she's a busy teen who doesn't have time to practice enough to make progress. I do this because we must do this now. I wish the music bug would have bitten her but it didn't. She has the talent but not the drive. However, I don't kid myself into thinking that pay for play is teaching her anything beyond what she learns musically through the extra practice and that mom will pay for certain things. This is one of them because I feel talent should not be wasted.

I don't pay for school grades because I want my children to understand that doing their best is expected of them. It's their responsibility.
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Unread 07-06-2010, 08:22 AM
 
27,777 posts, read 15,487,666 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
If that's how you want to coerce your kids into doing something, nothing is wrong with it. I take issue with the OP claiming his/her children are learning that good grades are their responsibility when what they are learning is good grades get you cash.

I take an opposite approach. Good grades are expected. My kids get enough allowance and other opportunities to earn money. They lose privilidges if their grades are not what they should be. I want them to keep getting good grades. Paying for grades only works as long as you pay.

I really don't care how another parents chooses to get their children to do their homework but don't call it something it isn't. If you want to teach responsibility, then hold children accountable. If you want to teach them they get rewards for doing X, Y or Z, go ahead and reward them for doing those things. Just don't try to tell me you're teaching them responsibility because you're not.

I bribe my daughter to do more than 2.5 hours a week of piano practice. I pay her $5/half hour for every half hour beyond 2.5 hours. 2.5 hours is her responsibility. That's what she needs to maintain her current level. More means progress. It also saves me money. If she spends 2.5 hours a week practicing, she has a lesson every week at $50/hr. If she does 5 hours a week, she makes fast progress and her teacher lets her go two weeks between lessons so it doesn't cost me a dime. Yes, it's bribery. I wish I could say it is instilling an appreciation that hard work pays off but it's not. It's just a way for her to earn money. If I stopped paying her, I'd be nagging her to finish the 2.5 hours that is required of her.
I use a mix of the carrot and stick approach. I had to use a lot of stick with my youngest for a year or two (we had a tough home situation so part of the problem was no doubt that). So, when he started to get it together I've given him some rewards\perks etc.

He and his brother studied extra for a big math competition and rocked it....so, they got a reward.

My oldest is a freak of nature, never have to nag him....gets everything done....straight A's...complete self-motivator and a teachers dream. So, I give him rewards now and then and make sure to note that he's getting it since he always has his business taken care of.

I guess there is no one right answer.
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Unread 07-06-2010, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
4,236 posts, read 7,145,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
I teach at a public science magnet school for the "gifted" where only the top 20% or so are really gifted and the rest are above average hard workers. I have never seen, taught or mentored a "slightly gifted" child like you describe. Even when bored they rarely act out and the only really troublesome issues we see are big fish small pond ones for our graduates who go on to programs where they are the small fish.
Because you're teaching at the fun place to go to school where the gifted kids get class material that's appropriate for them and peers who 'get it' to constantly bounce ideas off of.

I was the gifted kid who tested at the far pointy end of that bell curve growing up- spent my K-8 experience bored out of my mind and unchallenged, even when I'd get dumped into a reading goup four grades above me. I got good grades largely because it was easier to just phone in an A than to deal with how much my parents would fuss if I got less than that.

High school was better- still didn't have to work particularly hard, but at least they ability grouped so you got a high percentage of smart kids in my classes, where you got the more appropriate content and getting to work with other people who were working from the same place.

By far my best academic experience growing up was an Air Force summer science camp where you pretty much had to be a National Merit semifinalist to get into it. It was so wonderful to finally be surrounded by people who were like you and you didn't feel like some freak of nature that was always going to just stick out, and the other students there seemed so wonderfully creative and innovative. It was a blast and a half.

I would have so loved to go to that kind of public science magnet school when I was growing up because it sounds like it would have been years of what I only got little tastes of here and there.

(And if anyone wants to get into the whole -'But my kid was reading Mark Twain for fun by age 3' and using it as a sign that every kid should be reading before kindergarten, I was pretty much a non-reader until a fair bit into first grade. Part of that was probably because I have vision issues that took until age 5 to sort out, but another part of it was that I just wasn't developmentally ready to read until then. But once it clicked, it clicked amazingly quickly.)

Last edited by beachmouse; 07-06-2010 at 08:53 AM..
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