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Gifted or Ghetto

aimeejoe
Posts: 4
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7/8/2009 9:24:59 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
This is a term that some folks use in our school district to define what will happen to your child should he or she show academic promise or failure. I find this extremely disturbing and even more upsetting because I have one child who is smart but could care less about the academics and one who seems to do well with the system as it stands. The latter will do better and have more opportunities presented to him for this reason but my older child will be "mainstreamed". I am not happy about this because despite his apathy he is quite intelligent, in fact I daresay has a more rounded intelligence than my other child. They are both very different in their style of learning, one style is addressed by public school and the other is discouraged and even demonized.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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7/8/2009 10:13:21 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
It is possible that the child who doesn't participate in the system is bored with it. Those with genuine intelligence can find the fact that work doesn't challenge them makes it all boring. Ask the schools to test him and see if they can give him harder work than other students get - he may just take a liking to the system.

About the terminology, I wouldn't take it personally. It is just terms and despite what they connote, it doesn't necessarily mean the teachers think like that 100%.
Lexicaholic
Posts: 526
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7/8/2009 10:30:24 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Many people discuss the needs to "challenge" children without first considering what "challenges" they should face if they want to excel in a particular field. If your child is bored with school, it is likely that your child is not being taught the skills he would need to excel considering his intellectual proclivities. If I might ask, what skills does your child evidence that your other child does not?
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Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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7/8/2009 10:31:52 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
The most important part of any education is a library card. Dealing with school officials comes later.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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7/8/2009 10:39:53 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
And when it does come time to deal with them, one way or another you'll have to find a motivation for schooling to fill in the gap if they don't find one.

When it comes to this, focus on math, as it's the least "library card" susceptible subject.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
aimeejoe
Posts: 4
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7/9/2009 5:57:27 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Wow thanks for all of the great replies. I have read to both boys since they were babies. They both enjoy reading though they do not actively pursue reading, that is they read what they are interested in (good) however they have not yet started to challenge themselves with regard to exploring other options in reading. I suspect that should come later....this does not worry me since they do not shy away from reading.

My older child has what sometimes is called "street smarts". He has very good social skills and he has a great interest in the latest and greatest and seems to be very intuitive, while my younger child is very good at remembering numbers, dates and things like this. His favorite subject is math. My older child hates math. My older child has very good verbal skills and can be somewhat bored with children of his own age.

I do not take the terminology too personally; I realize that this is only terminology however I would like to see my son challenged. He has been tested and he scores above average on most of his language and reading skills, where his math is average. This is to be expected I guess.

My older son also possesses a great sense of humor and is very clownish. He is pretty funny, at least to me. Perhaps I am expecting too much from the system.
feverish
Posts: 2,716
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7/9/2009 8:28:19 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Hi aimee and welcome to the site.

I pretty much agree with the other posts above (yes, even you Raggy). If your child is bored he needs to be stimulated more in the subjects he is interested in.
I would recommend encouraging his creative side through an activity such as music, creative writing or perhaps, as he is very sociable, drama.
If he hates maths, he may just always hate maths but the right teacher could potentially turn this disinterest around.

I would also say that grades are not everything and most employers these days (in UK anyway) will be more interested in experience and practical skills rather than qualifications.
My job requires no official qualifications and although I don't make that much in a year, this is because I work less than 16 hours most weeks and I am well rewarded financially and personally for the work I do.

Without telling you my life story, I dropped out of school at 13 but a few years later when I made the decision for myself, I was able to attend a 6th-form college and gain enough qualifications for a university place (which I didn't accept but that's another story).
Obviously I would encourage young people to stay in school, (I certainly want my daughter to) but if bright kids fall behind it is not always the end of the world.

One reason apart from apathy that a lot of (especially male) smart kids don't do well at school is issues with authority although this may well not apply to your son.

-------------
@ R_R:

Off topic but I'm pleased and surprised to see such a devout capitalist as you championing public libraries (unless I have misunderstood), I would have thought you would expect kids to pay for their own books.

If there were no taxes, how would you fund libraries? Charity?
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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7/9/2009 1:06:54 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
@ R_R:

Off topic but I'm pleased and surprised to see such a devout capitalist as you championing public libraries (unless I have misunderstood), I would have thought you would expect kids to pay for their own books.

If there were no taxes, how would you fund libraries? Charity?

I'm sure there would be some charity libraries, but I make it a habit not to rely on charity in arguments. You ever heard of Netflix? Imagine that but with books, and you've got the equivalent of a library.

Or you could just have a regular library with membership fees or whatever, but Netbooks is probably more efficient, assuming it existed, which since libraries are subsidized it doesn't :P.

In the meantime, while libraries still are public, might as well use them, it's not like the government is rewriting the content of the books or anything.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Lifeisgood
Posts: 295
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7/9/2009 1:26:28 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/8/2009 10:31:52 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
The most important part of any education is a library card.

I cannot express with words how much I agree with you on that.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln
aimeejoe
Posts: 4
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7/9/2009 2:35:36 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Hey Feverish

Thanks for the welcome. Have you heard of Skeptics Guide to the Universe? If not check it out I think you will appreciate it.

I know what you mean about dropping out, you don't actually want your children to do this, but sometimes, with some children, it is what is best. I was told once by a very wise science teacher that we tend to underestimate the intelligence that our children possess. Often times we expect their behaviour to be adult like and their intelligence to be much like that of a baboon. It is the other way around, their behaviour is like baboons but their intelligence is off the charts and frankly this is what makes us as adults look like idiots to them. My husband and I often refer to our children as the two worst roommates on earth. They don't clean up after themselves, they invade the kitchen at odd ours, they are constantly asking for things but never really willing to give in return. This is all with tongue firmly planted into cheek as you can imagine. But their behaviour is what needs to be molded the intelligence is already there. I do agree that we encourage reading and math as well as writing. I don't agree that we should push dates and places on them until they are ready to see the relevance of them. I believe that we should teach history the other way around. We should start with now and go back as they age. This will make it more relevant and subsequently more interesting to them as it is addressing what is happening to them here and now. It is much too abstract to a child who is from 6-13 to grasp what the year 1776 is. I can remember this from my own experience, I was often at a loss as to how to hold this number in my head. Much like trying how it is for me to wrap my own head around the idea that there are untold billions of stars in our universe.
Lexicaholic
Posts: 526
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7/13/2009 3:15:48 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/9/2009 5:57:27 AM, aimeejoe wrote:

My older child has what sometimes is called "street smarts". He has very good social skills and he has a great interest in the latest and greatest and seems to be very intuitive, while my younger child is very good at remembering numbers, dates and things like this. His favorite subject is math. My older child hates math. My older child has very good verbal skills and can be somewhat bored with children of his own age.
My older son also possesses a great sense of humor and is very clownish. He is pretty funny, at least to me. Perhaps I am expecting too much from the system.

I agree with feverish. Getting your son involved in group activities related to a field where his skills would enable him to excel is essentially one step in getting him used to working with others in such fields. It also gives him the opportunity to develop contacts, which are supremely important, much though I may hate to admit it. I also have a feeling that your older child might like to try writing out if given a chance; starting him off small by having him operate his own blog or keeping a journal of some sort is probably a very good idea as well.

As a side note, it is good to see that there are parents like yourself who want to mold their children into the best of what their children want to be and not the best of what their parents want for them. Kudos to you for having the integrity to recognize your sons' separate and distinct abilities and attempting to encourage both with respect thereto.
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aimeejoe
Posts: 4
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7/13/2009 5:05:15 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Well thanks Feverish....that is a great compliment. I am hoping that this year he will join some of the clubs offered at the school. He is also a very good artist so I know he will be joining the art club in addition to maybe one other club.
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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7/13/2009 11:21:25 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
EXTRA EXTRA!!!

CONCERNED MOTHER HAS A PROBLEM WITH THE EDUCATION SYSTEM AND HAS NO IDEA HOW TO FIX IT.

"I try not to let my schoolwork get in the way of my education"
-Mark Twain, I think.

If your child lives by this, then he can only succeed.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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7/13/2009 12:52:26 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 7/13/2009 11:21:25 AM, wjmelements wrote:
"I try not to let my schoolwork get in the way of my education"
-Mark Twain, I think.

Mark Twain is correct.

I became a much better student after I had internalized the meaning of that quote. I also became much more anti-authoritarian, to the dismay of my parents and teachers. But whatever. They once preached education and learning to me, and now that I've finally found the optimal method [unlimited curiosity], they change their minds?

I mean like, seriously. Be consistent.
Is it going to be my learning, or is it going to be following your directions?

I choose my learning.
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s0m31john
Posts: 1,879
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7/17/2009 5:31:13 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Blah blah blah. I don't care if you think you're special or whatnot, but if you can't get through the US public education system without struggling something is wrong. I understand that some people's interests lie elsewhere, but c'mon you pretty much just have to show up. It's not like you're forced to take AP classes.
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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7/19/2009 10:50:05 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
John's got a point. It's essentially all about discipline.

I guess I'd consider myself to be above-average intelligence (well rounded), mostly because I'm definitely what you would call "Street Smart" but I'm no dummy either. I can hold my own academically. The problem is that this is NOT reflected in my performance and certainly not my grades! Honestly, I have struggled with school FAR more than anyone on this site would ever expect.

The sad part is that I'm actually *interested* in academicly oriented things; I just don't apply it. For instance, I'm very much of the Ragnar_Rahl school of thought in the sense that I learn most of what I know by reading and teaching myself. For instance I just read an entire book on quantum physics; mind you I never so much as took a chemistry class let alone physics class while in HS or college (Ponder that one for a minute: how did the system let me get away with it? No clue, though I'm grateful :P).

Anyway the point is that regardless of how interested I am in a subject, and even how academically inclined I might be, there may be other factors that stand in mine or your sons way for a plethora of reasons: laziness, pride, the "I know everything" or "I don't care" mentality, personal problems (with a bf/gf or friend), etc. John is right in saying that showing up might be the only thing required to get by; however, for some of us, that's the hardest part.

Solutions? Dunno. What's worked for me is surrounding myself with people who pride themselves on academic success. Not only does it engage me enough to compel interest, but sometimes I like the challenge of wanting to do just as well as they do in fear of my academic performance reflecting my intelligence (I'm a competitive individual, so this works for me -- dunno about your son). Also linking various fields has led me to doing better. For instance I got really into Philosophy which sparked my interest in Physics and Psychology. I never thought I'd care about those fields, but in combination I enjoy them and thus want to learn more and do better in school reflecting my knowledge of that. Anyway I don't know enough about your son or his situation (an age estimate might help) but overall I'd say just to inspire him to get him interested; discipline is harder to force than you'd think. You can't change him and you certainly can't change The System. You have to be clever about finding ways to adapt. I'm still working on it : )
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