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Topic: Teachers! What do you do with a kid like this? Looking for suggestions

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Subject: Teachers! What do you do with a kid like this? Looking for suggestions
Date Posted: 9/24/2009 12:40 AM ET
Member Since: 3/29/2009
Posts: 17
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What do you do with a 6 year old that helps his 12 year old brother with his algebra homework?  Seriously, he grasps the concept of solving for X.  He thinks its fun to play with multiplication flash cards (as long as its his idea).  He taught himself to read at 4 years old, and  he is totally not challenged at all by his own first grade class work.  Any creative ideas for things I can do to challenge his mind at home?  And how do I approach his teacher about it without sounding like one of "those" parents?  His kindergarten teacher suggested that some day he may be able to skip a grade, but this idea doesn't thrill me.  While he is advanced academically, he is still a first grader emotionally.

Just wondering what you do when you get a kid like this in your class?  

Date Posted: 9/24/2009 6:37 AM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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Watching intently. I have a six year old daughter who's in the same boat. I requested gifted testing, and am awaiting the results. Have you requesed gifted testing already?

Date Posted: 9/25/2009 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2009
Posts: 7
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Keep giving him work that will challange him.  My experience is even with the gifted training, he will still have work that is way to easy for him.  You want to make sure that you instill that love of learning in him at a young age before that talent is wasted on peer pressure and hormones!

Subject: Shani.....
Date Posted: 9/25/2009 9:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 207
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You have a challenge on your hands with a gifted little one! Challenges can be fun!  You are right in allowing him to be a little kid. For shame on the teacher that suggested that he could skip a grade! I don't know how big your school system is, but that would immediately label him  and set him aside from the other children where I teach. You are right in recognizing that emotional growth and social growth are just as important as educational growth.

Many schools near where I live don't begin any formal gifted instruction until 3rd grade. Check at your school. Your son may be tested now, but may not see any enrichment for two years! Hopefully, your son has a teacher that recognizes his abilities and will plan activities for him. Look for someone in your school that has taught a few years to help you with your problem if the classroom teacher is unwilling. Consult the principal, counselor, or any special teacher (art, music, etc. ) that you think can help you in finding enrichment. But please understand that this may be difficult. Please note that many parents come to the classroom teacher thinking their child is gifted when they truly aren't. They are just hard workers! Many younger teachers are not trained to recognize a gifted child. I can see a teacher possibly dismissing your request because of all the others. You will need to be polite, positive, and persistent.

  I would treasure having your child in my room! I would team him with another gifted first grader, or second grader and put them into a cool project while I was reteaching the other children. I've taught for 26 years and I know that you need to address the needs of all students.No matter where they are, each child needs to make at least a year's growth.  Ask if your school has the Reading Counts program or the Accelerated Reader Program. Children read books on their level and take computer quizzes on what they've read. Again, many schools do not do this until 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade. Ask if your child can participate now.

What can you do? Provide learning experiences for him at every turn. Let him help with vacation planning, shopping, cooking, etc. Take him to historical places and museums for weekend trips. Provide reading materials that interest him. For example, if you go to see a magician or catch one on television, get a book about Houdini and a book about magic tricks and encourage him to learn some to show his friends.

Best wishes to you and your family!





Subject: Thanks!
Date Posted: 9/25/2009 11:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/29/2009
Posts: 17
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Thank you for all your responses.  I have not had him tested for the Gifted Program yet.   My son attends Catholic school, but the Public School district provides gifted education for any student residing in the district.  (My 12 year old currently attends.)  He could actually have started last year (Kindergarten), but I was very hesitant to send him.  He would have been the only kid from his class to go.  Our kids get on a bus one day a week and go to the Gifted Center for their education.  It is all the way across town, and I just really felt like Kindergarten is a big enough adjustment without adding the gifted center to it.  I am certain that he will eventually attend, since his brother got in and he is even a little brighter than the 12 year old was at that age. 

I have just signed him up for a program at school called Lab Ratz that I think he will enjoy, and I actually will continue to let him "help" his older brother with his math. 

Some of the things you all mentioned, we already do at home.  I don't have to encourage him to read more advanced books, he just does it on his own, especially when it is a subject he is interested in.   When I bake, he gets the ingredients out, measures them and follows the directions with my help.  (This is how I taught him fractions.)   I guess I just have to lean on the teachers a little more, because so far they haven't done much to challenge him.  

Date Posted: 9/27/2009 8:23 AM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2008
Posts: 836
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This veteran teacher  says  "Ditto to everything Sarah wrote!!!! "   :) 

Date Posted: 9/27/2009 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2009
Posts: 7
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Do you have a local science museum that offers saturday morning or afterschool advanced classes.  I was a very advanced Catholic school student and my parents were asked to advance me a grade or two when I was very young, but they refused.  With only one teacher/grade their was not a lot of room to adjust my school program as their would be in a large public school.  In stead, they always enrolled me in various enrichment classes outside of school.  Because of that, I have (and still do) love to learn and have been creating in my own ways satisfy my inner drive as an adult with a docterate degree. 

Date Posted: 10/18/2009 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2007
Posts: 2,269
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My youngest was the same way. I did not want her placed in GT for the simple fact that I felt it was just more work. We did better keeping her in her classsroom and teaching her things that interested her at home. She is now in 6th grade and taking PreAP classes. The school wanted to put her on an excelerated program, but again, I said no. She does well in her classes, but does not like more work. She wants to focus on what she is interested in. She aces her state tests, but (where did I go wrong) HATES to read. She is a happy well adjusted kid - why push her if she is not interested?

FYI - Her dream is to be a livestock vet and work with rodeos and stock contractors! Can anyone say Texas A&M?!?

Date Posted: 1/20/2010 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2006
Posts: 1
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as a teacher I shudder at the term 'lean on the teacher more" I would  approach her as if you're asking for advice, tell her you're always looking for ways to challenge him at home ask her what she does to challenge him?  Ask what does she see as his weaknesses (everyone has weakenesses!) Some kids are great at reading but are not inclined or interested in discussing the books which makes teachers feel they do not understand what they are reading(and we see a lot of those students who can decode without comprehension)  Can he explain HOW he solves difficult math problems?  HOw does he relate to his peers?  Some kids biggest challenges are social.  If teacher cannot answer the question and give you advice for challenging your child, then look into moving to a different class or school, private school tend to have less special services than public.  Good Luck, I'm sure the next few years  will be challenging !