Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

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touchdowntodd
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Post by touchdowntodd »

marylandcrab wrote:A topic near and dear to my heart.

I have two kids, one gifted, one not.

I disagree with it being better to have widely differing abilities in one classroom. My son has been mentor, tutor to other kids and slowed down most of his life. His contributions to discussions have many times been over the heads of his peers. He finished work so quickly and could have gone deeper into subject matters that his peers could not. I can see why others benefitted from him in the class, not so sure he reaped any rewards. However, at home he has always done his own thing, connected with other really bright kids and learned quite a bit on his own. He also attended the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth camps over the summers in middle school. I can mark his childhood by the projects that consumed him at home - starting with chemistry and the periodic table in 3rd grade, to nuclear energy to blacksmithing, to perpetual energy to rubiks cube of all things - trying to beat the world record with his eyes closed. Right now as an 11th grader he's teaching himself computer programming, with one of the benefits being hacking into his own xbox. He also is now obsessed with music and playing the guitar, writing his own riffs, etc. He has the drive to challenge himself outside of school and I'm glad he didn't have tons of homework or spend too much time learning things he wasn't interested in at school.

My daughter, being a bright, motivated child has been in with gifted kids and has felt intimated and not as worthy as those kids. It has been hard for her to see these kids get easy 100's as she struggles to get an 85. However, these kids have helped teach her how to study better and talked about things she honestly didn't think much about.

That being said.... it would depend on each school and what happens come middle school and high school. You know she'd make friends anywhere, but sometimes the change itself is so traumatic the benefit is lost. Not all gifted programs are alike. Unless they are moving at a faster pace and going further in depth in subjects it's pointless. Many times those pull out programs could really benefit all the kids, not just the few.

I stand by the thought that if you follow her interests, give her the tools outside of school to follow her passions, she'll be fine.
no offense, but i hope you dont share your 1 being gifted, 1 not point of view with the children.. for all you know your son will turn his interests into more money than your supposedly more bright and motivated daughter.. people put way too much pressure on kids and all that does is crush them.. letting them be who they want to be allows them to grow..
tryin to do this right... thanks guys
marylandcrab
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Post by marylandcrab »

Don't worry Todd - my kids are as different as can be, different ages, sexes, gifts, interest, strengths and weaknesses. If anything my younger, technically not gifted daughter is way ahead in life skills. She's "smart enough", athletic, popular, many, many interests, and way easier to be around than her brother. She doesn't view him, and neither do we, as better in any way, just different. Her brother is more serious, fewer friends, a few close friends, lacking common sense - a real book smart not street smart kid. It's been heartwrenching at times seeing him struggle making friends, fitting in, and learn how to get along with people who don't view the world through the same lens.

If I had my choice, I'd choose smart and not gifted. They both had learning issues and we had them both tested, that's why I understand the difference between bright and high achieving and gifted. It's a technical term in my opinion, not a value judgment.
Alf 101
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Post by Alf 101 »

I too was the product of a gifted program, like others who have posted, though my experiences might not be germane to the decision you're facing. For me I found smaller class sizes and a generally more demanding environment. Were I to remain unengaged and part of a crowd, I would have found some means of entertaining myself, and over time appreciate the accountability that was demanded. I enjoyed the competition, liked my teachers, made good friends, and found out about any number of things I may not have discovered until much later otherwise. Of course then I headed out into the world and got a real education, but I felt I launched from a good foundation.

Some questions I might ask:

1. What are the class sizes? Are they different from what she'd have in a standard school?

2. What's your impression of the teachers? Let's face it, a smart and motivated kid can learn a lot when left to their own devices. If these teachers are a step above, if they come off as committed and can help kids look in new directions, that's valuable. Basically it's the teachers who deliver the product; the rest is mostly packaging.

3. What's the projected difference in workload? Will this require your daughter to work smarter, not necessarily harder? Or will the demands of this program prevent her from other activities -- playing on a team, for example, and resulting in a more stressful and less balanced life?

3. Does the school have different resources? Every school has a library and some computers, and again, a motivated kid can learn a lot that way. But are there other facilities, experiences, and programs she would have access too? Or are there fewer?

4. How is a child defined as "gifted"? Politics exist in everything, and my experience was with a program that combined the genuinely talented and the extremely privileged -- without necessarily a lot of overlap between the two. The question of the student body and socioeconomics has come up in this thread earlier. Is this a homogenous group or is there some diversity? Do you sense more the presence of enlightenment or entitlement?


In the abstract I'd say she should do it -- ships are safe in the harbor but that's not what they're built for. That said you know your kid, visited the school, and have to trust your gut. People have been successful coming out of all forms of programs; what's important is the fit.
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detroitbabu
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Post by detroitbabu »

Alf 101 wrote:
Some questions I might ask:

1. What are the class sizes? Are they different from what she'd have in a standard school?
20 - 22 students. Only 1 class.
Alf 101 wrote: 2. What's your impression of the teachers? Let's face it, a smart and motivated kid can learn a lot when left to their own devices. If these teachers are a step above, if they come off as committed and can help kids look in new directions, that's valuable. Basically it's the teachers who deliver the product; the rest is mostly packaging.
I have not met with the teachers yet. But from what I have heard, they are very experienced in teaching gifted kids (with more than 15 years of experience)
Alf 101 wrote: 3. What's the projected difference in workload? Will this require your daughter to work smarter, not necessarily harder? Or will the demands of this program prevent her from other activities -- playing on a team, for example, and resulting in a more stressful and less balanced life?
They encourage the kids to continue their other activities (gymnastics, girl scouts, piano, swimming)

Alf 101 wrote: 3. Does the school have different resources? Every school has a library and some computers, and again, a motivated kid can learn a lot that way. But are there other facilities, experiences, and programs she would have access too? Or are there fewer?
Lot of choices. The principal is very interested in teaching and leading math and science activities. The school is a "NASA" school, whatever that means. Kids take part in various projects/field activities e.g. river conservation, building green housing, robot building etc with the help of experts etc.
Alf 101 wrote: 4. How is a child defined as "gifted"? Politics exist in everything, and my experience was with a program that combined the genuinely talented and the extremely privileged -- without necessarily a lot of overlap between the two. The question of the student body and socioeconomics has come up in this thread earlier. Is this a homogenous group or is there some diversity? Do you sense more the presence of enlightenment or entitlement?
Selection is based on standardized tests conducted by the state as well as national tests such as NWEA. Also, they take into consideration student performance from kindergarten to 3rd grade and teachers' evaluations in each of the grades. The group is ethnically very diverse but not socioeconomically. I would say the kids in the program are pretty smart and really motivated to learn.
ddelapasse
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Post by ddelapasse »

Can you tell your daughter that she must try it until winter break? And then move her back if she hates it?

I have a son who hated seeming "nerdy" in high school, but has discovered that in college it is very cool to be smart. I think your daughter will be fine either way, but she might be willing to try the new school with a safety net!
downshiftme
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Post by downshiftme »

Projects will be always done in teams of 3 or 4 students.
I think sometimes doing projects in groups can be a useful learning experience, but the idea that ALL work in the gifted program is project based and ALL work is done in teams is just bizarre. It sounds like a cult of educators with some kind of a theory they want to prove. I'd strongly suggest talking to parents of current members of this program.

My kids have participated in gifted programs that were absolutely wonderful and have been great for them. I know a relative who was parked in a gifted program that was glorified busy work and she still resents it. There are no standards or way to know how good a fit a program is with your child until you've been in it, and then of course it's too late to not enroll. Each program is local and approach, philosophy, activities and quality can vary tremendously.
Alf 101
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Post by Alf 101 »

I'm curious in how this turns out, so I thought to keep the thread alive, and see if things have changed since your meeting with the principal. Any chance you have to talk to other parents would probably be worth the efforts. Otherwise, from this distance, it sounds like a good program with a lot of opportunities. It should be an honor to qualify, and if it doesn't work out, nothing's carved in stone.

After finishing graduate school I taught for a couple of years at a private school of some pretensions in the west; I had wanted to climb and ski, and this seemed a reasonable fit. While I enjoyed it, I found it difficult to otherwise than "teach to the mean". The children that struggle, behaviorally or academically, can take up so much of your time, and in an effort to have a fair curriculum everyone can pass by showing good study habits, I felt I wasn't focusing on the brightest and most motivated. Perhaps a better teacher could manage this more successfully, and while there are social benefits to classes of differing abilities, I would still recommend a so-called gifted program if that's an option. If you want to "raise the bar" for the standard of American education, yet still "leave no child behind", it is hard to find that middle ground where the two co-exist.

I'm also curious about all projects being done in teams of 3-4 kids. I think having some projects done as groups, and using this as a teaching moment for rudimentary project management, sounds good. I remember from school, however, such projects where the whole group was in the boat but not every paddle in the water. Some ownership and individual accountability seem to be missing from this approach.

Overall it sounds good though. I particularly like the sound of projects, field activities, and applied learning. People become more interested in geology after hiking through the mountains. People would find math and basic physics more compelling if they had to build a simple bridge, then drive over it. Just the chance too to do something besides sit there would be very appealing to me at that age. Actually, it's kind of appealing to me right now...
downshiftme
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Post by downshiftme »

and while there are social benefits to classes of differing abilities
I think this is often misused and overstated.

I'm all for working with people of all abilities and backgrounds, but that has nothing to do with repeating the SAME math I learned last year because some of the kids still don't understand it. In a non-academic setting you likely have teams of people with different abilities and different specialties. You are unlikely to ever have teams on the same task with the kinds of widely varying abilities people often try to assemble in classroom settings.

If I have a team of engineers designing a load bearing structure, I want everyone on that team to have the ability to do the work at a similar professional level. I would never slow down my more capable engineer by assigning her to work with a janitor, the receptionist and an HR rep in the interest of having an egalitarian team of mixed abilities on the engineering project. Nor would I trust the work output of such a team.
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Post by downshiftme »

duplicate post
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detroitbabu
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Post by detroitbabu »

Update:

My wife and I met with the principals of both schools today. It was a very enlightening experience. I am beginning to see the politics of schools and frankly it is very disheartening.

First, we met with the principal of the current school. She obviously does not want to lose her top students to another school and was trying to sell us on the overall development focus of her school vs heavy emphasis on math and science of the other school.

We had also heard that due to budget cuts, the current school might combine 3rd and 4th grade classes. This is obviously a concern for us because I do not want my daughter to be in the same class as 3rd graders. The principal, however, told us that she will not be putting my daughter in the class with 3rd graders but they will have a combined 4th and 5th grade class and that is where my daughter will be placed.

In the afternoon, we met with the principal of the new school. He showed us around the school and showed the classrooms and projects the “gifted” students had done. It was pretty impressive to see all the trophies for science Olympiad, state science and math competitions and various local tournaments in the school showcase. My daughter had a few questions for him, he answered them but in a language which more adult-like. Instead of really trying to answer my daughter’s questions, it seemed like he was more interested in selling the school to me and he came off a little bit pretentious.

So now we have a decision to make!! I have told my daughter to try the new school until Christmas and if she does not like it, she can come back to her old school and be with the 5th graders. She seems to be warming up to that partly because one of her favorite gym teachers also teaches at the new school. Another plus point is that she will be riding the same bus to her old school every morning and evening. Then another bus will shuttle her to and from the new school every morning and evening. This way she can meet with all her old friends on the bus every day.

So this is where we stand today. We need to inform the new school of our decision by tomorrow or Friday at the latest. Thanks to all who responded to my post(s). I will write an update when we make a decision.
marylandcrab
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Post by marylandcrab »

I've found education to be the most difficult decision as a parent. So much depends on so many variables you can't say x will give y outcome.

And school isn't just what job you'll get in the end, it's a process, and the culture of the school will have an impact on your child for the rest of their lives. Not that kids can't do well in most situations, I just believe it's important to understand how much goes into it.

I'd say most above average students are underchallenged in school. So much gets put into the lower achievers, that higher achievers are often left in the dust.

Even with college, I don't view it as solely what degree and what job earning what - a lot of college molds you as a person.

However, as a parent all you can do is the best you can with the information you have at the time.

BTW - I don't have much faith in mixed abilities classrooms or too many group projects, especially at a young age. The socratic method really should be left to the higher level thinking, not a playground fight over who gets to paint the picture and who has to write the report and why the goof off gets the same grade as the kid who organized and did most of it alone.
555
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Post by 555 »

When (and where) I went to school there was no such thing as a gifted program, but there was streaming (also called tracking)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streaming_%28education%29
I was really surprised when I find that this system is not universal. It's such an obvious way to try to educate the most people to their potential.

It's just terrible to throw widely differing abilities into one classroom. It's bad for almost everyone.

It is highly beneficial to be in advanced classes with your academic peers. You have to have pretty good reasons to pass up that opportunity.

That being said, we will not put our 5 year old son in gifted kindegarten next fall. He's not "classroom ready" so we will homeschool, and consider classroom school later. But even then, the elementary gifted program is strategically located within a regular school in a high crime area, although the murders in the surrounding streets generally occur outside school hours.

But in the OP's case, gifted school seems to be an easy and obvious decision.
downshiftme
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Post by downshiftme »

Generally speaking, tracking is beneficial for those in the top tracks but has been proven to be harmful to those in the lower tracks. Possible reasons for this include that teachers for the lower tracks develop lower expectations for their students and with only low performing students as peers, the students themselves set their objectives very low. Modern gifted programs try to avoid this pitfall by taking what would essentially be a top (possibly very thin top, depending on the program) track and calling everyone else regular. Since there is no low track, it is thought that teacher expectations are not adversely affected and since peers still include everyone except a small group of high performers, student self norming is very little affected. In many cases, the separation of the gifted program into another classroom or even another school contributes to avoiding the pitfalls of lower expectations for all those not in the select program.
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Post by icefr »

detroitbabu wrote:We had also heard that due to budget cuts, the current school might combine 3rd and 4th grade classes. This is obviously a concern for us because I do not want my daughter to be in the same class as 3rd graders. The principal, however, told us that she will not be putting my daughter in the class with 3rd graders but they will have a combined 4th and 5th grade class and that is where my daughter will be placed.
Be very careful with this. How is the ratio of 4th graders to 5th graders? I spent 3rd grade in a 3-4 split with seven 3rd graders and twenty three 4th graders. My teacher taught everyone the 4th grade curriculum and the next year, I was placed in a normal 4th grade class and basically repeated 4th grade.
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novastepp
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Post by novastepp »

I went to one. Worked in my favor. I was pushed, respectfully, in my studies and grew up with friends and did the same stuff as everyone else. My best friends weren't with me, but I made new friends, and those guys/girls were friends throughout high school and some, still to this day. Didin't miss out on being a kid or anything.

I have found motivation as a young adult too. I received scholarships as an undergrad which paid for all but $6500 of my undergrad education at a state school. I have had my Master's paid for by the university and my PhD is being paid for as well.

Of course, this may or may not be due to the gifted programs when I was younger, but they certainly didn't hurt.
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detroitbabu
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Post by detroitbabu »

Update:

On Friday afternoon, I called the program director and told her that my daughter will join the program starting in September. It will be an interesting experience for all of us. Let's see how it goes.

Thanks to everyone for their input and personal experiences.
marylandcrab
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Post by marylandcrab »

Good for you. One thing which depends on your child... my kids are changing schools next year and having so many months and so much time left at their current school... I wished I had waited to let her know so she didn't have so long to agonize over it.
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Post by SamGamgee »

downshiftme wrote:Generally speaking, tracking is beneficial for those in the top tracks but has been proven to be harmful to those in the lower tracks.
I agree with this, but I don't think its a reason not to use tracking.

I mean, think of it this way. Would you put your 5th grade student in a 3rd grade class just because it would be good for the 3rd graders? No way. So why keep the whole class together just because they are the same age? It makes no sense.
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detroitbabu
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by detroitbabu »

Update:

Here is an update on my daughter.
Yes, we did switch the school and now my daughter is in the new school with many new friends and still has old friends from the old school. It helps that the school bus she rides on to go to the new school has all her old friends. So socially it has worked out just fine.

Academically, I am really impressed with the depth, pace and breadth of the material covered in the program. My daughter is excelling even in the gifted program and is at the top of the class there. One of her new best friends and few others in her class are struggling with the pace and depth so they might be going back to the old school. But my daughter will continue in the new school.

So in retrospect, I would say it was absolutely the right decision to switch schools and we are very happy that we did it.
Elysium
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by Elysium »

No offense to anyone, but I find the gifted program is not all that challenging for the serious students. My son started this year and we find the academic standards still not up to what they are able to do. Some children struggle in the program, but some are not finding it that hard. That is the way it goes. Overall it has got to do with lower academic standards we have here in the U.S. We have set the bar too low, and then calling the program that does a little bit above that as "gifted".
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by livesoft »

OK, so the gifted program is not gifted enough. That's not the point, is it? I suppose there should be no gifted programs because they don't challenge the very best in the program?

Think in a gifted way about this: Suppose only the top 5 students in a school district got into the "gifted program". Who would want to pay for that? Politically there have to be enough parents involved in a gifted program to make it feasible and fundable. So a spectrum of students have to admitted in order to make such programs even exist. And if all but 5 flunk out, that would'nt work either. :)

Finally, it has always been the case that some students have to challenge themselves because they will not be challenged by their parents, teachers, and peers.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by NoVa Lurker »

detroitbabu wrote:Update:

Here is an update on my daughter.
Yes, we did switch the school and now my daughter is in the new school with many new friends and still has old friends from the old school. It helps that the school bus she rides on to go to the new school has all her old friends. So socially it has worked out just fine.

Academically, I am really impressed with the depth, pace and breadth of the material covered in the program. My daughter is excelling even in the gifted program and is at the top of the class there. One of her new best friends and few others in her class are struggling with the pace and depth so they might be going back to the old school. But my daughter will continue in the new school.

So in retrospect, I would say it was absolutely the right decision to switch schools and we are very happy that we did it.
OP - Thanks for coming back with the update. Glad it has worked out well so far.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by downshiftme »

I agree with this, but I don't think its a reason not to use tracking.

I mean, think of it this way. Would you put your 5th grade student in a 3rd grade class just because it would be good for the 3rd graders? No way. So why keep the whole class together just because they are the same age? It makes no sense.
I have to say I agree with you about this. But in my experience, many people who run schools do not agree. Tracking has been abolished in many jurisdictions (two that I lived in while I was there) and I have not seen a new tracking system instituted anywhere I lived. Even gifted programs, which avoid some of the tracking problem by pulling students into a separate school, are under attack here and being dismantled. They successfully redistributed the students from the magnet gifted school into multiple sites in other schools, and are now starting to combine the classrooms of formerly "gifted" students with general education students in an "inclusive" classroom. The kids and parents are objecting, but being a small percentage of the overall school population there is little hope they will prevail. For those who can afford it, private school or home schooling may become the only alternative available to gifted kids who want to avoid deep boredom through public school programs which do not have the ability to serve them sufficiently challenging experiences.

If you have an opportunity to enroll in a well run gifted program that would be appropriate for your child, it is usually well worth it do do so. Some gifted programs are poorly run, as are some regular education programs. But a good program that is a good fit to your child can be a fantastic opportunity to learn and to make new friends.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by Elysium »

livesoft wrote: Think in a gifted way about this: Suppose only the top 5 students in a school district got into the "gifted program". Who would want to pay for that? Politically there have to be enough parents involved in a gifted program to make it feasible and fundable. So a spectrum of students have to admitted in order to make such programs even exist. And if all but 5 flunk out, that would'nt work either. :)
This would make sense. I guess we as parents are selfish when it comes to our children getting the best education possible, so we are unhappy when the teacher slows down his math class until all students have caught up. We end up having to give him additional problems to solve at home. To be fair the program is interesting since they have plenty of projects to do that needs research. We have to keep giving additional work at home.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by stoptothink »

I also grew up participating in a gifted program(GATE) from 2nd grade on, although it seems way more involved then it did back then. We(the handful of us in the program in the school) were given extra projects by our instructor and then would meet weekly to discuss our progress. We also were given the opportunity to go to a special summer school program with all of the other GATE kids from the entire district. When we got to junior high, all the GATE kids from the entire district made up the honors program and had separate classes. Once we got to high school we transitioned to AP courses. Although I am an ASPY, socially it never really affected me because I had sports. I am pretty sure most people outside my classes had no clue I was part of the gifted program because everybody knew me for football. Wasn't a whole lot involved, but for what it was I saw no downside.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by epilnk »

Thank you for updating the thread. We need to make our decision this week, and I am finding the decision much more difficult than I had anticipated. Last year I posted this:
Depends on the child - it's not a slam-dunk. For my elder son, absolutely not. For my younger son, definitely yes.

My elder son tested right smack on the cutoff line. Kids like that get over the line in private testing and parents in our academically oriented town often choose that route, but we didn't even consider it. Nor would we have moved him to GATE had he tested in the first time. He is thriving at his school - an A student who excels at everything, beloved by teachers and classmates alike. He could handle a little more challenging work, but he's progressing nicely and I see no need to force the issue. He has everything he needs to be successful, and I have little doubt that he will be highly successful in life if things stay on track. I don't want him in a GATE program, he was born to be in the mainstream and show off to his best advantage there.

My younger son is quite clearly gifted, but he is not thriving in the same school. Nobody is entirely sure why. But he is the kind of quirky kid for whom alternative education is designed. I worry about him much more than his brother.

Please keep in mind what gifted programs are intended for - to provide an alternative to the standard classroom for those children who will benefit from something different. High achievers come from both types of programs. But the one thing that will derail a successful child is social misery. The biggest long term threats to the smart kid are bullying, drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, and the underacheivement that stems from unhappiness. Middle school to Jr High is a sensitive period where some kids slip away. GATE programs can move smart kids out of failing schools, or can provide a better peer group for nerds and dorks, but if your daughter doesn't fall into those categories the social change may not be a positive. And disrupting existing peer groups can have a huge negative impact on some kids. Maybe your daughter does belong in GATE, but please don't underestimate the value of keeping her where she is when you weigh the pros and cons.
My younger son is indeed GATE identified, as expected. And this year we've seen a bit of a dropoff in classroom behavior - he's not disruptive, but he's not completing his work and he keeps turning his flashcards into origami. Not a good sign at all. But something clicked in the last few months, and suddenly he seems happy and engaged. He even ran for and was elected to a class office - something I couldn't imagine him doing a year ago. This is a huge step forward for my challenging child, so I hate pulling him out of an environment where he is finally starting to feel secure.

The other issue is that little dude still can't read independently, despite 3 years of extra reading support. Private testing agrees with the reading specialist's assessment that nothing is wrong, he's just quirky and taking his sweet time developing this skill. This does make me worry about his ability to keep up in a more intensive environment, even though the GATE coordinator assures me that accommodating erratic development is what GATE programs do best. Reading becomes a much bigger issue in fourth grade, and there is a lot of it.

My strong willed son has informed me in no uncertain terms that he is NOT going to the GATE program. He's so determined to avoid it that when I pointed out that it would free him from spanish reading (he's in an immersion school), he suddenly stopped fighting me and now does his spanish homework voluntarily. Unfortunately for him he has been placed in our top choice GATE classroom; we haven't told him yet, and we still have a week to accept or decline. My husband leans toward it but I'm not finding the decision quite so clear, and my doubts are shaking my husband's confidence.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by scouter »

Two kids here, one went through the gifted program, one did not. At our high school gifted students are not separated from others, they just meet with a gifted teacher several times a week for more challenging projects, and the gifted teachers also serve as a good resource when it comes time to assemble their "resume" for college.

The main thing that was stressed to us is that the gifted program (in our school) is considered special education, just as if the student was mentally challenged. In other words, they shouldn't be in it unless they are so bored in regular class that they are acting out, becoming a distraction to others, etc. To a slight degree, this was the case with our son, so the program was good for him. Our daughter tested just below gifted level, but she was good at giving herself challenging projects in and out of school and was never bored.

So, each program and child are different. Only you can decide what's best...
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Re:

Post by Saving$ »

texasdiver wrote:Do you let your 9 year old daughter choose her bedtime, her diet, her TV viewing habits, and all the other things that 9 year olds do?

Thought not.

You are the parent. She is nine.
Do your own research and make the decision for her. ...
This.
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ClevrChico
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by ClevrChico »

I participated in the gifted program which was essentially independent study with some supervision. The large projects at college weren't much different, and my job in high-tech the last 17 years has a lot of similarities. I'd say it gave me an edge and was well worth it.

My only regrets are I didn't channel this energy into my Facebook-like idea in the 90's. :oops: I also wish I would have taken a break for a semester or two and taken auto-shop to learn some real-life wrenching skills. I think school overloads the smart kids with math and science a bit.
Boglemama
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by Boglemama »

I posted but then read that you decided and sent your daughter to the gifted school. I'm glad that you did and that everything worked out.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by Lollytiger »

I liked the classmates in the Gifted/Magnet programs and in the AP classes (the two sets are pretty much the same) more than the regular classes, but that might just be my experience and not be some kind of universal thing.
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detroitbabu
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by detroitbabu »

Reviving this old thread to provide an update.

My daughter who was the topic of this thread graduated from high school today Summa cum Laude and will start college in the fall - CoVid permitting.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by livesoft »

Congratulations to your daughter! Please send me a PM about which college she expects to go to. Thanks!

Obviously, you are very proud of her as you should be, so congratulations to you as well. :)
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by birnhamwood »

At age nine there's usually not enough reliable information on which to make a gifted/talented determination. What intellectual, artistic, creative, musical, mechanical, science, math, reading, etc., achievements can there possibly be at such a young age, with the possible exception of music and reading?

The appropriate standardized test for your child would be the "Screening Assessment for Gifted Elementary Students (SAGES). A high percentile rank there would confirm the teacher/school assessment, but in just a few more years, say five, IQ test dscores of 130-144 can indicate moderate giftedness and 145 on up, decided giftedness.

Personally, at this point, I think I'd let her make her own school decision. My two cents.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by birnhamwood »

Ah, silly me. I didn't realize this was a long running thread.

Congratulations on this fine achievement.
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ram
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by ram »

Congratulations and best luck to her.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by Sandtrap »

detroitbabu wrote: Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:29 pm Reviving this old thread to provide an update.

My daughter who was the topic of this thread graduated from high school today Summa cum Laude and will start college in the fall - CoVid permitting.
Thank you so much for the update.

Congratulations to you and your daughter.
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IMO
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by IMO »

detroitbabu wrote: Sun May 22, 2011 9:42 am Update: 6/17/2020

Reviving this old thread to provide an update.

My daughter who was the topic of this thread graduated Summa cum Laude from high school today and will start college in the fall - CoVid permitting.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My younger daughter (age 9) has been accepted to the Gifted program in the school district.
She is only one 3 students from her school who was accepted.
However, she has flatly refused to go because none of her "best friends" are going with her to the new school as they were not accepted to the program.

Both schools (current and new) are in the same school district. Both schools have an excellent reputation and have been ranked in the Top 10 in the state.

My wife is of the opinion that we should let my daughter choose what she wants to do and not force her. I agree with my wife and do not want to force my daughter but I want her to go to the new school and see how the new school is and if she does not like it she can come back after one year.

More info:

* My daughter's teachers at the current school have always said that she is very motivated and challenges herself by creating new problems to solve.

* I work with my daughter everyday and have challenged her by giving her more difficult assignments beyond her normal grade level.

* When I talked to my parents about this, they reminded me about how I had the same opportunity in the 4th grade and flatly refused to change schools because I did not like the school.

* We have an appointment with the program director at the new school tomorrow in part because I want to show my daughter the new school and the new teachers and hopefully get her excited about the new school.

* My father who is a retired teacher thinks that kids learn better in an environment where there are kids of all levels and capabilities.

Any opinions from Bogleheads on whether it is worth to put a kid in a gifted program or does it not matter this early in a child's life? Any personal experiences and thoughts?

Thanks in advance to all who reply.
Good to hear!

What college did she get select/get accepted, what major, and was there a scholarship? Concerning school subjects, what does one end up with at a gifted school (for example, does everyone have 4 yrs of foreign language, 100% AP classes, etc)?

Do you feel she also received a good social experience and extracurricular activities from this school?

I ask because I don't think we would have sent our child to our local gifted program (not even sure if he would or wouldn't have gotten accepted) because the reputation regarding things outside of academics would not have been a good fit for our kid. From someone who's kid did go to the local gifted school, the parent mentioned they did have to provide extra time/resources to teach social things and it seemed sports were not really considered of importance.

Ironically at UC Berkeley with it's high academic requirements and competitive admissions, I understand they started offering "life classes" to teach the student body about basic life things. When I hear things like that, I always wonder if some kids get too much academics and not enough extracurricular activities.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by detroitbabu »

I don't want to reveal too much information here but it worked out well for her academically as well as socially.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by epilnk »

I can update mine too, though I'm just a responder and not OP. My kids are described a few replies earlier.

Both kids turned out to be serious students. My "right on the line" kid continued to be a high achiever through high school, got into a bunch of good colleges, and is now totally killing it at a school that couldn't be more perfect for him both socially and academically. I can't imagine a better outcome, though covid is certainly throwing a wrench into his plans.

My son who went into the gifted program is now a rising senior with a high gpa and SATs - higher than his brother - and he's still the one I worry more about. I don't doubt his ability to get into good schools, and only hope he makes an equally savvy choice in colleges.

My boys are completely different in personality and temperament. They/we chose different paths, and both turned out great.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by Sandtrap »

Some real life examples from personal experiences:

1. Dirt poor young child, 3rd world Central America country. >>>Recognized early.>> PhD aerospace engineering, NASA, JPL.

2. Dirt poor child, Southeast Asia >>> USA >>Recognized early > Masters in Mathematics. Teacher.

3. Young child. Self taught. Reading Encyclopedias by kindergarten. IQ 180. Unrecognized. Held back. Inner city schools with no programs. Survived.

4. Young child. Gifted. IQ 190+ Recognized early. Special programs. Multiple PhD. Teacher.

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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by JPM »

DW, now retired, was a gifted ed math teacher for the last 20 years of her career. Minimum student IQ was 125 to qualify for her program. She had two main goals in mind. The first was moving the classes at a quick enough pace to complete the usual material done from grades 3-8 in grades 3-5 and to push the brightest to the point of frustration and failure. She believes that learning that they could cope with frustration and survive failure were important life lessons for these kids for whom academic work otherwise came very easily. Overcoming frustration and failure are important skills to learn when young so you don't have to try to learn them for the first time as a freshman at MIT or some such institution. She is in contact with many of her former students on social media and she is very proud of their successes in young adulthood. The oldest among them are in their early 40s. Many engineers and tech people among them.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by random_walker_77 »

JPM wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:50 pm She believes that learning that they could cope with frustration and survive failure were important life lessons for these kids for whom academic work otherwise came very easily. Overcoming frustration and failure are important skills to learn when young so you don't have to try to learn them for the first time as a freshman at MIT or some such institution.
This is very very important. I think learning a musical instrument is great because it naturally offers many opportunities to work on overcoming frustration, and also directly shows the results when you apply persistent practice towards honing a skill.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by Normchad »

random_walker_77 wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:46 pm
JPM wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:50 pm She believes that learning that they could cope with frustration and survive failure were important life lessons for these kids for whom academic work otherwise came very easily. Overcoming frustration and failure are important skills to learn when young so you don't have to try to learn them for the first time as a freshman at MIT or some such institution.
This is very very important. I think learning a musical instrument is great because it naturally offers many opportunities to work on overcoming frustration, and also directly shows the results when you apply persistent practice towards honing a skill.
I concur with the importance of helping kids learn how to deal with frustration and failure. It can be one of the biggest challenges with some kids who naturally excel at basically everything.

Also, I believe one of the best reasons to be in a gifted program, is because those programs usually have the best teachers. (This is one example of a great teacher).
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by international001 »

random_walker_77 wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:46 pm
JPM wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:50 pm She believes that learning that they could cope with frustration and survive failure were important life lessons for these kids for whom academic work otherwise came very easily. Overcoming frustration and failure are important skills to learn when young so you don't have to try to learn them for the first time as a freshman at MIT or some such institution.
This is very very important. I think learning a musical instrument is great because it naturally offers many opportunities to work on overcoming frustration, and also directly shows the results when you apply persistent practice towards honing a skill.
You are referring to this model? https://www.amazon.com/Self-Driven-Chil ... 735222525/
In 2c, cope with some stress so the brain connections can grow properly and you learn with bigger sources of stress in the future.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by flaccidsteele »

detroitbabu wrote: Sun May 22, 2011 9:42 am Update: 6/17/2020

Reviving this old thread to provide an update.
My daughter who was the topic of this thread graduated Summa cum Laude from high school today and will start college in the fall - CoVid permitting.
Congratulations!

As an investor who failed school and became a multi millionaire investor, what does this mean exactly?

What’s the benefit for the student that has this designation?

I’m not familiar with the ins and outs of the school accomplishment system
The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by random_walker_77 »

international001 wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:57 pm
random_walker_77 wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:46 pm
JPM wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:50 pm She believes that learning that they could cope with frustration and survive failure were important life lessons for these kids for whom academic work otherwise came very easily. Overcoming frustration and failure are important skills to learn when young so you don't have to try to learn them for the first time as a freshman at MIT or some such institution.
This is very very important. I think learning a musical instrument is great because it naturally offers many opportunities to work on overcoming frustration, and also directly shows the results when you apply persistent practice towards honing a skill.
You are referring to this model? https://www.amazon.com/Self-Driven-Chil ... 735222525/
In 2c, cope with some stress so the brain connections can grow properly and you learn with bigger sources of stress in the future.
Not so much, no. Let's just say that I had Chinese parents, and they taught a mindset that it's not about whether you're innately good at a subject, so much as it's about working hard to learn and master it. Something more like this:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-sho ... e-learning



' "I think that from very early ages we [in America] see struggle as an indicator that you're just not very smart," Stigler says. "It's a sign of low ability — people who are smart don't struggle, they just naturally get it, that's our folk theory. Whereas in Asian cultures they tend to see struggle more as an opportunity."

In Eastern cultures, Stigler says, it's just assumed that struggle is a predictable part of the learning process. Everyone is expected to struggle in the process of learning, and so struggling becomes a chance to show that you, the student, have what it takes emotionally to resolve the problem by persisting through that struggle.

"They've taught them that suffering can be a good thing," Stigler says. "I mean it sounds bad, but I think that's what they've taught them."

Granting that there is a lot of cultural diversity within East and West and it's possible to point to counterexamples in each, Stigler still sums up the difference this way: For the most part in American culture, intellectual struggle in schoolchildren is seen as an indicator of weakness, while in Eastern cultures it is not only tolerated but is often used to measure emotional strength
.
'
international001
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by international001 »

Thanks for the article. So much to think for the American myth (self-made man through hard work).

But I think it's the same point than the book. The benefits of the little struggles/stressful moments prepare you for the future
investingdad
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by investingdad »

random_walker_77 wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:14 pm
international001 wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:57 pm
random_walker_77 wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:46 pm
JPM wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:50 pm She believes that learning that they could cope with frustration and survive failure were important life lessons for these kids for whom academic work otherwise came very easily. Overcoming frustration and failure are important skills to learn when young so you don't have to try to learn them for the first time as a freshman at MIT or some such institution.
This is very very important. I think learning a musical instrument is great because it naturally offers many opportunities to work on overcoming frustration, and also directly shows the results when you apply persistent practice towards honing a skill.
You are referring to this model? https://www.amazon.com/Self-Driven-Chil ... 735222525/
In 2c, cope with some stress so the brain connections can grow properly and you learn with bigger sources of stress in the future.
Not so much, no. Let's just say that I had Chinese parents, and they taught a mindset that it's not about whether you're innately good at a subject, so much as it's about working hard to learn and master it. Something more like this:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-sho ... e-learning



' "I think that from very early ages we [in America] see struggle as an indicator that you're just not very smart," Stigler says. "It's a sign of low ability — people who are smart don't struggle, they just naturally get it, that's our folk theory. Whereas in Asian cultures they tend to see struggle more as an opportunity."

In Eastern cultures, Stigler says, it's just assumed that struggle is a predictable part of the learning process. Everyone is expected to struggle in the process of learning, and so struggling becomes a chance to show that you, the student, have what it takes emotionally to resolve the problem by persisting through that struggle.

"They've taught them that suffering can be a good thing," Stigler says. "I mean it sounds bad, but I think that's what they've taught them."

Granting that there is a lot of cultural diversity within East and West and it's possible to point to counterexamples in each, Stigler still sums up the difference this way: For the most part in American culture, intellectual struggle in schoolchildren is seen as an indicator of weakness, while in Eastern cultures it is not only tolerated but is often used to measure emotional strength
.
'
I ascribe to the notion that skills are learned.

I had to work much harder than others to earn my engineering degree, but I made up for mathematical weaknesses through refusal to give up.

I possess no musical gifts, but I've proven through my violin thread that an instrument can be learned if only the person possesses the desire to stick with it and put in the time.
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Re: Would you send your child to a Gifted program?

Post by Seagal12 »

Thank you to the original poster for providing a recent update! Thanks also to everyone who contributed to this thread. We are weighing this option for our son for 3rd grade. My husband wants to involve my son in the decision. I am interested to hear what he thinks, but think ultimately as the adults with more life experience, we should make the final decision. My husband had a negative experience at an elementary magnet school and returned (apparently traumatized) to his regular elementary. I was part of a gifted program that had an offsite program one day a week, but we remained in our regular classrooms the rest of the time so didn’t have to deal with making new friends issue. My personal experience is that I felt intimidated by the other smart kids and often felt like I was the dumbest, least creative one there. Years later I found out another girl in the program felt the same way! I am hoping that being around other bright, motivated kids will be a good experience for my son, who tends towards laziness unless challenged.
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