I imagine that every parent must think thier kid is the cutest, the smartest, the most athletic, the most outgoing, etc. I am not one of "those parents"! But I've always known that my oldest child, my son, is special. He amazes me in ways that I can't even explain and today as he recited a play he was doing in school, I sat in utter dumbfoundedness (is that a word?). He went through the play by memory from start to finish. Every persons line, who said what, what they are wearing, and even said "we sing a song, and I memorized that too". I said "how long have you been practicing this play" to which he replied "we just started it yesterday and today we did it at snack time". I said "How did you do that in only two days?" He said "I don't know". To him, it's no big deal. To me, with only half a brain, it's AMAZING! He is only in first grade but reads at a 4th grade level. He's advanced in math, writing and science as well. He gets minimal services at school to meet his needs, but they don't do anything consistent until 3rd grade. As for me, I'm just his mom, I don't brag, I don't boast on his behalf and I treat him in the same manner as I do my other two children. But he challenges my knowledge on almost a daily basis, asking me questions that only Google can provide an adaquate answer to (he refers to Google as "my best friend"--he's right about that) and I want to make sure we're doing all we can to allow him to reach his full potential. Parenting him is scary at times. In another year or two, he's going to surpass my intellegence! :) How can I help him be all he can be and still allow him to just be a "normal" kid? Thanks!
Hello and Thank You consulting Just Answer. I am sure that you are thankful to have such an amazing son who does manifest signs of giftedness. Make sure that his school is monitoring his academic abilities and tests him for giftedness. He may be eligible for special gifted services which can benefit him. Nonetheless, it sounds as though you would like to enrich your son's life as much as possible. Let him take the lead. If he is interested in something, find books at the library or research that topic on the Internet. Let him create a book report or even a power point with your help to share with family and friends. Also, take him to museums that interest him. Invite his friends along as well. Enroll him in interesting science camps or summer enrichment classes at Junior colleges. Don't forget sports activities that he may enjoy. Continue his love of reading by visiting bookstores and libraries frequently. Use higher level vocabulary when talking to him so that you can be a model for him. Find out what his true strength is and then build upon that. Maybe it might be playing a musical instrument. Maybe it may be an artist.He is still young so he can go in a lot of different directions. Make sure that it is what he wants to do and things that interest him. Another thought, he may be able to skip a grade if he is in fact that advanced as well.Good luck to you with your future Picasso or Mozart or Einstein!
If he is in a public school, another thought if you can afford it, is to put him into a private school. The range of opportunities are abundant if the right school is selected.Have an awesome day!
Great ideas, thanks!
He's not into sports at all--it's not his thing. But he does love math and science and he begged me last summer to enroll him in a $600, two week math camp. $600 was just more than we could afford and he was heartbroken. He's asked again this year and we are considering it. On top of being so smart, he's also the sweetest little boy ever. He's got such a great personality and he'll melt your heart in a second. All his teachers really like him, and believe it or not, he's sometimes teased by his peers because he is quiet and reserved and doesn't talk much. That worries me a little. It is not in his personality to stand up for himself. I am however, a stay at home mom and highly involved with the school and will be substitute teaching there in the fall, so I hope to keep a closer eye on things. I do feel incredibly lucky. All of our kids are super awesome in thier own special way and my husband and I hit the kid lottery! :) Thanks again.
Good afternoon. I know that you must be very proud to have such an outstandingly intelligent child. I have a slightly different view. The one recommendation that I would have in supporting him is to seriously consider not being tempted to advance him beyond the grade level that he is in already. I know many parents think that allowing their children to be promoted a grade or two is the best thing for their children if they are very advanced,and sometimes it may be; however a child's development is more than just intellectual, it is physical, social, and emotional as well. Some gifted children do not adapt well when placed in a higher grade because their peers are now older than they are, and now these gifted children may find themselves socially alienated (although this too can happen if left among his peers, and he excels higher than they do). Here's an article (that contains links to continuing articles) that may give you insight on how to support your talented child: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/attention-training/201007/gifted-children-nurturing-genius-part-one. I hope this information can be of use to you. I wish you the best!
As an educator for 20 years, I truly know that skipping to another grade level does involve a battery of assessments. That is not a quick fix but just something to ponder. However, your main concern is stimulating and enriching your son's life. Maybe you do need to send him to the Math camp since he is asking again about going. Follow his lead. He will be happier in doing things that he enjoys. Also since he is quiet, maybe try some drama classes for children his age to help him come out of his shell. The opportunities out there for your son are incredible. You truly did hit the lottery with this son. May you continue to be blessed with his talents!
Thanks for your insight, I appreciate it. I would NOT consider allowing him to skip a grade. I really want him to be just like everyone else and he doesn't like being the center of attention and I know he wouldn't feel comfortable doing that--so it's not even on my radar of possibilities. One thing that is on the table however, is a transfer to a nearby school for gifted children when he will be entering 3rd grade. While this may be a no-brainer for some parents, for our family it's a bit more complicated as my middle child is just one year younger than my son and they are very close. At school they hate being apart (even though thier classes are right next to each other), and when one is sick and has to stay home, the other cries and protests going to school. I would have to think about it very carefully before seperating them. They are like twins (they are "Irish twins") ;)
So much to think about! Thanks again!
Sometimes as the saying goes...Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Your children will miss each other but sometimes change is good. Think about doing what is in the best interest of your children....especially the gifted and talented one. :)
I do think about what is in thier best interest which is why I am taking this so seriously. While I know he is very bright, he is only 7 years old and in the whole spectrum of his life, he's still a baby. I have to consider all aspects of his personality as well as the educational implications; his emotional well being is an even higher priority than getting him extra academic services.
Thanks again for all your help and advice.
I agree with you that his emotional well being is most important (as is the emotional well being of all of your children equally). The question of whether or not to seperate the siblings can be a tough one. I can relate to that idea oh too well; I have two boys (12 and 11 years old - the disagreeable twins) and two twin baby girls. While you do not want to stop your 7 year old from reaching his full potential, you also do not want to cause emotional or social discomfort to either of your children; which, due to them being so close, seperation could cause. Your middle child may need your 7 year old at the same school to help encourage your middle child's inner genius; and your 7 year old may get the mental energy he needs from having his sibling at school with him. They are old enough, if you haven't already, to talk to them about it, and see how they feel. With all of the parenting questions I have seen from parents seeking answers to problems, this is one of the most pleasing problems that a parent could have to encounter. Pat yourself on the back Mom, you are doing a great job. I wish you and your family the best!
Awww, thanks! XXXXX agree, this is a "good" problem to have and I certainly welcome it. I appreciate that you can understand my situation with my children being so close. They are the best of friends and while my middle daughter is probably not gifted in the same way as my son, she is HIGHLY creative and we do all we can to encourage all that is special about each of them. I think as the time gets closer to making a decision, we'll come to the right conclusion! :)
You are very welcome. And if you need any assistance along the way, you know where to come.
Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.