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    macksmom's Avatar
    macksmom Posts: 1,787, Reputation: 152
    Ultra Member

    Nov 2, 2007, 06:19 AM
    My gifted 5 yr old daughter, should I look into changing schools?
    Hey everyone :)

    So my daughter is 5 and in kindergarten... I went to my daughter's first parent teacher conference last night.

    A little background on her... I (as well as other family members) started seeing signs of advancement when she was really little. I just figured she was a fast learner so I started trying to nourish that trait in her. We did flash cards with letters, words, and pictures before she even learned how to talk. She started doing adult hidden pictures books when she was 2 and just showed a lot of interest in "learning" toys vs. "playing" toys. When she was a baby and started "babbling" I would act like she was talking... we would be in the car and she would just be babbling and I would talk to her like we were having a converstation... she seemed really receptive to this. At 2 she started talking... at 2 1/2 she could say the ABC's, count to 20, knew all colors and shapes. Her speech is what we picked up on. When she first learned to talk she would make simple senctences longer... like when she was mad... she would say "not so happy" and when she was 3 she looked at me and said "mommy I don't like this 'rule' thing"... when she said 'rule' she used her hands to make the 'quotation' sign. She also started picking up spanish on her own. She just used really advanced words that you wouldn't expect a 2-3 year old to know and she would use them in the right context. She took a keen interest in writing. Before she knew how to write letters she would draw a series of line (in the pattern of regular writing) and tell me that it was a story or poem and tell me what it said. By 3 1/2 she learned how to write letters and although they didn't make words she would group letters together and just write pages and pages of things. Then by 4 she could write her name and ask me how to spell things and know how to write them.

    But again, I didn't want to get too excited. I mean every parent thinks their kid is "advanced" or so smart. So I just let it go but kept trying to develop her interest in such things.

    At her first kindergarten meeting before school started, the teachers were giving an example of what homework might consist of. They said "like for example, we may have them practive counting to 20"... my daughter leaned over and whispered "mommy we already know how to count to 20, we're 5"... she just assumes everyone else knows these things as well.

    This past summer, she drew a map and labeled things like "the wall of China"! About a month ago, she went into her playroom... about 30-40 minutes later she emerged with an 8-10 page book she had made... pictures and sentences, which she taped together at the edges to make a binder.

    Well at anyrate... her conference was last night. Her teacher said everything I expected. All her spelling tests she got 100% on, her teacher said not one student in all 3 kindergarten classes had gotten 100% on ALL of them. They showed me her screening tests they did before school started and she scored way above average. She showed me writing she has the kids do during writers workshop. On every page, while other kids had written the basic simple sentence, my daughter had written compound sentences on every page. The teacher said she had absolutely nothing bad to say, she is a model student and often helps other kids when she is finished with her work. Her words were "You have a very very special little girl". She said at this point she is already ready for 1st grade.

    I don't want to "push" to have her skip a grade, but I don't want her to get bored and either start to act up in school or start to dislike school altogether. As of right now she wants to do homework before doing anything else, and when we are done with that nights homework she wants to continue and do the homework for the rest of the week.

    So I guess my question is... should I see how the rest of the year goes and start bringing up maybe skipping her a grade (as I would rather do it early rather than in middle school when kids want to stay with the same group of friends). Or should I start looking into "gifted" schools... the ones where you have to get accepted etc.
    Miss Sparkle's Avatar
    Miss Sparkle Posts: 111, Reputation: 6
    Junior Member

    Nov 2, 2007, 06:27 AM
    I believe that if your child is truly gifted they will prosper at whatever school they are in, however this is not always the case so maybe a school change would be a good idea. You do have to consider what impact the move could have on your child, would it disrupt their education?
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,267, Reputation: 5643

    Nov 2, 2007, 06:37 AM
    I have 2 children like this and I want to warn you about the hazards of slapping the "gifted" label on your child so early in her education. Gifted children tend to get just as hard a time in school as those lower on the learning curve if you know what I mean. Why? Because they are different from the other children. Kids are cruel and will make fun of anyone different than they are.

    If you skip her a grade you may regret it later as all the other children are more mature than her in other ways. She may be their intellectual equal, but emotionally, physically and socially she is different.

    Teachers and educators will expect more from her, maybe so much more in some cases, that she won't be able to keep up and she will regress.

    Rather than skipping a grade, or labeling her as "gifted" work with the teachers to develop some extra or different work for her. Let her be the helper in school that can read stories to her classmates while teacher grades papers etc. When she is done with her work first, teacher gives her some more work to keep her challenged.

    When my daughter was in 1st grade (she is now 14) she would go around the school and read stories to different classes after her work was done. She would read to FOURTH GRADE classes!! In 4th grade, when we asked if she wanted to be in challenge classes, she said "No Mom, those kids don't have any friends, and I like my friends."

    My son (5 1/2) is now going through the same thing. And we are working with the teachers to keep him challenged, but not "gifted." Talk to the principal, see if he/she will place her with a challenging teacher next year. He was tested and was given a recommendation for "gifted testing," but with the vice principal of my elementary school (he's a personal friend), we decided that he is too young for this.

    But placing a "gifted" label on a child this early in their education can spell disaster. All at once, she may become equal to the other kids, yet has to keep doing better but may not be able to.
    macksmom's Avatar
    macksmom Posts: 1,787, Reputation: 152
    Ultra Member

    Nov 2, 2007, 06:53 AM
    Yeah, that is my main concern... I don't necessarily refer to her as "gifted" (although I think I did in the subject of my question because of the category haha)... but I just think she is a fast learner... and absorbs and applies knowledge much more quick.

    I am just nervous, that she is going to get bored and start to disrupt other students. But discussing with her teacher and principal to maybe create different things for her to do, it a great idea!
    I mentioned possibly skipping a grade because she wouldn't totally be out of her age range. She turns 6 in December... so she would only be months younger than some of the students, rather than years.

    My concern also lays in (as far as me mentioning looking for other schools)... is my husband and I just moved out in the country from living in the city all my life. They only have a few schools here, and no major colleges. So I am concerned that they may not adapted to her needs, whereas in the city I lived in had tons of schools and different programs etc.

    So do you think with her teachers reactions, I should talk to the principal... or wait until later in the school year and see how things go now?
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,267, Reputation: 5643

    Nov 2, 2007, 06:58 AM
    I'd talk with the teacher for now. Make "friends" with her, lol. Talk about her curriculum and ways that she can accommodate your daughter and her thirst for knowledge.

    I understand your dilemma about her getting bored and becoming disruptive, that's what happened to my son in pre-k, but he now has a challenging teacher and is flourishing. I keep in touch with the teacher on almost a daily basis.

    Principal will come later in the school year when it comes time, if your school allows it, to request teachers for next year. Talk to the teacher you have now and see who she would recommend that may be challenging on your child's level.
    macksmom's Avatar
    macksmom Posts: 1,787, Reputation: 152
    Ultra Member

    Nov 2, 2007, 07:04 AM
    Yeah, she seems to be fully aware of her advancement... she referred to her as a 'sponge'... so hopefully she will be receptive to trying to creative more challenging things for MacKenzie to do... because right now she loves doing school work and I would like to keep it that way. :)

    Ahhh... thank you so much, you calmed me down a bit... I just really want to make sure, since she is showing this so early, and now an educator has agreed, that she keeps being challenged to excel rather than fall back.
    kath00's Avatar
    kath00 Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 25, 2008, 05:19 PM
    So what did you do with your DD? This thread is about a year old so I am curious.

    You describe my older DD word for word. Except in K her teachers said they just 'don't' skip children ahead ever. So she went through K and all was well. Then in 1st grade, we got a new teacher and about 3 months into the school year, she said, "OMG, you NEED to move this child ahead if you want her to learn!" She became a very strong advocate for my DD and after a number of meetings with the principal and a special group of teachers, etc, they recommended that she move ahead. This was in light of the 2nd grade being mostly a "review" year at our school district.

    My DD entered 3rd grade after 1st and did well. She was an average child and without much struggle got all the concepts. By no means was she at the top of the class but we knew that would be the case. Socially she was absolutely fine but she has always been mature for her age and she usually plays with older children anyway.

    This year, she has started 4th grade and we just had our first parent-teacher conference. She got straight A's and her teacher says she is one of the brightest girls she has seen in a very long time. We are extremely proud and know that the decision to move her forward was the right one. She is well adjusted, happy and excelling, just like her 1st grade teacher predicted.

    The reason I write this long post is to encourage others with gifted children (who are also socially mature, which many tend to be) to find an advocate for your child and go for the grade advancement rather than making them sit through years of repetitive material. It is doable (despite what school districts tell you, especially public schools where funding is determined by child count)!

    macksmom's Avatar
    macksmom Posts: 1,787, Reputation: 152
    Ultra Member

    Nov 10, 2008, 07:56 PM

    Hi Katherine!

    Well she is now is 1st grade. We just had our first parent teacher conference and she said the same thing her kindergarten teacher said... that she is well ahead of the class and would be ready for the next grade now.
    For example, on the reading test, she read at the highest level they test for in 1st grade. Her teacher said she could have easily gone higher but "they" don't like the teachers to test that high??
    Her teacher this year did seem to have a plan in mind though, which is more than what I can say for her kindergarten teacher. She said she will be starting her on more advanced books such as chapter books and non fiction. She gave me a list of the "sight words" they learn in 2nd grade and told me I could start working with her at home on them. Well I gave my daughter the list of words in the car on the way home from the meeting and she read them ALL without any hesitation!

    So I emailed the principal to see if they offer any enrichment classes. I haven't heard back yet, and if I don't by the end of this week, I am going to set an appointment to discuss this.

    She loves school but I just don't feel that she is being challenged enough. I buy workbooks for her to do at home because when she is done with homework, she always wants to do more.

    And with her 1st grade teacher saying the same things her kindergarten teacher said (mind you it's the BEGINNING of the year) I think it is something I should be more proactive on.

    Thank you for your reply and sharing your personal story. It really gets me thinking because last year everyone told me not to skip her a grade because she wouldn't adapt... but from your story, I see that it's possible :)
    kath00's Avatar
    kath00 Posts: 4, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Nov 10, 2008, 08:23 PM
    Hi there. So good to see you replied! Funny because my DD in first grade had the same situation with her reading -- they said she read even higher than they could test. I guess they only go up to 3rd grade level in first grade. Don't know. It was just funny to read the similarity. My advice would be to advocate for your daughter to skip 2nd. She will be bored and will start to develop poor learning habits (ie everything comes easily and effortlessly so they lose interest, don't try their best... ).

    Now here is my situation with my younger DD. I thought I would share because if your school is not willing to move your child ahead, this may be a good option. My younger DD is almost 4 but misses the Dec 2 cutoff by 2 weeks. Similar to my older DD, she is VERY BRIGHT. She is reading, writing, doing basic math, etc at her young age. I can go on but my impression is that she may be even brighter than my older DD.

    Anyway, the same school told me that no way would they consider starting her in K early. I figured I could avoid the skipping 2nd grade chaos by getting her to K early (next year). She is totally ready. The principal said they "never start early" period. Even though she only misses the cutoff by a few weeks. She said to me that "between friends, the only way to start her early is to put her into a private kindergarten" that would take her early. Well, I started looking into HOMESCHOOLING her and getting her credit that way for K. Then we can just have her go straight to 1st grade next year. The principal said as long as the homeschool program is accredited (even as a family you can register to be a homeschooler).

    So another option for your DD may be to consider supplementing her work with homeschooling material or moving her into a private school for a year and asking to have her tested to move forward. It is great that your DD's teacher is taking special interest and supplementing her with challenging work. But it still leaves her in school for 8 hours bored stiff.

    macksmom's Avatar
    macksmom Posts: 1,787, Reputation: 152
    Ultra Member

    Nov 10, 2008, 08:39 PM

    I think it is ridiculous that if a child is capable of testing into K that they don't let her in... silly if you ask me!

    I wouldn't want to take my daughter out in the middle of the year... but I like how you did it... after 1st grade, entering into 3rd... that way she starts at the beginning of the year like all the other kids.

    I will keep you updated on what I hear from her principal... if I hear anything lol
    claireinNC123's Avatar
    claireinNC123 Posts: 19, Reputation: 2
    New Member

    Jul 2, 2009, 06:15 PM

    Hi I am a gifted child (in technical terms, I'm not just conceited)lol. I think you should let her skip. I think this because I was like her for about 4 years of school and I was SOOOOOOOO bored. I also got I to a lot of trouble because I was falling asleep and daydreaming because I already new what the teacher was saying. I was not being challenged and I would sit and try to ignore the teacher. Sometimes I would fall behind because I was not listening. Also I did my best about 10% of the time and kept perfect grades with no effort at all. I think since youdont want your daughter slacking of and not working to her full potential, you should put her in a gifted class or let her skip. I would recomind the gifted program because I was kept with my own age group (well, sort of , give our take a year or two, I skipped twice.) And I loved school. PUT HER IN THE GIFTED PROGRAM, PLEASE!! YOU'LL REGRET IT IF YOU DON'T, TRUST ME!!
    claireinNC123's Avatar
    claireinNC123 Posts: 19, Reputation: 2
    New Member

    Jul 2, 2009, 06:17 PM
    (and your daughter sounds waaaaaaay gifted) Im in 6th grade now, by the way

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