She made an off-hand remark in a recent post, stating (paraphrased) that "the term "gifted" is overused in the homeschooling world"." I agree.....but.
"Gifted" is a Public School label. All it means (here, anyway) is that the "gifted" child is pulled out of regular classes for 1 or 2 hours a week, and given "enrichment" exercises. In practice, it means that the child is targeted by every other kid in the school, and gets a LOT of grief over it. And.....here, it also means that any child that isn't "normal" - meaning, sports-loving, book-hating, average grades - is put into this category.
Question: WHY would any homeschooling parent want to class her speschul snowflake as "gifted"? I mean, seriously.....if EVERYBODY is Special, then...in reality, NOBODY is.
And, why would any Public School-hating homeschooler want to latch on to a Public School category? Most of the folks here (IRL, I mean) are RABID "PS is EVIL and anyone who sends their kids there are god-hating child abusers who should be shot" (Yup. That is the underlying feeling. I'm not even exaggerating - I was told, to my face, by a daycare lady who homeschooled (and her kids were "gifted"...and neither one was ANYWHERE near on grade-level. Behind in EVERY subject - and yet, she claimed they were "too smart" for Public School. :arrrgh:)(And this is why I didn't WANT to homeschool, because of people like her....by whom I am surrounded. It's why we're not in any co-ops or groups or anything.) Granted, Public School isn't the greatest and best educational solution...but it's worked for most of the adults currently *living*, and.....even the rabid folk here were public schooled. And most have good memories of it......:sigh:
Now. Both my kids were classified as gifted while still in Public School. Both my kids ARE smart...but gifted? I.....dunno. Herself has the Asperger's getting in the way, so she never got the special treatment that Himself did...but the schools didn't do her any favors, either - because she had an IEP in place, and because part of it was that NO schoolwork was to leave the school - heck, we revised it so that no schoolwork was to leave the CLASSROOM - she never had homework (Don't ask. Or, do....but it wasn't pretty. The child STILL can NOT throw anything away. Imagine the state of her backpack. Go on, just imagine it.). And I never had the chance to see if she was struggling. (This is totally on the school. I asked, and ASKED, if she needed any help. I never knew how bad her grades were until 2 weeks before each report card....and by then, it was almost impossible to help her catch up. :bangs head: They passed her *anyway*.....and I'm still dealing with that. :sigh:)
Himself.....IS smart. But. He simply can't "get" creative writing. And he can't remember to do his chores..that he's had since he was *5*. :sigh: (It's puberty. I know it. It doesn't make it any easier when he can't remember WHY I sent him into the Studio, or even if he watered the goats 10 minutes ago or not. :sigh:) "Gifted"......maybe. But not a genius - which is what most homeschooling parents (and by that, I mean "moms"!) mean when they use the term.
In the real world, however, "gifted" doesn't mean a damn thing. Once you hit 18, your boss doesn't care that you took Calculus at 9 (or whatever these parents are claiming - I avoid the gifted board at WTM any more, because it was getting too unbelievable. I mean, a 5 year old doing Algebra? I'm sorry...but honestly! Not really possible. I mean, yeah, he could DO it, but understand it? Not even!) - he just wants you to do your damn job!
Here, it means that Himself, who is in 7th grade, age-wise, is doing the exact same classes as his 10th-grade sister. He IS doing Algebra (well, Singapore's Discovering Mathematics 2B), and he's doing well......but that's only because he "gets" Math. Science is Apologia's "Physical Science"...which is usually a 9th-grade course (by some people; some say it's 8th, some say 10th. :shrug:) History is MOH 3, which is Renaissance; in the local PS, he'd be studying Texas History again; World History isn't until 9th (or 10th - I don't remember). I've already discussed this with him - he will NOT be graduating early. (Some folk on WTM forums have their "gifted" *14* year olds in College....Not Even.) He was upset for about 2 minutes, until I asked him how he thought it would go, him being 14 in a classroom with 18 year olds. He agreed that maybe he should stay home until he was 18.....and take all the Science and Math I could dig up for him. (I might get him in some Community College classes at 16...we'll see. I won't push it, though...I want learning to be FUN, not work.)
Look - both my kids did OK in school (well....except for Herself the last year or so - Middle School.). BUT. It wasn't necessarily because they were "gifted", but because I spent time *working* with them. We read together, we watched Shakespeare DVDs, I did Math games with both of them (I taught Herself, who had just learned how to skip-count, that she was actually doing Multiplication. It took a bit, but she got it - in 1st grade (maybe Kindergarten - I don't remember.) I didn't expect the school to do ALL the work - I am the parent, after all, and I should be involved in every aspect of my kids lives. MOST of the parents here....don't. I don't know if it's because they don't care, or if they just think that the school should handle all of it. Doesn't matter to me - it's their choice. BUT. To claim that my kids are "special" just because of how they did in school...when *I* started teaching them from birth...is silly.
Anyway. Why do we need labels? My kids are just kids - smart in some areas, silly in others. I don't want to put pressure on them, just to make *me* look good. That's.....silly. And sad. :sigh: And I am trying to not do that to my kids.......
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