The gifted program should be interesting.

I attended the 4th grade gifted program informational meeting last week for M.  I was glad they had that, so we could know what the kids will be learning.  The girls go to a public school, mostly because we can’t afford private.

It a self-contained gifted class and the entire focus is on higher order thinking skills and interdisciplinary approach to teaching. If they are studying constellations, they will study myths and legends, research a constellation and write an essay, present a play about constellations, and teach other students about constellations using a digital planetarium.

They will compact a lot of the basics in order for them to get to the good stuff.

Their reading revolves around novels and they will get a chance to do some comparative analysis (for instance, comparing and contrasting two books from the same genre). They will have writing projects and speaking projects.

They will be focusing on vocabulary and learning Greek and Latin prefixes.  They’ll participate in a national analogy-based vocabulary contest.

They will have a fifth grade math book, and they will use a game called Hands-On Equations to teach algebra skills.

For science, they will be doing a science project, and if they get their act together, a design project too. They will also be changing the diet of twin mice babies and monitoring their growth rates.

I was really pleased to hear that they monitor the children’s progress, so that if they see that one or a couple of students needs more challenge in math, they’ll allow those students to accelerate and if any child is struggling with the challenges, they’d give them some extra assistance.

They don’t load up on the homework and a lot of times, they have less than the regular classes.

I am excited and nervous, but one nice thing about the informational meeting is that there are a few other parents with concerns for their child. Like one mom said, “but my child keeps saying I only BARELY got in” and they reassured her that it would be all right and that in the 20 years they had the program, only about 5 didn’t make it through successfully.

This made me wonder…what is your child’s gifted program like?   Are you happy with it?  What are its strengths and weaknesses?

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6 Responses to The gifted program should be interesting.

  1. Wow. Just– Wow.
    This is what I’ve always been told homeschooling (i.e., private personalized education) should look like, and this is just want wears me out just *thinking* about the level of prepwork (and discipline in implementation!) required.

    Kudos and I hope it’s a blast for all involved!

  2. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Amy Jane –

    Thanks. I was really surprised too.

    I have researched homeschooling as an option, so I know a little of what you are talking about. I have read homeschooling blogs and homeschooling gifted kids blogs. I’m really mind boggled by all the choices and level of prepwork and discipline needed. If I had to do it myself, I think I would be somewhat torn between a Charlotte Mason and a Well-Trained Child approach and fill in whatever else I might think is necessary (Singapore Math was one I thought about). I know the work of a homeschooling parent is very challenging (but very rewarding too!).

    I have participated in message boards for parents of gifted kids and I know the options out there vary. I think I’m really impressed that this program is in our PUBLIC school. There is a local private academy that challenges their kids, but the price tag is insane ($10,000/year for elementary!).

    I really think this program, coupled with what we already do, is really promising.

    There were parents who had already sent their older children through the program and they did have a lot of nice things to say about it. I think this is a good thing. I certainly wasn’t doing this kind of work in 4th grade (though I had remembered being in advanced classes starting in middle school). I NEVER skipped a year of math. Ever.

    So yeah, it’s nice to know that the school has a good plan going for the kids. I’m excited to see how it goes.

  3. Heather says:

    This sounds like an awesome gifted program.

    I can tell you a “homeschooling gifted program” is a difficult one to pull off. Because I have no framework to work from. Standards are pretty useless in this case, and quite few of the homeschool resources out there are still standards based. But I do try to slant towards higher order thinking skills.

  4. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Heather –

    I’m wondering, do you have to follow the standards base for the age group your child is in though? As a homeschooler, are you not allowed to jump ahead and try and hit the standards for older children (in any particular area)? I’m just wondering. I never got as far as actually how mastery was proven. I think, though, in our state, homeschooling is not so rigorously controlled/monitored (it could have changed though).

    There is a link to a Gifted Homeschoolers Forum on my sidebar. They might have some tips there. Or you might unschool…I know a lot of parents do that. It’s way more laid back/child directed though.

    I’m pretty sure Nurtured by Love blog were unschoolish – I know all the kids are highly gifted
    http://nurturedbylove.blogspot.com/. You might get some ideas there.

  5. Melody says:

    I just found a Sudbury school within driving distance (by Brookfield) and soo trying to figure out a way for the girls to go there. Tuition is surprisingly reasonable, it is the getting them there and back with two working parents that I’m struggling with.

  6. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Hmmm…I never knew what Sudbury schools were like.

    I found this….

    Sudbury School philosophy

    It is a progressive/democratic education that has philosophies of Monetessori, Waldorf, and John Holt’s unschooling approaches.

    Sounds pretty nifty. I hope you find a way to make it work.

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