S.B. asks from Newburgh, IN on April 20, 2009
Gifted Program - Newburgh,IN
My son's teacher called us at home and told us that she wants to nominate him for the "gifted program" for next school year (5th grade). I am very proud that she feels that he is qualified. The only problem is that he will have to go to a new school for this. (he doesn't do well with change) He is doing well in school and I am scared that if we put him in this program that he will start dropping in his grades of being push so hard, but I would love it if he gets a better education. I am so torn right now. Of course he is only being nominated so we don't know if he really will be accepted. So I guess we will just have to wait and see. My husband already told our son what was going on (without me, which I wasn't happy about) and het told me that my sons face was like "are you crazy, I don't want to do that" What would you do if it was your child?
So What Happened?™
Thanks to everybody that gave me advice! We never heard back to see if he was going to get accepted or not, so I am guess that either the teacher didn't turn us in like she was supposed to or they just didn't chose my son. So I guess the decision was made for us. I have no doubt that my son would have done good either way it went. Thanks again.
D.G. answers from Columbus on April 21, 2009
First explain the advantages to him and then let him decide what he wants.If he is truely as gifted as his teacher thinks he is maybe he could wait until he is in Jr. High or High school.He should not be yanked out of a school he loves and away from his friends.
E.W. answers from Cleveland on April 21, 2009
Sometimes the mental health of your child is more important than other things. It sounds like you know your child. You know you can still challenge him other ways through the existing school and also do outside activities that encourage him to learn. A lot of these gift programs push excelerated programs which force a kid to learn fast. Another idea take your child for a visit to the school or have him shadow for a day so you can see if this is a right fit for your child.
1 mom found this helpful
J.D. answers from Columbus on April 21, 2009
LIfe is full of adjustments and changes, and this seems to be a positive one. I would probably encourage my son to go for it, pointing out all of the positives and opportunities it could present, but ultimately leaving the decision up to him. This is a tricky age because they are feeling so grown up and wanting to make their own decisions, but it is still our job as parents to lead them in the right direction.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
L.E. answers from Muncie on April 23, 2009
My son has been in a gifted program for two years now and my daughter is being tested for the next school year. I can't say enough good things about it. My son was bored even in Pre-K so finally in 2nd grade he was challenged. I still think it is not hard enough for him and he is one of the youngest in his class(I put him in early because he missed the cutoff date by just 18 days). My son had to go to a different school entirely but it has been worth it. He has made friends and he seems happy and doesn't want to go back to his old school. It is an all inclusive program and there is not much homework, they do most of it in class. I would be thrilled if my daughter gets in because this school is so much better than the one she is attending now. It can't hurt to have your son tested. Remember, you are the parent, you know best but don't let YOUR fears stop HIM and what is best for him. Kids adapt much easier than adults do!
L. Etta, mother to an 8 year old boy and a 6 year old girl
G.D. answers from Cincinnati on April 21, 2009
I can tell you from personal experience, if there had been gifted programs available in my school (way back when), I would have thrived so much more than I did. I was SO BORED in school because I already knew everything they were teaching, or learned it the first time and didn't need as much repetition.
I can also tell you, your child's attitude toward change can be greatly affected by your approach to the change and your own attitude. I inadvertently caused my daughter to be afraid of something just by the way I acted about it. If you talk up the new school and program - finding lots of pro's about it, and make it a positive thing that YOU are looking forward to, it could be a more pleasant move for him.
D.L. answers from Columbus on April 21, 2009
You must be so proud! Though, it's a shame your husband couldn't wait to say anything until the two of you had a game plan.
If I were in your position, I wouldn't say anything else about it to your son until you find out whether he's been accepted or not and you and your husband discuss how to handle it. Then, the TWO of you have a talk with him. If he's not that into the program I wouldn't force it on him. I don't think not going through the "gifted" program will have lifelong consequences ;-) You'll just need to be on the lookout for any signs that he's not being challenged enough in his classes and make sure you find a way to handle that.
D.T. answers from Indianapolis on April 21, 2009
We're in a similiar situation but I don't know if how helpful it is. :-) Our son is in 1st grade and went through the testing to enter the G&T program (it starts in 2nd grade here). The testing was a few months ago and we weren't sure if we should send him or not. But we agreed to the testing so even if we decide not to, we know his strengths (he's 2-4 grade levels ahead in everything but writing). So now, last week, we get the letter saying he was accepted and now it's up to us to decide if we want to send him or not -- by mid-May. It's the same school building so he'll still see his friends. Honestly, we have no idea yet what we'll do. We're going to the parent orientation next week to get more info and I set up a conference at the school with a normal 2nd grade teacher, the G&T teacher, the school counselor and his current 1st grade teacher. We'll get everyone's input next week and then make the decision. My son will also get to spend half a day in the G&T classroom this week so he can see what kind of things they do.
Our son knows about it. We told him that we'll take his thoughts into consideration but mom and dad make the final decision. He's so young he can't possibly make that big of a decision... one day he's all excited and the next he's adament about not doing it.
All I can say is to get as much info as you can. Talk with teachers, the school counselor and your son about it. I think having your son check out the program in person is a great idea, too.
C.W. answers from Cincinnati on April 21, 2009
Gifted prograsms are nice but I don't agree with many of them. I think it's an easy out for the teacher. They don't have to work as hard to keep them interested. They are just passing them on. My son the oldest was smart enough for gifted programs but needed the push that they kids who are middle of the row tend to get. I had him kept in the main stream classes. It worked for him but may not your child. Some children who are gifted but not followed closely enough tend to be behavior problems as was my youngest.
M.P. answers from Indianapolis on April 21, 2009
I had the same situation with my son. He was tested and accepted, but I turned it down. I decided I didn't want to change schools and I did not want him segregated from the rest of the kids. Don't feel bad either way you go. It is your decision and you should do what you feel is best and you are comfortable with.