Help with a Gifted Child and His Teacher

Updated on November 01, 2008
S.S. asks from Buena Park, CA
72 answers

My son has started third grade and is way ahead of the class work. He has always been ahead but he seems to be getting farther away now. I spoke with his teacher and she informed me that he just has to do the regular work-there is no GATE or advanced work until the 4th grade. I received his STAR scores and he is advanced and two areas (math and reading) scored 100% so it's not just my opinion. His teacher has told me that she will give him a few extra things to do but it's just extra work not anything advanced and he still has to do the regular work as well.
He just spent 3 hours not doing his homework and begging me to not make him do "kindergarten math" "Can't I do the division workbook?"he asked.
Those of you who are teachers or parents who have been through this, how do I get his teacher to let me give him homework on his level? I have volunteered to buy a 4th grade book and teach him myself if she will only let him out of doing the other work. No deal. I volunteered to come in on my days off (I am a substitute teacher) and work with him and any others in the class who should be doing more advanced work, no deal. I have begged the principal to let me do anything, she'll "look into it". I'm a single mom so I have so I have to work so homeschooling is not an option. Because of some of his emotional issues changing schools is not an option.
HELP!!!! What can I do to get some change? How do I present this to her so she will allow me to? I am willing to do the work, do the teaching, do everything as long as she will not penalize him for not doing some of the regular classwork/ homework.

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.D.

answers from San Diego on

Time to skip the teacher and move on to the principal. If you get nothing there, speak to director of ed services or superintendent. DO NOT just take no for an answer. I'm heavily involved with a school district and GATE is not just for 4th graders and above. If you need more help, please feel free to contact me.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

I.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

This is the perfect grade to skip. Go to 4th grade. And if that's too easy, keep skipping. I know of children, now adults, who say it was the best thing for them. There are special programs in college for the very young geniuses and they are happier because they are with kids just like them. Even if "genius" isn't the case...at the very least, skip 3rd.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would look into another school. Apparently they are not equipped to handle gifted/advanced students. If you can afford it, look into Montessori type schools where they allow the children to work on their level in any subject matter, whether they are 3 grades ahead or not. Or try fiding out what is offered in the public school system for such children. There are programs for gifted/advanced chilren via the public school system which require the child to attend a different school becuase that is where the programs are.

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.D.

answers from San Diego on

Hi! That is fantastic that your son is doing so well in math and reading. I taught 4th grade for several years and I do have a few thoughts that might help.

First of all, it is a teacher's job to meet children on their academic level. It is not a favor to give a child work that is more advanced, it is an obligation. I taught in the Bronx, and of the 30 children in my 4th grade class some were on a kindergarten level and a few were above grade level. So as teachers it is necessary to differentiate instruction. You should not have to beg this teacher to do her job. And the administration should back you up on this. I gave out different assignments for homework as well as classwork based on the children's abilities. Some reading groups were reading chapter books, some were doing sight words. Was this more difficult from a teaching standpoint? Of course. You are writing many lesson plans instead of one. But as a professional, I don't think you really have a choice.

In my opinion, the most important aspect of school is to instill a love of learning. If you son is not challenged, he desire to learn could be compromised. It sounds like you are doing everything you can to supplement his instruction, but I would again try to speak to the teacher or the principal about what else can be done. You want you son to be excited for school....and bored children are more likely to develop behavior problems. Again, it is the teacher's job to challenge him.

Now you mention that you didn't want him penalized for not doing some of the homework/classwork. I don't really know if that is a battle you are going to win. At the end of the day, your son is still in third grade, and he should be responsible for third grade work. The teacher can and SHOULD be supplementing his work, but that does not necessarily excuse him from his other work. And that is not a bad thing. Children that are gifted are often isolated from the class because they are "special" or "different". They face many of the same stigmas that children who under-perform do. Your son needs to be a part of the class. Sometimes we don't have a choice, and that is something that school helps us learn. This morning I had to go to the DMV to take a written test. I knew full well I would pass, but I had to sit there for hours on end and do it anyway, just like all the other people in line behind me. He will miss out on group projects, partner activities....these help with his social development. You mentioned that he had some emotional problems. Feeling like an important part of a group helps with self-esteem.

That being said, perhaps there is SOME classwork that once he has shown proficiency he could be excused from. For instance once my students proved through quizzes that they knew all their mult. tables, they could play math games instead of doing the mantatory drills. Or I would often make "study-groups" and have the more advanced children explain concepts to those who were struggling. Oftentimes children can explain things better to other children than adults can!!

Now fighting you for 3 hours, again, he should understand that right now, he doesn't have a choice. If the work is really easy, it shouldn't take him long at all. Maybe you could make the easy homework into a game. Time his when he does the math worksheets, see if he can beat his time from the night before. Make sticker charts or other incentives he might like. I'm not sure what his homework consists of on a daily basis, but I have a million books and teaching tools that I could help you with if you are interested.

Basically, it seems like the teacher isn't doing her job. And I bet if you son was being challenged on HIS level, he wouldn't feel so frustrated and upset. Everything you are offering to do is great, but really the school should be providing these services. Let me know how things work out and I really hope that your little guy continues to excel...I know he will with such a strong advocate in his corner. :O)

4 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.,
I can completely understand your dilemma. I was a GATE teacher for 5 years and was constantly torn between abiding by my principal's and district's set curriculum and my own understanding of how these kids work. So, here are a few suggestions: Instead of advancing him in math to the next grade level, why note focus on a different area of math, such as word problems or critical thinking? I used a variety of critical thinking math books and mensa puzzles for the kids and they LOVED them! And there are TONS of them out there. Also, Marcy Cook has some great books that reinforce these concepts such as the Color it On the 100 chart, Find it on the 100 Chart, etc. These examples are for young primary, but she does have some for upper elementary.
Also, you can focus on other content areas to help him develop to a more well rounded student. GATE will be hard, especially in the upper grades, so why not give him the advantage in ALL subject areas not just his area of strength? Focus on other skills such as: writing, art, science, grammar, foreign languages, music, etc. Many of these subjects can easily be adapted for home.
Also, most of the assigned math may be easy for him, but there will always be one or two things that may be a challenge for him such as the word problems. Always go over the assignments to check for these types of problems so he doesn't miss out on learning those skills and get behind.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

There is something off here. When my son was in 1st grade, he and another boy in his class went to 2nd grade to do math with them. They actually walked together to the 2nd grade classroom and worked with them, then they'd go out to recess afterwards. This was generated by the principal when she saw their test scores and abilities. It worked really well. There is no reason your school cannot accomodate this situation in a similar fashion. However, if your son is spending hours begging to not do the work---that's a behavioral issue and YOU need to address that. Do not let your son get away with this---to me, it sounds like he's so manipulating you, I'm sorry to say. However, if your son truly feels 3rd grade math is baby work, then advancing him one grade isn't going to be the solution---there isn't a HUGE difference between 3rd and 4th grade math until towards the last part of the year. Has your family been playing up how smart he is and now he feels "special" and is behaving a little spoiled? He's in 3rd grade and needs to do the work. Tell him this is life, and when he's done with that work, you will sit down with him and work with him on more advanced concepts. My son's 3rd grade math was a breeze and he could sit down and whip it out in 15-20 minutes. Your son should be able to do this as well. Gifted or not, he needs to do what he needs to do. The truth is that scoring 100% on the STAR testing ONE YEAR alone is not a sign of giftedness. Next year will be the telling point, and they don't use just test scores to determine whether he's a GATE candidate. And seriously, what's the big deal that you can't sit down with him and teach him some of the math concepts he might be interested in? You don't need his teacher's approval or help to do that. Parents have been doing this for years.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.,
I really empathize with your frustration and wanting to do the best for your son!
Unfortunately, especially with budgets as they are, our educational system is far from perfect. Have you checked with your PTA president to ask about programs for your son? The PTA can be a very powerful agent for change and improvement. They raise funds for extras that the school can't afford. Maybe there are others in your situation and the PTA might be able to bring in some kind of program for gifted children.

Here a few other thoughts I have:
1. I personally think there could be value in having your son do the "grunt work" anyway, and to lay the groundwork for the importance of getting that sort of stuff done and then moving on to the more advanced and enjoyable work. All over life, that is the case. As a smart one, it's easy for kids to try to make up their own rules and to end up viewing themselves as above having to do certain things.
I've had to do this with my son. He fought and screamed against doing his kindergarten math because he said it was so easy and boring. I told him that once he did the easy math, then we could take the answers and multiply them for fun.

2. Would the teacher be open to at least modifying the homework? Perhaps you could take the current homework and add an additional component to it for your son?

3. Could you provide advanced workbooks for your son to do in the classroom when his work his finished?

4. As far as skipping grades, well that presents a whole set of other things to take into consideration. Primarily that would be emotional maturity and how your son would do being younger (and possibly less mature) than his classmates, and then the ramifications down the road when he is 15 and his friends are 16, for example. Just something to consider.

5. Since your son will get into the GATE program next year, then maybe you just need to hang in there for this year, and give him whatever extra that you can.

Here a few links that may have information for you:
National Association for Gifted Children
http://www.nagc.org

National PTA (they are great advocates and know of lots of resources)
http://www.pta.org/

Calif. Dept of Education, Gifted and Talented Education
http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/gt/

California Association for the Gifted
http://www.cagifted.org/

Please post an update, as I'm sure a lot of us would like to know what you come up with.

All the best!
M.

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

S.,
It is a challenge and a blessing to raise gifted children. Two of my sons were reading 6 to 7th grade level in 3rd grade. The one teacher wrote me a note saying my son would fail reading if he didn't pay attention. I talked to him, apparently he was reading a high level book in his lap and didn't know where the class was in the third grade book when it was "his turn" to read. Then my second son was halfway through reading The Covenant by James Michener when his 6th grade started. He was required to read of book of at least so many pages and his teacher refused to let him count the last half of the book as his book for reading (the book is almost 900 pages). This son also knew all addition facts by kindergarten and multiplication and division facts by 1st. Both just whipped through the homework as fast as they could. even if it was boring because they knew it was a requirement. It wasn't a problem with them, just a bore. Encourage your son to do the homework even if it is boring and then enrich him in other areas at home. Reward him when he does it with a challenging math problem or fact, with you reading a really difficult book to him....my one son wanted a pathology book read to him and I had to do it with a medical dictionary:) This son wanted a microscope for his kindergarten Christmas gift. We got a fairly good one and he and I loved to find new things to look at and also I go various purchased slides for him. I also put him in a dissecting course one summer and he love it so we got more dissecting material which I helped him with and a high school teacher gave me some older dissecting books. He loved doing that. (This son is now a in a cardiology fellowship). We spent lots of time at museums...going through at a very slow rate compared to most people and returning often so he could read and learn in each section. Museums often have Saturday classes. My other son went to one on rocketry and another on dinosaurs..his two interests. We spent time learning all the prehistoric animals and also visiting La Brea to see paleontologist. Their Dad did physics do experiments with them on Saturdays which was a great bonding activity. Your can search internet for areas that interest him. Follow you sons interests, help him explore. Teach him how to discover all kinds of knowledge on the computer. Then give him a hands one experience in his interests. Have him learn typing (there are some wonderful typing programs for children and they really should learn to type with 10 fingers).

Collections are great too. One of my sons loved to classify shells and I was fortunate to find an old shell book that was being gotten rid of at the library. It had all the California shells in that we found on beaches and we classified them very scientifically. Also pictures of animals from magazines...classify animals by scientific names..ursidae, canidae, etc and then even divide the classification further. Collect leaves and classify trees. If you hike classify wild flowers.

Encourage friendships. School is not just academics...I know it is frustrating at times. Social relationships, leadership, discipline, respect for authority are all part of it. I would see if there was another teacher who would be willing to have him in a different 3rd grade if the teacher is negative to him because of this also.

Enjoy you son, explore the huge world (not just reading and math) with him and help him find his special interests.
H.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.L.

answers from Honolulu on

Dear S.,

You don't need the teacher's permission to show your son how to do division or any other more advanced math at home.

Assuming the worst, that the teacher, principal, counselors, no one will vary the status quo to give your son more stimulating lessons at school, he may have to just snap through the simple stuff to keep them all pacified. He may find some satisfaction in beating his finish times and setting his own records at doing the boring easy stuff faster and faster, then moving on to the more exciting fun stuff that you can provide from the library or other educational sources.

I raised two gifted children, and my third one was no dummy either. Your child will meet and be confronted with people who are less intelligent than he is throughout his entire life. "Patience" in dealing with those who just "don't get it" is a valuable quality for him to acquire, and maybe this school year will be one that will require a lot on his part. Encourage him to be cooperative and obedient in all situations. Obedience is a worthy attribute, and should surely win over the teacher’s heart over time, as she sees that he isn’t conceited, and doesn’t have an “attitude” about being a smart kid in the class, she will likely be more and more motivated to do more for him.

Encourage him to find other positive aspects about his classes and teachers. He’s smart enough to come up with some creative ideas that even you may not have thought of in making this a winning school year.

You may consider looking for a different school for another year, or even by January, if this one just doesn’t have programs, or teachers to meet your son’s needs.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

I can see you've gotten many responses to help you choose what to do. As a teacher, I can only tell you that attitude is everything - YOUR attitude. If you can really help your kiddo to learn to make the best out of any situation and teacher, that will be a lifelong lesson. He's got his whole academic career to be challenged and he's got lots of time at home to be challenged. My guess is that if the teacher thought your child was truly above and beyond gifted, she would be doing more for him. She probably thinks he needs another year to work on everything else in school. Plus, though he has areas of strength, maybe this is a time for you guys to work on his areas of weakness. Do the homework. Teach him to follow through. You might just explain that his teacher wants to make sure he knows all of this stuff and the only way she can see that is for him to do the work. You can make a game of it and see how fast he can complete it - if it's soooo easy then that shouldn't be a problem for him. My guess is that he's starting to think he doesn't need to do the work if he doesn't like it or doesn't feel like it. It's a complicated situation, but I have to agree with what this respondent had to say:

Your focus is in the wrong place. On the teacher instead of on your son. You will not change the system. If the gifted program begins next year, it begins next year. There are far more important life skills than academic achievement, and your son can practice them this year. Cooperation, doing what needs to be done, completing the assignments given, following the rules, etc. I have a third grader in the exact same situation, but we let him know right off the bat that not doing his assigned homework is not an option. We told him, if it is easy, whip it out in no time flat and then we can do work from a more difficult workbook. I see the three hours your son spent stalling as a much greater problem than anything else. You need to put a stop to that ASAP. Smart kids are also master manipulators, and he has you right where he wants you. He is now in the "victim" role due to your attitude. Poor gifted child, so far above the others, why should he be forced to do the easy stuff? He needs to be challenged, etc... Don't fall for it. Stop begging the principal and begging the teacher and focus on your son. It doesn't matter how intelligent you are, you still need certain essential life skills, and doing the job you are given in a timely and cooperative manner is one of them. Sounds like he needs an awful lot of practice in that department. Make third grade the year for that.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am a teacher. What I would have done and you can ask her to do is to work with 4th grade teachers. That is what I have done in the past and my colleagues have as well. I teach 2nd grade and I had an advanced student so I gave her third grade homework. Also, at my school if we have a student who is advanced they can go to the next grade level for those subjects each day. The same goes for lower students. I used to take a 3rd grade student everyday who was low in math. If it was me, I know my principal would have talked to me after talking to you and that would get me to do something! Sorry things came to this point. THANK YOU for going to her first. It is unfortunate that the situation was not resolved but I respect you for trying. Maybe I am naive but I do think teachers can change. So I have to respectfully disagree with the other woman who said that is not true. Anyway, you can also challenge him at home. But since you have your hands full and you have already gone to the principal and you don't want to change schools, I would just change teachers if you have to. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Like many who have written, I too have a daughter (age 11 and in her first year of middle school) who scores 100% on the math portion of STAR. When she was in 2nd grade (our SAS - like the GATE program - started in 3rd grade) her teacher told me that my daughter didn't "get" math because she thought outside the box and didn't find the answers to math problems in the "approved" manner. We waited it out and in 3rd grade she was tested for the SAS program and was recognized as a very high achieving student.

I would recommend the same, but if you are determined to try to get his needs met at his school, then write the principal and cc the head of your school district with your concerns. Going to the top will improve your chances.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.F.

answers from Reno on

Hi S.,

Wowzers. As a teacher of 16 years, I can see both sides of this story. On the one hand, the teacher needs to see, daily, that your son can do the required curriculum. On the other hand, your son is bored to tears and not getting anything out of the classroom experience. It should be so easy to solve but it never is.

Here's what I would do (and have done with my own children). I would tell your son to do the work as assigned, so he can then move on to the workbooks and advaced reading you'll send with him or that the teacher provides. If the assigned work is as easy for him as you suggest, this shouldn't take him any time at all and he can jump right in to what he's interested in. Think of it as the "price you pay" to do the fun stuff. As long as your son is showing he can do the "kindergarten" stuff well, the teacher should have no issue with him doing the advanced stuff that you send.

If your son aces (key word, there) the classroom stuff and your teacher still fusses about him doing his own math and reading in class, then the buzz word you need to start tossing around is "differentiated instruction." This means that it is the teacher's job to make sure ALL levels of students are challenged and learning in the classroom. But--and this is a critical but--your son needs to do prove he can do the regular work very well. Just as we don't want to condemn those who test poorly as being less smart, testing well shouldn't mean you get out of the daily grind.

It's all about discipline. All jobs have parts that we just have to do, hate it and must grin and bear it, to get to the parts we really love. Your son's "job" is the easy stuff; his joy is the advanced stuff.

My youngester was also way ahead of his class, tested very well, and wanted to do more advanced work. But, he never did a good job showing his teacher he could do the daily work, so he never got to the fun stuff. For those years, school was just a chore and learning was what he did at home with me or his father.

Ultimately, our school system--one that I believe in--is geared for the middle road, not the extreme edges. Can it do a better job? Absolutely. And with the right teacher, it can work brilliantly well. But no teacher worth their salt is going to let a kid jump ahead if he can't prove daily mastery of the task at hand. We all get to pay our dues...even the little ones.

I'm sure this isn't what you really want to hear, but I hope it helps a little bit.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Clearly, this hits home with many of us!

I agree with Ruth... and I can say from experience as an academically bored student and later a mother of two academically bored students.
And here's why:
1. This situation will never change, even in a GATE program. The stuff is still easy (from a gifted stand point) and often they give the child MORE work to do. Lots of whining will be involved with the big projects.
2. Throughout life, we have to do things we don't want to do, whether it's school or eventually work. So teach him today, that sometimes we have to just do it.
3. By teaching him to do the yuck work, he eventually will learn to quickly work through the boring to get to the challenging. I had to do this with my daughter in Kindergarten. All her homework was un-challenging. I would tell her that if she finished it in 5 minutes, she could have a page out of the fun book to do (fun book was a 3rd grade math book.) The easy stuff can be made into a game: beat the clock, I'd tell her, "Can you finish this in 5 minutes? Most kids take 20!" and time her, then give her challenging stuff.

As for the school:
Talking with the teacher didn't help, so don't ask her for more homework or to supplement, it makes her job harder and she won't go for that. School is for the masses! Ask for an appointment to discuss and get solutions with the teacher and principal. If you have a chance, bring in an "educational psychologist" to advocate for you. Then perhaps they could send him to another grade just to do the math or reading. Make sure you bring the test scores. If you get an educational psychologist, they can evaluate his actual level, academic and emotional.

Do the extra work with him on your own as "bonus" time. He still has to do the classwork. Later you may want to consider moving him up a grade. The psychologist can help with that.

Good Luck.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

Being a teacher before staying home with my daughter, I know talking to the teacher themselves in order to change is like pulling teeth. They really have their arms tied and can't do anything. First, go to the principle. Explain your situation (no attacking), just more so on a "I need my son to be challenged more, he's becoming bored and not interested in work that is too easy for him, he calls it kindergarten work". If that gets you no where, go straight to the district office and make an appointment to see someone higher up....and if you have to, go to the super intendent...that will get their attention that you are serious. They may just move him up a grade level to the gate program there if that interests you. Or, you can ask where (what schools/school districts) offers gate to kids in 3rd grade and have your son move schools. However, your sons teacher should at least find some more difficult work for him and try giving him the harder work for homework, I always had extra workbooks of all levels for kids that were more advanced or the opposite (special ed). I do know it's tough for teachers, so you can't blame her too much (we don't get much help/support from the "district").

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.V.

answers from San Diego on

Make an appointment to meet with someone at the school district office. If your son isn't given anything more challenging to do or interesting, he won't want to go to school much longer. If anyone there has a brain in their head, they'll offer to advance him. His teacher obviously doesn't have the training or experience. Be persistent and don't take no for an answer. It would be in his best interest.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.!
My opinion???? Go ahead and challenge him at home~ get the store-bought Math,and English, )and whatever else he's interested in) workbooks, just bump it up a grade or two. Also, check your library for after-school or at-home reading programs. They usually have a theme, such as "world-travel' or "mystery".
WWW.scholastic.com is also a great website to visit, as they have a world travel section just for kids, and I believe they provide links to other education-based websites that are safe, fun, and intellectually stimulating.
I have 3 GATE-identified children, and am still always looking for ways to keep their interest and motivation in learning fun and top-priority! Your son obviously needs and WANTS (yeay!!!) to keep his wheels spinning, and if he isn't getting it at school for now, what an honor for you to be able to perpetuate it!
Have a great day!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

I am assuming your son is attending "Public" school?

Schools/Teachers have certain regulations/rules and "standards" and benchmarks to abide by per State and district. Your teacher probably has her hands tied... and can't go outside of the parameters of these "rules"...hence, she can't really do anything about it, or she may get her job in trouble.
It's not really in her hands to solve it... and she is not the one who has the power to "approve" these things. Not even the Principal maybe.... it may have to be taken up on the School District level or Board of Education etc.
ALSO, schools have a certain annual "budget" and only so many teachers to go around. They may simply NOT have the resources or enough Teachers to do all that they wish to. It's not your Teachers "fault." She may want to help.. but she can't.

You can become an "advocate".... and petition for it. Do your research, and go to the school board meeting etc. Or however the chain of command is in your Dept. of Education system.
THIS would be a good idea. In my daughter's school.... the GATE program starts from Kindergarten. YES! So... it's NOT JUST FOR 4TH GRADE and older. If they tell you this... it's "bull."

For your situation... you can have your son attend after-school programs and extracurricular things.

Still, your son is gifted... and per the school assessments.
STILL however, he is a student in his class and as a student...(no matter his intelligence and gifted-ness)....he DOES still need to be responsible for his school work and do it. Kids are graded and must meet certain responsibilities. Just because he is gifted and the school work is boring... does not give him the "say" in not doing it. Although I completely understand where you are coming from.

Sure, you don't want him to be bored with school... but use this as an opportunity to teach him about "attitude" and a sense of responsibility and "honor" and "diligence." BUILD his CHARACTER for his intelligence....NOT HOW TO USE IT AS AN 'EXCUSE' to get out of things. Otherwise... this WILL make him even more lazy and unwilling.

No matter how gifted a child... they must STILL learn diligence, responsibility and how to respect rules and HOW TO USE their gifted-ness for positive things and purposes.

If anything.... can't you have your son SKIP A GRADE... since he is obviously advanced? This is what my friend did with her daughter. This is the alternative. Talk to your Principal/Teacher about it.

You also mentioned that your son has "emotional issues so changing schools is not an option.." Does this in any way, interfere with his school work and/or ability to cooperate in class and/or his efforts?

Perhaps, have him assessed and interviewed by the GATE Program Director?

It's a hard situation... 1) your son is advanced 2) he cannot attend GATE until 4th grade 3) he is bored in class now 4) he cannot switch schools 5) the school structure/rules do not have allowances for alternatives in his class

Well.... I would opt for seeing if he can skip a grade. If he is TRULY able to, and per the advisement of the school "decision makers" or his Teacher.

Also, perhaps there are things that no one is openly saying? Such as you mentioned the Principal did not really seem to give you "REASONS" why you can't do anything extra for your son in class... her reply was simply "I'll look into it..."

But really, it's not up to the Teacher to decide these things... she can't be "insubordinate" to her employer... or risk her job. She is not penalizing your son on purpose....she is doing what she can within the parameters of her job.

(I may not be popular for this), BUT, I do agree however, that your son STILL needs to do his regular classwork/homework too... this is all about responsibility and cooperation. After-all, he IS capable of doing the schoolwork... he just does not "want" to. Or he won't get graded for his work... nor have a documentation of his school work history in his files. This is how students progress and benchmarks are computed as well.

All the best,
Susan

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.B.

answers from Reno on

Stephanie F hit the nail on the head!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

My sons school has made some accommodations with math,.He just does one of each type of problem to demonstrate that he knows the material and then moves on to something more interesting for him. Its not a perfect solution, but it is something.

Our school also does a voluntary program called Math by Mail that is offered through an Israeli university and it is supposed to be challenging and interesting. It can be received in hard copy or electronically and the cost is about $75 for the year.

In English, he quickly gets through what ever reading the class does and then has his own fun reading that he goes through by the boatload.

Sadly, my son said that at school he feels like he is "doing time". It does make me sad. I wish that there were better alternatives for these kids. You might want to research what other schools there are. I am starting to do that for myself, but we have some religious constraints on top of it all.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Okay, I grew up with teachers and this is ridiculous. My Mom was an elementary school teacher, and had the same fight for me when I was growing up. Back then GATE didn't start until 6th grade!!!

So, it was either skip a bunch of grades (I was in 3rd grade) or wait. She went to the district office and expressed her concerns and frustraions. I had to take SO many tests to prove I was above levels of my current grade, and was bored beyond belief in my regular class. My Mom found other Mom's who thought is was ridiculous too and they fought to have us be able to do the appropriate courswork for our age group. The following year me, and eight other kids were put into a blended class of kids that were 4th, 5th and 6th graders, doing 6th grade classwork.

I think it did wonders for my self-esteem and kept me from finding other things less productive to keep me busy...

Do whatever you have to do, but don't settle for second best when it comes to your son.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.M.

answers from San Diego on

As a both a parent of bright children and as a gifted specialist who has taught language arts for the gifted, the first thing I recommend you do is to look into the state legislation relating to gifted education. Unfortunately, even though gifted education is part of special education it doesn't have the same level of mandate as special education for students who struggle. However, if your district receives certain federal funds there is a requirement for them to have a gifted program. I suggest you check out Hoagies Kids, it is a great resource on line for children, parents, and teachers. You might find some information there to help you with this teacher. Also, check out NAGC.com, the website for the National Association for Gifted Children. They have lots of great resources, including relevant legislation to educate yourself and your son's school about gifted students. One area to gather information on is how failure to challenge gifted students can result in classroom disturbances, lack of motivation, and eventual failure to pass if challenges are not presented. There are resources out there available to you without having to pull your son from this school. Please let me know if you need anymore information, as this topic is one that is especially close to my heart.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

What I really want to do here is rant and rave about how awful "No Child Left Behind" is, along with this notion that every child must have his or her afternoons and evenings filled with busy work. I was on the original Irvine School Board, and I look with nostalgia to the days when we had schools with programs that really fit individual learning styles. I also taught in middle school and taught "gifted" for much of the time. Most of my "homework" assignments consisted of reading and thinking about specific problems brought up by the reading, with the results of that "thinking homework" manifested the next day by answering essay questions in class. Right now, unfortunately, my grandson had to be removed from public school for the reasons you are stating and is in a Waldorf School at great financial sacrifice for his parents. What a shame it all is!

When I was a child, we had workbooks with what was, for me, easy and boring material. I challenged myself to do all the work by a certain date. Usually, I had all the work done by Christmas. The teacher couldn't complain, and I then could spend my time reading on my own and, at home, playing the piano, 4-H, etc. Other than that, I just had to pay attention in class to answer questions, etc. If workbooks are involved could you challenge your son to see how fast he could fill in the answers correctly? I know it's hard for a third grader to grasp, especially now when instant gratification is the norm, but we all learn later that every job has "grunge work" that comes along with it, and it's best to just get it out of the way so we can spend more time on the interesting parts. If the work can't be done in advance, and is just easy busy work, how about a timer to see how fast it can be gotten out of the way, and a reward that incorporates more interesting and challenging material. If he likes math, for every "kindergarten" assignment he completes in "race time," let him work on division for a half hour. Have him put his "extra" work in a binder and take to the teacher to show his skill. Or reward him for cruising through the busywork at warp speed with special trips to the science museum or some other fun and challenging place on the weekend, or once a month. Make a chart and give him stickers for doing the busy work quickly and have those add up to rewards like a new book he chooses himself at the bookstore. In other words, this is like washing the dishes. It isn't fun, particularly, but it needs doing, and is best gotten out of the way quickly and without fuss. That leaves time for more rewarding activity. I wouldn't necessarily have the "rewarding activity" consist of video games or TV, however! The point is to see how rewarding some really challenging intellectual work can be, like doing a "kitchen science" experiment together, researching something interesting on the computer and maybe making up a special report on it to show the teacher, or doing some reading in a book on an interesting topic (or a "chapter" fiction book).

Another question: What would be the consequences of your child not completing all the busy work (assuming you had him spend a reasonable time doing work at home more at his level, which he would take in to school in place of the inappropriate assignments)? Would he be shamed before the class? Would he be forced to stay after school? Would he be given low grades in the subject matter? I had instances throughout the years with a few of my children (I had 7) where I just put my foot down on certain things. However, I do know that times have, unfortunately, changed and also you may be faced with a very rigid teacher who could make your son miserable if you allow him to skip the homework from time to time. It wouldn't be worth it. (As to that, is there another teacher on the same grade level who is more flexible? Could you ask for a class change?)

In the meantime, I might try to find other parents in my district with similar problems and opinions and consider a trip to the school board meeting to raise concerns (without making it an indictment of one particular teacher). Lay out some possible solutions for children who need individual work ahead of the class that won't overstrain the existing resources, and see if you can help make some changes.

I know it's a big challenge for working parents, and especially single parents. Good luck. Your son is worth all the thought you are giving to this.

S. Toji

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.B.

answers from San Diego on

Hi S.-

I would switch schools. The GATE test is traditionally taken in 2nd grade for the first time, so it looks like his school only offers GATE in 4th grade. You really don't want a cute guy bored and hating school!!!! In San Diego, if he didn't take the test in 2nd grade then you can arrange for him to take it on a Saturday.

IF he doesn't test GATE, then you might want to look into a math magnet school. There are a lot of them and they include free bussing.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have 2 third graders in a gifted class. Your sons educational needs are not being met. This is a critical year. Go to the LAUSD website and find out what your son is entitled to under the GATE program.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/gt/gt/ Here are the state regulations about GATE. I don't see anything in there about starting at fourth grade. I think you are getting the runaround
and for your son's sake you should do something. If you can, please look into private schools that offer scholarships. There are many such schools that would love to have a bright student like your son. You will have to call around and search but I hope you can find one. What the school is doing to your son is equivalent to mental cruelty. I had the same problem. I know exactly what he is going through. Do you work in another school district? If yes, you mightbe able to transfer to the district in which you work. I know you are a single mother, but do you have any relatives that could home school him? Another approach is to get a lawyer. There are several pro bono lawyers that do problems between parents and school districts, usually they work with children that have learning disabilities but I bet they would love to take a whack at your son's case. This is a case of the school district totally failing to meet the needs of your son. I was so bored in school that I invented math problems for myself, wrote poetry and short stories, wrote poetry in OTHER languages, doodled, read novels (I read "A Tale of Two Cities" in sixth grade). On the other hand, I was also involved in sports outside of school, took music lessons, and TUTORED other children. So in the mean time, you need a talk with the principal, not the teacher and discuss some in classroom plans to help your son. I mean immediately. Heavens, I hate dealing with school districts. I had children at both ends of the learning spectrum. Good luck and let us know how it goies.
also read http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,###-###-... about why schools are failing geniuses.
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/never_say_bored.htm about the very situation you describe
for more info try: http://www.geniusdenied.com/

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

As a teacher with my GATE credential, if this were my son, I would look into another teacher that understand his NEEDS. He does not need more work, he needs 'deeper' work that allows him to problem solve... at a 3rd grade level. Doing 4th gr. work isn't the answer, you want depth not breadth. She needs to allow him to do projects... that will call for critical thinking and not just rote practices. With math, he should explain several ways to solve a problem, writing there are a myriad of ways to get critical thinking. Write a letter to a character from another character or the author, or yourself... Would another character from another book want to be friends with this cahracter... why???????? so on.
Inquire about GATE certified teachers at your school or district, it is worth it. Ask his teacher about higher level thinking with BLOOMS. If you're in SoCAL this should be easy. Does his teacher even have a regular credential? Good luck, be patient and kind and hopefully they'll work with you for your son's benefit. UC Riverside Extension offers GATE workshops & classes for parents and teachers. Look at the CAG website they often have workshops all over CA for parents & teachers. CAG is an excellent organization to help you, they are advocates!

[email protected]____.com

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.A.

answers from San Diego on

Your focus is in the wrong place. On the teacher instead of on your son. You will not change the system. If the gifted program begins next year, it begins next year. There are far more important life skills than academic achievement, and your son can practice them this year. Cooperation, doing what needs to be done, completing the assignments given, following the rules, etc. I have a third grader in the exact same situation, but we let him know right off the bat that not doing his assigned homework is not an option. We told him, if it is easy, whip it out in no time flat and then we can do work from a more difficult workbook. I see the three hours your son spent stalling as a much greater problem than anything else. You need to put a stop to that ASAP. Smart kids are also master manipulators, and he has you right where he wants you. He is now in the "victim" role due to your attitude. Poor gifted child, so far above the others, why should he be forced to do the easy stuff? He needs to be challenged, etc... Don't fall for it. Stop begging the principal and begging the teacher and focus on your son. It doesn't matter how intelligent you are, you still need certain essential life skills, and doing the job you are given in a timely and cooperative manner is one of them. Sounds like he needs an awful lot of practice in that department. Make third grade the year for that.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Wow! I have several suggestions: talk to the principle and see about changing teachers; your child should be able to take the tests for his regular study without having to do the homework (again talk to the principle); advance him to 4th grade (how old is he?). I do not know which school he attends, but his situation is ridiculous.............If the principle isn't any help, see the district superintendent. Talk to the 4th grade teachers and see if he can't join them in the advanced work. There must be a way out of this situation.........
You are your child's advocate, stick to your guns. Sounds like your teacher just doesn't want to do the extra work.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.F.

answers from San Diego on

Dear S.,
I am interested to know what school district you work in. I am a teacher and all second graders get tested for GATE. The spend their second grade year seeing if students qualify for the program. Our GATE program begins in third grade. Also, I am curious to know if your child's teacher is up to date with education. It is common practice these days to differentiate instruction... that means that you provide students with what they need or at their level (be it higher than grade level or lower than grade level). A teacher can take a whole group lesson and differentiate the independent practice for groups of students. That is what I do because my classroom is filled with students who are a year behind to three years advanced.

I would be careful not to burn the bridges with your child's teacher, however. He does have to be in her room every day. Maybe reason with your son that he should do what his teacher asks because that is the polite thing to do, but also extend what he is learning at home. He could even bring what he is doing into the classroom to show his teacher.

You might also want to keep in mind that it is the first month of school and there is a lot of review that takes place. Take a look at your standards for third grade. They are rather challenging. If your son's school is part of the AR program, find out what levels your son should be reading and challenge him to earn AR points. I guess what I am saying is be supportive of both your son and the daily challenges that your son's teacher has. I am certain that your son's teacher will want what is best for him and is not trying to torture him. It is her job to make sure that there are not any gaps in what your son knows so she will provide him the core curriculum. You can extend everything at home if your son's teacher is unwilling to differentiate.

Good luck. Your heart is in the right place.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.Q.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Hi S.,

First off, I think it's great that your child is so ahead of the game!

I've been teaching for 7 years, so here's my perspective on the issue: Every public school teacher is required by law to teach certain "standards" to each grade level, in each subject area. Your son's teacher is not trying to be difficult by not letting him off the hook with his regular work--she HAS to give it to him and she HAS to evaluate him based on that work.

Also, keep in mind that the teacher has many other students in the class, many of which are probably struggling in certain areas to keep up--think of all the additional work she has on her plate to get those students up to par, and to just keep on top of the progress of everyone in her class. Asking her to generate and evaluate extra work for your son's sake is not fair. As the parent, I truly hope you will take on the responsibility of challenging your son by providing and evaluating above grade level work for him.

He should be old enough to understand, if you sit down to explain it to him, that he is still responsible for completing the work that the rest of the class has to do, BUT also offer him more advanced work to keep up his interest and enthusiam for learning.

There are lots of places where a parent can go buy workbooks for kids (and I highly recommend all parents do so over the summer months!). Perhaps you could ask your son's teacher to recommend a place where you can find some.

Lastly, is it at all possible to have your son bumped up a grade? If he is strong enough in all areas that might be worth looking into...

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

Personally I would go straight to the school district. If your school doesn't have GATE I'm sure there is another one that does. It might be hard for him to switch schools, but it sounds like he really need to be where he belongs. Doesn't sound like his teacher or school is willing to help with that.
I wish you the best of luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi. Wow, this sounds familiar. My son is the same way. He just started 4th grade with the GATE program and I really wish they had GATE in lower grades, but apparently the structure of the program varies between school districts. I am very surprised that your son's teacher does not have more advanced classwork he can do and that she's not willing to let you take on that role. At one point we considered switching my son to a magnet school where the kids are grouped by their academic abilities rather than their ages. The biggest reason we decided against the switch, which would have involved driving him back and forth to a school where he doesn't know the other kids, was that the teachers in our own school were always willing to provide more advanced classwork for him. He has NOT gotten more advanced homework until now with GATE. You should start pressuring the principal harder for information on 1. Why can't the teacher provide more advanced work, and why is she resisting your offer to provide it? (It could be that the teachers are under a lot of pressure to keep standardized-test scores high, so the kids really need to know the class work they'll be tested on. Or it could be this particular teacher is just lazy or overwhelmed and doesn't want the extra hassle of customizing the curriculum for one kid). 2. Ask if a different 3rd-grade teacher is willing to provide this, and if so, ask to have your son switch classrooms (you may have to do a lot of talking with other parents and teachers on your own to get a straight answer to this question). 3. Does your son's classroom have its own library? Last year my son's teacher had several bookshelves in the room filled with books of various reading levels. When my son completed his classwork (usually ahead of the rest of the kids), she let him pick a book and sit and read, which he loves to do. Unfortunately by late in the year I think he had exhausted her supply of advanced reading material, but this strategy did get him through most of the year with challenging, fresh reading and prevented him from being too bored in class. Meanwhile, at home I would provide your son with workbooks and advanced reading on subjects that interest him. Unfortunately if nothing changes he will have to continue doing the homework that's assigned. Try to turn it into a game: "how quickly can you get your homework done and still have it neat and accurate?" Or constantly explain that AFTER he's completed his homework he can move on to whatever other activity he wants to do. He's gotta take care of his responsbility before he can do the fun stuff. Finally, ask around with other parents. Certainly there have got to be other parents in the same position and they'd probably love to have more advanced work available for their kids, too. Maybe it takes a grass-roots parent co-op of sorts to provide this. If you still aren't having any luck on the school level you might have to go to the school district board and ask about district policy on educating advanced students. I agree that while a lot of very necessary attention is given to the kids who struggle, there doesn't seem to be as much energy spent on the advanced kids, and that certainly doesn't help them reach their potential. And frankly the more bored they are, the worse their grades and the more likely they are to become discipline problems. You might frame the problem in that light when you talk to the principal or school district. If you can get your son to keep his grades up enough to get into GATE he will probably be happier in that program, depending on what your school does with it. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.V.

answers from Las Vegas on

I'm sorry, but why are you asking a public school teacher what you can teach your own child? Of course he will still have to do his menial homework (just like in the real world). But there's no reason to expand his knowledge in those areas where he is already excelling. Just make sure he understands the importance of completing his assigned work and that whether he is in elementary, high school, college or the real world, there are menial tasks that are no less important than the newest ideas or interesting tasks.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

V.C.

answers from San Diego on

Lots of opinions here, but my girls have been through this too, so I'll add my opinion to the pot.

For the oldest, who went into Pre-K reading chapter books & spent most of each day going to the next grade up's classroom, we eventually had her skip 2nd grade. So then she was the youngest & very socially immature. It took her 2 years to start to make friends. She also has ADHD & it took awhile for me to exhaust all other alternatives to meds for her treatment. Meds made a HUGE difference for her. Egg on my face, medicating for everything scares me a little, but she really NEEDED it. She is now in a middle school that has a Creative Arts Magnet, & she is much happier. Her classes are geared for GATE kids. She never did 1 thing GATE in elementary school! Take the test, you're GATE, oh well. Sit here & wait. Everyday. She read ALOT during class.

In our district GATE & "differentiating" instruction is touted, but not done in most of the schools. I called most of the schools in our district to find out what they did for GATE & then compared it to what all the moms I've talked to at soccer games, birthday parties, stores...I ask parents all over info on the school their kids go to. Yes, I'm nosy. But if you start talking to the other parents, you will find out if the schools are doing what they claim to be doing.

Anyway, because I worked part time & volunteered at their school for the rest of the day, I really tried to work within the system. I tried EVERY thing I could think of to get the teachers & principal to acknowledge & really work with the GATE kids, but it never happened.

Some of the teachers WILL go out of their way to help & challenge the bright students so that they will not be bored, but if you have children with ADHD, they can't sit quietly for hours on end reading while the teacher works with the other students.

My middle daughter, who is very quiet, was bored to tears. She loved school, but the boredom made her ask me to look for other schools, once we realized that the oldest would be going to another school anyway for middle school, it seemed like a good time to switch them all.

And my youngest, who like her oldest sister is ADHD, was ALWAYS in trouble for not sitting quietly, so her recess time was spent in detention. I had to beg her to go to school in the morning & she probably had the world's record for tardies. After researching several schools in our area, in the district we live in & nearby districts, we moved districts.

My middle girl got into a Performing Arts Magnet school. My youngest had to go to a different school within that district, because her grade level was full, but she LOVES it!

Sorry this was long, but changing schools/districts might be what your boy needs. My girls had been at the same school all of their lives--friends, cousins, everyone there, but their needs were not being met. We were scared of the changes it would mean for our family, but ALL of us are happier now.

Do a little research, I bet there is something that would work for your boy. Check with the local colleges for a list of schools that have Magnet or true GATE programs in place. It seems to me, from experience, that emotional problems get worse when school is a nightmare for the child. Personally, I KNOW I should of moved my oldest girl to a GATE school for 2nd grade, but I was worried that switching schools would be too traumatic.

PS. He STILL has to do his regular classwork & homework, boring though it is. Then give him challenging stuff from workbooks you can buy at Costco or get a computer program like Elementary Advantage 2009 & let him learn at his own pace on the computer. There are all sorts of educational computer programs for kids out there, just research a little & ask him which interest him most & make that a reward for doing the "kindergarten" math homework without whining.

PPS. One of the reasons to do a little school research is that even with "teaching to the test", districts & schools will have different programs. My 2nd grader is starting on pre-algebra concepts now, the 3rd week of school & by the end of the year will be doing division. By the way, she hated the "baby" math, too. But she had to do it, I explained about "paying your dues". Then she would work on the times tables with her older sister. No, she doesn't know them all, but it makes her happy to know she CAN learn them.

1 mom found this helpful

H.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

S.,

I had this same issue with my first daughter. My compromise (after some amount of hitting my head against the brick wall) was that she would go to the next grade up for reading and language arts. Eventually she ended up staying for a couple extra hours each day. She was still responsible for the class/homework for her "real" class, but the experience was good for her, and it got rid of the boredom. It was a great compromise until she got into a 5/6 combo class and that was perfect for her. The teacher was free to assign work that was her level without having to send her away to someone else.

I would highly recommend that your son doesn't see that you are on "his" side, he will TOTALLY use it against you!!! Smart ones are a huge challenge when they see a wedge, they dig deeper. If he knows he can make you feel guilty, he will! Let him know that after speaking to the teachers that that is "the law", you will both abide by whatever comes out of it. Than stick to it!!

Good Luck! It's a bit of effort, but well worth it. If the teachers see that you're not fighting them, and not one of "those" moms (we all know one, the 'my child can do NO wrong' moms!), just trying to get the best education with the great teacher at this school, it is a much easier process.

H.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Since it is early in the year try now to get him into the fourth grade, only if you think that he can emotionally and maturely handle it. Otherwise you will have to supplement on your own, try Lakeshore, it's a great store! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, S.,

I was a math teacher for 15 years. I was also assigned math homework that did not challenge me for at least five of my years in grade school (grades 3-7).

Most of the suggestions given seem viable. The easiest and cheapest one with potentially the best outcome I can think of for all involved (your son, the teacher and you) is the following: if your son is just as advanced in all his other subjects, try to get your son moved to a higher grade. If your son is not as advanced in his other subjects and he finishes his in-class math assignments early, encourage him to use the time he waits for others to finish their math assignments to study the subjects he's not quite as advanced in. Then when he's ready to take tests to skip a grade, take the required tests to advance.

I really like your idea of giving him a workbook containing material at his level.

Can you get a tutor, perhaps a high school student, to tutor him if you are too busy to do so?

What exactly are his emotional issues that rule out going to another school? Identifying and treating those issues may help you resolve the problem you've presented. I would not listen to my child complain for three hours. I've found that tolerance of complaining at a young age leads to lots of complaining later in life. We all have to do somethings we don't like much at least once in a while. The sooner we develop coping skills the mentally healthier we and the people around us will be throughout our lives. That being said, don't just let your son waste years of grade school doing what is way too easy.

Good luck,
Lynne E

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.S.

answers from San Diego on

If changing schools is not an option then I would see if they could let him skip a grade. If the principle won't do any thing then you need to go above their head. If you don't do something soon he will lose all interest in school. I hope that you are able to get him where he needs to be. Good Luck and God Bless.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear S.,

My heart goes out to you. I too am the mother of a gifted child (a girl who is now in 2nd grade). I have gotten similar responses to what you have gotten to my inquiries at her school.

What I've learned is that our schools today are still not equipped to deal with gifted kids, outside the GATE programs. That means younger gifted kids, prior to enrolling in GATE, are left to their own devices and are stuck doing regular class work that is below their capacity and at a pace that is way too slow for them.

The principal and teachers are typically too busy trying to deal with the many other challenges they face, and often view the special challenges that gifted children face as not a priority. Their attitude is that, "The gifted students are bright and will be fine."

What they don't realize is that many gifted children have "special needs" too. Unfortunately, gifted students just haven't ever been a priority in the educational system, because they are a minority in most public schools.

It really hurts to see our bright children resist going to school or doing their homework because they are simply bored and are not being challenged.

I think we should start a parents' group with other interested parents of gifted kids, to see if we can put our heads together and come up with some ideas for becoming good advocates for our children's education.

Let me know if you'd like to do this. I'm based in Huntington Beach. I'd like to get a group of parents who are in the HB school system together to meet from time to time and to attend district board meetings, etc. If you aren't in HB, maybe you can do the same with starting a group of parents in your community.

The groups can either meet virtually or in a centralized location for everyone who may be interested in advocating for our children. I do think attending board meetings and holding meetings with the district superintendent may be the best way to advocate for our gifted kids' education.

To start, I highly recommend the Davidson Institute for Talent Development's website: www.ditd.org and the Davidson's wonderful book about how our educational system fails gifted kids: "Genius Denied."

The website has excellent resources for both gifted kids and parents. They have a "Scholars" program (free) in which you can sign your child up and receive free mentoring and advice on how to advocate for your child. They have online communities for both parents and gifted children, so you don't feel alone in the fight for the right for quality education for your child.

Their book gives case studies of how some gifted kids have been failed by the public educational system, and excellent advice for how to become advocates for your gifted child's education.

Even though I've done this reading, and have met with the school principal, I am realizing that there is only so much a principal can do, since they are under the directives of the district. I plan to start attending school board meetings and meeting with the superintendent of my daughter's school district, as I believe a real, lasting change has to come from the top. (Teachers and principals can do "bandaid" changes that only fix the problem temporarily, if at all...but if the district sets new policies and finds new ways of adequately addressing the problem, only then our schools will begin to change.)

One last thought: I too was a teacher, and have been keeping up with the latest in gifted education. The latest buzz word is "differentiation," which basically means all children are different in their learning styles and abilities, and therefore their education should be individualized to meet those differences.

Differentiation isn't just for the gifted student, however. All children are unique and need to have their education custom designed for them. That is why so many parents are choosing to home school, as they realize the severe limitations of the current educational systems in our schools.

One hopeful advance in this area is the promise which educational technology has to offer. Educational researchers are starting to discover the promise which educational technology (good educational technology, that is) has to meet students individual needs in learning.

For example, quality educational software helps teachers by:

1. keeping track of a student's progress as they complete the work, and automatically adjusting the curriculum to the student's level (remedial work to help reinforce concepts the student has not yet mastered, or moving to the next concept when the student has mastered the previous one, etc.)

2. automatic grading of the student's work (a big time saver for teachers)

3. students who are visual and/or auditory learners learn better

4.More compelling delivery of content: good educational software programs (much like the a good educational video) will help students learn better and remember their learning better as they are more engaged in their learning.

I will close here by saying I wish you all the best in your efforts to be an advocate for your gifted child's education. If enough of us parents stick together and advocate in the district board rooms, we may be able to effect a change in our schools, at least locally.

I welcome responses by any other parents who are facing similar challenges for their children in their schools.

Keep up the great work!

A little about me:

A mom of a bright 6 year old girl who wants the very best education for all of our children.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

I haven't read any of the other responses, but as a former third grade teacher, I recommend RUN to the District Office. Scream and Yell and fight for your child. Change to a school with a GATE program. My DH went to a GATE school, they're out there.

Fight! Fight! Fight!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

is the extra work from the "challenge" component from the math and reading series? if so, that is one of the GATE items that he can do. they do more critical thinking and really apply the skill of the main lesson. it may seem like busy work, but it gets their mind thinking.

each school has a GATE coordinator who handles the GATE testing and program at the school. talk to him or her to see what you can do together. bring your report cards ans STAR scores too. ask in writing for GATE testing.

if you can't afford Kumon or a similar program, then teach him some basics at home with a forth grade book. but you will need to assess what 3rd grade skills he needs help on before you go forward with math. his STAR scores say he mastered 2nd grade content and standards, not 3rd grade.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

HI there!
I have only a couple minutes to respond but I also have an 8 year old third grader that is way ahead in math. to keep him entertained and interested in math we got him a computer math program that he gets to go on when hes "humored" me in finishing his homework.
this whole gate thing is a total joke to me too.
I am not even sure why they test for it if there is nothing to offer these kids afterwards.
:(
either way, I tell my boy just to enjoy being ahead and as a challenge I ask him to make his work look as clean and nice as it can possibly be. (lol)

good luck!
-c

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

If you belong to Sams or Costco, they often have school workbooks at various grade levels. Obtain one for 4th grade math and let your son work on his own. Make sure he knows that it is a reward for doing his best on his regular assignments and they have to be done first.
There are also computer software available for more advanced math. I have seen them at Frys and Best Buy.
Most important, you can not expect the teacher to change her curriculm to cater to your son. He is one of her students and the rest need her attention too.
Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S., one of the first things you have to do is have your son tested. If in fact the school psychologist determines that he is gifted he can help you. Does his school have combination classes? like a 3-4, or 5-6 combination? I had this problem with my oldest son and I finally had him skip a grade instead of dealing the "I'm bored with this work" complain. It worked for us. He skipped 3rd grade.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

My son is gifted and listed as so with the district (which we were informed in third grade). Our school does not have a specific GATE program, but pushes academics. We had a problem in second grade with a refusal to do work. As i agree with all the statements that our children should not be bored, I also beleve they should be made to follow the rules and accept responsibility. I spent the whole year in second grade at school pulling him out of recess to complete his work. I explained to him that although you know this already, your teacher does not know you know it- you need to complete your work to show your teacher how smart you are. School is like video games, you have to complete one level to get to the next. It was a constant battle but well worth it. In order to be giffted you need great grades (lots of 4s) and specific marks on your STAR test- it is in the 500s (my son gets several 100%s each year). Talk to your principal to learn more about what he needs to be officially gifted, encourage him to do the work given then do things he enjoys learning about. My son has extra books at school and at home we always research interesting things, go to museums and focus on the things they don't take care of at school. Someonestated there are programs for children with learning disabilities- well they are still expected to do required work. Third grade marks are extremely important for placement in middle school. If he refuses to try his grades will reflect that, and he will not be considered GATE in the future. Work with your teacher, not against her. Try to find ways that are agreeable to her to challenge your son, once the required work is completed. Remember September is always a review month, as projects and essay work come home he will be given a chance to use his smarts, and expand his work. Private school is not the only answer. Use your teaching ability to teach your son. look into homeschooling materials that are more challenging and you 2 can work on together. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.F.

answers from Santa Barbara on

HI S.,
I think you have already gotten some great advice, but I have some thoughts to add. I was a student like your son- always separated out from my class-mates and doing extra work. I also was required to do the "normal" classwork. I would use this opportunity to teach him that some things in life (like changing diapers :)) are not going to be challenging or interesting, but necessary anyway. In addition, I think that even though I am grateful for all the GATE classes I took and the opportunities I had to take classes at our city college while in high school, there is a cost to being "different". I started to think that I was special in that life wouldn't hit me with troubles and I had some very hard lessons on the way to realizing that no one is invincible. I think my brother- who was also way ahead of his class also has suffered much more upon a diagnosis of MS for the same reason- "I am different- those things don't happen to me". I would encourage you to keep challenging him, but also make sure you teach him how he is like others. It will give him great empathy and compassion which can only help him in life.
Best of luck!
S.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

S.,
I have a friend who has a gifted child. She enrolls him in the John Hopkins summer program every year. You can google John Hopkins summer programs. It is great that as a parent you are trying to provide enrichment but, in the meantime, he needs to be encouraged to complete the class work. I agree with some of the others that good character and attitude is important because when he gets older and joins the work force, character and a good attitude may carry more weight than how smart he is. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.T.

answers from Honolulu on

As a veteran (18yrs) educator, the responsibility to inform and challenge a student is the teacher's responsibility.

The "business" of teaching is a bureaucracy. You must follow a chain of command. Document (write down the date and summary) each conversation. The chain is as follows:
1)a. talk to the teacher give TWO WEEKS to show differentiation, b. strike up an agreement that your child needs to do only 3 of each type of math problem or c. take a test to C.L.E.P. (3rd grade version)out of the assignment. If that does not work;
2)Contact the principal with the same criteria as you did with the teacher. If that does not work;
3) Contact the superintendent. Provide a copy of the documentation.If that does not work;
4) Contact the Board of Education's (BOE)president with the same documentation - from steps 1, 2, and 3 - and time criteria as before. If that does not work;
5) Contact your state's education agency.
Legally, your child is entitled to a free and appropriate education. If that does not work;
6) Contact the national education agency.

Do not accept "it takes time to create...", "it costs too much to..." i.e. do not accept ANY excuses!

When the time comes for BOE elections, be sure to vote!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

As I started to read Laura A's response to you, I started to say to myself..."wow, she's being a little harsh!" Then as I read the last of it, I was calling her a bitch in my head.
God, could she be any meaner? Sorry, I just needed to vent. LOL Your child needs to be stimulated, if you are all out of options, then I would just make sure you allow him to use his brain power at home. My girlfriend buys her kids work books a year ahead of their grade and make them do 2 pages after they finish their homework. They hardly complain because they have been doing it since they started school. (she has 3 girls, the oldest is 7 years old) That's all they know. I don't think they are gifted, but they are all very smart.
Just a suggestion. Oh, my other thought was to obviously see if you can transfer him to a better equipted school. If not, I guess you will just have to do some research and find a school. I feel you must do whatever it takes to keep him educated at his level. The world needs smart kids!
Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.,
My son since Kindergarten was advance and his teachers would accomodate him by sending him to the next grade for part of the day. Finally it was becoming to disruptive for him. We did an IEP (I don't remember what IEP stands for, but it's a type of intervention) with the principal and I made the decision to grade adjust him to the higher grade. If your son's teacher is not willing to work with you, then I would go above her and talk to the principal. He is your child and you have to fight for him. Although it's great to have a good relationship with your child's teacher,if they are not doing their job in meeting his needs you have to do what you have to do. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

This sounds so much like my nephew Nathan. Yes I think you are in danger of boring your son to death. Nate ended up doing pretty badly in school until high school when he found the engineering club and went on to win the governors math award. He was so bored in grade school he nearly flunked almost every year. He would just refuse to do his homework. If I were you I would ignore the teacher as she has ignored you. Teach your son interesting things at home. Make it as interesting and fun as possible. It’s more important that he find learning fun than it is for him to do the teachers home work. If he gets bad grades in 3rd grade so bee it. I came form a family of teachers and I know they don’t like to buck the system. But hey, sometimes you just have too, to do what’s best for your son.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.N.

answers from San Diego on

I think you should let him be until 4th grade just like the techer suggested. If you feel like he is so advanced, get him a workbook from Wal Mart/Staples tht has more challenging work for him, he can do a page a day. Let him do weel and succeed naturally without the push. That time will come.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have faced this same problem with my son, and I served on the Gate Council here in my district. There are no easy answers. I don't know why they're telling you there's "no gate work" till 4th grade. That's ridiculous. But even when they are "gate", it's difficult. It was different in my generation, our gate classes could teach anything they wanted, and they were also more open to skipping grades (I skipped 2nd.) But nowadays it's totally different because of standardized testing. The kids HAVE to be able to pass the same state test on the same curriculum that everyone else does, so the gate kids can't be given different work. The curriculum is supposed to be differentiated though, like the same story but more in depth analysis, that kind of thing. But the fact is most teachers just don't find time to do that.

Giving him more advanced work can backfire also. Don't forget that you would have to continue that somehow through elementary school at least. My son was in a K/1st combo class as a Kindergartner and did much of the 1st grade curriculum. I inquired at the end of the year about how they planned to make sure that the next year in 1st grade would not be just a repeat...I was assured that would not be the case. But it was. The teacher was resentful of having the group of advanced kids and refused to make any effort to accomodate that. My son was bored and began to resist school altogether. I would continue to make noise until someone at that school hears you. Maybe he can join a higher grade class for math lessons each day, or things like that. There are ways to help him, the school is just not trying.

Unfortunately though, at the elementary level, I think it really comes down to you to keep him challenged. The teacher simply can't let him do different work from everyone else. And some teachers just won't do much to try to find ways to supplement or enrich. He needs to understand that he has to do the work for class, but then he can also do other more interesting things at home with you. Some of the suggestions from other Moms have been great for that.

Other than magnate schools, the other alternative I'm aware of may or may not be available in your district. In ours, there is one school that has Special Day Classes where the entire class is gate students. They still have to "teach to the test" but the pace is much faster and the work more advanced. Any gate student in the district has the right to transfer to that school. You might look into that. I know this is a difficult situation, but your positive "we can work with this" attitude will go a long way towards keeping his attitude about school a positive one.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello!!!
I know you said that changing schools was not an option but I do recommend private school. This would never be an issue at a private school. Private school for elementary years is the best investment one can make becasue they really pay attention to your childs needs. As far as the emotional issues, private schools are on a different level and can really help and pay attention to those with emotional needs.
I really really think that even if it is a sacrafice private schools are the way to go.
K.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

I sympathize with you, all of my kids are very bright. And, yes, it is important to keep them challenged. However, being "smart" does not mean you know "everything". They still need to learn it, they just learn it quicker. Having your son skip a grade could mean he misses out on something important. My daughter started Gate in 4th grade. They get the same coursework, just more challenging work to do. When I was in Gate, they put us in separate classrooms and taught us more advanced stuff, but we missed out on the regular instruction. To this day, I struggle with Geography because we totally skimmed over it which was a mistake, I still need to learn it. Definitely go to the principal or district office with your test reports and demand that he be given differentiated coursework where appropriate. Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

I know you said that chnging schools is not an option but I would look into it. You didn't say where you are but I know that each school district must have a school with a gifted or Magnet program. I have a friend that changed her daughter to a magnet school this year because for the last two years her child has been bored and gets into trouble because the class work was to easy. The first week was rough but now she loves the new school and is challanged in class and at home with homework and the whole family is much happier. If your son is bored and not wanting to do the work, you have to do something before he is turned off by learning all together. Good luck!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.B.

answers from San Diego on

Unfortunately, in public schools in CA at least, they don't have money to do much with GATE kids. It is sad but that's just the way it is. As the GATE coordinator at my district told us, there is 80% money devoted to the "middle of the road" kids, leaving 20% for special ed and GATE. Special ed is of course very important so the 20% barely covers their expenses, and then that leaves essentially 0% for GATE.

In my district GATE starts in 3rd grade, but it essentially consisted of extra work and some busy work, that my daughter did. In 4th grade and 5th grade, they have divided up the class so the more advanced kids can do more challenging math and language arts. By middle school there are just "honors" classes and a lot less GATE.

Gone are the days where there was a lot of money and time spent on GATE kids. A few local districts still have the resources to do that, but most don't.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.N.

answers from San Diego on

Any chance they will let him skip a grade and put him in the 4th grade? I don't know it they will consider that, but I skipped a grade in the middle of my 1st grade year, into 2nd grade. I don't remember the circumstances, of course, I was so young, but it was a perfect fit for me for the rest of my school years. My little brother also skipped a grade at some point and he is alot younger than me (graduated high school at 16 in 2000). I'm sorry I don't know how any of these things work these days, my kids are not in school yet. But, if you're interested, I'll ask my mom how she did it (for many years she was a single mom of 5 kids).

Good luck to you!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

This happened to my oldest daughter when she entered the 1st grade. She just stopped doing all of her homework altogether. She always did her HW in Kindergarten when I had her in a private school. But, when I switched her to public, it was different. The teacher didn't call me or send a note home (maybe she did but I didn't get it), I found out after she stopped doing homework for an entire quarter. Why - because it was boring.

This is actually good discipline for them to deal with the boring stuff, which they'll have to face later in life anyway. Of course, means more work for him doing double duty.

If you can't switch schools then you almost have to just grin and bear it. We moved from GG to AH and I saw a HUGE difference between the teaching staff and administration. I've had a teacher in GG offer to tutor my 2nd daughter after school for a fee. I didn't report her at the time and in hind sight realize I probably should've. After all, wouldn't that be a total conflict of interest?

Anyway, with GATE children you will face that challenge their entire lives, at home at school. You do want him to have the discipline to deal with the boring work because it'll make it more difficult when he's older to deal with it and he'll be faced with that challenge in every aspect of his life.

I grew up in GATE and I see the personality trait my daughter has. We start a project, but she only wants to do the interesting stuff, not the tedious stuff. I get that way in business, I can't stand working on the accounting and bookkeeping for my business but want to work on the marketing. But, I still have to and it requires so much discipline on my part which isn't easy.

Sorry if that's not the solution you were looking for, but good luck!

S.

G.S.

answers from San Diego on

Hi There! I am no teacher or scholar, just a mother of two and a sister of a teacher of 30 yrs...
If the work is fairly easy have him continue to do his regular work and then reward him with the new stuff he wants to learn. If changes school is not an option and there is nothing else available then a teacher set in her ways your hands are tied. There is always trying to go over the teachers head to the principle but nine out ten times that doesn't solve the issue it makes it worse. Next year you said there is a GATE program available...In that program it will be the same, he will have to meet his regular requirements at school and be involved with the program. My girlfriends, also teacher, three daughters are GATE students and it wasn't until high school that they were able to substitute one for the other. The only solution on that is testing out of a grade, or going to a school for gifted children. I hope this helps a little, do your best and always love them....things turn out in the end.
Good luck.
G. S

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.P.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

Some schools have intervention classes before or after school to help children who are behind to catch up. My son is ahead 2 grades in math, he is in first grade. So the school gave us the option of letting him go to the intervention class with the 3rd graders in the morning. This is nice because he is with his peer group all day but for about an hour in the morning he is being challenged. The homework from your son's regular class seems ridiculous for him to be doing, he should be doing his language arts at his current level but he should be taking his math homework from the higher grade teachers. Hope this is helpful, and good luck!

S.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

While I read that you're a single mom, and homeschooling is not an option - have you exhausted all the possibilities? Is working from home an option? I homeschool my kids and have heard that there are schools/groups out there like Morning Star Academy http://www.themorningstaracademy.org/ or The Grace Academy http://www.thegraceacademy.org/ and The Cambridge Academy http://www.thecambridgeacademy.org/ all offer various ways to instruct your child even "online homeschooling". While yes, some of these academies would cost you money ... it may be worth looking into.

Also check out http://www.hslda.org to see if you were to become a member what type of benefits you could get as a single parent. I know they have some kind of program. I personally know 2 single moms in my homeschool group. Somehow they have found a way to make it work.

I know each situation is unique, but there may be options to explore.

I hope your child gets what he needs!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Our son just began college and I don't have much advice for a solution. But, the one thing I can share with you that we NEVER taught our son, is that sometimes we have to do things in life that we don't want to do! I always found a way out for him also and because he was so adorable always came out ahead. But ever since we started the application process I realized that was not a good way to bring him up. He totally assumed that he would get into all 7 colleges he applied to. Unfortunately he did! But that's not life as someday he will know it. Life is about the ups and downs, about doing things that you don't want to do! I wish I had taught him that lesson. I knew I should but it was never the right time. Just a piece of advice from an "older" mom.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.T.

answers from Las Vegas on

I am in the same boat. My son just started 1st grade, but he reads at a high fifth grade level and can do third grade math problems in his head. His school is supposed to be separating reading groups by ability. This was set to happen by the third week of school, now I am told it will start in the seventh week. There is no pretesting for math. I am a certified K-8 teacher and I know there should be differentiation for reading and math. Unfortunately this school does not even offer pretesting, so my son has to "learn" to count to 20 and make AB patterns in school.

I suggest you do what I am about to do, go the the principal and demand that the school do what is best for your son. I strongly believe the benefits outweigh the risks when it comes to skipping a grade or two. When children are bored in school, behavior starts to become a problem. When they are challenged, they prosper. When they are properly challenged they don't have time for poor behavior. As far as the homework, I would do what you suggest and if the teacher doesn't accept your son's more advanced homework, show it to the principal.

It has long been thought that moving children up a grade would produce negative social results, keeping them in a classroom with a teacher who has no interest in challenging them is far worse.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Dear S.,
How much homework does the teacher usually assign?
I believe that he should handle "kindergarten" math very quickly and with little concern for the same reason that mathematicians are stuck balancing a checkbook! Don't worry! Of course I don't know the details, and I find it very to imagine your situation, but nobody can keep you from inspiring the talent of your son in addition to tedious busy work.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

How incredibly frustrating for you and your precious son! Isn't is sick how learning disabled kids can get every resource under the sun and gifted kids are tossed in the corner like they don't matter? At some point the school system is going to have to start teaching to each kid at their level if we're to serve any of them effectively.

I would suggest you take your issue to a higher power. Go over the principal's head. The sooner the better. It is a huge waste of your son's time to do "kindergarten math" and reprehensible that his teacher and principal don't seem to care at all. They should be jumping up and down to have such a gifted child in their school and should be doing everything they can to help him along. Shame on both of them.

Good luck!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

What school does he go to? GATE starts in 3rd grade. They test kids for GATE on both 2nd and 4th grade(in case they got missed in 2nd, or didn't test well). I would go to the principal and ask what he/she recommends. Maybe they have a 3rd/4th combo class or something. Maybe when he's done with his woek, he can go around and helo the other students with theirs. My son did that.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.D.

answers from San Diego on

I have two kids who are in gate, I spoke with teachers about them skipping grades, but they think that they have the heart of third graders. So they suggested not to skip them. Because they are better of with kids their same age.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.S.

answers from San Diego on

That's the public system for you! My son is in the same league as yours & it all depends on the teachers they get & their willingness to support your child as needed. Last year my son was bored stiff with a teacher who didn't stimulate him with challenging work. This year we are blessed with a wonderful teacher who is giving him appropriate leveled work, etc. I suggest going to the principal & asking him what he thinks you can do & to please advise you. You my get lucky. Otherwise, like I've always done with both of my boys is to give your son stimulating, appropriate level work at home. There are many workbooks for the gifted mind & simply just having him do extra reading & research on topics that interest him. He can learn at home as well!

My boys still do the required work from school. Explain to your son that these are the rules that need to be followed. And although boring, it must be done! I tell my boys that yes it is too easy, but then they should be able to get it done quickly! I understand as a parent that it is a waste of time, but as long as we are in the public system we must adapt!

You will find along the way that your son will have good and not so good teachers. Just supplement him at home.

P.S. I don't know what school district you are in, but here in Poway they start the GATE program inm 3rd grade.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

NO, no, no, no, no! This is totally unacceptable, and you need to tell his teacher and principal that! Set up a meeting with both of them. If being nice hasnt' worked, you need to be a squeaky wheel. Your son could easily go to a 4th grade class daily for math, and be allowed more difficult reading books and language arts assignments. To tell you there are no options is complete BS. For the sake of your son, don't accept it. I know how bored my son was until his 3rd grade teacher FINALLY recognized him as GATE, had him test, and we transfered him to a GATE school (and he was only in the 99th percentile in reading and math *wink*). OMG! What a difference!! That was 3 years ago. Now he has teachers who "get" him, his quirks, and they and his classmates are challanged and challange each other on a daily basis. His work is hard, but he LOVES it. If he had to go back to a regular class, he would waste away.

I don't know what kind of "emotional" reasons there could be for keeping your child in a school that doesn't (refuses) to meet his needs, but I can tell you, you are in for bigger "emotional" problems if you keep him there. He is, and will continue to be bored with school, loose enthusiasm for learning, and eventually give up. This is SUCH an important year for him, and 4th grade is absolutely critical. What your son does NOT need is more busy work. He needs to be challenged!

Sorry, I'm not trying to be a harbinger of doom, but I feel so strongly about this, and it just breaks my heart to hear how your son is suffering (and from my experience, they do "suffer" when they are bored, crying out for help, and no one is answering them) and all you are getting is the run-around.

You need to seriously consider taking him out of that school, and letting your principal know that your son (and the district money that goes along with him) are going to transfer unless something is done. I dont' know what district you're in, but next year, he needs to go to a GATE school. Saddleback has an awesome GATE program. Our school has dedicated GATE classes with GATE trained teachers (most of which are/were also GATE mothers). No one skates by in these classes. Their grades are hard earned, and they are the most self-confident group of kids you'll ever meet. We also like how, with a couple exceptions, he has been with the same group of kids for the past 3 years. They become very close, best friends, like brothers and sisters.

Best of luck to you and your son.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

It is sad that your child is in such a bad school. Our school seperates all kids into 4-5 group on ability and parents come in to work with each group at their level during certain times so no child get left behind or stands still. With work they have the same assignment done at 3 different levels. For children behind in reading they have parents or older kids take the children out of class twice a week for 15 minutes to read. I agree with Laura A that this is a great teaching opportunity for your son that we may not always like what we have to do but we must do it and respect authority. If he can not be moved schools or grade levels you need to buy him books and challenge him once he gets into middle school and high school ho should not have a problem unless you are in a very bad school area and I hope you will consider changing that. You can't expect so much from the teachers not all the kids are at normal levels so if one parents expects special treatment for her child may they be from alittle advance to extreme or alittle behind to very behind she can not do it all and parents should do it for their own children if it is above the normal school standards that you choose to move into. Also just a head up one of my friends teaches gate and said that many parents are surprised to find out that in is not smartness it is thinking out of the box that gets you into gate and the reasons they do this program is because a great percentage of these kids drop out of school because they are so different as time goes on and they are trying to catch them early on. Alot of teaches do not tell the parents. So that may not be what you are counting on so just be prepared he may not make it if he is truly just very smart. Best of luck to you and your child.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches