Tuesday, October 20, 2009


A couple weeks ago (and yes, I've been very lazy with updating this blog) Mooka came home from school with a big packet of information stating that she had qualified for the gifted program.

I think most parents would be excited to get that sort of news, but I was more like, well, duh. I have actually been worried that she is not getting enough out of school as she and her brother seem to be covering the same type of lessons while he is still in pre-school.

Less than 5% of the kindergarten and 1st grade students combined are invited into the program and she is the only one in her class who was selected. This is another thing that bothers me. I don't want her to feel like she is different. I don't want her to feel pressure to have to perform a certain way in school. I remember being a junior in high school and nearly giving my self a aneurysm when I thought I wasn't going to make it into National Honor Society. And guess what, my grades have never impacted me one bit in my adult life. It's not like I've ever gone into a job interview and been asked "What were your grades like in high school English?" It just really doesn't make a whole lot of difference.

So, I actually struggled with the decision to let her be a part of the program. When we talked about it, I asked her if she knew why she was being asked to go to a different class or if she knew what they would do. She was told it was a special reading class so that she could read more books. Which is fine with me. I would prefer for her to NOT hear that it is a "gifted" class because of the stigma that is associated with that word.

The good thing is that we can take her out of the class at any time. They also wrap up the testing to get into the program with the regular standardized testing that the school does each year. And if she doesn't get in next year, that it A-OK by me.


Jenny said...

I think you made a good call. I was terribly bored in school, always waiting for everyone else to finish. I remember wanting to take all the rhyming phonics books away from my classmates so I wouldn't have to suffer through their painfully slow attempts to read aloud. All the words rhymed, for pete's sake!

There wasn't much of a gifted program at my little school, so I had to leave my first grade classroom to go down the hall to second grade for Reading. For me, the "feeling different" and separating myself was not as bad as being bored to death and frustrated by my classmates and teacher. My chronic uncoolness started very early.

In my experience, the downside of any gifted program is that the easiest thing for the teacher to do is to assign extra work - more of the same work, not necessarily more challenging/interesting work. Being assigned twice as many vocabulary words to look up is not "enrichment"! I hope Mooka has a great teacher who will keep her mind busy enough to avoid thinking up ways to cause trouble!

Mike said...

ehhhh...hmmmmm.....i think you have forgotten your little brother was in that class. i turned out just fine, actually i was just talking about how those classes have helped me.