I just got done reading this article and when I read an article like this it really brings me back to our personal struggles on this subject.
And it makes me mad.
Mad that my older son does not and did not get the same personal attention that my younger son gets in reading.
Why not? Because his reading/comprehension was years above his peers.
My younger son gets 2.5 hours A WEEK of personal one on one attention.
Why? Because he’s at risk. That doesn’t mean that he has a disability, or is dramatically delayed. No. It means he’s enough at risk for being behind that my school is able to take advantage of government funds to give him essentially private in-school tutoring.
My older son who started reading on his own at 2.5 wasn’t completely left on his own. No. He did get “enrichment” activities but they weren’t one on one and they weren’t done on an individual’s needs.
They were fine. Not great but I am **lucky** that he even got that.
I’m speaking from personal experience and not all school systems are the same but for the most part being of high intelligence is a waste of time until you get into 3rd grade in this country. Painful even.
“You should take your child’s feelings about school with a grain of salt” was said to me by an administrator when I had a meeting to discuss how much my child in 3RD grade hated school.
OH. Right. Dismiss his feelings instead of, I don’t know, come up with a solution?
He was having anxiety based stomach aches before school and you want me to just throw a level 2 book at him and say “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”
But then something magical happened. He qualified for those often sought after “honors classes.” I started to see him wake up. A tiny bit of sparkle. The stomach aches? GONE.
Yes. It wasn’t until my child got into the honors classes did he start to change his perception of what school was even for. It was for learning, and it could even be fun.
But we are lucky. My district has put value on this type of leveled learning. These classes have been critical in his transformation into a student. If it wasn’t available, I feel as though I would be forced to have home schooled. When your child starts reacting physically to an external source in a negative way, you fix that
But to explore whether or not he is being pushed to his potential? I think that comes down to each individual educator. We have had excellent, make me cry with happiness, and exhale with relief that they “get” my child educators. We’ve also had the teachers who want to “contain” my child’s knowledge into an age appropriate box. My son lets me know who they are and what happens. It makes him mad and frustrated. I don’t blame him.
But we are lucky. Still. I know this. I have one child who struggles and I feel he is getting very very good attention and the help that he needs. I have another who is getting mostly what he needs.
The difference? Only one complains about not getting enough information in the depth that he wants.
This country is very much still a “This child is in X grade and learns X grade things.”
That doesn’t work for everyone, and these brightest children deserve more.
Research that the news story was based on.
I’m adding this video that I saw today (day after I wrote this) It’s the perfect example of what can happen when you give a really bright kid room to grow beyond what is expected. Oh, and he talks about being happy and education.