A few weekends ago when my mother and I were relaxing during our spa day at Belly Love Spa we were of course conversing with the ladies that were doing our pedicures. I was talking about my daughter and school and she suggested that I have her tested to see if she was “gifted”.
My daughter is bright, but I really have no idea what gifted is and whether it is something I should explore. My daughter is older then many of her friends, her birthday is in November so she missed the deadline and was almost six when she started Kindergarten. I’ve always contributed her quick learning to her being a little older then others.
About a month ago I got a call from her teacher, her teacher said that my daughter had requested harder homework, that the homework was too easy. She felt she was definitely able to handle it and asked if I mined. I was not surprised, my daughter loves to learn and often does extra work on her own. A few weeks later I asked my daughter about the harder homework and how it was going. She said, “Well, it is not really that hard but I don’t want to tell my teacher.”
I recently had a very lengthy and in-depth conversation with my daughter about “profit and loss”, on a basic level. She asked what I did at work and I explained how we develop commercial centers and apartment complexes. How we manage them and have to hire people to work at them, and do all the things to keep it looking nice, lawn, electricians, etc. I explained to her that I was the accountant and told her about income and expenses. She was so enthralled with the conversation. So I went on to explain how the “numbers” work. If she had a lemonade stand and she had to buy a pitcher, lemons, a stand, etc. those would be here expenses and when she sold the lemonade what she received would be her income. To know if she made money she would take her income and subtract her expenses. Seriously at the age of seven she totally got the whole conversation and continue to ask more and more questions. To this day she can tell you what I do at work and if I ask her a question such as, “If it cost you $10 to buy all your lemonade products, and you made $15 selling the lemonade. How much did you make?”, she knows the answer with little thinking.
She is currently working on a third grade workbook at home, (she is in 1st grade). She loves those big workbooks you can buy that has all different subjects. She can almost tell time, because she decided she wanted to learn how, and she is working on multiplication, because well who wouldn’t want to do that in their extra time LOL.
So I wanted to research “What is a gifted child?”, and I’ve had a hard time coming up with a good answer. My daughter shows no signs of not fitting in, she enjoys schools and has lots of friends and I don’t want to isolate her or make her feel “different”. So I’m wondering what is the benefits of a “gifted” program?
I did find a few things to help me try to understand what “gifted” could mean. Here are a few possible things that I do see in my daughter:
Possible Gifted Qualities
- The ability to learn quickly and efficiently – to pick up ideas and skills effortlessly.
- The ability to ask questions that show advanced insight or understanding
- A deep fund of knowledge – they know more about the world around them than you would expect
- Excellent memory and easy recall of what they previously heard, saw, or learned
- A tendency to read often on their own and to frequently prefer reading to more physical activities (she has the first half but I wouldn’t say she prefers one over the other)
- Little need for direction or instruction when beginning a new activity, learning a new game, or acquiring a new skill. They may also insist on doing things on their own, or in their own way (the last part is definitely her, she hates people telling or helping her she wants to figure it out herself)
- Pleasure in talking to older children and adults about topics that interest them, (she talks a lot to the 5th graders in aftercare and considers many of them her friends)
- An inclination to see learning as fun. They take joy in discovering new interests or grasping new concepts
- The tendency to think and talk fast. Because they may be trying to speak as quickly as they think, gifted children are often asked to “slow down” so the listener can understand them (she gets that from me, I’ve always been like that)
- Enjoyment of alone time. While gifted children may enjoy spending time with others, including mental mates (whether their own age or adults), they can also enjoy spending time on more solitary activities such as reading, writing, daydreaming, observing, or just thinking (she often likes to go in her room with the door closed so that no one will bother her)
There are more and she shows many of the “signs” but I also think many of these signs just means your child is smart. I still don’t have a real good understanding if what “gifted” is and would my daughter benefit from being in a gifted program. The major benefit of course is the challenge. My daughter is rarely challenged at all, what she is doing in Kindergarten she can do in her sleep. She can add two or three rows of numbers in the hundreds or more, she knows how to carry. So when she comes home with addition problems that are simply 7 +6 I know she is not challenged at all.
We recently took an online reading test, designed for Pre-K to Second Graders and she maxed out at the highest saying she was reading at a high 2nd grade level. She absolutely loves to read and reads to me each night in the bath tub.
So I’m posing this question to you my readers