Sunday, July 15, 2012

National Parenting Gifted Children Week

National Parenting Gifted Children Week begins today sponsored by Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted.  The direct link to the 2012 week is here.

We're making education choices for the fall and the announcement made me reflect on what gifted means in our house. There's been a lot of chatter in the gifted press this year about gifted kid's potential and promise.  Are schools doing enough to turn these kids in to the next world leaders, Nobel Prize winners, and 21st century innovators?  I'm a product of a 'gifted' system.  I received two, count them two, years of gifted services in middle school.  I'm now a SAHM and homeschool educator of my kids.  I don't consider my two years of gifted services or 8 years of university wasted even though I'm not making world news headlines.  I'm just a 'gifted' mom trying to raise two 'gifted' boys.

Older toad is freaky smart and younger toad has not been tested but statistics say he's well above average just by being related to his brother.  So they're gifted but what does that mean?  For us that's just normal.  They don't seem exceptional since they've always been our kids.  We don't have imaginary 'normal' siblings we compare them to.  We joke older toad is Spock with anger management problems but he hasn't become that, he's always been that way.  Spock was a perfectly normal half Vulcan/half human kid since he was the only one.

Gifted + Intensity = Welcome to life at our house.  We don't need educational pedagogy to tell us about overexcitabilites, positive disintegration or asynchronous development.  We just need a family road trip.  Cue trip to Kennedy Space Center; two adults with graduate degrees trying to explain advanced physics to a 5 year who is so geeked out by all the absolutely amazingly cool space stuff he can't remember to eat his snacks and devolves into major tantrum enough for public head turning because he can't share with a 2 year old.  That may not be 'normal' for many families but the only thing special for us in that story is Kennedy Space Center.

Normal for most people is what they're used to, normal is what we all do, normal is comfortable.

Since everything is more at our house, gifted just means my kids are more normal.  They may or may not go on to do publicly acknowledged amazing things like the leaders of 'gifted' education would like to see.  I just hope they will be grow up to be exceptional human beings who happen to be gifted.

1 comment:

Jenny Bardsley said...

I think you strike upon something I struggle with too. I could leave #2 in daycare, no problem and go back to work. But #1? It would have been a total disaster due to intensity! Luckily I can be a SAHM.

I was lucky enough to have 9 years of outstanding gifted ed in the San Diego Seminar program. But here I am not in the workforce or making a "contribution" to society in that way. I feel a bit guilty about that, but I have to do right by my children. It's almost like a "vicious circle of giftedness", although that's not the right term for it at all...

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