Life provides turning points of many kinds, but the most powerful of all may be character-revealing moments.
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Although my daughter, whom I am certain is somewhere in the gifted range has never had an IQ test has done just fine, graduating cum laude from a top 20 or 25 law school from which she received a full tuition scholarship and probably being the youngest graduate that year, I guess it all worked out. She was in a Gifted Talented pull out class, which she enjoyed during her grammar school years, also, but she also suffered a lot of boredom in the classroom, particularly during the earlier grammar school years. I wanted to start her in school a year early, because she was mature for her age and also more intellectually advanced than the average kid, but in those days it was absolutely not allowed.
Now basically she floated through school and it was much too easy for her. She did not develop good study habits until she got to college. If she hadn't been in a highly selective college, where overall the students were brighter than average, she probably would have continued to be a lazy student, who was getting reasonably good grades. Her husband, who I suspect may be slightly smarter than her, managed to get through undergrad school with good grades and not too much effort from the same college, but fortunately she had found it necessary to put more effort into school during those college years.
They both made spectacular LSAT scores, which is primarily what got them each a full tuition scholarship to a really good law school. His score was slightly better than my daughter's and he didn't put near the energy into preparing for his LSAT that my daughter did. At law school having learned how to be a good student she did much better than he did and consequently has a much better job. Of course some of that can probably be attributed to the fact that she matured faster, which is not uncommon for young females compared to young males. His maturity level seems much higher these days. They are both now 26 years old. He is a very smart young many and has never been lazy. I am sure that he will ultimately do very well.
I suspect that both of these kids, whom I know are gifted would have been better students from an early age if they had been in some kind of gifted education program. It took a lot fo willpower for my daughter to buckle down and do well in college and law school. She was not a good student before that, even though she did graduate high school with honors. During high school I good one mid-term F notice for her and two mid-term D notices (different years), because she didn't do her homework. I didn't get too excited, because I knew she would not let that stand. She received a B in all three of those classes, which is pretty good considering she was failing in 1 case and nearly failing in the other 2 cases. Most of her homework she did in the last minute, even the really big projects. She had developed these bad habits because school was far too easy for her. It is too her credit that she pulled it together and became a pretty decent student, but many people don't. If she had been a good student in high school she cold have gotten a nice scholarship for undergrad school. Her husband, who is slightly smarter was a national merit scholar and did get a hefty scholarship. These kids are very bright, somewhere in the gifted category, but they are not Einstein's and it would have served both of them better if they had had an appropriate education from day one. I am not certain if even an early IQ test would have gotten them the kind of education they needed in the early years, because of where they grew up. There isn't much available like that around here, but it is still well worth looking into for the parents of gifted children.
Many of us fall by the way side, because we coast through school with no effort (yes I was gifted). By the time that I got into late grammar school and high school, they had lost me. I hated school, although I did enjoy some classes. In the early grades I was raring to learn. I went to a couple of good schools for short periods of time during grammar school and I did very well. It was wonderful not being bored to death in school and I loved school. But then after a short time it was back to easy schools and easy As, no effort required. My attention and energy went elsewhere and then I became a teenager. I was in a better school by then, but I had what I considered better things to do than schoolwork. Most of it was just busywork anyway, but they grade you down if you don't do your homework. A few classes were in subjects that interested me and I enjoy them and I learned a lot since at that point I was in very fast paced classes, but otherwise I was not interested in school. They had lost me years ago and it didn't have to be that way. When I was a young child, I loved to learn and there was no subject that didn't interest me. Some teachers in early school where I was bored to death actually tried to tell my parents they had taught me something. What a joke. I was years ahead of what they were teaching, but those teachers were too stupid to realize it. In the better school I went to for a little while, I did skip a grade pretty fast and sometimes my teacher expected more of me than what I was able to do after skipping because I had come from such a poor school system and had no background at all in some of the subjects, like parts of speech and syllables and all of that. Apparently they had started on that the year before and there were some holes, because I was supposed to already know that stuff and it wasn't explained properly, but it didn't matter. I loved school and I put in my best effort, but then in another year, back to being bored to death, When schools teach gifted kids to hate school, do they think they can change that later.
There were at least points of light in my daughter's early education, with both the Gifted and Talented pullout class and also with the Accelerated Reader Program, where at least she could read at her own level. While she may often have been bored in school, at least she didn't learn to hate school, thank goodness although she did learn to be academically lazy. I very much admire her for buckling down and doing well in college and law school.
She did grow up in a different environment than I at home though, one more appropriate for a gifted kid, but many children both gifted and non-gifted have very poor home environments and if the schools fall down on their jobs, then there is a good chance these children will not reach their potential as adults and that is a shame for society as well as for the person, who didn't get a good start.
At least the parents here are interested in their children's future, so let us hope that they can get the educational system to do their part.
Free and low cost enrichment and acceleration options
One strategy to use when a child gets too far ahead of the curve
Gifted Kids with learning problems... The Twice Exceptional Child.
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