So it turns out that Ilsa, little goofball that she is, has tested in the full gifted range. We learned during her Armitage admissions process. She has the intellect of a mid-8yo. Her ability to express language is almost equal with her receptive cognition, which is rare at this age, and her verbal and math abilities are evenly matched. She's also been composing, untutored, on the synthesizer we gave the girls for Christmas. The compositions have regular meter and repeating motifs, not the random plunking of a six-year-old. And her aptitude with French is scary.
Oh, the girl is gonna get expensive really quick.
This past week we ran into the first complication of all this. Juliette brought home a math assignment for her homework that she just couldn't get--not without a lot of tutoring from Keven. The concept itself is rather advanced, having to do with number families and reciprocal values. 7+4=11. 11-4=7. Etc. Ilsa took a look at it and got it straight away. I had to ferret her away and distract her so that Juliette could concentrate. Ilsa has also passed Juliette in the "Magical Treehouse" series of books that they were reading.
Part of this is just Ilsa being able, at last, to have one up on her big sister. And of course Juliette isn't too keen on that. But I see it continuing. Once Ilsa gets into more regular schooling and learns spelling, handwriting, and how to have a an attention span for things that don't interest her--fat chance!--she'll be a mondo threat. We'd more stridently push for having her skip a grade if that wouldn't land her in direct competition with Juliette. At least the testing they did at Armitage will let them know what to expect.
In the meantime Juliette has basically be crafting an encyclopedia entry for the American Robin. The topic was assigned in science class, and she spent almost all of Saturday afternoon on the task. Her ability to synthesize information and remember it is staggering. If I go over her advanced spelling words once or twice during the week, she's good for the test--just like that. (I'm impressed because spelling gives me fits.) Funny to think that little sister will be giving my clever girl a run for her money from here on out.
Sorry to brag. Can you tell I'm proud? Keven and I parent by benign neglect, so it's good to see our casual "talk to them a lot and read to them a lot" strategy is bearing fruit...