2/15/10

Kid Updates

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...

4 comments:

Kelly McCrady said...

I spy troubles ahead, Captain. I knew sisters were competitive but when the younger is the genious...oy. Julliette may work harder still to keep ahead of her barely-younger sibling.

We had a brother/sister combo in my graduating class where the younger sister had skipped two grades to match with us. One grade would't be as difficult socially as two. Good luck, Mom and Dad and yay for good genes LOL

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Welcome to the world of special ed, my friend -- and don't kid yourself. Gifted Ed IS special ed. Our kids need things that can't be provided in the regular classroom, and it's up to us parents to be their advocates, especially while they're still young.

You have much to learn. Holler if I can help; I've got two. I can talk grade advancement, social issues... I've been through it all.

Oh, and mazel tov. You and your husband passed on some very good genes, and they came together beautifully.

Welcome to the ride.

Michelle Styles said...

Congratulations.
If you have not read Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, do so now. It is not so much raw talent but using it.
As all of mine are in the gifted range, I did a lot of research on the subject. Basically, you are going to have to put a lot of effort in, particularly if you have an exceptionally gifted child. I decided against skipping a grade because of the social issues and generally people in the gifted range can be lacking in social skills. Do remember you have the mind of an older child trapped in the body of a younger one and therefore they can become frustrated with their limitations.
BTW I am not surprised that the apple has not fallen far from the tree. You have the right to be proud and you can be even prouder as that raw talent grows and develops through your nuturing.

Carrie Lofty said...

Keven and I were gifted as well (seems to have worn off as I got older ;)

But Ilsa's bonus is that she is extremely easy in social situations. She is 100% made of charm and social aptitude. If she winds up having any artistic ability she's gonna be scary.

Thanks for the recs and advice, ladies. I appreciate the input! It's weird how I've always known that they're brilliant, but now they have labels and it makes me think differently.