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The next step ??

(37 Posts)
Thebiasedmum Thu 14-Feb-19 23:39:18

We just had parents evening last week

The school reconise the child as gifted and talented in all areas - however ultimately they are unable to provide enough support for the level the child is at. And the child is not happy

We are now at the stage where we’re looking at the next step ( which the school can’t provide )

Question really is -

Do we leave him where he is and hope for the best ?

Try Home schooling them ?

Move school ?

What are your personal experiences

Arnoldillo Thu 14-Feb-19 23:40:09


LondonGirl83 Fri 15-Feb-19 07:11:48

OP- ignore the posters who like to troll parents with academically gifted children (there are a few of them on this board)

I think you need to provide more context for helpful replies: how old is your child, what does the school think he needs that they can’t provide, what provision has already been made, how gifted / advanced is your child, etc?

sirfredfredgeorge Fri 15-Feb-19 18:52:53

Also - why isn't the child happy?

user789653241 Fri 15-Feb-19 20:44:18

Yes, you need to provide us with more details.
My ds was very advanced, he wasn't challenged academically. But he was actually happy to go to school everyday.

Namenic Sat 16-Feb-19 06:22:08

I home ed for many reasons - flexibility with holidays (with extended family), no pressure with tests etc. If he decides he wants to go to school when he’s older that’s fine too.

My kid is bright and I don’t see any need to get him tested as he can just go along at his own pace. It can be expensive getting some materials and travelling to home ed groups. It can also be hard looking after his brother (22month and in a clingy phase) and teaching him.

He is going to be 5 soon. He can decode year 2 reading, add two 3 digit numbers mentally, understand multiplication (though not pushed him to learn tables). He’s fine socially but I worry a bit.

Useful materials:
Julia Donaldson songbird phonics.
Oxford reading tree set of 12 books (look on amazon/wordery for used good copies or sets on special offer - didn’t get huge set as v expensive)
Propeller education wipeable maths boards
Maths cubes (hundreds/tens/units)
Pizza fractions.

extrastrongmints Sat 16-Feb-19 06:43:15

Hard to say much not knowing the specifics but generally speaking you shouldn't leave a child where they are unhappy and hope for the best. Things won't magically improve, particularly if you are laissez-faire.
A point made by this excellent book is that parents have both the right and the obligation to advocate for their child.
Be a squeaky wheel. If the current school won't budge then do consider moving school or home educating. However look before you leap - will the other school(s) open to you be any better? Ask them what they can do before you burn bridges. Most areas have a facebook group of home-educators with which you could make contact before deciding.

JustRichmal Sat 16-Feb-19 09:11:44

I home educated for a couple of years in primary, then dd went back for the start of secondary. It was different and fun and I'm really glad we did.

However, you have to do what you think is right for the child. I asked dd if she wanted to leave and also asked if she wanted to go back. You also sort of get a feeling of what is right.

At primary level, a child will learn much quicker 1to1 than in a class of 30, so, academically, you have to have some plan of what you want to achieve and of how you see your dc fitting in to school again, if they do want to go back. For instance, because dd had GCSE maths, they just let her do A level quietly in the lesson.

Thebiasedmum Thu 21-Feb-19 04:51:51

I refrained on to many details as I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging sad

It’s really a genuine issue and there are few places you can get any advice

The child was tested about 2-3 years ahead in all areas . They are unhappy because they struggle playing with piers and this causes distress to them

Child comes home and study’s ..... I’d be hoping 6 hours of school was enough, not to be coming home asking for more work . Or coming home complains the work is far to easy and they are bored


LetItGoToRuin Thu 21-Feb-19 13:00:13

Regarding playing with his peers, what sort of ‘struggle’ and what sort of ‘distress’?

What age/year? Autumn/spring/summer born?

Perhaps discourage your child from studying ‘school’ subjects and encourage other interests that will utilise his intellect and feed his thirst for knowledge/challenge without further extending him out of the reach of his peers or even his teachers. A musical instrument? A foreign language? Chess? Amazon ecosystems? Game theory? Medieval French organists?

LetItGoToRuin Thu 21-Feb-19 13:01:42

Sorry - I've assigned a gender to your child which may be incorrect!

Thebiasedmum Thu 21-Feb-19 17:47:18

Thank you - Yes we were advised by the school early on to do this
So they do a theatre group , learning two languages , a youth group and play the piano ( things they enjoy doing )
Plus they study a lot out of school
I don’t want to infringe on thier free time to much either

Ahhh kids

AlexaShutUp Thu 21-Feb-19 18:11:32

Your child is evidently bright, but 2-3 years ahead is well within the normal range. It therefore seems very strange - and rather worrying - that the school is so unequipped to cope with this. Is it a very small school or something? Most ordinary schools should have plenty of experience dealing with children who are similarly advanced, as there are probably kids like that in most year groups. I would suggest looking around at alternative schools in the area to see if there are other options that would be better able to meet your DC's needs.

The fact that your child is so unhappy is clearly the most concerning thing about your post, and it sounds like that needs to be addressed as a matter of priority. You say that he is struggling to play with his peers, but you haven't mentioned why. Are his social skills an issue, and if so, are there things that you can work on to help him with these? Is he being bullied, and is that what's causing him the distress?

I'd be inclined to focus on extra-curricular activities which enable him to interact with other children if you can, preferably with a different cohort of children from the ones he sees in school. The drama and the youth group sound good in this respect. Does he enjoy these activities? Has he made friends with any other kids through these activities and is there more that you could do to nurture those friendships?

extrastrongmints Fri 22-Feb-19 21:14:33

but 2-3 years ahead is well within the normal range

Sorry, it depends on the age of the child but it's not normal range, at least at primary level.
The concept of IQ arose from the empirical observation that the mental age evolves as a stable multiple of chronological age, therefore the gap widens with increasing time. It follows you need to know the age to make any comment on the degree of advancement.
A child who is 2 years ahead at 4 is likely to be 4 years ahead at 8, and 6 years ahead at 12. That is a typical developmental trajectory for a highly gifted child.
A child who is 2 years ahead at 12 is bright, not gifted.
Whether 2 years ahead indicates gifted or bright depends entirely on the chronological age at which the observation is made.
A child who is 2-3 years ahead at mid primary (say 8) or earlier is gifted not bright.

From experience many teachers experience severe cognitive dissonance at the thought that a child can be more than one year ahead, or at the equally outrageous corollary that it might be appropriate to give them work at the level they are actually at, rather than at the level the rest of the class are at.

Regarding OP's concern regarding unhappiness arising from social issues. It could be several things.
Some gifted/bright kids play quite happily with a range of other kids kids and only become unhappy back in the classroom when they have to do work below their ability. doesn't seem to be the case here.
Some would have no social issues if they were placed with kids at the same developmental level but can be put in a situation where there are no age peers in their class on a similar developmental level. They may not understand why the other kids are acting their age (rather than 2-3 years older) . This can be lonely/isolating.
Some gifted/bright kids also have social deficits or HFA. That might be worth considering.
How is the child socially in situations outside school? Do they gravitate to older kids? Are they accepted by those older kids? Are the social difficulties specific to school or when confined to situations with age peers only?

Thebiasedmum Fri 22-Feb-19 21:48:32

My little one is has just turned 5 if that makes any difference ?

I completely agree with what your saying @extrastrongmints this is my issue

Do I remove them to another school to just face the same is issues as now ( as yes the teachers find it hard to address the needs of the child - I think 1.because they are a minority 2.they are restricted by there rules and regulations )

Do I home school for a few years and go back when the gap gets smaller and the breath of what can be done expands

Or just wait it out and take what they can provide . Then emerge the child in even more after school activity’s ?

I know that people must of experienced this but I feel We are in the minority so you can’t really bring the subject up

Thank you so much for all your advice I’m very very greatful for all your insight and opinions ... xXx

Namenic Fri 22-Feb-19 23:02:23

Just go by how your kid feels. If you want to save yourself hassle why not try home ed activities in the holidays and see how it goes. That way you won’t have to withdraw from school and re-start if it doesn’t work.

See if your kid has a problem with a particular Aspect of school. Eg other kids or work or teachers.

C0untDucku1a Fri 22-Feb-19 23:17:24

In your shoes op, I’d be reluctant to home school a gifted child with such poor spelling. What would be your focus? What are your skills?

extrastrongmints Sat 23-Feb-19 10:31:36

The gap doesn't get smaller - it generally gets bigger. Also kids generally make faster progress when educated 1:1. So if you did home school it might become long term.
Other people have found that problems reduce at secondary when there is setting, subject specialists etc. but that is a long way off.

Regarding school being restricted by rules and regulations, they are more often restricted by their own blinkered mentality and misinterpretation of the regulations. UK law permits (and previous government policy encouraged) academic acceleration, both by year skipping and subject acceleration. It is not commonly used and you would have to fight hard to get it.
However you say it is the social side of school that is making the child unhappy. If the child is unhappy because they are so far ahead that they have no developmental peers then a year skip may improve the situation. If they are unhappy because they have social deficits then it could make things worse. It is possible to be academically far ahead but socially behind. That's why I asked about whether they prefer the company of older kids outside school and whether the are accepted by those kids.

sirfredfredgeorge Sat 23-Feb-19 22:10:03

Being able to get expected in the year 2 SATs in reception is "2 years ahead", but that that is far from exceptional.

extrastrongmints is right in that a child who is ahead in everything at that point simply through ability will accelerate, but a child that is simply doing more work than others will not necessarily accelerate. Year 2/3 work is pretty simple.

Thebiasedmum Sat 23-Feb-19 22:27:01

The ability isn’t really in question in this case - I just don’t want to be acused of “ bragging “ I’m just wondering my options or if anyone else has been/gone through the same situation x

Blueuggboots Sat 23-Feb-19 22:39:33

I'll probably get flamed....but can you afford private school? My son is generally G&T across most areas and he is in private school (Y3) and we find they have the time and facilities to push him academically but also support him with emotional issues when required.
I truly believe if he was in a class of 33 instead of 15-18 that he'd have been labelled as "that child" as when he's not challenged, he's disruptive.

mermaidbutmytailfelloff Sat 23-Feb-19 22:44:21

In my view if you are considering home schooling then you need to be academically able yourself. OP you have made some significant errors in your posts - are you able to home school your child, or are you better leaving him at school (this one or another) and providing more extra curricular activities at home?

sirfredfredgeorge Sat 23-Feb-19 22:47:58

Unless you "brag", then I can't really see how anyone can say they've had the same experience.

I have experience of a summer born child in reception who could get all of a year 2 SATs paper correct, but that was not something that the school couldn't meet. Equally the child was more than happy to "play" with age-group peers in non-academic age appropriate games, "tag" etc. So wasn't socially isolated.

So I can't tally my experiences with your 2 years ahead vs school not meet, and in any case I think the real question is about why the child is not happy, that's the first thing to focus on.

user789653241 Sun 24-Feb-19 07:59:49

"They are unhappy because they struggle playing with piers and this causes distress to them"

That isn't an academic issue, it's a social issue.

extrastrongmints Sun 24-Feb-19 08:57:11

Being able to get expected in the year 2 SATs in reception is "2 years ahead", but that that is far from exceptional.

It depends on the exact age of the child and when in the year the test was given, but if they're in the middle of the age range of the year group and the test was given at the end of reception year, then functioning at the expected level for a 7.5 year old at the age of 5.5 indicates an age-ratio IQ of (7.5/5.5)*100 = 136 which is in the top 1%.

A related example was when the L6 test was given to high performing children at the end of KS2 (performing at L6 indicated being 3 years ahead). Only 9% achieved L6 in maths, and less than 1% in reading. So the number who were 3 years ahead in all academic areas by age 11 was significantly less than 1%.

The key questions is whether the OP's child's unhappiness is related to their high ability or does it have a separate cause. i.e. is their difficulty socialising with age peers due to the fact that they are at different developmental stage, have little in common with their age peers and feel isolated, or do they have some deficits in social communication that are preventing them from establishing friendships with their classmates. Either is possible but if they get on well with older kids outside school that points to the former.

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