and I’m spent

Oh man, I just don’t have the strength to update here. Even when I read a recent article from a Va. newspaper —

But I believe it is time for someone to fight for the students who lose role models and friends to the “smart” classes and internalize their exclusion as confirmation of their own deficiencies.

[i.e., When gifted students get an appropriate education it hurts other students, both by hurting the other students feelings and by depriving those students of the opportunity to model the gifted students. That’s what life is like as a highly gifted student right? — all your classmates are lining up to use you as a role model?! 😉 ] —

I just don’t have the get up and go to go after it. Nor would it really be worth it to do so, but I am still surprised to see actual people saying this stuff in public.

What have we been doing?

Nothing school-y, that’s for sure. The girls’ grandparents came last week, which was an occasion for much frolicking, goofing around, and playing in the sun, which decided to make a rare appearance for much of the in-laws visit. Then it was time for Shakespeare’s birthday party, which was also Violet’s 9th birthday party. The kids acted out the Pyramus and Thisby performance at the end of Midsummer Night’s Dream. Violet was Pyramus/Bottom, and was quite enthusiastic in performance, though she kept turning away from the audience. (There were 2 audiences, however — the Athenians, and the parents — so in our small house it was not easy to face both.)

I made up scripts for each of the kids with parchment-like paper, and in the back there were a few word games, including Shakespeare or Not Shakespeare? As you may know, Shakespeare is one of the leading sources of idioms in the English language (along with the Bible and nautical terminology). Here’s a selection — care to try your luck in deciding which are Shakespeare and which are Not Shakespeare?

1. Dead as a Door-Nail

2. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

3. Foul Play

4. Vanish into thin air

5. Bite the dust

6. In a pickle

7. The Fly in the ointment

8. In the red

9. In stitches

10. At his wit’s end

On an unrelated note, our art teacher at co-op mentioned that she has always noticed that homeschooled kids tend to look out for each other in a way that she doesn’t see in her school groups. (Luckily this came up in the context of my daughter being one of some children who stuck up for a friend.) Your milage may vary, of course. I’m just always pleased when people observe that homeschoolers get “socialized” just fine, thank you.

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7 Comments

Filed under Family Fun, Gifted Ed, Socialization, unit study -- history of english

7 responses to “and I’m spent

  1. I just read this brilliant article about how to teach untracked classes, and the specific kinds of curriculum that are required if both the gifted kids are going to be challenged, and the less gifted kids are going to have some access points. It involved less pen and paper kinds of tasks, less regurgitation of textbooks, more debates and role playing to understand historical events. (It was a secondary Social Studies teacher who wrote the article.) I’m going to use it in the class I teach in the fall.

  2. I like Lizabeth’s comment. Because of course if you want the gifted kids to stay in class with the rest of the folks (and, by implication, maybe you want other kids with specific learning differences in there, too; diversity, etc.), then you HAVE TO teach differently. I’ve said it before but one of the big problems with the current system is that it aims at too narrow a section of the population.

    I think it might be possible, but until schools show some real evidence that they are capable of meeting the needs of gifted kids without giving them special programs, I’m right there with you on taking them out.

  3. patience

    Happy birthday Violet!!! The big nine-oh! It sounds like the day was a blast.

  4. binismom2001

    Holy Cow! That sounds like GREAT fun:D I sure hope Violet enjoyed her day!!
    OTOH, that article in the newspaper seems just too much to believe. How could ANYONE believe that the other kids are “deprived” of role models by putting kids in a correct placement? Weird.
    Forte

  5. Happy Birthday Violet! It sounds like a delightful week. I wish I could say I was surprised by that comment, but I think so many folks still confused truly gifted with early or high achievers. As we all know, the are quite a different animal! I suppose if, following that logic, I need to spend all my time with tall thin friends who enjoy fitness training so that I will stop being short, dumpy, and lazy. Makes a lot of sense!

  6. adsoofmelk

    Okay, I’m going to sound like a real snot here, so I apologize heartily.

    But.

    Gifted children do not owe anything to other students any more than other students owe anything to gifted children.

    They do not owe it to other children to be in classes where their educational needs are not being met so that they can provide those students with role models — a statement whose logic I have to question. Only when you swap “role models” with “convenient bullying targets” does it begin to make sense, but hey, I’m kinda on the cynical side.

    They do not owe it to other children to be unpaid, nonunion peer tutors doing the teacher’s or classroom assistant’s job for them — or worse, the students’ job for them.

    They do not owe it to other children to provide insights into the literature or the concepts.

    They do not owe it to the teacher to be the ones who are “easy to teach.”

    No way.

  7. Happy Birthday to Violet!

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