Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I've been struggling with a decision about my 9 year old for a few months.  Just when I thought I had it all figured out, someone made a suggestion that had me questioning whether or not it was the RIGHT decision.

Andrew is EXTREMELY smart.  Like, "how did I make YOU?", smart. But the problem is, he's also very lazy.  Unfortunately, he did get THAT from me! :(

In our schools they test them for Advanced Placement classes in Third Grade.  If you qualify, then you start taking AP classes in Fourth Grade.  Andrew qualified, and based on his scores, he also qualifies for the Gifted and Talented Program at one of the local schools.  So here's my dilemma.  And I'll take any advice anyone has to offer.  I have 2 options.

Option 1:  We could send him to the current school we'd planned on.  He will be in AP, and I know he will do well.  One of the reasons I'm thinking of going with this option is because he also has low self esteem.  (I know where he gets THAT from)!  :(  Part of me feels like if he goes to these schools, middle and high, he will be a little higher up from the other kids, and it might make him feel better about himself.  I want him to be smart, but I also want him to be well rounded and have a good self-esteem.  So if sending him to this school, where he'll still get an AMAZING education, but he'll also get a little bump up in his self-esteem, will help with that, then I don't see how that's the wrong decision.  Plus, if he's in the top 10% of the class, he'll have a better chance of getting a scholarship for college.  And since it's EXTREMELY expensive to send a kid to college, every little bit helps. 

Option 2:  Send him to the Gifted/Talented Program.  ALL of the kids there are EXTREMELY smart.  So he'll be on the same level, and probably will have kids that are much smarter than him.  But someone pointed out that that might make him work even harder.  (Lazy, from me, remember?)  So being in a school with kids as smart as him and smarter than him, could possibly make him a better student.  Chances are, it will.  However, he probably won't be in the top 10%, so not much chance of a scholarship.  BUT, if being with other people like him makes him work harder, then maybe he WILL be in the top 10%.  

No matter which school we choose, I really don't think there's a WRONG decision.  At least I hope not.  We still have a year to make the decision, he's only in 4th grade and we don't need to apply for the other school until next Fall.  We are going to tour the other school and see what it's like.  I keep asking for opinions from everyone.  I know it's ultimately OUR decision, and I know everyone has a different opinion, but I still feel like the more opinions I get, the more able we'll be to make an informed decision. 

So I'm asking you.  What would YOU do?


Shell said...

I want to chime in with my response... but the truth is that only you know your child. YOU do truly know best. Don't let someone else second-guess you.

Tiffany said...

Like you said it's ultimately your decision and I wouldn't weigh your decision with other opinions too much.

I agree that you should go with option #1 though, since you are asking. I've heard from teachers that teach gifted that the gifted kids don't necessarily "bring each other up". They are like "dog eat dog" and if your son doesn't fit that personality, he might not do well in option #2.
Good luck, you will make the best decision. You're the mom.

The Preppy Girl in Pink said...

First of all, I think you know the answer because you put it down as your 1st option. I think as parents we always feel in our guts what we know is best. We just always feel like there should be a standby. I won't weigh in because I think this is a very personal decision but I can tell you to trust yourself because you know your son better than anyone else.

Secondly, your Christmas decor on your blog just made me so very happy!! I love it!!

Amy said...

I got to make this choice several years ago. Here's what I found out with MY child (which is not yours and only you know your son). When we put my son in the GATE (gifted and talented program), it was much better for him socially. When he was in regular classes, he was so far ahead of the other kids (even in AP classes) that he tended to "dumb down" himself so that the other kids didn't make fun of him. It's not easy being "That kid" that always ruins the curve (even in an AP class) and makes the rest of the class look stupid. When I had to go to the classes for parents of gifted kids, they explained that with a gifted child, their brain usually processes and learns something the first time they hear it vs us normal people who have to hear/be taught something multiple times (I believe they said 4-6 times on average). So, gifted kids will get bored easier. That may show itself as laziness or behavior issues as they amuse themselves in other ways.

Again, only you know your child. I chose to put mine in the GATE classes which actually start in 3rd grade here. Being in that class also gave him the opportunity to do things like take SAT's (not PSAT's) in 7th grade and attend summer college in a college for kids program. Good luck with whatever you decide.