srae_stokes asks:

My son needs to be challenged more and the school won't cooperate.  What should I do?

My son is in 3rd grade and has the annoying habit of not performing at school the way he performs at home. His teacher sees that he is smart but doesn't believe me that he is so far ahead-he has done this every year and then will suddenly shine sometime during the spring when it is usually too late to start any ability appropriate teaching and then we start all over again the next year. You would think that the next teacher would believe last years teacher but that doesn't work either.

This year I started talking to his teacher early, trying to explain and maybe get a jump on it. Her response was that it would be too much work for her to create special work for him and that he has to learn discipline by doing all the same work as the others. The principal agrees.
The gifted program in our district doesn't start until the 4th grade and there is no differentiation whatsoever except reading groups until then.
I don't think it is really as heartless as it sounds but simply that they have no idea how to really work with a gifted child and don't know how much "damage" it can cause to force a child to work under his potential year after year. I can see him already starting to "give up" and shut down.

He has emotional problems and does not handle change well at all so changing schools is not an option.

What do I do? Am I going to have to continue letting him "waste" 7 hours a day at school and then have to come home and learn what he should have been learning all day instead of getting to play with friends and enjoy himself like he should?

Homework is the worst part of all of this. He hates it! He will spend hours doing "worksheets" on the educational websites or in the books I buy at the teacher supply so it's not that he won't do work, it's simply that he won't do the work that is assigned since he is bored.
Please help!!! I am tired of fighting this battle for the past 4 years.
In Topics: My Relationship with my child's school
> 60 days ago

KidAngel writes:
Hi Srae,
Has you son been tested by a psychologist or a psychiatrist for either LD's or gifted? If not, start there, you need an "educational professional" on your side to go to bat for you and your son. If he has not been formally diagnosed this is where you need to start. Without a professional recommendation the school and or teacher is not going to listen. My thoughts are if he was tested "gifted" the school would be mandated to create an IAP for him that would create more challenge in his every day school work. Because nothing has been done I believe that first and foremost get the testing. The quickest way is thru your family doctor who can give you a "referral" to a specialist. The slower way would be to fill out the paperwork thru your son€™s school. Once you do the paperwork your looking at anywhere from 45 days to 3 months. Although they are supposed to get in done within 30 days, I never saw this happen in my teaching experience, unless it was at a private school.
So, Mom, get the big guns on your side. Then you will see results. Good Luck and thank you for staying in there with the school and trying to get the results you need. Help is right around the corner!

Barbara Antinoro
Educational Consultant
Kid Angel Foundation Team
> 60 days ago

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BruceDeitri... , Teacher writes:
On the one hand, I don't have a clue what you should do. But I'm struck by all the people on this site who seem to be totally involved in the lives of their kids. Is this good? Wouldn't it make any kid crazy. Furthermore, school is not the be-all in a person's life. What about hobbies and museums and books and magazines and games and models and sports? So I'd tentatively suggest 1) lighten the mood, 2) diversify the activities that the child does and hears about, and 3) when the child does something good, say something nice.
> 60 days ago

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