741 miles. 12 hours. 2 stops. Cruised out of the city at 6:34 am led by a gorgeous full moon (we missed the eclipse because…we had a 12 hour drive in front of us!) and arrived at 6:27 pm to snow, snow and more snow. Which is exactly what we were hoping for, as my parents’ farm is surrounded by some great sledding hills.
So ‘gifted’. Touched a nerve with that one, didn’t I? Here’s the thing. I am NOT opposed to anyone trying to provide their child with the best possible education. I know that we all have differing views of what that might entail, and how to go about it. In our family we go about it by not learning in a school setting at all, and simply learning through our interests, whatever they may be. (A method, I might add, endorsed by the National Association for Gifted Children) What I AM opposed to is the suggestion, whether simply implied or stated outright, that some children, by virtue of their ‘giftedness’, have rights that do not extend to the non-gifted among us. What I AM opposed to is not offering the best of the best to all children in order to discover in what areas they excel and then following through in those areas. Instead, the NAGC states that it is a myth that all children are gifted. That true ‘giftedness’ only applies to the realm of education as they define it. They go on and on about how gifted children need more and higher quality everything; they even have a Bill of Rights (!), but then the NAGC says they don’t mean that gifted is better? I have a problem with this. Everything on their website; the list of myths, the calls for advocacy, the magazine, the Bill of Rights – everything is an indication that they believe ‘gifted’ = better.
If you have a child doing college level work in elementary school, you are going to find the school system a challenging place, as will someone whose child does not read until the age of 10. I do not have a problem with you, the parent, taking steps to make sure your kid gets what they need. Parents should be the main influence in their child’s life and learning. But don’t do it by being condescending. Which is what the NAGC does all over their website.
Gifted? Talent Areas? Semantics. But the problems created by them are real. A while back I wrote about an alternative solution to the current compulsory education system, which if implemented, might go a long way in solving these problems as well. But it’s late, and I just drove 12 hours, so I’ll revisit that suggestion tomorrow.