Our oldest son was 4 when we first had him evaluated at the Gifted Development Center in Denver. With the incredibly detailed report (full of new terms like twice-exceptional, sensory processing disorder, and vision therapy) in hand, I dove into researching just what we had living in our house. Those were the dark ages, long before blogs and Facebook made connecting with others easy. Dr. Google sent me to email lists, and I joined as many as I could.
Learning about giftedness from email lists full of experienced and wise parents has both a good and bad element. You’re gonna learn a lot, but it’s a bit like drinking from a fire hose and you’re likely to be scared to death. “I have what to look forward to???” (In all honesty, I still run into that: the best SENG session I attended last month scared me worse than any horror flick…2e + looming adolescence = I no longer sleep) Lurking on those lists taught me a lot, and education was at the top of the list.
The topic I saw most often was how parents educated their kids. It was never “place child in public school, let simmer for 12 years, graduate, enjoy the fruits of your labors.” It was more like…
Public school, private school, homeschool, part-time school, independent study, concurrent enrollment high school and college, online education (in its infancy then), private tutors, afterschooling…sometimes one right after another, or within a year. I thought certainly they were exaggerating. That many educational changes? That often? A kid could be that…complex?
Ohhhh…Jen of seven years ago, how you have grown. Now you have The Most Complex Child on the Planet™ and are playing the Education Tango. To date my 2e son, now 11, has been in three elementary schools in two states and is now homeschooled, with heavy doses of afterschooling and tutoring stuck in there as well. Right now the plan is to homeschool as long as necessary (he thinks forever, I’m praying for a high school start date in three years), but at least we have the options. His younger brother? Public school, third grade, thriving. We used the same ingredients and recipe to make these two, they are so very different, the mind boggles.
It’s back to school time. The form school takes? Well, that’s a different story.
Jen writes over at Laughing at Chaos, and is the author of If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional, recently published by Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Press.