So the school psychologist came and took Precious Precocious today for testing. She’s being evaluated for giftedness. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if she scores highly. She’s extremely bright and articulate. In first grade now, she already reads beyond the second grade level.
I have mixed feelings about the whole ‘gifted’ thing. Back in the day, I had to be talked into having my son tested. It took his teachers years to convince me to have him assessed, and I only agreed because I thought it might afford him some opportunities he might otherwise miss. I’ve known way too many parents who see their gifted children as status symbols, somehow a reflection on their stellar parenting skills. I’ve also seen kids in “gifted programs” get completely stressed out because they simply wind up doing way more homework than other kids.
I think a gifted program should offer advanced kids interesting hand-on types of activities. They should go lots of places and do interesting projects that don’t involve writing stupid papers and filling out higher-level work packets.
If Precious Precocious is found to meet the criteria of ‘gifted’ her parents will have some decisions to make. Our school doesn’t have a program, so she’d have to switch to a new school if they want her to be in a gifted class. They could let her stay for the rest of this year and move her next year. Or they could just keep her where she is for the rest of elementary school.
And so it was with a little sadness that I watched Precious Precocious leave my room this morning. When she returned, she said that she’d had a good time, and she’d been rewarded with a tiny pink notebook for her efforts.
At dismissal this afternoon, she asked me one of those ‘out of the blue’ questions. “How old are you, Mrs. R.?”
I gave my stock answer. “I’m 117.”
“Nuh-unh!” she unsurprisingly retorted.
“Don’t I look 117?” I asked, waiting for her logical reasoning.
“Yes,” she answered.
So, I’m gonna miss Precious Precocious.