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What is being provided for your above average student?

My children are working above grade level and nothing is being done to challenge them at their school. It appears the teachers are teaching to a class average...ugh. My oldest goes to a gifted program for a short time once a week. That is it. I just picked up workbooks for my children to provide some challenges at home...teachers' suggestions.

What do you do with your children to keep them working at their ability? Do you feel your teachers are teaching only to an average level in the classroom too? Frustrating. Just wondering what other schools are doing and what you do as parents at home to supplement.


Asked by spottedpony at 10:06 PM on Nov. 19, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 25 (25,089 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • Both my advanced students recieve in class challege work, as well as time in an enrichment program out of the classroom for 40 minutes a week. My 1st grader gets to skip phonics and sight word sessions with the class on the 'reading rug' for time with a book of her choice at her desk or the bean bag chairs. She writes a few sentences about what she liked about her book - ungraded. the teacher takes time during seat work to review any questions DD had. DS has been given advanced math work to do in previous grades- which he also gets to review with this teacher when he's done with his regular seat work. This year in 3rd, he's encouraged to read, work on advanced problem solving booklets and to write. His teacher is big on creative writing and he's taken a liking to it. She reads his stories and gives him feedback. She also lets him tutor others in math after gauging his interest in doing so.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 11:10 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • The government supplements special ed but not gifted programs to the same extent (this is one of the reasons this country is so far behind educationally). So, as we know this is true, it's up to us as parents to supplement the above-average child's education. They can't teach to the top kids in the class, or else everyone else would be unable to do the work. But as parents, it is OUR job to educate our children, school is merely one of the tools we utilize to get the job done. So if you believe that your child isn't being challenged enough, then add to the work that her teacher is giving her - and hold her accountable for it.

    Answer by aliceinalgonac at 12:57 PM on Nov. 20, 2010

  • Having been a teacher earlier in my career - I found that most school districts demand that the circulum stay exactly medicorer - so EVERYONE can be a success. I have paid $$$ for enrichment programs, after school activities etc. The best programs which believe it or not are the free or low cost activities the programs offerred at our local libraries and local colleges/universities. The whole family can attend if they want and we have been in chess club, reading clubs, science and space explores club etc. I go for the activities that add to what the kids are learning in school or add to their development as well rounded individuals such as art, music or dance.

    Answer by mrsljamieson at 10:15 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • We have done parent release and with the help of the local university she has had high level tutors and is now doing concurrent enrolment for some of her classes. She is enjoying lots of electives and exploring her options

    Answer by mtnaspen at 11:12 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • When there was nothing at the school for them, I just enriched whatever they were learning at home. Now, my 5th grader is in the 6th grade math group, but we still do things in other subjects.

    To be fair, the teachers probably aren't able to do much for those above average. They HAVE to teach to the middle (hell, some have to teach to the bottom - EEK!). I taught for 9 years in elementary school and not much is left to the teacher's discretion.

    On the plus side, they're ABOVE AVERAGE, so they're smart enough to figure something out that's not screwing around in class to get in trouble. Being smart is no excuse, and "I'm bored so I get in trouble" is just proof that they're not as smart as we think they are.

    Answer by Pnukey at 12:29 PM on Nov. 20, 2010

  • That is what I am just starting to deal with. My son has been acting up in class pretty consistently for the past few months and we have been trying to figure out what is going on. He finally told me today he is bored and so he distracts himself in class, unfortunately he distracts the rest of the class too. His teacher told me today he is in Group 1 in his class and he can't go any higher. We have workbooks he does at home, because he likes doing "homework". I am actually afraid of pushing him to far because he is just going to get more and more bored in school. He goes to a private school now and they are actually pretty advanced so I don't know what else we can do. We are going to look into bumping him up a grade if the teachers think he will be able to keep up. GL to you!! It is hard and very frustrating. For us and for the kids.

    Answer by kmath at 10:14 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • My son's school only offers advanced math courses which he is taking. But not other courses. We took a teacher's advice to have him learn to play an instrument. So he joined band. Never having picked up a musical instrument, and learning from scratch...he again is at the top of the class. From Aug 2010 to last week, when he was promoted to first chair. I hope they try to challenge him because now he's better than the second year students. Private school is too expensive.

    Answer by skitNbearsmom at 10:26 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • Nothing - all of the gifted/talented programs were removed with the school board claiming the funding should be better used for the general population so art and Spanish became bimonthly subjects with a teacher for each that went around to the different elementary schools. Then those programs were cut so that one elementary school could hire more Spanish speaking aids (since there were so many parents who could not speak English) and add a full time teacher for the English language learners so that they did not have to stay in the regular classroom. No one seems to mind that the funding is no longer benefiting the general population or that instead of providing a GT program for 4 elementary schools it is providing benefits for a minority group at one school.

    This is only one of the reasons why we have choosen to homeschool our children.


    Answer by scout_mom at 11:07 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • My sister was dual enrolled at the local community college. I got to take classes with upper classmen. Then I was sent for private study when my high school ran out of classes for me to take. Eventually, we were sent to a special school when our local school couldnt meet our needs.

    Answer by ecodani at 11:27 PM on Nov. 19, 2010

  • I don't feel like the teachers themselves should be blamed for not being able to make separate time and challenging advanced kids if it is just not in their ability to do so every day. The school district itself could be approached for more gifted programs, but teachers can only do so much when they have 15-20 plus students to educate every day.

    Answer by KTMOM at 8:22 AM on Nov. 20, 2010