Do you have a bright child? One who is constantly surprising you with all that he knows {that you didn’t teach him} and how quickly he learns and remembers things? Do you wonder if you should pursue gifted child identification?

Do You Really Know Your Gifted Child via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

I am often asked that question: does it matter if I have my child tested for giftedness?

My answer?

Yes…and no.

When I taught as a gifted intervention specialist, I often pushed for the early identification of those kids I knew were highly, highly gifted. It was important to me that they get that identification so that when they moved on from the grades in which I taught, they’d be guaranteed services.

I had a specific reason for wanting those kids to have that identification. So I advocated for it. If my kids were going to a brick and mortar school right now, I’d push for their identification, too. I’d want to know that their needs would be respected and met.

But they’re not at a school.

My kids are young. They’re home with me, learning at their own pace, according to where they are. As long as I’m the one who is taking charge of their education, I don’t really need an official gifted child identification.

Do You Really Know Your Gifted Child via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

If your kids are at a school, and you feel that their needs aren’t being met, or you think that they are gifted, you should contact the gifted coordinator in your district to push for testing by around 3rd or 4th grade. You’ll want them to have access to any programs that are available for gifted learners, but go in knowing that you need to be an advocate for your own child. Programs are being cut, and resources are slim, all around the country, and you may need to fight for what your child needs.

Since mine are home with me, I choose to forgo testing for now, and instead to focus on seeing my children for who they are instead of relying on a test to tell me something that I already know.

I don’t think it’s critical to have a label put on a homeschooled elementary student.

There are many people out there that will tell you differently. They believe that identification matters a lot. They think all gifted kids need to have that label so that their gifts are appreciated and served. And my opinion may not be popular.

And, remember… it is my opinion. We can get along just fine, even if you disagree with me. I just do not like any young child being subjected to testing for the sake of testing. I’m not a fan of standardized testing. Period.

Do You Really Know Your Gifted Child via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

When you’re thinking about having your child tested for giftedness, ask yourself about your motivation.

  • Do you just want to know?
  • Are you trying to prove something about yourself or your child to someone else?
  • Are you concerned that there are other issues involved too; maybe something that you don’t know how to manage like a twice-exceptionality?
  • Are you trying to get your child into a specific program, camp, class, or other opportunity that requires a test score or gifted child identification?

Your motivation will guide you to the correct answer to the question when it comes to your child. And, every family’s answer will be slightly different.

My suggestion goes beyond the need to know whether or not your child is gifted.

I want you to know your child.

Do You Really Know Your Gifted Child via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com

Your child’s uniqueness matters. It matters a lot. It shapes how you run your home, how you discipline, what your family standard is, and what curriculum you use in your homeschool.

Your child and his needs will always matter more than the term used to describe those needs. {Tweet this!}

Know your child inside and out. You love your child more than anyone ever will, and I know that there’s a part of you that is afraid he’ll miss out on something if you don’t know exactly what his IQ is or what type of child he’d be labeled. But, rest assured that if you really understand your child, and love him for who he is, he’ll have a great start to life.

Know:

  • what motivates him.
  • what interests him.
  • how he learns best.
  • what his learning style is.
  • what upsets him.
  • his favorite and least favorite subjects.
  • anything that will help you motivate him.

And, then think about what you are doing to meet your child’s needs right now. Are you finding an interest-based or delight-direct curriculum plan for your child? Have you figured out great ways to motivate him to do his work? Maybe you are capitalizing on his creativity so that he can excel in problem solving or music.

Will a test score change how you approach your homeschooling for your child?

If the answer is no, and you are working hard to get to know your kiddo for who he is and meeting his needs in the best way you know how, then there is no need to put him through any kind of testing. Your time {and his} would be better spent finding great resources that pique his interests.

There may come a time when you and your child are ready to find other programs for him to be a part of. Many organizations for gifted learners offer classes and programs for highly gifted children. When that time comes, your child will likely be ready to sit down and take a test to display his giftedness.

And the test will have a purpose.

You’ll know when the time is right – if ever – to have your child tested for gifted identification. And when that time comes, you’ll both be ready.

In the meantime, remember to celebrate and love your child for who he is. His giftedness matters.

He matters.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Should gifted homeschoolers pursue identification?

For more information about gifted kids, check out:

         

Follow Raising Lifelong Learner’s board Raising Gifted Learners on Pinterest.
 
 

 

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I’m linking up with the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum bloggers for this month’s blog hop. If you’re looking for other perspectives on gifted identification, check out some of the other posts in the link-up.

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Colleen Kessler

Colleen is an explorer, tinkerer, educator, writer, creator, and a passionate advocate for the needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children. She has a B.S. in elementary education, a M.Ed. in gifted studies, is a sought-after national speaker and educational consultant, and is the founder of the popular blog and podcast Raising Lifelong Learners, as well as Raising Poppies, a community of support for parents of gifted children. She lives in northeast Ohio with her four bright and quirky kiddos, patient husband, and ever-changing collection of small reptiles, mammals, and insects.

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