Lily is today’s guest blogger, and is a student of Gifted Online. Here, Lily shares her personal perspective on being a gifted child.
It’s wonderful to be a gifted kid, but, as you would notice if you were one, there are certainly pros and cons. For example, academically gifted children sometimes find it hard to be good physically. We sometimes struggle in P.E and/or Art. Of course, everyone has a weak spot, but for gifted children it’s usually something opposite to the average child. Average kids are usually great in P.E and Art, but not so great in History, Maths, Literacy/English, Writing and Reading. And then there are gifted kids: great academically, not so great physically and artistically. This can certainly vary but I know for a fact that it is common.
One of the first pros of being gifted is that you learn quickly. This makes you not only do well in school but makes you have the ability to learn quickly and well. There is always a thirst for knowledge in the gifted, and if this can’t be fulfilled at school, it usually is at home via the internet, library or verbal questioning especially to the parent.
A problem about being gifted is that you think school would be great if it were like most people describe it: a challenge and a place to learn. But then, after attending your average class in your age-co-ordinated grade, you think, Why didn’t I get the one thing I wanted out of this hour? New knowledge!
Sometimes being gifted is hard work (but luckily, we like that). You set very, very high expectations for yourself and you are disappointed if you don’t reach them, whereas the average child would be happy to reach the point that you did. Setting high expectations is bad in the regard that you get so disappointed, even when you do amazingly, and good in the regard that you reach very high standards!
I myself have been very lucky because I have skipped a grade. Doing this has improved my learning experience but I still feel like our normal classroom activities are “boring”. More about the word boring for gifted kids later. Anyway, I have a great teacher this year, Grade five (kids turning eleven in Australia), and have been lucky to be placed in the Year 7/8 Enrichment group for English, Mathematics and Spelling. (Year 7 – for kids turning 13 and Year 8 – 14). This is just a small example of how much a gifted child is ahead. (So basically I turned ten very recently and I’m doing fourteen year old work.) I know a few other gifted kids in my school also have a similar situation to me (but haven’t skipped a grade). Sometimes I wonder, though, where will the kids in the top group for everything in Grade 5 go next year if they’ve already done the ‘hardest’ work? Sometimes, I just worry too much.
Now, let’s talk about the word “boring”. When you hear it from a gifted child it often means “easy and wasteful of my time”. For a child who isn’t gifted, it could mean “hard and so hard that I’m bored”. A gifted child’s boring is fun for a normal child, but a normal child’s boring still boring for a gifted child. So it’s very hard to get gifted children interested in things.
But, overall, being gifted is all a balancing act, as is life. We just have to live with what we have and improvise. Thank you for reading my opinion on being a gifted kid and please leave some comments below as I will reply! Also, check out my writing from last year: https://creatingcurriculum.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/the-gifted-deserve-more/
Find other #NZGAW Blog Tour posts at ultranet.giftededucation.org.nz/WebSpace/1104/.
You can contribute to gifted awareness by reading, writing or sharing posts. Please also consider talking to a parent, a teacher, a school board member or a principal about giftedness. If at all possible, write to your Member of Parliament.