Home > Uncategorized > On Giftedness and feeling Socially Mystified

On Giftedness and feeling Socially Mystified

On giftedness and dreaming a  dream–   last night I dreamed of….

A 9 yr old  child sits in bed, holding his arms around his knees, head resting on kneecaps.. Mom fussing around the room, picking up things.. plumping pillows… ‘Mum, I had sooooo  much fun with Jamesy and Colon at scouts today..  We were building a field shelter, and they know so much about stars.. just like me..  when we go camping this weekend, we’re going to look for as many constellations as we can find.. I wish I was in their class.. ‘

‘Hmm’ says mum..  absent-mindedly… ‘and what class is that…’   ‘Well, I don’t really know mum, but I know they are both 13, they know the things I know… and THEY LIKE THEM.. ‘

Mum sits down on bed.. puts hand on sons.. ‘Don’t your school mates like these things too?’  Child thinks for a minute.. ‘Well, Actually, they do not, in fact they have no idea.. they think I’m odd.. a baby.. ‘

I wonder why that is, do you think you might have an idea?…’  says Mum..   ‘Well,’ say child  ‘actually, I do try to help them understand, I know they won’t get ‘Planetary Nebulae and Interstellar backgrounds’.. I know, we have talked about that.. but.. when I try to use simpler words and explain.. hmm like when I say ‘a field of little stars’.. all they do is say baby baby.. and start singing twinkle twinkle little star..’  Mum.. why DO they do that??  I don’t understand… ‘

Childs mother has just had a meeting with the school in which it has been suggested that child is immature for their age, and perhaps needs more socialization with own age group to learn how to ‘fit’ in…

One example and  of the common mismatch between the mind and social perception of giftedness..

These kinds of scenarios are enacted every day for many gifted children and adults.. the trying to make themselves understood/accepted by those who live around them.. in an effort to fit in..  and,… overcompensating in that effort.. being made to feel inadequate or worse.. stupid..

The question is:  Are they really immature, and would more time spent with age peers be a solution?


Are they just misplaced intellectually, and would they benefit more/be happiest emotionally and socially by spending more time with their intellectual and common interest peers?

At least in our experience the best times in our children’s lives, and best activities were the ones that encompassed many different age/interest  groups, such as scouts, or music and such… where kids could meet and  find their own levels.. a pity that our school systems are so insistent on ‘age to age’ programming.  I don’t know, but it does seem to me to be a system that may have been designed rather more for crowd control, rather than actual sharing and learning..

How much better it would be to have a school where age was not a barrier, and the students fluctuated between needs and skill/abilityl classes at will…  dream on.. !!!


ps.. here are one or two to  links to read on the suject, for your own info….

The Learning place

SENG- Tracy Cross

NSW perspective

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Lisa Conrad
    August 28, 2010 at 9:43p

    And so it goes … If we had only known then what we know now. Mothers and their gifted children … always a tale of asynchronous development. Happy memories always being invaded by unpleasant intrusions from dealings with schools. Too late for us … maybe next round.

  2. August 28, 2010 at 9:43p

    Ya… I know… I have often thought that had I to do it another time, I would have defo listened their plees of ‘I want to be a home schooled child’… but at the time mine were small the network here was just beginning and was not seen very positively by the Ed Dept… I see the wonderful job my niece is doing, and am more and more convinced in this day and age, that if you can stomach it, and be do it right.. it is a marvelous option.. with plenty of socializing scope through play dates/courses/camps/clubs/scouts/outings/church or other and offers enormous flexibility.. where the asynchrony can be less of a burden and more of an interesting characteristic creating part of the individual..

    I am going to try and write a more positive post on something next time….;-D

  3. August 28, 2010 at 9:43p

    Yes. I would like to share my experience about a school which has realized this dream. The school’s name is Sholai and is located in Perumalmalai (Kodaikkanal hills)in Tamilnadu, India. I was fortunate enough to be invited by its principal to stay with them for a weekend. They have an unbelievable student:teacher ratio of 7:1! Each child gets individual attention and the students are put in classes which are best suited for them and are not bound by their age. Hope more schools join the league!

    • August 28, 2010 at 9:43p

      Great to see you here, Vytheshwaran… It sounds like a very interesting school… would like to hear more… I might DM you on twitter with an email contact if that is ok… I haven’t gotten around to adding a contact to this site yet, but will soon ;-). I traveled a little around the (many many many years ago…. ) McCloud Gang (don’t laugh, probably not spelled right!!!) area.. foothills of the mountains I think… beautiful place…

  4. August 29, 2010 at 9:43p

    Fantasitic, it sounds really really amazing… a dream… ;-D.. and thanks for the correction of place name.. you are right.. that’s where it was.. beautiful country.. I will share the blog elsewhere too… I am on a giftedteachers list serve.. they would be interested/should read this.. ;-D

  5. August 30, 2010 at 9:43p

    It does seem to be so simple – put the child where they are happiest not where their age denotes they should be. This one size fits all approach across the curriculum is damaging to both extremes! (aka @TheHead’sOffice)

    • August 30, 2010 at 9:43p

      Why a very merry welcome to you @TheHead’sOffice… I am honoured by your visit, and very pleased with your agreement with my point of view.. These types of systems have always seemed to me more for the benefit of the smooth running of the system itself and the institutions it serves, rather than for the benefit of inquiring and fluctuating minds and hearts.. regardless of their age.. http://woodsmoke.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/sholai-school-in-harmony-with-nature/ this link is to an interesting place (see comment by Vytheeshwaran Vedagiri on this post) it is in India.. hmm ;-D

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