Thursday, June 18, 2009

Positive Feedback from Gifted Education Saturday Enrichment Programs

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Though we had put it off for years, Smartypants finally signed on for one of those pricey weekend "enrichment" classes for gifted children last March. I had avoided these classes because when he first dipped his toes into the public school waters and disliked school, I couldn't imagine sending him to one more day of classes anywhere else.

He also attended (and continues to attend) Sunday school. It seemed stressful for him to have a class every morning of the week.

When he attended the pricey private school for gifted children there just wasn't money in the family budget for extras. Plus, I like to think he was "enriched" on a daily basis at the Gifted Academy.

Finally, as I've discussed with IRL Julia, there is a bit of a shady side to these extracurricular gifted enrichment programs. You pay for your child to take a test and then the testing center follows up with results and, by the way, a list of classes they offer to help your child build his precocious abilities.

But when Smartypants found a class that interested him (and grandma offered to pay for it) we went for it. Except for getting him to do the homework in a timely manner, the class was a positive experience. He learned something new that is not part of a typical school curriculum- the JAVA-based Greenfoot programming application (language?). In addition, he made a friend and he had fun.

We recently received a feedback report from the teacher. It was filled with positive insights about my son. I was kvelling as I read it. I passed the note off to my mom, the course sponsor. She too, was glowing when she read it.

And then when she put the paper down she added, "I guess it helps when they flatter the child, so the parent will want to sign them up for the next session."

Touche. :-/

That makes sense, but I remember commenting in my New Moms Group how I gushed each time the nurse commented about what an adorable baby I had. I said I was certain the nurses told this to all the new moms, and then a woman from my group noted the nurses never said that about her baby.

It's possible, likely even, that in the right intellectually stimulating and supportive environment, my guy's curiosity, enthusiasm, thoughtfulness and abilities really did shine through.

At any rate, he wants to continue with the Saturday enrichment classes this fall. Mother, can you spare a dime? A few thousand of them?


jhajer said...

We started an enrichment Saturday class last fall for our son. Yes, we had to have him tested to get in, yes the classes are a bit pricey. On the other hand, our son really likes it and will always pick it as his favorite activity. We got a really nice "comment card" on our son after the first session. The second session though was good, also had his weakness listed (fine motor). I appreciated the honesty and found it balanced with the positive.

IRL Julia said...

Probably a little both. The best thing is that he had a good time, made a friend and learned something he wanted to learn.

Kim Moldofsky said...

@jhajer Well, I guess my son is just perfect then! Kidding, of course (pleas, I live with him). I have to say I think the teacher did seem insightful, it was my mom's comment that got my thinking cynically.

@IRL Julia I agree!

Kim Moldofsky said...

Also, my smart boy has a mama with a bad typo habit.