“You are fourth to fifth grade now, so you better act your grade. If you’re not mature enough to take it on, then we're going to have to go back to second grade work. OK?“
I was so pleased with myself that my son knew what the expectations were for this homeschool year. I had the curriculum lined up. I was ready for him to move on to higher learning. And I was convinced higher learning included maturity, self-control, and the end of pretend play while learning. No doodling, distraction, nor imagination overload while we homeschool.
Well, all this Homeschool Mama got was a few weeks of utter frustration. I was saying “no” and "stop doing that" all day long. Son and I were butting heads and our loving relationship was deteriorating. I became grumpier by the day. And he was highly negative and unmotivated.
I contacted Jade Rivera, who works "with families and educators to discuss the characteristics of gifted children and develop strategies to best serve their educational needs and social-emotional development." We set up a private session immediately.
“So, it sounds like your son has imaginational OE.”
“What’s OE?” a very awkward moment for me since I’ve been working at Gifted Homeschoolers Forum for a few years. I really ought to know the acronym for overexcitabilities, but I never thought my son had any.
"Do you allow play while he does school?"
“I did, yes. And now, sometimes... but why does he need accommodations or distractions from school work? He has to learn how to conduct himself appropriately. I mean, if he were at a real school, he'd need to sit quietly and do his work. Isn’t it a negative thing to give kids a crutch all the time?”
Without missing a beat, Jade responded “It is harmful to take away these accommodations because it’s like pulling the rug out from under them. They need these to function better in the real world.”
Oh $#|+!!!! I knew that! Then why did I become so focused on the results of this homeschool year and forget about the dignity of my child? I quickly researched imaginational overexcitabilities like a mad woman and found they described my kid to the T.
|So, this is what he enjoys: playing Keyboard as Superman, Spelling exercises as Doctor Who, Dress-Up History and Lone Ranger Math.|
Giftedness: why does it matter? It matters because recognizing these qualities in your children will help you understand them better. You will be able to support their needs and interact with them in positive ways. Instead of being stunted and/or belittled for the need of extra accommodations, they will be able to grow exponentially.