I’ve tried for many years not to be “that mom”. Needless to say, not only am I that mom, but I’m also a couple of other moms teachers don’t like as well.
One area where school and I haven’t really meshed is the whole GATE thing. Now I know more than anyone that California hates a GATE student and is so egalitarian that we can’t even acknowledge that some kids are way more intelligent than others. Instead we stick to lame platitudes like, “Every child is gifted, some just open their presents earlier.” Yeah, tell that to the moronic schlub trying to make change, and failing at it, at Walmart.
When I asked about it at Keb’s school, I was informed that Sunnyvale doesn’t GATE test. This is because all Sunnyvale students are gifted. Bullshit is the honest answer to that one. Hell, if it weren’t for the fact that we’re so vigilant as parents in this community, I’d swear some kids had made a habit of eating lead-based paint chips for snacks for years. There are some peculiar bunnies running around is all I’m saying.
I had made it fairly well-known on the few occasions I’d been at school that I thought Keb was gifted. I wasn’t met with much enthusiasm in that department or even agreement. I figured his teachers just didn’t get it. Either that or they had heard it from so many other parents that they had become immune to the idea.
Here’s how I know my son is gifted. Last year he calculated the 12 days of Christmas gifts in his head in five minutes. He told me he did it by grouping (“Did you know there’s a pattern?”), finding the pattern, and adding. IN.HIS.HEAD. I had 4th, 5th, and 6th graders who struggled with direct teaching who hadn’t managed that, let alone that quickly. He had wanted his teacher to do it in class. She declined. His math CST last year was perfect. Not that that’s a GATE thing (well, high performing is GATE too), but it shows his ability to apply what he’s learned. Before that, he easily grasped new concepts and could hold formulas in his head once he’d learned them.
This year he’s in Math Olympiads. His math challenges me (in part because I haven’t done anything complex in a while). Again, a lot of mental math, but he sees patterns where I don’t. I shouldn’t be surprised though. His dad is gifted too. Keb manages to work quickly, efficiently, and effectively.
We finally did get an IQ test on him. According to my friend who GATE tested for our school district, the state of California school system would classify him as a genius based on the number we were given. Apparently he’s a bit more than gifted. He’s now considered “twice” exceptional.
Which is all well and good, but now we have to see what he does with it.