Emotional Intensity in the Gifted Child
I have been struggling this week and last as the teacher of a child with emotional intensity and asynchronous tendencies. Last spring I really began to research gifted and talented tendencies in children.
First, let me say that I believe all children have unique gifts and talents. This identification is in my opinion a misnomer. That being said, they are the terms used by educators, psychologists, pediatricians and scientist used to describe people who have a higher IQ than the average person.
Beloved and I have not yet chosen to have our son’s IQ tested. Even among the experts there are very mixed opinions regarding when it is appropriate to do this. We began noticing pretty early in his life that he had abilities which just did not match those of other children his age.
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Some history here:
|Spelling with Fridge Magnets at age 2 “Circle”|
At the age of 20 months he spelled his name, out loud. He said every letter in all three of his names. I was a bit floored. Within just a few weeks of that, he began to recite the alphabet and identify the letters. He also sang the ABC song forward and backward.
He began to read fluently by age 3.He read everything he could see, from newspapers to signs. It did not matter how big the word was, he would just read it. By age 2 he could count to 200, by age 3 he could count in the 1,000’s. When he was 4 he memorized the entire multiplication table and understood how to use it. He would lay out 4 sets of crayons with 4 crayons in each set and say “Mom, look 4 crayons times 4 crayons equals 16 crayons.”
We decided to place him in our local Montessori pre-school because we had been told that Montessori education was uniquely suited for children to expand and learn in their own way. Maria Montessori was truly the mother of differentiated learning in my opinion. He was there for 1 semester.
Then Ms. Susie, the 30 year experienced teacher, took me aside and explained some of what she had observed. She said, “Jonathan is most likely a genius and definitely in the gifted category of learning.” I stood there and fear completely overwhelmed me. I mean, yes, what a blessing to be told that your child is gifted, but what was I possibly going to do about it?
She went on to say, “He has already at age 4 mastered all of the objectives that we set for our oldest students.” The school was Nursery through Kindergarten. “I believe that your next step should be to take him home and home-school him. None of the local schools will ever be able to cater to his unique needs and unless you can afford private tuition at the Columbus School for Boys, you are his best resource for allowing him to grow at his own rate.”
|He fell asleep while “playing” on the computer.
He played by typing the words from books using Microsoft Word.
I stood there with so many thoughts. ‘I can’t teach a gifted child, I can’t afford private school, I can’t imagine where to start, I can’t possibly…”
But in the back of my mind I remembered a family from my husband’s hometown, a family with 2 children and a mom dedicated to training them up in the home. In the back of my mind was a still, small voice saying. ‘This is it. This is what you are going to do.’ I stood there that day, not knowing what it would look like or be like, but I knew and as the day turned to night and it was discussed with Beloved we both knew, it was just the right decision. Home School.
So here we are 5 years into this journey and I am beginning to learn about gifted education.
a·syn·chro·nism, noun: a lack of synchronism or coincidence in time.
“Living with emotionally intense children and partners can be turbulent, exciting, challenging, and joyful. Emotionally intense individuals are often accused of “overreacting.” Their compassion and concern for others, their focus on relationships, as well as the intensity of their feelings may interfere with every day tasks.” Author Sharon Lind
I share this information with you, not to over glorify my son’s abilities, but to rather acknowledge that this “gift” is sometimes very difficult to instruct.
I know there are other mom’s out there who are lovingly training up children with gifted and talented abilities, and I want them to know that they are not alone, for so many times I have felt like I was alone and no one could understand the intricacies of my child. Then I sat in on a few seminars and was completely relieved to find that I am not alone.
You are not alone either. As I learn more about gifted education, I share it here. You can find all of my gifted learning posts here: Gifted Homeschooling,
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