Monday, September 15, 2014

Giftedness: Why Does it Matter?

It matters.  It matters so very much.  If you'll recall, I wrote not long ago about what childhood was like for me - the broad, sweeping strokes that I remember from my past, not the little details about my mother sitting with us to eat oatmeal on winter mornings (my favorite was peaches and cream, Uncle F liked maple and brown sugar!), or my father's business trips to what was then termed "the Orient," but the Big Things.

Turns out, one of those big things should have been an early assessment for giftedness. I have so much better an understanding now that I know that I'm just wired differently to other people. I didn't have that when I was young, and I spent *cough-too-many-cough* years thinking I was broken.

I don't want that for Mad Natter.  Mad Natter doesn't need that. It is vitally important to explain to him that he feels so different from other people because he is. Not because we're all the same on the inside, everyone is equal at everything, egalitarianism, but because he's wired differently from other people, and he learns differently from other people. Not better, just different. We're sitting in a time and place where we can know these things about our kids, that we can understand something about how they are physiologically different to other children, that they are still a vulnerable population.

This becomes extremely poignant in light of the recent passing of Robin Williams, and is actually relevant to my early life as well. We lose so many of our best and brightest, not only due to their going underground, or their not knowing their gift and thus not using it... but to depression and suicide. To addiction. These flames burn so brightly, but without understanding why this is so, they can't control the burn, and so they go out - usually far too soon.

Identifying gifted children is so crucial. Supporting them is doubly so. Homeschooling allows me to do exactly this - identify and support my gifted child. The question becomes, however, how can you identify and support these kids if you don't have a small fortune to do it?  I'm honestly doing the best I can, and as soon as I have a path, I'll make sure I share it. Until then, we soldier on, and keep doing our best to meet them where they are.

This post has been brought to you by the Giftedness: Why Does it Matter blog hop from Gifted Homeschoolers Forum.  Please check the sidebar, or the above link, for additional thoughts on the matter!