Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To Test or Not to Test

The Wifey posed a question to me this evening on whether or not we would allow the Baby test to get into the Gifted and Talented (Magnet) programs for Kindergarten. I think as parents we always want the best for our children and obviously these schools give the best opportunity but how well do they actually develop and prepare children?

Granted I was a byproduct of the academy system (not until middle school - I got caught cheating during my testing to get into the academy system in elementary school but that is neither here nor there) and the Wifey actually spent her entire public education in the Gifted and Talented programs. How much she has actually retained is minimal but at least she can say she was once gifted and/or talented.

But I worry that if the Baby does do these tests and it's shown that she isn't as smart as we think she is or she has to face adversity and rejection when she realizes that there are going to be kids who are just ten times smarter with even smarter parents.

Some of the smartest people I know didn't do the academy route and they turned out fine and then there are those who did go through enriched courses and are seriously the most messed up people ever.

It's kinda like on the Simpsons and Lisa realizes she is surrounded by idiots but in the end she realizes those idiots is what makes her unique. I just don't want the Baby to see her parents the same way I saw mine - as a thorn in my side when I am trying to be better than what I really am.

I hope she comes to the realization sooner than I did that there is more to life to just academic tests and GPA and that although I have forgotten how to use that FOIL technique  - I will always be smarter to her as long as she is living under my roof; academy system or not.


  1. I didn't go in to Gifted and Talented until high school....don't really feel like I missed anything, but.....I can see where there might be an advantage.

    I actually remember the sad day that you told us you were going to the academy! :(

  2. I don't even remember ever hearing of the FOIL technique (I tried to google it but only came up with hair related links) so that shows how much I paid attention in my super smart classes.

  3. FOIL is from algebra:

    I tested into Mensa at 10. Being in the gifted and talented program gave me confidence in life and got me into a good college. I'm not sure that's such a bad thing...

  4. I also didn't go to a gifted and talented program until high school and still made salutatorian. My parents had the option to put me in gifted and talented in the middle of kindergarten and my teacher (who sent her kid to gifted and talented) told my parents that the trade off to consider is if you stick a smart kid in classes with other really smart kids they may not realize how special and gifted they really are. Not sure if that's true but I turned out ok and I was treated pretty special in elementary and middle school.