Gifted Kids, p.8
Against the Grain
Amid all the clamor to get kids into gifted programs, the Chuba family of Plymouth, MI, is running in the opposite direction.
Seven-year-old Benjamin underwent academic testing and was earmarked for the district's school for the gifted and talented, but his mother, Elizabeth, is keeping him right where he is -- in his second-grade public-school classroom. Going to the gifted school would require an extra hour a day on the bus, for one thing. More important, though, is the psychological disruption she feels the switch would bring to her son's life.
"Benjamin has great difficulty with change and has finally settled into his school and his friends," she says. "It would be more damaging, in his case, for him to be removed from his peer group."
She also doesn't relish the idea of her son's being surrounded by children who are just like him. "I think it's good for him to be with all types of kids," she says, "and even to see that not everyone is as smart as he is."
Besides, she doesn't believe Benjamin's education will suffer if he stays put. His teachers have found ways to challenge him in the classroom -- by placing him in a special math group, for example. And in his after-school program, he helps fifth-graders with their homework. "I just can't see how separating him out would be beneficial to him," she says. "My motto is 'Smart at 7, smart at 17.' "