Saturday, May 30, 2009

An Interesting Perspective on Giftedness... Another Blessing of Bilingual Education

Ok, so first you need to know (or those who don't know me well) that I'm not one of THOSE moms. You know, the ones who spend all their time telling you how smart their kids are, how amazing, how they were walking at one month old and talking at three months. I'm not one of those. I'm more likely to praise my kids for being well behaved and good friends with each other ;). But that doesn't change the facts... ButterBean is a very clever girl.

She's especially gifted verbally. She's always had a huge vocabulary and tells the most interesting stories. She makes up plot lines and characters and has always had imaginary friends. She really has an imagination and enjoys sharing it through words. What I didn't know (not being so inclined myself) is that ButterBean is really good in math.

I know this now only because her teacher constantly talks about how gifted she is in this area. Because, of course, her math class is in Arabic. It is clear that the expectation is higher for these first graders. Did you know that they are adding and subtracting two digits numbers. You know like 31+25 or 86-15. I don't remember doing until much later. Really now, double digit addition and subtraction? And, ButterBean seems to do very well at it. She event seems to enjoy it.

All in all, ButterBean is challenged in school, but not insurmountably so. So, it got me thinking. if we were in the US, she would going to a regular school. They would be learning similar concepts, but in only one language. She wouldn't have Arabic AND French AND English class. I find myself wondering, would she be bored? Somehow I expect she probably would not be very challenged. Suddenly I understand how I was so far ahead of peers in reading (in 2nd grade I finished the 5th grade books and got shipped off to gifted classes). I wasn't a math prodigy, but held my own, but I was far beyond my peers in reading. So, count me thankful for bilingual schooling. Although I'm not sure ButterBean is overly appreciative now, I expect she'll thank me later down the line.

Happy Expectations!


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