Linda Silverman on Gifted Children: There's more to school than academics

Just as my Twitterfriend was prepping a Linda Silverman post on her new blog(!), I was digging through old blog fodder notes from this same woman. My friend heard Linda speak, whereas I merely heard someone speaking about Linda's work in the context of highly gifted children.

I have been meaning to publish these notes as well as additional posts on Linda's work on visual-spatial learners as it relates to gifted children since my days at BabyCenter's Momformation blog. Clearly, like so many gifted issues that weigh me down, this one has been on my mind for a while.

I cringe when I hear teachers and administrators patiently (patronizingly?) reminding me that there is more to school than academics. In general, I agree. I think extracurricular activities can add a lot to an education (in fact, sometimes they are more beneficial than the curriculum), but what the folks don't realize is that these "life lessons" or take-always from the classroom are not always what they would expect and certainly not what they would want.

Back to Linda Silverman. As I heard it, she says this about a child who is, say, chronologically six, but academically nine-years-old and placed in an aged-based classroom.

That child's life lessons include:

How to live without real friends on the playground or "fit in" by joining uninteresting games with unfair rules.
How to wait patiently.*
How to explain things so that their peers will understand.**
Delayed gratification at pretty much every turn.

The lessons are not taught by a single instructor, but nonetheless are pounded in relentlessly, class after class, day after day.

Based on experiences I've had as a mom, I'd add these:
Classroom rules often go unenforced.
It's more rewarding to be a troublemaker who reforms his ways than it is to follow the rules from the get-go.

What lessons would you add?

*The corollary is "If everyone else takes so long to do this, I must be a lot smarter than they are."
**Arguably a lifelong skill, LOL.
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