Posts Tagged ‘gifted and talented’

Sleepover in the living room

Eliza

Eliza and four friends occupied our living room as her birthday treat – after a meal at an Italian restaurant. Mattresses, duvets and pillows stretched across the room’s floor. The girls watched a film or two, a bit of TV, and then settled down to a long night of chatting. That was continuing when L and I fell asleep around midnight. The party, Eliza confirmed, was a great success.

Gabe

Gifted and talented in five or six different subjects, according to a letter from school. Gabe was dismissive of maths and science and pleased that music had been added to his list this year. But history is his favourite subject.

Sitting on a table across the restaurant from Eliza and her friends at her party, Gabe engaged in passionate discussion about the origins and military tactics of the First and Second World Wars. It’s conduct I feel I should, but can’t quite, recall from my youth. He has confidence in his opinions – the sort of confidence that precedes an understanding of the historiography, let alone the original texts, of an era. And in between his declarations, he’s probing for more information, aware there’s material out there he doesn’t know.

Robin

Daddy blah, blah, blah. Daddy burble, burble, burble. Daddy, waah, waah, waah. Daddy rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb. Daddy…

This is what Robin’s company sounds like to me. Urgent, frequent repetition of my name, followed by a mumble of questions or statements. Humbling to be forever on the tip of his tongue.

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Embracing failure

Gabe

Gabe’s identification by the school as ‘gifted and talented‘ is beginning to lead to changes in his education. He has been invited to learn Arabic. He was also invited to attend a speech by an ex-basketball player, turned psychologist. The audience was challenged to set themselves stretching targets beyond the curriculum (something Gabe had dismissed in a chat with me recently), learn from strangers and look upon failure as being the step towards learning something new. Gabe responded positively to the talk. I hope he can put it into practice.

Eliza

I have had another bout of pet lobbying from Robin and particularly, Eliza. She wants “a white rabbit, the size of her fist, with one ear up and one down, with a twitchy nose, but not red eyes – as they’re evil!” It’s a funny pitch and one that’s hard to resist.

Robin

Running an under 12 indoor cricket match at half-term I found myself a player short. I thought of playing Gabe as an over-age player, but offered a game to Robin. He accepted, but was anxious in the build-up – even though he knows a lot of the team from school and sports club. But he performed admirably, playing some nice shots, only being dismissed once and bowling straight – recording a wicket maiden in his second over. Gabe came to watch – only he didn’t: leaving the hall when Robin was to bat because he found it too stressful.

Disco pyjama party

Eliza

Eliza’s 10th birthday was celebrated with a disco onesie/pyjama party jointly with a friend. There were 16 girls and three boys. The disco was supplied by the friend’s Dad. The only dancing was a competition between two teams to make up and perform a routine, which they all did remarkably well given they had only 15 minutes to organise themselves. Games and a pizza-heavy tea filled the two hours. Back at home, Eliza opened her presents, which were predominantly beauty products of one sort or another.

Gabe

Gabe brought home a letter from school telling us he is gifted and talented. The effect was dulled a little by the mass-produced format of the letter, a couple of paragraphs followed by a list of subjects with boxes ticked to indicate where gifts and talents lie. In Gabe’s case, he is highly regarded in Maths, Science, History and Modern Foreign Languages. The school commits to stretching him in those subjects.

Robin

Beside Robin’s bed are piles of books folded open with spines bent. These are the books that Robin has started, but lost interest in. There are lots of them. He’s a strong reader, but not always a committed one. I put this down in part to his eagerness, with older siblings as an example, to leave behind picture books, to read the books Gabe and Eliza enthuse about. But he struggles with them, occasionally forcing himself to read to the end, but often discarding the book. This week, though, he’s found a book he really likes and will, I think, finish: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.