Thanks for everyone who took time to comment on my post Is It OK to Say “Gifted” from the last week. Usually I respond to my commenters via email (by the way, you might want to check if you have “show my email” checked in your blogger settings), but this week I was struggling to find time for it. So I will try to answer to some of the comments in this post. First of all, I was blown away with how many of my blogging friends were in TAG programs – even though I am not really surprised reading their blogs and seeing how they successfully lead their children to love learning. I want to stress that I am not against differentiated education at all. In fact, I do believe that magnet schools or special classes are probably the best way to accommodate students with special talents. What bothers me more is “early gifted identification”. In online world I’ve seen parents saying that their toddler is gifted because he/she can recite ABC at the age of 18 months. I’ve seen parents testing their children IQ at the age before 3. Sometimes “giftedness” is used to justify obnoxious behavior like “oh, he is acting out because this activity is boring for him”. Let’s be honest – young children are already very much full of themselves. They don’t need another label from us which will make them believe they are even more special than they already are. Sooner or later they are going to find out someone who is smarter or they will learn to avoid activities that might jeopardize their view of themselves as “the smartest guys in the room”. And then there is the whole other aspect of learning to respect and value people who are not as quick in learning as they are. I see a lot of merit in a passionate comment by Discovering Montessori: “Lets teach our children to uplift those who are not as smart. These "gifted" children are needed everyday in the classroom. To help a fellow student which allows the "gifted" child to build leadership. They help the teacher to not lose their passion.” I hope that instead of “learning ABCs with others” (by the way, I suspect that in our school district pretty much every K student knows them anyway) my daughter can spend her K year in our neighborhood school learning how to make friends and how to help others. It will be at least as valuable to her as any academics that she could learn in a more competitive environment.