Gifted Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum.
CLICK HERE to Log In. Click here for the Board Rules.

Links


Learn about the Davidson Academy’s online campus for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S.

The Davidson Institute is a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students through the following programs:

  • Fellows Scholarship
  • Young Scholars
  • Davidson Academy
  • THINK Summer Institute
  • DITD FaceBook   DITD Twitter   DITD YouTube
    The Davidson Institute is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

    How gifted-friendly is
    your state?

    Subscribe to the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update

    Who's Online
    0 registered (), 0 Guests and 57 Spiders online.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Newest Members
    hannahjeni, Catherine86, Chaj, AlanLuiz, Jach
    11221 Registered Users
    October
    Su M Tu W Th F Sa
    1
    2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    9 10 11 12 13 14 15
    16 17 18 19 20 21 22
    23 24 25 26 27 28 29
    30 31
    Page 8 of 10 < 1 2 ... 6 7 8 9 10 >
    Topic Options
    #12254 - 03/20/08 04:43 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: czechdrum]
    PhysicistDave
    Unregistered


    Tara,

    A tangential point – you wrote:
    >The most important thing to me is not that he is ready for calculus by age 10 (although that will probably happen)…

    I feel like I am inviting an angry response if I ever mention that I think bright kids can learn calculus around ages ten to twelve.

    Can I impose on you to fill us in on how you are handling math and how you plan to deal with calculus when your son gets there (if you’ve already posted this, a link please)? Are you acquainted with W. W. Sawyer’s “What Is Calculus About?”? I myself found that very useful to get the basic ideas (I think I read it when I was fourteen), but you cannot really learn calculus from it.

    Even though I’m very good at math and, as a physicist, know a lot of advanced math, I find math one of the most challenging things to teach in terms of engaging the kids.

    All the best,

    Dave

    Top
    #12255 - 03/20/08 04:45 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: ]
    czechdrum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/04/08
    Posts: 88
    Originally Posted By: PhysicistDave
    Can you elaborate on how this works in your local homeschooling group?


    I'm fortunate enough to have been close friends with a group of homeschooling families for about 5-6 years. In essence, our children have grown up together. I realize that this is unique, but nonetheless, it does help take away some of the "wow" factor when one of the kids is an obvious standout in one particular area.

    One of the kids in our group is exceptionally gifted physically. He rode without training wheels and swam independently (very well) at age 3. Another child in our group plays a very difficult orchestral instrument, is almost on a par with students at Julliard who are 3 times her age. I'm not saying we are a group of prodigies across the board, but these experiences have encouraged a healthy respect for different gifts...and recognition that just because someone is a superstar in one area, that isn't the sum of who that person is.

    We do have newer families coming into our group, and folks don't tend to overemphasize the standout gifts. I have had chats with newer moms or dads who might say something like, "I hear that your son started reading at 2 and is now doing algebra, is that true?!" with a shocked look. When I respond without fluttering excitement, it sets the tone of "all of our children have their strengths, and this isn't ALL that my son is about."

    I don't know if that answers your question. confused

    Best,
    Tara

    Top
    #12256 - 03/20/08 04:59 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: ]
    czechdrum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/04/08
    Posts: 88
    Originally Posted By: PhysicistDave
    Tara,

    A tangential point – you wrote:
    >The most important thing to me is not that he is ready for calculus by age 10 (although that will probably happen)…

    I feel like I am inviting an angry response if I ever mention that I think bright kids can learn calculus around ages ten to twelve.

    Can I impose on you to fill us in on how you are handling math and how you plan to deal with calculus when your son gets there (if you’ve already posted this, a link please)? Are you acquainted with W. W. Sawyer’s “What Is Calculus About?”? I myself found that very useful to get the basic ideas (I think I read it when I was fourteen), but you cannot really learn calculus from it.

    Even though I’m very good at math and, as a physicist, know a lot of advanced math, I find math one of the most challenging things to teach in terms of engaging the kids.

    All the best,

    Dave


    I'm not what you'd call a math person, but my husband is highly gifted in math and all things analytical. Even though I am the primary homeschooling parent, he tends to do ad hoc math work with our son in the evenings and on the weekends.

    At the moment, DS is using Teaching Textbooks, Life of Fred, Aleks, and a smattering of Zaccaro books to learn algebra. He really loves math and LOF and Zaccaro are what he'd call pleasure reading. He probably spends 1-2 hours working on math each day, by choice.

    I'm not yet sure what we'll use for calc when it's time. It might be a traditional class (AP Calc at the local high school, or maybe at the community college--or maybe one-on-one with a mentor). One of the reasons I was excited to get the DYS acceptance letter is that I hope they can be of help when that time comes.

    Tara

    edited to add: Our son is doing high school work pretty much across the board right now (at 8) so it's not just math that I am dealing with in terms of advanced subject matter. In fact, I find that math is one of the easier subjects to handle when dealing with such extreme asynchrony.


    Edited by czechdrum (03/20/08 05:05 PM)
    Edit Reason: adding more

    Top
    #12261 - 03/20/08 06:04 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: czechdrum]
    PhysicistDave
    Unregistered


    Tara wrote:
    >I don't know if that answers your question.

    Well, it’s one of those questions like “What is the meaning of life” that can never really be answered, but your comments are interesting.

    And, of course, now if anyone claims that my kids are going too fast on math, I’m going to say, “Hey, I talked to this mom on the Web whose kid is way ahead of my kids…” It’s nice talking with people who are happy rather than distressed that their kids are fast learners.

    All the best,

    Dave

    Top
    #12267 - 03/20/08 06:36 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: ]
    czechdrum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/04/08
    Posts: 88
    Dave, I think it's less about "there are kids who are way ahead of mine" and more about "the parent isn't distressed about this." I have run across kids whose abilities surpass those of my kid - there will always be someone who is doing more/better/faster.

    One of my primary responsibilities as a parent is to find an even keel, a way to integrate this brilliance into our otherwise ordinary lives without giving it too much (or too little) power over us as a family, and our son as an individual.

    Tara

    Top
    #12268 - 03/20/08 06:55 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: czechdrum]
    PhysicistDave
    Unregistered


    Tara,

    Yeah. One thing that does concern me involves a college friend of mine. This was a guy who started grad school in mathematics at age 15 (at Caltech, a serious school). He was the office mate of a good friend of mine, so I knew him pretty well.

    I was the top undergrad physics major in my class, but this guy, three years younger than me, knew things about physics I did not understand. There were write-ups in the newspapers about him as a once-in-a-decade prodigy: he was the Terry Tao of my generation. Incidentally, he was a very nice guy -- never arrogant about his brilliance at all, although he was a bit socially inept, even by the standards of the rest of us geeks.

    Last time I checked, he was working as a tax preparer.

    Now, of course, tax preparer is a perfectly honorable profession, and I bet he does a fantastic job at it. But it was certainly not the career he had been hoping for as a student.

    I don’t know the “backstory”: maybe he is quietly working away on the most significant advance in human history and soon we’ll know of it (like Einstein in the patent office).

    Anyway, do you worry about your son having a similar experience – a child prodigy who sort of “burns himself out”?

    I honestly know nothing about this, except for my college friend, and, as I say, I don’t really know the full story with him either. I’m not trying to insinuate anything one way or the other, and I hope you won’t take this as anything except an honest question.

    I suppose that one could just take the tack of “Let the kid learn as fast as he can, and if he peaks at age 15, that’s life.”

    All the best,

    Dave

    Top
    #12320 - 03/21/08 02:11 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: ]
    czechdrum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/04/08
    Posts: 88
    Well, that was sort of the point I was making: I don't want his extreme intelligence to be the sum total of who he is, or how he sees himself, because I find that to be (at best) very limiting and (at worst) very dangerous.

    When I make the effort to create an environment for him in which he is perceived in a myriad of ways, not just "the 8yo high school student," then I give him opportunities to be more than that. He is more than that. For us, for now, that means homeschooling.

    I don't really care what he ends up doing with his life, as long as he is reasonably happy and productive. If he wants to be a professional studio drummer, that would be fine (he may very well go in that direction), if that is what blisses him out. I'm all about feeding the bliss. Which would take me off on another tangent about homeschooling and child-directed learning, so I'll stop for the moment.

    Short answer: no, I'm not worried about burnout. We lead a very down-to-earth, balanced life. Sometimes I need to tell him to "put away the books, we're going to the playground." But then again, I don't consider him in the same league as Bobby Fischer and other similar prodigies. [I don't know much about actual prodigies, though, to be honest.]

    Tara

    Top
    #12327 - 03/21/08 02:54 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: czechdrum]
    PhysicistDave
    Unregistered


    Tara,

    Thanks. This again is the sort of question to which there is no final answer, of course.

    Incidentally, it occurred to me after I posted that it might seem as if I were criticizing you or other parents who make advanced materials available to their gifted kids. Thanks for interpreting my remarks charitably and not taking them in the wrong way.

    I’m actually quite “gung-ho” about getting kids access to any resources that interest them academically, even if those resources are beyond their current level – it shouldn’t hurt anyone to puzzle over a book about calculus or black holes, even if, in the end, he or she puts it on the shelf to look at it again in a year or so.

    Puzzling over things is a very good thing.

    So, I’m certainly not trying to intimate that anyone here is allowing his or her child to accelerate too rapidly. In the case of my college friend, both of his parents were mathematics professors, so it is not surprising that he had very strong talent in this area. I did always wonder, though, if they intentionally created a “hothouse” atmosphere that pushed him to develop at a rate even faster than the rapid rate he would have developed on his own.

    This is an issue for me in my own mind because my kids do not seem quite as self-motivated as many of the kids being discussed here in terms of asking for material at the level they are able to handle. Perhaps (I’d like to think!) they are just so used to getting material appropriate to their level of development that they see no need to ask for it. But, I am concerned that I might “push” material on them that they might be able, barely, to handle, but that they do not really enjoy and that does not really foster their long-term development.

    Incidentally, I am not mentioning my old friend’s name because I am really just using some vague impressions and speculations about his life as a springboard for raising issues that concern me. All I really know for certain about him is that he was profoundly brilliant and an awfully nice guy (he would of course be labeled “Asperger’s” nowadays, which is paasingly strange, since I knew him to be more sensitive and compassionate about others’ feelings than most “normal” people are). For all I know, he may consider his entire life to be the absolute ultimate of “bliss,” as you put it – I certainly hope so.

    Anyway, thanks for your comments. I know no magic key to definitively answer the questions I’ve raised with you, but it does help to hear your thoughts and experiences.

    All the best,

    Dave

    Top
    #12546 - 03/26/08 12:09 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: ]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    I've considered and am still considering homeschooling. DD8 isn't interested, but DD5 would love to partial homeschool. Our state mandates that you can partial HS and our principal was very supportive of the idea.
    Has anyone done this?
    If so, were the kids readily accepted by the other kids?
    Were other parents open to it?
    I had heard from one person, that the other kids weren't as open to playing with the partial hs'er because they only saw them at gum, music art, etc.

    Neato

    Top
    #12547 - 03/26/08 01:36 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: incogneato]
    Lorel Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/22/07
    Posts: 970
    Loc: New England
    Neato-

    One of my best friends just tried a hybrid experience with her son, age ten, who was watching some show about middle schoolers and became curious. He enrolled in a science class that piqued his interest, and took art class at the school too. I think he was at school 2-3 times a week, and he enjoyed it for a month or two, but grew weary of it by Christmas.

    There were a few reasons that this was not a great solution. One is that the school had a weird rotating schedule, so it was hard for us to tell when B would be free and when he would be in school. So he missed some events with homeschooled friends. The other is that the school kids were not unkind, but he wasn't there enough time for them to truly accept him. He continued to be an oddity. It may be that if he stayed in those two classes all year, things would be different, but in those three months he did not form one friendship, and he is an outgoing kid. His little sister was forced to miss some homeschool stuff too, due to the pickup schedule. The Mom was relieved when B finally told her that he didn't want to go any more.


    Another friend has a daughter who started distance learning high school when she was 12. She joined the high school soccer team and was a solid player. But the older girls were snobby and did not make her feel very welcome. They asked her pointedly why she was younger, why she homeschooled, why she wanted to join their team. I'm sure you can imagine the snotty tone of voice!

    On the other hand, I met a boy several years ago, who was exclusively homeschooled yet was on the high school wrestling team. He was a very eloquent speaker, and he was actually the wrestling team captain! So the hybrid thing CAN work, but those I know personally who have tried it have not had the best experiences.

    Top
    Page 8 of 10 < 1 2 ... 6 7 8 9 10 >


    Moderator:  M-Moderator 
    Recent Posts
    Understanding testing!
    by Klangedin
    10/03/22 08:58 AM
    NYC pivots on admission criteria
    by indigo
    10/01/22 12:11 PM
    The ultimate brag thread
    by LazyMum
    10/01/22 03:07 AM
    How do you choose a profession?
    by LazyMum
    09/30/22 04:13 AM
    Introduction
    by indigo
    09/24/22 08:17 AM
    Davidson Institute Twitter