Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
Having very recently been through this process with DD, this is the "tell" for higher LOG kids. They have all those EC's because they don't NEED 20 hours a week on AP calculus; only five, freeing up the other 15 for theater productions or volunteer work, or practice at a musical instrument, or robotics, or whatever. It's a matter of pacing and rate of learning. HG students are flatly going to have more time to fill. It'd be lovely if tiger parents would quit whipping their own offspring to do it when they can't possibly... but I don't see that happening any time soon, either. So those children will go on not getting a childhood, or sufficient sleep, I suppose.

Yes, but...we all know that kids who are serious contenders for admissions at elite colleges have EC lists as long as the dean's right arm. Simple statistics tells us that they're not all HG+, and the admissions committee has no idea if:

  • Those kids were tiger-parented into those activities;
  • They were actually as involved as the application implies (did they go to all or most meetings? Or did they show up when they had to so they could check the box?)
  • They were doing the activities because they wanted to do them and had time for them without sacrificing sleep, time with friends, and downtime.

IMO, extracurriculars have no place in admissions decisions unless they're directly related to what the applicant will major in (not "I might major in x, y, or z, and so..."). In principle, what Bostonian wrote seems reasonable, but in practice, people game the system like crazy for all kinds of reasons, we end up with voluntourism for very wealthy kids, and the signal-to-noise ratio doesn't permit us to draw conclusions.

Also, I'm not convinced that all HG+ kids should necessarily be able to whip through assignments in no time. I have two kids of roughly equal very high LOG and no LDs. My eldest has always had less free time than my youngest. Some stuff just takes him more time, and that includes, resisting homework, among other things. Before my eldest was tested, I assumed that his IQ was 15 points lower than it turned out to be because he didn't teach himself to read when he was 2 or want to spend a huge amount of time learning stuff and because he enjoyed goofing around. I realize now the truth in the statement "When you've seen one gifted kid, you've seen one gifted kid."

Seriously, it would great for him if he had more free time, but it is what it is. And ETA, he isn't even interested in doing a ton of ECs. He has a couple that he likes, and that's it. DD is different. Again, it is what it is.

Last edited by Val; 09/12/14 11:31 AM. Reason: ETA...