Observation as a parent of a gifted child: laziness March 23, 2012Posted by mareserinitatis in education, gifted, homeschooling, math, older son, societal commentary, teaching.
Tags: acceleration, gifted, gifted education, high school, older son
The older boy couldn’t seem to make it out of bed to get to high school on time, and when there, couldn’t make it from one class to another in the allotted amount of time. He was spending time in between classes socializing, and outside of school, he wasn’t doing his homework.
In the past week, however, he’s been getting up at 7 a.m. without fail so that he can catch a ride to the library and study economics for a few hours each day. He’s made it through two chapters, including doing all the study guide problems and writing out definitions for vocab words.
His plan is to finish the economics course by the middle of May so that he can take the CLEP exam. This was the course *he* really wanted to do. When we were going through the list of possible topics, he picked it out and said he wanted to do it.
Lazy children don’t do these things, so he’s obviously not lazy. On the other hand, it was pretty obvious his high school classes just weren’t doing it for him.
When we went to a specialist in gifted assessment, she said, “I don’t believe in lazy. Kids aren’t lazy, but they can be unmotivated when presented with something that isn’t sufficiently interesting and stimulating.” That was about seven years ago, and I didn’t believe her. I started to wonder about it when, in sixth grade, the only class he did well in was the only one that was accelerated: math. For the record, he really isn’t all that crazy about math. It wasn’t until last year, after the older boy studied like crazy for his US History CLEP exams and passed them, that I had to admit that she was right.
Now I’m wondering what he’d be doing if he’d been able to accelerate at the high school. The school doesn’t allow students to take AP classes until their junior year. Doing early enrollment at the college (without his GED) wouldn’t have been possible without his counselor signing off. (Given she fought my parents tooth and nail when I was in high school, and he had the same counselor and was doing poorly, I doubt that would’ve ever happened.) But looking at him, I’m seeing what a huge mistake they’re making with these policies.
I feel like I ought to tell them this. But I am also tired of fighting it and feel like it’s just better to focus my efforts on my own kids. This mental fatigue is the kind of thing that makes me see why so many people pull their kids out of the system. There’s just no energy to deal with it, especially when it’s obvious what the solution is. The school, in the meantime, has mired itself down with pointless rules that keep people from excelling, and in some cases, succeeding.