Ever wonder how parents with kids who go to college early raise such geniuses?
I found some interesting answers to that question in an article about David Balogun, a nine-year-old kid from Pennsylvania who recently graduated from high school and is now taking college classes. David’s parents have wrestled with having a brilliant child, finding that the school system–even its gifted programs–simply did not fit the needs of their child … so it was necessary for them to think outside the box.
1. Different Mindset
“You’ve got to develop a different mindset as a parent,” David’s father Henry said. He was speaking particularly about the questions which arise from the lips of a gifted child, but his advice on having a different mindset is one we should all take to heart. The fact is, no child is alike. Each is uniquely gifted, and a parent’s job is to guide and direct those giftings, helping each child turn into a well-rounded, capable adult who can successful take his place in society.
Sadly, today’s school system doesn’t take this view of children. For years, the education establishment has operated like a factory, pushing each child into its mold, seeking to make compliant adults who will work and do as they’re told. This mentality is so ingrained in our system, that it takes parents with a “different mindset”–like David’s parents had to adopt–to break their children free from the system, giving them a chance to thrive.
2. Fix the System
“When a system isn’t built for your child, don’t try to fix your child,” David’s parents explain. “Try to fix the system.”
This principle is another we would all do well to recognize. So often it seems that the education system tries to explain their woes away by blaming the students and the parents. Yes, these can contribute to the problems in schools today, but it’s also time to recognize that the system itself has failed and is badly broken.
If we want things to change and get better for our children struggling in the system, then we need to start chipping away at it from within. Running for school board, getting active in the school, and even being the annoying parent who continually asks questions and stays abreast of what’s happening in the child’s individual classroom are ways to fix the system from the inside.
3. Start Something New
Unfortunately, the education system itself is so huge that it often can’t be fixed from the inside, no matter how hard we try.
David’s parents had to look into “personalized solutions” for their child, finding the best fit through an online charter school that used “individualized curriculums.” Other parents might try a similar solution, leaving the entrenched network of public schools and pursuing school choice in a charter, private, online, homeschool, or microschool setting.
“Sometimes I can’t fix the system, but there are other unconventional choices and solutions to help lead my son through his journey to fulfill his dreams,” David’s mother Ronya noted.
Truer words were never spoken.
And those words should challenge us. If we want the best for our children, then we must actively seek to provide an education that won’t depress or discourage their intelligence.
Unfortunately, that’s often the type of education provided in today’s schools. And if we want our children to succeed, then it’s likely we’ll have to follow in the footsteps of David’s parents, seeking individualized education plans for our kids outside of conventional schooling norms.
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