Our Gifted Homeschoolers Online Curriculum focuses on math and science. It’s created by Dr. Scott, a former gifted kid who grew up to help families with gifted children around the world find success and happiness.
Do you remember what it’s like to be a gifted 10 year old child?
It was kind of rough.
I know what it’s like to be a gifted kid, because I was a gifted kid. I was always wanting to move ahead, always feeling like I was being held back. I was too advanced to hang out with the younger kids my age. And yet at the same time I was too young to really develop socially with the older kids with whom I was taking advanced science and math courses, due to my “ability.”
I was diagnosed as being gifted by age 7, and by age 10, teachers had implemented all sorts of creative gifted programs, gifted and talented programs, and even gifted 2e programs. These special programs of course changed every year or so as the various teachers at the school came and went.
The teachers were all equally gifted and talented in their own ways at building up my belief that I was to be treated special by the adults in school. And, entering these preteen years, with my ego already beginning to develop on its own without any of their outside help, it inflated to a much larger size than my small body was really equipped to handle at that point.
It seems pretty obvious to me that the school district didn’t have any sort of plan for kids like us, and I often found myself with the other gifted kids stuck into some sort of a renovated closet in a hidden schoolway corridor serving as the improvised classroom. I realize now that what the school didn’t have is any sort of funding for kids like us, in order to make some sort of plan for kids like us. I often wonder too if the main purpose of putting all the gifted kids in a closet wasn’t simply so that the teachers could keep us away from all of those other, “normal” students.
Anyhow, I was diagnosed as gifted, took all those advanced courses early, got a perfect score on the SAT (because it wasn’t so complicated back then), got a pretty excellent scholarship to an Ivy League-ish university to complete an engineering degree in 4 years, then completed a doctorate in the next 4 years, wrote a (lucky) grant, published a dozen “prestigious” scientific papers, and found myself running a research division. I was like 27 years old by this point, and I had reached the end goal of a terminal degree and gainful employment in a highly related field.
It was an empty life.
I had little to show except a title and stacks of fancy papers, and all this rushing ahead had led to a lot of isolation. Now, I’m not a medical doctor or a psychiatrist, yet I’m certain it contributed to significant psychological damage and health problems over the following years. Perhaps these days they’re calling it gifted child syndrome or gifted kid burnout. I understand this isn’t exactly a medical term, however it’s definitely in my case a real thing that resulted from, among other factors, some decades of premature ego inflating. Pump. Pump. Pump.
So, I did what I do best, and I put the next 10,000 hours or so of my conscious activities into learning some new things and forming some new behavior patterns. I spent some years learning a lot of things about what I should have learned maybe before age 10, such as creating structure in my life. I was really good at having fun and collecting accomplishments while trying to look good, too. Yet I didn’t really have much direction in life and I certainly lacked any sort of compass to orient myself. I’ve come to learn that creating structure isn’t the same as just doing a lot of cool stuff really well. In a few words, the former is fulfilling, and the latter is not.
To get to the point of the story, at some point I inadvertently found myself asked to teach a college level chemistry laboratory on about 36 hours notice. It turned out to be rewarding, I had some teacher training with the National Science Foundation, and in a few more years I ended up as a chemistry professor at Santa Rosa Junior College. In case you don’t know, I’m a real big fan of community college science classes in the United States, and this happens to be one of the very best 2 year schools in the country. They have a super professional lab with amazing staff. And, they even had an actual job to offer me, that I’d love, in a bad economy!
Of course they had a job for me. “I’m being treated special, once again, because I am special,” I caught my ego say to me.
I promptly rejected their offer, sold all heavy possessions, renewed my passport, and hopped on a plane. I spent some years traveling, developing online courses, and eventually creating this gifted science education website.
I had already learned quite a bit about distance education, as it was called then, plus I had previously built a few computer systems, including a supercomputer, which, trust me, really wasn’t as cool as it might sound. Anyhow, I realized that combining education with the power of the internet gave me the ability to create structure and share it with others at a scale I had never achieved before. We’ve had online classes for middle school level and high school level science and math courses for some years since that point.
Recently, I’ve reconnected with my inner, 10 year old gifted child, and I realized that I hadn’t created the one structure that the world was most sorely missing. The world has been missing a good online program to connect gifted kids around the globe, created by somebody who actually was a gifted kid, focused on the experience of gifted kids learning and growing together.
The simple idea behind our classes for gifted kids is to let them learn to build solid structure, not big egos. I’ve seen it work too many times in our Gifted Homeschoolers Online Curriculum for Math and Science Classes to believe it doesn’t.
Our online gifted homeschoolers courses are designed and taught by Dr. Scott, a former gifted kid. We focus on the natural sciences, with fun themes including Minecraft, matter, elements, human health, and the history of science.
Check the Self Paced page for course options.
Our goal is to inspire young gifted learners to love science in a positive learning environment.
We find an emphases on the natural sciences is highly appropriate for gifted learners in the elementary school years. We get young gifted learners prepared for the high school level lab science courses which will enable them to take advanced academic coursework including AP classes and community college classes while in high school.
Note that we don’t recommend lab science programs for any learners under 12 years of age, which would typically be considered middle school age. Lab sciences (chemistry, physics, biology) have inherent dangers, even in the safest settings, and they’re just inappropriate for young kids. Plus, most young gifted learners have a bit to learn about the structure of schools and courses themselves… before they start taking lab sciences courses.
What we do recommend, as far as science and math for gifted learners, is natural sciences during the elementary years. The middle school years are for physical sciences and starting algebra. That leaves plenty of time to take 3-4 credits of lab sciences during the freshman, sophomore, and junior years of high school. And there will be plenty of time to complete calculus in high school if you start algebra in middle school. Senior year is for community college classes or AP Biology, AP Chemistry, or AP Physics.
The end goal is to go away to college around age 18, and have an easy first year of college. College is stressful, and it’s going to take a lot more than academics to survive. The smart gifted student sets up an easy first year of college by being overprepared, with a goal of making 4 new best friends to get through the next 4 years together.
Starting lab sciences early with the goal of going to college early just isn’t really a goal. It’s an ambition. Plus, nobody wants to be friends with the young kid at college who cannot even legally drive a car yet. College is about balancing academics and your life, and the best way that parents can achieve this is by finding age appropriate education for their young gifted students.