Along For The Ride – Gifted Parenting

Hi! I’m Madison’s mom, and I’m just along her journey for the ride. 😂

I thought the past however many years we’ve been homeschooling was one major ride, but nothing prepared me for dual credit college courses. I knew this was the right path; I didn’t realize how much ‘more’ it would be in comparison.

Madison completed her Fall semester of 17 dual credit hours with a 4.0 GPA. She was accepted into the Honors Program and took two of her classes, Biology for Science Majors and Art Appreciation as Honors Courses. Madison also decided to take Federal Government as a Wintermester course. This course was a full semester course that began on December 16th and ended January 9th.

She’s excited for the Spring Semester and to move up to the PTK Honors. The Honors program allows her to dig deeper with hands-on activities and service hours that bring more meaning to her classes and involve her with a sense of community.

I am grateful for all of her Professors that took the time to invest in Madison’s education. It really makes a big difference. She was very appreciative, and it helped keep her engaged because it made her classes and the work and projects she completed meaningful.

I wanted to give a quick update before really writing posts again since I will be backtracking. I’ve used this blog as more of a memory album for her, and I haven’t kept up since last April, so I plan to make up for that in the coming months. 🙂

But so far, so good on the dual credit college path she’s taking.

Radical Acceleration for the Win

This Fall, Madison started her first semester with a full course load. I was worried it would be too much for her since she is only 12. I worried about how the other kids would treat her. I worried about how the professors would treat her. I also worried about her taking Biology for Science Majors since she hadn’t had any chemistry and wasn’t interested in science up to this point.

One by one, each of my worries faded. I need to learn to stop worrying. Ha! The coursework wasn’t too much, and she loves immersing herself in it. Regarding how the students and teachers would react, I soon found out that they all thought she was in high school since she is a dual credit student. Madison does look older for her age, which is great and not so great at the same time. To be on the safe side, Madison does tell those around her how old she is, especially boys. 🙂 She does not offer up her age to her professors, however. She has come to find out they have a harder time digesting that’s information.

I did think the Biology for Science Majors course might be too hard. At first, there was a learning curve, especially with the labs and the lab test. But then Madison had another educational jump. She is getting 100% (they have extra credit) and is taking the class as an honors class. She loves Biology and talks about it all the time. I would have never guessed in a million years that Madison would get a higher grade in Biology than US History, let alone love it.

She had a bit of a hiccup with Spanish since it is online. She had signed up for a hybrid class, but it was canceled. She sought out help and is now tutoring with the full time local Spanish teacher who is fantastic and is signed up for her class next semester for Spanish II.

I always question are we doing the right thing for Madison? And as of right now, I can confidently say yes, we are. She is so happy. She can’t wait to go to class every day and enjoys the coursework, lectures, projects, studying with other students, etc. she is genuinely happy, and that’s all that matters to me.

She has other activities she attends weekly with kids her age and enjoys playing the piano and taking lessons. There is more to her than just school, but it’s the majority of her happiness. She truly loves learning. There’s a downside to that as well, which will be a different post. Sometimes Madison has me pulling my hair out. Ha!

Overall this semester has broadened her horizons not only on an educational level, but on an ethical level as well. She can be who she is, believe in what she believes in, succeed and most importantly enjoy every minute of it. All at the same time. And that is SO important. ❤️❤️❤️

 

The Past Six Months – A Quick Update and Advice Needed

The past six months have been a complete whirlwind. Over the summer we traveled to Hawaii, Kansas City, Southern Texas, and Orlando. We knew there would not be a chance to travel for over at least a year, so we packed it in. More posts to come on those adventures.

After completing a career research paper during the class Madison took in the Spring, she decided she wanted to major in Biology. So we had to switch up her schedule for the Fall. She is now taking US History I, Spanish I, Art Appreciation, and Biology I for Science Majors. This is a big deal, because Madison is really good English/History/Art and is not as advanced in Math and Science. She hasn’t had any Chemistry and we probably didn’t realize the amount of back knowledge that was needed for Biology. She caught up very quickly and also passed the Math TSI so she could take College Algebra in the Spring.

We are on week five and so far she has all A’s, but she has many more tests coming so we will see if she can maintain them. I hope that she will, I’m just trying to be realistic as always.😂 She’s determined, that is for sure.

I plan on writing some posts about how we are trying to navigate dual credit and graduating from high school and community college at the same time in two years. I have no idea of it will actually happen and I’m kind of going into it a little blind.

I do know she will need to apply to Universities next year. I keep telling her we could/should maybe slow down (because I’m overwhelmed) and she wants nothing to do with that. 😂

And lastly, I need some advice on how to handle medical professionals that ask why my 12 year old is in community college and share their opinion on it. (Not her Pediatrician who is wonderful.) I was caught off guard and I should have said, because she wants to, but I wasn’t quick enough. I just brushed it off and ignored the judgement. Needless to say, we won’t be going back to that doctor, but how does one respond to that question on the fly? I’d love to hear suggestions so that not only I can be prepared, but Madison can as well.

Radical Acceleration: A Successful Transition to College

Madison has wrapped up her Spring semester of classes for the 2018-2019 school year. Her transition to college this year has been a very positive one. Madison earned 100% in her First college course this semester and she was proud to accomplish this goal. She was sad that the class ended.

It’s funny, once you know a gifted kid, you know a gifted kid. They are all so different. And what works for one doesn’t work for another. There is no guidebook. There are great resources available now, but there isn’t a definite path that is laid out for radical acceleration. We are grateful for the resources we have been provided and connections we have made through the Davidson Young Scholar Program.

I’ve learned a lot along the way, but the main thing I have learned throughout is to trust my gut. Up until this point I have moved forward, but have self doubted myself. I worried endlessly (and have wrinkles to prove it, lol) if I was doing what was best for Madison. I worried what would happen if she didn’t reach her goals that she had set for herself and had worked so hard for 5 years for. My gut told me at the beginning of the year she needed to be back in a classroom by mid year. I am so glad I listened and was confident in this decision.

I know one thing is for certain, if I had held her back with her grade age peers by the time she hit college she would have been over it. Every ounce of the love for learning would be gone. I am SO blessed to see her excited to go to class and to take it seriously. I am glad I trusted that she knew what she needed academically, emotionally, and socially and listened to her every step of the way, even when it was hard.

Madison hasn’t really ever ‘hit the wall.’ By that I mean she doesn’t really know how to study. She got an idea with this class, but by making 102% on a test versus 95% by studying. She was adamant about taking 15 credit hours next semester. Four of those will be Spanish. That class moves fairly quickly. I cannot wait for her to be challenged and I am looking forward to it. 🙂 She needs to know what that feels like and how to overcome it. Time will tell, but in the meantime I am going to enjoy a nice and relaxing summer while Madison has fun at various summer camps. 🙂 I’m looking forward to that as well.

Duke Tip Ceremony

Each spring, Duke TIP holds an award ceremony to honor 7th Grade Talent Search participants who do exceptionally well on the ACT or SAT.

Madison was invited to our local state ceremony to honor her for her ACT scores.

It was a fun ceremony, and she enjoyed it. Afterward, we went to Red Robin for burgers and a milkshake. Madison really enjoyed that part too!

When I Was Seven….

A blog post from Madison regarding radical acceleration in her own words:

When I was seven years old, I made two very important decisions about my education and my future career. The first decision was regarding how I wanted to learn. My mother, who had pulled me out of school that year to homeschool me per my request, let me choose the path I wanted to take for my education: I could stay at grade-level or pursue a radically accelerated education and try to attend college early.  I chose to become a radically accelerated student, making the goal to become a full-time dual credit student by the age of twelve. I made this decision because I love to learn; it is the soul of my being and I crave it. The second decision was regarding what career I wanted to pursue. I decided, at that age, that I wanted to become a doctor. At first, I was convinced that I would be a veterinarian. My family fostered many dogs over the years, and one of them, a little puppy, died of kidney failure. I found the experience difficult, and wished I could save him. Later, however, I understood that taking care of animals wasn’t the right path for me. I aspired to help people with their illnesses and injuries, specifically children. So, I decided I wanted to become a pediatrician. I have been working towards accomplishing those two goals, to go to college early and become a pediatrician, ever since.

 

I’m eleven now, and a part-time dual credit student. In the fall, I will be a twelve-year-old dual credit student attending college full time. I plan to earn my associate’s degree and then go to the University of Texas in Arlington and earn my bachelor’s degree. After that, I want to attend a medical school, enter a residency program, and become a pediatrician, most likely working at a medical clinic. I love children of all ages and would enjoy caring for them. After I become a pediatrician, I would also like to earn a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, a master’s degree in English, and a Ph. D in psychology.

I love learning, so I’m starting early so I can get the education I want. I have maintained a 4.0 in my high school transcript with perseverance, and am determined to graduate college with honors. I continue to enjoy learning a plethora of information through my classes. My education will continue to be my top priority throughout my life, and I will always receive pleasure by learning something new every day.

George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

While we were at Physics Fest in College Station, Texas we took the opportunity to visit the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

We decided to start at the current rotating exhibit called Spies, Traitors, Saboteurs: Fear and Freedom in America.

It was created by the International Spy Museum located in Washington D.C. and we really enjoyed it. This is the best way to learn about our history.

I didn’t realize Madison didn’t know about the Oklahoma bombing. So this summer when we go to Kansas City we will stop and complete a junior ranger badge for the memorial. The junior ranger badges are an excellent way to learn.

We spent so much time in the rotating exhibit we kind of flew through the rest of the museum. We will definitely will go back next year and spend more time and enjoy it.

We watched a short movie on the Gulf war.

The Gate of Kuwait.

Madison also got to see a piece of the Berlin Wall.

This museum was fantastic and I highly recommend going if you are in the area. We look forward to going again and spending more time learning.

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