What Is More Important Than Grades?

This post came up in my memories on Facebook from 2019 and I wanted to share it.

What is more important than grades? Honesty and integrity.

Madison took her Biology for Science Majors I final yesterday. When she did she had 101% in the class.

She took the final and got 100%. But she knew she missed one or two. So she asked the teacher if she could see her scantron and the test.

Sure enough she missed 2. But the scanteon marks were so light her professor didn’t see them.

She handed it back and told her professor she didn’t get 100%. She missed two.

Her professor immediately changed her grade on the test to a 97% in the system and she had a 99.64% in the class.

She told me couldn’t have walked out with her ‘head up high’ if she knew she hadn’t earned the true score she did. And this kid wanted 100% in the class. She REALLY wanted it. But not if it wasn’t earned. It doesn’t matter or count if it wasn’t.

I am proud of Madison for doing the right thing and being honest. That means so much more to me than grades. Integrity means more than education IMO.

So do empathy, honesty, and humility.

I didn’t learn this until I was MUCH, MUCH older.

I am VERY proud of her for this. More so than anything else she’s ever done.


One question Madison and I get asked a lot in regard to her radical acceleration is “how?” And it’s not an easy question to answer.

When she was younger and she would talk like an adult with an expansive vocabulary it was easier to explain by simply saying, “She thinks differently and reads a lot.”

The question has come up a lot more recently. When she was accepted to TCU we knew we were going to have to move to be closer. So all of our neighbors or anyone for that matter would ask us why we moved from a very nice suburb to Fort Worth. It didn’t make sense. So I would have to explain that we needed to move closer because I had to drive Madison to school since she’s not of driving age. Or when the Optometrist asks what grade are you in?

The reactions are usually the same. First confusion, then disbelief, then the question “How?”

We usually start off by explaining that she was homeschooled. But that doesn’t really explain it in itself. It allowed her to move at the pace she did. And yes, a lot of homeschoolers graduate with an Associate’s Degree along with their High School Diploma and some with a 4.0 and two levels of Honors, just not at the age of 13.

So then we get to the difficult/uncomfortable part. Then comes the Doogie Howser and Sheldon references. Depending on who it is I’m talking to and the amount of time I have I’ll sometimes just laugh and say yeah and move on. Madison doesn’t get those references when telling peers, they just flat out don’t believe her. When she’s either had someone vouch for her or she’s shown them her state ID the reference of genius comes up. As it does for me after the references to TV show characters.

This makes both of us uncomfortable. I’ve always made it a point to tell her she’s not a genius. We can joke about that. To me you are only a genius if you do something phenomenal that goes down in history. Someone isn’t just a genius. It has to be earned.

This is when I have to explain that she loves to learn. She engulfs learning like a sham wow absorbs water. lol

She also can master concepts and remember information after hearing or reading it once whereas it usually takes others on average 2-3 times. And she retains it forever. So I explain she has a great memory as well.

We usually try to keep her age to ourselves. She looks older than she is so it makes it easier for her. The only time I will outright say anything is if I hear someone bragging about their IQ. This is usually online. Nothing bothers me more. It’a just a number. Madison will never know what her IQ is unless she tests herself as an adult and that’s her choice. It’s also my choice not to tell her. Her psychologist that tested her made it very clear that it would be detrimental for her know and I agree 100%. I’ve always told Madison a number doesn’t mean anything, it’s what you do in life that does.

Madison is self-driven. She always has and always will be. She has made the decision in each step of her academic career.

So I hope this explains a little bit about the “How.” The next question I get is “Why.” But I’ll save that for another blog post. 🙂

Going back to 2019

I am going to start a series of blog posts where I left off in 2019. Madison had just finished up her Learning Framework course, and I knew that she was planning on taking a full load of courses for each semester going forward and so if we were going to travel, now would be the time. I always included learning in our travels as I believe learning hands-on is Madison’s best kind of learning.

So we’ll start out going back to May 2019 when we traveled to Maui and Kauai. Stay tuned.

The Next Chapter

Madison was accepted to TCU and the John V. Roach Honors College. She obtained a four year scholarship. She is double majoring in Writing and Psychology. Go Frogs!


Last May, at the age of 13, Madison graduated with Summa Cum Laude, Phi Theta Kappa, and Honors Program achievements. Along with her Associate of Arts Degree. Then we graduated her from High School. ❤️💕

The Past Year and a Half

I haven’t written many blogs posts in the past year and a half. 2020 was challenging as it was so many, and so I didn’t want to write posts that I would reflect on later as being negative. I needed to ride it out and take some time to reflect.

Now that I have done that I see we actually had a pretty good year despite what happened. And that was due to us traveling and creating those memories.

Madison is doing great and I am excited she is on the path she had paved.

More blog posts will come to pick up where I left off and to bring us up date. I feel there’s a lot of information on how she got to where she is now that is important to share and document.

We haven’t bailed since she reached the goal she initially set. There’s still a lot more to come.


When one starts out with a plan you always pray it will come to fruition. You pray to God and you act upon faith. And let me tell you faith can be tested on so many levels. But if you embrace faith you get rewarded. There are so many times of doubt but they strengthen faith with each one. And then you just learn to trust.

Each step of Madison’s homeschooling journey has been based upon faith from my standpoint. It took me a long time to realize this. It couldn’t be based on logic at any point along the way.

I chose the picture above for a reason. The lightbulb has been over our heads the entire time and we never saw it. We had to think and act upon faith to light it.

Madison has overcome the detrimental obstacles of Covid-19 this past year. And she couldn’t have without the most awesome Professors at her college. With that said, we trusted in faith and the path it led us down initially which resulted in her being accepted to Texas Christian University with a Dean’s scholarship. We couldn’t be more proud. Her dream was to attend TCU and it wouldn’t; have even been a possibility without obtaining a scholarship.

She has had so many wonderful and memorable experiences at North Central Texas College and we will be forever grateful for each one. Especially every Professor that left a lifelong impression.

I believe she will be the youngest student to graduate from NCTC since she will graduate at the age of 13. But at the end of the day she realizes that isn’t what is important. The experiences she gained and the growth she made during her time there is what mattered.

I am blessed and humbled that the plan Madison set into place at the age of 7 has come to fruition. A parent couldn’t ask for any more. To say it’s hard to trust a young child with their vision of their future is an understatement.

But I can say 100% confidence now that I’m glad I did. And the only reason I could was because I had faith.

We cannot wait to see what her future holds. All I hope for is that she is happy and enjoys every single minute of it.

On Course

Madison is currently on course to graduate in May with her high school diploma and her Associates of Arts degree at the age of 13. We couldn’t be more proud.

I won’t say Covid hasn’t taken its toll. But with all the amazing Professors she has had, Madison’s goals will become a reality. We are eternally grateful.

We’re Still Here

It’s been awhile since I have posted. We are still here and are doing well.

Madison’s Spring semester was a whirlwind. I was driving her between two community college campuses and she was giving 150% to her classes, volunteering, and honors and leadership programs. And then everything changed in March and a new kind of whirlwind came.

I dedicated my time to supporting her and she ended up maintaining her 4.0 and learned how to enjoy her studies in a new way despite the hurdles.

She’s taking summer courses and we think we have a plan for Fall, I just hope it continues to work out. I am SO grateful for all the awesome Professors that truly care and dedicate their time. I cannot emphasize that enough.

I will write more blogs posts soon, but I am grateful for the interaction via technology from her professors and friends right now. That means the world to us.

We lived in an online learning environment for a year and it was nothing compared to this. She still had outside social activities to balance and honestly the online wasn’t enough. So to go back to that without the balance has been hard.

More to come….

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 an entire semester course that began on December 16th and ended on 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.

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