One of these days I am going to go back and read all of the posts I’ve written on this blog. I am so grateful I wrote them so Madison and I can go back at any time and read the wonderful times and the challenging times. She often checks the blog to read these posts. I am hoping to have her start writing some posts that will share her perspective. She articulates this journey much better than I do because it is directed by her. I plan to turn this into a book for her as a type of ‘yearbook.’
The point we are at in her journey now is because of where it started. The backstory is important. Madison was frustrated in public school in First Grade. It was more than just frustration, it turned into depression. The slowest student in the class dictated the speed for the entire class. It just happened that this student came to the school in First Grade not even knowing their letter sounds. Madison’s teacher didn’t understand her. Anyway after testing through the school and then by a psychologist and not making any progress advocating, I decided to homeschool Madison the following year with the intention of sending her to a private school when a spot opened. The spot opened during that year for the next year and she made the decision to continue to homeschool instead.
At that point I told her that we could go slow (meaning stay at grade level) and she could have all the time in the world to do whatever she wanted to do or we could go full speed ahead and she could go to college early and choose whatever degrees she wanted. Her choice at 7 years old was to go full speed ahead.
Why did I give her this choice? I did a major amount of research and followed the parents on Facebook who had pulled their gifted children to homeschool as well and shared their journeys. I read articles on what can happen if you try to make a gifted child fit into a box. I read how they are more prone to drugs, suicide, criminal activity, depression….They know they are different and sometimes don’t really fit in and that takes a toll. When Madison was in First Grade two Gifted and Talented high school students commuter suicide. There were a lot of factors that determined our decisions and none of them were for her to be a ‘super star.’ Each gifted child is different and we made our decisions based on what was best for Madison and what she wanted. Becoming educated on gifted children is key when making decisions. This was and still is one of the main blogs I referred to and it helped me in so many, many ways. Crushing Tall Poppies
Was having a child who flew through grade levels fun? Yes, at times it was really cool. Other times I stayed awake freaking out and some nights I woke up in a full sweat worrying if I was doing the right thing. Madison reassured me the entire way. lol. Looking back I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Ok, there is one thing. I wouldn’t have bought curriculum for the future. 🙄 We didn’t use a lot of what I bought in comparison to what she used.
So as of right now I am glad we chose to radically accelerate and so is Madison. I had to do an enormous amount of trusting my gut and her when she said she knew something and wasn’t going to do it again. She didn’t want to diagram sentences. She didn’t want to do worksheets of any sort. She wouldn’t use anything that resembled a textbook.
Later. Later is realizing you think the online classes she is taking are great, but not enough anymore. It’s when your gut tells you that she needs to be out of the house and back into a classroom and that 5 years is enough. And you know the only way she’ll be content is at a college taking dual credit courses.
This thought came pretty suddenly about a month ago. So I showed Madison the core classes and asked if this was what she wanted to do. She was kind of shocked because she’s scheduled to take the ACT this upcoming February and her thought was to possibly start college classes the following school year. Her original goal when she was 7 was to take the ACT when she was 12. And we though that was a reach then.
During this journey she has had so many wonderful experiences and each had its ‘season.’
She took the TSI (college placement test for Texas) and ended up being very college ready for Reading and English. She missed being college ready for Math by 3 points. This told me I made the right decision and at the right time. I do not think she would have been ready last year even if she would have passed.
Next week Madison will register for one class for the Spring Semester. She will also continue her current online classes. She is really excited.
Is radical acceleration for everyone? Nope. But if you have a PG child that loves to learn and wants to experience many things then I think it is. She is not trying to fast track to an Ivy League school. Maybe she’d like to go to one down the road, but she’s not leaving until she’s 18 as far as I’m concerned right now. Right now she wants to learn at a higher level in a classroom setting and this is the only way she can. We are taking things one step at a time and figuring them out as we go.
I know many people think radical acceleration is not the way to go for any child. They are also the same people that think kids need to be socialized like dogs. 😂🤣 Anyway, my next post will be addressing that because we really haven’t.