[ExI] Gifted children

Jeff Davis jrd1415 at gmail.com
Wed Nov 7 18:50:17 UTC 2012

On Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 2:25 AM, Sondre Bjellås <sondre-list at bjellas.com> wrote:
> Our daughter on the other hand, is showing incredible skills even at 19 months.


> I want to nurture her apparent lust for learning for as long as I can

Congratulations yet again!  You're already more than halfway there.

> Most kids in kinder-garden are constantly
> sick, our daughter have been sick twice so far. I believe that hinders a kids development.

This is something of a normal situation.  The naive immune system must
be trained up by exposure to these common ailments.  Treat the
symptoms and make the best of it.

> I'm sorry for ranting on like this,...

No apology necessary, in fact, your appeal doesn't really qualify as a rant.

> Wouldn't want to home-school her, she would be better off with lots of other kids around

> What would your suggestions be as parents on your own?

I agree that socialization is important, but that doesn't necessarily
exclude home schooling.  Look around for like-minded folks and gather
a group and do a cooperative home-school rotation.

Being surrounded by loving parents who are part of the process rather
than just onlookers is huge.

Keep them active and involved.  Try to minimize any techniques or
activities where the kids are passive recipients of information.  In
geography, for example, have them draw maps and build a large
over-sized globe -- paper mache perhaps.  Keep 'em busy.  Kids are
learning machines.  They want to be busy.  Also, engage hands, eyes,
and mind simultaneously.  It is both developmentally crucial, and the
combined neurological development -- visual + neuro-muscular +
intellectual -- amplifies all of these.

For teaching reading, I recommend assigning -- or having the kids
choose from the characters -- and reading plays.  Another technique:
select a short- or medium-length story, assign one (or several
separated) pages to each student, have the students gather in groups
and help each other to decipher -- ie read -- practice, and master
their page(s), (while keeping them "scattered" so that the storyline
remains a mystery), and then have  them read their pages in order,
hearing the full story for the first time.  [Also, record the final
performance, thus creating a tangible "archive-able" accomplishment.
This adds to the reading lesson the further realization that
cooperative activity taken to completion creates tangible value.]

Applaud the doing rather than the result.  Early learning involves
lots of clumsiness and missteps (later learning, too).  If you make a
big deal about the quality of the result, a child may hesitate to jump
into an activity for fear of emotional disappointment.  Make above all
the "jumping in" the thing that generates praise and a sense of
accomplishment  Courageous and enthusiastic learners should, ideally,
embrace "failure", which is to say the early stage clumsiness with
which typically marks the start of the learning process.

Good luck to you, Sondre, and by all means check back in with us and
let us know how you and your daughter are doing.

Best, Jeff Davis

     "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                                      Ray Charles

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