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I have just joined this site yesterday and i must say i am most impressed by many of the posters on here with their common sense advice.
To those who dont know me i am the father of Cameron Thompson, the subject of the BBC Documentary "GRowing PAins of a Teenage Genius".
Three things however have stood out for me that i would like to comment on.
Firstly school is not just an academic experience. A few posts clearly indicate the opinion that if a child can meet academic expectations they should move to the next level. School is as much about social and emotional development as it is about intellectual. By putting a child into an older group you immediately handicap their social development because you have put them into a group that is not their peers.
Secondly there seems to be an assumption that independent schools are the only option for gifted children. I totally disagree with that. Of course there are bad high schools but there are also bad independent schools. Both my wife and i went to private schools and found that we didnt fit in that well. Cameron has only ever been to state school and despite looking at independent schools we are more than happy with his current school.
Thirdly i am a great beleiver in what thomas edison said that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Just because a child is capable of doing something doesnt mean they are going to do it or enjoy doing it. We can give our children the opportunities but we shouldnt force them to take them.
I did watch the program (on iplayer after seeing the thread on here,) & I have to say you seem like a very loving & supporting family & Cameron is a credit to you. I also agree with the points you've made. I particularly like your third point about 'giving kids opportunities but not forcing them to take them' my own ds is gifted (not to Cameron's extent, but certainly way beyond his peers,) but he is an 8 year old, so if he'd rather play beyblades or football, than do extra homework who am I to stop him?
I'm curious to know if Cameron took the Cambridge professors advice to extend sideways (become a mathlete etc,) rather than continue his degree? I thought the professor raised some very good points & I to believe Cameron would really benefit & enjoy doing a degree in an environment like cambridge alongside others who just simply 'get' maths. (Tbh I recommend university to everyone, not just as an academic experience, but also as an integral part of growing up & leaving home etc).
hello and welcome . I saw the documentary (online after reading some reviews) and thought it was one of the best portrayals of an exceptional child that I've seen. You came across as a lovely family, well done. Your points in this thread all seem very sensible to me too, though I would add that what works well for one child isn't necessarily the best solution for another seemingly quite similar one, I think sometimes moving a child into an older age group does work, but all too often it's just a quick fix for the school that leads to difficulties later.
I know this is an old thread. Clearly the OP isn't actually the parent of the child in question but is accusing other posters of believing that they indeed are, (and also that private education is the "answer") even when it's not.
Personally I don't know; I'm not the mother of a genius. That may be an advantage. My school age daughter can just read in Reception. That seems to be relatively unusual but not an earth-shattering development. But I've taken a large interest in parents complaints in these parts where it seems as though the child has reached an educational ceiling and the teacher doesn't care, or cares, but apologises because she needs to focus on her struggling class. And my view is hardening upon these lines:
So, your child is bright/super-bright/a genius
and your school doesn't know, does know, doesn't care, does care but can't do anything,
well, either you pay for a private tutor on top of all those private school fees that you pay already, or you blow the dust off your school books and teach the child yourself. (And for the parents out there who worry that they can't teach, you join home-ed groups and learn.)
Mind you, if your child can actually multiply six digit numbers in his head you are screwed, the school is screwed. If he's six he'll just have to go to Oxford at six. There's no other option.
I can't tell you how much I hate hearing about parents who daren't teach their children about something in case they get it wrong. What is that? Suppose I didn't teach my child how to cross the road, because one day the conditions might be different and she might get hit by a bus. Best off spending your whole life standing just here, dear.