Category Archives: independent learning

How do you guide a young student who needs your help but won’t accept it?

The most self-directed young students typically reject advice from parents and teachers. Although their drive to master a particular skill or subject ensures their progress, these toddlers and preschoolers can’t always judge what they need to learn and when. Inevitably … Continue reading

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Strong-willed learners

The drive to learn in their own way, and on their own schedule, seems to be hardwired into many gifted children. While this can become an asset over time, and even produce an original, world-changing contribution, it can also create … Continue reading

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A natural law of learning

As teachers and parents of the most highly gifted students, we often wish for an “answer manual” to guide us through the puzzles these children present us with. Fortunately, there is one answer we can count on, apparently universal and … Continue reading

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Why Brilliant Children Often Appear Slow, Part Five

Part of my problem in math class, in addition to divergent thinking, was my need to work things out for myself. I had to explore, to my full satisfaction, all those ramifications and implications about language. I didn’t want any … Continue reading

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The Value of a Meltdown, Part Three

The day arrived when I could no longer tolerate cello lessons in which Lewis pushed away all my advice and teaching. I knew he couldn’t help it; I knew he had to learn independently. Yet this left me wondering just … Continue reading

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Why So Many Gifted Children Are Stubborn, Part Six

We need to learn to stay out of the way of our children’s learning patterns, even if these patterns don’t make sense to us. When my son wanted to daydream through his cello lessons and practicing, I was sure he … Continue reading

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Why So Many Gifted Children Are Stubborn, Part Six

As we have seen, our children’s stubbornness is often the best way for them to express their learning needs, especially at an early age. The most important thing I ever learned from my years-long struggle with my son and his … Continue reading

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Fostering Independence of Thought, Part Four

Lewis’s mis-reading of the notation in “Don’t Bother Me” in favor of a far superior and more spirited rendition, put me in a brief quandary. If I corrected his performance, he might learn something about music-reading, but I’d be pushing … Continue reading

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Fostering Independence of Thought, Part Three

Your child’s talent and style will probably surface early, as it did with my son Lewis when he was between three and four. Music burst out of him before his cello technique could handle it, and I’ll never forget one … Continue reading

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Fostering Independence of Thought, Part One

Our children are never too young to start thinking for themselves, forming their own opinions and drawing their own conclusions, even if wrong. Strong-mindedness is a typical trait of the gifted, so why not nurture it? It’s easy for me … Continue reading

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