Tag Archives: gifted children and self-directed 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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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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The Value of a Meltdown, Part Two

When my son Lewis was about seven, I should have been able to predict my meltdown over his cello lessons. He’d been playing since age two-and-a-half, and even though I’d achieved considerable insight into his learning style, I still felt … 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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Why So Many Gifted Children Are Stubborn, Part Four

Perhaps the best outcome of my son Lewis’s stubborn, self-directed learning was that it defended his learning style. I’d try and try to influence his cello practicing, and utterly fail. His lessons were the same until I began to despair … Continue reading

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Why So Many Gifted Children Are Stubborn, Part Three

When I confronted my son’s extreme, self-directed learning style in his cello lessons, I finally realized that to try to shape his progress or to influence him directly was futile. I had to let him muddle forward, even at age … Continue reading

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Why So Many Gifted Children Are Stubborn, Part Two

Because I’d noticed the compelling nature of Beethoven’s music, it was no surprise to me to learn that he was incorrigibly stubborn. This trait is not easy to deal with in students, but if it’s integral to their creativity, they … Continue reading

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