Tag 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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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 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 One

I used to think I was alone in my battle with my son’s stubborn, self-directed learning until I read about Beethoven: “[he]…was so headstrong and self-sufficient that he had to learn much through harsh experience which he had refused to … 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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The Creative Moment, Part Three

When my daughter, Annette, then approximately seven, hit on a great idea for practicing the cello, she could think of nothing else. For hours she’d sit in her room, working out this idea, and all her talk about it dominated … Continue reading

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Trying Impossible Things: The Process

When I practice the cello, I never try to recover what I did best the day before. Instead I let all those remembered sounds and sensations float around in my head until they come clear again. In letting go of … Continue reading

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