Statement on page 89: “One final question to reflect on is whether one is running toward an opportunity that seems exciting or if one is running or escaping from an unpleasant experience in high school.” I agree that this is a crucial point to look at when considering whether early college is an option. I would hope that a student considering this would be learning towards the side of seeking a great opportunity for challenge by entering college early.Statement on page 60: “Parents must be mindful of whose motivation is driving the decision for their children to follow particular paths. In each instance, a parent must assess whether it is his or her own desire or the child’s wish to move on to college earlier than expected.” This is such an important statement to consider. I have dealt with parents that push and push and push and have everything planned out for their child. I am sure they mean well, but when one sees the child resent their parents pushiness, one can’t help but wonder just how much the parent will continue to push and how much will the child take, and will it ever backfire on the parent to be so pushy?
Statement on page 66: "success is doing well to the best of one's abilities despite setbacks and/or failures". The g/t students need to understand what success is. Many of my students think they have to have the right answer all of the time and often will have a meltdown if they don't make the "a". I try to instill in them that even if they have failed they have learned something which they can use in the future. I think this quote would really hit home with many of my students.Statement on page 74: "my parents are not here next to me telling me what to do". The g/t students are the ones whose parents think their child's future all mapped out, they are going to do this and go to this college and major in this. The parents need to remember that sometimes they are pushing their students too hard and they need to let them be "kids". If a parent thinks that early entrance to college is best for their child, they need to consider what is best for the child, especially if the parents are not around pushing the student.
2. The advice I would give students as a classroom teacher are reflected in the first question. First make a decision that you feel is the best for you. Don’t let anyone force their perceptions and ideas on you; it won’t work in the long run. Second I would let the students know that if the first decision happens to not work out it is no big deal, go back and fix it and make a better decision the second time, or even the third or fourth time. I have had GT students that were accelerated through high school and college and changed their career path several time along the way. And these students appear to have turned out just fine; they are happy well adjusted young adults. No matter how smart these kids are they are still kids with their whole life in front of them. They need to take a little time and have a real life along the way. I felt that this was a lot of what the comments were saying in this section. The two best comments were on page 90 and 91: “Rather than running away from a high school environment where they lack friends or any interest in school work, successful early college students usually enter college for positive reasons” and “Is the student a running away from something in [his or her] school or [his or her] age-group (something environmental) or [is he or she] running away from something in [him- or herself] (something interpersonal)? The best result seems to be when students are running to something instead of away from something.
This is the correct reply, don't know why the other one copied itself, sorry. I liked the statement on page 58 “has not already demonstrated the ability and willingness to be self-initiating, self-managing, and completely responsible for academic standards.” I think that this is one of the more important factors in student’s success anywhere, but particularly in the college environment where they have choices and adults have expectation of them. If the students don’t have these qualities then they are not going to be successful. In middle school we see the same thing, if students don’t have these characteristics, at least to some degree at 14, then they are not going to be successful no matter how gifted they are. I also liked the statement on page 79, “My biggest problem, by far, was laziness. I was not used to working for success.” Again middle school teachers see this quite a bit. When students are challenged they delay, put off and think that they can throw an “A” paper together in a snap. Students are used to coasting through unchallenging classes and when they finally do get a challenge they don’t have the study skills to successfully work through the problem. The rest of the comment, “just being smart isn’t enough.” sums up the whole idea.
On P. 43, Dr. Nancy Robinson states, "Many of these students have never encountered real challenges before and now have to reorient themselves to valuing how much they are learning and changing, versus how well they are "performing". Again, what is the student's personal definition of success? When they are used to being around people just like them and come into an environment where they are "different", their comfort zone is compromized and it is a challenge to stay balanced. On p. 87, the author states that "Those that take responsibility for their learning are in a much stronger position to make the most out of college". Taking responsiblity for our lives, for the dicisions that we make, is a lifeskill that everyone needs. On page 93, the author states "Success is a multifaceted concept...". Where our values lie is key.
I wanted the parent on page 69 upside the head. They said "My daughter has not achieved as much success....academically....but if success is measured by growth, maturity and contentment then yes. In the long run scheme of life "growth, maturity and contentment" are far, far more important than a 4.0. By the time someone turns 30 nobody cares what their GPA was. It's who they are that matters. This parent should thank their lucky stars that their child is well on their way to being a success in life.On page 75,I felt the parent that still proof read her child's paper wasn't ready to cut the apron strings and that the child wasn't ready for college. College students should be capable of doing their own work without their parents "helping" them. I realize that many parents (such as my SIL)would disagree with me on that statement. My SIL takes her 2 sons to college every fall and walks them through registration because she doesn't think they can do it on their own.
In response to Of Life, Education, E-bay, Travel & Books posting on June 19,How do your sister-in-law's two sons react or deal with their mom's involvement? Does the university allow this type of help?
On page 85, at the bottom she writes, "...she felt the fit was much better in certain ways-in ways that were imprortant to her." That's it in a nutshell. It doesn't matter if it's a large university or a small college, they must fit what is right for each student. If the success of the kid is what we are after, then for some kids, no matter how smart they are, smaller schools are a better fit.On page 43, Muratori writes, "The wrong reasons have to do with prestige in either the parents' or the students eyes." So true. You know there are parents who would push their kids into something like this only to give them a "one-up" on their neighbors or friends at the athletic club. Parents and students really have to be careful and evaluate what is best for everyone. It really is a tightrope on which one must walk.
Kassir, I have no idea what the University thinks, but both sons have moved back home and are now attending college in Houston. Both boys have time management issues because she's always organized their life for them.
Oliverl - I can so relate to "My biggest problem, by far, was laziness. I was not used to working for success." That was me in a nutshell, I coasted through high school and middle school and arrived at college with now study skills. My freshman year was not one of my better efforts.
Of Life, Education, E-bay, Travel & Books Thanks for sharing your relative's story. It certainly adds to the discussion here.
The first statement I would like to comment on is found on page 66: This student defined success as earning lots of money before going to college. The student states that you can’t live your life by yourself on an island. I agree with the student that you can learn so much from people who surround you. To isolate yourself and focus on your personal goals is not what life is all about. I work with the most wonderful colleagues and I have learned so much from them. I set my personal goals and work hard to achieve them, but I do not forget that it is important to learn from others and even more important to contribute what knowledge I have and share. I so agree with this student that “it’s not how much I gain that determines my success, but how much I can contribute.” The other statement I would comment on is about running to early entrance because of the excitement or running away from high school because of boredom or poor interaction with high school friends. The statement on page 90 says students “look forward to the challenge of more rigorous content” and interacting with more mature college students. Dr. Brady’s belief is that what they didn’t like in high school, they will take their problems with them. I disagree with that. I do not believe that is necessarily true. I believe that if the student is socially mature enough and has excellent study habits in place, then leaving the poorly challenged high school and an environment where one did not identify with their peers could very well be the best decision for that child. One cannot assume that they will encounter difficulties adjusting to college.
On page 74, Muratori is quoted as the successful early entrance students were most successful if they were: “focused, goal-oriented, perseverant, driven, self-disciplined, and/or hard working (or as having a strong work ethic).” There is no question that the combination of these traits is the key to success. I believe that if one possesses a strong work ethic, combined with exceptional intellectual abilities, there can be a guarantee for success. I have always felt that laziness, apathy, and a lack of self-discipline in achieving one’s greatest goals will conflict with a student who is innately gifted. I also found a comment made by a parent on pages 54 to 55 quite interesting. The student was 13 and his parents had great concern about his early entrance. Once the parents stopped interfering with their child, he received support from others when needed and became quite well adjusted to college. I agree that sometimes you have to listen to your child and their desires and beliefs in themselves. If parents would allow their child to sometimes take the lead, your fears as a parent may be allayed, and you will find that your child’s maturity may shock you but trust their instincts…they often know what is best for them. Listen to them.
I absolutely agree with jcanon when she states that "Taking responsibility for our lives, for the decisions that we make, is a life skill that everyone needs". If this were true for every person, our world would be a completely different place! I instill this within my own children and teach them that the decisions they make not only affect their own lives,but often times the people around them too.
Even Dr. Muratori understands that "offering a single definiton of or standard for success (in college) may not be useful or even appropriate" when deciding on early entrance to college (65). Success is a personal meaning or goal rather than a one size fits all definition. After having my daughter at a young age, success meant being able to work, take care of my daughter while continuing my education to better our lives. However, others may view my idea of success as merely getting what I deserve for having my daughter so young. True success can ony be measured by the individual. I found "The parent perspectives about factors that promote success" very interesting and almost a bit comical. One parent praises all the accolades of her son, even going as far as to say his sister as his role model played an important part to his success. I must admit, I chuckled quite loudly. Given, GT students are far from your average kid;however,I have a hard time believing there isn't the least bit of teenage rebel lurking in that son's bones. I totally apprecaited one parent's honest reply when referring to daughter's success, "I would like to claim support was responsible, but I must admit that my child's success is due all to her effort to learn and utilize the enviroment and resources that were made available to her" (78). Thank you for being honest!
In the conclusion section of chapter 5 “Why Some Early Entrants Thrive in College and Others Don’t” (page 93) I found a couple of statements that I agree with. Dr. Muratori noted that “success is a multifaceted concept that cannot be defined easily or measured using only one standard” (page 93) then went on to identify a few of the many factors that can define success to an individual. I concur that one defines what success is to them based on what is important in their lives. Some may define success as possessing several academic degrees, large amounts of money, diverse real-estate, rare jewelry, etc. yet others may measure success on a more spiritual level rather than materialistic level. Regardless, Muratori states it best “success, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder” (page 93). I would advise an early entrance college student that regardless of what they define as successful it is important to not set the “bar” to high that their definition of success is not attainable. Set yourself up for success either by taking baby steps or small benchmarks of success in reaching your ultimate goal thus definition of success to that particular individual. The “Running To or Running From?” section in chapter 5 peaked my interest. Prior to reading this section I really did not contemplate the fact that a student could be running away from an issue, situation or someone. Dr. Muratori poses the following: “reflect on whether one is running toward an opportunity that seems exciting or if one is running or escaping from an unpleasant experience in high school” (page 89-90). As Dr. Linda Brody puts its “those [students] who are running away from what they don’t like about high school are likely to take their problems with them” (page 90) students need to take a look within and reflect as the section title suggests. If the answer is that they are running away from the middle or high school setting for whatever reason then seeking parental guidance or professional counseling might prove to be highly beneficial so that they may thrive in the college or university environment. Professor Miraca Gross simply states “if you are consciously or unconsciously running away from something you don’t understand about yourself or something you find hard to accept in yourself then this can be problematic” (page 91). Simply placing yourself in a new environment (if the issues are internal) will not make your situation any better. As stated many times in the book early entrants not only need to be academically advanced and mature but they need to be socially and emotionally mature as well. “Early college entrance may be appealing in many ways, but it’s important to understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of the choice to attend college early” (page 91).
page 40 "It will help alleviate concern if the decision to enter college early is made carefully and deliberately, and with the student's full involvement in the process." I think that this might be one of the most important things to consider when deciding whether or not to have your child skip ahead of their peers. I think that so often decisions are made without considering the feelings of opinions of the child.pg 87 "Those who take responsibility for their learning are in a much stronger position to make the most out of college." This is so true for all kids going to college. I imagine it to be an even more important attribute in a child that is younger than everyone else. Being able to understand what you need to do and be responsible enough to do it is huge.
I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment from page 40, that this all must be undertaken "with the student's full involvement in the process"--both the good and the bad; something a parent may not view as an advantage could be something that is very important to the student, or vice versa. Parents have to remember that it ultimately comes down to what their child's experience will be and it really should therefore be the child's decision..but it is also important for a parent to "follow [his or her] gut feeling" in terms of his/her parental concerns, which may mean butting heads with what his/her child thinks is right or important (42).I also had to nod my head knowingly when I was reading what students saw as "factors that detracted from their success" starting on page 80. So many of these things are such trademarks of a certain type of GT student--poor organization and study habits, academic ease in high school, and "sailing by" with easy work, to name a few. I can think of students who could thrive intellectually in a higher ed setting but might be held back by these habits that they have gotten used to in high school.
I agree with Theo's post about students not necessarily taking their problems to college with them. Many students, especially GT students, have a difficult time fitting in with their peers in high school and part of that reason is because they are more mature or just relate better to older people. These students may find college to be a much better fit. I have a brother in law who never fit in with his peers in high school but always got along beautifully with older adults. His grades slumped in high school because of his unhappiness and the drama that followed him, being an outcast. He thrived in college, finding peers who he had more in common with and were on the same level with him, maturity-wise. He became a much more confident, self-assured individual and was also a happier person.
On page 74 there is a statement about "my parents are not here next to me telling me what to do ,, it forces me to become more mature, responsible person. That is what I would hope they would become in the college setting versus the home setting. I know in both they are probably having contact 1-2 times a day or more with e-mail and texting, ( skype was used by a friend when her daughter was doing a semester abroad) but there will still be parts of the day where the student must become more mature, more able to handle life on their own without hanging on to the apron strings. The second statement - page 46,"study habits were his biggest adjustment. It had all come too easily to him in high school, even the AP classes." Some students in high school never learn to study and always appears to catch up with them at some point. There was another page that also referred to class and involving more than just the lecture, but 2-3 hours of outside work in order to be successful - I did agree with these statements.
In respons to SVankampen, I also like the idea that the student needs to be involved in the decision making. They need to know what is involved in their next adventure. What will be expected of them, what will they be giving up,what will they be gaining in exchange? This does not need to be one of those activities that is fully orchestrated by the parents with the student just performing.
mixkid said... Statement on page 66: "success is doing well to the best of one's abilities despite setbacks and/or failures". The g/t students need to understand what success is. Many of my students think they have to have the right answer all of the time and often will have a meltdown if they don't make the "a". I try to instill in them that even if they have failed they have learned something which they can use in the future. I think this quote would really hit home with many of my studentsI agree with what is said here. Kids need to learn that they will fail at something, that's life. As a coach I deal with this all the time. When an athlete comes in after a poor race, we will sit down the next day and discuss what happened. We discuss diet, training habits, attitude, relationships with everyone. I try to peel back the layers of the onion. Eventually we come to a answer. The same has to be done when a kid fails academically.
In response to OliverL posted on June 14 - I totally agree with the laziness factor. Often kids that aren't challenged in school don't ever learn how to learn. They coast through. Once they reach college they are shocked by how they are treated. What the professors think or don't think of them. The fact that it doesn't matter to anyone but them, how they do there. I experienced this when I first went to college. My first English professor began our class by telling us that she would not be giving out any A's. She would have to justify them if she did. Not the welcome I was expecting.