One of the statements I agre with is on page 162, "take care of unfinished business at home before you leave". Many students I think feel that leaving and going to college early will solve many of their family and friend problems or that the problems will miraculously go away. I can think of 1 student whose mom tried to push him to do better in school (he was very smart but was slacking off on classwork) and he did nothing to improve his average (in fact i think he purposely tried to fail) and the 2 butted heads all year. I think his idea was that if i leave home and go to college, my problems with mom will go away. However, many times the problems will follow them and cause them more stress in their college life as they are adjusting to a new and stressful situation.
Well this was supposed to go with my comment above but i am not sure what happened to my copy/paste. My 2nd statement got left off so here is the 2nd statement i agree with.It is on page 167, "Don't slack off at your current school and think that your last semester grades don't count because you have already been accepted into college." I feel this is very important for students to remember. Many of them seem to think, " I am in!" and they think they can coast the rest of the time and as the book says, "colleges can change their minds" and i think that students considering early entrance to college need to be told this repeatedly..
I agree with the statement on page 178, “What would you do if you (or your child)realized that the particular path you (or your child) pursued did not work out? Consider the following options:…..” We have to give students a chance to explore different paths to find what is best for them. Making mistakes is the way we learn, even if we are very gifted. No decision a student this young makes should be considered written in stone. The other statement I liked and agreed with is on page 179 and goes along with the statement above, “…she soon discovered that ‘once you leave, it’s almost impossible to go back,…” It may be considered a hard life lesson but decisions have consequences. Learning this may be as important as a college experience. Everyone makes mistakes, changes their mind or finds a better path. The choice of a college may be difficult but it is a decision that can be altered and fixed. My TAMS student changed her mind several time but eventually she found her path and is very happy.
I agree with mixkids comment about students thinking that just because they leave home that does not mean that they leave their problems behind. If they are not mature enough to handle their problems now simply moving away won't help it may only create more stress. At least while these students are in schoolthere is a support system and we can try to help them.
I enjoyed reading the various responses to interview question number 2 (For whom is enter specific early entrance to college program ideal? For whom is it not?) posed by Dr. Muratori in chapter 6. Normally, we read about what are the ideal characteristics an early college entrance program is seeking or expects of applicants but we don’t read about what are not ideal or desired characteristics. I found Director of AAG, Ms. Susan Colgate’s statement to be refreshing, “AAG is not ideal for the individual who is not sufficiently mature; has emotional/and or behavior problems; whose goal is to get away from something or otherwise has questionable motivation for applying; who has poor social skills; who is not disciplined; who is addicted to video games; and who is not able to make good decisions regarding bedtime, eating and other choices that are inherent in a residential program” (page 108). A lot these non-desired qualities in early college entrants that Ms. Colgate mentions have been addressed in previous chapters of this book such as is the maturity, emotional and social issues and reasons for wanting to start college early. Colgate also addresses other non-ideal characteristics that Muratori tackles in the self reflecting “to do list” on pages 162 – 167. Number 1, Make sure you take care of any unfinished business at home before leaving to college and number 4, recognize and address your deficits in terms of study skills, habits and time management. I believe number four is imperative. Having these qualities can make you or not having mastered these essentials can break you in college so it would be wise to leave the game console and video games at home. There is always winter and spring break and summer to enjoy the stress relieving benefits of gaming.
I concur with Oliver’s comments about mistakes. Part of being human is making mistakes, that’s how we learn. They happen every day and don’t discriminate age, race or social status. We have to view mistakes as a positive learning experience and perhaps as an opportunity even though at the time it may not feel so positive. All the choices or decisions we make have positive or negative consequences but that’s part of the learning process. Apply it to science for example, mistakes may seem to be disastrous at first but may turn out to be a great opportunity or beginning of a new adventure. Coca-Cola! (Need I say more.) If it weren’t for mistakes we wouldn’t have potato chips, silly putty, post-it notes and Velcro just to mention a few. Oliver I particularly enjoyed your statement that the decisions that young students make should not be set in stone. I have the feeling that gifted students hold themselves to the highest standards and they are their worst critic. You don’t want to stay on a path that makes you unhappy just because you don’t want others to know you made a mistake or convinced yourself that you didn’t make a mistake if you truly know you did. Students need to understand that even as adults it’s okay to change your mind, nothing should be set in stone. Life is about being flexible (I’m still working on this :).
I think that looking at the To Do List on pages 162-167 is a great way to work backwards from Going Away to College to what a person needs to be ready for college. This list helps a student to be aware of what is needed to experience success in college by making him/her think about all the issues that will arise as part of the college experience. For example, Action #4 on page 163 states that if a student has deficits in terms of study habits, skills, and time management, they should be addressed. Action #5 states that if there is a major gap in knowledge because a student has not been exposed to a particular subject area, then spend some time filling in the gaps on your own. This list of action steps should be introduced and worked on with students as early as middle school and high school so that they start thinking of what is ahead for them, and what they will need to face. Having knowledge of this can help students and their families to plan ahead and formulate good habits early.
This is my correct response to Question 3. Please disregard the previous posting. Chapter 9 is one chapter that I really enjoyed reading, and I found myself agreeing with quite a bit. It deals with the College Experience and Getting Off to a Good Start. It lists steps that one can take to promote a positive adjustment to life in college. These are applicable to both early entrance and regular entrance college students. I especially agree with the step that deals with Setting Goals and Developing a Concrete Plan to Accomplish Them. On page 171, the author points out that, “it is much easier to measure goals when you know exactly what you are measuring.” This is true of both academic and personal goals. I will certainly have my daughter read this chapter as she gets ready to head out to her first year of college. We’ve discussed these instructions many times before, but it is nice to see them all written out in one place like this.
I was struck by the comments made by several of Administrators - for example -"students who are uncomfortable engaging in intellectual discussions, expressing their ideas, and considering ideas that may challenge their own may find it difficult to succeed." (p. 138). Via my Booksellers on line list I know of several G/T students who are homeschooled and whose parents are very, very conservative in their political and religious beliefs. I've been wondering what will happen to their children when they are exposed to beliefs that are different from their own. DF of the TAMS program also mentions the same concern on p. 143I also found it interesting that only 2 of the programs seemed to consider - or at least mentioned in this book the needs of Low SES students - it's mentioned on page 100, where it's almost presented as possible reason for failure (long commute times)& on page 118 - the LA program - disruptive or otherwise negative and dysfunctional families". It is very apparent that this book (which is excellent) is written for upper middle class and upper class well to do parents who are very involved in their child's education.
rangel, oh do I agree with you on this statement"who is addicted to video games; and who is not able to make good decisions regarding bedtime" - video games (or Angry Birds!) are such a time suck. Those (+ Facebook) are the biggest distractions for anyone who has a home based business, which I during the summer.
PKassir, I agree that this book is really an excellent resource for any student heading to college, be they gifted or just bright. The author's writing style is very friendly and much of the advice presented within the covers is just plain practical common sense.
Statement # 1: (page 127) “The personal characteristics of curiosity and perseverance are most helpful for success…” For me, that statement is so true. I believe that the student who perseveres and is tenacious in their endeavors finds success. Their curiosity for learning about something they know nothing about or their tenaciousness to find out more about a subject they already know plenty about is an admirable characteristic in a student. They will set high personal goals for themselves and they will never give up until they achieve them.Statement # 2: (page 127) Refers to the student who “values learning and wants it to be fun and interesting…”As a teacher, I admire the work ethic of the truly gifted child or advanced academic learner who loves to learn. If you do not value learning, then you probably will not work above that which is just required and settle for mediocrity. To value learning, I believe it is necessary to be intrinsically motivated. As a teacher, I love to learn and I love to teach, but I insist that the learning be fun and interesting. It makes the world of difference for every child when they know learning can actually be fun and interesting! Often times this is the simple motivation that promotes the desire to want to learn more.
On page 121 it states: “It’s OK to be smart!” I agree that some students find that their peers may ridicule them for being an intellect and caring a great deal about their academic success. Some may look at the early entrant and say how silly it is that a 13 year old is going to college and wait for them to fail because they thought they were so smart. That is unfortunate but that points out their inability to be objective and unwillingness to accept a younger student into their environment. Perhaps it is jealousy and the competitiveness of others to accept the uniqueness of this gifted child. It is important that the gifted child have the support of their parents and faculty and eventually their peers.On page 152 I loved the title of the book from the Washington Post columnist: “Harvard Schmarvard: Getting Beyond the Ivy League to the College That Is Best for You.” I agree with Mathews that so many excellent students limit their college preferences to Ivy League schools. They need to broaden their horizons and recognize that there are many fine schools that can meet the needs of these gifted students. They may not have the same name recognition as Harvard Schmarvard, but when researched, they will find that there are colleges that will do well in particularly providing a safe environment and a challenging environment for the early entrant.
I agree with the comment on page 97 about the socialization aspect of such programs being "a welcome change for those who have felt isolated or socially out of place in high school." I believe so many of our truly gifted, precocious students find themselves in such negative or awkward situations in high school that such programs must come as a relief. They either find students who are more like them or at least they can receive some more social guidance when programs directly address this.I also agree with the statement on page 184 that "emphasized how crucial it is for college students to take charge of their experience." I see this as occurring at two extremes in the case of early entrants--either their parents push the idea to an extant that does not match the student's desire or the student is far more interested in this academic advancement and his/her parents are dead set against it. In either case, I think the student must take the reins in order to be successful.
Of Life, Education, etc.-I agree with your comment that this book seems to cater more towards a middle to upper class student than one who is economically challenged. Unfortunately, that seems to be the norm for so many aspects of GT. My summer PD last year was actually on Ruby Payne's book about how GT can be masked by poverty. I wonder how many GT students from a lower economic bracket never make it to college, period, due to factors that are mostly out of their control. If they fail to even be identified as GT, I doubt the idea of early college entrance would ever be on their radar!
"Although no student is expected to be perfect, one who lacks the maturity to make healthy decisions about behaviors that could have serious consequences is a student who is not ready to be living away from home and in college" (177). Personally, this seems more like a moral issue not a maturity issue. As they say, kids will be kids and to think a young adult's decision making comes soley from maturity is a bit naive. It is physically impossible to expect students under 20 to make sound logical decisions because their brain is not fully developed. However, with guidence and a good moral foundation, young adults can understand and conform to parental, collegiate, and societal expectations which are all independent of one another yet mesh together to make a productive member of society.
"...the program adminstrators and staff tend to have a deeper understanding than most educators of issues related to and implications of being a younger-than-typical student in college" (97). Given all the red tape and educational demands, even the best public educator is unable to meet the needs of highly gifted students. Special programs meet the needs of GT students if parents can afford it. All good things come with a price.
In response to Of Life, Education, E-bay, Travel & Books: Facebook (whether its profile viewing, commenting, photo watching or chatting) IS a time sucker (love that phrase by the way) if you don’t practice self control. I have caught myself on FB for periods longer than I originally anticipated. As an adult I find it can be addicting I can only imagine a young person. They must possess a lot of discipline to log off FB and focus on their studies. I recall that during my college years MSN Messenger was the main "in" communicating tool. It would be frustrating at times when one would walk into a computer lab and needed to conduct research and most of the students using the computers were chatting. Don’t get me wrong I love FB, chatting and skyping great concepts and use of technology but the bottom line is students need to exercise self control and discipline which can be a challenge for any age.
Theo and Of Life,You both make excellent points about GT students still being "typical kids wanting to explore" and some enviroments (homeschooling) that sheild children from the world fostering a false sense of reality. After reading Ch 6-9, I was very pleased to see that most all accelerated programs incorporate "real world scenerios" into the curriculum holding even the brightest, most talented student accountable to societal norms and expectations while still encouraging the students love of knowledge.
I agree with the to do list from page 162 - 167. I think that this is important for any student, not just early entrants. I like the statement about varying colleges being available to these kiddos, not just Ivy League schools (page 152). I think that it is important for people to consider other options, that it is more important to find the right fit and not the right name (of the college).
On page 183, a student writes, "I have an amazing relationship with my professors. They are so accessible and available, and are concerned not only with my academic progress, but also nonacademic pursuits." This is something that all kids need to consider. If a student enjoys that one on one with their teachers, they really should not consider a larger university where you feel more like a number than a person.The second statement is: On page 163, point #2 under which she writes about coming home. This has to be really considered when a 14 year old comes home from college, how are they going to act? Will they be allowed to go out? What about curfew issues? There are a lot of issues EVERYONE must consider before this is to be considered.
On p. 128, PEG, located on the campus of Mary Baldwin College give this as a factor that hinders success for their students: "Parents who are unwilling to let their daughter make mistakes and learn from them and to develop independence hinder success more than any other environmental factor". It goes on to say that those "parents who encourage their daughter to identify , own, and then solve (her) own problems are most effective and helpful". I agree that sometimes, parents can micro-manage their children and place their own expectations on them in such a way that they don't develop their own plan, their own interests. Then when they are older, they can be at a loss as to who they really are and lack the confidence to go forward. On p. 164, the advice is to stay focused on the goals that you begin your college experience with. GT students are so curious, so open to learning new things as a whole, that once they are exposed to new ideas and subjects, they could get sidetracked. These kids are good at a lot of things, many interests, and may end up not being able to focus on any one thing if they don't keep in mind what they are there for.
I agree with svancampen that the to do list p. 162-166 is a wonderful check list for students, at any level, to keep in mind as the question of college approaches.
Page 118 "Pushy" or overbearing and demanding parents...the author said were often associated with less than successful student. I do agree with that. There seem to be 4-5 of them every year in the freshmen class that continue through their childs senior year and it does inder the students development.Page 141 "tams is not good for gifted underachievers--- the program is not individualized. I agree with that. If a student needs to have something enlarged so that they can read it, that is one thing, but not having everyone just do a required assignment and not start limiting it or--- whatever. You need to be strong in the required item in order to complete it and get credit for the activity.
Re C Winegar on page 97I agree with those you about those GT students that do not mingle well with the others. Every year a few of them are such isolated students that when we get in groups for anything they have some issues. That is even more true now that we are letting in more transfer students. Those that have been together since elementary going to bendwood together sometimes are not letting the newcomers join in as fast. They need to "prove" themselves in something to become a part of the group
I totally agree with mixkid about students who go off to college and think they leave their problems behind. All part of growing up and realizing that you cannot run away from problems you have to be able to face them head on. They WILL be waiting for you when you return!
in response to OliverL July 7 - I love the part about making mistakes and learning! I agree 100%. Kids have to make mistakes or else they don't learn. Sometimes the mistakes are larger and have bigger consequences, but they should feel as if it is ok when they are dealing with school.
Of Life, Education... wrotePKassir, I agree that this book is really an excellent resource for any student heading to college, be they gifted or just bright. The author's writing style is very friendly and much of the advice presented within the covers is just plain practical common sense. I totally agree with you on this point. All kids need to read this book, as far as preparing for what to expect when entering college.
I agree with susand and the quote "It's OK to be smart!" The gifted child often feels isolated because their peers may not understand how they think and do things differently. I also agree with susand when she commented on "Harvard Schmarvard" that early entrants should not set their sights on just ivy league schools, but be open to other colleges that can provide an outstanding educational program for the young learner.