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  1. Great question. I think there have to be careers where you think 10 steps ahead. Lawyer maybe? Entrepreneur/business owner?
  2. Hmmm. Good point. I do wonder if my son has something "diagnosable.". He was already ignoring us to some extent, so maybe it's not really related, but it sure doesn't help when a kid can zone out and still do the work and think they're perfectly fine/smart because they can do it themselves.
  3. Better to have a social life than none at all. But you might see if the other parents have the same frustration about their kids playing videogames all the time. Hard to do anything about the parents that don't care, but if you are all on the same page, then you can band together and make rules. PS: One difficulty for me has been that having my kids socialize with each other can be worse than the videogames if they're fighting. It's gotten better recently, but at some point it was easier to have them play videogames than hear the fights over why what one person did in the LEGO world wasn't ok and how someone wants their person alive again and how someone borrowed a LEGO in exchange for this other one and then the other person wants it back...... ugh. it's hard to mediate arguments in a fantasy world.
  4. Gosh I'm jealous. Although my kids seem to be happy with their lot. They have super-mega lego-land in the living room. I'd like to kick them outside, but the setup isn't so great.....
  5. Neither would I which is why they spend a lot of time on the TV. :(
  6. Ditto. What I've heard is that you take the devices away and let them simply be bored. After two weeks of incessant whining they figure out other things to do. As for going to their friends houses...... I guess mine don't have that option without me driving them, but.....at least they're socializing? sort of? I've kinda of given in. At this point, my oldest is watching a ton of youtube videos, half about videogames, half educational. My middle actually spends a lot of time doing animation. My youngest whines horribly and then asks to help with the housework. The ban only lasts a couple of hours though.
  7. From the New Yorker article: "There’s the same agonizing question of American achievement: What can we learn, in a society dedicated to high-achieving children, from children who seem “naturally” off the charts in their achievements? How can we make our children less anxious while still making sure that they achieve?" Deep breath. The most important achievements in life are getting a job, buying a house, supporting your family, saving for retirement, treating people kindly, being charitable, and being happy. Maybe kids would be less anxious if they understood what the purpose of their work really is and realized that most of those achievements are reachable by the average human being.
  8. There is definitely a huge difference between a kid driving himself and a parent driving him. If your son is driving himself, just make sure he's healthy (exercise/eating) and has a bit of breadth to go with the depth (a B&M school will handle that for you). If you are driving him, then you need to worry about whether he cares about the goals that you have for him and how hard you are pushing him and having a balanced childhood. I think letting a kid set goals is great if they have high aspirations. I don't like to deter them from thinking big, but every year, or maybe even every couple of months, they need to reevaluate their direction. What are their highest priorities as they grow in life? What has to be sacrificed to achieve them? At some point he'll be mature enough to figure out that either the goals are out of his reach and he has to choose one or the other, or that he's happy not with being #1, but simply "very good" at both, or he might even have a new goal in life to replace both. I don't like to tell kids not to think big. But I do like to make sure that they understand that achieving goals are the result of hard work. I think the best thing is to ask him what he wants to accomplish and help him be practical about how to achieve it. I'd let him choose, but don't stick him now into one of these paths. Reevaluate each year. My kid used to want to do well on the AMC math contests. Now he wants to publish a videogame and get a job for early investment, and cares a lot less about the math contests. It's his life, and these are worthwhile goals, so as long as he's actually working towards them (and not watching TV all summer), then my job is to support those. I *have* though insisted that if we're paying for lessons, he needs to make good use of them, or he needs to drop something.
  9. There are pros and cons. The pro is that when it comes time for reading books, they're able to go off on their own. The con is that because they can read, they learn to block out the teacher when the teacher is leading them through worksheets--which for some schools is multiple hours a day. It can become a real problem later because the kids are in the habit of blocking out voices around them. They learn to ignore both teachers and parents and may have a harder time remembering multiple step commands. They may also bomb IOWA or other tests where you have to listen to the instructions. We had some *very* interesting IOWA scores come back for the kid that learned to read before Kindergarten. Most parts in the 90s, but one part was in the 23-30% range--that was the part where you had to listen to the instructions. In later grades, teachers will report that the kids aren't listening or paying attention.
  10. I think it's really important to look past the school years. Music is a life-long endeavor. Any time put into practicing has a life-long benefit. Once you've reached a certain level, you can play in a band, or a nightclub, or your best friend's wedding, or for a church, or for the BSO...... You don't have to be the best in the world, you just have to be a certain level for certain venues. I agree with what you said earlier, lewelma--kids should enjoy what they're doing. But trying to be the best in the country is a tough job with someone always trying to take your place..... So it's a-ok not to do it competitively.
  11. Absolutely agree! Better to encourage kids to think big and figure out how to get there than to have all their dreams squashed and be afraid to try something because adults tell them "they can't." One of mine wants to be a youtuber. I can't believe how many adults say "you can't make money doing that!" I just want him doing something other than watching TV all day. If he achieves his dreams, great! If he doesn't, at least he's learning something trying. PS: I think working on both math and music is a good combination. When he hits a wall in one, he can work on the other. I don't think it has to necessarily be one or the other.
  12. Yes. On the one hand, I think having a range of friends/ages is a good thing (mine has friends younger and older and adult). But recently I ran into a situation where my son who is 14 was invited over to watch movies with some 16-18 year olds he knows through an non-school activity (where he is the youngest in his group), and they were choosing to watch a rated R movie. We declined, but it was a definite freak-out moment for me. I realized how lucky we are that most of his friends are a) closer to his age b) primarily want to play board games when they're together c) have parents who I feel comfortable will keep the situation age-appropriate. I think that he has a healthy social life, so declining was his choice and he didn't mind at all, but I also think that if he didn't have a healthy social life, he might have felt bad about not going.
  13. I think the choice on early Kindergarten is about the social maturity. If you think your son can socialize just fine, I'd definitely apply and see what the private schools think. You may still have to homeschool eventually because he'll learn at a faster pace, but at least you stand a chance of having him enjoy a year or two or even just making it work longterm. If you wait another year to go to K, most likely he'll be bored from the start. If they don't think he's ready, then you simply wait. Also, I would recommend not doing extra academic work with him at night unless he specifically asks to try to slow things down. If he's gifted, in 2-3 years, he'll be top of the class anyways. You can always focus on other things--art, robotics, music, informational shows, but if you do reading and math with him, he's more likely to be bored in school.
  14. What about taking the SAT? I don't know when that stops being useful as an IQ test, but it's certainly cheaper.
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