When a gifted kid meets a challenge

So this is happening.  I know lots of classical homeschoolers start Latin young, but we have not been classical homeschoolers.  BigGuy is in Latin because HE wanted it.  Of course, we have finally hit a challenge and so LIFE. IS. DIFFERENT. this year…

People–we have waited a LONG. TIME. for this:  BigGuy is finally being challenged.

It is All Of The Things I had hoped to accomplish in homeschooling him and None Of The Things I have been able to provide.  (Note: in retrospect, I don’t think the schools would have done any better so I have zero regrets there).

I’m not exactly sure where we learned about The Lukeion Project, but we did and that’s where we enrolled him.  I did my due diligence to ensure that his missing the orientation and the first week of class BEFORE enrolling him.  I did the requested reminders.  They were WRONG that it would be okay.  And I completely missed that they estimated the student commitment to be 6-12 hours/week.  In fact, the syllabus said 9.5 hours/week.  That DEFINITELY was NOT what we meant to sign up for.

But we did.  And we were in it.  And so be it.

Well, BigGuy had a medical setback for sure, but overall, he simply came upon content he couldn’t just breeze through.  He had to REALLY work.  Now, he had to actually do more hours than he had ever done in his life to get a good grade.  He has missed turning in SEVERAL assignments although he manages to do the vocabulary quizzes and most of the chapter tests.

We are now nearing the end of the semester (he has two weeks left) and I’d venture to say he is only just now “getting it”.  We have had countless conversations about what he thought it would be like, what it’s actually like, him saying it was hard, my asking him how many of the suggested hours per week he has actually done and his admitting that he has done a small fraction of that.  He is pulling a 79-96% on the tests and homework assignments he DOES turn in; but it’s incredibly hard for him to get these mediocre grades.

Because he’s not actually WORKING.

So we had a lot of discussion about how IQ means that he can absorb things in ways that other kids can’t–not that he KNOWS more than other kids.

We had to talk about the fact that he has finally reached a level where his inherent knowledge and things picked up by osmosis are not enough anymore; and the kids who didn’t have those gifts were now at an advantage over him because they had to work all those years.  BigGuy has to figure it out now where they have it down to a science and are used to that kind of hard work.

Some of this was softened by pointing out to him that an hour of studying for him was likely to produce results that would require 2-3 hours of studying for another kid.  BUT HE STILL HAD TO STUDY.

We’ve finally worked out a work plan for Latin that is very much along the lines of what Lukeion recommends in their sample study schedule.  I think it just took him going through this to figure out that he needed to do work, and being shown that it wasn’t stupidity or inability on his part–just a need for more effort.

I’ve signed him up for next semester.  I’m forcing him to redo a lot of this semester’s work so he goes in with solid footing.  We can live in hope!


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