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    When I was five, the school wanted to move me up three years. There was a distinct possibility of me finishing school at thirteen or younger. My mother ended up sending me to the only school - a private one, as it turned out - that didn't want to move me up. I believe it's done me good and that I am a far more erudite person than I would have been had my classmates been three or four (I'm young for my year anyway) years older than me. My dad pointed out early on that I have to learn how to be bored, too. Most of my education has come from me; I think it's been far more rounded than acclerated learning would ever have made it.

    The fact remains that school may be boring, but even genius children have to learn how to socialise; if you're that intelligent, you will teach yourself and answer your own questions. Everyone needs to be able to function in society as a whole.
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    (Original post by mussed)
    My dad pointed out early on that I have to learn how to be bored, too.
    Your dad is a far wiser man than any maths prodigy will ever be.

    Why do none of these thirteen year olds who have rushed through school ever consider taking time out to study on their own? Whatever happened to the good old tradition of being bored at school and reading in your spare time to keep your mind active.

    Out of interest; have you ever heard of a 'prodigy' at anything other than music or maths? One without pushy, bloody-minded parents? The more I hear about these things the more it seems to be a by-product of parents forcing their children to practice, practice, practice endlessly with the result that they can perform far better than their peers at a subject where aptitude can be gained by practice ( such as music and maths ) yet in the long run they tend not to shine because they lack basic skills of imagination and self-motivation. Am I wrong?
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    (Original post by mussed)
    When I was five, the school wanted to move me up three years. There was a distinct possibility of me finishing school at thirteen or younger. My mother ended up sending me to the only school - a private one, as it turned out - that didn't want to move me up. I believe it's done me good and that I am a far more erudite person than I would have been had my classmates been three or four (I'm young for my year anyway) years older than me. My dad pointed out early on that I have to learn how to be bored, too. Most of my education has come from me; I think it's been far more rounded than acclerated learning would ever have made it.

    The fact remains that school may be boring, but even genius children have to learn how to socialise; if you're that intelligent, you will teach yourself and answer your own questions. Everyone needs to be able to function in society as a whole.
    Your dad is a very sensible man. 3 years is a huge jump to take! :eek:

    This is probably the most shocking 'child genius' story I've found:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/644855.stm

    I do wonder why a university would be willing to enrol a six year old...
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    I saw this story in the news a while back, about a boy who was about 13 or 14 (maybe even 12?) and wanted to go to Oxford to study maths, but they wouldn't let him in because they thought that he was too young, and should grow up a bit first.

    I think that part that struck me most was that he only actually had a B at A level maths. While this is obviously a great achievement for any 13 or 14 year old, it's hardly good enough to be studying the subject at Oxford. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Frances)
    I saw this story in the news a while back, about a boy who was about 13 or 14 (maybe even 12?) and wanted to go to Oxford to study maths, but they wouldn't let him in because they thought that he was too young, and should grow up a bit first.

    I think that part that struck me most was that he only actually had a B at A level maths. While this is obviously a great achievement for any 13 or 14 year old, it's hardly good enough to be studying the subject at Oxford. :rolleyes:
    Exactly. If he waits until he is 17, who knows how good his Maths will be? Oxford rarely accept people to read a subject which they didn't get an A grade in at A-level.
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    (Original post by EmJ)
    Your dad is a very sensible man. 3 years is a huge jump to take! :eek:

    This is probably the most shocking 'child genius' story I've found:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/644855.stm

    I do wonder why a university would be willing to enrol a six year old...
    Surely the key to the issue is this

    Justin's mother Elizabeth first recognised her son's profound intelligence when he kept crying at school - because he was so bored with the games the other children were being taught.

    He is not happy in a regular learning environment for his usual age group. It could be doing him damage forcing him to stay with his own age group.
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    (Original post by EmJ)
    Exactly. If he waits until he is 17, who knows how good his Maths will be? Oxford rarely accept people to read a subject which they didn't get an A grade in at A-level.
    Yeah, for Oxbridge don't they usually want A in maths and A in further maths? Plus of course the step papers for Cambridge.

    He should probably wait a few years and then take the A level again- if he carries on improving then he should do great, and I'm sure some univeristy will love to have him once he's 17/18.
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    (Original post by viviki)
    Surely the key to the issue is this

    Justin's mother Elizabeth first recognised her son's profound intelligence when he kept crying at school - because he was so bored with the games the other children were being taught.

    He is not happy in a regular learning environment for his usual age group. It could be doing him damage forcing him to stay with his own age group.
    Yes, however taking on a child of this age is a huge undertaking for a university. His needs will be vastly different to those of other students. I'm not saying that the university was wrong to accept him, just that I'm surprised that they will put themselves to so much trouble to accommodate one student. I assume that the USA runs criminal checks on those who work closely with children?
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    (Original post by viviki)

    He is not happy in a regular learning environment for his usual age group. It could be doing him damage forcing him to stay with his own age group.
    Yeah.... like teaching him that he needs to learn to accommodate others sometimes.
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    (Original post by Faboba)
    Your dad is a far wiser man than any maths prodigy will ever be.

    Why do none of these thirteen year olds who have rushed through school ever consider taking time out to study on their own? Whatever happened to the good old tradition of being bored at school and reading in your spare time to keep your mind active.

    Out of interest; have you ever heard of a 'prodigy' at anything other than music or maths? One without pushy, bloody-minded parents? The more I hear about these things the more it seems to be a by-product of parents forcing their children to practice, practice, practice endlessly with the result that they can perform far better than their peers at a subject where aptitude can be gained by practice ( such as music and maths ) yet in the long run they tend not to shine because they lack basic skills of imagination and self-motivation. Am I wrong?

    i think you're right here, being a 'prodigy' is by no means a nice thing to have done to you by your parents. my violin teacher is a good example. when she first picked up a violin aged about 8, all her teachers were stunned that she could play it so well. from then on she was encouraged to practise for very long periods every day. she was never forced to practise as such, but her parents and teachers would always be very pleased and encouraging when she did. this increased as she got older and she would spend so much of her time practising that she had no close friends and rarely went to school. of course she got very good very quickly- and left home in her teens to go to the royal academy. she had a brief concert career but then gave it all up to have a family, which she doesn't regret.

    she now says she can't understand why her parents could have taken her childhood away from her- she has never considered herself to be 'normal' and this has made it difficult for her to have relationships in the real world. she has suffered from severe depression and has terrible back problems, and describes the practising she did as 'physical abuse'.

    her daughter says that despite her mother's bitterness, she has always felt under great pressure to be brilliant in something, because this is the only way her mother will really love her. she says it's terrifying how little her mother's being a violin prodigy had to do with 'music' and how much it had to do with 'rigour' and 'discipline'.

    i imagine this is what it must be like to be a maths prodigy, working really hard at something just for the sake of being able to do it yourself, rather than actually thinking about the usefulness of what you are doing in the real world. there's obviously no point in just being extremely clever / 'good' at playing the violin unless you use your ability to help others. and if you don't have a childhood and can't interact with other people, how are you supposed to know how to improve the world?
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    You need to step back and think about what a genius is. Rearing children from the age of 1 month old to do maths 15 hours a day is unhealthy.
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    (Original post by Faboba)
    Your dad is a far wiser man than any maths prodigy will ever be.

    Why do none of these thirteen year olds who have rushed through school ever consider taking time out to study on their own? Whatever happened to the good old tradition of being bored at school and reading in your spare time to keep your mind active?
    Exactly. I hate this whole thing that you have to have certificates for what you learn and that individual learning is effectively worthless: this is what many parents, confronted with a bright child, think, when in fact self-motivated learning without tangible reward is the mark of a truly intelligent person. Lessons at any age are only so good, and they're always aimed at middle-ability students.

    I'll tell my dad that .

    (Original post by Faboba)
    Out of interest; have you ever heard of a 'prodigy' at anything other than music or maths? One without pushy, bloody-minded parents? The more I hear about these things the more it seems to be a by-product of parents forcing their children to practice, practice, practice endlessly with the result that they can perform far better than their peers at a subject where aptitude can be gained by practice ( such as music and maths ) yet in the long run they tend not to shine because they lack basic skills of imagination and self-motivation. Am I wrong?
    God, I hate these pushy parents! I generally get earmarked (because it seems like everyone knows my IQ due to the gossip farm) as someone who can tell them about how to make their children more intelligent. One of my friends is going to Cambridge to study history having been effectively told to do so by her mother (she is far more gifted in English), shut up with history books in her room and given more interview advice than anyone else I've ever heard of. Her brother is twelve and his mother only lets him read non-fiction and classical novels: yes, he is bright, the brightest in his year, but what a way to kill his love of learning!

    The point is, though, that you can improve children in anything if you force them to read. Real prodigies only emerge in maths and music because they don't require the experience you need in say, history, philosophy and literature - experience that comes from living life properly.

    I just believe that gifted children should have to attend normal school. Then they can have summer schools and extra classes if they want to go on them (I sat a Higher when I was 13, for example, to make school a little less boring). They should be forced to mix with their peers because, however intelligent you are, you only do really well if you've got some EQ (Emotional intelligence) too.
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    (Original post by viviki)
    Surely the key to the issue is this

    Justin's mother Elizabeth first recognised her son's profound intelligence when he kept crying at school - because he was so bored with the games the other children were being taught.

    He is not happy in a regular learning environment for his usual age group. It could be doing him damage forcing him to stay with his own age group.
    If I was being malicious I'd say the key to thte issue is indeed part of your quotation: it's "Justin's mother Elizabeth" - however, I really don't know the background of the whole story (maybe she was not one of those pushy parents) so I cannot comment.

    Generally, I'd say parents should definitely encourage their children to do academic work beyond what they do at school if the children feel bored, yet they should not send them to university, as being at university requires other skills apart from academic excellence.
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    (Original post by mussed)
    I sat a Higher when I was 13, for example, to make school a little less boring
    Really? - which one?
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    Computing.
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    (Original post by mussed)
    Computing.
    Please tell me you didn't get an A.
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    http://denver.rockymountainnews.com/justin/index.shtml
    ooh read this...poor boy...
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    (Original post by C0nnie)
    http://denver.rockymountainnews.com/justin/index.shtml
    ooh read this...poor boy...


    Well he's a smart kid, there's no doubting that. With any luck he'll be able to go back to school and have a relatively normal life. And then, when he's older, he can go back to university where with any luck he'll achieve the kind of success that was being predicted for him at age seven.

    ( Children of 3 cannot plan the Violin. Period. I don't care how academically gifted he was supposed to be, children of three simply lack the motor skills to be able to perform such a complex task. Heavens! The vast majority of three year olds have serious difficulty clapping! )
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    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drm...010960,00.html

    Conclusion; child is quite bright but not THE SMARTEST AND GREATEST AND MOST GIFTED AND BESTEST HUMAN BEING WHO HAS EVER LIVED and mother is an idiot.
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    I feel sorry for all these kids...theyre not geniuses...anyone could do what they did if your parents forced you to do 10 hours of work from the age of 2! Take the interview with ruth lawerence...she couldnt even talk properly...it was like her father had put words into her mouth...i really do pity her. What is she doing with her life? She's a maths professor and a mother, she still couldve been those things if she went to university at the normal age. All she did was miss out on a the whole of her childhood and everything that is normal.
 
 
 

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