Successful Kids

Many families turn to home education because the local public or private school cannot provide a sufficient educational fit for their children. Sometimes it is for bright and talented children who are under challenged.

Although this article is not specifically about homeschooling, it makes the case for how gifted and talented children could be better served in any educational setting.

Want to Raise Wildly Successful Kids? Science Says Do This for Them (but Their Schools Probably Won't)

A 45-year study of 5,000 gifted students reaches some controversial conclusions.

This is a story about gifted kids, science--and a big mistake.

It starts with a longitudinal study of some the most intelligent young people the United States has ever produced--a study involving more than 5,000 students that spans 45 years.

Unfortunately, it's also about why your kids have little chance of benefiting from its conclusions, even if they're truly gifted (unless perhaps you're an incredibly assertive and strategic parent). In short, researchers say we face four big problems, even as they suggest they might have solutions:

1. We don't accurately identify truly gifted and intelligent kids.

2. Even when we do, we stifle many of them by keeping them in a rigid, bureaucratic education system.

3. We focus too much on repetitive practice over raw talent.

4. We're biased against the brilliant, in favor of the merely average.

You can see why this gets a little controversial, right? However, you should know that alumni of programs based on this research include people like Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin, Lady Gaga, actress Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter movies), plus a Fields Medal winner, and two recipients of MacArthur Genius Grants.

So why aren't schools flocking at least to study the results of the research? Some would say it's a matter of human nature, intransigence, and fear.