Adam was brilliant and bored silly in school. Read what his mother had to say about his experience at North Star.
Raising Adam has been an amazing experience as is raising any child. I have three children including Adam; Adam has two younger sisters. Children bring such love and depth to anyone’s life. But on the subject of Adam, the depth he has given to my life is a bit broader than the average parent-child experience, I suppose. For several years I felt as though raising Adam was like being enrolled in a graduate research program. He has a thirst for knowledge and an intensity that I have yet to experience in any other human being. Finding the right balance and ability to feed his ambitious nature has been an ongoing awe-inspiring experience for me. For example, at this very moment, he is in the kitchen preparing a three-course gourmet meal in order to celebrate my birthday. It is the perfect metaphor for life with Adam. If I (we) supply the ingredients, I can sit back and be delighted and astounded by the results. It happens when he grows wheat and winnow, threshes, grinds it and bakes bread. Or when he draws maps or learns anything he sets his mind to. The journey has been rough but I wouldn’t trade it even with all its pitfalls!
When he was a preschooler he would listen to Beethoven and Mozart only. I was not able to teach him his ABC’s. When HE decided to learn he would learn, not when I thought it was time. In the year he learned to read, he was reading a seven hundred-page novel by the end. He does things on his own terms and very intensely. His teachers became aware of this fact and that he had no developmental peers. While attending first grade he became the subject of a child study in order to discuss what was the best way to meet his needs. It was suggested that I have him tested by John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. So, now we had an official paper claiming his advanced status. I think it was helpful knowing on paper that we were not just creating this problem all by ourselves. Being connected to John Hopkins opened some educational opportunities as well. The outcome was to skip Adam from first to third grade. It was really the only answer at the time. However, things got rough after that. The teasing began and I felt as though he would need to be skipped a grade every other year to meet his intellectual needs. This of course is impossible socially. So, on and on we went; every year there was a new problem, another hurdle. I felt as though I was always advocating for his needs and my ideas often fell on deaf ears.
How do you keep a “gifted” child interested, educated and socially happy? This would be the title of my graduate research project! There were some options and I had many ideas, but none of them were easily attained. In fourth grade I brought him to a Geology class at Amherst College. This time the public school cooperated. Another instance was that John Hopkins University was available to him for computer tutoring but his school would not allow this. He had to be educated just like all the others or he would have to leave. Adam is a fascinating human being: thoughtful, intellectual and most definitely a challenge to raise. He needs more time to himself to explore the world his own way and at his own pace. SCHOOL GETS IN THE WAY OF HIS EDUCATION. It has been such a long road to comfort, happiness and intellectual stimulation. North Star fulfills a combination of needs that have been unavailable to Adam for many years. Thank you North Star for allowing my son to land within your walls and find what he needs. As difficult as his needs have been in the past, the present makes that period seem miles away. THANK YOU.