When I think about how the Davidson Young Scholars (YS) program has benefited my son, I realize that it is not in the more obvious ways that it has for some. Some have needed the advocacy assistance; some have needed help finding a good educational setting. We were homeschooling our son when he became a YS, and although I was given a few suggestions, for the most part, we were handling things pretty well.
However, there are really two things that I think were very beneficial. Maybe three . . .
First, the parent eLists - Learning from such a wide variety of parents, situations, people who are in the trenches and are so knowledgeable about the very topics that come up, academic, social and emotional. That has been huge.
Second, THINK Summer Institute - I can't tell you how much my son enjoyed his two summers there. The first time, he told me it was the best three weeks of his life. It was wonderful for him and it helped me to see him differently, to realize that, yes, he really is ready for that level of academics, something I hadn't believed before.
Third, socially - It has meant the world to my son. This summer was his last Summit as a YS, since he will age out this year, but each year, he would eagerly await this chance to be with kids like him; friends he has made (some of them, initially, through the YS private, online bulletin boards) over the years, that are probably his closest friends; friends he fits in with on multiple levels. The YS program has given him a chance to grow in social ways that I think would not have happened without that peer group. Watching him, seeing how he interacted with the other kids, I think this was actually the most important. That gift of time, time with his peers, his friends, the people who are like him and who like him, is truly a wonder.
Programs mentioned in this story:THINK Summer InstituteYoung Scholars
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