We knew Spencer was an unusual learner when he figured out how to read before the age of two. Just how different he was, however, didn't hit us until he started preschool. Some of the teachers and parents were upset that he seemed so advanced. Many believed we were forcefully pushing him to learn (we were not). Our relationship with the school deteriorated from that point on and Spencer was soon in tears, every school day. He felt alone and the days were tedious for him.
Fortunately, one of the teachers at the school was a Davidson Young Scholars mom. She advised us to have Spencer tested so that he could join the Young Scholar program to find some guidance. Things certainly improved with Davidson's support!
The first step we took was to pull Spencer out of traditional school and into a homeschooling program. Davidson helped us through this transition by providing resources, research, contacts with other families in a similar situation, and by sending information to our homeschool program's teaching supervisor. Davidson's information helped the homeschool program to accept Spencer's two year grade acceleration with even further accelerated years in specific subjects. Their support also allowed us to feel confident about our choices and we no longer felt alone. Besides the Institute, the families of Davidson are an amazing resource! To be able to speak with parents who have "been there and done that" is priceless.
Spencer loves Davidson's summits and has made several Young Scholar friends over the years. More than seven years after joining the program, with academic acceleration and individualized study along the way, Spencer is a high school student doing extremely well in his advanced studies. He was accepted to Stanford University's Online High School which he attends part time while taking independent study classes through other schools. He took the SAT at age 12 and his scores resulted in him being invited into Johns Hopkins' SET (Study for Exceptional Talent) program. A home-based schedule has also allowed him to continue all his beloved extracurricular activities: classical violin, Olympic style recurve archery, karate, and spending time with his friends.
Today, Spencer is passionate about learning and is a very happy kid. We are all so grateful to the Young Scholar Program for pointing the way, providing resources, and connecting us with other families on similar paths. We thank Davidson for being there for us!
This article is provided as a service of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted young people 18 and under. To learn more about the Davidson Institute’s programs, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org.
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