Milo was evaluated at 4 years old and found to be “profoundly gifted” in all subject areas and we joined the Davidson Young Scholars at that time. His local public school refused to make any special accommodations and New York City gifted programs are one year accelerated programs and so also not adequate for his needs.
We kept Milo in our local school but he had a math tutor for some of the time, took some online Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) classes and by the time he was 8 and in 4th grade, he was invited to take classes at Stuyvesant High School every morning, before walking a block to his elementary school.
While it was always somewhat torturous to get Milo to go to elementary school every day, once he started taking classes in the high school and fell in love with that learning environment, he had more and more difficulty finding relevance at his elementary school.
Halfway through 5th grade, we finally pulled him out of school and officially homeschooled him for 1.5 years. During that time, he took most of his classes at the high school but during his first semester out (what would have been his second semester of 5th grade), we hired two tutors to work with him, one for humanities and one for science.
When Milo was 11, he applied and enrolled as a full-time, matriculating high school freshman and could take classes at any level appropriate for him, include graduate level math classes at NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. We were given the option of letting him graduate in 3 years but we thought it best to keep him with his grade cohort (and not have him graduate before his older sister whom he was now in the same grade as).
Milo, happily and comfortably, moved through four years of high school, graduated with a great group of friends, and went off to Harvard at 15. He always wants to be acknowledged for the work he produces, not for the age at which he produces it. He was pretty closeted about his talents throughout elementary school and once he got to college, he was private about his age as he really cared about fitting in socially.
Milo could not be happier where he is and more comfortable with who he is. He is very social 18 year old junior, has lots of close friends and is going on a year and a half with his girlfriend (which satisfies my only lingering concern about acceleration). He is thriving in every way! He is a multiple award winning mathematician, excelling in his classes, doing very exciting research with an MIT professor, teaching civics to inner city 4th and 5th graders, has published numerous crossword puzzles in the NY Times, was featured in a book and on Good Morning America, writes for the Harvard Crimson, and already has a job offer after he graduates! I’m sure there’s more but that’s the list that comes to mind.
I feel tremendous indebtedness to the Davidsons, their foundation, and the support and services provided to us over the years. I really don’t think Milo’s journey would have turned out the same way had I not been exposed to all the other Young Scholar parents and learned about the different schooling strategies and possibilities. And I know that we would not have been able to provide all of the necessary services for Milo if the Davidson Foundation had not helped financially.
Thank you Jan and Bob!!!
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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