My son is the type of child that dislikes “repeats” of most kind. He is not terribly interested in reading the book when we already saw the movie. He gets tired of eating the same things for lunch, seems frustrated when I ask him to redo math problems or add details to his writing, and considers leftovers for dinner as offensive as serving him spoiled food.
This “need for new” can be exciting to watch. When he decided to teach himself about Mine Craft, he watched YouTube videos on the subject for weeks. He would be completely spellbound by the tutorials and would then run to the computer to implement the suggestions immediately. I would often say to him, “Why don’t you bookmark that so that you can find it again?” His response was always the same, “Why do I need to save it when I already watched it and got the information?”
When my TBP responds this way…it reminds me how different he is than many. As a general education teacher, we are taught that students need lots of practice. Exploring the information in many ways, showing the connections, and providing opportunities for practice and reteaching. We are reminded that most people must hear something many times (and more than that for some learners) for them to absorb it. I believe that this is true for some…but not all. A child like mine is annoyed by the same material presented repeatedly and this seems to be hard for most educators that work with him. This parenting journey has opened my eyes as a public school teacher and because of that, I believe my students benefit.
Part of the reason why this year is more successful, is the access to technology. Currently, my son has computers and 10 Ipads in his second grade classroom that are rotated on a regular basis. He is coming home excited about new programs that he has been exposed to at school and this “need for new” is being satisfied…for the time being.
Once we realized that my TBP was gifted, we felt a responsibility to educate ourselves about these learners. One of the characteristics that spoke to me, was the way that highly gifted students can be passionate about something and then once they feel that they have mastered it, they are done. This can be an exhausting (and expensive), but seems part of parenting this “type” of kid.
Although he is not academically challenged throughout the day, it is hard to move him. Most days he comes home happy and satisfied and for the first time talking of recess and friends. The challenge really becomes the days when he says, “I sit in that room all day and I don’t learn anything new or interesting.” As I write this, I believe that there are days when this is true and that is sad for me as a parent and educator. Because of this, he completes work with me (Perplexor workbooks and Life of Fred Elementary Math Series) in the afternoon and is allowed ample technology time. In addition, we are consciously noticing things that he takes interest in and looking up additional information on the internet for further discussions. Currently, umbilical cords and dissection seems to be the latest inquiry topics. One thing for sure…I have no idea what will be next! 🙂