High Tech Support

For the last couple of years, we have been looking for coaches, teachers, mentors for my son. This desire increased when we started our homeschooling journey.

Many people are too busy to mentor. They are hard to locate and once you find them, it’s hard to have carry through. It’s a bit like that commercial where the dude needs help to move and all his friends give plenty of excuses for getting out of the work.

Although we consider ourselves fairly bright people, many of myTBP’s interests and questions are about science and technology ideas that stretch beyond our understanding.

“Can you help me figure out how…?”

“Why won’t it work when I…?”

“Where could we go to…?”

“I watched a YouTube video but I still don’t know when…?”

These types of questions fill our day and despite trying, we often don’t have sufficient answers.

This has been frustrating and disappointing for both myTBP and for us. We tell him (and try to show him) that he has a wonderful brain, lots of creative ideas and that we support him investigating his interests.

For the last few months, myTBP’s computer has been iffy. Lagging and freezing and just not working quite right. As you can imagine, these less than ideal working conditions have caused a great deal of frustration.

He quit playing some of the more challenging and strategic games and stopped following interests.

“What’s the point if I’m going to do all this work and it freezes when I get near the end of the mission?”

“Why should I make my own tutorials to upload if they are going to lag and not look right?”

“I’m not going to do anymore animating because I have to restart and lose my work.”

While some don’t understand the value of computers, gaming, researching, tech drawing, youTube…this is important work to my son. He takes it extremely seriously.

This weekend, we got good news and bad news about my son’s computer. The good news is that we found a local business that has experts that love computers. This is what they do. This is who they are.

They are willing to talk with my son about the ins and outs of hardware and software.

They took time to talk games and strategies. They discussed monitors and Internet speed.

They debated the benefits or challenges with Microsoft buying Mojang.

When they learned that myTBP was homeschooled, they found an old computer and gave it to my son. The experts encouraged him to take it home, watch YouTube videos about disassembling and assembling CPUs, take it apart, learn the components and try to put it back together.

I watched as my son asked questions and looked at all the hardware. They exchanged online names and said that he could ask questions whenever he wanted. He’s already asked for troubleshooting advice and fixed a problem that previously slowed him down.

This is all great news, but I’m sure you know the bad news…Ka-Ching. Money.

We’ve learned that he needs a new computer. A better computer. In order to do the things he wants to learn, they are building a computer for him that can grow and develop with him.

Initially, I was hesitant but I reminded myself that a mentor of mine had said that her son found his mojo when he built a car with his Dad. Now I get it.

I also justify the expense because he’s learning every step of the way. He can be part of the build, hear suggestions, and look at the parts before they are in.

If he was a fantastic soccer player, we would buy the uniforms & shoes and pay to travel to the games. If he was passionate about  art or music, we would buy the lessons and provide him with the materials or instruments.

We want him to explore his interests, especially those that provide amazing learning opportunities and potential job skills.

It’s expensive to homeschool a gifted kid, but the expense to ignore gifts, interests, passions is much greater.




9 thoughts on “High Tech Support

  1. Absolutely this is a worthwhile expense! I can only imagine what he’ll be able to do once he has the right equipment. And I’m sure the building of a CPU will be an excellent learning tool. It makes me think of our son’s summer project, demolishing and rebuilding our bathroom. He is incredibly excited about all the skills he’s learning and the ways he’s getting to use his brain (and his motor skills, in conjunction with his brain). He’s so easily bored that I LOVE seeing him so motivated. I bet you’ll see the same thing.

  2. It felt great to see him looking, listening, and thinking! We are now monitoring how much he contacts them and what he’s saying (as we should) because we want this opportunity to continue without being pesky or too time intensive. I’m excited about the possibilities!

  3. YES! That was my son exactly just a couple of years ago! We wanted him engaged in his passion–computers–but being engaged meant a computer to keep up with his interests, projects and skills. Yes, $$$, yes!

    I can tell you it is worth it, but with technology’s innovations and my son’s skills both moving quickly, it is hard for us and our bank account to keep up, so we had him develop and maintain a spreadsheet for chores and projects he does for us which we pay him for. When a new software or app or device comes out, so does our list of repairs and jobs we need done 🙂 Win/win

    And you are so right, we can’t ignore their gifts–it is their future!

  4. So happy you’re finding him what he needs to pursue his passion!

    I recently listened to two nerds in their early sixties chat about what it was like when they were college age and all this was just getting started. One of them had lots of support from his family, was allowed to “waste” all his energy on this new passion, tinker with expensive electronic “toys” in his bedroom, haul home big heavy pieces of equipment to “mess with”. The other dropped out of school to get a job, in the tech industry but just working for someone else rather than exploring his own interests. You can guess which one is doing better now, both with his overall life satisfaction and financially.

    We have a computer place near here that sounds a lot like yours. I never know what they’re talking about but I love seeing how they welcome in any young nerdlings and make them part of the community.

  5. If you want to email me the specs on what he needs (and also want a secondary quote, although I see it looks like they’re building it already?), I’m sure my husband would be willing to look at component parts for him online (New Egg is always a good go to for that sort of thing). The Engineer isn’t an online gamer so much anymore but he’s always up on what’s going on and new in the computer world and I’ve done this sort of thing with him before!

    • Thank you for the offer-that is very sweet! We have started the build. We get updates as parts arrive and they are waiting for a few more “pieces” and then they are letting him come in and watch the build.

  6. FYI – it’s expensive to have a kid in this day and age period. So many opportunities and we want them to have them all. So, just know that your child will bankrupt you one way or another for the rest of your life… and then you won’t worry about it!

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