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.