"Normal" for kids is a really, really wide range

Posted on 01/17/2012 in misc

This is a great blog post from Laura Grace Weldon (author of Free Range Learning) about her efforts to get the school system to work with her son, whose learning style was more than one standard deviation from the mean. The school, of course, just wanted to label the kid as ADD and drug him. After failing to get anywhere with the schools, she pulled him out to homeschool. The kid that couldn't learn is currently a full scholarship grad student at MIT.

I think my kids would have done fine in school. They probably would have been like me, disinterested yet accomplished students going through the motions and maintaining a B average. But I wonder if either would have turned out to be the uniquely cool young adults they are (or are becoming) today. The school might have beat the uniqueness out of them, one worksheet at a time. And I don't know if either would have developed the deep passions for their particular interests that they did while homeschooling. They might not have had the time.

It makes me wonder how many thousands (millions?) of talented, uniquely focused kids we miss out on developing each year because they are trapped in a school system that simply does not work for them. How many bored business majors at State U this semester would have been passionate "something elses" if they had been given the opportunities my kids had to develop those passions as kids?

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