As many of you will know, my eldest son is gifted, completing year 10 at thirteen, and only a few months after starting. Most of you will remember that although he had the backing and approval of the education departments in several other states, the Northern Territory department of education refused to enrol him in Year 11, claiming he was ‘too young’. Needless to say, I have had many years of fighting for the rights of my son, and so began a discussion with the appropriate ombudsman.
Fast forward three months, and I have found a school, who not only willingly enrolled him, but, most wonderful of all, they didn’t even question it. They seemed to think it was perfectly normal and they had no idea what all the fuss was about. What a blessing! It is a local school, fee free, and it provides him with the freedom to study from home or school, using video link up technology.
The school runs a free bus, provides food if the kids want anything, and regularly do fun stuff. This last week there was an excursion, a BBQ, a pizza party, and chocolate croissants lol! The kids are expected to eat when they are hungry, not at set times, and expected to clean up after themselves. The onus is on the kids to behave and stay on top of their work, and as a result, the kids who attend are responsible, well mannered and they actually want to learn, which is fantastic. No more being stuck in a class with bored or disruptive kids.
This week they had a NASA scientist link up with them to discuss the building of the new launchpad, and their future planned missions, which my son found fascinating. The teachers all treat the kids as mini adults, and they are always on their emails or reachable by mobile if the kids need help with anything. My sons teachers are all very happy with his work level, and he has received some fantastic feedback, such as:
I had the pleasure of teaching W twice today – he’s going to keep us on our toes! He’s highly intelligent and very quick. He is gifted and has had a mixed schooling history. He will likely need extension even with his accelerated program (chronologically he’s only Y8). He’s very keen for extra work. FYI I’ve told him not to race through my two courses but let me know when he needs more work and I will give him extension activities to widen and deepen his knowledge of the shared concepts and skills.
It is such a relief to finally feel as if there is someone in our corner so to speak, it is no longer just me trying to battle through. At the end of week two, he is so happy, and thrilled to finally have work at his level, not boring stuff lol.