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Location: Jefferson City, Tennessee, United States

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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

One Size Doesn't Fit All!

My daughter last night is having problems with her son in school. I sincerely empathize with her, because I had the same problems with her brother. There seems to be a genetic problem in the family, perhaps Asberger's Syndrome. These people are often brilliant, but they just don't fit the public school mold.

When faced with a teacher who is tied to a curriculum/lesson plan, the guys just can't cope -- and neither can the teacher deal with a mind that is going sideways and rushing ahead at the same time. The teacher is dealing with a heirarchy that increasingly forces faculty to teach toward standardized tests -- and the students aren't built to the standards.

Luckily, my daughter has an option. She can work out a way to home-school my grandson. I wish I'd had that option for my son. Even though I had a degree in teaching, the school districts twenty and thirty years ago discouraged taking kids out of school and teaching them in areas where their gifts were taking them.

How did that turn out? My son is brilliant with gifts that don't fit the world the way it is. I wish I had bucked the system. I guess the lesson is that sometimes you just have to hew your own path.

No child left behind may mean that no child will blaze the trail either.


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