Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Well Trained Mind

On one of my twice weekly trips to the library, I thought I would check out a bunch of books for myself.   I stumbled across "The Well Trained Mind", apparently the bible for Home Schooling.   I honestly thought that there would be nothing of interest in it for me, since I'm only spending 10 to 20 minutes a day doing "schooling", and all but 30 pages are lists of topics, books, and curriculum guides.

Nonetheless, I'll take even a small chance on getting a competitive advantage, so I read it. Surprisingly, this is the most important book I've ever read, and the most inspiring.  If I read this 2 years ago, and the authors bothered to put in a chapter about reverse engineering cognitive ability tests, I wouldn't have bothered creating my blog.

Drop what you are doing right now, check this book out of a library, and read the first 30 pages.  If you have any aspirations of being a Gifted Parent, this is the book for you.   Stop reading my lame blog right now and logon to your library web site to put it on hold.

Since I started working with my child, 10 minutes a day, I've come to realize that the true nature of "giftedness" is those 10 minutes a day at an early age, with a parent.  Of course, there's more to it than that (and way more time), but 95% of the kids in this country watch TV or play video games for 2 hours a day, so 10 minutes a day is huge.   The authors of "The Well Trained Mind" make this very clear.  I've never really bought into "giftedness", except for very unusual cases (like 1 in 10,000,000, and certainly not 5% of the students in a school district).   I think of it more like accelerated learning.  After reading this book, I'm now thinking that "giftedness" is really "the education that all kids should receive but 95% of them don't".