How does one finish high school at 10?

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Jorpho
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How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby Jorpho » Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:34 am UTC

There are plenty of stories of child prodigies out there that yammer about how quickly they finished school, and how they got university degrees by the age of 12 and such forth. Obviously these are fairly rare happenings. I've been wondering, how exactly could a typical teacher possibly handle such a thing? It seems to me that a likely response to good performance in elementary school would be "Good job on your math, Timmy, now go sit down, we're going to spend the next three hours coloring, and you'd better do a good job of it this time!"

Stories of such children rarely go into such little details. Perhaps someone here is familiar with analyses of greater depth?

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby Kaiyas » Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:25 am UTC

My guess is homeschooling.
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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby cv4 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:11 pm UTC

Kaiyas wrote:My guess is homeschooling.


.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby aldld » Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:32 pm UTC

Kaiyas wrote:My guess is homeschooling.


If that is the case, then who gets to decide if they can finish high school at 10?

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby achan1058 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:21 pm UTC

aldld wrote:
Kaiyas wrote:My guess is homeschooling.


If that is the case, then who gets to decide if they can finish high school at 10?
Depends. In where I came from, there are these province held challenge exams which gives credit for grade 12 courses (normally not intended for 10 year olds, of course). I suppose if one is to take and pass these for all major courses, then one can say they finished high school.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby modularblues » Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:22 pm UTC

Then the question is whether they will become well-adjusted adults.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby cv4 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:46 pm UTC

modularblues wrote:Then the question is whether they will become well-adjusted adults.


When considering going to university at 10 years old, this question is rarely considered I feel.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby modularblues » Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:45 pm UTC

cv4 wrote:
modularblues wrote:Then the question is whether they will become well-adjusted adults.

When considering going to university at 10 years old, this question is rarely considered I feel.

Just a safety measure to prevent more future Unabombers. :P

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby Jorpho » Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:14 pm UTC

modularblues wrote:Then the question is whether they will become well-adjusted adults.
To which a parent may well respond, "He doesn't need to be well-adjusted, 'cause he's smarter than you!"

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Re: How doesn't one finish high school at 10?

Postby P13808 » Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:21 am UTC

^A 10 year old with the same degree as a 22 year old is not smarter. They just got there faster. Plus they have much less knowledge on *life*.
Plus prodigies burn out.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby ++$_ » Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:45 am UTC

I've met four kids who were taking college classes at very young ages (<16 years). None of these kids was actually enrolled in college. Three of them were homeschooled and attended college classes as a part of their homeschooling (so their parents dropped them off and picked them up). Because they weren't officially enrolled, these kids didn't take exams. One of them did do homework assignments. None of them spoke during class.

The other one was enrolled at a local private junior high school. He attended only seminars and other classes that took place after his school let out. He asked and answered questions in class.

My opinion is that actual child prodigies are far rarer than kids whose parents are convinced they are child prodigies. Out of the four kids I mentioned above, only the last one, in my opinion, was really ready to take college classes. I expect to hear from him again. The others will disappear into the mist.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby ^_^ » Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:06 am UTC

Yeahhh I assume it's mainly the doing of over-enthusiastic parents who are convinced their children are the next prodigy... I mean, it's not like a school is just going to skip you up ten grades. I mean, hell, with what little we learnt at primary school, and even secondary school, I'm positive I could've skipped 5-10 grades there and not been left behind. But yeah, schools are more about preparing kids for life in general as well, so home schooling seems to be the only possible solution O_o

There's some kid in my math/physics courses at uni who looks a bit too much like a ten year old... But I'm scared to ask in case he's actually an adult who just looks exceedingly young =P

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby KestrelLowing » Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:43 pm UTC

There are a few people in the world who are really ready for college at a very young age - but I do agree that there are far too many parents who believe their child is the next Einstein or Tesla or something.

As for the socially adjusting, it's not as simple as keeping students with their grade level. If an eight year old can do the work of a high school freshman, they are not at the typical maturity level of an eight year old. They are not so concerned about cooties and how gross looking they can make their lunch. They have a bigger scope, and they can easily become ostracized within their age group because they can't find anyone who thinks like them, and no one their age can keep up with them. Just ask anyone who has shown interest in learning for learning's sake in the typical American public classroom - appearing smarter, or even just the smallest bit different can be exceedingly separating.

The problem is, they are typically not at the maturity level of a 14-15 year old either, so they don't really belong anywhere. I believe that is the major cause of the "ill-adjusted genius". They can't find anywhere they really fit in.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby nash1429 » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:46 pm UTC

I spent most of my life around people a few years older than me and eventually it seems normal. While going to college exceedingly early is probably not a good idea (usually these students have been forced by their parents to work single-mindedly), going a few years early is not such a bad thing. Parents really do need to chill about about this though. I've had friends who were really of fairly average intelligence (demonstrated on standardized tests as well as in personal interaction) who started calculus when they were eleven or twelve because their parents were math professors who forced tham to spend day and night at it.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby cpp789 » Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:10 am UTC

A few years ago there was a child prodigy at my high school who "graduated" at around 12 years old. I say "graduated" in quotes because he did not really have enough credits to graduate (the board had to pass a resolution to allow him to move on), but any further study would have been a waste of time. He would look at huge physics problems that would take a normal mathematical genius (let's say top .5% or so) 12 steps and 20 minutes to complete yet he could do it in 2 steps in his head. In reference books, he could correct logarithms at the 8th decimal place (in fact he pulled that stunt a few times during a JPL tour, they offered him a job). Conceptually he could master anything he wanted to as quickly as humanly possible. Any further study in high school would have simply held him back, because he could intuitively figure out any problem so quickly.

This level of intelligence is very very rare, of course. I'm sure a lot of kids who move on to college early are just pressured by their parents, but some are so advanced that learning more in high school would have only held them back.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby Jorpho » Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:38 am UTC

cpp789 wrote:Conceptually he could master anything he wanted to as quickly as humanly possible. Any further study in high school would have simply held him back, because he could intuitively figure out any problem so quickly.
Even tiresome literature analysis and busywork research projects and (horrors) phys ed classes?

The way some people around here talk, holding people back is what high school does.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby rhetorical » Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:59 pm UTC

aldld wrote:
Kaiyas wrote:My guess is homeschooling.


If that is the case, then who gets to decide if they can finish high school at 10?



Note: I am homeschooled.

In Texas, where I live, there are a set number of high school credits you have to get to graduate (and to get into college.) You can graduate as soon as you get those credits, regardless of age.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby nash1429 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:47 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:
cpp789 wrote:Conceptually he could master anything he wanted to as quickly as humanly possible. Any further study in high school would have simply held him back, because he could intuitively figure out any problem so quickly.
Even tiresome literature analysis and busywork research projects and (horrors) phys ed classes?

The way some people around here talk, holding people back is what high school does.


Because it's true for almost anyone of remarkable intellect (i.e. most of the people who post on xkcd fora). For that matter, it's also true for people who highly capable in the arts and things like that.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby Jorpho » Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:46 pm UTC

nash1429 wrote:
Jorpho wrote:
cpp789 wrote:Conceptually he could master anything he wanted to as quickly as humanly possible. Any further study in high school would have simply held him back, because he could intuitively figure out any problem so quickly.
Even tiresome literature analysis and busywork research projects and (horrors) phys ed classes?

The way some people around here talk, holding people back is what high school does.

Because it's true for almost anyone of remarkable intellect (i.e. most of the people who post on xkcd fora). For that matter, it's also true for people who highly capable in the arts and things like that.
But that's my question: if things are in fact as you say, what exactly makes this guy so fantastic that he doesn't get to be held back?

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby nash1429 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:37 pm UTC

I suppose at some point even school administrators must fail at their jobs (ie recognize and nurture the intelligent), though their metric for doing so does not actually measure intelligence but ability to answer stock questions and recall memorized facts.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby bytbox » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:57 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:But that's my question: if things are in fact as you say, what exactly makes this guy so fantastic that he doesn't get to be held back?


The other ingredient, as said above, is pushy parents.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby nash1429 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:19 am UTC

Living in a community that is overflowing with them, I am glad to say that my parents to not fall into the group mentioned previously. Interestingly, they don't really give a shit about my schooling as long as I am reasonably successful, and yet I am dropping out of high school to go to college 2 years early.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby Alx_xlA » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:22 am UTC

As far as I'm concerned, much of the importance of school has nothing to do with schooling.

The most important things are learning how to work, not how to do the work; and how to tolerate The Man.
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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:11 am UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:There are a few people in the world who are really ready for college at a very young age - but I do agree that there are far too many parents who believe their child is the next Einstein or Tesla or something.

As for the socially adjusting, it's not as simple as keeping students with their grade level. If an eight year old can do the work of a high school freshman, they are not at the typical maturity level of an eight year old. They are not so concerned about cooties and how gross looking they can make their lunch. They have a bigger scope, and they can easily become ostracized within their age group because they can't find anyone who thinks like them, and no one their age can keep up with them. Just ask anyone who has shown interest in learning for learning's sake in the typical American public classroom - appearing smarter, or even just the smallest bit different can be exceedingly separating.

The problem is, they are typically not at the maturity level of a 14-15 year old either, so they don't really belong anywhere. I believe that is the major cause of the "ill-adjusted genius". They can't find anywhere they really fit in.

I had a similar problem with my family. When I went to get-togethers on my mom's side, I was the oldest grandchild by about a year and a half, so I never quite had the interests of my younger cousins. Eventually, I started to talk with the adults, but the conversation was whitewashed and then I got bored with the grown-ups and decided to go be awkward with my cousins (and little sister who was in a similar position to mine, being the oldest female grandchild by 5 or 6 years). This past Memorial Day, I had the most fun at a family gathering I could remember because I was an adult. I could have adult conversations with the adults, my youngest cousins treated me as if I were one of their uncles, and the older cousins finally started to mature to close to where I am/was. A bit OT, but similar to the 8-year-old who doesn't care for 8-year-old immaturity nor for HS freshman immaturity.
I really hate people making a bog fuss over child prodigies. Yes, I know your kid is really f*ckin' smart, no need to remind me of that all the time. I guess that's what I get for growing up in a school district that prides itself as being one of the state's best and having the kind of parents who are attracted there.
I have no desire to become "well-adjusted" or accept The Man. I'm not about to snap and kill everyone I see, but I'm not going to accept anything simply because "it works; and change is too hard". My response is "do it right, or don't do it at all" or "let peace and justice be done though the world burns" (EDIT: the almighty Wiki says the saying is "Fiat justitia ruat caelum")
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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby Cleverbeans » Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:06 am UTC

modularblues wrote:Then the question is whether they will become well-adjusted adults.


Yeah, middle/high school does such an excellent job preparing of producing well adjusted adults. :roll:
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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby nomadofthehills » Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:44 pm UTC

I beat a 12 year old "prodigy" in a regional, college-level wildlife biology competition.

/brag

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby nash1429 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:00 am UTC

I must congragulate you on perhaps deflating his/her ego. In my opinion, it is very important with most such cases that people realize that they can lose.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby Bakemaster » Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:03 pm UTC

nomadofthehills wrote:I beat a 12 year old "prodigy" in a regional, college-level wildlife biology competition.

/brag

Were you also 12?
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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby DNA » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:45 pm UTC

I once pretended to be a child prodigy when I had a "visit dad at work day" project to do. He's a university prof and when I sat in one of his lectures there were some students awing at how smart I probably was, and when I offered one of them a stick of gum they pretty much considered me the coolest dude ever. Then my dad almost got into some trouble because he jokingly mentioned how he had me flown in from Vancouver to have me do research for him and by the way we were interacting, people thought I was his boytoy or something.
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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby _wtw_ » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:25 pm UTC

Always wanted to go to university lectures - partially out of interest in subjects, and partially for experience of the environment. I wasn't aware you could actually attend them, though!

Does it cost, do all universities do them, is there any way to find out which lectures are on in certain universities in...oh, i dunno, Scotland? ;) If anyone's from 'round here too, of course.
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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby Jorpho » Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:25 pm UTC

As long as you keep quiet and don't look too suspicious, you can probably get away with sitting in on most lectures, I reckon. If you want to ease your conscience, just ask the professor first.

Alternatively, there's always MIT's OpenCourseWare.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby bentheimmigrant » Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:29 pm UTC

_wtw_ wrote:Always wanted to go to university lectures - partially out of interest in subjects, and partially for experience of the environment. I wasn't aware you could actually attend them, though!

Does it cost, do all universities do them, is there any way to find out which lectures are on in certain universities in...oh, i dunno, Scotland? ;) If anyone's from 'round here too, of course.


Are you looking to audit an actual course (like 14 lectures) or just sit in on free lectures? Where I am, there are free, public lectures to attend on a range of subjects. The best place to check about free lectures would be the university's website. In terms of a whole course, you could definitely just walk into a lecture theatre and sit down. No one would care. The trick would be finding the timetable.
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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby ++$_ » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:22 pm UTC

Usually professors are perfectly happy for anyone to sit in on their lectures, unless the classroom is full and they are taking up space that actual students could use.

The school administrators might view things differently.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby kstep » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:46 pm UTC

I actually feel kinda sorry for child "prodigies" who advance too fast through school. I'm not talking about the one in a million super-smart kids who can do calculus in their sleep at 2 years old... but the "gifted" kids who are pushed through the system more by their parents than their intelligence. Sure, they're smart kids... smarter than others their own age, but they end up not knowing how to relate to people at all. (How smart is that?) I blame the parents for trying to live vicariously through their kids. I think it's better for parents to "let kids be kids" and mature like they're supposed to and not force them into situations they're really not ready for. Find creative ways to challenge your kids without distroying their social abilities.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby _wtw_ » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:27 am UTC

Sounds god guys, i'll have a look-see in nearby universities. Thanks very much! Just looking for free things to give me something to come back hope and sit up all night reading about. :)
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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby tastelikecoke » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:37 pm UTC

it sounds to me that prodigies are products of hyped parents who's proud of their country-memorizing calculus-deriving kid. Unless he is a monster (I know some few monsters too) usually they aren't that smart on social skills and study habits. If they're too smart they sometimes, full of hubris, don't do homework at all.

One special powers of prodigies are they often stalk other classes. Other than that...

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:10 pm UTC

tastelikecoke wrote:usually they aren't that smart on social skills and study habits. If they're too smart they sometimes, full of hubris, don't do homework at all.

At my high school, our arguably smartest student shouldn't have gotten his 4.0, but he impressed teachers into letting him do extra credit instead of the actual work.
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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby Jorpho » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:10 am UTC

tastelikecoke wrote:If they're too smart they sometimes, full of hubris, don't do homework at all.
Yeah, we've had a few threads about that.

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby tastelikecoke » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:51 pm UTC

ow, what thread exactly?

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Re: How does one finish high school at 10?

Postby Jorpho » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:24 am UTC

Oh, all right, let's have a look-see.
Hard work vs. Smartishness
Debate: Grades VS Knowledge
Those "school was really easy for me" people

Varying degree of applicability to the matter at hand, I suppose.


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