This last Thursday evening, the school phones, my email, and my texts blew up with well-meaning alerts that the city school district was to close its doors on Friday due to the high number of flu cases. Very quickly three smaller districts joined the club. The reason given was that they were going to disinfect the buildings. I'm pretty sure the reason had more to do with money lost due to absences. The first day back, anyway, kids in every classroom will cough, sneeze, and touch enough to require disinfection again. We gave parents permission to keep their children home with an excused absence.
So little of our school submits to uniformity. We go to great lengths to keep the government’s hands out of our procedures. It’s threatening to some who find comfort in “the way things are supposed to be.” As we look at ways to keep this school going beyond our family’s involvement, I cringe a little at the thought of making some procedures uniform. It’s absolutely necessary, though, if we want the school to continue the way it is.
As I write that, it strikes me as funny. No two years at Lawton Academy are completely the same! We are always changing and evolving our program. Can evolution be uniform?
Gifted kids tend to dislike uniformity. That’s why you have such a hard time getting a truly gifted kid to take lessons. He/She wants to dabble on his/her own, not be made to practice thirty minutes a day and perform in public. This fact has frustrated many a parent. Here’s the trick. You encourage your child’s interest, but you make the condition that he/she MUST compete if you are going to invest all that money and time. If they fail the first time, do not let them quit. Tell them you will get them lessons so they can do better at the next competition. Your gifted child will use those lessons to conquer the next time. Be warned, though: once conquering, they are likely to quit and move on to something else. The lesson learned is so much more important than the skill. Remember that your gifted kid is a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. The goal is being good at a variety of things. This meets that goal.
Oh, and one last note on uniformity: I have never met a gifted kid who approves of a school uniform. Me neither, Kids! I support your right to be unique!