What does it feel like to be an unschooler with extremely high IQ?

Written Sep 16, 2016

I’ll attempt an answer – as a surrogate for my daughter.

 

Background

Our daughter was doing okay in school. She always got the highest grades but, since she is very introverted, was not even put in with the more advanced class in her grade level. When testing revealed that she was probably (statistically) the highest IQ kid in her school, I attempted to get her accelerated. The ensuing discussions were horrendous. She is now 10 years old, and has been homeschooling for one year.

We have frequent discussions about many topics, including her learning. I will take the liberty of writing as I think she would answer.

Academics

  • School used to be very boring. The only fun thing was recess. The teachers always asked us to do stupid stuff. I hated some of my classmates because they were always causing trouble, like hiding in the closet. Sometimes one of my classmates hit people, but the teacher didn’t do anything.
  • I like some of the things I am learning, but a lot of the stuff my dad asks me to do is still boring. The lectures I watched on Coursera had some interesting stuff, but were still boring. When I do my Latin class on Skype, I have fun by texting the correct answers to the other students so that they can answer the teacher’s questions.
  • We are reading a book about Roman History (SPQR). I’m glad my dad highlighted the interesting parts so we don’t have to read the whole thing. The book is pretty boring, but some of the discussions we have about how the same things happen today are interesting.
  • I think talking about math is much more interesting than just listening to a teacher tell us about the rules. Also, dad shows me that if you think about the numbers and ideas in a certain way, it is like using tricks. Dad tells me that the tricks will help out even more when we learn about other math.

Friendship

  • When I was in school, I only had a few friends, and I didn’t get to spend much time with them because they were in other classes. We only got to see each other during recess and lunch.
  • I am still friends with most of my school friends. We text and Skype each other. We also get together for playdates. Some of my old friends are in my Chinese, art, and swimming classes.
  • I now have a number of online friends. Mostly we had mutual friends, and we just came to realize that we have interests in common. I also have a number of friends from sharing our art work together (on YouTube and DeviantArt). We text a lot, and sometimes have Skype chats. I’m not sure about their ages. I know that a lot of them are teenagers, and some of the artists are probably in their twenties and thirties.
  • My Mum and Dad spend about 12–15 hours at our badminton club each week. During that time, I mostly play with the other kids (about 20, ranging in age from baby to 19). We run around and play games. Sometimes I get bored and read, or play games on my phone. Sometimes I show some of the other kids how to do things – one week Connor (19) asked me to show him how to shade drawings on SAI.

Other stuff

  • I like playing piano and violin, but I don’t like my parents always telling me I have to practice every day.
  • I like to read a lot. I have been reading lots of books by Erin Hunter. I like the cats so much, that I draw them, and make videos about them. I just got some books about dragons from the library (Chris D’Lacy). I guess I like reading fiction books about animals.
  • I like playing Minecraft. I have an admin level account, so I can control a lot of stuff. Also, my dad lets me buy stuff with my paypal card, so I just bought a server account. I sometimes play other games, but mostly because my friends play them.
  • My favorite thing to do is drawing (and animation). I spend tons of time drawing, and I often livestream onto YouTube. I like it that I have over 70 subscribers on my YouTube account. Sometimes my subscribers ask me to create a character or drawing for them.
  • I kinda like writing. I am writing two books on Wattpad. They are the same story told from a different character’s perspective. Sometimes it is hard keeping the stories coordinated. I get lazy, and sometimes don’t write anything for a while.

Good Things

  • I get to do a lot of things that I like to do
  • It’s less boring than school
  • I get to choose my own friends
  • I get to stay up later than most of my friends

Bad Things

  • My Mom is a bit of a Dragon Mum. She is always hassling me to do things. She doesn’t know all the stuff that I do, and I don’t think she really cares because she is so busy with her work.
  • My friends are stuck in school all day
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