Let Kids be Kids


Dear Dr. Linda,

I have a question for you, that is very much like some of the Q&A you publish. So, here are the facts: Ava (who is 11) is gifted in the math department. She gets math concepts quite easily and quite early. Unfortunately, math at school bores her as they keep repeating stuff and stuff that she understood two to three years ago. We’ve tried since third grade to get the school to give her more advanced work, but they have essentially been unwilling or unable to do it.

Last year, we tried something different. We enrolled her in a Saturday math program taught by people who are really gifted in math. The program is for fifth graders through high school. She did it from fall of 2016 until now. The class met for two hours every Saturday and there were two hours of homework each week that the kids were to do mostly themselves. I worked with her on the homework on Sundays for an hour, and then she did about a half hour more herself during the week.

Sign Up for E-News

We met with her teacher from this class for a parent-teacher conference. He told us that she has potential but that if she really wants to go further, she needs to really focus. He told us that she has done well, but a lot of it is based on what she knows how to do and not much based on learning new ideas. Being in the program was interesting to her, but she’s into soccer and hanging with friends and, as the teacher put it, she is not as “nerdy” as the rest of the kids.

Last month, she had to take a test to determine what, if anything, she would do next year, and she didn’t pass the test. She has the option of taking the test again in September, but for her to take the September test and have a good chance at qualifying, we would need to spend a lot of the summer preparing her. Between camp and vacation, we’re not sure when there will be time to study for the test.

Next year in her school, there will be one section for advanced kids and three regular sections. She’s been placed into the advanced section. We don’t expect big changes, but math class will certainly be better than this year.

We are leaning toward her not trying to do the outside program next year. While we want her to excel, we also want her to be a happy, well-rounded kid. But we are a little torn—we start thinking about high school and college and wonder if we need to push her on academics, even if it means she has more homework and less time to chill. What do you think we should do?


Dear Bret,

I can give you a quick answer. I’d do exactly what you’re leaning toward—drop the course and go with soccer. We’re not creating robots. Children have emotional, social and physical needs as well as academic. She’s entitled to enjoy her childhood. And her gift in math isn’t going to go away. No matter what age we are, the window to learning is always open.

Go with who your child is, not what you think she is or who you want her to be. And who knows? Maybe there’s a soccer scholarship in her future!

Happy Father’s Day,

Dr. Linda

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


I Do Not Make Stuff Up!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote in my column, “Watergate analogies apply to Obama, not Trump,” that President Obama’s Justice Department planted a spy in the Trump campaign. I said I used the term “spy” because this was a counter-intelligence operation, not a criminal investigation, where the term informant would have been proper.

That statement has been brought ...

Here's What You Missed Last Week

Last week, the Daily News ran a headline, “When is our father coming home?” This dealt with a person here illegally, married to an American woman with a family, who was arrested at an Army base while delivering pizza. You are supposed to think that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), under Trump, is tearing families apart. As usual, it was a crock of cow pies. It was ...

Reagan on Trump

The party of “Honest Abe” has now become the party of Dishonest Don, and what follows are some disturbing displays of a Republican Party that has become devoid of conscience:

• More than 4,600 American citizens dead in Puerto Rico—a postscript to the government’s abysmal response to the widespread devastation of Hurricane Maria; 
• The underhanded ...

The Rich Get Richer, and We’re Paying For It

According to a Harvard University study published late last year, most Americans believe that the richest 20 percent of Americans own just half of the nation’s wealth. Wrong! The top 20 percent own 93 percent of the nation’s wealth, and the top 1 percent own 40 percent of that wealth. Additionally, the top 10 percent of earners in 2017 took home more than half the nation’s ...

What Kind of Sports Parent Are You?

Social media recently showered a lot of likes and love on a high school pitcher in Minnesota whose team was playing in a regional final that would send the winning team to the state championship game.

After the last batter of the game struck out, the pitcher did something unheard of. Rather than spontaneously join his teammates in an on-field celebration, as is customary, the pitcher ...

Competing—Against Yourself

This is the time of year when students are recognized at public ceremonies for notable achievements in their studies, their sports and in their extracurricular pursuits.

Where we live, there are awards in various sports that are named for our son, who also is memorialized by town ballfield Harrison Apar Field of Dreams and a charitable foundation of the same name.

Due to a rare dwarfism, ...

Packing Heat

“Are you leaving me?” asked my husband one night as he surveyed the contents of my closet on our bed.

“What? No!” I said. “Why would you think that?”

“Every single article of clothing you own is laid out on our bed,” he replied. “So I have to assume you are either leaving me or you have joined the armed services and if that’s the ...

I Come from the Land Down Under

I know this is a family column, so I’m going to put this in as delicate terms as possible.

This morning I woke up and I knew, as sure as the sun shines over Bora Bora, that something was very, very wrong in that place in my body where the Bora Bora sun doesn’t shine.

It’s that place I used to refer to my daughter as her hoo-hoo. But it certainly wasn’t a happy ...

Upcoming Events


Wed, June 27, 9:00 AM

Putnam County Department of Health, Brewster

PCDOH Free HIV Testing Day

Health & Wellness