Go Wide

One of the recommendations for gifted children is to “go wide and go deep.”  This means that instead of just going faster through material, to learn more about a topic (go deep) and to learn more about related topics (go wide).  This takes a lot of work for the teacher because most available curricula are not designed for children who can and want to do more.  Some topics are easier to find supplemental work for than others.  Math is one of the harder topics to supplement. 

It hit me last week just how early Dearie could finish the traditional high school curriculum.  She could be done with Calculus 1 by high school, then what?  I think that one of the things that really scared me about this was that I really did not like Calculus.  There are a lot of upper math classes that I really did enjoy, but not Calculus.  I don’t know how Dearie will feel about Calculus, but it seems a shame that it would be her only option. 

Yesterday, I found this article:
http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Resources/AoPS_R_A_Calculus.php  called “The Calculus Trap.”   Wow, someone put into words what I was feeling, and they had a solution!  The article explains how advanced children often have no option other than to go ahead to Calculus. This works for regular students because they really don’t have a lot of time to do anything else. But kids who finish algebra and geometry early, have time to study Discreet Mathematics. (I remember this as a fun class in college. They offer several Discrete Mathematics texts that can be used for home-school students. This is a perfect example of going wide. I am feeling a lot better about upper level mathematics for Dearie.


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