On Twitter some weeks ago I received an offer for an advance reading copy of “The Boy Who Played with Fusion.” It was the subtitle that threw me: “Extreme Science, Extreme Parenting and How to Make a Star.” Please, I thought, not another book about how parents can turn their children into geniuses. But then I came across the author Tom Clynes (@TomClynes) on twitter again (being all #gtchat and #STEM and #Science) and I realized this might be different. This guy seemed to know what he was talking about. Perhaps the book isn’t about how to make a star but about how to make a star!
Within days I received my copy and packed it away for an upcoming trip. Once I picked it up I simply couldn’t put it down. I wish I could say it was about an exceptionally gifted boy (Taylor Wilson) who was given the room to run and conjured a small sun on his kitchen table. But it was so much more than that. For a self-confessed math-not it was a journey through the annals of modern day physics and all the promise that field holds. It was a reunion with old acquaintances – touchstones with the thought leaders in the field of gifted education. And it was an affirming treatise to all parents raising children who leap ahead of the rest and who constantly thirst for more to give them more in any way you can. “Intellectual Spoiling” may become my new catchphrase.
Recently, thirteen thousand students in seven states were asked to describe their experience as gifted children in one word. The most common response was “waiting.” They said they were waiting for teachers to move ahead, waiting for classmates to catch up, waiting to learn something new – always waiting.” Tom Clynes
How many times have you told your gifted child or student that next year will be better? Guilty. Kudos to the Wilsons for getting it right. Kudos to Clynes for bringing the story to light. And kudos to all the folks, mentors, educators and peers along the journey. A must read.