Here’s an episode of 60 Minutes where there’s a kid who got put in special ed at school and survived. In fact, they think the kid is “on track to win a Nobel Prize.” But what 60 Minutes really wants you to realize is how great 60 Minutes is for telling you about how the kid was caged for his genius but is now doing typical genius activity.
You know what else is typical genius activity? Look at A Beautfiful Mind – the guy destroyed his marriage and his kid’s life over and over again. And look at Kay Jamison’s relentless study of some of our greatest artists and authors, Touched with Fire, which will not inspire you to wish for a genius child.
The hyperbole of 60 Minutes is only second to the insipid reaction from homeschooling parents: “Oh, my kid is a genius too and school was not good enough for him.” Look, genius is not a justification for homeschooling. Because the implication is that being a genius somehow makes a good life. Which it doesn’t of course.
So we don’t need to argue that homeschool decisions should be based on whether a child is potentially a genius because no decisions should be based on genius potential. Who cares if you’re a genius? Shut up and hold the door for someone.
Do you know how long it took me to brush my teeth every day? Until I was 27. Because I had two geniuses for parents. This is just one in a million examples of how much I am so sick of people talking about how we have to protect geniuses from school. Do geniuses not deserve to be in special ed but stupid kids do?
Shut up about your genius kids okay? Genius doesn’t get you anyting in adult life. We go through this all the time: the list of attributes that make a good life looks like grit, determination, resilience, kindness. Genius, or even extraordinary intelligence short of genius, is not on the list. What makes life good are just those traits, which are open to smart people and not-smart people but not people who go to school.