Gifted Soup: Thinking Outside the Soup Pot
I have always loved the story of stone soup creation. With two identified gifted kids, it has taken on new meanings for me as a parent. While everyone brings something to add to the soup pot, I have to picture my 13-year-old son bringing in extra stones to add to the thermal density of the soup pot while criticizing the lack of a guiding recipe and the overall ingredient mix. My 10-year-old daughter would just refuse to participate at all and instead choose to bring desserts, spoons, bowls and napkins.
As I sat down to write this first blog entry, I thought about how both of my kids in their quirky giftedness would not just bring an ingredient and move on. And yet, they still are part of the intrinsic value of the story. Because of my oldest child, the soup would be the exact right temperature and perhaps not too heavy on okra. My daughter would satisfy the sweet tooth of the hypothetical village while keeping their fingers clean. They would both pack up bowls of soup for their gifted peers that decided to stay home reading instead of attending the soup ceremony. Sometimes gifted kids just jump straight into the soup pot and stand waiting for their next move or a reaction. Sometimes, they don’t get to eat from the same soup as everyone else because they are way too early to the line and there is only a rock in the pot.
My son isn’t allowed to make “real” soup anymore because he has nearly set the microwave on fire many times but can do advanced calculus without faltering. If your microwave is coated in a scorched soup experiment or you have a gifted child in your classroom with a pile of rocks and no place to put them, I am your Julia Child for gifted kids. Not every week will be about the Joy of Gifted Kids. Some weeks may be the stark reality of difficulties in differentiation or asynchrony or assessments. My children do provide me with a parental perspective on the world of gifted kids but I also come at this as an educator. After I get the microwave cleaned up and Kahn Academy queued up, I will bring parents and educators practical ideas and ways to guide and learn about gifted kids. All the while still knowing when to just stir the soup pot and tell them to sit down and eat.