My Son’s Science Project Is Out of Control

I could’ve just as easily entitled this: What to Do When Your Gifted Child is Smarter Than You Are. It’s an idea and a concept that many parents of truly gifted children struggle with because the reality is that gifted children are often smarter than their parents in something. I still have things to teach him, but he will surpass mine, and my husband’s knowledge in science and math before he finishes high school. I am sure of it. He’s already challenging my ability to practically apply chemistry principles that I’m well familiar with.

So what do you do when your kid is smarter than you are?

Case in point: my son’s science project. Mind you, the science fair is several months away. We will not even begin to think about it until January. But we were discussing renewable energy and my son got an idea. He figures that if you create pressure. . .either by heating air where it cannot escape or by creating carbon dioxide where the gas cannot escape. . .and then suddenly releasing pressure. . .you could make a car go this way. In short, his idea is to make a car run on diet coke and mentos. And yes, this was his idea. (We did a diet coke and mentos experiment last year.)

Calling in the Big Guns

Now in case you didn’t realize it, a diet coke and mentos car is a little out of my league. Oh sure, I’m pretty good at chemistry but to actually figure out a way to unleash and control the power of diet coke and mentos in a way that propels a car where you want it to go. . .that’s an entirely different story.

My father in law on the other hand is a rocket scientist. Yes, that job really exists. He builds parts of space shuttles, and telescopes and he’s a master mechanic. But that’s really not the point. The point is that when you’re home schooling a child whose infinitely smarter than you are: call the big guns.

There are so many resources out there there’s really no excuse for not using them all. If you don’t know. . .someone else does. So find that someone else to answer your questions.

Ignore the Future

That sounds like strange advice but let me explain. The more my son talks about math and science stuff, the more people ask us what we’re going to do. What will we do when he gets to high school? What will we do when he gets to college? My answer is that I don’t know. I’m comfortable with this answer because the likelihood of laws changing and resources being made available by the time my son is in high school is pretty high. How do I know that he won’t be able to attend a few classes at community college or take AP classes for high school credit? I don’t. I am confident that we will find something to continually keep him challenged.

So even if your child is smarter than you are, rest assured, you can still home school him!

Related Articles:

Homeschooling My Gifted Son: The Basics

Homeschooling My Gifted Son. . .When the Others Are Not Part 2, Part 1

Why We Are Not Testing Our Gifted Son