The Diamond-Studded Reward
Possibly the most important trait generated while children are grappling with the various challenges is the power quietly forming within each child: one that equals in value all the other benefits being gained. It’s a 'can do' attitude – the will, the drive, to press on, to persevere when others would admit defeat and give up. This force ignites the boost that propels intellectually-advanced children toward whatever lofty goal they aim for. They are programmed to succeed.
Other Meteoric Achievers
After two-year-old David McMillan had attended the Institute for eight months, his parents reported a surprising advancement in their son’s logical and critical thinking skills, in his ability to respond rationally to questions and situations, and in his newly acquired reading ability. When two-year-old Eric Furtado had attended the Institute for four months his parents reported, “He surprises not only us but others around him, not just with his extensive vocabulary, but also when he starts to read complicated words and books that his much older peers are unable to.”
When three-year-old Jalia Kanji had attended the Institute for four months her parents commented enthusiastically on their daughter’s new maturity, her surprising ability to converse with adults, and her newly-acquired reading skill. Though Jamie Kwong spoke only Chinese on enrollment, he was speaking excellent English four months later and his parents reported great progress in their son’s maturity, sociability, and attentiveness.
Children join us at every age. Shun Yao was five when he entered the Institute; a year later he was reading Grade 5 material – written for children age ten. Naturally, the longer that children remain at the Institute the greater their advancement. Nelson Zhang, Daniel Tao, and Stephen Zhao entered the Institute variously at age two and three, and in four years the trio were all reading and functioning at a Grade 11 level – that of children twice their age. When two-year-old Neena Allidina reached age four, she read thirteen books for our Readathon and, in class, was reading a Grade 3 science text (indicating skill well above a genius level). Two years after enrollment, Tamara Zimmerman, then age 4, was reading Grade 5 material, and two years later Tamara, age six, was reading books of 40,000-word length. Three-year-old Laurence Batmazian remained at the Institute for three years. At age six, he could read 100-page books without stopping. His parents reported, “He always impresses people with his ability to discuss subjects in a very mature manner, remembers conversations and discussions with enviable recollection of what was said and done, by who, and where.”
Some preschoolers attend the Institute just part time. Jemmy Liu, age two, attended three half-days a week but was soon half-way through our reading Primer. Jonathan McDonald, age 4, attended the Institute three days a week for two months, then switched to five days a week. At the end of seven months he was reading Grade 2 material. Jonathan’s parents described his progress as 'unbelievable'.
Graduates of the Institute are promptly accepted at schools requiring high academic achievement and in enriched programs for children with advanced abilities. When four-year-old Laura Florentino-Radzio began reading our Second Reader (Grade 4 material) she was following in the footsteps of three other children – known to her parents – who, after leaving the Institute, led their classes in other schools they had entered.
The remarkable achievements of our children, awesome to outsiders, are without wonder for our teachers who see these stellar performances every day. Though the idea easily emerges that very young children are engaged in a stressful round of intellect-raising activities, the notion is far from correct. Mind-expanding activities take just a few minutes each day; the rest of the time is given to matters common to nursery school programs: singing, story time, crafts, show and tell, and similar pursuits – with naps, of course, for children who need them.
The Ultimate Advantage
Finally, there is the matter of social skills – primarily good manners – that form an important part of the Institute program. If an intellectually accomplished child might be likened to a beautiful picture, then a suitably exquisite frame would be provided by maturity of conduct, propriety of thought and action, and concern and consideration for others. Outsiders sometimes inadvertently evaluate our success in instilling these traits. Andrea McIntyre, tour guide at Riverdale Farm observed, “Your children were the best group I’ve taken around the farm.” And after our children had visited the local library, the librarian reported, “Your children are more attentive and more responsive than other groups who visit us.”