Saturday, June 26, 2010

The value of Science - Alex at the Chabot Planetarium

Alex wanted to go to a local planetarium.  He enjoys science.
 This provided a hands on chance for the physical sciences
as well as some cosmology film presentations.

The value of science lies in the very process... Objective Reasoning.
 The process of taking into account the variables and applying correct reasoning
 to arrive at the most plausible explanation (your hypothesis). 

A hypothesis is arrived at, either through finding a causation
through a correlation of known variables (empirical  evidence)...
or by deducing the unknown variables through the known 
and seeing what must be left in order to fill in the known parameters
(theoretical evidence)
or by a combination of the two.

Successfully testing the Hypothesis, either through correct reasoning...
or empirically...results in a Theory.

The theory evolves from the hypothesis when using the evidence, in the set parameters...
a prediction of future behaviors or the explanation of events coincides with the hypothesis...
time and again ...without exception.

Proof is only when ALL possible variables are accounted for, and equated...
 in all possible circumstances.

Correct reasoning is simply:

Correct premise
Correct logic
Correct conclusion derived directly from the logical argument

The goal of science in practical terms:

To explain:

 To know what is, or, what was, compared to what is...
 to be able to accurately predict what is to be.

To Do:

Being able to correctly see what the problem is....
Being able to find the most efficient, and so, effective means of correction....
Being able to apply the correction at the highest sustainable rate
 to ensure the highest rate of change.

To Discover:

To find the answers to questions we do not yet have.

This is the essence of science.

It is fluid unless solidified by proof.
As new evidence appears (new variables introduced) the outcome changes
to accommodate the empirical evidence.

A theory is the most plausible explanation for the evidence given in a set parameter.
It is not an absolute law under all circumstances as it would evolve to proof.

Science is not, therefore, absolute truth.  It never claims to be.
True science is self correcting.

Science is the method to achieve truth.

These things have been taken out of our schools.
 It is the bedrock upon how we relate with our world.

Objective Reasoning and the Scientific Method

The way to know what was...what is...what is to be.

The greatest gift you can give your children:
 The ability to correctly reason...for with that...
they may be able to give themselves all they will ever need or want.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kinesthetic Training II - Heavy Bag

Alex's first heavy bag lesson 
(bag gloves shall be used later - initially it is important to ensure correct bone alignment in the wrists before much force is used)

Alex learning proper bone alignment to prevent self injury and to maximize transmission of force.  Heavy bag training teaches correct body mechanics:  bone alignment, economy of motion, balance in motion, application of force and relaxation under stress.  With longer sessions, he will gain stamina and endurance.  

Kinesthetic Training I is Power Lifting - basic training of power from the ground up.  Strengthening of the tendons, ligaments, muscles and the nervous system.  It teaches the body to operate as a single unit and to toughen it to endure the subsequent training (Kinesthetic training II).

Kinesthetic Training II - The Heavy Bag

 The proper application of power, and, just as importantly, the proper mind set of assertion is the goal.

Assertiveness is protecting your yard.
Aggressiveness is forcing yourself into someone else's yard.

As he is gentle in nature, others may seek to dominate him.  Proper mind set combined with the proper tools to be able to protect himself, as well as his future family, is vital to him as a future man.  A properly assertive man is an asset to himself, and so, to the others around him.  He is able to defeat the aggressive ones as he has morale righteousness.  This gives him the will and strength to overcome the unrighteous ones.  The bully relies on intimidation.  He tries to pick on those he perceives as weak in constitution.   Through proper training, his confident posture and walk will exude strength of mind and body.  This alone will keep most bullies at bay.  Should it not, he shall be able to make it too costly to bullies to pick on him. 

Again, it is assertiveness that he shall be taught.  It is a basic moral that applies to everything in life.  With inner strength, he can afford to be gentle because he wishes to, not because he has to be.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

From Classroom to Library

The Classroom as used when he had ABA.

The old Classroom - the new Library.
Alex's resource center.  His mother keeps it stocked with up to date academic, as well as, free reading books.  She is constantly searching for new and interesting titles online.

A room filled with advanced books and knowledge of the ages.  

A closet filled with board games.

A place that Alex can go at any time to pick out a book to free read.  He reads many hours every day and then writes a report on each finished book.  His mother makes sure it is in the same format as is used in schools.  He loves his books and gets excited whenever a new shipment arrives.

He has a separate book shelf in his bedroom for his bedtime books.  Every night for 1 - 1.5 hrs he reads and is read to by his mother - he loves falling asleep listening to his mother's voice as she reads to him.  A night time ritual that has gone on since before he was born (being read to - even in the womb).

Reading to him when he is young teaches him pacing, rhythm, pronunciation, intonation...etc.  Language becomes intuitive.  This is learning by "Osmosis".  An intuitive grasp of the language as a conglomerate.  From the beginning - cuddle up with him and show the words as you read them, with your finger, then put his finger on top of yours so he may learn to follow.  He will soon be able to use his own finger to follow as you read to him.  He will notice the ever repeating patterns.  Phonics will make sense to him before he is officially taught them.  Do it every night at the same time and you will have made bedtime a fun ritual for both, mother and child.  Allow other concerns to supercede the ritual and you are, in effect, telling him that the all important ritual...the key to his, well, maybe not so important.  Make it a sacred time and he shall consider it a sacred time.

A correct habit, initiated early, becomes a ritual.  A reading ritual is a path to knowledge, as well as the start to correct study habits.  A correct study habit is a key to his future, a vital moral, and a correct path in life.

A correct path in life is a Positive Spiral.
When a child realizes he can do anything he sincerely practices, the world opens up to him.

The key to learning is the quantity of quality.

Know the founding principle.
Repetition of the principle (any and all variants incorporated) until complete understanding is achieved.
Correct application of the principle.
Mastery of the concept - move on - review concepts periodically to be certain of retention.

As with anything in life, pacing is vital.

Pacing:  The sustained speed necessary to achieve the goal.

The operative words: Sustained Speed - something that can be done on a daily basis for the duration to effect a change.

Know the minimum pace - never fall below it.  The goal becomes a foregone conclusion.

Any sustained speed above the minimum will effect a more rapid change - your goal is achieved more quickly.

The goal becomes a passion, and so, pleasurable.  They have control over their destiny and how quickly it comes.  They then own it - it becomes a part of them.  Try to force the pace and the natural tendency is to slow down.  Allow them to speed up on their own and the natural tendency is to speed up.  Praise them heartily when they do so.  They are then setting their own goals - it becomes a matter of true pride.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Positive Reinforcement - Positive Spiral

Whether temperament is nature or nurture - your growing child responds best to Positive Reinforcement.  Any fool can say "No".  That tells the child nothing other than it was the wrong choice.  Teach him the principle so he may not only figure it out for himself that time, but in all similar instances.  You will have given him a valuable tool that he may carry in his ever ready tool box.  This will give him confidence (True confidence - not the mind numbing stupidity of PC feel good "empowerment").  Remember - Positive Reinforcement is praise for a job well done.  Praise him and he shall strive for excellence.  Praise him for a mediocre job and he shall strive for mediocrity since it is the path of least resistance.  

The path of least resistance is the path water takes.  It is at the mercy of the mountain (challenges in life), allowing itself to be diverted, split and to be run in circles (by giving way to obstacles instead of overcoming them as challenges).  It also never flows upward (towards the goal - it merely flows down and away from it).  Kids who drop out of life take on the aspects of water.  Running away from the obstacles in their lives instead of overcoming them.  

There are but two basic drives in humans:
The pursuit of pleasure
The aversion to pain
This concept, while simple, is vital to understand.  
 It is also the key to teaching your child.

Positive Reinforcement is aimed at the pursuit of pleasure principle.  He loves the feeling of accomplishment and the good feelings from the ancillary attention he receives, as well as other more tangible rewards from the good results.  He yearns for Positive Reinforcement.  You give it to him.  Both of you become of like minds, and so, are working together.  He learns to hunt for challenges in life as he knows the pleasure to be had from them.
It becomes internalized at this point and, with little care, remains an inner drive.  That is why nothing breeds success more than success.  Once your child has a taste of winning, of having overcome great struggles and sacrifices to achieve a goal, he forever knows he can do it again.  Life becomes boundless and he realizes new horizons.  Life becomes an adventure, and so, a pleasure. 
He will have entered a Positive Spiral.

Weight Training
Positive Spiral in all its simplicity.
A little pain for a short time.
Great rewards for a long time.
He learns the great growth to be had from the momentary discomfort.
He looks forward to the next workout as he knows he will emerge stronger.
He learns to love the discomfort as he sees this as the path to greatness.
He feels himself a Titan among mere mortals.  He knows he has taken a step toward mastering himself...and so, his world.  Life is wonderful all the time; something to look forward to and to fully experience.
He is then on a Positive Spiral.
Negative Spiral in all its simplicity.
A little good feeling for a short time.
Great pain (psychological/physical) for a long time.
They crave some kind of good feeling as it is generally absent in their lives.  It is quick and easy and involves no immediate sacrifice.  They feel a false high;  a momentary hollow victory over the pain of a bleak outlook in life.  They then feel listless and empty for many times the hours of the good feeling.  Most of their lives are wasted - and when they realize it has become too late to make any great changes in their lives...the pain worsens...the need for more drugs increases.  Their lives are filled with anxiety and pure dread trying to fulfill the need for the next artificial high except for the all too brief good feeling of the drug.  Life is dreaded and empty.  Life gets tougher and more painful as it ticks by.  They merely wish to stop feeling bad all the time.  They no longer care about feeling good.
They are on a Negative Spiral.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

No Babbling...No Cooing

From birth till over 3 years old he was non verbal. 
Throughout his Infant and Toddler stages, he made no babbling or cooing noises. 
He only had this deep, almost guttural cry, when he had a need. 
His mother had taught him basic sign language so he could ask for basic needs.

He was a very alert baby.  He was fascinated by letters and numbers.

We kept him engaged through ever changing and ever growing educational stimuli, all of which engendered growth of the synapses.  With stimuli, each involved neuron grows more and stronger connections.  Without adequate stimuli, the brain prunes the "unnecessary" connections.  The ages 0-5 are considered the formative years with the full cognitive capabilities not ripening until 8 or so.  

Do not let anyone tell you differently - A child needs adequate cognitive, as well as physical stimulation, to properly develop.  The more nurturing a child has, the more neuronal connections he shall develop, and so, he shall be able to reach his full potential.  Merely "adequate" stimuli keeps major pruning at bay, but, if it is your goal to just keep your child from becoming deficient in some way, you are wasting your time reading further.  You have obviously put yourself before your baby, and not the other way around.  You won't do what is necessary to have your child flourish.

I must stress this point - A child needs to have constant and vigilant care.  True Motherhood demands a woman who has mastered herself.  She must be an Internal Warrior.  She must have, or quickly develop: endurance, adaptability, patience, tenacity (she must be able to always win the inevitable battle of wills with her ever burgeoning child), emotional stability, and intelligence.  A Mother is the Master Instructor, Nurse, Educational Researcher, Nutritionist, Psychologist....etc.

Day care has become a euphemism for child neglect.  They merely warehouse.  Many children are left to "play" all day.  They cannot fully develop your child's potential.  No one can do so, nearly so well, as a true mother.  If you are a single mother, or father, with no family connections and must work, then it is a necessity, and then it cannot be helped.  Just be sure you cover their homework and read to them every night.  Do the advanced work on the weekends.

 Hard truth.  But so is the number of children being left behind, in gangs, using drugs, dropping out of school....all of whom had gotten on a negative spiral, and had no guidance to get them on a positive one.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Amazing Alex - 4th Grade

Alex at a Christmas event.  Although he enjoyed certain things here, it will be our last year.  He,as well as I, hate crowds.  

Age 8 and 9 was when he started blossoming achievement wise.  He has always been extremely intelligent.  Its just that during 4th grade, a culmination of efforts led to a culmination of recognized achievements.
During 3rd grade, he had taken the Johns Hopkins University Talent Search testing (doing extremely well).
He was formally recognized in 4th grade.

In 3rd grade, he had gone to Dr. Palmers and had done extremely well.  This allowed his mother to apply for the Davidson's Institute Young Scholars Program.  He was accepted during 4th grade.  

He and a 6th grader won his school's 4-6 grade spelling bee.  It was after we had gotten home from this event that my wife had found our acceptance E-mail from the Davidson's Institute Y.S.P..  What a day!  We ate well that night - I believe Alaskan King Crab and Prime Rib.

A few months into 4th grade, we had gone to the formal Johns Hopkins University Young Talent Search awards ceremony and found out how well he had actually done.
Alex was given a special recognition award from his school district. 
A local reporter was there and Alex was in the newspaper.

He is now finished with 4th grade.  He shall be home schooled from now on.  His mother is now in S.A.T. preparation mode.  We hope to have him ready by 10 or 11 yrs. old.  We are striving to get him into the actual Davidson's Institute at the University of Nevada.  A high SAT score is only part of the requirements.

This is one free vocabulary builder that was recommended by a member of the  Davidson's Institute Y.S.P.
 Alex likes it.  It is a good S.A.T. vocabulary builder:

We shall keep him on a steady and nutritious diet of Positive Reinforcement, Love, an environment rich in Educational and Physical Stimuli, and Good Wholesome Food.  These in combination with plenty of quality sleep and the days interspersed with high quality fun - he can not help but reach his potential.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Amazing Alex - 1 In 10,000

Earlier this year (2010), the school called three days ahead of this event and asked that we (parents and Alex)
attend the District School Board meeting.  We didn't know what it was for.  Alex's Principal, Special Education Teacher, and the District's Special Education Director were among many that were there, along with a news photographer.  Alex, his Mother and I, were called up to the podium and a speech was given about Alex's achievement.  

All of the Board members shook Alex's hand.

Remember, Alex was in Special Education.  He is an Aspie (Asperger's syndrome - in the Autistic spectrum but normal to profoundly gifted - Twice Exceptional Child) - originally deemed as Autistic.

He has some deficits (more on that later - a separate page ) - but his mother is steadily working on them.  We have seen great results through her tutelage - Firm / Fair / Consistent - Positive Reinforcement

Johns Hopkins University Young Talent Search


Pictured here at the
Johns Hopkins University
Young Talent Search Awards

The Intellectual Olympics

In the first half of 2009...

 Alex took part in the Johns Hopkins University
Talent Search.  

All 50 States in the United States participate, as well as
118 other countries around the world.  

The requirements for participation
in the testing is to be in the gifted range 

through either performance or IQ testing.  
The J.H.U. testing is done with the child 
in a controlled setting at a special testing center.  

There, the child answers questions on
Comprehension and Quantitative Reasoning on a computer.

From there, only the Extremely or Profoundly Gifted 

 score high enough to be awarded the J.H.U. award.  
Alex scored high enough to receive the
award in both categories 

 (Comprehension / Quantitative Reasoning).

But it gets even better.......

In Quantitative Reasoning...
 essentially, figuring out how to 
apply math to a word problem...

 the children were given 50 problems 
and 22 minutes to complete them.  

Alex walked out of the testing in 8 minutes.  

We were worried that maybe Alex had rushed 
and hadn't double checked his answers.

Alex had gotten every single one correct...
however, we hadn't realized the significance of his score 
until we had gone to the ceremony on 11-07-09.

Remember, this was highly gifted math for 3rd graders...

 many grades ahead of 3rd grade.

We looked at the program guide...

Alex was to get a special second award
for Top Of The Nation in Quantitative Reasoning. 

Alex was one of only 29 Profoundly Gifted children 
in the 3rd grade in all of the United States 
to have scored in the uppermost percentile.  
This placed him in the most
gifted of all the gifted children.

Those whom had received the first award are...

Extremely Gifted.

Alex was in the 99.99 percentile - one in 10,000...

  Profoundly Gifted.

A proud Papa and a happy son.

Alex at the conclusion of the ceremony.

A parent at home
Early Intervention
Firm, Fair, and Consistent
 ABA Therapy...
Positive Reinforcement in all things and at all times
Steady and nutritional diet of wholesome food...
 Intellectual and Physical Stimuli
Set study habits early and do it daily...
 Parental guidance through study...
explain fundamental concepts
Give the love of learning through Positive Reinforcement 
Show your love in every way and every day

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

IQ testing from Dr. Palmer in Laguna Beach

Alex in the summer before 4th Grade at Laguna Beach.  His mother had researched IQ testing for Gifted Children.  It is very important to get a highly qualified tester.  He can bring out the best in a gifted child so he may perform at his optimal level.  My wife found Dr. Palmer, who is an author of books on this subject.  We had the greatest time at Laguna Beach (his office location).  We spent 3 days there.  The first day was Alex's testing.  Many hours long, but it was fun for Alex.  He is so funny - we, as his parents, suffered from stress before his testing.  Alex didn't.  He always seems so nonchalant before such testing.  Anyway, at the conclusion of his testing, Dr. Palmer briefed us on how well Alex had done.  We were especially elated because his scores qualified him to apply to the Davidson's Institute Young Scholars Program for the profoundly gifted.  The next two days were a celebration of his performance.  My head was swimming with all the doors open to him in his future.

More on Dr. Palmer:
When I had met him, I knew he was the right one.  He was gentle in nature and had an aura of quiet intelligence about him.  
Alex responded so well to him.  Dr. Palmer specializes in testing for gifted children - should you think your child is gifted - he is the one to go to.  The whole experience in Laguna Beach was so nice.

Alex enjoying a well deserved swim at the hotel pool.
We had some delicious crab cakes that night.  Alex loves seafood.
Alex at the hotel on the laptop.  He used it for the entire trip - all the way down - all his free time - all the way back up in the minivan.  He loves learning programs, free writing, and Sims games.

 Pismo Beach. 
Alex loves the ocean.  He certainly deserved an extra stop here.
  A lot of worries for my son's future were alleviated by his scores, and, with the realization of the expansion of the realm of his future.
My heart was soaring higher and stronger than the pictured kites.

Alex called the tickling of the bubbles on his feet - soda feet.  We had a great time here.

Alex on his beloved laptop on the way home.  He gladly sits and operates the computer on long drives.  His mind is always active.  Proper stimuli (educational materials which are also fun ) are the fertilizers for the virgin field of a child's mind.  Under a parent's warmth and guidance (the sun), a child cannot help but grow and, so, succeed.
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