Best of Both Worlds podcast: Mailbag part 2

A few weeks ago we tackled several listener questions in a mailbag episode — but there were so many great ones, we decided to keep going!

Today’s episode includes our advice for first time parents, our advice on transitioning from 1 to 2 kids (and 3 to 4 kids…I think that’s the first time we’ve gotten *that* question!), red-shirting kindergartners (with a diversion into the topic of acceleration), sick-day routines, tracking caregiver hours, and more.

Please give the episode a listen! We love to do mailbag episodes, so please keep the questions coming. You can always email me at laura at lauravanderkam dot com (or post as a comment). We keep questions anonymous unless the person indicates otherwise. If you found this episode helpful or entertaining, we’d appreciate a rating or review wherever you listen to podcasts.

5 thoughts on “Best of Both Worlds podcast: Mailbag part 2

  1. Hi! Love the podcast, thanks for all the helpful tips! For the listener who was wondering about “red-shirting” I’ve heard the best place to start is to talk to the child’s preschool teacher or school director, if the child is in preschool (similarly a daycare provider may be able to offer some guidance). Teachers and school directors have a lot of experience helping parents make these decisions — and while ultimately it’s up to the parents — they might be able to offer some good advice.

    1. For sure! We went to a seminar about this when my daughter was 4, and the great advice we got there was to see if there was a ‘cohort’ of kids with roughly similar birthdays (within a couple of months). That works for either accelerating or holding back, so your kid doesn’t stick out. My kids were on the older side, but their CA public school suggested acceleration, and now one is the youngest, but only by a few weeks. The other is at a school with a bunch of other 11yo 7th graders, so it works out just fine. I thought that was a good way to help decide too.

  2. Loved the segue into acceleration — and learning that my intro to your writing began back in 2005, Laura, with Genius Denied! Thank you for writing this book and sharing your perspective on acceleration. I’m a now-30-something who was twice accelerated during elementary and middle school, and agree that this can be a great option for kids who would otherwise be terribly bored in school. The downsides that are often worried about — driver’s licenses, dating, sports — were minor compared to the benefits of being with my peers and engaged in school. The Davidson Institute is a wonderful place — thank you Laura for working with them!

    1. @Marie – hey, glad you found my work back then! A very early example of it! And yes, they are wonderful people and the Davidson Institute is a wonderful place.

    2. Hi fellow twice-accelerated person! I love finding this out about people because I felt pretty alone at the time 😛 I agree, it was great for me academically and I did finally find “my people” in college, where there were 4 others who started at 16 and really it wasn’t a big deal.

      For anyone homeschooling highly gifted kids, I want to give a shout out to the Davidson online individual classes (Explore program). My daughter took 4 of them over 2 years and they were all excellent.

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