By Carole Rosner
Every gifted child has a unique story. The following story is part of a series of posts highlighting gifted children and adults we have found through IEA programs, depicting the many faces of gifted. Academy – mentioned in this story – provides young students with challenging enrichment classes that focus on exploration and application of knowledge.
Although Arden is not yet six years old, he’s already been interviewed by the Los Angeles Times, met Al Gore, been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live twice, and received a personal letter of encouragement from Bill Clinton. Arden garnered this attention because of his love and extensive knowledge of world geography and presidential history.
Arden also loves Goosebumps, Bill Nye The Science Guy, and his first IEA Academy class, “Looking for Shakespeare.” This class is designed for slightly older elementary aged students, but Arden seemed to fit right in. “My favorite part was the big performance and the theatre games,” he explained. “In the ‘All the World’s a Stage’ scene, we all enacted the seven stages of man, doing different movements in a group. That was fun.”
Louise Hindle, IEA’s Academy Coordinator, loves seeing the students develop and thrive in the Academy classes. She described Arden as “a little dynamite with an astonishing memory. He played Puck and memorized and acted a whole speech, complete with full costume and makeup to depict his character – a true sprite of the woods!”
When Arden was in preschool, he regularly gave presentations in class about “passion projects” he was exploring outside of school. It became clear that Arden had a thirst for learning that was very different from his age mates. His parents discussed his education with the school district and eventually decided to homeschool Arden for Kindergarten this year.
Arden’s homeschooling has gone well so far. His dad, Casey, teaches Arden art and music before going to work, and his mom, Lynn, supports Arden’s homeschooling the remainder of the time, “including all the prep work each night after the kids are asleep,” Casey says. Lynn describes homeschooling Arden as “exhilarating, sometimes exhausting, and always worth it.” And, Casey says, “Arden is happy, engaged, and proud to home-school.”
IEA offers a variety of Academy classes for students in Kindergarten through 6th grade, and new options are always being added into the schedule. This session Arden will be taking “Art of Film” and “Primary Advanced Math.” “Art of Film” is brand new and is the very first class IEA has been able to offer specifically for homeschooled students. “Primary Advanced Math” is part of a newer series of classes designed specifically for Kindergarten through 2nd graders.
Arden’s parents explained how the family discovered IEA, saying, “Early in our research we learned about organizations that offer resources and opportunities to meet other kids in similar situations. We came across IEA and found Arden could take classes with students who are a range of ages and learn from experts in their fields. For us, IEA is proving to be an integral piece to the puzzle; a lovely enhancement to his home-schooling.”
Arden regularly takes sports, dance, music, and yoga classes. He has recently been accepted to the Davidson Institute Young Scholars Program. He loves museums, riding his scooter and bike in the park, playing with friends and his sister and going on family road trips. He hopes to one day be an architect and cartographer.
Take a look at Arden’s appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live!