I have often found that mothers with gifted kids and/or homeschooled kids tend to be research fiends. We manage to gather many facts about programs, opportunities, and requirements. We amass huge amounts of data.
We also talk to anyone who has a view on a subject that might impact our children. Unfortunately there are many very opinionated moms who will tell you just exactly how things should be done. Unfortunately, they tend to be in leadership positions in the homeschool coop or in state organizations.
Eventually, we have read, and heard, and discussed so many things with so many people that we can become confused and lose our ability to distinguish the voice of credible experience from the voice that is just loud. We need to differentiate between the “signal” (an accurate conclusion based on good information) and “noise” (random unsubstantiated material that can lead you down rabbit trails).
I’ve known some people and some online forums where there is much more noise than signal.
For our kids to be successful, we need to learn to filter the onslaught. Take a very objective look at the children of those offering you advice. You might notice character flaws, bad attitudes, poor academic performance, or few college options. It quickly becomes apparent that their results don’t back up their assertions. Stay away from these “helpful” people.
Other times a parent’s results have been successful, but they maintain that there is only one path to that success. They might tell you they know exactly why an admissions committee chose their child or that everyone must have 200 community service hours to be considered for (fill in the blank) college. This misinformation is noise of the worst kind.
Learning to identify (and discard) the noise in your life might just be one of the most important things you do for your children.
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