article by Robin White Goode via blackenterprise.com
At 9, Harold Gregory Branch IV—whom everyone knows as Quatro—took the ACT and scored a 21. Yes, that ACT. He ranks in the top 10% in math in the nation. As far as giftedness, he is in the 99th percentile of the 99th percentile.
Now 10, Quatro is blessed in that he attends a private school for gifted kids on a college campus. Every day he tells his parents that he loves school. His first reading assignment? The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.
Quatro’s parents have been strategic about his education. One of the first things his mother said to me is that she and her former husband co-parent. Here are some ways Harold Branch and Rayco Branch work together to develop their son’s potential.
- Lay the foundation. They agreed to invest in their children’s (the Branches also have a gifted daughter) early education, rather than saving for college. “At 5 he started the Abacus rogram and piano.”
- Sacrifice. They prioritize spending on their children’s education. “We may sacrifice new shoes or a new car or a stylish purse, but Quatro’s in the Abacus program that everyone else said they couldn’t afford.”
- Take responsibility. “In this country the education system is broken,” says Harold, “but for people of color it’s devastating. Our state is 47th in education in the nation, so we expected the school to provide the skeleton, and we provide the rest. Rayco is an award-winning educator. She always had the kids doing worksheets that had them two years ahead.”