“He was reading when he was one-year-old,” Nancy DuBois said of her son, Senior Robbie DuBois.
Robbie, along with his older brother, Joe DuBois, is exceptionally gifted.
“He worked with a professor from the University of St. Thomas and they tested his IQ and his grade level equivalencies and determined he should start school early,” Mrs. DuBois said. “I know when Joe was four, they tested his academic level and he was 10th grade, four months. They both are child prodigies by their IQs—they are [well] above the norm for IQs.”
Both Robbie and Joe attended Big Lake Elementary and Middle School before transferring to BHS. Even though they’re three years apart age-wise, Joe transferred after ninth grade, Robbie after eighth.
“Um, [we skipped] three each, although technically it isn’t as straight forward as just skipping,” Joe said. “It would be difficult to describe without a chart about what we did and did not do, but we never skipped a grade equally across.”
Mrs. DuBois described how these “skips” were early in their academic career.
“[Robbie and Joe] did kindergarten and first grade the first year in school,” Mrs. DuBois said. “The next year in second grade by Christmas time they tested him and decided he knew everything in second grade. The teacher didn’t think she could do anything for him, so they wanted to move him to third grade. He was about three years ahead then, which is about what he is now.”
High intelligence can pose unique challenges, however. Choosing to send Robbie ahead or keep him with his age group was a difficult decision; neither option was ideal.
“If you leave Robbie with age mates, by the time he was in school, he would be so far ahead and his language capacity at that age was so advanced that he couldn’t relate to kids his own age, so they thought that would be a problem,” Mrs. DuBois said. “They also thought there would be a problem if we were to accelerate, so everyone sat down and tried to figure out what was the worse of two evils.”
The decision was reached to accelerate Robbie, which has left him content.
“Yeah, I guess I’m happy,” Robbie said.