Encouraging Your Kids in School, Part 2

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Benjamin Lokshin plays the clarinet in the Reno Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. At age 13, Benjamin's not just musically talented, but has achieved academic success. He has skipped a grade and attends the Davidson Academy -- a school for the profoundly gifted at the University of Nevada, Reno.

"My English class was meant to be like a hybrid between high school and college, and I'm taking Spanish, high school Spanish," Benjamin said.

Benjamin has been working with UNR Biology Professor Stephen Jenkins on a special project. "To see somebody at this age have as much success and as much creativity as he does, it just is really exciting to imagine what's gonna happen when he is say 10 years from now," Jenkins said.

Benjamin's parents provide encouragement -- in particular, when it comes to reminding him to do homework, he said.

"I let him be the guide, so far there are times that he's a little overwhelmed but a lot of times where he still says: 'I'm not doing enough,'" Benjamin's mother, Mindy Lokshin, said. Mindy also said she tries to teach Benjamin not everything he does has to be "perfect."

Dr. Stephen Mayville, a clinical psychologist, said it is important parents do not have unrealistic expectations for their kids. Mayville said some parents pressure their kids to get into the most elite colleges, which can't admit everyone. "You can teach your kid that, that really they fail before they even take a class if you're not careful," Mayville said.

Mayville said it is helpful for kids to have activities outside of schoolwork. He added that having extracurricular activities correlates with achievement.

Benjamin makes time for his extracurricular activity: music. Tuesday morning he played for school children -- he even had a solo.

For one of the Reno-area's brightest youngsters, balancing school and extra curricular activities has helped him achieve an academic success many parents would envy.