7th grader looking for a challenge takes college classes

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TWINSBURG, Ohio-- Middle school is a time when kids are just becoming teenagers and starting to figure out what they might want to do when their high school years are over.

In many ways Jameson Payne is a typical seventh grader at R.B. Chamberlin Middle School -- taking classes like language arts, algebra and phys. ed.

But Jameson says he found some of his classes boring, so he wanted a challenge.

"I got bored in my normal school last year, in the sixth grade; it got uninteresting, so I asked my mom, 'hey, mom, so you think I could email some professors asking if I could sit in one of their lectures?' and that failed miserably," said Payne.

"He is very intellectually inquisitive and aggressive and what we learned about him real quick is a lot of the questions he would ask were more than just middle school questions and they are great that he was so intellectually hungry, so we needed to find not only proper classes here but also other experiences outside of Chamberlin," said Vice Principal Mike King.

Jameson's mother, Bethany Payne, says she attended a meeting at which a college credit plus program was discussed. It gives qualifying students the chance to actually attend college level courses, and so she enrolled Jameson in classes at Kent State University.

"This all was on him. He's very intrinsically motivated.  This was not driven by us; we were just the information gatherers and, yeah, he is very self-motivated," said his mother.

Since then Jameson has attended classes including Molecules of Life, Seven Ideas that Shook the Universe, a physics class, general chemistry and a modern American history class.

"At first they get an initial shock; they are like, 'are you supposed to be here, or something?' The instructor sometimes checks the roster to check to make sure I'm in the class and then after a while they come to accept it," said Jameson.

"He's had to write college level papers and do college level homework so he's balancing the middle school homework load with the college level homework load, but it's fine; he's doing fine," said his mother.

Jameson says he fits in well with his classmates in college and would like to be able to get his bachelor's degree at the same time he graduates from high school.

"We have kind of had to put the brakes on a little bit, like in the fall we only allowed him to take one class because, you know, in his mind he's like, 'well, I'll just take all the classes in college,' we are like, 'well, no, you are a seventh grader; you need to experience being a middle school student as well,'" added his mother.​

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