Originally Posted by christinemm
Hello, I homeschooled my kids from birth. With homeschooling you can do a lot in a short time which leaves the majority if the day for play that is so necessary for brain and social development. I was not in the camp of pushing formal academics down to little kids yet what we did in our normal living and a few special homeschool planned activities was more than the preschool and elementary kids did in school! My 2 kids are bright and bith have high ams for their futures. They are 12 and close to 15 now, rising grade 10 and 7.
If your daughter learns and remembers so easily then homeschooling would be a breeze for you and enriching for her.
With after schooling academics at home you take time away from doing other things, yet if all she was doing after school was something sub-par like watching tv then it would be better but I bet that is not how you have her spending her time. If you try after schooling you will see how much can get done with 1:1 teaching then you may ask yourself why waste the bulk of a day in school if she can learn more a home with you in a couple of hours!
Homeschooling is a big responsibility that not everyone wants to take on, but remember you can always try it and quit if it is not working out. You can try it for 1 year, you do not have to commit for the whole 12 grades!
Good luck with the decision.
Originally Posted by pigpokey
She doesn't know what it would be like; are you familiar enough with her options to convey it to her? "Home schooling" is not a very descriptive phrase because it is so individual to each family.
Originally Posted by romacox
Trust your instincts. Mothers have an intuitive sense when it comes to their children, and no one knows them better than you.. Some schools offer gifted classes. If your school does not, there should be schools near by that do. Because your child is gifted, they usually make allowances.
Originally Posted by Linda on the move
My thought is to enrich her life with open ended, project based learning.
- Visiting museums, historic sites, galleries, nature areas, etc on weekends and during the summer
- Play board games and doing puzzles together (board games are a GREAT way to build math skills in a mellow way)
- Listen to different kinds of music together (for a while, we listened to classical music during dinner, listening to one composer for a while until they had a feel for him, and then moving on. My kids also enjoyed the Beethoven Lived Upstairs series of CDs.
- Visit the library together weekly and bring home books on things that seem interesting to her at the moment.
- Encourage her to take classes in an area that delights and challenges her -- such as foreign language or music or horse back riding. Whatever. It's all good. I do think it's overall good for a child for whom school comes easily to have SOMETHING in in their lives that they have to work at, preferably something they enjoy and value. Or else they risk thinking that everything is supposed to be easy for them and then getting all freaked out when they finally come across something that requires effort. Learning to take joy in effort is part of what sets a kid up for a happy adulthood. (some kids find Sports or Music as the best way to add challenge to their lives)
- Doing projecty things together -- such as growing a garden, cooking, building things, sewing, whatever. These are all quite educational.
- Providing open-ended obviously educational things for your child -- something like a circuit set or other hands on science or math materials.
- Although I'm not a huge fan of anything that that resembles school at home for kids who've already spent the day in school, there are a couple of math resources that I really like for younger children. Family Math (which is a big book full of hands on games and activities) http://www.amazon.com/Family-Math-Jean-Kerr-Stenmark/dp/0912511060
- Miquon Math (which is a math program designed to be used in gifted pullout programs starting in first grade, but is very popular with homeschoolers) Miquon is oddly open-ended for a workbook. I also like it because it fosters a different way of thinking about math, not just moving faster. http://www.sonlight.com/miquon.html
- Keep reading to your child. Even though she reads well on her own, read wonderful books to her ANYWAY as a shared experience. I personally think this is one of the best things we can do with our kids, gifted or not.
I don't mean this to be a list of what you *should* do (you would drive yourself and your daughter crazy. ) Rather, as some ideas to get your creative juices flowing about possible ways to enrich your DDs life and foster her learning. I believe that learning can be a delight, and that it naturally is for children. I personally don't believe that the kind of activities on this list would harm a child who is spending the day in school, unless they are undertaken in a forceful rather than a joyful way. Pick and chose, and help your DD find her bliss.
We've homeschooled, used traditional public school, and my kids currently attend a project-based private school. Both my kids learn better in a group. They are more motivated and energized. I'm also more ready to engage in the kind of things listed above when I get real breaks for them. Different things work for different kids and different families, and even at different stages. But school CAN work, and you can actively engage with your child in interesting ways in the off times.
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree
I think it's possible to do academic enrichment outside of school in a positive and beneficial and engaging manner.
The key is finding activities that your child enjoys and wants to do. I'd pay attention to what your child is interested in and let her lead you as much as possible.
Children who are engaged in learning often don't distinguish between "academic" and "fun" activities - they have fun doing academic activities. To them, it's all just part of life.
These kids like to explore academic subjects, sometimes by themselves at home and sometimes in organized programs. They may be enthusiastic about the opportunity to participate in a different venue. Especially because they are learning along with a group of peers who are also interested in the topic and having fun too. Learning about amphibians and reptiles can be pretty cool if you get the chance to do it at summer camp at the zoo with a bunch of kids who also love slimy, scaly critters. History can be a little more fascinating if you are spending time with the mummies at the museum during a Saturday morning program, getting behind-the-scenes access that isn't available to regular visitors.
My kids learned about Shakespeare at an after-school program at the library and also by attending performances at an outdoor theatre in the park every summer, starting when they were in elementary school. They had a lot of fun with Shakespeare long before it became an assigned topic in English lit. so they don't have the same antipathy that I see in so many who first encounter the plays in school.
I wouldn't avoid all academic enrichment after school. I would just be careful about selecting the activities and make sure they are appealing to your DD. If you are looking for organized activities, I'd seek out quality programs with good instructors.
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree
To be fair, there were a few posts with generally discouraging statements about the idea of academic enrichment or afterschooling. Some people may not read further or consider that it is possible, even with a structured program, to find an inspiring or engaging connection between what a child is learning in school and what they do out of school.
OP, your DD sounds a lot like my children at that age. They were excited and interested in what they discovered at school and wanted to share it and learn more when they got home. The school lessons on different topics were often a springboard to a deeper and broader exploration at home. Sometimes we used school-like resources (children's encylopaedias, workbooks, computer games) to fill that need. Sometimes they joined after-school or weekend or summer camp programs. As long as it's child-led and you are sensitive to whether she starts losing interest or becomes overwhelmed, and she's otherwise enjoying a mix of open-ended, unstructured activities, it's all good.
Okay wow, that was a lot of help and support. Thank goodness for all of you guys it really helped me understand what type of environment I am looking to create for my daughter at home, my desire to keep her in school, as well as my hope to enrich her academically according to what she is interested in.
@ Christinemm My daughter does have some television time PBS kids or some sort of nature or science based show, for example we watch the entire Frozen Planet over a number of weeks. But usually after school she goes straight to her room and chills out over books. Those books are typically science based, her favorites are her animal atlas and world atlas. She also enjoys reading her books about history and myths. She enjoys doing science projects, she has a book filled with them. I was interested in way to develop this natural interest that was clear.
@Pigpokey I don't think my daughter is interested in being home schooled because that means she will no longer be in class with her Friends, no more recess with friends, no more group projects with friends, no more field day, field trips, or class parties with friends. Yes she can make more friends, and even maintain the ones that she does have, but she will no longer be in school with them, I know my daughter and that would devastate her.
@Romacox Thanks for that, sometimes I forget that, I have done well with her so far, she is an awesome kid, naturally curious about the sciences & literature, today she has a ballet recital as well, and I just sometimes forget this fact, in my district the gifted program does not start to 3rd grade, so I am going to keep looking and pressuring the school. Thanks again.
@ Linda on the move The first four of your bullet points are somethings we have been doing since she was about 3 years old. We continue to do them now. The fifth one though really struck me. She was in karate a couple years ago and quit, she felt it was to hard for her and we let her quit, she has been in ballet for a year, it has been challenging for her and she has not given up, but I am going to see what else she is interested in, I think Chorus and maybe even horseback riding, I am going to talk to her and see what she is interested in. Also the suggestion to get open ended things like a circuit board or something like that are things I hadn't;t thought of, I will do that! I will also look into that math program, and your right about reading I totally agree with you, I will continue to read to her :) I enjoy just as much as she does! Thank you so much for your support, I really like how you added at the end that it's possible for school to work and I can still engage my daughter in the off times. Thanks so much!!!
@ollyoxenfree I totally agree with letting her lead, she always has done that. You are so right about her play, academic and fun are not separate to her, they are the same thing!!! I am so excited you get that, so many people just don't!!! OMG I was so relived to find that other people see that! Your entire post spoke volumes to me, it was just so what I was looking for. My daughter loves science, she loves learning about the world, the countries, the cultures, everything. I took her to the Art Museum, she fell in love with Van Gogh, so she wanted to learn more about him. I guess what I am saying is that I just want to be able to clearly pull all these things together for her in an engaging way, I want to be able to connect the dots and manage it all, she loves it, sometimes I have it all together and sometimes I don't and she just wants more. Once she came home and asked me about DNA well, I am a Human Development student, not a Geneticist, I had to tell her we would have to look it up, so together we researched DNA and learned about all these different things which of course she expected me to expand on, lol I couldn't but that God for Khan Academy, because I was able to search for what she wanted to know and get it to her :)
I really appreciate all the comments here. I have a lot to think about. If anyone here knows of a home school program I could at least loosely follow so that I could teach her in a linear way about science, history, etc let me know. Of course it'll be in an unschool style, but it will have a structure, the material anyways :) She still looks forward to coming home and learning about something new or doing a science project or cooking with me etc, and I would like to have some materials prepared :)