Does anyone homeschool their gifted child/ren? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 08-15-2011, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Being unable to get around the "must be 5 by August 31" to start Kindergarten in our area, I have decided to continue to "home school" my son, but a bit more formally than we usually do. I am wondering if anyone else has or is home schooling their gifted child in this group? I am sure I have seen some of you are, but don't remember which post it was in.

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#2 of 25 Old 08-15-2011, 09:23 AM
 
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I have homeschooled all my kids through their elementary years. So far they've all eventually chosen either part-time or full-time school at some point during the high school years. My kids are currently 8, 12, 14 and 17. We fell into homeschooling kind of for the opposite reason you have: because school started too soon for my very attached eldest. At age 5 she was not ready to be away from home for the better part of every day. (She could manage, but found it stressful and exhausting.) KG here is mostly play-based, so academic fit wouldn't have been a big issue. A year later when we briefly considered the possibility of putting her into 1st grade, where reading instruction starts properly, it was laughable. She had been reading Harry Potter level novels for almost 2 years already and had rapidly advanced her math skills to a 3rd grade level or beyond. And she was happy and busy as a homeschooler, her weekdays full of things like homeschool gymnastics, playdates, art classes, violin and piano lessons, things she would likely have to give up or at least drastically curtail to attend school. So beware: a robust year of homeschooling instead of school may widen the gap and create a no-turning-back situation. Her fit in the elementary school system, even if a grade level ahead, was made worse by a year of interest-led learning.

 

We have been very happy continuing to homeschool. We unschool. Any structured learning is chosen and directed by my kids, not me. Mostly they just live their lives, involved in home and community life, pursuing their passions as they see fit, with opportunities and inspiration offered but not required, occasionally stumbling upon possibilities by sheer blind luck. My role is more as a facilitator than as a teacher or even a mentor. 

 

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#3 of 25 Old 08-15-2011, 10:51 AM
 
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I have homeschooled all my kids through their elementary years. So far they've all eventually chosen either part-time or full-time school at some point during the high school years. My kids are currently 8, 12, 14 and 17. We fell into homeschooling kind of for the opposite reason you have: because school started too soon for my very attached eldest. At age 5 she was not ready to be away from home for the better part of every day. (She could manage, but found it stressful and exhausting.) KG here is mostly play-based, so academic fit wouldn't have been a big issue. A year later when we briefly considered the possibility of putting her into 1st grade, where reading instruction starts properly, it was laughable. She had been reading Harry Potter level novels for almost 2 years already and had rapidly advanced her math skills to a 3rd grade level or beyond. And she was happy and busy as a homeschooler, her weekdays full of things like homeschool gymnastics, playdates, art classes, violin and piano lessons, things she would likely have to give up or at least drastically curtail to attend school. So beware: a robust year of homeschooling instead of school may widen the gap and create a no-turning-back situation. Her fit in the elementary school system, even if a grade level ahead, was made worse by a year of interest-led learning.

 

We have been very happy continuing to homeschool. We unschool. Any structured learning is chosen and directed by my kids, not me. Mostly they just live their lives, involved in home and community life, pursuing their passions as they see fit, with opportunities and inspiration offered but not required, occasionally stumbling upon possibilities by sheer blind luck. My role is more as a facilitator than as a teacher or even a mentor. 

 

Miranda



I homeschool my daughter.  We don't *quite* unschool, but I move closer to it each year.  As the poster above said, particularly after the first year of homeschooling, there was no turning back to elementary levels.  DD would be impossible to fit into any class- even skipping a year or two ahead. 

 

I don't really have to teach her much- I provide opportunities for her to learn and watch.  I'm there if she needs more, but she really does most of her learning on her own, and that is the best approach for her. When she is older, it will be her decision to be part of the more advanced grades to school or to continue homeschooling.  At this point, she thinks she wants to continue to homeschool and take some community college courses when she is "around 14 or 15".  We'll see where we are at that point in time. 

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#4 of 25 Old 08-15-2011, 01:40 PM
 
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No, but we have been tossing it around because the "fit" with school is getting a little more difficult as time goes on.

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#5 of 25 Old 08-15-2011, 02:36 PM
 
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We homeschooled DS for grade 1 and will return to it in the future (we anticipate that the school's ability to accomodate will end, this year or next).

 

We started homeschooling DD mid-way through grade 6, after she burned out from not being accomodated despite trying different programs.  I anticipate homeschooling full-time for grade 7, then dual enrolling for 8 and 9 (ie homeschool some subjects, attend a brick and mortar for others).  She may elect to join a full-time, specialized program in grade 10 or 11.

 

My one piece of advice is that it really, really depends on the teacher.  Some kids in some schools, in some districts, are very well accomodated. I also think it's as much about personality as it is about level of giftedness.


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#6 of 25 Old 08-15-2011, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's great to know that so many have successfully, or are successfully, homeschooling their gifted children! I have always provided a lot of educational activities for my son. We already to worksheets and such, so this is just going to be more "formal" education where I make sure to cover at least the basics. Which really won't be typical Kindergarten work anyway.

 

I have a feeling that we might have to partial homeschool in the future, as our school may not be able to fully accommodate his educational needs.

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#7 of 25 Old 08-16-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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We already to worksheets and such, so this is just going to be more "formal" education where I make sure to cover at least the basics. 


Worksheets are already more formal than what we did at that age. So you don't necessarily need to ramp things up just because you consider yourselves to be officially homeschooling. My kids started a little bit of mostly activity-based math stuff at around the 2nd grade level, and nothing more until at least 3rd grade level. Four is very young. So is five. I can pretty much guarantee that the "basics" of KG will be (or have already been) covered without any parent-directed teaching at all.

 

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#8 of 25 Old 08-16-2011, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are technically doing 1st grade work mostly anyway. According to all the kindergarten readiness, we definitely have the basics covered. We are not in an area that allows early entrance unfortunately..and he loves learning, so this is what we do to pass the time by. He actually thinks worksheets are fun. He also finds it important, which could be worrisome, to get 100% on his worksheets. I am proud of him even if he doesn't get 100, which I had hoped would help against perfectionism. I am seeing now that maybe that is just something kids have.. not necessarily something that is taught.
 

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Worksheets are already more formal than what we did at that age. So you don't necessarily need to ramp things up just because you consider yourselves to be officially homeschooling. My kids started a little bit of mostly activity-based math stuff at around the 2nd grade level, and nothing more until at least 3rd grade level. Four is very young. So is five. I can pretty much guarantee that the "basics" of KG will be (or have already been) covered without any parent-directed teaching at all.

 

Miranda

 



 

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#9 of 25 Old 08-16-2011, 06:36 PM
 
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He also finds it important, which could be worrisome, to get 100% on his worksheets.


Ah yes, perfectionism. This is one of the main reasons we stayed completely away from worksheets as much as we could. My elder two kids would very easily have got the idea that "learning equals 100% correct worksheets." Perhaps I was more radical than I needed to be in avoiding worksheets and tests, though, as my eldest has absolutely no attachment to grades, to the point of being oblivious of some details of her own performance that would be useful for her to know at age 17. 

 

"It says here that scholarship eligibility is limited to students who have been on the honor roll throughout high school. Is that you?"

"I don't know. Maybe ... uh, probably. .... But I'm not sure."

ROTFLMAO.gif

 

Then again, I guess you'd expect the parent to know too, and I don't have a clue. 

 

Miranda 


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#10 of 25 Old 08-18-2011, 08:00 AM
 
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We started first grade a month ago. DD is five, and doing absolutely wonderfully.

 

She's a perfectionist too. She is very, very upset when she gets anything wrong. I am trying very hard to get it through to her that being wrong sometimes is just fine. It sounds stupid, but I am keeping up the good atmosphere by tickling DD every time she is too hard on herself. She starts pouting because she realizes her number 5 looks wonky (she LOVES math, but at some point convinced herself that number 5 looks like number 2 upside down, and now it's been "programmed in"), and already starts laughing a few seconds later because she knows I am going to tickle her. 

 

We just enrolled in an umbrella school (in California) and they were happy to enroll DD in first grade. We did K last year and is wasn't nearly as much fun as first grade, because she was bored. 


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#11 of 25 Old 08-18-2011, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What is an umbrella school?

 

I do the same thing with my son to lighten the mood.. works every time -no matter what the issue -tickling is the fix! :)

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#12 of 25 Old 08-18-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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What is an umbrella school?

 

I do the same thing with my son to lighten the mood.. works every time -no matter what the issue -tickling is the fix! :)



It's a "school" that provides official enrollment and grading (parent send in grades and samples of work), and they send confirmation that students finished a grade at the end of the year. We do it this way because school enrollment is compulsory where we live (Eastern Europe) and homeschooling is illegal. Hopefully, this will keep the family out of legal trouble. We buy our own curriculum, so that is where an umbrella school differs from other types of virtual schools. 

 

Funny to hear you do tickling too! 


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#13 of 25 Old 08-19-2011, 08:07 PM
 
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I am starting my first "official" year of homeschool with my son, 4 yrs, as well. For us, there are many reasons we chose to homeschool, and most of them have nothing to do with his giftedness or whatever it is. However, as I started thinking about doing more curriculum-based things this year (he wanted to), I realized that going to a regular school might be weird for him academically. His knowledge/abilities have a wide range, he reads on a 2-3rd grade level, does 1st grade math, and is just starting handwriting (he dislikes drawing or writing of any kind). He is very involved with learning chess right now, and that takes up a great deal of his time. *shrug* I feel lost a lot of the time but I'm glad we're starting this journey!


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#14 of 25 Old 08-22-2011, 03:13 PM
 
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I homeschool my gifted dd5. She would be starting K this fall (our cut off is December 1st). Though we don't unschool, we work on what interests her the most - math and science.

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#15 of 25 Old 08-23-2011, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I have a math and science boy. He likes technology, too.. and all things boy :) But, he HATES writing. I can get him to write words for a little bit, but then he would rather do something else (he likes mazes, drawing, coloring, painting..so I don't think it's a motor skills thing..)

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#16 of 25 Old 08-23-2011, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I have a math and science boy. He likes technology, too.. and all things boy :) But, he HATES writing. I can get him to write words for a little bit, but then he would rather do something else (he likes mazes, drawing, coloring, painting..so I don't think it's a motor skills thing..)

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#17 of 25 Old 08-23-2011, 08:32 AM
 
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Yeah, I have a math and science boy. He likes technology, too.. and all things boy :) But, he HATES writing. I can get him to write words for a little bit, but then he would rather do something else (he likes mazes, drawing, coloring, painting..so I don't think it's a motor skills thing..)


He's 4. That's completely normal. My gifted and passionate writer, now 17, didn't start writing in any significant way until age 8. A little late, to be sure, for a girl -- many girls will be comfortable with handwriting by age 6 or so. But your little guy would be a weird anomaly if he enjoyed writing at age 4. Don't read anything into it at this stage.

 

Miranda

 


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#18 of 25 Old 08-23-2011, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok good!! I will still try, but not force. Someone suggested comics, which he did today and wrote "hi" on one of them. That's about it. I'm glad that it's normal and ok that I am not forcing him.. I was a bit worried it would lead to not writing at all later on.

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#19 of 25 Old 08-23-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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I was getting everything set up for the year and going over it with DD this morning when she asked to take some of the end of year review tests this morning.  

 

She scored 100% across the board. 

 

Time for more advanced materials.  She made a HUGE leap over the summer.  

 

(Oh and as for handwriting, DD hates it with a passion. I let he write stories etc on the computer much of the time, but the physical act of writing is something she hates so much that it gets in the way of her learning.  We've had to be really creative about it. In her case, it is a true case of dysgraphia, and while we have a great OT, she isn't magical.)

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#20 of 25 Old 08-23-2011, 11:29 AM
 
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We are ordering All About Spelling - maybe a tip for kids who hate writing? It sure looks like a lot of fun! It has a multi-sensory approach that covers reading and spelling (phonics). I have seen handwriting as part of this program as well on some reviews. The constant awards and fun approach may be great for kids who are reluctant writers. 


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#21 of 25 Old 08-24-2011, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Awesome! Thank you! I will look into it :)

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#22 of 25 Old 08-25-2011, 04:52 PM
 
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I'm in the boat with the age cut-off for K as well.  The cut off here is Oct 1, and my ds' birthday is Oct 22.  I began homeschooling my dd 2 years ago when she was 5 and my ds was 3.  We did the "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 easy Lessons" (which I LOVE!) .  DD caught right on, but to my amazement so did my son.  I'd let him set in on her lessons because it made him feel like a "big boy", but when he started reading right along with her, I decided begin working seriously with him on math as well. 

 

Now at 4.5, he reads on a 2-3rd grade level and is nearly done with 1st grade math.  Has anyone noticed that many home-school kids love math?  I was raised in public school and I remember hating math with a passion at an early age, but my son begs for more math sheets at all hours of the day and my dd doesn't mind it either.

 

We do school through the summer (not everyday and pretty relaxed), mainly math with a little bit of whatever strikes our fancy that day, and it's put my son so far ahead of where he would be in public school I just can't see him fitting in in elementary.   I classify him as "1st grade", but since his b-day falls late, he wouldn't be in K until next year and our school district will not test children out of their age/grade level.  He has the personality that thrives on being challenged and I can't imagine what would happen if he was to be put back 2 grades next year.


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#23 of 25 Old 09-01-2011, 06:35 PM
 
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One of the biggest reasons we're homeschooling is that DH and I were both gifted children, so it's likely that one or more of our kids will be gifted--- and we know first-hand what a disservice the public education system can do to gifted children.  So far, our late daughter was incredibly verbally gifted (taught herself to read at age 3), and our ODS seems to be both verbally and spatially advanced, although he's still quite young.

 

The best thing you can do for a gifted child is to promote self-directed learning.  Teaching a preschooler how to use a dictionary, encyclopedia, and thesaurus is a great and simple start--- that way, whenever they're curious about something, they have the tools they need to learn more about it.

 

I also think it's very important to emphasize the importance of hard work instead of telling children that they're "smart".  My usual praise is "Good job!  You really worked hard on that!", because I want them to understand that the effort is the part they have conscious control over...they can't always rely on innate ability.  You have to be extra careful to reassure gifted children that yes, even if something is difficult for them or they make mistakes, they are still doing valuable learning.

 

So we don't use worksheets or workbooks and we don't do graded work.  A learner finishes a course only when he or she has completed the work satisfactorily, and the instructor/facilitator records the learner's particular skills and notes the style of their work in a prose evaluation rather than assigning the learner a "grade".  We emphasize acquiring skills over performing tasks, and we really try to use a non-pedagogical approach in which we all learn collaboratively, adults included!

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#24 of 25 Old 09-27-2011, 04:49 PM
 
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I am homeschooling my 12 year old. He is learning a lot and I am thrilled with the progress he has made in 3 short weeks... I chose to do a pre-designed curriculum and supplement with college level Spanish he is taking at the university where I teach. Things are going well! Glad we took the plunge, since he has more time to play cello and chess than when he was in public school.

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#25 of 25 Old 09-27-2011, 09:04 PM
 
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We are homeschooling my would-be-entering-2nd-grade 7yo ds.  We pulled him going into pre-k and we've learned a lot.  He is an INTENSELY science/math guy.

 

We have finally found our stride with a Charlotte Mason approach, although I don't use a curriculum (like Sonlight) to assign him reading.  I just make books available to him that have an educational purpose.  At the moment, we're waiting for Life of Fred to fill the gap in their math curriculum because ds doesn't know the long division necessary for the Fractions book yet.  I might break down and open some formal math curriculum to teach him so he can move ahead, but I like that LoF is teaching him addition facts because he suffers trying to cognitively figure out higher level math for lack of stupid math facts.  :/

 

Oh, and he doesn't write well.  And that's after several years of OT and them discharging him as "at or above grade level" at the end of what would be Kindy.  In fact, I had multiple arguments with one of his 2 therapists because she was pushing him well beyond grade level for writing.  And it still looks childish--so don't panic.  The schools inflict it on us early for testing purposes.  But realistically, it's not exactly developmentally appropriate.  If you need to work on spelling, get a set of letter stamps.

 


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