Bright Kids at Home - How do I homeschool my gifted student?

Lists several places where gifted homeschoolers can and do excel!

Gives basic information on a variety of topics including: Identifying the Gifted Student, Gifted Assessment, Is Intelligence Quotient Important?, Academic Assessment, Learning Styles, and being Gifted with Disabilities (Twice Exceptional).

gifted homeschool "how-to"
How do I homeschool my gifted student?

Well, now, there's a question. If you have a gifted child you already know how intense life can be. If you're just finding out that your child is gifted, hang on for an exciting ride.

There's a lot of advice from experts available these days about kids, even about gifted kids. What I have learned is that no matter what the "experts" have to say, until they actually have the field experience with your gifted student, their advice can really only be viewed as "guidelines". There's not a "how-to" manual anywhere for your particular situation, but you can gather as much information as you can to help you make your own situation work splendidly.

There are some common threads with most gifted kids, at least that's what I've gathered and witnessed. As part of your "how-to" lesson here, pick one or two of these characteristics to keep in the back of your mind that you use as "themes" in your homeschool.

All of the ideas on this page and subsequent are discussed in detail in my books.


My Student...

posseses an advanced capacity to achieve at higher than average levels takes pleasure in thinking divergently
posseses multiple, specialized, unique interests takes pleasure in learning
has an advanced ability to conceptualize posseses curiosity and interest in the unusual
has and a high interest in applying the concepts is an independent learner
has intense, long-range concentration on topics of interest and task commitment has a higher sense of self awareness and of social issues
demonstrates high creativity has an intense sense of fairness
has an evolved sense of humour demonstrates idealism


Even after you settle on a homeschool method, and you discover dominant learning styles, you can always go back to these themes knowing that they'll bail you out of any dead end; And with the ever changing environment you have with a gifted student, you just may hit some frustrating dead ends.

Our homeschool was more of an eclectic one and I use these two themes: My student... has an evolved sense of humor & takes pleasure in thinking divergently. These themes dominate most of our strides forward and help transform dead end paths to forks in the road again and again.

I developed the following "guidelines" for those who need a how-to checklist:

Read about homeschooling. There are plenty of books, articles and websites on the subject. Most books will tell you that you are making the right decision and that you can do it. They are right. The right combination of confidence and research will have you on your way.

Our Pages on: [ books ]

Understand the logistics of homeschooling.

Our Pages on: [ Getting started homeschooling ]

Determine what your local and state laws are regarding homeschooling. Notify your local school district using the means that are accepted by local homeschoolers. Recognize that by homeschooling, whether you think so or not, you are making a political statement. Keep abreast of items that may effect homeschooling in your area. Remember, in order to be protected by law, you must comply with the requirements of the laws. Sometimes the school district does not acknowledge your choice to homeschool, sometimes they do. It varies by state.

Our Pages on:[ legal information ]

If you are removing your gifted student from a school, give them time to "detoxify" - get anything negative they may have experienced in school out of their system. Think about adding travel to your game plan.

Our Pages on: [ adding travel ]

Get in touch with support groups in your area. Get on an email list that seems to fit your style. Join "regular" homeschool groups but also try to find a group that maybe specializes in gifted homeschooling or that has a number of gifted homeschoolers.

Read all you can about what it means to be gifted.

Our pages about: [ identification,  books ]

Read about dominant learning styles.

Our pages about: [ learning styles, books ]

Read about homeschooling styles and methods. Our homeschool is more of an eclectic one, this means that we do a little of this and a little of that.

Our pages about: [homeschool styles, methods & curriculum, ]

Get some ideas about your "gameplan". If your children are mature enough, plan your lessons together. You may just get a list of topics they are interested in, and that is a good start to your research. If your child is not ready to help you, there are many purveyors of education willing to sell you whatever you want to buy from them. Write down what you want to teach and then match up what is available with what you want in an education for your student.

Ideas: [ adding travel, homeschool styles, methods & curriculum ]

Plan your days. Some families have "school" from 9-3PM, others don't ever develop a schedule, some hit the road to homeschool. Determine how you want your days to go. Will housework be part of your school day? How about meal preparation? Shopping? Laundry? Travel? It gets tricky, but with planning, it all fits in.

Ideas: [ how we did it, adding travel ]

Make plans to keep records. Your school calendar is a good record of your school year, if it's accurate. Keeping records of what you teach, the progress you actually make and the books you used are good things to keep track of. Being able to prove that you are actually homeschooling your student can save a lot of grief in the future. If you intend tohomeschool for high school, you might also want to get an idea about keeping transcripts and portfolios.

Our pages about: [ keeping records ]

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