published on or around the 15th of the month
from the author of
December, 2006    volume 1- Issue 4

The Awesome, Ever Amazing, Disappearing Brianiac.
by Amy Cortez, Editor - The Eclectic Telegraph
Picture the Looney Tunes character Taz, the Tasmanian devil.

If you're parenting a gifted, highly gifted or even profoundly gifted student I am sure you can make the connection. Go ahead and allow yourself that small indulgence of a chuckle at your situation. Then give yourself a high five because that job, parenting a gifted child, is a tiring job. If you are parenting and homeschooling a gifted student, give yourself a box of expensive chocolates and a huge high five because your job is an exhausting one. Trust me. I know.

As your student whirls through his homeschool day at full speed ahead, marvel at this because if he were in the school system he might be a really different person. He might be the awesome, ever amazing, disappearing brainiac.

The school systems really aren't set up to deal with this sort of student though they would have you believe they are. Professional educrats. You either love them or not, or you are somewhere in between. One thing I have learned is that there are not many "professionals" that are "trained" adequately to handle the needs of all, or even most gifted students because each of these kinds of students are as different as seashells on the beach. Few to many regular classroom teachers in the school system see our gifted kids as interferences to their classrooms, or worse, threats to their intelligence.

The whole reason we homeschool is that I came to the realization that the private school my student was in at second grade was not set up to deal appropriately with the kind of student he was then he that has become [our story]. For several years after my decision to homeschool my gifted student I wondered if it was just our situation, my imagination or are the educationists really not prepared to deal with kids like mine? My biggest fear was that if my student stayed in the school system, who he was would just disappear. It seems there is plenty written on this topic and that my fears are justified.

Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting our Brightest Young Minds
by Jan & Bob Davidson

From the Book Jacket ~
With all the talk of failing schools these days, we forget that schools can fail their brightest students, too. We pledge to “leave no child behind,” but in American schools today, thousands of gifted and talented students fall short of their potential. In Genius Denied, Jan and Bob Davidson describe the “quiet crisis” in education: gifted students spending their days in classrooms learning little beyond how to cope with boredom as they “relearn” material they’ve already mastered years before. This lack of challenge leads to frustration, underachievement, and even failure. Some gifted students become severely depressed. At a time when our country needs a deep intellectual talent pool, the squandering of these bright young minds is a national tragedy.

One brilliant suggestion the school that my student was in, mind you a fancy more than $10,000 a year private one, was that my student could "skip a grade". Though I do believe in accelerated learning, I cannot see how it can be successful in the school system when so much emphasis is placed on keeping the same aged kids together, forcing them to learn the same things at the same time. It just didn't make sense to me. When I asked what the gifted education policy was at the school, they really didn't know what I was asking about. Neither did I, but I was hoping to find out what they knew.

Since then I have looked at what "gifted education policy" really means and just like schooling policies, gifted education policies are different by state. In looking at this to find a common thread though, I did find that in general, if there is a gifted education program in place, it most likely is not funded well and not staffed with people who understand how to deal with the very individual needs of gifted students. Some places you may even find that Gifted Education is lumped in with "spScial Ed." as mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Act. Special Education teachers are very different than those who are trained to deal with the gifted student.

In general the Special Education teacher is knowledgeable about child development and is articulate in typical and atypical child development. generally this person will have a bachelors degree in education with a specialization in Special Education.

The Gifted Education Specialist is knowledgeable about theories and practices of the education of the gifted and talented including how to identify gifted and talented. This person is also knowledgeable in strategies that provide for effective teaching of gifted and talented students. Typically this person will bachelors degree in education ,will hold a Professional Teacher License and will have completed a graduate level program for the preparation of the gifted education specialist.

Gifted Education Policies across the United States

Abstract: Project I-GET-GTEd
In Ohio, most identified gifted students do not receive any gifted services and spend the vast majority of their time in regular education classrooms led by teachers without gifted education credentials. Further, gifted specialists working in isolation lack the resources and authority to implement comprehensive gifted services...[read on]

Recently there has been some articles written on "Acceleration" in the public school system. I would imagine that school administrators are waking up to the idea that these kinds of students could potentially help out with the requirement No Child Left Behind inflicts on districts for proof of progress through testing. The odds are high that, a gifted student is going to do very well at a standardized test simply because it might be the only challenging thing they have seen all year.

Acceleration lets students excel
Once frowned on, skipping grades now accepted in gifted education
Sunday, December 10, 2006
...The educators found the rate of grade acceleration in Ohio was less than one child per district during the 2004-05 school year.[read on]

Why We Should Advocate for Gifted and Talented Students
from the National Association for Gifted Children

Currently, there are approximately three million academically gifted and talented students in the United States; however many are not receiving the support and programs they need to reach their highest potential. Gifted and talented students need a challenging curriculum and a well-trained teacher who can inspire and motivate them, as well as challenge them to excel...

Data points from this article:

  • The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT) found that many gifted elementary school students already know between 40 and 50% of the material to be covered in the class.
  • According to the NRC/GT, most gifted and talented students spend at least 80% of their time in a regular education classroom.
  • Without properly trained teachers, students cannot excel to their highest potential, and often find themselves bored and frustrated in school.
  • According to an NRC/GT study, 61% of classroom teachers did not receive any training in meeting the needs of gifted and talented students.
  • The NRC/GT also found that gifted and talented students experience no instructional or curricular differentiation in 84% of the activities in which they participated.
  • In 2005, .00029% of the federal K-12 education budget goes to gifted and talented students.
  • By comparison, 3% of the federal K-12 education budget goes to the Reading First Program, 2% to Drug Prevention, and 2% to English Language Acquisition. 57% covers the rest of the programs in the No Child Left Behind Act, and 31% is dedicated to children with disabilities through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). (Note: although some states classify gifted students without disabilities in the "special education" category, federal funds from IDEA does not support these programs.)

    [read on ]

When I was still trying to decide if the school system could serve my gifted student, the one thing I knew for sure was that my student was pretty advanced in his thinking and ideas more so than some of the other students he brought home for play dates. When I asked the school if the teachers in the next grade had any special training to deal with a younger student that had been advanced they replied that it wasn't necessary as the curriculum would keep him busy enough. When I asked to see the curriculum for the next year, I was presented with a very loosely formatted outline that contained topics I knew my student already was well versed in. It was at that point I knew who he was would just disappear. It was at that point I decided homeschooling was the only way to go -- whatever that meant.

The "Gifted and Talented" Fraud
by Ned Vare
Isn't it amazing how many five year olds go off to school as bright, curious, trusting ("gifted and talented") kids, and in a year or two become dull, angry little aliens? Parents who expect the government schools to provide high quality academic education for smart children will always be frustrated.
The Templeton National Report on Acceleration
A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students
Ruf Estimates of Levels of Giftedness
Deborah L. Ruf, PhD, 2004

The customary method of grouping children for instruction in schools is heterogeneous (mixed ability) grouping and whole class instruction. Despite considerable evidence that the achievement span among children of the same age can be – and usually is – quite significant, children are almost always strictly grouped with others who are the same age as they. The intellectual differences between children of the same age become socially and academically problematic when the children are continually grouped together in schools all day for all their instruction and activities.[read on]

We have been homeschooling for the last 7 years and I have had many people ask me many questions regarding how I do it, what we study and when. Generally I respond that I have found that the education of my particular student involves a very tailored study plan that considers how he learns and processes information. I keep track of what I have learned about homeshooling my particular student at our website Bright Kids @ Home with the hope it could help someone else considering the same thing.

Information on Learning Styles
Information on Our School
Information on what we've studied and when.













Want to contribute an article?



Ad Guidelines Contact Us Contribute  AboutUs 

Created and Maintained by MyCro Chyps for BrightKids@Home
© 2006.All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy.

Updated: December 16, 2006