Home Educating our Gifted Children
Ingrid McCarthy, Defying Gravity
People often confuse the term gifted. It is not "strengths" or "talents" (we all have those). Intellectual giftedness is like seeing the world through a magnifying glass; highly gifted is like a microscope; profoundly gifted is like an electron microscope. It is NOT a issue of "worth" (every child is worthy of our love and a good education), it is an issue of need. They need more - depth, speed, extension, acceleration - whatever.
I have two "gifted" children: DS13 and DD12. They are both in the "exceptionally gifted" range. I had them tested when we were in school, because there was behaviour issues, particularly for my son. For me (and many people have different views on this) the testing was very helpful because it helped me understand my children better and provided valuable information as to their "wiring". In a similar way to when kids have learning difficulties or intellectual delays need different curriculum, so do gifted kids. And knowing "how" much they differ from the norm for me was so enlightening as it explains so much and helps me put things in perspective.
The giftedness, and for my son, the learning difficulties, mean that for my kids, school and the school environment was not a good fit and in his case led to anxiety and depression. Now having homeschooled for two years, I am a big advocate of this learning environment for all kids, but it is so great for gifted kids that don't fit the "norm".
What works for us?
highly recommend Lisa Rivero's Creative Homeschooling - A Resource Guide For Smart Families . It is such a goldmine of information and helped sow the seeds of how great homeschooling could be for our kids
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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