Gifted Learners

Right before we decided to homeschool, my middle child was tested and labeled "gifted."  We noticed early on that he was very quick to pick things up. Typically if he reads, hears, or sees something even once he'll remember it, retain it, and talk about it here and there as he's processing it. 

He is advanced in all areas of education and our school was pretty honest with us that they may not always be able to meet his needs.  I had been thinking of homeschooling already and thought I knew what "gifted" meant.  I knew I'd have to work harder to challenge him and allow him to work at his own pace.  I had no idea how hard that would actually be.  I also had no idea of the broad range of emotions, behaviors, and interests that we'd encounter.  So I've started reading, researching, and talking to other homeschoolers.

Here are some books I've read:
  • Creative Homeschooling A resource Guide for Smart Families
  • The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children
  • The social and emotional lives of gifted kids : understanding and guiding their development
Resources we use:
  • Our library!  He is free to choose any and all books he's interested in.
  • The Internet- I read up on homeschooling gifted children, together we check out curriculum books, websites and games (many of which are meant for middle/ high schoolers)
What We Do:
  • Let him decide what he wants to learn about and pick out books and activities to help him along
  • Show him websites I think he might be interested in and help him navigate around them
  • Give him lots of freedom and support
  • Let him pick which workbook pages to work on first; he never completes a cook in linear fashion. 
  • LISTEN to him when he tells me that he's already learned about something. 
  • Allow him to connect with other "experts" and adults in the fields in which he is interested in.  It does him wonders to talk with other people that understand and share his passions.
  • Give him downtime between subjects-- I have noticed over the years that he needs time to sit, be still, and "do nothing" between the flurry of reading and activity that he does.  Almost as if he's recovering.  

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