All About Homeschooling Your Gifted Child

Everything you need to know

Mother homeschooling her children
Mother homeschooling her children. @ kzenon -

Thinking About Homeschooling? Here is what you need to know.

Homeschooling is becoming more popular, especially among parents of gifted children. Too often we find that our child's academic needs are not being met at school. There are several reasons for that. It could be that the school does not recognize that our child is gifted. Or they may recognize it, but are more concerned with socialization than with seeing that our child is in the appropriate academic setting.

Or the school may recognize that our child is gifted, but they acknowledge that they aren't equipped to meet the needs of a gifted child.

If any of these situations applies to you, you may start thinking about homeschooling your gifted child. It is not a decision to be taken lightly. It takes determination and sacrifice. It can change your life. But it can be the best thing for you and your child. Start slow. Take it one step at a time. Your first step is determining whether homeschooling is right for you and your family.

Is Homeschooling for You?

Homeschooling isn't for everyone, so you'll want to determine if it is the right choice for you. There are factors, like time and temperament that need to be considered. Do you have the time? Or do you have to work outside the home? Some parents manage to homeschool, even when they hold jobs. It takes planning and usually a good homeschooling group.

Temperament is important, too - not just your child's temperament, but yours.

Legal Issues

Before you begin homeschooling, you should familiarize yourself with the laws on homeschooling. The laws will vary from state to state, so you want to check what you need to do before you actually begin. You might also want to know your rights as a homeschooler.

Becoming familiar with your state's laws can prevent any problems that could arise.

Home School Legal Defense Association
This nonprofit organization was established "to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms." It is a great organization to join because it will help you keep track of laws affecting homeschooling and it offers quite a bit more, including a curriculum marketplace.

Online Resources

If you have decided to homeschool your child or you are already homeschooling your child, you need to know that you aren't alone. Quite often parents of gifted children feel that they might not be able to teach their child because they don't have expertise in every topic. Rest assured that you don't need to be an expert in every field in order to homeschool your child. There are quite a few online resources that you can use.

Online Homeschooling Resources
This page lists various online schools, programs, courses, and websites that are designed for homeschooling. Some of them even have specific sections for gifted children.

Homeschool Organizations and Support Groups
Talking with other homeschooling parents is a good way to get ideas and support. It's hard to talk about issues of homeschooling with parents who aren't homeschooling. You can find lists of groups all around your state here. Some of them meet in person and some "meet" online.

Home School Organizations
Did you know homeschoolers have conferences? They do. You are never alone when you homeschool! Here you can find lists of national organizations as well as state organizations. You can also find homeschooling organizations around the world.

Grade Level Curricula

The problem that many gifted children have in school is that they are often held back from learning. They end up spending a lot of time waiting in school. For that reason it is unlikely that they will be behind in lessons. However, some children will want to move forward in some subjects but not others. As you plan your lessons for your child, you should be aware of your state's core requirements. This is especially important if your state requires you to demonstrate that you are meeting those requirements. You may even need to provide a plan in your state before you will be allowed to homeschool your child.

State Curriculum Standards
You'll find links here to the core standards for each state.

Typical Kindergarten Curriculum
These are the skills that children learn in most kindergarten classes.

Typical First Grade Curriculum
These are the skills that first graders learn in most schools.

Bloom's Taxonomy

You can find ready-made curricula to help you teach your child at home. But there may be times when you want to create your own lessons. Understanding Bloom's Taxonomy can help you create lesson units on any subject you choose. Bloom's Taxonomy is based on the levels of cognitive skills, starting with what are called lower-level skills, like memorizing, to higher level skills, like synthesizing or creating.

What is Bloom's Taxonomy?
What are the Cognitive Skill Levels in Bloom's Taxonomy?
Using Bloom's Taxonomy
Sample Lesson Plan Using Bloom's Taxonomy

Topics to Explore

You don't always need to use a textbook or prepared lessons when you homeschool. Because you are in charge of the lessons and the schedule, you can work with additional topics that your child might be interested in or that you would like your child to learn about. It is an excellent way to provide opportunities for your child to explore topics in depth or to introduce your child to new topics. One great way to find extra and focused topics is to look at a calendar or list of holidays and special observances.

Special Days and Occasions to Celebrate Through the Year
The special days and observances listed in this calendar are those that are of special interest to gifted children and their parents like Read in the Bathtub Day and Astronomy Week.

Continue Reading