Gifted Homeschooling when Your Child Needs More
One thing that is obvious from even the earliest of ages is that a child who has a gifted mind has an intense need for more. By more, I mean more of everything. A gifted child needs more opportunity, more information, more understanding, more encouragement. They have more emotions, more intensity, more cognition. They exhibit more knowledge, more understanding, more intensity, more anxiety, more excitement, more sensitivity and more energy. They simply want, need, and are more.
I want to break down some areas of giftedness and help identify how each of these areas exhibit a need for more. By the way, I’m sharing some affiliate links to websites where you can purchase the books that I mention in the post.
The Gifted Need for More
- More Information
If they reach a point where answers aren’t obvious or clear, they will want to find ways to determine the answers they are seeking. Through observation, experimentation or further research these individuals will not allow their minds rest until they have exhausted the question in search of an answer. To say there is no answer simply isn’t enough. They want/need more information.
“Always asking, “Why?” even from the youngest of ages, and not being satisfied with pat answers that are incomplete or simply not true, the intellectually OE person is on cognitive overdrive constantly.”James Deslisle, in his book Parenting Gifted Kids, 2006 p. 39, describing the intellecturally OE (overexcitability) person.
- More Challenge
- Real life situations that are given and then they have to figure out the best course of action.
- Logic & Reasoning Problems and Puzzles
- Differentiation (Changing curriculum by developing strategies which lead to further research, allowing a child to work at their own pace/depth of study, offering additional areas of study for the child’s consideration. I once heard it described this way, “Differentiating instruction is about stretching the curriculum horizontally to meet the demands of challenging the child’s level of understanding.”
- Projects Based Study
Cindy West explains project based learning like this, “Quite, simply it’s a learning method in which your child dives into a subject and completes some sort of project(s) to show what he knows. Projects can be anything under the sun.” in her book Homeschooling Gifted and Advanced Learners 2012, p. 96.
- More Passion
Children with gifted abilities tend to have more passion. They care deeply and have a passionate need to fulfill answers to their questions. They seek those answers with a deep drive and won’t give up until the exhaust the questions to which they seek answers.
Amy Harrington, ESQ wrote, Director’s Corner: Raising a Profoundly Gifted Child an article for SENG stated: “A profoundly gifted child will have intense focus on passion areas and will fully commit to anything of interest to the exclusion of almost everything else.“
- More Emotional Intensity
“Although intensity in and of itself is not a bad thing, it can be frustrating. Most of the problems associated with giftedness are linked to these intensities, especially in the area of emotional development.” Christine Fonseca, Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students, 2011, p. 37.
- More External Stimulation
“Given that children who are intellectually gifted are born with very intense limbic systems, it makes sense that their limbic systems might get overwhelmed easily and that highly gifted children may have challenges processing intense stimulation.” Tips for Parents: Sensory Issues in Gifted Kids: A Developmental Overview and Recommendations for Parenting, Houskamp, B. Davidson Institute for Talent Development, 2008.
This is an area that I personally need more research in. So for now, I just want to help you see that sensory or external stimuli may (or may not) have an affect on your gifted child.
- More Understanding
Gifted children need for you, their parent, to be more understanding. They need to know that you have their back and are loving them no matter what. That may require you to think differently about the perceived “norms” of society.
It may mean developing a tough skin, and setting clear expectations. But, it also means that you need to learn that their emotions are real, true to themselves. While you can teach them ways to self-control, you must also be understanding of their emotion and validate that their emotion is real.
They need for you to understand that their minds simply work differently, they are more passionate, curious and emotional. They need to know that you will work with them, regardless of their schooling situation, to ensure that they are being challenged, encouraged and most of all, loved.
What about you? In what way do you experience MORE from your gifted child(ren)? Let’s chat in comments.
Be sure to visit each of the 5 Day Hopscotch posts on Homeschooling the Gifted Child.
Parenting Gifted Children Books to Read