Join me for 5 Days of Homeschooling the Gifted Child
Throughout this week I will be exploring different aspects of homeschooling the gifted child* I will be sharing resources through affiliate links to books that you may find to be beneficial to you in your own research of gifted education.
I’m a homeschooling mom to one amazing boy. It’s taken me a long time to admit that he is gifted because that term holds connotations that many believe is just another label in which to categorize people and children. There are some who believe that all children are gifted and some who believe that gifted doesn’t exist. We will look at identifying characteristics of gifted children and I’ll be sharing some of my strategies for meeting the unique needs of my son.
Maybe you too struggle to identify the differences you see in your child. Maybe you are afraid of the stereotypes that surround the terms gifted, talented, smart and even genius. After all, isn’t everyone’s kid a genius?
But the reality is, no 2 children are alike, they all are unique individuals with different abilities. Some have a greater ability to process thoughts while others may be more articulate in speech. Our goal should be to help our children discover their unique abilities and then help them to understand the possibilities of how they can use their abilities throughout their life.
This post contains affiliate links to 3rd party sites where products may be purchased resulting in paid compensation for this blogger.
What is ‘Gifted‘?
The term, gifted, was first coined in the early 1900’s by Leta Hollingsworth Ph.D., an educator and clinical psychologist. It was used to identify those whom she believed to be intellectually superior. She is considered the founder of gifted education. Her work paved the way for modern gifted education research. The term has stuck.
But What Does ‘Gifted‘ Mean?
Whatever term you prefer, gifted, talented, accelerated, or smart, if you have a child with advanced developmental learning abilities it is imperative that you don’t deny their abilities but rather help them to develop their talents. To avoid your child’s talents is to deny them the right to be the person they can become or that perhaps they are intended to be.
Identifying Characteristics of a Gifted Child
- Gifted: One who has advanced cognitive, intellectual, creative, and/or emotional processes that progress at a faster more intense rate and/or has higher abilities to retain and disseminate information than what is considered to be the typical developmental process.
- Emotional Intensity is the heightened or sensitive response to emotional stimuli. Gifted individuals can experience their emotions in a more intense way than what is seen in one who is developing at a typcial rate. One may witness rapid extremes in emotional responses in the gifted individual. For example someone once described witnessing my sons emotional response from joy to anger, as going from 0 to 60 in 2.2 seconds. I will be sharing more information about emotional intensity on Wednesday of this week.
- Asynchrony or Asynchronous Learning is when a child develops at different rates in diffrerent areas of learning and social development. You might see a young child conversing with an adult about the political climate on the nation and then watch as they struggle with writing a few short sentences.
- Over Excitabilities (OE’s) are seen when a child has a extremely heightened sense of response to stimuli. Through the mind’s ability to be process at a more rapid rate, they may show an increased sense of awareness, excitement and sensitivities to experiences.Kazimierz Dabrowski, a Polish psychiatrist, theorized that there are five areas of OEs, psychomotor, sensual, intellectual, imaginational, and emotional. Such excitabilities may be seen as extreme joy or extreme frustration.
- Inconsistent Social and Emotional Development is often seen in children who are gifted. These inconsistencies are most often noticed when a child is among an age based peer group. The child may exhibit signs of being socially immature or overly mature, but their social skills are inconsistent when compared with the skills found in children of the same age. You may find that the gifted child is more comfortable around either younger or older children or perhaps adults but not necessarily around children their own age. I’ll be talking more about social development and the need for guided instruction on Thursday.
Choosing Homeschooling for the Gifted Child
What can homeschooling offer that public and private schooling can’t?
- Homeschooling allows you, the parent to set a course of study that is unique to your child.
- In the home, you can help your child discover areas they are passionate about learning and provide opportunities to fully explore those areas until they have exhausted the learning possibilities.
- You can steer your child’s education to meet their need.
- You can offer them a completely customized education.
- They can learn at their own pace rather than a pre-conceived idea of what is someone else’s right.
- And you, the parent don’t have to spend so much time fighting an institution and bureaucracy to meet the individual needs of your child, because you will have taken the task in hand.
“The homeschool parent not only instinctively knows those needs most of the time, but also can offer the flexibility and resources necessary to meet them much better than a classroom teacher who has a large number of students.” Cindy West, Homeschooling Gifted and Advanced Learners, 2012, p. 5.
My child is a bit “different” and I’m not sure he’ll be socialized right.
- Yes, gifted children are different than the typical child. They experience life with more intensity both emotionally and academically.
- A group classroom can lead to over-stimulation, anxiety, disruptions and more, and in my opinion, teachers who have large numbers of students simply aren’t equipped with resources to meet the need of an individual child.
- Homeschooling allows you to truly guide the teaching of your child in what is acceptable social behavior and what isn’t acceptable.
On Wednesday we will explore the intense emotions that gifted children feel as well as suggestions for helping them learn to cope.
Join me this week as I explore Homeschooling the Gifted Child
- Tuesday: The Gifted Need for More
- Wednesday: Embracing Gifted Intensity
- Thursday: Gifted Social Instruction
- Friday: Challenging the Gifted Mind
I love to hear from my readers and often get messages via email concerning parenting a gifted child. Are you a parent to a gifted child? Comment below or send me an email and share your story with me.
My friends at the iHomeschool Network are spending this week in a Homeschool Hopscotch.
That’s where we each choose a topic and spend the week exploring the topic.
You can hop through the topics by clicking the link below.
*Disclaimer: I am neither a psychologist or educational expert, but I share with you information that I have learned through my own study concerning my gifted child.