Gifted Child

3kidsonarockQuestion:

I homeschooled my son in kindergarten and then had to put him in public school for 1st grade. They of course tested him and he is “gifted”. I am blessed to be able to homeschool him again next year. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions on what I can try with him? The school’s idea was more work—which would totally backfire with him. I know we can probably go at a faster pace but any other thoughts? Also what do you think about sticking to the 2nd grade curriculum (of what’s he’s suppose to know vs. what he’s interested in?)  For example, he wants to learn about the United States geography. Is it wrong to just focus on U.S. geography and not on cultures, government, world history etc.?

Answer:

What a blessing to be able to homeschool a gifted child! You and he will have a wonderful time together!

The idea of “more work” sounds like a prison sentence for being gifted. I would set his basic core work, same as for any other child, such as math, English, etc. that can be done in a hour or so. Then I would give him lots of freedom to pursue his own educational interests! If he wants to learn about USA geography, I would provide every means for him to just run with that subject. Go to the library and load up, go to the internet, get videos; buy atlases, maps, games; find mentors that he can talk with—do whatever would do the job to satiate his interest. Let him at it and encourage him in every way. Give him a chance to present his findings to Dad or to the family, or to teach other kids.

After he has delved into geography, he may satisfy his curiosity and move into another area of interest, or he may go deeper in geography and find one aspect of it that really intrigues him. As his mother/teacher, your job is to facilitate learning and encourage him follow his wholesome interests. You can use his interest in geography as a springboard for other subjects. I think a nicely drawn map would more than qualify for art class. A paper written about some aspect of geography that he likes (such as longitude and latitude, or highest and lowest elevations of the USA) would be an excellent way to learn to write better, provided you coach him when you edit his writing. Delight and interest are motivators that we all seek to help our children do their schoolwork, so if your son already has an interest, he is already motivated and you are fortunate!

My advice: don’t worry a bit about making him learn the 2nd grade curriculum. If he is doing his basic 3 R’s each day so he keeps up on math and reading/writing skills—his own interests will educate him far beyond what a 2nd grader needs to know. Over a few years of homeschooling, he will exceed any requirements. I have found this with my own non-gifted children. If they love to learn, and you encourage their interests, the sky is the limit.

 

 

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