Saturday, March 12, 2011

Challenging The Gifted Homeschooler

Do you have a gifted student at your house? Do you find it challenging to stimulate them? Often when you are dealing with a gifted student it becomes a challenge to provide enough material to keep them interested in the work. If they are bored with the work they often will not do it. This leads to more boredom for the student and increased frustration for the parent who is trying to keep them interested. I know when I was in school this was the case. Instead of finding ways to challenge my mind, the teacher was forced to teach to the level of the slowest student in the class. The result of this was that I ended up flunking out of high school. How can a gifted student flunk out you ask? If their mind is not stimulated, they just don't do the work any more. It's not a matter of not understanding the work. It's simply a matter of no longer caring about the work at all.

Frequently a student is gifted in one area and challenged in another. My son can design, build, and fly a rocket with no problem. He understands aerodynamics and engineering of the process. He also applies these engineering principals to lego building. But this same child struggles with reading. One of the advantages of homeschooling a gifted child is that you can create a curriculum that suits their needs. My son is currently working on a third grade level for most of his work. But he is still on first grade language arts extensions to help him build those beginning reading skills. This makes it so easy to homeschool gifted children.

Another way to help a gifted child is to encourage writing. Whether they are writing a book, a story, a sentence, or paragraph writing, writing gives the student the ability to go wherever their mind takes them. Encouraging your child to keep a journal is one way to help them develop the habit of writing. I found a notebook that has a blank top half of the page and lines on the bottom half and the back of the page. My son loves to draw a picture on the top half and then write about his picture on the bottom half.

So what ways do you encourage your gifted homeschool child? Do you have an special techniques to share with us.

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