In this post, I share a selection from my book
Gifted Education Strategies for Every Child: Homeschool Secrets for Success
Grab the Kindle version HERE!
As a parent, you have what it takes to teach your gifted child, because you are the love giver and not only a care giver. You are the person chosen and created for this job, in the same way your child was chosen and created to be placed in your family. When my son Kevin was born and my midwife handed him to me, she gave me the best advice I have ever received and the only advice I needed for being a parent. She said, "Know your child and trust yourself."
How Do You Know They're Gifted?
In general, gifted children learn more, faster, at an earlier age. They remember more, understand abstract concepts (and understand them earlier), have passionate interests, and can do multiple tasks at once and do them well.
Expert definitions vary widely. One expert says gifted children have an I.Q. of 130 or more. Another expert says those who score in the top 2.5 percent on standardized tests are gifted. Others say gifted children are two grade levels above their age group and capable of high performance. The problem with these evaluation methods is that some gifted kids don't test well or are not compliant.
Of course, gifted doesn't mean they're smarter than everyone else. There will always be others who are smarter, if not across the board then at least in one subject. For instance, your child may be gifted in piano but there will be others who play the cello or dance more brilliantly. There's always someone else smarter.
In the end, definitions don't change anything. They won't change your child and may not change what matters. Your job is to decide whether the label of giftedness is important for your child and their goals, and go from there.
What exactly should a homeschool parent do differently to teach a gifted child? There are many techniques you can use. The first strategy I find useful is called "acceleration," which means allowing your child to work faster than a curriculum usually progresses. Using acceleration, you can spend less time on a subject because your student learns the material in far less time than is typical.
With acceleration, you need to let go of the whole teaching concept because your job is not to teach your child. Your job is to teach your child to learn. There are, in fact, times when you don't need to teach.
Your child might already know the work, they might have learned it by osmosis, or they picked it up so quickly you don't need to teach it. Assess your child's level first, beginning the curriculum at the point where they can learn something new. In this way, you allow them to learn at their own level, removing artificial barriers that dictate how much they can learn and how quickly. Pre-test your child and simply skip past what they already know in the curriculum. If your child doesn't need fabulous supplementary activities, it's also okay to skip them, as long as they're learning what they need to learn.
At high school level, remember that you can give your child high school credit as soon as they finish a standard curriculum. You don't have to make sure they sit in front of you for 150 hours before awarding credit. As soon as they're done with the curriculum and know the material, go ahead and give them high school credit.
When you don't accelerate, instead forcing your gifted child to work at the standard pace, your child can become bored. When parents say their teen is not motivated, hates school, or is bored, it's often because they are being forced to work at too slow a pace.
This is a selection from my book, Gifted Education Strategies for Every Child. If you enjoyed the post and want to learn more about gifted education strategies for your homeschool students, you can buy the book on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions!
Gifted Educations Strategies for Every Child is one of my Coffee Break Books. What are Coffee Break Books? These are books designed for YOU - a busy homeschool parent feeling frustrated by something, and needing information NOW - all put together in an easy-to-read, short, simple format. Coffee Break Books are perfect for overwhelmed, sleep-deprived moms with a baby on their hip. Simple, large font makes them easy to read even when distracted or pulled in a million directions. They are designed to help parents tackle just ONE issue of homeschooling during just ONE coffee break! Each book combines a practical and friendly approach with detailed, easy-to-digest information. Never overwhelming, always accessible and manageable, each book in the series will give you the tools you need to tackle the tasks of homeschooling high school, one warm sip at a time.
Learn more in my video review below!