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Keep Gifted Kids Challenged

"It's a tough time to raise, teach or be a highly gifted child... Schools are to extraordinarily intelligent children what zoos are to cheetahs... Every organism has an internal drive to fulfill its biological design. The same is true for unusually bright children. From time to time the bars need be removed, the enclosures broadened. Zoo Chow, easy and cheap as it is, must give way, at least some of the time, to lively, challenging mental prey." – Stephanie Tolan, Is It A Cheetah?

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With exceptionally bright or gifted children, it is especially important to keep their young minds well occupied with learning. Usually, in the elementary years, learning takes off, and they are learning almost as fast as they can get their hands on books! They are a cheetah, free to run on the plains. By the time high school comes around, subjects become much more difficult to teach, which can sometimes lead to student burnout. When the brilliant mind is no longer challenged, suddenly nothing is interesting anymore. The cheetah has been caged, it's prey easy to catch.

What Can We Do About This? 

To keep young, gifted children challenged, you can go faster through core subjects, but it can sometimes be easier to go wider, and experience many different subjects. This can help you to feed their desire to learn more, but without the negatives that come with material that is above their maturity level. It can also help "beef" up the content so they don't eat it up so quickly!

Here are some options for you to consider to keep your gifted kids challenged.
Building Thinking Skills, book 1, 2, and 3 are reproducible books that develop critical thinking skills in reading, writing, math and science. Lots of kids think they're fun, like doing a crossword puzzle or something. I don't usually recommend every book from Critical Thinking Press, because some feel too "schoolish" for me, but these books were a hit when we used them.
Building Thinking Skills Book 1- elementary
Logic and Latin are great for keeping thinkers thinking!
Latin Road to English Grammar
Introductory Logic Workbook
Introductory Logic DVD

Lego Robotics program
If your child is geeky, try to find an intensive program that can let them learn at their level while competing in the field.‎
Also know, that some states now allow computer coding languages like Java, Python, and C++ to be counted as high school credit! Read more about it in my article, Computer Coding as Foreign Language.
Speech and Debate Clubs
NCFCA: National Christian Forensics and Communications Association
STOA: Christian Homeschool Speech and Debate

Delight Directed Learning
And remember that anything your child loves can be encouraged at the high school level, and you can put it on your high school transcript, even if you didn't intentionally teach it as a "class."
Delight Directed Learning - How to Convert Natural Learning Into High School Natural Learning Into High School Credit
Delight Directed Learning: Guide Your Homeschooler Toward Passionate Learning 

Sometimes quality literature is just the thing to feed the flames of passionate learning. If you need to keep your reader challenged, check out my reading lists.
The HomeScholar College Bound Reading List
Classic Christmas Literature for High School Students
7 Ways to Encourage Reading in Middle School
Printable reading list for Middle School
Parents with gifted children can face unique stresses in their homeschool. If you would like more information on gifted children, these resources can help.
Free Article: 13 Tips for Teaching Your Gifted Teen
Kindle Book: Gifted Education Strategies for Every Child: Homeschool Secrets for Success
$15 e-Course: Gifted Education Strategies for Every Child (Online Training)
Personal, One-on-One Support: Gold Care Club Membership
Math Tutors - Art of Problem Solving 
The "all things gifted" page - Hoagie's Gifted Education

If you have a gifted child, what has been your favorite supplement?
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Thursday, 25 July 2024

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