Being the parent of a gifted child is a blessing that comes with a unique set of challenges.
Determining the best educational setting can be one of the trickiest questions to navigate.
What do you do with a child who is years ahead of his peers in various academic subjects? How do you keep him appropriately challenged? How do you best meet his academic needs both now and into the future?
Schools vs. Gifted Kids: The Struggle
Although schools may try to do their best to differentiate instruction and accelerate gifted children, there are times when these approaches simply do not work.
- What do you do when your child is spending significant amounts of time doodling at school, waiting yet again for the class to finish?
- Is it in your child’s best interest to function as a second classroom teacher because he finishes quickly and is required to help other students?
Situations such as these – not to mention bullying and even getting labeled as a ‘troublemaker’ due to boredom – are often the very ones that push parents to consider homeschooling, perhaps for the first time.
There are many benefits to homeschooling a gifted child. In fact, homeschooling may very well be the optimal choice for gifted children. Let’s explore the potential advantages for your child.
Grade Level Flexibility
Grade level is much less relevant when you homeschool your gifted child. Your child might be doing history at one grade level, reading at another level, exploring science at a third level and doing math at yet another level. He is able to move forward freely in each subject according to his ability and interest. He may cover a normal year’s worth of work in one subject, but three years in another. As long as you are meeting the requirements set by your state homeschooling laws, you have great freedom and flexibility.
Creating a Customized Academic Approach
When you homeschool your child, you are free to chose the academic approach best suited for his learning style. Is he a textbook learner? Does he learn best from videos? Does he prefer to read books and discuss? Is he a natural researcher? Would he thrive using online learning tools?
There is no one right way to homeschool. One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is the ability to choose the approach that maximizes your child’s learning potential. It is no longer about what works best for his classroom teacher or the other thirty children in the classroom. It is about your child and his unique academic needs.
Free Time to Pursue Hobbies and Passions
Gifted children often have hobbies or other passions that consume their free time and imagination. If they have to fit them in around a long school day and hours of homework, it leaves them little opportunity for pursuing what may be their greatest calling – whether it is music, sports, writing, handcrafts or foreign languages.
Homeschooling affords your child much more free time to pursue his other interests. Instead of spending hours at school, waiting for other children to finish their work, your child can be pursuing his passions. He can enroll in a class, work with a private tutor, or join a homeschool co-op. The opportunity to pursue interests in addition to his formal schooling will increase significantly.
Less Social Pressure
Gifted students often struggle with fitting in socially. They may have interests outside of the norm. They may speak at a level far above their peers. Not fitting in can create tremendous social pressure for these students. If your child struggles with the intense social aspects of a traditional school setting, homeschooling may bring him just the freedom he needs to be comfortable with who he is and what he enjoys doing.© Copyright 2014 Sallie Borrink, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Parenting