7 Tips For Home Schooling The Intellectually Gifted Child

Is your child gifted? Most people will say that their children are gifted, but the children being referred to here are the intellectually gifted.

A child who’s gifted intellectually may be very curious, observant, and have amazing problem solving and reasoning skills. A gifted child may be highly energetic, a perfectionist, and relates well with adults. He or she may ask many questions, be an early reader, and have an extensive vocabulary.

If you have a gifted child, you may worry that public school is not challenging enough for him or her. While many schools do offer advanced classes, this is not enough sometimes. It is the reason why many parents prefer to home-school their gifted children.

Home schooling your gifted child might seem like a daunting and overwhelming task. After all, how do you teach him/her? How can you actually challenge him/her? If you are interested in home schooling your gifted child. Here are 7 tips to help you.

1. Getting Creative with the Curriculum

Parents of gifted children are often hung up regarding the right curriculum to use that will meet the needs of their children best. While there are several options available for you to choose from, you don’t have to use a one-size-fits-all curriculum.

You are free to mix and match curricula for every subject to make sure that you work at the child’s level for certain topics, but you can go a step further and supplement this with other things such as participation in local study groups, hands-on activities at home, among others.

2. Understand the Expectations for Each Grade Level

Home-school parents usually don’t worry about the grade level printed on the front of the textbook, and this perfectly okay. However, when working with a gifted child, they might have to work 2 to 3 grades ahead. This may lead to not learning certain material that’s necessary at a particular grade level.

It is always advisable to have an idea of what is usually covered in a particular school year. You can find many great resources for helping you understand what the expectations are with respect to each particular grade.

3. Keep It Moving

Gifted children do not move at a pace similar to their peers since they tend to learn much faster. However, you should also consider that they can easily get frustrated since they are probably using more challenging material.

Thankfully, gifted children develop coping mechanisms that help them learn through the frustration. They are also more likely to retain the material better probably due to the frustration whereas regular children facing the same situation would simply shut down.

4. Work on Problem Areas Carefully

While you want to keep it moving, you also want to recognize the limits of your gifted child and help him or her overcome problem areas. It is also important to ensure that a weakness in a particular area does not affect progress in other areas.

For example, some children have problems with writing since their brains work faster than their hands. In such cases, the advisable thing would be to encourage the child to complete assignments on the computer and continue building his or her handwriting skills later.

If the gifted child needs more tuition in a particular subject and you are unable to head them in the right direction consider hiring a private tutor to help them develop their skills in this field to even higher levels.

5. Encourage Completion

It is important to give your gifted child as much flexibility as possible, but also don’t forget that it will be a disservice for your child if he or she never tackles anything that he or she does not feel like working on at the moment. Your child might actually be surprised to learn that a dreaded subject is the springboard for a new area of investigation.

6. Ignore the Naysayers

It is only you that knows the limits of your child and know exactly what your child is capable of. Gifted children often amaze even themselves, so if you believe that your child is ready for advanced instruction just do it. The opinions of other people are not important, but how you react to them can affect your attitude, so learn to let it go.

 

7. Don’t Forget that Education is Not All About Academics

Your role as a parent of any child, gifted or not, is to guide them in much more than academics. If you have a gifted child that learns faster, use some of the extra time to participate in projects that make a difference in your community and the world at large.

Help your child learn that life is more than good grades and knowledge. Children are exactly that and should be allowed to enjoy other facets of life. Help your child explore other things such as entrepreneurship, outdoor activities, art, music, sports, and more.

The Bottom Line

Gifted children are truly a gift to you and it is important to treasure and nurture this gift to help him or her have the best life possible in the future. Education is the best way to nurture your child’s intellectual abilities and home schooling is the best option for gifted children.

The 7 tips for home schooling gifted children discussed here should help you nurture the intellectual abilities of your child and help him or her end up as a well-rounded person when he or she grows older.