Homeschooling For Academic Reasons - Getting Started
"Legal Issues & Concerns" highlights how you determine what the laws are in your state.
"Getting Started" gives ideas about how the important issue you may want to consider before you take the plunge.
"Curriculum" describes how to determine the "method" you'll use in your homeschool.

Homeschooling really is easy. I cannot count the number of times people have said that they wouldn't have the patience to homeschool their kids or that they would fail because it was too difficult. The most difficult task is mustering the confidence in yourself to actually take the plunge, especially with a gifted and talented student. I often tell people that I admire the folks who homeschool more than one student at a time. A homeschool can be quite the flurry of activity that is for sure, but my frame of reference is a homeschool where a highly gifted student lives.

Perhaps all homeschools look like my house does, with Science projects and animals and books, and books and books, and Art projects and sports gear and doodles here and there on napkins and white boards and clipboards. I would bet most homeschools have the same uniforms too, an assortment of fuzzy slippers and flannel jammies, but also hiking boots and puddle boots, butterfly nets and the hats, one for every excursion. Backpacks, we have those too, for our petri dishes and field books, Science books and laptops, library cards and symphony tickets, cameras and airline tickets to cool places.

We recently got back from a field trip, well actually it was a three week trip to study Botany in Florida. Our neighbor told us he thought we had moved. When I told him that we head to Florida in February to get out of the snow he said, "well I guess that's one advantage to homeschooling". And that really is it in a nutshell. Homeschooling gives your student the opportunity to explore strengths and accomplish many feats, at their pace and on their own terms. With a little encouragement and a whole lot of imagination, anyone can homeschool their kids. Here's the really big secret, you don't have to do the teaching like at "school". Mentor your children, show them how to acquire their own education by providing access to what they'll need and by planting the seeds of curiosity about a variety of topics.

As the mentor however, it is to your advantage to understand the logistics of homeschooling:

Gifted Homeschool "how-to"

Legal
Time Commitment
Academic
Social
Styles of Homeschooling
   

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Gifted Homeschool "How-to"
How do I homeschool a gifted student?

[Jump to Gifted Homeschool "how-to"]


LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS
Homeschooling is legal in all 50 of the United States.
One of the main things you think about when you consider homeschooling is the legal ramifications. Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. Each state has a different set of rules and the best resource is your local homeschool support group or an online statewide group. These resources will help you determine what you need to do to let the school district know that you will be exercising your right to homeschool your children.

Since states vary in their specific requirements, they will also vary in how they view gifted and talented students. Pay particular attention to laws that are specific to "Special Needs" students, since some states see gifted students as "Special Needs" students.

[ Our legal issues page] .


TIME COMMITMENT
Homeschooling requires an enormous time commitment. It involves preparation time, usually your summer, it requires daily time to get things rolling, it requires travel time if you take your homeschool on the road. If you are a planner, plan on investing a lot of time. If you fly by the seat of your pants, consider the time you'll need when pulling a transcript together for college entrance. it might pay to invest your time early!

[Our pages about curriculum, record keeping and styles & methods of homeschooling]



ACADEMIC CONSIDERATIONS
Homeschooling offers academic flexibility. This is important with a gifted student as the academic challenges that come with this kind of student can vary daily. Many gifted students excel in one or all areas of study and some may have learning inabilities. All of these issues must be considered when planning a homeschool course of study. Remember that it is important to include your gifted student in your academic planning. You may find that your student knows more than you think he does! The gifted student will amaze you at every turn in the road!

[Our pages about identifying the gifted student, our library and resources, styles and methods of homeschooling. ]


SOCIAL CONSIDERATIONS
The issue of socialization always manages to come up when someone is considering homeschooling. How many preteens or teens for that matter do you know in the school system that can construct whole sentences and have meaningful conversations beyond pop-culture? Anymore, there are not any social considerations for homeschooled students unless you live in a cave on top of a mountain in an isolated area. Even in this case, if you have Internet, isolation is difficult.

Social consideration was an issue put out there by the Public school system years ago when many felt (some still do) normal "socialization" meant having your kid be around same age peers learning the same thing all day, learning to value all the same material things everyone else does. Gifted students are often bored with too many same age peers so homeschooling feeds their natural thirst for the unusual and for a broad range of social interactions.

[ Our articles on socialization , support groups and associations ]


STYLES & METHODS OF HOMESCHOOLING

There are several styles or methodologies homeschooling families embrace. These are just a few: School-at-Home, Unschooling, Eclectic, Montessori, Waldorf, Charlotte Mason. We use a mix of eclectic, school-at-home and unschooling.

[ More on styles & methods , here's how we do it ]


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