For Academic Reasons - Getting Started
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
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:
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How do I homeschool a gifted student?
to Gifted Homeschool "how-to"]
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.
legal issues page] .
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]
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!
pages about identifying the gifted
student, our library and resources,
styles and methods of
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
groups and associations ]
& METHODS OF HOMESCHOOLING
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
[ More on styles & methods ,
here's how we do it ]