Special Needs & Homeschooling - Our Journey

Our Travels Our Photography
Our Course of Study
Daphne The Science Guinea Pig
Our Travels - We take our homeschool on the road as often as we can and these pages may show you how you can too!
Our Photography - it's one of our hobbies.

Our Course of Study - Explore the topics we have studied in our homeschool.

Daphne The Science Guinea Pig: We love Math & Science
Our Stuff - Everything that we sell or promote.

People who aren't homeschooling often ask two questions when they hear my student is homeschooled.

“Are you qualified to homeschool a gifted student?
“What about Socialization?”

(My typical answer to these)
[ Our articles on socialization]

People who are other homeschoolers will ask about how many children I am homeschooling and will inquire about the topics we are currently studying.

People homeschool for a variety of reasons. My student is learning at home because it is the best environment for the dominant personality and learning style. It is also the best and most flexible environment for "socialization". Recognizing my student's “giftedness” has led me through some very interesting reads and into a variety of pursuits as we homeschool. I have come to a self educated understanding of this gifted student through a variety of efforts.

I embarked on the wild roller coaster ride of homeschooling my highly gifted student almost a decade ago and haven’t looked back. Though the third and fourth "grades" were fun and a learning experience for both of us, “The Middle Years” as I call them have been the most important and the best so far. They serve as the foundation for the future course we are setting. These years have exposed the immense potential in my student. These are the years when a student discovers the things they are really good at and what they really like to do. These are also the years when they discover what they cannot do well, which is a painful discovery for our perfectionistic children. Teaching my student how to deal with his grand accomplishments and “near misses” has proved to be the true value of educating my gifted student at home. Some may argue that socially, children need to experience successes and failure in public places like school; I disagree, these people do not understand that this can be devastating to the gifted student and certainly to the highly gifted student.

Our "Elementary school" was called "Mariposario" which is a Spanish word that means butterfly sanctuary. When we "graduated" to Middle School level, we changed the name of our school to "Irie". My student recently had to describe our "school" and here is that description:

"Right now I’m the chronological equivalent of seventh grade. I have been homeschooled for the last 5 years. I call my homeschool “Irie” which means “nice”, “right”, and “cool” in Patois. Patois is a Jamaican language but it is spoken all over the Caribbean."

Our homeschool experience is “nice”, “right”, and “cool” and I hope it continues on the same course.

As we approach our “high school” years, I am reconfirming our belief that homeschooling has been and will continue to be the best choice for this student. I feel that in the school system this student might have been falsely praised into underachieving, or shamed into the idea that being smart (or geeky as he describes it) is not “cool” or even worse, pushed ahead or aside. At home we have been able to do all the same things they “do” in “school” and more. People are often blown away by the idea that my student moves through college level classes from the MIT Open Courseware, has been an online student in the Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY) at Stanford University and at Northwestern University (Center for Talent Development - CTD) taking advanced placement and honors classes long before entering “high school”. I am blown away that my student looks forward to taking summer classes in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University with the Gifted Education Resource Institute (GERI) and is starting “high school” with 2.5 “Carnegie Credit hours”.

And the journey continues...

On these pages you can read in some detail about how our homeschool is flavored. You can discover what we've studied and when at: Our Course of Study. You'll find that our "kettle" simmers a combination of travel, books, science experiments, writing and photography. We also enjoy peppering our "stew" with commentary from our pet Guinea Pig Daphne. Along the way I have discovered many things that perhaps can help you in your journey. Stay a while and look around. Check out what we are doing for "high school" and my page about what I discovered doing research for our "upper school".

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