Special Needs & Homeschooling - Our Journey
People who aren't homeschooling often ask two questions when they hear my student is homeschooled.
you qualified to homeschool a gifted student?
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.
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 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”.
the journey continues...