5 Things to Consider Before You Homeschool Your Gifted Child

 

What Qualifies a Child as Gifted?

Gifted children often go without proper support, especially in elementary school. They tend to have above-average IQ scores, excel at a new talent quickly, or show superior cognitive skills.   Some may have trouble with basic tasks like reading, writing, spelling, and math, but demonstrate natural problem-solving abilities. Most gifted children don’t do well in traditional school settings, especially academically. Unfortunately, many schools do not have a customizable program for these students.

How Do I Help My Gifted Child at Home?

In order to help your gifted child at home, it is important to realize that gifted children are born with certain natural abilities and talents. These talents may show themselves at any age. Some gifted children are highly intelligent and others are artistic or creative.  They may also experience extreme advances followed by brief moments of plateaus.  A parent can best help their gifted child by giving them the space and environment that encourages them to stay motivated with self-discipline and clear direction.

Many people think of the word ‘gifted’ as referring only to exceptional intellectual ability. However, there are also many examples of gifted children who are very creative, artistic, musical, athletic, or who excel in sports. All children are gifted in some way, and all have the potential to develop these gifts. Educational coaches are great resources to help parents work through best practices for each talent or gift. Parents should encourage their child’s unique talents and try to foster his or her interests in order to help the child grow and learn.

Is it Best to Homeschool a Gifted Child?

Homeschooling gifted children can be the best option in many cases. A parent-led academic program gives students access to classes that they might not otherwise get. This is especially true for kids who do better in certain subjects, such as math or science.  With an educational coach, parents can identify the learning style and method that matches their child’s unique, gifted experience.  Without scholar-focused academics, children may have difficulty learning the basics of these subjects.  This difficulty is the reason why many gifted children have challenges staying engaged and motivated in traditional schools. Homeschooling allows them to learn these subjects independently, with the depth and pace that matches their ability and interest.

What Are Some Homeschool Methods to Help a Gifted Child?

Homeschooling is a great option for gifted children who do not receive specialized instruction elsewhere. The methods can vary from eclectic to classical.   Despite some parents and educators who prefer one method over the other, student success is not based strictly on methods.  The environment plays a critical role in helping a gifted child.

For example, homeschooled students may benefit from the individual attention they receive at home while also benefiting from a supportive community.

However, there are many aspects to consider when homeschooling a gifted child, such as curriculum selection, teaching techniques, assessment and evaluation, and funding options.

Under What Circumstances Should a Gifted Child NOT Be Homeschooled?

When parents are not able to provide oversight due to finances, location, work schedule, emotional health, or ability, the child should not be homeschooled.   That is not to say that working parents, Any of these factors can set the tone of a challenging environment for the entire family.

Also, there are some children who may need structure and discipline to learn effectively. They may not be able to handle a lot of freedom. These students need a method and an approach that provides them with what they need to succeed. This would be like trying to teach someone how to ride a bike without training wheels. I don’t think that these students would fare well if they were taught without structure and discipline.