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    Gifted children

    Hi All,

    I'm curious to know if anyone is homeschooling a gifted child. If so, at what age did you have them tested and which test did they use? Also, do you strictly use MP with them or do you supplement other projects, books, etc depending on the child's interest. One other question, how do you keep the repetition of recitation and math facts from boring them and turning them off? Thanks in advance! I gain so much insight and wisdom from this forum

    God's peace and blessings,
    Liana

    #2
    MP can be very good for tag kiddos. There are several around here.

    One of the things that makes me cringe is how many gifted and tag lists treat being bored as a bad thing. Kids do need to do boring things- gifted ones too. Do you need to drill them on things they have mastered? Nope. But they do need to master it before moving on. This opens a pdf that a psych who works with advanced kiddos shared with us: https://www.wku.edu/gifted/documents...esnt_learn.pdf

    To answer your questions, we mostly use out of level testing with NUMATS. We did do a psych evaluation when dd had some issues at 6 years old. We can best be described as reluctant homeschoolers.

    We've used MP as our spine for probably 5 or 6 years, but not exclusively. When we change things out I try to make an "even swap". We tend to pick and choose MP subjects, then fill in. We're moving to other things next year for high school because of a program dd wants to work towards, but MP has been good for us.

    We did Latin until last year, but dd didn't want to do it this year with 2 math courses (MP Alg 2 + competition math) and French, so we let it go. What she does know has be extremely fun and helpful because Latin is everywhere.

    I have taught in a lot of different situations, so I never use any material strictly as written. MP is easy to adapt to various learning styles, compact when needed, and extend if necessary. It's content is deep by nature. We definitely follow bunny trails, but my dd would much rather get "school" done and go do her passion led learning afterwards.
    Last edited by bean; 05-07-2019, 11:29 AM.
    Bean. Long time MP user. Almost retired homeschool mom and university faculty/ librarian. Teaching a "Children's Lit for Educators" class this semester!

    I apologize in advance for my typos and grammatical mishaps.

    DD (16) Graduating May 2022!
    Mechanical Engineering

    "School Administrator" to niece (9): MP 3A

    Comment


      #3
      I did reply to this last night, but I fixed a typo and ended up in moderation purgatory. I'm sure it will show up eventually. What causes a post to be flagged?
      Bean. Long time MP user. Almost retired homeschool mom and university faculty/ librarian. Teaching a "Children's Lit for Educators" class this semester!

      I apologize in advance for my typos and grammatical mishaps.

      DD (16) Graduating May 2022!
      Mechanical Engineering

      "School Administrator" to niece (9): MP 3A

      Comment


        #4
        LOL, Bean. I was flagged about a week ago, too. Maybe it's like those random airport security checks: sometimes you get selected for a pat-down even though you are perfectly innocent. <wink>


        Liana, yes, I began to homeschool 17 years ago because of a gifted child. He will be 26 yrs on Friday. He had been in Catholic school, then public school, and was scoring perfect scores on IOWAs and other standardized tests. It was also a give away that he was doing algebra with me when he was 4 yrs. He was 9 yrs/4th grade our first year of home school. I promptly put him into 7th grade curricula and never looked back.

        That said, I never had him "tested" at all. In the late 2000's I began to see that doing so might have gotten him services in schools, but since we were homeschooling, what would honestly be the point? By the end of age 13 yrs, he had 13 high school credits, so I then sent him to the base high school (we are military and were living overseas). He simply started out taking 11th/12th grade classes and never looked back. Yes, he did graduate valedictorian and got into MIT quite handily (Early Admissions). MIT accepts 314 students Early out of the 11,000+ applications they receive. He received a big "tube" full of confetti and a certificate announcing his acceptance. It was possibly the best day of my life. Not even kidding. I had homeschooled a genius without ANY support or services; most family thought I was crazy or "weird" (especially my SIL, ha, ha).

        When my son was in town last month, we were discussing his opinion of being homeschooled for 4th - 8th. He free acknowledged that he would never have gotten to MIT without his "crazy mom" home schooling him during those crucial years. Music to my ears.


        As Bean points out: no need to beat a dead horse with gifted kids, but you have to constantly monitor for weaknesses. I still laugh at this: my oldest cruised though an MIT Aerospace degree but can't spell worth spit. Spelling is so... linear... and therefore anathema to his 360 degree way of thinking. The reason I didn't need to drill and recite with my oldest is that he has an endemic memory (some call this "photographic" memory). So, he has always remembered "everything", usually in one go. However, I did not actually *recognize* how unusual he was when all my kids were little. I failed to drill my NEXT TWO kids enough! It will always be a regret of mine that I did not do enough for those two kids when they were younger. Although they are "smart", fine adults, there is no question that I did not recognize certain facts about educating ONLY "top of the grade level" kids until too late.

        As I often say, "If only my crystal ball wasn't in the shop!"



        Jen



        DS, 28 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

        DS, 26 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

        DD, 23 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

        DS, 13 yrs, 9th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

        All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

        Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling, now a high school chemistry teacher at a large Catholic high school

        Comment


          #5
          *posted at the same time as Jen! *

          Liana,
          We have always homeschooled, so i have never felt the need to have any of my children tested. But from personal experience of both my dh and I growing up, and from what my sister has shared with me from her career, the impression I have about true gifted ness is that it is actually quite rare and quite obvious. Jen Cole often speaks about her son who is truly blessed with a great amount of gifted ness, and it has shown in all aspects of his life. So if you search her posts, you can find her stories of him until she gets a chance to jump on here.

          What we experienced growing up is that my dh and I fall into the “bright” category, and most of our children follow suit. If we had them in the public school, they would probably test into the G&T program because they could handle the academic rigor and would enjoy everything that went along with that. We see this at very very early ages, such as that they don’t actually “play” very well - they are very serious very early on and want to be “working” on something all the time despite my attempts to help them “just be kids.”

          So, no to the testing part of your question, but yes to the fact that we use MP almost exclusively, and they love it. The fact that MP focuses on classical languages and traditional math gives them strong outlets for their intellectual appetites and their need to work hard without really seeking out a ton of extras. For example, our oldest used her free time to both work all the way through high school and become a talented artist. Our second took the foundation of the First Form Greek program to then tackle the hardest Greek textbook he could find and has been studying it all on his own. For two years now without needing any prompting from me to keep going. What I usually have to do is help them have healthy boundaries, rather than find more to do! Also the reading of such high-quality materials perfectly suits the frustration they experience when they read anything that is poorly written and illogical which is the majority of what’s in the typical library these days!).

          We are starting to head into a new stage of graduating children instead of adding them on and we could not be happier with how things have gone for them with MP. So whether you pursue that realm of G&T or not, you can definitely trust that MP can both meet their needs, and help you know how to not let them go overboard. They need to be taught healthy life balance as well as to pursue, pursue, pursue.

          AMDG,
          Sarah

          ETA: pardon all the typing errors. This new forum platform is so much fussier on my phone that it changes things after I have typed them. Just ignore them!
          Last edited by KF2000; 05-06-2019, 07:44 AM.
          2020-2021
          16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
          DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
          DS, 17
          DD, 15
          DD, 13
          DD, 11
          DD, 9
          DD, 7
          +DS+
          DS, 2

          Comment


            #6
            My daughter was tested by the public school system when she was in a Montessori Charter school in 1st grade. They ended up skipping her to 3rd grade, but I found it was still not challenging enough. She has been home since 4th grade. We use a lot of MP, but have never gotten to the core point. I wish that I had done the 4th grade core when we started and supplemented from there as needed, but I was new to homeschooling and just figuring things out. If I could go back and do it again, I'd do more MP and have fewer forays into all the things that I tried to plan myself that didn't get done.
            Kristin - Administrator for Vita Beata (discussion classes for MP users)
            DD19; AFROTC and Aerospace Engineering Major
            DD17; Senior - doing MP Divine Comedy, Renaissance & Reformation, Cicero & Augustine, and moderating 4th Grade Literature for Vita Beata.

            Comment


              #7
              Also, I have a friend who is starting over with her caboose baby using MP. The sum of the core is definitely greater than the parts. Start with as close to the core as you can and work out from there.

              There is is a lot of natural review there that doesn’t require drill.

              Jen- don’t even get me going on Spelling....
              Bean. Long time MP user. Almost retired homeschool mom and university faculty/ librarian. Teaching a "Children's Lit for Educators" class this semester!

              I apologize in advance for my typos and grammatical mishaps.

              DD (16) Graduating May 2022!
              Mechanical Engineering

              "School Administrator" to niece (9): MP 3A

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by bean View Post
                I did reply to this last night, but I fixed a typo and ended up in moderation purgatory. I'm sure it will show up eventually. What causes a post to be flagged?
                Of course I don't know the real answer, but I have noticed that if you "double" edit, it will flag the post. So, if you edit, hit post reply then notice another error and try and edit again too quickly (right away) it flags the post. They do usually come back up, but I have seen it take as long as 24 hours or there have been a few that never showed up.
                Christine

                (2022/2023)
                DD1 8/23/09 -Mix of MP 6/7
                DS2 9/1/11 - Mix of SC 7/8 and SC 9/10 (R&S 5, FFL)
                DD3 2/9/13 -SC 5/6

                Previous Years
                DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, Mix of MP3/4, Mix MP5/6
                DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, AAR/Storytime Treasures), CLE Math, Mix of MP3/4, MP5 (literature mix of SC 7/8/MP5)
                DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1, MP2

                Comment


                  #9
                  We have a child who is both gifted and autistic. We've had testing done by private psychologists and the public school throughout his childhood. His most recent test was the Woodcock Johnson IV--both the Achievement and Cognitive tests. He scores in the moderately gifted range, although he has some significant communication challenges. Most of the literature I have read about gifted education focuses on catering to the student's ability to "think outside the box" and not boring them. With my son, I haven't found any need to encourage outside the box thinking. That happens naturally, and all the time with him. What my son needs, with his widely varying skill set and buzzing, curious mind is help getting his thoughts in order. The organization of MP's curriculum, especially the Latin grammar, the Logic series, the structure of the progymnasmata in the Classical Composition books, and the memorization of math facts, Scripture, and other information has helped immensely in ordering his mind.
                  Catherine

                  2021-22
                  DS18, 12th
                  DS15, 9th
                  DS & DD13, 8th
                  DS9, 3rd
                  DD6, 1st
                  DS3
                  DS & DS 6 mos

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Jen (formerly) in Japan View Post

                    ... By the end of age 13 yrs, he had 13 high school credits, so I then sent him to the base high school (we are military and were living overseas). He simply started out taking 11th/12th grade classes and never looked back. Yes, he did graduate valedictorian and got into MIT quite handily (Early Admissions). MIT accepts 314 students Early out of the 11,000+ applications they receive. He received a big "tube" full of confetti and a certificate announcing his acceptance. It was possibly the best day of my life. Not even kidding. I had homeschooled a genius without ANY support or services; most family thought I was crazy or "weird" (especially my SIL, ha, ha).
                    Jen,
                    Could you share with us how did you accomplish this? How did you accelerate his studies to earn the high school credits? Also, were there any issues because the credits were earned during "middle school" and not high school years?
                    Thank you!
                    MG
                    ***Using some 6A materials for 2021-2022***

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by bean View Post
                      What causes a post to be flagged?
                      Apologies to you and everyone about the unintentional moderation! The primary reason we upgraded our forum was due to an increase in the quantity and severity of spam. The stricter control provided by this version has all but eliminated said spam, but it does flag posts that it thinks were edited too frequently/quickly. We might be able to tone that setting down, but considering the type of content that some of the spammers were attempting to post, we definitely want to make sure they don't make it through with a clean post only to then edit in inappropriate content. Does that make sense?

                      Originally posted by howiecram View Post
                      [Moderated posts] do usually come back up, but I have seen it take as long as 24 hours or there have been a few that never showed up.
                      We have to manually approve each moderated post. Unfortunately, the forum does not automatically notify us when a post has been flagged. We try to check the forum at least once per business day as well as at least once over the weekend, but office craziness does sometimes affect that schedule No legitimate (i.e., non spam) post should ever be deleted though, so if you believe your post was deleted, please reach out to us via a PM or an email. You're welcome to use mine: [email protected].

                      HTH!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi Liana! Yes I am homeschooling a gifted child, but never had him tested. It was obvious that he was gifted around age two or three, so we didn't bother with testing. He was in school for two years, but we pulled him out because he was so bored. Bored in a bad way, not in a "deal with it because not everything is fun" sort of way. He would complete his work before all the other kids, but was not allowed to move on. Period.

                        Anyway, I haven't strictly used MP because I didn't know about it until a couple years ago. He did much of the 7th grade core, though, and wasn't bored with the recitations or history flashcards at all. Instead, he really liked whipping off the facts. He didn't do R&S math, but our program did incorporate speed drills like R&S, and he loved trying to beat his time from the previous day. I would go for it. MP is wonderful for any type of student because it is truly educational meat, and I think they will benefit from it, gifted or not. This is not to say my kid is thrilled with his lessons because I get A LOT of pushback because there are more interesting things to do than schoolwork to a jr. high school boy.
                        Last edited by Sugarbelle; 05-06-2019, 08:07 PM.
                        DS, 15, 10th grade
                        DS, 12, 7th grade

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Sugarbelle View Post
                          .

                          Anyway, I haven't strictly used MP because I didn't know about it until a couple years ago. He did much of the 7th grade core, though, and wasn't bored with the recitations or history flashcards at all. Instead, he really liked whipping off the facts. He didn't do R&S math, but our program did incorporate speed drills like R&S, and he loved trying to beat his time from the previous day. I would go for it. MP is wonderful for any type of student because it is truly educational meat, and I think they will benefit from it, gifted or not. This is not to say my kid is thrilled with his lessons because I get A LOT of pushback because there are more interesting things to do than schoolwork to a jr. high school boy.

                          Nodding in agreement, Sugarbelle.

                          MP cores did not exist "back the day" when I began to homeschool, but now being able to homeschool my Bonus Baby via the Cores, I would have chosen them for my olders in a New York minute. I would have added or adapted here and there for my oldest, but the basis of the MP cores is solid bedrock. Agreeing with you that the ability to "whip out" memory facts actually contributes to the student's Self Esteem (but let's not go down THAT rabbit trail).

                          Now, being quite serious here, I would never, ever have used R&S math with my oldest. The fit would have been 180 degrees wrong. BUT, I wish I would have known about it for my next two kids! We used the spiral approach of Horizons math (which was new on the market in those days). Here's the biggest problem with spiral approaches: they go well... until they don't. And at that point, the jig is up and neither you nor your child will ever be able to *exactly* pinpoint when s/he went off the rails. The serpent has crept into the garden and neither you nor your child ever feels peace again because neither of you is able to ever *quite* touch the spot where it all went wrong. Keeping with a sequential, arithmetic based program is more of an insurance policy that your child will, in fact, KNOW HIS MATH FACTS, which is the critical element in the ability to progress in higher levels of mathematics.



                          Jen


                          DS, 28 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

                          DS, 26 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

                          DD, 23 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

                          DS, 13 yrs, 9th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

                          All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

                          Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling, now a high school chemistry teacher at a large Catholic high school

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by [email protected] View Post
                            Hi All,

                            I'm curious to know if anyone is homeschooling a gifted child. If so, at what age did you have them tested and which test did they use? Also, do you strictly use MP with them or do you supplement other projects, books, etc depending on the child's interest. One other question, how do you keep the repetition of recitation and math facts from boring them and turning them off? Thanks in advance! I gain so much insight and wisdom from this forum

                            God's peace and blessings,
                            Liana
                            Chiming in for this question ----

                            I've done quite a bit of thinking about this over the years. I was tagged/identified for our school's Gifted and Talented Program when I was young. Spent summers at the VAMPY camps at WKU, took PSAT early and all of that jazz. Ultimately, did that serve me well? It certainly wasn't life changing. <shrug> I met friends, made connections, etc, but it honestly didn't change the course of my life. I've even spent a fair amount of time wondering if I was 'really gifted' or just a high achiever teacher pleaser.

                            I've only had my twin boys tested, and it wasn't because I thought they were gifted. We were dealing with learning issues, and I needed to know what we were up against.

                            I think testing CAN be beneficial, but I think you have to look at what your primary purpose for testing is, and be honest with yourself. For me, testing would not be a good thing. I struggle mightily with pride, and if any of my children were identified as gifted, I would, without a doubt, pat myself on the back. "Look what I did!" That's not a good place for me.

                            I think homeschooling is likely one of the very best things you can do, in parenting a gifted child. It works well, for the same reason it works for neurotypical kids or kids with learning issues. You can tailor the learning to their strengths and weaknesses. Picking up math facts in their sleep? Then move through a little more quickly. Whoops, spelling is an issue? Slow things down until it clicks. If a child is cruising through MP, I honestly wouldn't push ahead too far -- I'd just use that extra time to explore interests -- sports, music, field trips, etc.

                            Plans for 2021-22

                            Year 11 of homeschooling with MP

                            DD1 - 26 - Small Business owner with 2 locations
                            DD2 - 15 - 10th grade - HLS Cottage School/MPOA/True North Academy/Vita Beata - equestrian
                            DS3 - 13 -6A Cottage School - soccer/tennis -dyslexia and dysgraphia
                            DS4 - 13 - 6A Cottage School -soccer -auditory processing disorder
                            DD5 - 9 - 4A, Cottage School/MPOA -equestrian
                            DS6 - 7 - MPK - first time at the Cottage School this fall!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by MG_ View Post

                              Jen,
                              Could you share with us how did you accomplish this? How did you accelerate his studies to earn the high school credits? Also, were there any issues because the credits were earned during "middle school" and not high school years?
                              Thank you!
                              MG

                              Of course! This got really long, so please excuse my indulgence. I am setting in place my Sayonara Song of home schooling. I used this post to memorialize the process by which I was able to "beat the system" for my son, transcripting his high school credits while still biologically younger than high school age.




                              As I referenced in my original post on this thread, if you have a truly gifted kid, you are going to have to think outside the box. No one will be able to guide you *exactly* in this realm because it will turn out that your child is unique is ways that have to be considered. In our case, my oldest is just Exceptionally Gifted, no "twice exceptional" about him, which seemed to mystify any school personnel at B&M schools. I am sure I have shared this here before, but I will again. Once, when he was in 7th grade, I had him attending a base school for the G&T "class", figuring that would give him peers (it didn't; public school "gifted programs" are only in the first. lowest level of giftedness, a sort of "average" giftedness which means the students work 1, possibly up to 2 levels above grade level). Anyway, the school psychologist looked me in the eye and said, "You know, he is not as gifted as YOU think he is because he is not autistic."

                              Pin drop.


                              That comment ranks singularly as the stupidest comment I have ever heard in my life. Why, yes indeed, my son IS as gifted as I am beginning think he is (and only 5 years later, it was borne out by MIT, and then four years after THAT with an MIT Aerospace degree earned handily).


                              OK but how did I navigate the waters, you ask? First of all, I started attended "transcript boot camp" type workshops the summer after his 5th grade year, because I could see what was coming, and began to see the problems that were creeping up on the horizon. I recognized and decided on one fact quickly, and now don't anyone get ruffled here, because it will generally be true: I decided that to "prove" my homeschool results, I would seek out a 3rd party verification as a back-up. Even though I knew that he might score a perfect SAT or ACT eventually (which he did.... both), I decided that was too risky to rely solely on that one piece of data way out in the future. So, I recognized that I would eventually WANT him to attend B&M school so that he would be showcased against a sea of peers, thereby negating what Everyone Thinks Homeschoolers Award: Mommy Grades. Now, please also keep in mind that today's homeschool environment is MASSIVELY different compared to nearly 16 years ago when I was needing to make these decisions! I suppose there are other mechanism these days that might also produce the desired result, but at that time (and we were living in an overseas military community which ended up to encompass the ENTIRETY of that child's 7-12th education), that was my decision. Eventually he would need B&M school for expert teachers in math and science, but also to work as a "proof" of his abilities by direct comparison against his age-group peers.

                              So, I enrolled in a homeschooling Umbrella school. I worked with a counselor. While he was a young middle schooler, I followed the rules to transcript "allowable" high school credits (usually math and foreign language). At that time, NO middle schoolers were allowed to transcript high school level sciences, but I have heard that might have changed. Anyway, he had algebra and geometry, plus foreign language credits transcripted as a middle schooler.


                              Then, I went maverick.


                              I asked the umbrella school to advance him a grade level INTO NINTH when he should have been an 8th grader/13 yrs. I had to do all sorts of paperwork, submit samples, make phone calls, etc. But I successfully lobbied for the umbrella school declare him a 9th grader during his biological 8th grade year. Then, and this was the fun part (!), I opened the flood gate in our homeschool. He and I homeschooled a Dream Year. ANYTHING we wanted to study at the high school level, we did. He took 9 classes that year doubling and "proving" his high school science credits. I taught high school chemistry at a co-op that year. My oldest was my TA, it was so easy for him. He did an entire SL core, several science credits, etc. It was a rush for us both, a little like sitting at the crest of a roller coaster, then speeding down. It was by far, my favorite homeschool year of them all.

                              BTW, he was also a Boy Scout, altar served weekly, attended a weekly co-op, took speech and drama lessons, and participated in my teen boys book club I invented for the local home school population. So, don't think that all we did was to stay home. Unbelievably, this kid is an extrovert!


                              OK, so that was Phase I of the plan: get a 3rd party to acknowledge that you have a child who can do the work and it is verified via an official transcript.

                              [Funny aside, the B's I gave him that year are the ONLY B's he ever received. I am a hard grader!!]



                              Phase II: once he turned 14 yrs, I enrolled him in the base high school.... as a NINTH GRADER. Yep, he "repeated" 9th grade. However, because he had a transcript which showed he was a 9th grader with prior middle school credits, the base high school had to accept the credits. I also had access to a "good" guidance counselor, AND I had Matthew sitting right in front of her. He himself is a presence to be reckoned with. Very few people who meet him (except, it seems, my inlaws) fail to note his "otherness". He is an actor/dramatist, well spoken, (well raised), and smarter than the person he is talking to without actually seeming prideful. Anyway, the guidance counselor was a little horrified by my request, but went along with me. He began high school as a 9th grader with 13 transcripted credits.

                              So, Phase II was successfully launched with my oldest "darkening the doors" of the base high school at age 14 yrs. Because of his transcript, he was placed into Honors 9 English and History (which he LOVED because it was so easy for him), PreCalc, physics, Japanese III, etc. Of course, he never received a B again in his life. Also, he was taking mostly only APs classes in his Jr and Sr years. I'm not going to lie: Matthew is a legend at that school. He took 11 AP classes and scored a 5 on every. single. one.


                              So, you might wonder why I decided to do that? Place this obviously "gifted" kid back into 9th when he was already passed that? Because I recognized that not only would that make his abilities all that more obvious (by being placed against the backdrop of "the regular kids"), but because of this:


                              I wanted him to be a child. I wanted him to do HIS thing, but still have the opportunities to have peers. I wanted him to feel safe, comfortable, powerful, confident, and to learn lessons while still living under my roof. Although wickedly smart, he was still my CHILD. What good would it have been to get him into college at age 15? If I had pushed harder, I'd bet I could have. No. I realized that I would be creating, and FILLING UP, his tank of "self" by allowing him to "just be himself". It was the single best decision I made raising that kid (well, and raising him in the Church; he is a mean apologeticist).



                              Sadly, and although I have tried to spread this advice to parents of other gifted kids, I have seen what happens when my advice is ignored. 100% of the kids have burned out somewhere along the trajectory of life. And frankly, here's another secret: very few of those kids were actually more than "mildly gifted", so pushing the kids to greater and greater heights really did backfire. I have a nephew... OK, I'll just leave that there.


                              I took the time to type all this out because, not going to lie, my days as a home schooler are numbered. Typing this out is really just keeping a promise (and a vow) I made to myself in 2002. I was a new homeschooler back then, looking for guidance, information, perspective. I never could seem to find an experienced homeschooler willing to share! Experienced homeschoolers seemed to vanish away from "the scene" just when I needed the most perspective: HOW does this all look at the end of the journey? Anyway, I made a vow to myself back then: should I ever "go the distance" in homeschooling, I'd stick around and pay back the community. Well that time has come, but is now vanishing away quickly. I am retiring from homeschooling (this week, in fact) after 16 full years of homeschooling. My first year of homeschooling, in the fall of 2002, I had a 4th grader (doing 7th grade work), a 2nd grader, and a 4 yo preschooler, whom I taught to read that year. There was no "slow start" to my homeschooling experience. I've homeschooled for 16 straight years, with odd little breaks along the way. However, this post is my gift to the forum: as I leave, "retire", and hang up my homeschooling spurs, you can direct any homeschoolers with truly gifted kids to my posts for encouragement. I will freely admit that I NEVER explicitly knew what I was doing for this kid, but I used my intuition, intelligence, and some outright grit and courage to make it happen. It will take all you have, and more, to educate a truly gifted kid. You can't leave ANYTHING on the table to make that happen. I always say that educating this kid was like having 24 bucking broncos attached to my Red Rider wagon.

                              I never did know how this would turn out while I was doing it. When Matt's college testing results began to roll in, perfect score after perfect score (with no "prep classes"), then later, with every admission fully accepted AND AT LEAST ONE FULL SCHOLARSHIP FOR $58,000 per year, for all 4 years renewable, I began to acknowledge that this kid *might* be "pretty gifted". It actually DID take all of that for my husband to acknowledge it.


                              I'll close with this: it was a joy and a terror to homeschool that kid. You'll need very thick skin to do it, since no one will believe you have That Kid. The term "gifted" is so very diluted these days, mostly because of the way public school defines it. If you want to learn more about *actual* giftedness, see Hoagies Gifted Education Page: https://www.hoagiesgifted.org/





                              Jen

                              DS, 28 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

                              DS, 26 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

                              DD, 23 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

                              DS, 13 yrs, 9th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

                              All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

                              Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling, now a high school chemistry teacher at a large Catholic high school

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