Homeschooling a Gifted Child

Homeschooling a Gifted Child

Is your homeschool child gifted? Most of us will say that all children have a gift. God gives each of us our own gift to use. But I’m talking about academically gifted. A gifted child may be very observant, curious and have excellent reasoning and problem solving skills. Socially, a gifted child will relate well with adults, may be oversensitive, a perfectionist and highly energetic. A gifted child may have an extensive vocabulary, be an early reader, and ask lots of questions. These are just a few traits of a gifted child. To read more, check out this site.

If you have a gifted child, you may be concerned that public school isn’t challenging enough for him. Many schools offer advanced classes, but sometimes it is not enough. Homeschooling a gifted child can seem overwhelming, and like a daunting task. How can you challenge him? How can you teach him? Here are some tips to help if you are interested in homeschooling a gifted child.

Know the Expectations for Grade Level

Most homeschool parents don’t worry about the grade on the front of the textbook, and that is fine. But, with a gifted child they may work 2-3 grade levels ahead. This could lead to not learning material necessary at a certain grade level. It is a good idea to have some sort of idea what is typically covered in a school year. Rebecca Rupp Learning year by Year is a great resource to have when it comes to knowing the expectations for each grade.

Recognize the Benefits of Homeschooling

For your gifted child, homeschooling can be a wonderful opportunity. The question “why” comes up a lot in a gifted child. The fact that they want to know “more” all the time can be seen as exhausting sometimes. However, with homeschooling your child has the opportunity to work at his own pace, to find out the answer “why” to all of his “more” requests. Through books, observations, experiments, and study the gifted child can be challenged, and will have the time and opportunity to learn as they go, without grade level limitations.

Recognize the Challenges

There are going to be challenges when it comes to homeschooling your gifted child, but don’t let that scare you! There are many resources available for homeschool parents of gifted children. Check out this link for some tips for curriculum, and a great list of support groups for families of gifted children.

Misty Bailey loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

 

Homeschooling Multiple Grades

Homeschool Multiple Ages

When I first began homeschooling, I was terrified about homeschooling multiple grades. My middle (at that time my youngest) was only two, but the thought of her being in preschool and teaching my oldest at the same time made me cringe. Looking back, I can laugh because I know that preschool isn’t difficult, and teaching Kindergarten is nothing like teaching 4th grade but at the time, it really stressed me out!

As a homeschool parent I am sure at some time you will be homeschooling multiple grades. Teaching more than one grade does not have to be stressful. There are resources and curriculums out there that can help you as well as tips from those who have been homeschooling multiple grades for years.

When it comes to homeschooling multiple grades, the first thing you are going to want to do is combine your children for as many subjects as possible. Bible, History, and Science can all be taught together as a family. Curriculum like My Fathers World, Mystery of History and Apologia are geared towards homeschooling multiple grades and can make it easier to combine your children.

Another popular method for homeschooling multiple grades is unit studies. Unit studies are fairly teacher intensive but can be done rather inexpensively. A unit study is where you learn about one topic for a set amount of time. An example may be horses. You can teach the history of horses, the anatomy of horses, read books about horses, and watch documentaries about horses. The older children would study the topic more in-depth, while the younger children got a basic overview.

Another thing to consider when homeschooling multiple grades is the level of teacher prep work and cost. Purchasing curriculum that has the planning already done for you will require a lot less prep work then creating your own unit study.  However, prepackaged curriculum will be pricier than making your own. Weigh your options and choose the method that will work best for your family.

Two subjects where you would want to keep your children separate are Math and Language Arts. If you have multiple children, it may be a good idea to purchase curriculum where the children can work on these subjects as independently as possible. Many parents enjoy computer-based curriculums like Teaching Textbooks or Switched on Schoolhouse. There are workbook-based options like Alpha Omega Publications and Christian Light Education that are also fairly independent.  I have found having my children work on these subjects at the same time helps me teach multiple grades. I can go back and forth between them as they need me and both are focused on the same topic.

Homeschooling multiple grades may take a little bit of preplanning but seeing your children work and learn together is worth the hard work. I have also been amazed through the years how much the younger ones pick up on while learning alongside their older siblings. For more information about homeschooling multiple grades as well as help for scheduling your day I recommend this article from Fruitful Families.

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

 

Can Someone Else Homeschool My Child?

Someone else can homeschool my child

As a homeschool mentor in our local homeschool group, I have been asked a few times “Can someone else homeschool my child?”. This question stems from a variety of scenarios and comes from aunts, or grandparents having custody of their family members, foster or adoptive parents, or from parents who may have to work outside the home full time and has someone else willing to educate them while the parent is at work. The answer is dependent on where one lives. Some states allow it, some do not.

One thing to consider in regards to homeschooling another person’s child is that homeschooling ultimately is the parent’s responsibility. That being said there are cases when a parent cannot step into that role full time. Sometimes a grandparent, aunt, or friend can come in and help the child. However, the parent is still responsible for the education of that child.

For example, if mom works outside the home 3 days a week, and grandma watches the children and makes sure school is done on those days, she is filling in for mom. However, mom leaves the assignments, mom makes sure the work is complete, and mom grades the papers. Mom is still in charge of the child’s education.

Another scenario may be that your child is having a hard time mastering geometry. You hire a college student from your church to come in one day a week and tutor your child. This is not someone else homeschooling your child. This is asking and receiving help. The parent is still in charge of their child’s education.

In the case where the parent is not in the picture, and an aunt or grandparent steps in, I highly recommend seeking legal counsel. Maybe a temporary custody agreement should be met, or a contract set up. The education of someone else’s children is one that should not be taken on lightly.

Can I homeschool another person’s child? Here is the answer from HSLDA:

It depends on the homeschool law for your state (find your state’s law here). Please read it carefully to determine whether you may homeschool a child who is not yours. Even if homeschooling someone else’s child is legal in your state, HSLDA will not defend your right to teach a child other than your own. This is because our mission is to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their own children.

In regards to foster and adopted children the answer from HSLDA is:

Parents may homeschool their adopted children. However, if you are a foster parent, the option of homeschooling is determined by your caseworker.

If you are considering homeschooling another person’s child, please check out the laws for your state. If you are wondering if someone else can homeschool your child, remember that as a parent, you are the one solely responsible for your child’s education. Seeking help is one thing, but the education of your child rests on you. You can read the laws about parental responsibility and homeschooling for your state here.

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

 

Homeschooling and Grade Placement

Grade placement in homeschool

I recently shared a shocking homeschool confession post on my blog. In that post, I also shared that I don’t worry about what the grade number is on the front of my children’s books. One of the luxuries of homeschooling is that we don’t have to work on grade level. We can let our kids work at their own pace. This is a luxury for them, and us.

When you first begin homeschooling, you may assume that you can go with whatever grade they “should” be in. But, that is not always the case. I have found that some homeschool curriculums work about a ½-grade level above where our local public schools work. Some curriculum companies work below where our local schools are. You cannot trust the number on the front of a homeschool curriculum and assume it is “grade level appropriate”.

When thinking about where to place your child there are numerous things you can do to properly place them into a curriculum. Check the publishing company’s website and see if they offer grade placement tests. These tests are usually free and can be downloaded onto your computer and printed out. They will likely tell you about where your child should be placed in the publisher’s curriculum.

Another thing you may want to do is see the curriculum in person. This can be done at a convention, through a local homeschool friend who may use the curriculum, or at a curriculum swap and sell. This helps a lot because there may b some material in a curriculum your child has covered, and some they haven’t.

As homeschoolers, we can let our children work at their own pace. They don’t have to worry about what the number on the front of the book says as long as they are mastering the material along the way. Some people do consider grade levels important and where we live we do have to share what grade level our children are in when we turn in our notification. In this case I would consider what grade they WOULD be in if they attended public school. If someone asks my children, what grade they are in they will tell them. This helps in Sunday school classes, Jr church programs, scouts, and sports. Grade levels are not bad; they just aren’t always necessary or accurate when it comes to actual curriculum.

So, when thinking about grade placement for your homeschool child, for record keeping purposes, go with the grade they would be in if they attended public school. For curriculum purposes go with where they place academically and don’t worry about the number on the front of the book! Let them work at their own pace, regardless of what “grade” that may be!

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

Heart for Home School Ministries

heartforhomeschoolministries

For 3 years, Mari hosted the weekly radio program, “Heart for Home School.” This expanded into a vision; Heart for Home School Ministries, a 501 c (3) that sponsors seminars and conferences to help and support home school families educate their children with confidence. Mari no longer hosts a weekly radio program. However, she offers advice and wisdom drawn from her many years of experience through short commentaries, “Home School Highlights,” which are aired throughout the day on WRTP HIS Radio stations.

Heart for Home School Ministries was founded in 2002 by Mari Fitz-Wynn and her late husband P. Wynn. It sponsor seminars and conferences to help home school families educate their children through conferences, seminars and various activities that allow parents which provide parents’ opportunities to develop, sharpen, or add new skills to their roles as teachers and administrators.

We provide a network of information and support for home school families, by partnering new home school families with veteran home educators.