Why Homeschooling Gifted Children Works

It is often said that homeschooling is “best-practice education” for gifted kids. However, it is worth noting that the basic underlying mantra of gifted education – meet children where they are, wherever that is, and move them forward towards their potential – is best-practice for ALL children. As you read through the following advice, keep in mind that the suggestions made are suitable no matter where your child is at.

To define gifted, let’s look at some generalisations. Gifted kids tend to:

  • learn basic skills quickly and with little practice.
  • construct and handle abstractions easily.
  • pick up nonverbal cues & draw inferences that are tough for children their age to see.
  • take little for granted, preferring to know the ”hows” and “whys.”
  • be wildly eclectic and intensely focused in their interests.
  • have boundless energy {causing many to be misdiagnosed as ADHD}.
  • relate well to adults, preferring to spend their time conversing with older children and grownups.
  • be highly inquisitive.
  • be interested in the unusual.
  • want to explore their world persistently.
  • observe deeply.
  • be single-minded.
  • ask “what if” all the time.
  • to learn faster & with greater depth than age-peers.

Any of these characteristics in isolation is tough to address in a mainstream classroom, a child with many of them is completely lost in the masses. There is simply no way a teacher can meet these needs while remediating for those who struggle, and teaching the typical students well.

Too often, gifted students get pushed aside because they “already know the material” and “will be just fine.” But they won’t be fine. All children have the right to be met where they are, intellectually, and given the tools and teaching they need to work towards their potential. At home, you are able to talk to your son about what he wants to learn. You can choose to skip whole chapters in the math series if you see that your daughter has already mastered those concepts. If your child struggles with his thoughts coming faster than he can physically write, you can be his scribe for a while. Or you can provide a laptop if typing works better.

You can easily incorporate movement into the day for your child who seems like he is in constant motion. A jog around the house or a mini tramp are great ways to burn off a little steam between lessons.

Lessons can be chopped to the five or ten most difficult problems. If those are answered correctly, why bother having your daughter do the rest of them? She clearly knows the material.

Is your child intensely interested in astronomy? You can see that he visits the local science centre, writes to an astronomy professor at a local university, joins a junior astronomical society, finds books in the library that match both his interest-level and reading ability, and that he pulls all his knowledge together to share it with someone to solidify his learning.

Homeschooling works for gifted kids because their needs can be met in ways that are as unique as they are.

The hardest part of Homeschooling your gifted kids, for you, will be getting out of the way. I don’t mean leaving them to their own designs, kids don’t do very well when things get too unstructured. Instead, give them the reins. Use their Euka program as a stepping stone. As they are working through a topic, some will grab them and they will want to explore concepts to themes in more depth. They should be encouraged and supported to do so.  Be flexible and ready to embrace new topics and methods. It might be pirates one month, and astronauts another, with butterflies and lifecycles thrown in there for a week when your child has stumbled across a cool fact and wants to explore, but learning will take place.

Remember The Euka program is designed to meet each child where they are rather than expecting that they be slotted into a particular Grade. Every child is at their own right level, it is about tailoring a program to meet their needs.

We are dedicated to ensuring the program is a great fit for every child. We do this by adding particular subjects as needed or enabling full Grade movement.