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    #9938 - 02/28/08 06:28 AM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: Lorel]
    Texas Summer Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/01/06
    Posts: 216
    Loc: Texas
    Originally Posted By: Lorel
    Texas Summer-

    Maybe you could offer to run a session next year?


    Our local PG group is planning more involvement in the state level gifted association. We did a parent panel at the last parent conference. Prior to the presentation we joked that we would probably only have a couple of people show up for our session and the room was packed with people standing in the back. We are also planning to do a panel at the next leadership conference.

    Originally Posted By: Lorel

    Do you know Paul Hildebrandt? ... he has been very helpful in offering me training on how to do a challenge workshop with younger children.


    No, I have never met Paul Hildebrandt? What age group are you referring to when you say "younger children." In our co-op we split the children into 2 groups: ages 5-7 and ages 8-15. I teach the older group. The parent that teaches the younger group has a Masters in Early Childhood Ed. I use the Zome lessons as the backbone of most of my lessons but modify them to work for our kids.

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    #9947 - 02/28/08 08:01 AM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: Texas Summer]
    Lorel Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/22/07
    Posts: 970
    Loc: New England
    Paul is a great guy. he does workshops for PG kids at various conferences. He's taught me his workshop methods, and I have used them to present to kids aged 6-10. He has these little Zome challenge cards that are helpful in asking the kids to design things and figure things out, such as the shape of the different rod ends and sphere openings. His focus is on letting the kids make discoveries for themselves, and to gently guide them as they go along.

    I find that kids younger than six may have trouble connecting the pieces, and they tend to damage them by breaking the ends.


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    #9950 - 02/28/08 08:43 AM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: Texas Summer]
    OHGrandma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/05/08
    Posts: 830
    I never heard of 'Zome' until this post. I googled them, they look great!

    Homeschooling is not an option for us right now, but 'afterschooling' or 'enrichment' is; Zome will be added soon.

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    #9967 - 02/28/08 10:09 AM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: Lorel]
    Texas Summer Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/01/06
    Posts: 216
    Loc: Texas
    Originally Posted By: Lorel
    He has these little Zome challenge cards that are helpful in asking the kids to design things and figure things out, such as the shape of the different rod ends and sphere openings. His focus is on letting the kids make discoveries for themselves, and to gently guide them as they go along.


    The other teacher brought me a set of the Zome challenge cards at our last meeting, but I haven't used them yet. "Letting kids make discoveries for themselves" is harder than it sounds. This is my second semester to teach Zome. This semester I made some significant changes to the way I teach so that the kids have more open-ended objectives. It is working much better.

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    #10081 - 02/29/08 05:18 AM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: Texas Summer]
    Lorel Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/22/07
    Posts: 970
    Loc: New England
    If you are doing ongoing classes for older kids, your approach would have to be different than what I do for a single session 1-2 hour workshop. The kids I work with are mostly Zome newbies who are delighted to figure out things like the the color coding of the struts and their unique end points.

    Grandma- Zome is really, really fun. I have seen kids build towers taller than me, huge spheres, bridges... They are often used in math and science classes to build molecular models, polygons, etc.


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    #10142 - 02/29/08 02:36 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: Lorel]
    Texas Summer Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/01/06
    Posts: 216
    Loc: Texas
    I showed the Zome to my dd's teacher since they were starting a section on Geometry this week. She loved it and wants to use it extensively in her geometry lessons. I talked her into letting me do Zome bubbles with the kids next week after their state reading assessment. That is always so much fun.

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    #11531 - 03/14/08 06:58 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: Mommy2myEm]
    PhysicistDave
    Unregistered


    Jen, Cece, kimck, questions, et al.,

    I’m a stay-at-home dad homeschooling our two grade-school girls. I’m not quite sure if I should call our kids “gifted,” since I’m not sure I know the full meaning(s) of the term, but our kids do score years beyond grade level on standardized tests. I can’t see what they would do in traditional schools (public or private) except waste their time; they’ve been homeschooled from the get-go, and it is working well for us.

    I’ve seen some comments here that starting homeschooling is kinda scary, which is unquestionably true. However, when you actually start doing it, you find that you just plug ahead day by day, and then you eventually realize that your kids are learning a huge amount and that it is actually fun being a homeschooling parent.

    Jen specifically wrote:
    >Since I didn't get my education in United States, I'm not sure if I would miss topics that kids here should know before college.

    Well, I have some good news: since most kids in the American public schools learn almost nothing, you don’t need to worry about keeping up with them! I’m only kidding a little. More seriously, some of the states have detailed state standards that you can check out to make sure you are not missing out on some topic (e.g., counting money). My own experience has been that almost anything that you might forget comes up anyway in the course of covering other topics.

    You do need to be proactive along the lines of thinking that, hey, we haven’t talked about geology or Roman history or geography or whatever recently, and maybe we should look for some books on those subjects. But that’s actually fun, digging through libraries, surfing the Net, etc. looking for good books and material.

    I think it is best not to rely on a canned curriculum, simply because you can always find better books through the public library, amazon, etc. than the particular choices made in any particular curriculum.

    Almost everyone I know does choose a series for math – we have been using Singapore Math and are now transitioning into Stanley Schmidt’s “Life of Fred” math series. Incidentally, the Fred series may look frivolous because Stan tried to make it fun. However, I’ve talked with Stan at some length and looked over the books fairly carefully, and they seem actually to be a good deal more rigorous (as well as a lot more fun) than all of the public-school math texts I have looked at. (I have a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Stanford, so I have very high standards in judging math books.)

    There are a lot of great books out there in science, history, etc.: to name a couple we have used recently, try looking at Mahlon Hoagland’s “The Way Life Works” and Marc Aronson’s “John Winthrop, Oliver Cromwell, and the Land of Promise.” Generally stay away from books designed to be used in the American public schools as textbooks – they are generally written by committee and aim to serve the lowest common denominator. There are a very few exceptions – the BSCS biology “blue book” for example, is very good. Check out the Textbook League (www.textbookleague.org/ ) for textbooks to avoid (i.e., almost all of them).

    I, and I’m sure many other homeschoolers here and around the Web, will be happy to share information on the books and approaches we have used.

    “questions” specifically asked:
    >Also, for you HS'ers, I was wondering what a typical day would be schedule-wise.

    If I can elaborate on Kriston’s comments, we too have a “LOOSE daily plan.” A few things (e.g., piano practice) we try to do almost every day, and some things (e.g., dance lessons) are scheduled for us. Otherwise, each day, I try to think over the subjects we have done the last couple days and aim to fill in today on the stuff we have been negligent on the last few days. We almost never get everything done I have planned; however, the kids seem to keep learning stuff and getting further and further ahead of their official grade level.

    Humans are, after all, designed to learn. Human kids are good at it – at least until the desire to learn is squeezed out of them by a dysfunctional educational system.

    While the question of whether to homeschool or not to homeschool is obviously a choice each family must make for themselves, my own experience makes me feel that it is clearly a good choice, especially for families with children who perform far beyond the average.

    Dave M. in Sacramento

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    #11548 - 03/14/08 08:46 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: ]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: PhysicistDave
    Jen specifically wrote:
    >Since I didn't get my education in United States, I'm not sure if I would miss topics that kids here should know before college.

    Well, I have some good news: since most kids in the American public schools learn almost nothing, you don’t need to worry about keeping up with them! I’m only kidding a little.

    Hi Dave,
    Welcome! I like how you think. I guess that it's hard to know what is 'gifted' because there is no one accepted definition. The definition I like to push is 'children who have special educational needs due to having a higher readiness level than their availible school provides on a regular basis. From the perspective of placing your girls in traditional school it does sound like they would have special education needs to me. You can always have them take the SATs around the ages 10 to 12 through a talent search, or pay for professional 'educational assesment' but the question you have to ask yourself is, beyond the label, what could be gained?

    Actually one thing that I find positive about the lable is that we can start forgiving public school for not meeting our own needs, and start appreciating what they do do well. Ok, I did laugh when I read your joke, but still, the world can be quite confusing if one is different, but not sure in what way.


    Here's another possible benifit of getting to know and love the label. In families, sometimes one kid is thought of as 'the gifted one' and the other one thinks of themselves as 'not as smart.' This may in fact be true - although often it isn't, it only looks that way - but it's sort of a shame to in fact, be gifted, but to only judge yourself in comparison to a sibling who, in fact is 'more gifted.'

    I listened to an anthropologist discribing great ape behavior. From her perspective, being an active, self-directed learner is a fairly common trait amoung young mammals. Having the ability to be a thoughful teacher is much rarer. A teacher must hold a mental model of the student in their mind and test their model, remembering or taking notes about the past to plan the future. A teacher has to be in touch with their own feelings and experiences and open to the idea that this other individual maybe quite differnt, internally. A learner just has to enjoy themselves.

    Smiles,
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #11552 - 03/14/08 10:45 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: Grinity]
    PhysicistDave
    Unregistered


    Grinity,

    You wrote:
    > In families, sometimes one kid is thought of as 'the gifted one' and the other one thinks of themselves as 'not as smart.'

    Yeah, in our family, I was the “smart one,” one of my brothers was the “talented one,” and the other brother was the “nice guy.”

    In fact, I know my brothers well enough to know that we are all of roughly equal intelligence; I just happened to care a bit more about getting top grades and happened to have a strong interest in some traditionally “tough” academic subjects (math and science). I suppose I was “gifted” in math, but I suspect that was largely the result of being intensely interested in math starting in late grade school.

    I suppose I am a little wary of the term “gifted” because it may freeze children in or out of a particular mold. There are of course real innate differences in IQ, but even the most fervent believers in IQ only claim that it explains part of one’s actual accomplishments.

    I agree with your point about meeting educational needs. The only modification I would make is that I strongly suspect that we underestimate the potential of even “normal” kids. For example, a couple years ago, we invited some of our kids’ friends over to make Mobius strips and do other “math stuff.” One of the kids happened to be a girl who was known to be a little “slow” in school. I happened, for some reason, to casually mention the word “infinite,” and this kid was off and running telling us all what her thoughts were about infinity. She clearly had thought about it, and her thoughts were fairly perceptive for a child her age. I don’t know her well enough to know exactly what is going on, but, somehow, something is wrong if she is considered “slow” in school but is thinking seriously about the idea of infinity.

    Most kids, even most gifted kids, cannot be Einstein or Beethoven or Pasteur. But our society goes to a lot of trouble to see to it that kids have a real chance to develop, for example, whatever athletic ability they may possess, whether that innate ability is awesome or merely run-of-the-mill. We do not do the same for intellectual ability. That seems to me a horrible shame.

    Dave

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    #11565 - 03/15/08 07:48 AM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: ]
    Lorel Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/22/07
    Posts: 970
    Loc: New England
    Dave-

    Welcome to the forum. I loved your thoughts on homeschooling!

    It's nice to know that a "math guy" likes the Life of Fred books. I have talked a bit with Stan also, and we have several of his books in our home library. He is an amazing man! I am not such a math person though, and it is good to have my positive impression confirmed. Two things I'd like to say about the books though-
    1. the stories are so enticing that my kids tend to read ahead and do not always do the math along with them. My seven year old, for instance, has no interest in trig, yet she has read the entire Fred story in that edition.
    2. the books have relatively few problems and I wonder if that is "enough" to cover a subject.

    take care-


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