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    #8821 - 02/13/08 05:59 PM Homeschooling GT kids
    Mommy2myEm Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/12/07
    Posts: 304
    After this year, our family is considering homeschooling our DD9. It seems that our school system is not right for DD. She has only one school friend that is not in her class. Yesterday she came home bruised because someone deliberately kicked her. This is a top-rated public school in the country, but they feel that DD is appropriately placed learning math material that she mastered 2 years ago and got 100% on all her pretests. We may advocate a grade skip after her Explore tests come in, but are also considering homeschooling.

    Anyway I looked into the K12 material (www.k12.com), as we could do that as a virtual charter school and it would be free. It seems that she could progress as fast as she wants in each subject and they are very encouraging to GT kids. Any opinions on this material? What other materials would be good for a GT child? What have you tried or heard of that wouldn't work well? I am a bit scared to attempt homeschooling, but excited at the same time. Thanks for any suggestions you may have for us. She will start 5th grade, possibly 6th grade math.

    Jen

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    #8822 - 02/13/08 06:15 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: Mommy2myEm]
    acs Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/05/07
    Posts: 797
    We did K12 for DS's math--he was dual-enrolled in his bricks and mortar school and just took math through the virtual charter. He was in 4th when this started--he tested out of 4th grade math and finished 5th and pre-Algebra A while in 4th grade. In 5th he did pre-Algebra B. Now he is taking Algebra at his middle school.

    The curriculum did what it needed to for us, which was get him out of Saxon math for those two years and prepare him to take Algebra this year. And, most important, give the school written proof that he had completed these courses so he could move right into Algebra. We were able to pre-test him out of the stuff he already knew and avoid endless repititions. All good stuff.

    But there were problems. 5th grade math book was really good. Pre-A-A and B were pretty dry and dull, cook-book kinds of math. We found other more interesting books to supplement the Pre-A-B or else he would have gone nuts.

    Quite honestly if I were full-time homeschooling, I probably would not use them. What I see as the joy of homeschooling, especially a gifted kid, is the ability to follow the child's lead and explore things of interest rather than to get locked into someone else's curriculum. You have to log into the computer and keep track of how many hours you teach on each subject and keep track of which lesson she's on and the teachers really do check on you. There is a lot of flexibility, but you are still working with their plan, not yours or your child's.

    I know it sounds scary to just go out on your own, but there are plenty here and elsewhere who could help you.

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    #8823 - 02/13/08 06:25 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: acs]
    LMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/14/07
    Posts: 902
    Originally Posted By: acs

    What I see as the joy of homeschooling, especially a gifted kid, is the ability to follow the child's lead and explore things of interest rather than to get locked into someone else's curriculum.


    That's how I feel too. It looks like we will go the hs route next year with some fun outside classes in one of the private schools. DS5 is not in a bad school situation, but it's far from perfect and I just cannot see him going from half a day school to full day. I want him to have enough time to pursue his interests whatever they are. He learns this way the best and at his age there is no need to be in school full day. Some days I feel that it's a really great option other days I cannot believe that I am even considering something like that. One year at a time.

    I am interested in any hs suggestions.
    _________________________
    LMom

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    #8824 - 02/13/08 06:31 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: acs]
    Mommy2myEm Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/12/07
    Posts: 304
    Originally Posted By: acs
    We did K12 for DS's math--he was dual-enrolled in his bricks and mortar school and just took math through the virtual charter. He was in 4th when this started--he tested out of 4th grade math and finished 5th and pre-Algebra A while in 4th grade. In 5th he did pre-Algebra B. Now he is taking Algebra at his middle school.

    The curriculum did what it needed to for us, which was get him out of Saxon math for those two years and prepare him to take Algebra this year. And, most important, give the school written proof that he had completed these courses so he could move right into Algebra. We were able to pre-test him out of the stuff he already knew and avoid endless repititions. All good stuff.

    But there were problems. 5th grade math book was really good. Pre-A-A and B were pretty dry and dull, cook-book kinds of math. We found other more interesting books to supplement the Pre-A-B or else he would have gone nuts.

    Quite honestly if I were full-time homeschooling, I probably would not use them. What I see as the joy of homeschooling, especially a gifted kid, is the ability to follow the child's lead and explore things of interest rather than to get locked into someone else's curriculum. You have to log into the computer and keep track of how many hours you teach on each subject and keep track of which lesson she's on and the teachers really do check on you. There is a lot of flexibility, but you are still working with their plan, not yours or your child's.

    I know it sounds scary to just go out on your own, but there are plenty here and elsewhere who could help you.


    Thanks for sharing your experience. I know the virtual charter is less flexible than homeschooling on my own, but I also thought it may be the bridge from school to homeschool for us. We also know 2 other families that do k12 through our state and although their kids are not GT, it would allow DD to get together for field trips and science fairs.

    I am very open to other suggestions as well, if other curriculum would be better. I think DD would do well with computer based programs that also have a hands on component. This year she has done Challenge Math and has progressed nicely through pre-Algebra type problems.

    Jen

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    #8826 - 02/13/08 06:43 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: Mommy2myEm]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    Hi Jen,

    Maybe you could go to the school and talk to them about the bullying. That is absolutely unacceptable.

    I've been considering homeschooling for about 6 months. I was very nervous about it too. It's crazy how many resources are available and if you have a child who learns easily, you're golden.

    Sometimes I think I'm crazy for not doing it yet.

    If you are willing to take some time and review old posts, I'll bet you find at least 20 links here that would help you find resources. I'd be willing to copy and paste everything I've bookmarked if you want to PM me.

    Incog

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    #8827 - 02/13/08 07:03 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: incogneato]
    Mommy2myEm Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/12/07
    Posts: 304
    Originally Posted By: incogneato
    Hi Jen,

    Maybe you could go to the school and talk to them about the bullying. That is absolutely unacceptable.

    I've been considering homeschooling for about 6 months. I was very nervous about it too. It's crazy how many resources are available and if you have a child who learns easily, you're golden.

    Sometimes I think I'm crazy for not doing it yet.

    If you are willing to take some time and review old posts, I'll bet you find at least 20 links here that would help you find resources. I'd be willing to copy and paste everything I've bookmarked if you want to PM me.

    Incog


    I tried to do a search on homeschooling, but only very recent threads came up. Not sure what I did wrong.

    As far as the bullying, I have been in close contact with her school. It usually happens during recess and DD has asked for a library pass almost every day to avoid these incidents. It isn't ideal, but she actually likes library so it isn't a punishment.

    Jen

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    #8828 - 02/13/08 07:04 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: acs]
    Kriston Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/07
    Posts: 6145
    Loc: Midwest
    I am HSing, and I don't know anyone who is HSing full-time and using K12. (That includes both GT and ND kids.)

    That's not to say it can't be done or that you shouldn't do it. It's just that it's not something you *need* to do, even/especially with an HG+ child.

    Originally Posted By: acs
    What I see as the joy of homeschooling, especially a gifted kid, is the ability to follow the child's lead and explore things of interest rather than to get locked into someone else's curriculum. You have to log into the computer and keep track of how many hours you teach on each subject and keep track of which lesson she's on and the teachers really do check on you. There is a lot of flexibility, but you are still working with their plan, not yours or your child's.

    I know it sounds scary to just go out on your own, but there are plenty here and elsewhere who could help you.


    I agree completely with acs! Don't get locked into thinking that you must do school at home in order to teach your child. You don't. I promise you, HSing is a lot easier than you think it's going to be. The curriculum has been by far the easiest part of HSing for me, to tell you the truth. You just follow your child's interests, visit the library a lot, and get in with a good HSing group. That's all easy (and not expensive!). The hardest part for me has been getting enough time to myself, but then I'm a deeply introverted person and I have a 6.5yo and a 3.5yo, so your situation may be significantly different than mine there. But planning the curriculum? No big deal!

    If you have specific fears, questions, etc., I'll be happy to share what I've learned. I'm sure Lorel would help, too--she helped me when I was where you are. But there's lots of stuff that works and that doesn't require that you to spend X amount of time on any subject.

    Singapore Math, Aleks, and Saxon Math are all reasonably priced math programs that tend to be popular with HSers. EPGY is more expensive, but is well-liked, too. Though I'm not using any other packaged curriculum but math, there are also programs that come highly recommended by friends (both virtual and IRL) for other subjects.

    If I may, I have two suggestions for you--the best pieces of advice I got before I began HSing:

    1) Start with why you're HSing, what you want your child to learn in the broadest sense, how your child learns, how your personalities will fit, etc.--the basics! Don't start with decisions about specific curricula. You're putting the cart before the horse, and it's hard to judge a curriculum if you don't know what you want your child to know by the end of the year and why you value those things. Also, make sure you know the law for your state. What's required of you in terms of testing, reporting, etc. may affect your choices. Spend 5 minutes learning the basics of the various schools of thought of HSing: unschooling, eclectic (that's me!), Charlotte Mason, classical, school at home, etc. You'll figure out pretty fast what suits your family's style and needs and what seems totally wrong for you.

    2) When it comes to purchasing/signing on to a certain curriculum, *LESS IS MORE*! You can easily commit to too much packaged curriculum and then find that it doesn't work for you and you're stuck with it. OTOH, it's pretty much impossible to have too little packaged curriculum at first, because if you find that you're lacking, you can buy/commit then.

    Keep in mind that all your child really has to do is learn a year's worth of material for a year's worth of work. For these HG+ kids, that would probably happen if we locked them in a room alone with a pile of books for a year! I know you're used to having to fight for every scrap of learning your DD gets, but HSing is a totally different animal. My DS6 and I spend maybe 3 hours a day, total, on school (and that includes dawdling time and tidying up time). The rest of the day, he plays. He's finished two years of math in less than 5 months, and I've been trying to go deeper, not faster with him, so I've been slowing him down. He's reading about 3 grades higher than he was at the end of last year, and we have no packaged reading curriculum. He's using the scientific method and conducting experiments, and his public school classroom is just now reading a thermometer!

    I'm telling you, it's soooooooo much easier than you think it is!

    Stepping off soapbox now... wink

    Please let me know if I can help you in any way.
    _________________________
    Kriston
    Mom to DS13 and DS10

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    #8835 - 02/13/08 08:02 PM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: Kriston]
    acs Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/05/07
    Posts: 797
    Originally Posted By: Kriston


    I agree completely with acs!


    Wow! blush Here I am giving competent Homeschool advice and I'm not even a homeschool mom. I must have been hanging out here too much wink

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    #8850 - 02/14/08 04:38 AM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: acs]
    incogneato Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/25/07
    Posts: 2231
    Loc: up in my head.......
    Sorry Jen, you probably won't find anything on a simple search because the links are peppered around people's posts in a seemingly non sensical manner. That's just the way the conversations flow here sometimes.
    I've gotta run and get the girls going for school. But I'll look through my bookmarked links and try to post anything interesting later.

    Incog

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    #8852 - 02/14/08 04:40 AM Re: Homeschooling GT kids [Re: acs]
    Lorel Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/22/07
    Posts: 970
    Loc: New England
    Wow, you have some wonderful responses here. I don't have much to add, except to say that the lure of the comprehensive "canned" curriculum is how easy it will be, yet for HG plus kids, a program like this often needs MAJOR tweaking. The majority of gifted homeschoolers I know use an eclectic approach that is open to change.

    BTW, if anyone is looking for a resource for ancient history, my kids have enjoyed online courses at the Lukeion Project. These are primarily about ancient Greece and Rome, and there are 4 week mini courses as well as semester courses. The instructors are a husband and wife with backgrounds in archeology, and they are decidedly Christian, so that influence does come through somewhat. We've only done the minis so far. Dd7 took The Archeology of Destroyed Cities last summer and ds took The Greeks Before the Greeks: The Mycenaeans at age 10.


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