10 Ways to Get Through a “Gifted” Day In Your Homeschool

10 Ways to Get Through a “Gifted” Day In Your Homeschool

Every parent has good days and bad. Every mom has days she wonders if she {or the kids} will make it through the day.

And every parent of gifted kids knows that there are just some days when “gifted” doesn’t really seem like it’s that much of a gift.

Everything you say is challenged, in a way that has turned your request around so that even you’re wondering how you could possibly expect your child to comply to your ridiculousness. Schoolwork isn’t done because, well, the Lego palace that’s being built in your attic had no toilet, and when that horrific oversight was noted, nothing could be worked on until a correctly-scaled “throne” with a lid that opened and closed was built properly. {Should I go on?}

Parenting any child can be tiring. Parenting a gifted child is often exhausting – mentally and physically. So, how do you get through the day, still smiling, when you’re home with your gifted kid(s) all day, every day?

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10 Ways to Get Through a “Gifted” Day In Your Homeschool


10 Ways to Get Through a “Gifted” Day In Your Homeschool

1. Relax

Gifted kids are intense, but they’re super-cool to talk to. If your child is totally “out there,” let him go for the day. He’ll get back to learning and pick it up quickly on another day. Meanwhile, relax and enjoy the conversation.

2. Shake it up

If your kiddo is just off, but doesn’t have a project in mind to work on – he just doesn’t want to do what you had in mind – give him some choices. Open-ended toys or fun science kits are always a hit in our house.

3. Read a book

Pull out a book about parenting gifted kids so you know you’re not alone, and declare a “free reading” afternoon. Hand out snacks, blankets, and books, and head to the yard, deck, or living room. Escape for a few hours between the pages.

4. Play a game

When I worked as a gifted intervention specialist for elementary kids, I was blessed to be in a district that, at the time, allowed me to work with my gifted kids in any way I {and they} wanted. While I worked with their classroom teachers to modify their grade-level curriculum so it was appropriate for them, the times they spent with me in the resource room was different.

That difference usually meant games. My math classes were all game-based. The kids learned strategy, critical thinking, flexibility, as well as advanced number sense and probability. I play games with my kids now, and they don’t realize they’re learning. Instead, they are having fun, and we’re building relationships. Some of my favorites are Stack, Set, 24, Gobblet, Khet, Chess, and anything by Think Fun.


10 Ways to Get Through a “Gifted” Day In Your Homeschool


5. Go for a hike

I don’t know about yours, but my bright kids often want to hole up inside creating new worlds, building endless Lego structures, or reading great books. {Note… the ADHD in them also wants to climb walls, so it’s sometimes a challenge to see which side wins out.}

When they begin to perseverate on a project to the point of obsession, I know that they {and I} need a break. We head out into God’s world and soak up His miracles. It’s always easier to break out of a funk when you’re watching a turtle sunning itself on a rock in the pond and being warmed yourself. And, if your kids need some intellectual stimulation while hiking, bring along a handheld GPS and try some geocaching while you’re out.

6. Go on a field trip

Sometimes we all need to experience something new. We’re fortunate. We live near several great museums and botanical gardens. Northeast Ohio is a great place to visit and explore. We can find something to do – even at the last minute. What kinds of places are near you? Get out and explore with your kids if the day’s not going well.

7. Head to the playground

When all else fails, you can always grab a few water bottles, some fruit leather, a granola bar, and head to the nearest playground. Sometimes it is best to throw all plans out the window and just play. They may be gifted. They may be able to turn your words against you in ways that would baffle the best of trial lawyers, but they’re still kids. Go climb some monkey bars with them.

8. Get into the kitchen

My kids love to help out in the kitchen. Trevor loves cooking breakfast and creating new recipe ideas. Molly enjoys creating new lunches – though she can sometimes be a little too creative. And Logan, she just loves helping pour ingredients – whatever we’re making. If we’re having a rough day, and I think they need to exercise some creative energy, I’ll tell Trevor to go make a dessert {he makes a mean Key Lime Pie} or Molly to make a snack or meal {she loves putting together balanced plates}.

The kitchen can change their focus, and they’re working on valuable life skills. And I get out of some meal prep.


10 Ways to Get Through a “Gifted” Day In Your Homeschool


9. Start a new project

Trevor wants to learn how to carve, so I bought him a cheap package of soap, wood blocks, and carving tools. Once he works through the soap, I’ll hand over the soft wood. If he’s having a tough day, I know he needs a change of pace, so I’ll offer him his carving set, the potholder loom he enjoys, the spool-knitter he’s making an anaconda with, or another handicraft. It’s important to have valuable, hands-on hobbies, and I want to encourage my kids to try new things.

When they’re feeling restless, bored, or edgy, they’ll have several things to fall back on. 

10. Take time to appreciate your kids

Gifted kids are a challenge, but they’re an incredible joy, too. They think differently, and challenge you in ways other children don’t, but they keep you thinking and learning throughout your adult life. I know that my kids help me learn and grow every day. And I know that, while I don’t always have the smooth, calm homeschool days with compliant kids like I envision, I wouldn’t trade any of my kids for anyone else. They’re blessings – and fun to spend my days with.

How do you get through those gifted moments with your own kids?


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