Homeschooling a gifted child is definitely different! It’s filled with excitement, curiosity, amazing opportunities, and a chance to build a close connection with your gifted child. However, it’s not without its challenges too. So how can you enjoy homeschooling your gifted child this year and avoid the stress?
Keep reading to discover the realities of homeschooling gifted children. Get my top 5 tips for enjoying the journey with your gifted learner this year. Plus, get the scoop on my favorite resources for successfully homeschooling your gifted child.
Gifted Kids Are Often Quirky Kids
Gifted kids are curious with sharp wit and a voracious appetite for learning. They are often sensitive, intense, and possess emotional depth. Gifted kids aren’t just academically advanced, they are always talking, full of questions, and creative problem solvers.
There are no two gifted kids that are exactly alike. Instead, it’s a broad spectrum of ability. Some gifted children excel in lots of academic subjects and others excel in just one area. They are a unique mix of traits that don’t always line up neatly with society’s definitions of “gifted.”
Sometimes, all these quirks and extraordinary interests and abilities can make homeschooling quite a challenge. So what’s homeschooling a gifted child really going to be like? Keep reading to get the scoop.
The Reality Of Homeschooling A Gifted Child
If you’re about to begin homeschooling a gifted child, you’ve probably asked the question: “how will I keep them busy and learning?” Homeschooling a gifted child isn’t going to look like homeschooling a neurotypical child and it’s best to just accept that right away. Instead, your homeschool can be as unique as your gifted child.
But how will you keep them busy? First, feed their voracious appetite. That’s my favorite way to keep our gifted homeschooler learning and engaged.
We follow an interest-led learning approach, diving deep into subjects our daughter, Emily, is passionate about and learning as much as she wants to about it. This sometimes means months spent learning about sharks, astronomy, and survival skills.
Providing your gifted child with books, magazines, and more all about subjects he or she is interested in at the moment is key. Don’t shy away from books that might seem too complex, but don’t avoid bright and colorful picture books either. Both picture books and encyclopedias are excellent tools for gifted learners.
Another way I support my gifted homeschooler is by entertaining questions. Gifted kids are filled with curiosity and millions of questions! In our homeschool, we don’t leave questions unanswered.
Whether I do a quick google search, find a library book, or ask Alexa, I always answer the questions Emily asks me. We have learned so many amazing things this way! Plus, it encourages her to always keep asking questions and searching for answers.
Finally, don’t forget to make use of community resources. Taking advantage of local museums, parks, libraries, aquariums, theaters, and classes for kids will provide lots of new opportunities for learning and help take some of the pressure off of you to provide constant new input.
5 Ways To Enjoy Homeschooling Your Gifted Child
So what can you do if homeschooling your gifted child feels overwhelming? What should you do when you feel like you just need a break? Try one of my top 5 ways to enjoy this homeschooling journey with your gifted child:
1. Make it a Challenge
First, make it a challenge. Challenge yourself to have fun with this journey, quirks and all. One of our favorite ways to make homeschooling fun with our gifted child is by incorporating lots of games.
Gameplay or gameschooling is an excellent way to introduce new topics, check for mastery and comprehension of skills you’ve learned, and practice some real-world learning skills too. If you’re new to gameschooling, you’ll definitely want to check out my ebook. In my Guide to Gameschooling, I explain how to begin gameschooling, share my favorite games for every subject, and the secret to gameschooling on a budget.
2. Give Yourself a Break
As much as possible, give yourself a break. Gifted kids can be intense and sometimes you just need a break. Whether your favorite way to recharge is grabbing lunch with a friend, going to the grocery store by yourself, or hiding in your bedroom with your favorite chocolate… find a way to give yourself that time.
During the height of the pandemic, we learned that we all need a little time apart sometimes and I developed a technique to give myself that time each day. We began something we like to call “learning lunch.” At lunchtime, I let Emily have her lunch while watching an educational film or movie and I go to my room for a quick break.
3. Find Other Like-minded Families
Finding others to go on this journey with you is incredibly helpful. It’s a great way to provide yourself with a support system for your family as you navigate homeschooling a gifted child.
We found support through The Learner’s Lab. It’s a community for outside-the-box families like ours with zoom meet-ups for social skill building, masterclasses for parents, family connection challenges, and more.
4. Use the World
Turn the whole world into your school. Don’t be afraid to take lots of field trips, try learning on the go, and teach your gifted homeschoolers with real-world experiences in the community. We have learned so many new and exciting things this way!
Want to learn more about homeschooling on the go and learning on location? Check out my carschooling tips and tricks. It’s filled with ideas for learning while you’re traveling or squeezing in homeschool lessons with your gifted kiddo when you need to run errands.
5. Follow Their Interests
One really important technique that has helped our whole family fall in love with homeschooling is interest-led learning. Interest-led learning gives my gifted child some ownership over what we’re learning. I follow her interests, curiosity, and passions to plan lessons and unit studies that combine what she’s interested in with the concepts we need to learn.
In unit studies, I can combine art, music, history, geography, science, and more to create a learning experience that’s immersive and engaging. Some of our favorite unit studies have included folklore about the moon, survival skills with Bear Grylls, and Harry Potter!
Resources for Homeschooling Your Gifted Child
Using unit studies for homeschooling with gifted kids is a great way to build your curriculum around the topics that interest them most. You can build a unit study about just about anything! Minecraft, Harry Potter, Sharks, Art, or even Zombies are all topics you can build a unit study around.
Check out some of my favorite unit studies for gifted kids:
I hope I’ve given you some fun ideas for homeschooling your gifted child this year. Will you try gameschooling or unit studies? I hope this will help you really begin to enjoy homeschooling your gifted child!