Do you ever wonder if you’re doing enough with your kiddos in your homeschool? Maybe, like me, you pulled one of your kiddos out of school because neither his academic, nor his social and emotional needs were being met.
Maybe you just wish you could peek inside the windows of the homeschool next door and see what they’re doing. Our days here can be chaotic, and things change – sometimes monthly, but I’m asked often enough to take the time to write out what curriculum materials we’ll be using this year.
I was trying to describe our homeschooling style to someone in Raising Poppies (a FB support group for parents of gifted kids), and I came to the conclusion that we’re kind of curricular mutts. You know, a little of this, a little of that, with several different styles thrown in for good measure. Eclectic just doesn’t do it justice – we’ve more of an eclectically classical, relaxed Charlotte Mason, interest-led, unschooly homeschool vibe going on… too tough to pin it all down to one descriptor.
I’ll do the best I can…
Our Gifted Homeschool Family Studies
So, since we’re all over the place in our styles and interests, it’s no surprise that we pull from just about everywhere to make our lifestyle of learning fun, relevant, meaningful, and real.
We start together with our own version of my buddy Pam Barnhill’s Morning Basket. Our morning time is filled with great books, art, music, Bible, and games.
Some of the resources we’ll use this year include:
Games of all sorts:
Our Gifted Pre-K Curriculum
My little guy, Isaac, is smart. Super smart, and he has no patience for busy work. He’ll be four in January and he wants to learn to read as soon as possible. I actually suspect he knows more than he’s letting on, but as he keeps asking me to do school with him, I’ve picked up a few things so he can learn alongside us.
The bulk of his work will be comprised of activities using the Spielgaben set we just received. I’ll be sharing posts about how we’re using it with the whole family every month, so check back in regularly.
To satisfy his desire to learn to read, we picked up the All About Reading Pre-Reading Deluxe Package. He is SO excited about this. I actually am, too. It’ll give me a chance to spend some concentrated time teaching him since he wants it so badly.
He’ll continue using some of the things we love for little learners:
Our Gifted 1st Grade Curriculum
Our first grader is a bit of a puzzle to us. She’s struggled with sensory processing disorder and anxiety for a long time, and we finally got her diagnosed and have begun occupational therapy this summer. The difference it’s making is amazing. I’ll likely be writing more about that as we go along.
Since we’ve spent so much time trying to figure out her sensory needs, we’ve struggled to get a good handle on where she is academically. My suspicion is that she is high, and now that many of her sensory needs are being met, she’s going to take off and we’ll need to accelerate her grade-wise at some point. (Which is fine as we actually held her back academically to get this all figure out.)
For math, she’s going quickly. She’s already halfway through the Singapore Math level 1 she has so she’ll finish that, do Singapore Math level 2, and dabble in Primary Grade Challenge Math by Ed Zaccaro.
She’ll explore and learn with our Spielgaben set too, and play lots of games, read lots of books, and draw lots of pictures.
For therapy at home, we’ve pulled together a bunch of resources:
Our Gifted 4th Grade Curriculum
My fourth grader loathes math, so she’s struggled to get to grade level this year. (Isn’t it interesting how differently they all learn?) She’ll be tackling Singapore Math Level 4, along with Upper Elementary Challenge Math by Ed Zaccaro. We’ll play lots of games, too, so we can sneak in some additional math learning.
She loves reading, though, and was the one who stole my new Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and kept me from reading it this summer. I don’t want to squash that love, so she’ll read by and large what she wants, with me reading alongside her to chat and ask questions along the way – kind of like our own little book club. To stretch her thinking, she’ll work through some of my favorite books from Prufrock Press (besides my own), Jacob’s Ladder One and Jacob’s Ladder Two.
This kiddo adores writing too, and she’s currently working on a play, so I’ll let her continue exploring and checking in for spelling and grammar help as needed. She also writes letters to me – which I answer each night – in a spiral notebook to practice letter writing, handwriting, and to stay connected.
She’s also thrilled to be taking French with Rosetta Stone Homeschool this year. She’s wanted to learn French since she first heard the book Fancy Nancy read to her.
Our Gifted 8th Grade Curriculum
My oldest is tricky. He’s profoundly gifted, but lacks both executive functioning skills and impulse control. We’ve had a rocky couple of years…
This year, we’re getting serious. He’s spent a lot of time following his own interests and exploring different things while neglecting the things he loathes – like writing. But, as we’re getting closer to high school credit recording, we did a survey of his various subject levels and found that the best programs to use as we got more formal with his this year were all high school levels.
As his plan has been to graduate high school with both a diploma and an associate’s degree, he’s right on track – which makes me breathe a sigh of relief. All those years of curriculum hopping and following his interests instead of a boxed curriculum have brought us to exactly where we wanted to be anyway.
This year, he’ll continue working on his Visual Latin from Compass Classroom. He loves the quirky humor of the teacher, and often calls me in to hear something he’s said.
He’s more than halfway done with the VideoText Algebra program he began last year that’s designed to take him through three levels of math – Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and Algebra II. He’ll likely finish that up in the first half of this year. He’ll also be tackling the problems in Become a Problem Solving Genius by Ed Zaccaro.
Along with Jacob’s Ladder Three, Trevor will be taking American Literature from 7Sisters Homeschool to go along with his American History program, Exploring America from Notgrass History. He works better when he feels he’s being efficient, so pairing American history and literature together makes sense to him, and it’s already making an difference in his work ethic. Plus – he LOVES talking to us about what he’s reading. It’s definitely grabbing his attention.
We’re trying the Introductory Guide to High School Writing this year from 7Sisters Homeschool. I really like their philosophy of adaptability and no busywork. We can take it as quickly as we want to, and not get bogged down with the stuff that turns him off to learning.
Our Gifted Homeschool
The best part of any homeschool is that it’s personal. There are so many things we do throughout the days that I didn’t have a chance to mention… the post was getting long enough. But, the beauty of our homeschool is that we are free to explore art, music, nature, science, history, or whatever our interests prompt us to explore. It’s truly a lifestyle of lifelong learning.
Your turn – what does YOUR homeschool look like this year?
For more posts about parenting gifted kids, check out: