Educational Options for Highly Gifted Students


Parent Comments

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> Final Comments




©2004 Mary Codd
all rights reserved


If you checked Homeschool, what approach did you take?

homeschool approach

In which grades did your child homeschool?
grades attended
Has homeschooling been successful in addressing your child's academic needs? (Partial was added later, due to parent comments.)

Has homeschooling been successful in addressing your child's academic needs?
Comments: [YES] [PARTIAL] [NO]
(Initially, I only included YES and NO as choices, inadvertently forgetting to add PARTIAL. In their comments several parents indicated that they needed PARTIAL as a choice and elaborated on why the experience was partially successful. Due to those comments I added a partial category.)

Comments from parents who checked YES:

  1. Homeschooling has provided the flexibility to meet my child's academic needs at his level and pace, and homeschooling support group activities have provided him a rich and supportive social environment full of other highly gifted children. I can't think of any aspect of the experience that has been unsuccesful.
  2. Yes, homeschooling has been such a great experience. It allows him such learning freedom.
  3. It was fine when she was young and we did creative and fun learning things. School has decreased her motivation to learn and we are going to go back to homeschooling next year to reinstill in her the love of learning. It will be a challenge to get her back into it again after the mundane, mindless stuff she's been doing for the last 3 years in school. But we have to intervene. She is emotionally falling apart due to the lack of intellectual stimulation for so many hours during the day.
  4. Tailored to his needs. Some drawbacks: no science lab, no theater group, no soccer team. Vastly outweighed by pros.
  5. We can move at the pace that my kids lead/need. We usually find one particular subject (either science or history) and study it intensely with just a peripheral glance at two or three other subjects, such as Math and Italian.
  6. Because finally we were able to provide work at her level.
  7. At age 14, when he would have gone to 9th grade, he asked to go to high school. We enrolled him and he did exceptionally well in his classes, including a new language (Latin), pre-AP Biology, pre-AP English and Geometry. Straight As; most final scores were above 96 for the semester. He was bored and left at the end of the semester, choosing community college and homeschool instead.
  8. I probably haven't accelerated him extensively. He is ahead of the PS 4th grade in several areas right now, but I am not an educator and anxious that I don't "push" him. He does best with me when there is some "reason" to learn, something that engages him. I don't have the same source of authority that a PS teacher has. But he can complete his day's work in fewer hours and explore topics of interest, and he seems much happier since leaving public school. Re: the homeschool cooperative question: Attends homeschool PE at local YMCA, no other "co-op" classes identified at present.
  9. Learning. She loves learning. We haven't figured out the best science/math plan, though.
  10. It was successful for that year -- got us past a horrible middle school experience. We discontinued after one year because my son's need for emotional distance from his mother combined with mental health difficulties made continued homeschooling impossible.
  11. He works at his own pace, so slow processing speed is not an issue.
  12. It's the best thing that ever happened to my daughter, as she would readily tell you.
  13. My son is 7 and would be in 1st grade or 2nd in public school. At home, he is free to learn on his own schedule. He reads at an adult level, does 6th grade math, and writes like a 2nd grader. He loves history and has a very good understanding of ancient cultures up to the medieval period. He enjoys Shakespeare and was gleefully reporting the similarities between Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story when taken to a production of the latter. His curiosity makes him a talker, and I'm sure that he would be reprimanded for talking too much in PS. Most public schools would not allow him to accelerate past the point of his lowest skill, so if we were fortunate, he might be permitted a one year skip. This might help his handwriting, but it certainly would do nothing for his love of language and mathematics.
  14. Flexibility and we can pick the best of the best i.e. EPGY's English class
  15. We can cover topics of his interest, without having to drill incessantly the topics he already understands. We can go at his own pace, compacting when necessary
  16. Able to accelerate and enrich. Boy has no patience with repetition. Left time for many other interests. Especially sports, music. Made it easier for peers to ignore that he was in college and they were in the 5th grade.
  17. Most efficient method, flexible and constantly changing as child changes. More free time for unstructured learning.
  18. We found that the simple ability to give him material at his own reading level--in ANY subject--has drastically improved his appetite for education--and for reading! Probably the most important advantage of homeschooling is that he can be in multiple grades at the same time. His writing ability (like that of a lot of kids of his intelligence) is not as advanced as everything else. As homeschoolers we can give him space to work on that, but not hold him back in the other subjects.
  19. Homeschooling sustains his enthusiasm for learning because he learns new things everyday. This is partly because once he learns a new lesson and masters it, he moves on to the next, alleviating boredom. He is also happy about engaging in his favorite subjects without limits and associating with kids of similar interests, discipline and quest for learning as he possesses. He loves homeschooling and strongly expresses his desire to continue until college.
  20. fantastic - can pick and choose levels, activities to meet his social and academic needs
  21. Organized child who loves to learn in quiet environment. Only time hsing has NOT been successful with this kid is when I attempted auditory based learning. In general, I'd recommend it advantageous to know a child's learning style, learning strengths, and weaknesses (LD's).
  22. My 6 year old began to read while she was still 2. She did grade 1 at age 3, 2 at age 4, and 3 at 3.5-4.5. Who else could combine play, physical activity, and such academics for a child that young?
  23. Because he learned!!!
  24. It's difficult to meet his science and higher math needs.
  25. My daughter is happy, healthy, productive, academically top-notch and she's got passions/hobbies that are pursued with a passion. She's also earning great $$$$ !
  26. We're able to search out appropriate ways of meeting academic needs such as classes, private lessons, co-ops, appropriate books and texts, each at a level that is right for my son. We're able to custom tailor his education and he is able to select materials for his own self directed learning.
  27. We went from 5th grade math in public school to algebra at home, from 4th grade science to high school sciences. He is actually learning new things! I also know he learns by reading and we do more of that than in school. I know him and can "teach" the way he learns
  28. We homeschooled for 1 yr before she was skipped into High School. BTW, DD's private, independent grammar school only went to Gr. 6. We showed the local public Middle School her test results and received his blessing to homeschool as herealized that she needed more than his school could offer her. He was willing to skip her into 8th gr. but was very hesitant to advocate for a 9th gr. placement. (DD hadalready skipped K.) Homeschooling allowed her to work at a level she was comfortable with and also to keep her self-esteem high as she knew she had little common ground with most kids her age.
  29. We have found a very flexible group of homeschoolers, a number with extremely gifted kids. We are able to organize small and large group activities to meet the children's learning needs.
  30. It allows her to move ahead in areas of interest problem in not adddressing some areas of weakness (handwriting).
  31. She doesn't have time spent on her that sibs had, but is further along than in ps. Is this success? I suppose so.
  32. A parent using a homeschool coop wrote: They work with us and my son.
  33. Social needs were hard to satisfy in any setting
  34. Homeschool allows rapid acceleration and intense concentration in curriculum. Homeschool allows studies outside the core, such as music, and exposure to adult mentors.
  35. Homeschooling allows us to follow our daughter's unique learning style and accomodate her needs extremely well.
  36. Highly individualized is the way to go for him. He has dysgraphia & expressive problems, yet ironically he is a wonderful writer in terms of conceptual ideas and word choice. His conceptual score on SBLM was at superior adult II when he was 7, but he physically writes 2 years below his age. Fortunately, he's a good keyboarder.
  37. Homeschooling has been fantastic for my son. He can move at his own pace, and his 2E issues don't handicap him at all. He has a teacher that is highly qualified (not me) who does a fantastic job of keeping things challenging, but appropriate, and he loves every day of school.
  38. For my son, homeschooling is, so far, just an additional resource - school works well for him, as long as the curriculum can be differentiated. He's fairly evenly advanced, and he's fairly happy among age (or older) peers. His learning style is extremely efficient, and fairly convergent - he likes to find the right answer, so that a typical teacher gets lots of "good product" out of H.
  39. Finally, after lots of trial and error, I've learned that he needs to learn top-down, with as little repetition as possible. He needs complexity taught in a patient, responsive approach -- so that he isn't insulted or bored. This was not the easiest realization -- took lots of struggling.
  40. Yes, because he took responsibility for his education and was able to learn at his own pace in Math – moved from 4 grade (or they say it was 6 grade level) to AP Calculus in 1 year. As to other subjects, he learned what and when something was interesting for him with no effort, and still skipped one year when returning to High School - so I guess he learned well
  41. Academically all of the above options were fine. However, we found the charter option restrictive in that we could not skip one subject area for a time in favor of deeper exploration of another (which often results in the best learning around here). We like to do a variety of things and the freedom to choose them seems to keep our child much more motivated.
  42. It's worked because we go at their pace, rather than the school's pre-determined lock-step curriculum, which has enabled me to address their asynchronous development.
  43. It's worked because we go at their pace, rather than the school's pre-determined lock-step curriculum, which has enabled me to address their asynchronous development.
  44. It's the only flexible way to go with our location in Southern California and its mediocre schools. Allows us so much freedom!
  45. The only possible way to stimulate this child adequately.
  46. Homeschooling has been wonderful for our daughter - in her younger years it allowed us to address her handicaps and need for accomodations while allowing her to progress at her own pace, and now it is allowing her to accelerate to a level of challenge and interest.
  47. Home schooling is about freedom to try whatever you think might work and to drop anything you find doesn't work. It is a customized education in a one-on-one approach. There is no time wasted standing in line, or wasted because other children need to be disciplined or need to hear the material one more time. You are able to move on quickly when the child understands it. Any special interests the child has can be delved into in depth.
  48. My daughter works at the pace she is most comfortable with and focus on subjects she enjoys most. She's not bogged down with daily drudgery of waiting for everyone to understand the subject. More thinking is required. Her migraine headaches practically disappeared.
  49. We partially homeschooled in addition to public schooling. J was resistant to home teaching so we unschooled. He did little for two years as he deschooled, but is now gaining confidence and interest. We supply the resources and he facilitates his own learning program. Homeschooling allowed him the time to relax and regenerate, to maintain an interest in learning and to learn in his interest areas, something that adults are allowed to do and children generally are not.
  50. never officially homeschooled - just supplemental

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Comments from parents who indicated PARTIAL, or both yes and no:

  1. I could certainly benefit from more mentors. Oh, he has thrived academically in many ways. We could use some help with his LDS though recently I've fond that we've done much more than they'd ever think of doing if he was is public or private school.
  2. It has not been completly satisfactory as I work full time and I have to depend on other people who don't put forth the same effort I do.
  3. Yes, because son is happy, loves to learn, interested in many areas, reads constantly. No, because I've reached my limit on math expertise (pre calc), no theater arts at home, and no sci lab.
  4. Yes and no. I find that sometimes he doesn't respond as well to me as he would to someone else. I also feel that I am constantly changing what I am doing trying to find the best way to structure the curriculum, which doesn't seem to exist. It has been great in that it has allowed him the flexibility to delve into a subject that really interests him. I has also allowed me to teach concepts at a variety of grade levels simultaneously and eliminate the repetition which he does not need. Sometimes its been hard for him to focus on regular classwork during school time since we don't have a separate school room.
  5. It was good at the time, especially when she needed to heal from the bad private school experience, but she craved other teachers, other students -- and is finding them in the HS experience.

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Comments from parents who checked NO:

  1. 1st - we belonged to a homeschool cooperative that had classes but we did not partake (too far away and didn't feel comfortable having a 6 year old who was so much further ahead than the majority of kids) 2nd - I could not keep up with his needs while homeschooling. It was too fast to quickly and just wore me out. I have sooooo many workbooks that have a quarter of the pages done and then he was ready to move on. The other problem is that he really likes learning in a group. He doesn't care what age the other people are, he wants to interact. That need, while not specifically academic, is important and was not being met.
  2. Her abilities are way beyond mine at this point and she craves have specialized teachers- which although we have three tutors now it is not enough- the few classes she is weak in I am unfortunately weak as well.
  3. My son wanted more social interaction and thrives more with the classroom environment.

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