I thought I had it all figured out. 🙂 But I was told during my first year of homesçhooling I would be changing my curriculum and figuring things out many times. And they were right. 🙂 Madison is a free spirit that doesn’t like routine. She would suffocate if she had to do the same thing at the same time everyday. Everything has to have a purpose and has to move at her pace. Homeschooling a gifted child is an evolving process both educationally and emotionally.
So here is an update on where we are at and what I have learned so far:
Today, Madison officially completed Second Grade in all of her subjects. And not only in all of her subjects, but with several different curriculums. She is looking forward to celebrating with an ice cream party that includes pizza too. She’s worked hard and she deserves it.
Taking a step back, I want to note she achieved this goal by working hard for about 4 hours a day. The rest of the time she enjoyed field trips, playing at the park with other homeschool kids, hands on Science classes, having ample time to create on her own and use her imagination, learn basketball skills, and taking art classes. She didn’t sit at a desk and cram for hours on end.
She is getting a very well rounded education that exceeds state standards by far and in a way that she is retaining it all. She does online learning for Math and English. We do spelling, vocabulary, cursive, Science and Social Studies. All of her other classes she does outside the home.
I have found by homeschooling her she is engaged because she moves at her own pace. She is not frustrated and actually loves to learn. This also leaves us with plenty of time for field trips and hands on learning.
Learning with a purpose. Madison is also looking forward to upcoming homeschooling classes in Science, like Robotics and private piano lessons.
I know the public schools are implementing as much hands on learning as they can and that is SO awesome and important. I also know it is not the right fit for Madison because she LOVES the curriculum that we use at home and she even mentions how grateful she is that we are using it and she knows she couldn’t if she was in school.
Madison is very literature based and the Moving Beyond The Page curriculum is perfect for her. She gets excited and cheers when it’s time to do it. It covers English, Science and Social Studies in a great way for gifted children. She is able to makes choices on activities and it is a great curriculum for her to be able to express her creativity.
She loves giftedandtalented.com because she doesn’t have to have a lot of repetitive instruction when she grasps concepts quickly. It makes sure she’s mastered concepts and she loves the pace. It is through Stanford University and is amazing. We will be using this curriculum for Math and English the entire time we homeschool and it records all the concepts and scores automatically.
We use time4learning.com as a supplement for Math and English to mix it up for Madison. It is a different format with fun videos that makes learning fun. She watches the videos and laughs because they are very entertaining. She also enjoys taking the quizzes too.
I love the fact we are able to dig deeper into the topics Madison is interested in and have the time to be able to let her explore all she wants. Her latest topics of interest are tornadoes, the Plimoth Plantation, and Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’.
We read Story of the World as a bedtime story and she looks forward to it every evening. She reads Life of Fred and Christian Liberty Nature Reader for fun and loves them.
At the beginning of the year I was bitter, because I felt like Madison was ‘cheated’ not being able to flourish in the public school system. I was upset because my life was now consumed with teaching (something I had not planned on) and the expense of homeschooling while paying taxes was extremely frustrating.
Now I can see that it is a blessing. I see the major impact it has had on her in such a positive way and I enjoy teaching her because it is so much fun. It is very expensive, but worth every dime.
The public school system it is still a place that is getting better everyday for the students to give them the freedom to learn differently and it is great for the students there. But I also realize it is not for Madison. I believe that 100%. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s not the school’s fault and it’s not Madison’s fault. It just is what it is. She has the opportunity to learn how she does best and that’s great for her. And the public school will provide an excellent education to the students there. And that’s great for them. It’s not ‘just one teacher’ that made my decision easy to homeschool and to have Madison beg to homeschool, it’s because she now has the freedom to learn how she does best, at her pace, all day, everyday. I will always advocate for hands on learning and the opportunity for students to explore their own interests in the public school system, because I see first hand how it has impacted Madison in a such a positive way. But I know it is very hard with class sizes that exceed 20 students (which I think is INSANE) and needs to be addressed immediately.
Madison gets plenty of socialization with other kids through activities. She works in groups on a weekly basis. She sits in a classroom setting and can do so better now then before. She is very attentive and has awesome behavior in all of her activities and classes. I am very proud of her.
She isn’t missing out on a thing, she has actually gained so much richness, meaning and purpose in her life. She is blessed and is very happy. As am I.