Blessed By Our Gifted Homeschooled Child



Summary:  Homeschooling our gifted daughter led to many benefits.  It allowed us to adapt to her learning needs and meet her where she was at, in her academics and other developmental areas, too.  


Our daughter has been a blessing to us, ever since we flew to China to adopt her as an infant.  

At the same time, she has taught us a lot along the way.  

We knew she was gifted from the first days we received her, on a bus ride in China.


Soon there were also signs of attentional and sensory issues, but since we were already homeschooling these were mostly easily managed.

With my OT background, we worked to accommodate things to meet her needs, as best we could.

We knew that our school district did not have a gifted program that would meet her needs.  So we took the plunge and tried our hand at homeschooling.

Our adventures with homeschooling led to many positives.  Are you thinking about trying your hand at homeschooling?

Here's 7 ways that homeschooling helped our 2e daughter, starting with adapting things to her needs:


1.  Homeschooling allowed us to adapt to our daughter's unique learning needs.

We tried a variety of approaches to find the way that she could learn best.  Of course, this took time to figure out, but we found ways to eliminate distractions, meet her sensory needs, and choose curriculum that was engaging for her.  
  
When she was young, processing verbal directions was a big, big challenge.  And if she was tested with only verbal directions, she would have failed the annual public school tests each year.

If we had chosen the public school route, my kiddo would have been learning from the teacher, who spoke in front of the class.  However, as a homeschooler, she was able to learn in the ways that worked best.  


2.  Homeschooling allowed us to change out our curriculum or unschooling projects when things were not working. 

It was trial and error, lots of errors...but we had time to try different things...and ways to meet her sensory needs.  Ways she would not have had in school.  We focused on hands-on approaches, like what Oak Meadow Homeschool curriculum provides.


3.  Homeschooling enables us to teach task skills, like concentration and attention to detail, through creative activities.

We found that hands-on activities worked very well for our kiddo, helping her to develop executive functioning skills in an enjoyable and comfortable way

We did hand sewing one year, weaving another, then knitting the next.  She loved it and her attention span grew quickly. 


4.  Homeschooling gave us the time to do a variety of outside activities.

We did a number of outside activities through the years, following her interests starting with pre-ballet, then kid gymnastics classes.

One of them helped her a lot with her apparent auditory learning issues.  Many kids with ADHD have auditory learning difficulties.

Irish Dance and Auditory Learning 

My kiddo wanted to try Irish dance classes.  She saw one of the classes when we were at the Parks Dept.  To do that, she would have to follow the complex verbal directions for each of the Irish dance steps. 

Auditory processing was very difficult for her.  Any verbal directions needed to be given 3 or 4 times, or written down.  

But, alas, in dance class, things were different.  She could more easily follow verbal directions when physical skills were involved.

My kid was so comfortable with physical skills, she learned to process the many verbal directions that were given.  

Of course, watching the steps at the same time was a big help.  But the teacher added in a lot of verbal instructions, too, and my daughter began to really be able to process that information.

As her verbal processing skills improved in Irish dance, they began to transfer to other areas as well.  At home, she began to use video courses , and DVD's, which involved listening to verbal directions and lectures. 

And, no longer does she struggle with auditory processing.  By the time she got to college, she could easily follow her college lectures! 

She had gradually build up her auditory processing skills over the years, without the pressure that she would have had in public school.



5.  Homeschooling allowed our daughter to build up her own organizational skills.

Homeschooling helped my daughter to gradually learn, over the years, to organize her studies, plan her day, and prioritize and then eventually create her own study schedule.

By high school she was independent in making her own daily schedule.  Once in college, she took our own work boxing technique with her!  


6. With homeschooling we could build in nature and other calming activities in our days.

We could take off, and go to the park.  We could use the backyard any time we want.  We could hang out at the river, and watch for salmon spawning.  I loved that.

And getting out in nature was such a great way to calm and de-stress, for both of us.

Getting out in nature and spending down time together helped to build up that relationship.


7.  Homeschooling taught our daughter how to find and use resources.

Having our daughter learn at home gave her a lot of opportunity to learn how to find and use resources.  She saw me do it each year, while looking for curriculum and making calls to find outside activities in the community.

I started early on to involve her in the process.  For searching for curriculum and also for making phone calls about extra-curriculars.

I would have her watch me, then eventually hand her the phone to help out.  Soon she was making the phone calls herself.

When she encountered a problem with a math question, she learned to look things up herself, going to Khan Academy or other helpful sites to find the answer.

Many millennials today struggle with finding a job. When my teen graduated, she already was very comfortable searching for resources, and also with making cold calls and other methods for finding a job.

She learned that step by step through homeschooling.  And she is now working in her area of study in college.

Whichever way you go as far as an educational path, I hope that you enjoy the journey with your gifted child as much as we did.

What would you add to this list?   I love reading your comments.



Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,


Betsy



Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshigh school & college and wrote the book - Homeschooling High School with College in Mind.   She offers free homeschool help through messages at BJ's Consulting

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9 comments:

  1. This is a lovely story and journey. Your daughter is so lucky that you were an OT and knew what to do with a child like her. She was so fortunate. Many parents have no idea what to do, the steps to take, and how to cope with it. You've done an excellent job, I think, by focusing on her strengths.

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    1. Thanks, Carolyn! That is why I am a homeschool blogger, to share ideas and resources to help other homeschoolers to meet the needs of their kiddos with special needs or issues. Have a good day!

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  2. I love all these points (as the mom to a kiddo with SPD/ADHD). Cat schooling is super-cute!

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  3. loved reading your blog. thank you for sharing the ups and downs, and being so candid with your journey. it has taken me so long to understand my 2e kids. it is through moms like yourself that have provided such great info/understanding and give me that extra confidence to be a leader in their education. i have spend a year preparing to home school my kids, but they are both currently happy at a school focused on Gifted/2e. we are staying put for now, but we are one year at a time and always evaluating. love the idea of schooling at home for high school. thank you.

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  4. Thank you, Janelle, for sharing your comments! That is good to hear that your kids are happily settled right now, in a gifted/2e program. Those can be so hard to find! I hope that my blog and the resources at the Gifted Homeschool Network will be a support to you, as you consider possibly homeschooling in the future. I am so glad that we did, as it met my daughter's needs the best, for our situation. My daughter is a junior in college now, and so loving it there, which is so rewarding to watch, as a mom.

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  5. What a wonderful job you've done! Do you have any advice for parents who have ADD? It's challenging to homeschool when I don't feel like I am on top of it all.

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    1. Thank you, Mama Mia, for your nice comment! You know, I did not necessarily feel on top of it all, especially when my daughter struggled with organizational skills! We tried a number of ways to deal with that. One of them was to have a narrow spiral notebook for each subject. Then we worked on a way to keep these organized. I don't know how old your kiddo is, but here are some of the things that we did when mine was young. Homeschooling Our Kiddo with ADHD and Sensory Issues - https://betsyhomeschoolconsulting.blogspot.com/2016/01/how-we-homeschooled-my-kiddo-with-adhd.html. Feel free to message me on my facebook page called BJ's Homeschool. It is on the right hand column, just click that and it will lead you to my facebook page. Then you could message me there, if you would like to chat more. Have a super rest of the week! By the way, just choosing homeschooling can be a real gift to kiddos with ADD! There is so much less distraction at home, and one can take breaks as needed.

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    2. Oh, also, Mama Mia, if you are looking for homeschooling ideas, feel free to click my pages at the top of blog, called Early Years, Middle School, High School/College, for lots of info, depending on your child's age. Thanks again for stopping by!

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