Avoiding the High Achievers Label Through Homeschooling

Gifted teens often get labeled as high achievers, when they really are individuals with unique learning needs. #homeschoolhighschool #homeschoolgitfedteens #gifted/2e  Note - This post may included affiliate links to products that we love and have used or would use in our  own homeschool. Please see my disclosure policy.

When our daughter was young, we noticed right away that she was quite bright.  Our friends said she was precocious.  She was so alert, always watching everything that was going on, even as a baby, and was full of questions as soon as she was able to speak.

I had a background in preschool teaching so we just went ahead and started doing preschool stuff and activities at home.  By the time she was of kindergarten age, she was far beyond kindergarten work.

So we took the leap and started homeschooling.  And for us, it worked out very well.

If our daughter had gone through the public school system, she would probably have been put into a high achieving program.  And having that label, would not have been a gift for her.

Our daughter excelled in language, writing, speaking, analyzing and problem solving.  She had an extensive vocabulary as a very young one.  But in math, she was not working at an advanced level.  If she were considered a high achiever, that may have got her thinking she was not good enough....As math did not come easily to her.

Homeschooling meant that we could avoid that "high achieving" label.  

Instead, we were free to pick and choose our own homeschool curricula, and meet her asynchronous development, which is common in gifted kids, as your know.  She could accelerate in English, and do math at grade level, for example.

We also could help her with the other aspects of her giftedness, being that we had the freedom of homeschooling. ......

Not that it wasn't exhausting at times.  Having an extremely curious child with OE's, did wear me out some days for sure.  Especially during the younger years.

But skipping the public school route....all the way to college meant that we could adapt things to meet our daughter's needs, in a number of ways.

Perfectionism Issues

Our daughter thought that she should know things before she knew them.  Does that sound familiar?   She hated to make mistakes.  Having her papers graded each day by a teacher would have been a struggle for her.  I could be careful and gentle when giving feedback and add in lots of positives.

At home she did not have the opportunity to easily compare herself to others.  That was a good thing.

 As a young one, she often struggled with the feeling that she was not "good enough" if she did not get everything right.  Or be the best.  At home she had free rein, instead to study independently and had no occasion to compare her work with others.  Unless she wanted to, which she did later.

Homeschooling also meant that we could help her with her 2e learning issues, too.

 Early on, our daughter struggled with:

- ADHD type issues
- Sensory processing disorder suspected
- Auditory learning disorder suspected.

ADHD type behaviors were easier to deal with at home.

Our daughter was very active, maybe hyperactive, and would not have done well in a large classroom where she would have had to sit in a desk all day.

We got a big exercise ball, that she used to bounce on as a little one.  She also took gymnastics and often did cartwheels across the living room.  Couch jumping was also popular at our house.  And running around the backyard, at the park, etc.

We took lots of active breaks during the day.  We just worked to accommodate and meet her needs as best we could.

She had a great attention span but some issues with organization, and that was something that we could practice, at her pace, at home, too.

Our daughter was a sensory seeker, and needed a lot of vestibular input.  She loved to spin in her dad's desk chair, a lot.  We also bought her a spinner and that was helpful to have around, as well as a small trampoline.  

Auditory learning disorder could be accommodated.

Listening to the teacher talk in front of the class, would not have been a very hard way to learn for our kid.  At home, we picked curricula that was visually based.  

Once she got to college, her auditory learning issues had subsided, as well as her need to have sensory adaptations.  She was ready to deal with the classroom environment, and got Dean's List grades there.

My "kiddo" is a senior in college now, and will graduate with a degree in Communications, a minor in Political Science and Honors Global Leadership.  She was able to develop her strengths - verbal, language, leadership, while in college.

Growing a Leader - Following our child's interests.
If she had the classroom experience while growing up, she may have still have struggled with auditory learning, sensory issues while attempting college courses.  And there is no telling what that would have done to her confidence and self esteem.

Homeschooling gave her the chance to be who she was, and not have to fit the label of high achiever or be placed in that type of program.  

Are you considering homeschooling your gifted child?  Are you thinking about what curriculum you might use for them?  Below are links to some of our favorite homeschool curricula, if you would like to browse around a bit, to get some ideas.

Resources for Homeschooling

Let's start with the Elementary Years - Here is a page of some of our favorites for elementary homeschooling.  We used Oak Meadow for English and Social Studies starting in 4th or 5th grade.  For math we used a variety of resources as well as for science.

Here's some of our favorites for the middle school years.  Are you considering homeschooling high school?  And if you click here, you will reach a whole page of resources that we used during high school.

Have you seen my guide to college for homeschoolers?  Our daughter had no trouble getting into each of the colleges on her list with her homeschool transcript.

What about college?  How do homeschoolers apply to college?

Colleges accept homeschool credits and homeschool transcripts all over the country.  I don't know of any that do not accept homeschool transcripts.
Are you homeschooling a high schooler this year? 
All the details that you need to plan your high school at home are in my guide to homeschooling high school below.  If you are wanting to learn:
  • how to make your teen's transcripts
  •  assign homeschool high school credit
  • choose their homeschool curriculum
  • and learn now to apply to college

You can find my tips for that here:

Thanks for stopping by, and please click this month's Gifted Homeschool Forum Blog Hop.

Thanks for stopping by BJ's Homeschool,

Betsy is mom to her now college grad, whom she homeschooled through high school.  She blogs at BJ's Homeschool, about the early yearshighschool
collegegifted/2e and wrote -Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd Edition.

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