Sunday, October 7, 2007

What Now?

When we began reading information on gifted children things really started to fall into place for us. We had gotten to a point of being tired almost all of the time. It seemed that every waking moment was spent trying to keep our son challenged. After we began reading about gifted kids we understood why we were tired all of the time and why it seemed as though we were the parents of three boys instead of only one.

Virtually all gifted children have extra energy. For some (like me) that energy is focused inward and the thought life becomes very vivid. I remember when I was in school how I was bored to tears, but I’d sit and behave in class because my mind was busy “elsewhere.” Our son’s energy, however, is focused outward. He can and does sit for hours if he is interested and engaged in what he’s doing, but if he’s not, he starts looking like a runaway super bouncy ball. The funny thing is, that even when he gets like that and needs to get his “monkey” energy out, he’s listening to every word you say.

At this point in our son’s education, I was becoming rather nervous. I now realized that we were dealing with a highly gifted child and that he truly required being challenged or he would get bored and we’d all be sorry. So I turned to eBay and ordered a full first grade curriculum. When it arrived I traipsed upstairs with the books and my notebook. I began mapping out our school year. While I was doing this our son came up for a visit.

“What’cha doin’?”

“Your new school books are here and I’m trying to get organized.”

“Oh! Science!”

He grabbed the science book and read it cover to cover three days in a row. So much for my planning! At that time I really had nothing to model our homeschooling on besides my public school experience. During those three days I knew that something was going to have to change. I went into fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants mode.

I began looking on the internet for information about different style of homeschooling and was amazed at what I found. There were many, many different ways to teach at home, and not all of them looked like public school at home. I was starting to feel a little encouraged.

One thing that I knew we needed was a way to teach without spending big bucks on a full year’s curriculum every eight weeks or so. So we decided to give the Charlotte Mason method a try. This worked well for a while. Our local library became our home away from home. Our son and I would curl up with a good book and learn about all sorts of things. But our son isn’t one to sit still for too long day after day. We needed something a little more hands-on and since I wasn’t terribly experienced at the whole homeschooling thing yet, I went back to the internet for help. It was then that we first heard about The Weaver curriculum – a curriculum that is designed for multi-children households, but perfect for a single child who spans several grade levels. We made the switch and were in for some fun!

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