Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Curricula for Gifted Students

Homeschooling Expert Advice from Isabel Shaw

Q: Which of the major homeschooling curricula are better suited for gifted and talented students?

A: "That's really a difficult question -- there are so many variables within the gifted range. My personal opinion is that no prepackaged curriculum can adequately meet the needs of truly gifted kids -- these kids are so unique in their approach to learning. A curriculum outlines what subjects should be studied at what age or grade, and in how much depth. This tool is necessary in a classroom full of children, but not when one learns at home. The gifted kids I know learn ""outside the box,"" light years ahead of their peers in some areas, and totally disinterested in other areas. After the basics are covered (and this is often at a young age for gifted students), wise parents pick and choose their child's learning materials from a wide variety of resources. One young gifted boy I know was well into high-school math (which he often calculated in his head!) at eight years old, but he showed no interest in reading. His parents and siblings continued to read to him, and he listened to books on tape, but they put no pressure on him to learn to read. Within a year or two he had a need to read for a project he was doing and he learned quickly. In fact, he moved right into the young adult reading level, as his siblings had done before him. His parents understood the need to nurture his individual talents and to support those areas he wasn't quite ready to explore. No prepackaged curriculum provides this opportunity. Of course, this approach will require more reading and research on your part. However, it is amazing to watch these special kids soar as they explore the world at their own pace, free of preconceived ideas of what they should or could be doing. Gifted Education Comes Home : A Case for Self-Directed Homeschooling by Lisa Rivero explores this learning philosophy for gifted students. I also recommend Rebecca Rupp's incredible book, The Complete Home Learning Source Book. You'll find almost 900 pages of resources on just about every subject imaginable."

More on: Expert Advice

Isabel Shaw is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom of 15 years. She and her husband Ray homeschool their two daughters, Jessica and Amanda. Besides being a contributor to FamilyEducation.com, Shaw has written for Home Education Magazine, The Link, Homeschooling Horizons Magazine, The Homeschool Gazette, and other publications.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


10 Best Creative Apps for Kids
Looking for apps that foster creativity? Check out these top-rated art and music apps for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

A New Intergalactic Reading Adventure!
Get your reluctant reader hooked on an irresistible new story, Galactic Hot Dogs! Join the Book 1 reading marathon, and get behind-the-scenes tidbits on the official Galactic Hot Dogs blog. Also, print this cool Galactic Hot Dogs reading log to keep your bookworm excited about reading!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks