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Homeschooling Gifted Twins
Q: My daughter and son appear to be gifted, ahead of their age by years. They are in preschool right now, and their teacher is amazed every day at how advanced they are. My daughter shows classic signs of being creatively gifted and talented, and my son shows signs of having book-smarts. If they are that advanced how will I homeschool? And can they "cross-school" in a gifted and talented program in my local school district?
A: What a lucky parent you are! Two bright little children -- every mother's dream! This makes homeschooling even more important. Boredom in school can be a real problem with very bright children. Gifted and talented programs aren't always the answer. Parents have told me some programs provide more busywork for their children, without the kind of creative intellectual stimulation these very bright kids crave.
By homeschooling your children, you will provide them with the opportunity to progress at their own pace, to pursue their own interests, and discover their hidden talents at a young age. Instead of following a curriculum established by someone who does not know your children or their learning styles, you can observe your children's progress, and plan your studies and activities accordingly.
Sending them to school will not "make them smart" -- they already are smart! They will memorize page upon page of information, facts, and dates. But is memorizing data to pass the test on Friday then forgetting it by Monday true learning? Homeschooling will allow them to spend two months on a subject that interests them -- not just 45 minutes of class time. They will be truly learning in freedom.
The same general advice really applies to all children. Provide an intellectually stimulating environment, read a lot together, and allow the twins the opportunity to pursue their interests. You'll be amazed at what will unfold.
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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.