expert advice MORE
Homeschooling a Gifted Sixth-Grader
Q: I was thinking seriously about homeschooling my sixth-grade son because he is presently bored with school. He is in the gifted class for only two hours each Thursday and he says it's not enough for him, but that is all the school offers. I try to help him learn things he is interested in at home, but sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the knowledge he has already. I don't want to let him see that I sometimes feel inferior. He loves science and I haven't a clue. He was reading about solar systems, dinosaurs, and mythology in third grade.
I just want to see my son learning new things that interest him, and school is not doing such a great job. The library and this computer are helping him to go farther in the subjects that he loves, but would homeschooling also help him? Are there courses and instructions so that I would be able to teach him and myself these new things? I live in Kentucky and have done some research, but can't find the sites and regulations for my area.
A: Your son sounds like an ideal candidate for homeschooling! He's motivated and learns easily. Homeschooling will give him the freedom to pursue those subjects he's truly interested in for as long as he'd like. This will set him on the path to discovering who he really is and what he wants to do with his life at a very early age. What a gift!
Of course you don't have to know everything about every subject. Many teachers in school actually learn as they go. Be honest with him. Tell him you went through school, but mostly memorized things to pass the tests, and now you've forgotten a lot of it. (Haven't we all!) You don't want the same thing to happen to him, so together you are taking a different path of learning. How exciting!
Here is a link for homeschooling support groups and the laws in each state: www.homefires.com.
Here's another national list of support groups: www.midnightbeach.com/hs/listlist.f.html.
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.