How Homeschooling Can Help to Better Nurture Gifted Children
Remember the 3 F’s: focus, flexibility, and freedom
Is your child a musical genius? Showing a strong sense of curiosity? Reading or excelling in sports at a young age? Your child might be gifted.
What exactly does “gifted” mean? The image of a child prodigy or straight-A student often comes to mind. Over the years, however, its definition has broadened.
Gifted children are “students who perform–or have the potential to perform–at higher levels compared to their peers,” as defined by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), an American non-profit.
Giftedness is difficult to identify since it covers a whole range of abilities and skills, be it creative, intellectual, musical, or even physical. Although psychologists and educators agree that gifted children love to learn. Their curiosity and natural ability to absorb concepts and information–especially when it comes to their area of interest–sets them up for success.
This love for learning, however, doesn’t automatically translate to high grades–a success metric used in traditional schools. This is not to say gifted children won’t perform well in public or private schools. The real question is will they have the opportunity to thrive?
Experts believe that traditional schooling could frustrate or hamper a gifted child’s development. “Gifted kids are often bored in school,” writes columnist and homeschooling mom Isabelle Shaw. “Their quick minds are unable to comprehend why they’re bogged down with meaningless busywork, while they rush through subjects that interest them,” Shaw mentions in her column.
Since traditional schools don’t often have systems in place to challenge gifted children and harness their potential, could homeschooling be a good alternative?
The 3 F’s–focus, flexibility, and freedom–make a strong case for it.
Homeschooling provides a learning environment that is personalized and focused on the child. It allows parents to dedicate resources and individual attention that are often lacking in a traditional classroom. It also affords gifted students the luxury of time to focus on honing their skills and talents.
Focus also means being able to dedicate time to your child’s latest curiosity. Gifted children tend to obsess over what fascinates them. Maybe it’s the arts, music, or even dancing! Homeschooling allows kids to do a “deep dive” and spend hours (or longer!) investigating, researching, learning everything they can about an area of interest.
Providing gifted children with a flexible learning environment helps them with two things. One, it saves them from boredom. At school, they would have to work at the pace of the rest of the class. At home, they can easily pick up from exactly where they are or where they left off and move forward at their own pace.
Two, it keeps them on their toes. Gifted kids constantly need to be challenged. At school, strict schedules and routines can easily lull them. Having a relatively unstructured day at home makes learning more enjoyable. This allows them to either spend time devouring information on subjects they enjoy or polishing up on subjects that aren’t necessarily their strong suit.
The world is your classroom! Lessons don’t have to be confined to books and notebooks on a desk. The beauty of homeschooling is having the freedom to let your children–gifted or otherwise–experience the world beyond the four walls of your home. Take them to a museum, explore an eco-park, or visit an art gallery. These new and unique experiences stimulate their senses and often lead to a deeper, broader understanding of the world around them.
• About gifted and talented children and teenagers. Raising Children Network. (2021, October 25). Retrieved from https://raisingchildren.net.au/preschoolers/play-learning/gifted-talent…
• Bainbridge, C. (2021, March 27). How schools may identify gifted students. Verywell Family. Retrieved from https://www.verywellfamily.com/what-is-a-gifted-child-1449130
• Heather, P. by. (2019, July 1). Why gifted kids often thrive in homeschooling. Wonderschooling. Retrieved from https://wonderschooling.net/2019/07/01/why-gifted-kids-often-thrive-in-…
• Homeschooling gifted kids: Pros and cons. Bright Hub. (2009, July 12). Retrieved from https://www.brighthub.com/education/homeschooling/articles/41919/
• Homeschooling pros and cons. Calvert Education. (2017, November 10). Retrieved from https://www.calverteducation.com/should-i-homeschool/homeschooling-pros…
• What is giftedness? What is Giftedness? | National Association for Gifted Children. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/resources/what-giftedness
• Will I be shortchanging my child by homeschooling? FamilyEducation. (2004, June 18). Retrieved from https://www.familyeducation.com/school/concerns-about-homeschooling/wil…
About The Writer
Franch Baja Bustamante
Franch Baja Bustamante has a toddler who is rapidly learning about the world. Her goal is to continue to foster his curiosity, while making sure he doesn’t pluck out all the plants from her garden.
While he sleeps, Franch works as a freelance writer, editor, and content manager for brands and websites. She has created and produced content for Rockwell Land Retail, Nestle Philippines, DTI-CITEM, Smart Parenting, Spot.ph, and other titles under Summit Media.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.