Thursday, November 15, 2018

Reflecting on Home Educating a Gifted Student.

I was able to visit my son at MIT a few weeks ago. I was thrilled to see him, and he is so happy. He is doing better than I expected and I am so glad that I was able to home educate him.  I remember wondering how on earth I was going to home educate someone who was honestly brighter than I am and I desperately needed a compass.   These are some take-aways for me from home educating a gifted student.

1. Letting your student move through their schoolwork as fast as they are ready to is a good thing.

I remember hearing that back when my student was young. I let him go through math at his own pace. I am so glad we did that when he was younger, and continued to let him move at this own pace. College moves fast and no one at MIT is holding him back now. If anything, it has helped him.

 2.Teaching organizational skills, deadlines, and life skills are so important for your student. 

I was very worried about my student transitioning to college. I was afraid he would not meet deadlines and not use his time wisely. I kept asking him the first month how he was doing. Finally, he said to me, “You have underestimated your ability to teach time management.” He was surprised how other students waited till the last minute to complete assignments and did not have a schedule.  I was glad we had worked on that together.

3. Looking for math contests and other  opportunities to compete academically are  good for gifted students.

Bright students need challenges and competitions are good ways to do that.   For my students it was like a sport competition and good for them.  Things like Speech & Debate, Music Competitions, The National Latin Exam, and AMC (American Mathematics Competition) are great activities.

4. Online support groups are helpful for the teacher to grow.  

 I learned many ideas and learned what others were doing from online groups. Hoagies website, Davidson, and local groups were so helpful. I learned what to do next from other parents who had gone before me. They were so valuable on the journey.

5. Teaching your student to be an independent learner is a gift to them. 

There are times in college and life when you need to be able to learn independently. Don’t feel bad when your student has to self-study. They are learning a skill that will help them in the future.

The time with my student was so valuable, and I am so thankful for it. I remember being terrified I was not going to be able to teach my gifted learner. I am glad that the school made me frustrated enough to have to do it on my own. Because in the end, I was the one who had the best gift of all: watching my student learn and being part of that success.

Parents Weekend at MIT

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