A Word from GHF is one of the many benefits offered to Supporting Members of GHF. To learn more about the benefits of membership click here! In This

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A Word from GHF is one of the many benefits offered to Supporting Members of GHF. To learn more about the benefits of membership click here!

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In This Issue . . .

A Word from the Editor
Dear GHF Which curricula are good for gifted kids?
Finding Resources to Support Your Gifted Child Carol Fertig, author of Raising a Gifted Child: A Parenting Success Handbook, helps sift through the numerous educational choices.
Homeschooling Success Story: Jerimi Ann Walker A meandering path leads to a fulfilling life.
If You Give a Gifted Kid a Pencil! A humorous take on living with gifted kids.
Come See Us
Institutional Memberships
More Ways to Support GHF

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A Word from the Editor

newsletter goals

Once we begin along the homeschooling path, many of us wonder, some might even say "fret," about which courses, books, curricula, and the like we absolutely must provide for our gifted children.

The April issue of A Word from GHF hopes to quell those fears and remind families that learning does not necessarily stem from teaching.

Thank you for reading A Word from GHF. If you have any questions or suggestions, we would love to hear from you!

Your editor,
Sarah J. Wilson
sarahw@giftedhomeschoolers.org

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Dear GHF

Dear GHF,

I am so excited! My daughter was miserable in school, and I finally convinced my husband and mother to support my preference to homeschool. The problem is that my mother was an elementary school teacher, so she wants to make all the decisions about curriculum. She was a good teacher, but this is my child and I want to do what is right for her, not for a classroom 10-20 years ago. What is a good curriculum for gifted kids?

- Fluttery in Florida

Dear Fluttery:

You absolutely need to do what you think is best as a parent; yet, you don’t want to alienate your mother, who could be a terrific source of support, even if her ideas may not be spot-on for your daughter.

Keep in mind: Every child is different. Every gifted child is different, too. As for a good “gifted curriculum,” we encourage you consider what you hope to get from having a curriculum, as well as whether or not a particular one works for you and your child (who needs to be on board with it).

We suggest that you do not spend a lot of money on a curriculum package without first trying it. You may be able to get a sample from a conference vendor, find some lessons online, or get some for free at your homeschool group’s curriculum swap. Once you give it a shot, you could find that the material in some areas is what you want, but is too repetitive or just off-base in others. Further, you may happily spend a lot of money on the assumption that it will cover a year’s worth of work, only to discover that your child has whizzed through it in four months—or four weeks. There are so many free materials out there; you should not have to spend a lot of money to find a good fit. Keep in mind, too, that what worked fabulously at meeting the goals of someone else’s child, might not be right for yours. Take time to experiment a bit.

Bring your mother into the process. Explain what you are looking for and some of your considerations, and see what she thinks. Even if you don’t always agree, she will appreciate your validating her expertise and she may well respect you anew for standing up for your child. Your mother might be hesitant with your choices at first, but she could eventually become your biggest fan.

Of course, you may choose to not use a formal curriculum. Many families begin homeschooling using an approach that closely parallels traditional classroom content, but the longer they are away from the school system, the more non-traditional learning opportunities they discover. There is no such thing as an educational emergency; take your time and find what works best for your situation. Homeschooling will allow you to tailor the learning to the unique needs and interests of your child. Over time, your mother may come to appreciate this, as well.

For more curricula ideas and reviews, please visit these sites:
GHF's Homeschooling Resources page
GHF's Favorite Things page
Hand-in-Hand Homeschool
Homeschool Curriculum
Homeschool Literature
For new ideas daily, follow GHF on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin

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Finding Resources to Support Your Gifted Child

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We are homeschooling our very bright kids, but we lack direction and find it hard to locate resources for some of their interests. How can we supplement the curriculum that we are using?

We feel that the older children we are homeschooling have already surpassed any knowledge that we are able to impart. Where can we go from here? We want to keep them engaged in their education.

How can we help our highly gifted daughter find a mentor in science?

We have decided to homeschool our son for math only. He is years ahead of his classmates in this subject, yet he is at grade level in other subjects. He is also very attached to his friends at school. What are our options?

By homeschooling their children, parents are able help the youngsters focus on their real strengths. The students may advance much more quickly through the curriculum and pursue it in greater depth. Homeschooling may provide more time for the study of a musical instrument or different non-academic interest. There are more opportunities to visit museums and other outside educational venues. Children may be spared from dealing with others who are unkind or have different values than their families’.

Providing an appropriate education for children who are homeschooled, either full-time or part-time, can be challenging. Two sources of help are Raising a Gifted Child: A Parenting Success Handbook and Prufrock’s Gifted Child Information Blog. Both are written by Carol Fertig. Carol has an M.A. in the subject and has been, over the years, a classroom teacher, gifted education teacher, consultant, writer, and editor in the field. She is a strong supporter of those who homeschool their bright children.

While numerous educational choices are available, it takes a lot of time to sort through them to find ones that are appropriate to your situation. Both Raising a Gifted Child: A Parenting Success Handbook and Prufrock’s Gifted Child Information Blog seek to simplify this process by sifting through and organizing the many possibilities.

Raising a Gifted Child (available in both paperback and e-book formats) explains the basics about working with highly able students, as well as a multitude of learning methods. Parents can combine the information found in the book with searches done on Prufrock’s Gifted Child Information Blog to find numerous resources for individual subjects, lists of online classes and schools designed specifically for gifted kids, and virtual opportunities to interact with other bright students from around the world. Whether your child’s area of expertise is writing, math, science, or foreign language, you will find many excellent suggestions. Ideas for enrichment in non-academic subjects are also available, as are suggestions for improving critical thinking and creativity. Find recommendations for higher-level reading materials and information on accessing classes at leading universities. Understand the importance of mentorships and learn the best methods for finding mentors.

Enjoy homeschooling your children, knowing that help is readily available.

by Carol Fertig

For the month of April, Prufrock Press is offering GHF members 35% off the purchase of Raising a Gifted Child on the Prufrock website. Just enter the code GHF311 upon check out or by clicking here.

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Jerimi Ann Walker: A Homeschooling Success Story

Jerimi Ann Walker

My homeschooling journey was an extremely positive experience and has defined a large part of my life in the years since. We homeschooled with little structure and one goal: to have fun exploring and learning. Studying meteorology didn’t just involve learning why things happened but seeing it first hand by driving around after a large hurricane. Learning about physics involved making holograms, and we all (my brother, sister, and I) learned about computers by building small websites through hand-coded HTML (this was the mid 90s, to keep the technology in perspective). We even tried starting a small business for a while that was based on the holograms, which taught me a great deal about a variety of topics.

Eventually, I became very focused on going out into the world as an adult and saw college as a key part in this plan. Attending a local college, I worked hard taking extra classes and was able to graduate with my bachelor’s degree in mathematics when I was seventeen. As I saw it, this was the first step in my master plan!

I immediately enrolled in a math Ph.D. program at Syracuse University, but within a couple of years felt that I was missing out on something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I ended up leaving the program and worked different jobs, even playing in band. While at the time there was this feeling of “quitting,” in retrospect it was really important to simply get some perspective outside of academia.

I did eventually return to graduate school, opting to go for my masters in applied math through the University of Minnesota Duluth. This really was a great time, and while taking classes I had the chance to try my hand at entrepreneurship again by starting the “Air Career and Gear Expo,” which was designed to connect young people interested in flight with schools and other programs. It was reasonably successful and I met a bunch of great people through the process.

After graduating, I was determined to find a job which allowed me to talk about math as much as I wanted, while providing a work/life balance. I was lucky enough to find a perfect fit and am now a college math instructor.

It is my belief that this meandering path is exactly what life is all about and it is easy to see how much of a role homeschooling played in shaping this. Each day is about learning and experiences. Without my homeschooling experience, I may have never had the guts to go to college and then later to leave graduate school. All of this is part of who I am today. I am now close to thirty years old and will continue to try new things and have the same love for learning that I had years ago as a homeschooler. I have no idea where it will eventually take me. That’s the fun part!

Jerimi recently started an online math website called MathBootCamps, designed to fill in the gaps left by high school and college courses.

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If You Give a Gifted Kid a Pencil

Republished with permission from LJ Conrad. View the original post, and many other interesting articles at Gifted Parenting Support.

If you give a gifted kid a pencil,
She’s going to want a piece of paper to go with it.
When you give her the paper,
She’ll probably ask you for a dictionary.

Once she gets the dictionary,
She’ll ask you for a quiet place in which to work.
She’ll start writing a novel,
But then she’ll begin to daydream.

And when her thoughts turn to the environment,
She’ll probably ask you for a thermometer.
When she takes it outside,
She’ll notice how hot it is and begin to think about global warming.

She’ll ask to borrow your iPad,
And then she’ll ask for a wireless connection to go with it.
So, you’ll have to give her the access codes,
And then she’ll ask to borrow a flash drive.

When she finds enough information,
She’ll want to make a PowerPoint presentation.
She’ll make an excellent one,
And then she’ll want to print it out.

When she prints it on your printer,
She’ll notice a slight mistake.
She’ll ask for a piece of paper to make corrections.
And chances are … if she asks for a piece of paper …

She’s going to want a pencil to go with it!

(This piece was inspired by an inquisitive young lady from Florida to whom I wish to dedicate it to.)

Disclaimer: This story is intended purely for entertainment purposes only. It is intended as parody only. Any likeness to a published work is coincidental.

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Come See Us!

Anne Beneventi, a GHF Board Member, will be part of a panel at the Helios New School discussing giftedness in girls: Where Have All the Smart Girls Gone?

Date: Thursday, April 28
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Where: Oshman Family Jewish Community Center
3921 Fabian Way, Room E104 (Next to the JCC Cultural Arts Center)
Palo Alto, CA 94303
RSVP: By April 25 to (650) 223-8690 or via email to info@heliosns.org

Stephanie Hood, the ISP/Charter Advisor with GHF, will discuss homeschooling teens and transitioning to college or careers:

"Homeschooling Teens, and Transitioning to College/Career."
Date: Tuesday, June 14
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Where: Santa Teresa Library Community Room
290 International Circle
San José, CA 95119
For more information: (408) 808-3068 or sa.sjpl@sjlibrary.org

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Institutional Memberships

For organizations that would like to reach the gifted homeschooling community while supporting the mission of GHF, we have created two tiers of Institutional Membership.

For more information, please contact info@giftedhomeschoolers.com.

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More Ways to Support GHF

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April 2011 • Volume 2 • Issue 1

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