In This Issue . . . ▪ A Word from GHF is Going Public!: What does that mean for supporting members?▪ Dear GHF: Wrung Out asks what to consider when

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A Word from GHF is Going Public!: What does that mean for supporting members?
Dear GHF: Wrung Out asks what to consider when thinking about homeschooling
GHF Press's Latest Book: How to Work and Homeschool: Practical Advice, Tips, and Strategies from Parents, by Pamela Price
The Debater of the Year Award has been Announced!: Learn who from iGifted School won this coveted prize
What's Up, GHF?: New offerings, how to support GHF, and much more

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We introduced A Word from GHF in April 2010 as a way to communicate with supporting members of GHF. Over the past three years, we’ve heard from experts in the gifted, 2e, and alternative education communities, including Lessa Scherrer of Mensa, Diane Flynn Keith of Homefires, James Webb of Great Potential Press, author Joy Lawson Davis, and many more. We have also shared the stories of teens and young adults who were homeschooled and have gone on to pursue their passions, such as mathematics, biology, and dance.

The past three years have brought great changes to GHF’s outreach efforts, including GHF Press and GHF Online. We believe it is time to add A Word from GHF to those efforts, making it available to the public with the November 2013 issue. This will give members and the public access to the latest information from GHF.

In light of this change to the member benefits, we are adding new benefits to our many offerings. For example, in January, we added two free one-hour private online math lessons in addition to an initial lesson/assessment with Barry Gelston, M.Ed., of Mr. Gelston’s One Room Schoolhouse. We are also working on creating a members-only section to our website. Keep watching for more member benefits in the future.

We thank you for your continued support of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum and our mission. We look forward to seeing you on Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Linkedin.

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Dear GHF,

We barely made it through the school year with our 11-year-old son. I’m wondering if I can face another year of battling with the school for accommodations and appropriate work for my twice-exceptional boy. Is it too late to consider homeschooling in the fall? I’m still researching my options, but after the year we had, homeschooling is looking better and better. I want to be sure I cover all my bases. What factors should I be sure to include as I consider this decision?

Sincerely,
Wrung Out in Rhode Island

Dear Wrung Out,

Boy, have we ever been there! Some people tell us that we must be very brave for choosing to homeschool, but we’ve always felt it took a great deal of courage to continually advocate in school for a child who simply doesn’t fit. To some extent, you really have to decide for yourself where you’d rather be putting all of your energy. For some parents, getting “close enough” in the school system is worthwhile; for others, the choice to bring their child home and develop an educational program that is tailored to their child’s individual needs is more rewarding.

You are obviously well-acquainted with the experience you can expect if you remain in school—clearly you are an engaged parent and have been active in attempting to create an appropriate placement for your son. We will therefore focus more on the other option you have before you.

When facing a decision like this, it sometimes helps to remember that this choice does not have to be forever. You only need to consider what your next move will be. There is no rulebook that dictates that you have to “get it exactly right” the first (or even second or third) time. As you progress through the school year, you can always change your plans based on what evolves with your child and with your family. In fact, not adjusting as you go would be unfortunate, as the flexibility inherent in homeschooling is one of the biggest potential benefits to a twice-exceptional family.

Considerations for choosing whether to homeschool—and if so, how to homeschool—are as varied as the families who make the choice. It’s a particularly complicated decision, however, not because you are deciding whether to jump from one school to another, but because you are making both a parenting decision and a lifestyle choice for the entire family. For more specific details and insights, you might consider reading our short book, Making the Choice: When Typical School Doesn’t Fit Your Atypical Child.

We wish you the best with your decision.

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Do you want to homeschool, but you need to keep working? Maybe you’re already homeschooling, but you would like to start a business? Perhaps you’re homeschooling, working, and volunteering, but need to create space for yourself? How can this possibly be done? How do other parents manage?

Enter Pamela Price of Red, White & Grew. After interviewing parents who are dealing with these very issues, Pamela has written How to Work and Homeschool: Practical Advice, Tips, and Strategies from Parents, published by GHF Press. Filled with real world examples and tried-and-tested approaches, How to Work and Homeschool will give you the ideas and confidence to develop a game plan to incorporate work, homeschool, family obligations, and more into your busy life. Pamela busts myths about work and homeschool, shares some truths, and even provides sample schedules to help you get started.

Whether you’re considering homeschooling or are a veteran looking to make a change, How to Work and Homeschool: Practical Advice, Tips, and Strategies from Parents will help you on your journey.

Available soon in print for $5.95 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

For more information on this book and others from GHF Press, check out the GHF Press page at http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/ghf-press/.

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The Management Team at iGifted School is very proud to announce the winner of our Debater of the Year Award: Ari Brown. Ari is homeschooled in North Carolina. In recognition of his achievement, Ari was awarded a scholarship to the University of Michigan Summer Debate Institute in June, where he attended an intensive three week program with other high school debaters from across the country.

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At iGifted School, students learn and compete as avatars. Ari is known to his classmates and teachers as William Pierce, the avatar he designed. Within the Debate Club, Ari first progressed through the Learning to Debate Series, where he excelled in not only his written work, but also in the weekly live video class. In the class, students from homeschools and brick-and-mortar institutions across the country work together, learning from each other and the teacher.

At the conclusion of the Learning to Debate Series, Ari competed in his first virtual debate where he was teamed with another student, a young lady who was in the sixth grade in a public school in Florida. In his first debate, Ari won the Best Speaker award and his team won the debate. The subject for that debate was “Resolved that all public schools should adopt a year round school calendar.” In order for readers who may not understand the format of debate and the significance of what Ari was able to demonstrate, here are some excerpts of his evaluation from the Debate Judge:

William Pierce: Congratulations on being the top speaker in the iGifted School Debate Club's Super Debate. You were extremely well organized and you met your speaker responsibilities beautifully. In the constructive speech you presented the affirmative plan and plan advantages clearly. In rebuttal you closed the debate beautifully for your team—I especially liked that you started by saying "we have carried the burden of proof." Every judge wants to hear that. And, you closed the debate very effectively.

Adobe Connect Classroom

Adobe Connect Classroom Screenshot

In the current year, Ari participated with our Advanced Group learning about more advanced forms of logic and techniques of debating. The class took advantage of the 2012 Presidential Elections, first learning about judging, and then individually judging the first Presidential Debate. Quite a learning experience for all of us.

In the Fall Classic Debate, Ari participated in a debate where the topic was “Resolved that all U.S. citizens between the ages of 17 and 24, at a time of their choosing, commit to two years of public service.” Once again, Ari did an outstanding job, and received very high marks from the Debate Judge.

Congratulations on being part of an exceptional debate. Those of us associated with iGifted School are amazed at the level at which you and the other participants in the Fall Classic Debate were able to perform. As someone who has been "around debate" for many years, I want you to simply take my word when I tell you that this was a fine debate. It was clear, it featured complex arguments, it was well supported, and it was close—very close. And, you added substantially to the quality of the debate. In addition, I want to thank you for being so gracious at the conclusion of the debate, after the decision had been given, for extending congratulations to your opponents. You are a first class young man and I know that the good sportsmanship you displayed will "stand well" for you in the years ahead.

This spring, Ari agreed to work with two novice debaters in a round robin tournament. The subject was this year’s national high school debate topic, “Resolved that the federal government should substantially increase its investment in transportation infrastructure.” Once again, Ari assisted his teammates and, with his efforts, helped his team to compete at a very high level.

The iGifted School Debate Club Thought Leader, Dr. William Colburn, is a retired Debate Coach, Professor of Speech and Communications, and Professor Emeritus from the University of Michigan. He has commented on how quickly Ari and his classmates learned the basics of Educational Debate, and how well they perform. Debate Club members work on their own computers at home and learn through videos, work assignments, and live online classes with Prof. Colburn. Although the students know each other only by their avatar names, they quickly make friends, and cheer each other on as they compete against other bright students.

Here is the computer link for more information on the iGifted School Debate Club: http://igiftedschool.org/archives.cfm/category/virtual-debate-club.

Editor: For questions of help please contact Jim O’Reilley, Executive Director, at jim@igiftedschool.org or by phone at 239-947-1128.

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Online Classes Geared to Gifted and 2e Students
GHF Online classes are now underway. Check out the listings for a hint at what will be offered next semester.

For Professionals and the Families who Meet with Them
Check out GHF's revamped Professionals page.

While you're there, take a moment to read our Healthcare Providers' Guide to Gifted Children. This free, downloadable brochure will help the professionals in your life better understand your child's needs. Print it today for your next visit to the doctor, dentist, therapist, . . . .

Four Titles Available from GHF Press, with a Fifth on the Way!
Check out the current and upcoming books GHF Press has in store. Pick up or download a copy of our other titles, If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional, Making the Choice, Forging Paths, and Learning in the 21st Century for yourself, family members, friends, new homeschoolers, . . .

Looking for Ways to Support GHF?
Become a Supporting Member
Purchase GHF merchandise
eScrip: GHF ID #500003724
GoodSearch
One Cause: GHF ID #130553

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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July 2013 • Volume 4 • Issue 2

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