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Can accelerated dc manage their own levels of challenge?


Kfamily
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Sorry, I had trouble deciding how to word this question. It sounds strange, I think.

 

Do you think accelerated and/or gifted children will manage their own levels of challenge? Or do you think that we, as parents and teachers, need to do this? I think for the most part that dd uses her spare time to create her own academic challenges. I think what I have planned for her is not overly challenging and in some areas not challenging at all. But, she reads challenging books. She creates work for her imaginary daughter and teaches her from books she chooses. She writes poetry and stories in her notebooks. She completed the Dance Mat typing program in less than 3 days. (I let her do this for fun. I did show her the home keys and I think she did most of it right, but I did not supervise her overly well with this.) So, on one hand I think I shoud leave well enough alone. On the other hand I worry I could be squandering valuable time. She is doing L'Art de Lire with her older sister and keeping up just fine. Singapore is just right for her. I do need a new English program for her. She is in a reading frenzy. She just finished Harry Potter and is now half way through The Hobbit. She insists she wants to read The Fellowship of the Ring next. (We have Tolkien fever here at our house right now!)

 

What do you think? Should I put more in front of her or leave this alone?

Edited by Kfamily
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I am designing my children's education so that they are challenged by their academic work. If they wish additional intellectual challenge, they can create it in their spare time (as it is, they don't have the desire; DD spends all her free time at the barn riding, or writing stories).

I would see no point in offering my children an education that did not challenge them- for busywork they might as well attend public school. We pulled them out of ps for academic reasons. Meeting my kids' academic level means for instance college physics for the 13 y/o and algebra for the 11y/o. Even this they do without major struggle.

Does that make sense?

 

If I offered them the meager substance of the ps material, then they would probably find ways to satisfy their craving in their spare time... but what would be the point of that?

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I agree. But, I think I should clarify a little. I definitely don't like busy work either. I need to decide if we need to overhaul some of what we are doing, since I don't think it is challenging her enough. She is hard to keep up with sometimes. I do think I need to make some changes. I think some things we are doing is still adequate. This is what I needed to hear.

 

Thank you, regentrude. I always appreciate your honesty!:001_smile:

 

Now to figure out what to change and in what way...

Edited by Kfamily
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Do you think accelerated and/or gifted children will manage their own levels of challenge? Or do you think that we, as parents and teachers, need to do this? I think for the most part that dd uses her spare time to create her own academic challenges. I think what I have planned for her is not overly challenging and in some areas not challenging at all. What do you think? Should I put more in front of her or leave this alone?

 

The answer to this question is partly a function of your educational philosophy. For me personally, I direct my children's education. They are welcome to pursue their own enrichment (and they do), but I believe it is my responsibility (particularly at their ages) to present them with a challenging academic program that they can supplement or augment in their free time. They are given choices within my framework, of course, but I don't let them manage their own levels of challenge as you worded it. Like a pp, my children are educated at home because there would be no challenge elsewhere. I certainly don't want to replicate what they would receive elsewhere.

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Yes, sorry I knew I didn't word this correctly.

 

I do provide her with a challenging level of education (that's why we homeschool too), although I do think some areas need to be overhauled. I guess, I am trying to walk a fine line between pushing her too much and doing just enough. I think she adds to the work I give her with her own creative supplements.

 

I think I meant it more in the context of will your dc manage this by adding to their work with their own ideas of challenge. Does that make sense?

 

If anything, this has confirmed for me that I do need to change some of what I have her do.

Edited by Kfamily
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I think I meant it more in the context of will your dc manage this by adding to their work with their own ideas of challenge. Does that make sense?

 

 

I have two children who would react completely different.

DD is a perfectionist who would seek out any challenge she could find (in addition to being miserable by not being challenged by her schoolwork).

DS is a minimalist who would do the minimum requirement and nothing else (he would be bored by his school work, but not overly unhappy).

So, I'd say it very much depends on the child.

 

(Btw, in our family reading books and writing stories are normal childhood amusements and not considered intellectually challenging occupations.)

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Oh, okay. :001_smile: I think I understand better now. All three of my children do pursue challenges beyond what they are given, the caveat being that it is strictly in their areas of intensity or interest. It sounds like your daughter is highly motivated and pursues challenges. That's wonderful! Not all children do that, and I know that one of mine would never pursue a challenge on his own in certain areas. But for being presented with a challenge, his incredible mind would definitely stagnate (except for History which is his passion).

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I have two children who would react completely different.

DD is a perfectionist who would seek out any challenge she could find (in addition to being miserable by not being challenged by her schoolwork).

DS is a minimalist who would do the minimum requirement and nothing else (he would be bored by his school work, but not overly unhappy).

So, I'd say it very much depends on the child.

 

 

:iagree: This describes DD and DS in our home.

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Hmmm, I think my younger dd thrives on this. My older dd would not do well with this. Yes, I do agree that reading and writing are just good quality childhood pursuits.

 

I think I need a new thread with a new question.

What do you do/use to challenge a dc like this? I especially need help with English. I think I need to spend some time rethinking all that she is doing.

 

Thanks!

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My oldest and youngest are academically gifted, so I'll base my response on the contrast between the two. Twenty years ago with the oldest there was not much available for homeschoolers. He mostly did advanced everything. He did algebra in 6th grade, a high school literature course that I picked up at a thrift store in 5th, and so on. It was challenging for him, but not in the right way. It kept him busy, but it didn't stimulate him to think dynamically in the way that is unique to the gifted child. He kept himself busy reading books and creative play, but I've seen that with all of my children. With our youngest there is a choice of critical thinking books, gifted programs (Moving Beyond the Page, MCT from Royal Fireworks, etc). We've added some of those alongside other advanced material. She has that "spark" about her and she engages in critical thinking in a creative way that is fostered by the material. She's not the child waving her hand at the science workshop to ask hard questions as my son was. She's the one silently thinking and thinking who later manipulates things on paper or with objects to answer her own question. It's hard to explain and it's not a personality difference, but an approach difference that is encouraged in the programs. So, while I love to create my own program I would encourage you to try at least a few pieces of gifted programs to get a feel for how they are constructed. You might also want to google bloom's taxonomy with the word gifted for ideas that will help you to go horizontally with what you already have.

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I think it depends. My older son in many ways challenges himself -- watches documentaries, listens to podcasts, reads, etc. That said, when he was in public school the excuse for not challenging him or providing work at his level was that he would challenge himself -- and frankly he didn't (in the school context). Part of it was that he was always pursuing knowledge in areas of his passion (history, science) but not necessarily pushing himself to do harder math problems, for example. Despite being bored in math.

 

He's a kid who enjoys an externally set challenge with support provided by adults.

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Do you think accelerated and/or gifted children will manage their own levels of challenge? Or do you think that we, as parents and teachers, need to do this?

 

 

By "managing their own levels of challenge", do you mean that they push themselves in each academic area without structure or goal setting assistance from us?

 

I've noticed this seems to happen in academic areas they like, but not necessarily in the ones they aren't naturally drawn to, particularly when they're elementary-aged.

 

So, a lot of valuable learning is going on in the areas they enjoy, and I try to leave them to it. This is generally effective, and if there are a few gaps, it's not difficult to quickly brush up on missing details here and there. In the areas they would avoid or skimp on, I provide more structure and accountability.

 

One of my youngest kids is a hidebound perfectionist, and this characteristic transcends his lightening-like brain. He wants to work very much on his own, following his own timetable, lest someone observe him (gasp!) making a mistake, :lol: but he's now past the point in his learning where this is practical. So with him I need to strike a balance between independent learning and structured learning (although he is resistant and strong-willed, so it's not easy!:tongue_smilie:). The others tend toward perfectionism, but fortunately not to the extreme he does.

 

I've noticed with my older kids that once they start thinking about college and what they want to do in life, they tend to dig in and challenge themselves academically, so my role at that point is to help them set goals, provide the materials, read their papers, and answer math questions when they crop up. The high school years are turning out to be the easiest. :hurray:

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I think it's important for gifted children to learn to work and overcome difficulty. It's a frustrating process and we all need to know how to deal with it. With Calvin, I chose a few subjects at levels that would challenge him, leaving others to be more free and easy.

 

Laura

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Sometimes.

 

My daughter can definitely challenge herself in input related tasks, reading and watching. But she can't challenge herself in output related tasks, tests/quizzes and write for a purpose.

 

She is now 12 and is dealing with her first class that is hard enough that she needs to come up with new skills. She is extremely upset about the fact she can't just do it the first time. It is not a pretty thing.

 

I am profoundly grateful that I am not trying to teach the class that is causing her this problem because she would take it as a personal attack. Actually she is taking it as a personal failing even now. I am hoping she can learn how to deal with HARD now when it isn't so high stakes.

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Thank you all!

 

I think one of the previous posters hit upon one of my concerns. I have dd working above grade level in several areas, but I think I should do more now. I think the previous poster was right when she suggested I need to include more work that gives her a chance to work on critical thinking. She's only seven, so I didn't want to push so hard that I spoiled her obvious passion for self-directed learning. She loves to create her own assignment sheets and take a stack of books to her room to learn her own way. I really don't know if she is gifted. I know she does think outside the norm. She has some very usual ideas and thoughts (very profound sometimes). On the other hand, she does not solve multiplication problems off the top of her head. If I show her the math, she learns quickly enough, but she is not solving problems without instruction. I know being gifted can show up in different ways. I just don't know if she is or if she is just very bright. Either way she's a challenge to keep up with. She has a unique personality!

Teaching two girls so far apart in age is part of the problem. She usually has plenty of free time after she has finished all of her school work. I'm still teaching/working with older dd so we a school atmosphere still going strong when she is finished. This is when she will go off on her own and create more work/reading for herself.

 

Here is what she typically does each day:

*1 math lesson in Singapore (my original plan was to finish 2A before starting the CWP, but I think she is far enough along in 2A to start this now. We have reached the unit on multiplication.

*1/2 page in handwriting (We are nearly done with Italics C. We do a half page because I want quality and correct form over quantity)

*1 lesson in English (short compositons, language usage, punctuation work,etc.)

*1-2 pages in French workbook and daily listen to audio for chapter

*Reading assignment from one literature book for the day

*History reading with oral narrations and usually one written narration about 3-4 times a week (She reads outloud to me)

*Science reading with oral narrations and usually one written narration about 3 times a week (She reads outloud to me)

*One assignment each week related to botany (She does this with big sister. Sometimes it is an experiment, sometimes collecting leaves, labeling a leaf, etc.)

*one art lesson per week

 

She takes ballet once per week and has one piano lesson per week. She practices about 40 min. a day at least 5x a week.

 

This is her workload for the most part. She finishes all of this easily in 2-3 hours. I originally thought this would be enough, but maybe she needs a bump in some areas. I do need to push up her English work. I think she can do more here. I need to add to our French a little. I wanted to wait and do Latin next year, but I might could add that. Her math is probably fine if I add in the CWP. I'm thinking about MCT for English work for her. I think this would be a good bump in the right direction.

 

More ideas or suggestions to bump this up for her is always appreciated!

Thank you all! This can be overwhelming sometimes. She just finished The Hobbit. She was all smiles!:001_smile:

Edited by Kfamily
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