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I really, really love these kiddos!


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We did our first ELE prep class/group today. I wasn't sure quite what to expect, because only about half the kids are ELE age-the other half are older kids taking Latin for the first time who just wanted a chance to practice a bit. We went through a couple of sections of the syllabus, and then I turned the kids loose to come up with some way of demonstrating the vocabulary.


It was great-the kids descended on DD's lego collection, the art/craft supplies I'd provided, DD's various dolls and toys, and came up with a range of products. Some, I think were stretching it a bit-where the kid built a lego creation and then had to figure out a way to make the vocabulary fit, others clearly started with a goal in mind, like two girls who built a classroom using Harry Potter figures and then labeled everything in Latin :). The high school kids, who I was the most worried about, were the ones who really got into playing with Barbie dolls and having them talk to each other, and the younger ones dove right in. DD, as the resident "expert", was in her element, and was thrilled to have other kids who were enjoying learning something she loves.


Another successful "If you build it, they will come" experience-making me think that maybe, just maybe, I might be getting a handle on this "raising/educating a PG kid" thing!

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The funny thing is that a few months ago, I would have said that there weren't many parents homeschooling gifted kids in my area-or, at least, that there weren't many parents homeschooling HG+ kids in my area. It turns out that a lot of them were doing what I was doing-lurking locally, and occasionally trying an activity that we thought our kids might like, understanding that, for the most part, anything we did was just for fun and wasn't going to engage our child at the level they wanted, while wishing there were kids to share with at that level.


I think NME/ELE are a good choice if you want to try something because they're not grade-level based for the most part, but still provide a focus. Just the fact that I posted these groups as a way to prep/practice for the tests seems to have gotten the kinds of kids who just plain like the subject enough that a test in it is fun. Having gone to too many homeschool field trips and destination classes where it was obvious that 3/4 of the kids were there expecting a party, it was a real change to have kids who were enthusiastic about the subject and were there WANTING, needing, to dive in and learn (there was one little guy who was disappointed when looking at the vocabulary list because "I already know what all these words mean"-and then proceeded to basically give the lecture on derivatives that was the focus of that part of the lesson plan!)


Because the ranges are so wide, it's not a case where "I'd love to do it, but I'm a 5th grader, and this is for 4th", which is where I thought that a lot of the math activities like Math Olympiad or Continental Math League would run into trouble.


And socially, what happens after the kids have met academically is magic. We've had so many play-dates and get togethers with kids who DD seemed to do well with in other settings, where DD was so obviously on one plane and the other child was on another, and DD ended up being the one who had to modify and adapt. To have my house filled with kids who immediately gravitate to exactly the sort of things that we enjoy as a family-the kids who see the collection of (board-type) games and respond "Ooh! I love that one! instead of "Where's your X-box? Where's the wii??" The child who sees the scrambled rubix cube, immediately picks it up, solves it, and is THRILLED when he finds the Megaminx (rubix dodecahedron). The kids who, when they see DD's lego creations immediately realize just how much effort those took, and not only respect that she doesn't want them taken apart, but immediately start discussing the building strategies with her, leading to building together.


It's just a different form of play and connection than I'm used to seeing, and the difference in my child is amazing.


I figure by next year's Gifted Blog Tour I'll REALLY have something to write about if this continues :).

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