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Hello,

My dc has finally been labelled gifted. They are logical, math-oriented, remembers anything you tell them(except spelling it seems!) and hates writing of any sort. They love reading encyclopedias and learning facts.

Our kindergarten year was interest led but they will be in first grade and I’m hoping to really help them succeed but I’m feeling very inadequate.

I’m hoping for minimal writing curriculums that are secular.

Here’s what I’m thinking for next year:

Morning Basket with all: Canadian History, First Nations, Geography, People of the World, World History, Poetry memorization, Picture Study, Nature Study

Miquon math & Life of Fred(already started this last year)

Grammar Galaxy or FLL

Handwriting Without Tears

Keyboarding Without Tears

All About Spelling

Aesops Fables for narration

Sassafras Science(not my fave but I think they’ll love it)

Is this too much? Usually we don’t do this much for first grade but I’m trying to challenge and keep them busy. We are also more leaning Charlotte Mason as we go along BUT I think he might do better with WTM? 

Just a bit frazzled!

 

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I usually have a ginormous pile of curricula and resources, but a relaxed attitude about whether we get to it all. Some things seem to rotate in and out a bit, and others languish, and a few we love and always seem to get to. This system works for us - lots of options, not stressing when we don’t actually do it all.

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I don't make my gifted kids do more than my other kids. They still work the same amt of time. Then, I set them free to explore and play on their own. They end up doing way more under their own motivation bc they are interested. So, for example, my gifted (and severely dyslexic) ds did about 1 and 1/2 hrs of directed by me work in1st grade. Then he would go and spend hrs building with Legos, designing things, etc. It didn't slow him down at all. He still graduated from high school having complete 300 level college classes.

I would follow your child's lead. If it is too much, you'll probably see them wilting around the edges vs blooming in full force.

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If it is too much set some aside.  Don’t make a big deal about it, just put the book back on the shelf.  You might very well find yourself pulling it back at when the time feels right.  I found that age to be rather intuitive on my part.

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Well, I tend to think hard about what my ideals are for the year.  I try to split between what I need him to practice/learn, and what he is interested in.

I'd suggest checking out Barefoot Meandering if you want to explore some CM-style choices.  We've loved the ELTL program and Quark Chronicles (like Sassafras, but deeper).  And I'd look at Timberdoodle, too.  Make sure there is at least some interest in the lessons you're doing, otherwise it's like pulling teeth and often it's harder than it's worth.  And think about the most mundane skills - learning to stop and listen, appreciating the world around them, how to memorize...

I'm not going to say what you're doing is too much.  My own ds' schedule makes me want to cry but it makes him happy.  But I would think carefully about whether it is interesting and provides stimulating moments during the day.  Ultimately, I see the early years as a place for kids to develop interests, and they do that by exposure to various ideas and concepts.  How much of your list do you see your children returning back to on their own time?

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For us, yes it would be way too much, even for my gifted kiddos, in first grade. Gifted doesn't mean they need more work, it means they need to be allowed to dive deep into the topics that catch their interest and not be allowed to quit when something doesn't come as easily to them (but not pushed into unrealistic expectations, it really is a balancing act).

Personally, I wouldn't worry about typing in first grade, regardless of his ability to write.  There just really isn't a reason to teach typing unless he is asking for it in my opinion.  That is a whole lot of history, is he really into history? If not, I might trim that down a bit, there is plenty of time to study history. You don't need to do it all in first grade.  I assume you are pulling the poetry memorization from FLL. Honestly, I don't find grammar terribly essential in first grade unless the child is language oriented and loves to study words but FLL is gentle enough that if you really want to do it it's not going to hurt anything. I would just be ready to drop it like a hot rock if it's not going well and save grammar for when he is older.

You said he is math and logic oriented but your choices seem to be heavy on the literary side, is that a personal choice or are you trying to balance his activities of choice to introduce more variety? I would honestly beef up his math and logic if that's where he excels. Add some Beast Academy or Primary Challenge Math for some fun math that requires extra thinking. Add some logical puzzle books from Critical Thinking Press or Prufrock Press.  My little guy likes Mind Benders.

Like the others said, it may not be too much for your son, so ultimately you will just have to try it and be ready to shift gears if it doesn't work.

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My gifted writing phobic son is in first grade right now. What you have listed would not be too much for him in terms of subjects or curricula, but would be much too much teacher led time with specific required output for him (and me!). Can you maintain all those teacher led things? Will he work independently? Does he like the discovery aspect of Miquon? 

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It’s hard to look at a list of curricula and know, especially when you don’t have firsthand experience with the student(s) in question. I agree with many of the above posters; you’ll know once you get going. I would prioritize the items, and introduce them one at a time. When you feel like you’re in a good groove, save the rest. Something new can be incorporated once another book is finished. We rarely start all new things together... one thing is completed in the middle of another, all staggered. It works out. 

Edited by Expat_Mama_Shelli
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There is such an enormous range of abilities, personalities, and preferences encompassed in the label "gifted." What would be just perfect for one gifted learner may be mind-numbingly boring for another or oppressively over-scheduled for someone else. You'll know if what you have planned is right as you work with your child. Just be ready to add, drop, or switch out things as you go. Teaching these kids is a dynamic process.

My 7yo DS#3 would be 1st grade by age and he is doing A LOT (just look at my siggy!), but he works quickly and rarely spends more than 2 hours a day on actual planned-out seat-work lessons at home. He may also read for another hour or three or spend a big chunk of time on Khan Academy learning JavaScrip or make his own model of the solar system with craft supplies or type up several friendly letters to relatives. In the past he's sneeked off with his books and done 11 weeks of his spelling curriculum in one go, whipped out 15-20 pages of Beast Academy, or tried for a record streak of correct answers in AoPS Prealgebra on Alcumus. All of this is really "school," and he's really learning by doing it; however, it's all self-directed and fun and how he chooses to spend his time. It'd be hard to stop him, lol!  And this is just what works best for him for now. Things were different a couple of years ago and will probably have changed again in another year or two. I have two other gifted boys who would never ever have wanted or enjoyed doing what DS#3 does when they were of first-grade age, and there's nothing wrong with that. They're different people.

So yes, just try to meet your kid where he/she is at and it will all work out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Your list looks fine.  If you don't like the science, look at Real Science for Kids.  It's fun and light.  Other than that, keep in mind that you will repeat your subjects a few times before they graduate.  You should aim to go deeper each year.  

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Especially since you mentioned Charlotte Mason, you may want to consider handicrafts and other fine motor activities to strengthen hands for writing. My child struggled in this area and avoided those activities. I regret that we didn’t work on it more (in a fun way, but consistently) in the younger years.

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