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From School to Homeschool

My book, From School to Homeschool: Should You Homeschool Your Gifted Child?, was published by Great Potential Press. This page features the resources referred to in the book, and also updates that had to be left out of the print version. The resources listed are mentioned in or relevant to the book, but not necessarily recommended by me. In the cases that I have specific recommendations, you will find capsule reviews beneath the listings.


About my book

From School to Homeschool was written for parents like me who didn’t start out as homeschoolers. We expected that our children would do well in school, or at least suffer through it as we did. However, school, kids, and parenting have changed in the intervening years. When we complained about boredom to our parents, it was unlikely they had other options for our education. When we acted out in school and were labeled “bad kids,” no alternative educational approach was available to us. When our differences attracted bullies, our only option was to tough it out.

These days, parents of gifted kids have many more options, including homeschooling. My book will help you navigate the first years of homeschooling through the experience and advice of many “reluctant homeschoolers” who have cut a path through the jungle for the rest of us. Anyone moving a child from school to homeschool will benefit from the advice and resources in this book, as will those who counsel and educate newly homeschooled children. The book is especially aimed those of us with unusual learners. It draws on the help of many “gifted homeschoolers” who have come together to support each other in common experiences which may seem uncommon to parents of more typical learners. Each child is unique and has his or her own particular gifts. However, these kids we’re calling “gifted” are children with special needs as much as a child born with Down Syndrome or a child who is dyslexic.

News & information

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Resources on giftedness

Introductions to giftedness

Print:

Online:

Gifted periodicals

  • Understanding Our Gifted magazine
    This online magazine offers in-depth articles for parents on a variety of aspects concerning parenting and educating gifted children.
  • Gifted Education Quarterly
    This free online magazine offers a variety of compelling articles about gifted education, many of them of interest to homeschoolers.
  • The 2e Newsletter
    This fee-based magazine offers ideas for raising and education twice-exceptional children.
  • Newsletters from your state gifted association or the National Association for Gifted Children come free with a membership and can be very helpful to parents.
Social/emotional health & parenting
Online:
Print:
  • Living with Intensity (Daniels and Piechowski, Great Potential Press, 2008)
    This book explores the idea of intensity in children and adults, within the family and in careers and relationships. [Read my review of this book]
  • Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults (Webb et al, Great Potential Press, 2005)
    This book details how and why misdiagnosis of gifted children is shockingly common in our society. It offers help distinguishing gifted characteristics from learning disabilities and psychological problems. It is a must-read for all parents of twice-exceptional children.
  • Make Your Worrier a Warrior (Daniel Peters)
    This is an excellent guide for parenting and teaching anxious children. [Read my review]
  • The Explosive Child (Ross Greene)
    Greene offers a wonderful, sensible, humane approach to parenting difficult children. [Read my review]
  • Quirky Kids (Klass and Costello, Ballantine Books, 2003)
    Although heavy in its references to making school work for unusual children, this book has excellent advice from the point of view of physicians. Although giftedness is one of the quirks they address, they also help parents to separate the child’s need from the diagnosis so they can find appropriate solutions to education and parenting.
  • Children with High-Functioning Autism (Claire Hughes-Lynch, Prufrock Press, 2010)
    Most books on autism focus on severely autistic children and their needs, which differ significantly from the needs of high-functioning autistic children. This book is a helpful addition to gifted parenting books, whether your child is diagnosed or not. [Read my review of this book]
  • Socialization books for twice-exceptional kids from Free Spirit Press
    The great variety of practical books available makes it impossible to go into detail, but if you have a socialization problem, they probably have a book for you or your child. Titles ranging from Dude, That’s Rude! to When I Feel Afraid help your child normalize his unusual behavioral and emotional needs.
  • Parenting for High Potential Magazine
  • Searching for Meaning: Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment, and Hope
    This book by Great Potential Press publisher James T. Webb is not about gifted children—it’s about gifted children’s parents, many of whom recognize the effects of giftedness in children but deny them in themselves. This lovely, thoughtful book is more inspirational than a book on existential depression might seem to be. [Read my review]
Gifted support groups (not homeschool specific)

Gifted kids in school

  • Academic Advocacy for Gifted Children (Gilman, Great Potential Press, 2008)
    This book helps parents advocate for their gifted children who are in the school system. If you’re on the fence about homeschooling, it will offer you some strategies for working with your school to create a more appropriate learning environment for your child.
  • Quirky Kids (Klass and Costello, Ballantine Books, 2003)
  • The Mislabeled Child (Eide and Eide, Hyperion, 2006)
    This manual by the Eide team offers explanations for why your unusual child just doesn’t seem to fit in. Especially helpful for parents of twice-exceptional children, it’s a must-read if you are uncomfortable with your child’s diagnosis.
  • Helping Gifted Children Soar (Strip and Hirsch, Great Potential Press, 2011)
    This book prepares parents of schooled gifted kids to face the challenges of guiding students through institutional learning. Starting with the institutional side—how to work with teachers, how to get appropriate accommodations—the book also covers parenting and nurturing gifted children so that they remain happy and healthy at home and in school.
  • Intelligent Life in the Classroom (Fisher, Great Potential Press, 2007)
    Though aimed at teachers, this book is an interesting read for parents as well. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of giftedness, how it appears in a traditional classroom, and how it could be managed and nurtured by a flexible teacher. Particularly amusing and informative are the speculations of how past brilliant figures such as Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Edison would have fared in today’s classrooms.
  • Making the Choice: When Typical School Doesn’t Fit Your Atypical Child (Goodwin and Gustavson, GHF Press, 2011)
    This pro-homeschooling book covers the decision-making process in more depth than the one chapter in my book covering this topic. It is helpful if you’re looking to convince a reluctant spouse (or yourself!) that homeschooling is the right path.
  • College at 13, Young, Gifted, and Purposeful (Solow and Rhodes)
    This intriguing book follows the lives of fourteen young women who entered college early. The book starts at the beginning—how can we best nurture our young gifted children?—and proceeds through the young gifted life. It addresses school concerns, academic acceleration, the importance of community, and development of self-awareness in high-achieving gifted adolescents and young adults.
  • Forging new teacher relationships for your twice-exceptional child” is an article I wrote originally published in the Gifted Education Communicator. It offers advice on integrating your unusual learner into a new classroom.
Gifted blogs

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Homeschooling resources

Homeschooling legality

Homeschooling background and getting started

Online homeschool support

The School-to-home Transition
Homeschooling cheerleading—Go Team!
All-purpose homeschooling reference and curriculum sites
  • Homefires.com
    Diane Flynn Keith has tons of information on her website, and her popular Carschooling book offers ideas for homeschooling on the go.
  • Homeschooling A to Z
    Exhaustive (and a bit exhausting) website full of homeschooling and gifted links.
  • Secular Homeschool Families
    This site focuses on offering resources for curriculum and activities that do not use a religious perspective.
  • The Homeschool Diner
    This is a charming homeschooling portal with on-site information about homeschooling as well as a lot of very well-organized links. As of this writing, the site contains a fair amount of outdated information, but the site owner says an overhaul is in the works.
  • About.com Homeschooling
    The quality of About.com’s websites varies widely; this one is pretty good. It offers a variety of provocative articles, links to resources, and ideas for activities.
  • Homeschool World
  • Homeschool Buyers’ Co-op
    An indispensable resource for homeschoolers! Membership is free, then you can join in on group buys of all sorts of curriculum and memberships
  • Teacher curriculum sharing
    Plenty of websites cater to teachers, who share curriculum freely with each other. There’s no reason why you can’t download and adapt curriculum that was written for a classroom setting. Good ones include curriki.org, TES, and currclick.com (which does have a lot of paid curriculum as well).
  • Freecycle
    A good place to find curriculum and materials and get rid of yours.
Homeschooling Magazines
  • Life Learning Magazine – This magazine for unschooling families publishes articles about learning that all homeschoolers would enjoy, regardless of their homeschooling style.
  • Home|School|Life Magazine – “When we started this magazine in 2014, we wanted to build the homeschool magazine we couldn’t find—one that was smart, secular, witty, engaging, and willing to tackle tough questions like “Why is homeschooling so lonely sometimes?” and “How do I know when it’s time to quit?””
  • The Homeschooler – This homeschooling journal was launched in 2013 and promises lots of great articles to come.
  • Practical Homeschooling Magazine – This magazine is much more geared toward structured homeschooling, with articles and reviews about curriculum and other practical matters.
Deschooling
  • Deschooling Gently  (Tammy Takahashi, Hunt Press, 2008)
    This book is a classic amongst homeschoolers. It presents a well-constructed argument that schooling and homeschooling are fundamentally different processes, and offers advice for shifting from school to homeschool.
  • Zenschooling (Takahashi)
    Tammy Takahashi’s blog, “Just Enough, and Nothing More”, is a long-running, popular chronicle of homeschooling. Zenschooling applies Zen philosophy to such homeschooling issues as anxiety, homeschooling hang-ups, and dealing with technology in your child’s life. Note: as of last check, this blog has been removed but I’m keeping it here in case Tammy has posted it elsewhere.
  • Dismantling the Inner School (David Albert, Hunt Press, 2012)
    Always full of amusing anecdotes and sage observations, Albert’s book of essays asks us to dismantle our preconceived notions of what education is. If you want to hang onto a school-based mindset, Albert’s writings may give you indigestion! But if you are willing to entertain the thought that we don’t need schools at all, his ideas will pique your curiosity and offer you lots of food for thought.
  • Sandra Dodd’s deschooling for parents
    This page packs great information into a short format, with links at the bottom to further resources.

Structured homeschooling/Homeschooling styles

Online:

Print/physical:
Unschooling
Specific Homeschooling/Learning Topics

Goal-setting:

  • Creating Your Own Curriculum” by Heddi Craft uses goal-setting as an entry into creating the right homeschooling approach for your child.
  • Goal Setting for Students (Bishop)
    This workbook was created to be curriculum used in a classroom, but could easily be adapted to the homeschool environment. It includes step-by-step workshops that teach the student to set and achieve goals, building from small, immediately achievable goals to long term challenges. Available directly from the publisher at teachingmoments.com

Learning styles:

Writing:

Homeschooling Blogs
There are more of these than I could ever mention so I’ll just mention a few of my favorites.

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Gifted homeschooling resources

Homeschooling intros specific to gifted kids

Print:

  • Great Potential Press
    Publisher of Creative Homeschooling (and my book), check out their many excellent books on all aspects of giftedness.
  • Prufrock Press
    Prufrock publishes a variety of books for parents and educators of gifted children, and their website features resources and links.
  • Free Spirit Press
    Free Spirit publishes a lot of books useful to gifted homeschoolers, especially for social/emotional education.

Online:

  • Hoagies’ Gifted
    This comprehensive website has everything you need to learn about giftedness, gifted homeschooling, parenting, and more.
  • Gifted Homeschoolers’ Forum
    This website is useful for its 2e resources and links to local gifted-friendly professionals, and has expanded to include membership services and online classes.
  • Bright Kids at Home
    This website has a range of great resources for homeschooling gifted kids, especially harder-to-find advice about homeschooling teens.

Gifted homeschooling support groups


Distance learning (see High School/College Resources for higher level courses)

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Curriculum

General

Specific curriculum areas

  • Living Math: livingmath.net
    This is a fabulous resource you’ll see recommended over and over. It contains lists of recommended books as well as articles about teaching math naturally, through play, stories, and living life.
  • Best of History Websites: besthistorysites.net
    This is a well-curated portal to history on the web, from curriculum to games and videos.
  • 10 Cool Science Sites: apps.exploratorium.edu/10cool
    This page features 10 sites at a time, but their archive includes hundreds of sites chosen by the scientists at San Francisco’s innovative science museum the Exploratorium.

Curriculum popular with gifted homeschoolers

As you read and learn about gifted homeschooling, you’ll see recommendations come up over and over. Here are ones I’ve noticed, with capsule reviews if I have a particular opinion. Feel free to contact me if I’ve missed anything.

Math:

  • Life of Fred
    This story–based math curriculum is great for kids who aren’t necessarily self–motivated in math, and like a good story to go along with what they’re learning. (Christian, though used by lots of secular homeschoolers as well.) Get good prices by getting on Horrible Ray’s e-mail list.
  • Art of Problem Solving
    Both a series of math curriculum books and a source for fast–paced online classes, AOPS  seems to be the curriculum of choice for “mathy”  kids. Parents of kids starting at about 3rd grade math are raving about their new series, Beast Academy.
  • Khan Academy
    The Youtube videos that started an educational revolution: Khan Academy is a very useful website with video instruction and an online learning system for math, as well as exhaustive videos on a variety of other topics. This free site should always be considered before paying for curriculum! If it works for your child, it’s free and high-quality, though everyone has their complaint about what it’s lacking.
  • Key to… math series
    Key Curriculum press publishes this series of workbooks that cover all aspects of math from about fourth grade onward. Each workbook is short and self-contained, with explanations for each new concept. Your child may not need to do as much repetition as the workbook provides, and some feel that the curriculum doesn’t offer enough depth. But it works well with some children. Also, I highly recommend Key’s other math-related books for fun and unusual ways to learn math.
  • Vi Hart’s math videos
    These videos are not exactly curriculum–they’re a little bit closer to art. But the mathematical inspiration and exploration that they inspire in the young learners is revolutionary. Watch… And then play.
  • Murderous Maths book series
    Fun, weird, and highly readable. Not a curriculum, per se, but a great complement to any curriculum. Get good prices by getting on Horrible Ray’s e-mail list.
  • Singapore Math
  • Math-U-See
  • Miquon Math
  • Saxon Math

Science

  • TOPScience
    Subtitled “Science with simple things,” TOPS offers a wide variety of science subject-based books. The activities and information tend to span a wide age-range, which is great for working with gifted kids. You can start a unit and go as long as their interest holds, then return to it later when they are ready to learn more.
  • Singapore Science
  • R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey
  • Middle School Chemistry
    I have to admit that this one isn’t recommended very often, but I don’t know why. It’s an excellent introduction to chemistry available for free from the American Chemical Society. It largely uses equipment and supplies that are easy to find, and can be used with any child who is ready to learn the basics of chemistry.

Language Arts

History/Social Studies/Government

General

  • BrainPOP
  • The Great Courses
    The Teaching Company sells video and audio of college-level lectures on a variety of topics. Although the prices can be high, get on their e-mail list for frequent sales. Also, your local library or homeschool co-op may have copies you can borrow.

Good deals on curriculum

  • Homeschool Buyers’ Co-op—homeschoolbuyersco-op.org
    A free membership gets tons of discounts on popular curriculum and website subscriptions. Beware of the “shopping frenzy” phenomenon: it’s easy to get sucked into “this is such a great deal!” and buy things you don’t need.
  • Curriculum swaps and resale
    Your local homeschool group or homeschool conference will likely have some sort of curriculum swap. This is a gold mine for families with younger kids—you can get gently used curriculum for cheap. Search groups.yahoo.com for online curriculum swaps and sales. As of this writing, “GiftedHomeSchoolEdMaterials” is an active one.

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High school/college resources

Print: (books about homeschooling through high school for teens and parents)

Online: (information about homeschooling through high school)

Online learning for homeschooled high schoolers:

  • Education Portal
    Free high school and college-level courses that align to Advanced Placement and college general education courses.
  • Saylor.org
    Unlike other free university course websites, this organization is creating unique content. It is very new and few reviews are in yet, but all content is free and will remain free. The organization grants certificates of completion only.
  • Hippocampus
    College-level AP classes offered in a multi-media format, rather dry but a good foundation
  • Knowmia
    Khan Academy-like videos of a wide variety of high school level courses, available for free.
  • Open Culture
    Offers a vetted list of free, online courses
  • Academic Earth
    Compiles online video courses from around the world
  • iTunes U
    Free, online videos of lectures from universities around the world
  • Coursera.org
    Features not only recorded lectures but assignments and online forums with professors from a slate of top U.S. universities
  • EdX
    Free courses from MIT, Harvard and Berkeley
  • Udacity
  • 12 Great Free Online Courses
  • Ed2go
    Distance learning company that contracts with colleges to provide distance learning opportunities for small fees. The classes are not live—there is no appointed time that the students and professor meet online—but they are interactive through an online forum.
  • OpenStax College
    OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. Their free textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of college courses.
  • MRUniversity
    Marginal Revolution University offers free economics courses online.

More to explore for high schoolers:

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 Education, brain research, popular science, etc.

Learning styles

  •  “What is Your Child’s Learning Style?free workshop by Heddi Craft
    This is a self-paced online workshop by a credentialed teacher and homeschooler that will help you learn techniques for teaching to your child’s strengths. (Bias alert: Heddi is also the person I refer to as “my homeschool mentor.”)
  • Kolb and Frye (1975) group us into four: Convergers, Divergers, Assimilators, and Accommodators.
  • VARK from Neil D. Fleming offers a framework that is familiar to many people: Visual, Aural, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic.
  • Some also use the Myers/Briggs Personality Questionnaire to determine thinking and learning styles: Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, Judging/Perceptive.
Visual-spatial learners
Popular science related to learning
  • The Genius in All of Us (Schenk)
    The Genius in All of Us derived its premise—that “genius” actually doesn’t exist and is actually a result of hard work—from research in epigenetics and the life stories of a number of accepted “geniuses” in various fields. [Read my full review]
  • Moonwalking with Einstein (Foer)
    Foer explores memory, and destroys the illusion that some people are exceptionally “smart” because of their prodigious memories.
  • Outliers (Gladwell)
    Outliers traces the lives and careers of a variety of very successful people and posits that our long held tradition of believing in the “self-made man” is false. This book is entertaining and intriguing, but the well-read reader will spend a lot of time saying, “Yes, but…” to the author, who depends on convenient examples rather than exploring the complexity of the issue.
  • Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (Csikszentmihalyi, Harper Perennial, 1991)
  • Inspiring Middle School Minds: Gifted, Creative, & Challenging (Willis, Great Potential Press, 2009)
    This book could only have been written by a neurologist who practiced for 20 years before transitioning to a new career as a middle school teacher. Solid brain research backs up her recommendations for how to reach and inspire gifted middle school minds. [Read a full review of books for and about gifted teens.]
  • Neuroscience for Kids
    Great e-newsletter about brains and research for kids
  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
    Thought-provoking book about how we develop, maintain, and change our habits.
Various
  • Finding the Next Einstein
    This thought-provoking column on Psychology Today offers insights into how we can find and nurture thinkers in our society.
  • Landscape and Human Health Laboratory
    Conducts research into the effects of nature on our health and learning and offers some interesting research on their website
  • Brain Gym
    A system that promises to improve student performance through exercise and movement
  • Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All in Your Head (Hannaford, Great River Books, 2010)
  • Mindset (Dweck)
  • Brainology
    A practical application of Dr. Dweck’s Mindset theory. This online, interactive program can be used by homeschoolers to help their students understand their brains and their ability to learn and tackle hard problems. You can often find deals on Brainology subscriptions at homeschoolbuyersco-op.org.
  • The Dana Foundation
    This website presents an exhaustive set of links and newsletters on the subject of brain research and education
  • Eide Neurolearning Blog
    Research and news articles related to brain-based learning and learning styles, problem-solving and creativity, kids, families, and parenting, gifted and visual learners, dyslexia, attention deficit disorders, autism, and more.
  • A Nation Deceived, University of Iowa, 2004
    Read this report to get a good grounding in what’s wrong with our nation’s education system when it comes to our top students.
Articles in press related to giftedness, brain research, learning, homeschooling

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Some of my articles of interest to gifted homeschoolers

Articles

Blog entries

Gifted/parenting:

Homeschooling:

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Keep in touch

Please let me know if any of these resources are out-of-date or incomplete. Visit my Contact page to send me e-mail, join one of my e-mail lists, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.



4 Responses

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  1. Luz says

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my
    comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over
    again. Regardless, just wanted to say excellent
    blog!

    • Suki says

      Thanks! Sorry it lost your comment. That’s happened to me before, too.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Homeschooling a gifted child - Page 2 linked to this post on September 26, 2012

    […] – lots of links there I have just started a page with links to all my favorite resources here: Gifted links – Avant Parenting Homeschooling gifted kids can be incredibly fun and incredibly challenging. We have very few […]

  2. Stress and learning – Avant Parenting linked to this post on January 28, 2013

    […] Gifted links […]



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