Sweet Critique: Homeschooling Gifted and Advanced Learners

I firmly believe everyone is gifted in some way.  All it takes is someone showing a little attention and believing in their abilities, and they can do great things.

When many of us think of a gifted child, our mind automatically focuses on academic talent.  Gifted children can also be gifted artists, dancers, athletes, etc.

For this reason, I absolutely love Homeschooling Gifted and Advanced Learners by Cindy West.

West gives a good overview of homeschooling, curriculum, and styles, but she spends most of the book giving the reader actionable and practical information to help them adjust their teaching to their children.

Tables, Charts, and Resources

West, a veteran homeschooler, knows how much time homeschooling takes.  Her book is not full of a bunch of irrelevant and useless information.

By including tables, charts, and lists of resources, West has made it easy to search through the book and find exactly what you need.

Interested in a classical approach to education?  West provides a list of curriculum resources specifically for that approach.

Have a child that enjoys logic puzzles?  West gives you a list of logic puzzles, grouped by age/ability.

In addition to listing these resources throughout the book, she has placed them all in the back if you’re really just looking for that information.

Those Who Excel and Those Who Struggle

This is perhaps my favorite aspect of the book.  The bulk of the material is designed to take a subject/interest {history, science, spelling} and provide the parent with information to enhance that subject if their child excels or resources and ideas to help those who struggle.

I was keenly interested in what she had to say about spelling.  I’ve noticed that Babydoll is excellent at spelling.  Never has a problem with it.

But because it is a school subject, I felt like we had to set time aside to do it.  Still, there was this nagging feeling that we were wasting our time as she always aced it.

West says what others are afraid to:  if you have a child that excels at spelling, ditch it.  Spend time building vocabulary instead.

Use the time you would have spent doing spelling and provide your child with something useful, such as the ability to understand what those words mean.

Technology, Record Keeping, Socialization, and College

West touches on each of these areas as well, and does it well.

I am a firm believer in using technology in your homeschool, so I appreciated all the ideas and resources she provided in this section.

Record keeping is something that many of us struggle with each year, and West provides yet a few more pearls of wisdom.  She shares the way she keeps track of everything, and it’s not complicated!

Socialization is never far behind when discussing homeschooling, so West gives this area appropriate attention.

Despite the fact that your child might be in elementary school, time flies and college will be a reality sooner than you think.  West provides solid resources and information about what to consider when you get to this point as well.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any homeschool parent, new or old.

The fact that the book is full of links and resources makes it a winner in my book.  I can’t stress enough how wonderful this book is at providing you with solid, specific, practical ideas that you can implement right now.

Definitely give it a try.  I think this is something I’ll be referencing for the rest of our homeschooling days.