I have been homeschooling for more than a handful of years now and have had many ups and downs. When there are downs, they are mostly because I have difficulty interacting with my son and prefer to control the flow of our homeschool day. When there are ups, they are because I have learned to understand the needs and wants of my child.
Here are the 10 things that I have learned to understand and love even as they continue to challenge me:
1. There will be major power struggles. When you learn to give up some control and allow your child to have more, your days will be so much easier.
2. Asynchronicity will drive you crazy. You treat him according to his intellectual level and forget he’s at different levels in other areas.
3. Be ready for overexcitabilities to rule the day. Whatever OE your child has, welcome these sensitivities to your homeschool day. Imaginational OE through role playing, pretend play, and creating video clips, for example, add a much loved dimension to my son’s homeschool day.
4. Throw plans and schedules out the door. When the kid loves it or gets it, you will just fly through curriculum. If not, you’ll just have to sell that book or put it aside for now.
5. Prepared to be amazed by your child’s divergent mind. You thought you were an out-of-the-box thinker? Well, your child will trump you in ways you never expected.
6. Your child's need for independent ways will boggle your mind. It is a force that is exerted many times during the day. Allow them to learn their own way. You will be surprised how quickly they can do it on their own, and even better than if you demanded a rigid learning process.
7. Be surprised by your child’s intense curiosity and learning capacity. The amount of books borrowed from the library, the amount of projects completed, the amount of obsessions, the endless questions… will be astounding.
8. Forget about being the “teacher.” You are as much a student in this learning environment as they are.
9. Your gifted kid will keep you on your toes. For one, they will copy your bad habits faster than you admit to having them. You will learn more about yourself everyday: whether you like it or not.
10. The feelings you will have as a parent and homeschool teacher of a gifted kid will range from bursts of pride, happiness and understanding to times of questioning, defeat and trial.
Big hugs to you. Know that you are not alone. Know that there are others going through the exact same thing. Join our daily conversations at GHF!