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A Kid with an “Issue” Can’t Be Gifted, Right?

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10 Days of Homeschooling Gifted Kids

 

Welcome to a new 10-day series sponsored by Prufrock Press and iHomeschool Network. 40 bloggers, more than 350 posts, and some great giveaways {including my newest book!} in the “Pin to Win” contest, all over the course of two weeks.

 

One of the biggest misconceptions I’ve had to face, both as a teacher and parent of gifted kids is that gifted kids do not have any problems. There is a pervasive belief that to be gifted, one must be high-achieving, eager to learn, and find no difficulty in learning anything.

This belief is not only wrong, it’s devastating to the entire population of gifted kids in our schools and homes. Gifted kids do not have all the answers. Gifted kids do not know it all. Gifted kids will not “be okay” if left to their own devices while teachers are pushed to bring their struggling students up to par.

Gifted kids DO have disabilities.

A gifted child, and remember yesterday that we defined what giftedness is, who also has a learning disability, ADD/ADHD, sensory processing difficulties, autism spectrum disorder, or another learning or neurological issue, is called twice-exceptional.

And twice-exceptional kids are tough. They’re tough to parent. They’re tough to teach. They’re simply tough to get along with.

I’m going to be really up front and honest with you here for a minute, and make a confession: After teaching gifted kids, many of whom were twice-exceptional, I prayed that I would give birth to a nice, normal baby of average intellect. I was pregnant with Trevor at the time, and I assume now that God, the saints, and all the angels were doubled over in laughter that echoed off the pearly gates…

…because that sweet little boy I gave birth to, the one who would make me a mommy for the first time, was not only highly gifted, but he was exceptionally twice-exceptional. Dare I say, thrice-exceptional?

Trevor has a very high intellect, but he lacks motivation. He struggles desperately with sensory issues that either coexist with, or make it seem like he has, ADHD. He is impulsive, energetic, explosive, empathetic, tender, charming, mature, immature, sensitive, disrespectful, and highly intellectual, while lacking common sense, sometimes all within the hour.

He is twice-exceptional.

His high abilities mask his disabilities, especially in a classroom setting. And, his disabilities mask his intellect, again in that classroom setting. For the few years he attended public school, he was very difficult to teach and discipline. He became withdrawn, and at turns argumentative. He fell behind, and struggled with things that once came easy for him. He lost all interest in learning.

This is a common story heard from many parents of twice-exceptional kids. {And from 2E adults themselves as they remember their childhood.} And, perhaps this is why among the growing nationwide population of homeschoolers, parents of gifted children make up one of the largest sub-populations.

Parents are realizing that the current model of education is not helping our gifted kids reach their potential. And they’re also realizing that homeschool is a wonderful setting for their exceptional and twice-exceptional children.

Come back tomorrow as I outline some of the benefits to homeschooling your gifted kids and why I believe that homeschooling is the perfect model of gifted education.

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Also check out the 39 other fabulous bloggers who are participating in this 10-day Hopscotch sponsored by the iHomeschool Network and Prufrock Press.


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Enjoy your day,
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Colleen