Resources for Parents Homeschooling Gifted Children
What does your gifted child need?
Some of our books are well-known to homeschoolers, while others are used far less than they should be. Most parents simply use our curricula, particularly the Royal Fireworks language arts curriculum by Michael Clay Thompson. This extraordinary pedagogic tool will enable you to deliver the highest possible structured language arts instruction to your children. For homeschooling parents of gifted children, we have curricula that you won’t find anywhere else.
The resources for parents homeschooling gifted children can be divided into the following areas:
- Academic: Homeschooling parents need curricula to foster and develop their gifted children’s abilities, particularly in the core subjects of English language arts, math, and science. Parents of gifted children also need more subjects and materials to cater to these children’s heightened abilities and wider interests: philosophy for fostering enquiring minds, even at a young age, and Latin, which lies at the foundation of academic English. Gifted children need rigor, challenge, and materials that will encourage and develop their innate desire to learn and understand. Young learners need to be engaged and encouraged with special materials in their explorations of the world. To facilitate this, we also offer several books about history, including a series of books about the experiences of our combat troops, a text on African-American history, and a plethora of historical novels for children covering an expansive range of time periods and viewpoints We also offer Spanish books to help youngsters learn the most common second language in the United States. Once children have passed from learning to read to the point at which they are reading to learn, it is important to give them books and other reading materials to allow them to expand their horizons.
- Life skills: Developing life skills is a crucial part of what you are offering at home to your child. Whether in structured activities or in fiction, the qualities of leadership and teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, logic, creativity, character building, personal interaction, time management, persistence, resilience, and personal organization can all be explored. Problem-based learning brings together all the skills of communication, analysis, and synthesis presented with real-world scenarios that you can engage in as a family or with a wider community of homeschoolers. Using the subject index (see the link on the left side of our website), you can search for other books that will help to foster your child’s critical thinking skills, leadership ability, problem-solving skills, and more.
- Social and emotional needs: It comes as a surprise to many people that gifted children often face challenges that children of average ability do not encounter. People who are not familiar with the gifted assume that advanced learners have it easy and they they’re smart enough to solve problems on their own. Parents of gifted children, however, are keenly aware that this is not the case. Some of our best resources are reflective books that every parent should read, whether or not he or she is homeschooling. Out of Sync: Essays on Giftedness is a valuable collection of essays by gifted advocate and expert Stephanie S. Tolan that will enlighten and reassure parents of gifted children. An important discussion on many aspects of giftedness can be found in Off the Charts: Asynchrony and the Gifted Child. Parents of highly intense children can benefit from reading “Mellow Out,” They Say. If Only I Could. The book Embracing the Whole Gifted Self will enable parents to help their gifted children find balance in their lives. The engaging story of My Twice-Exceptional Murphy offers a unique perspective on the relationship between a care provider and a twice-exceptional individual—in this case a dog; this book is good reading not only for parents but also for children. A valuable book on parenting girls is Reclaiming the Lives of Gifted Girls, which provides insight into the forces that keep girls from achieving in our society. How to Build a Child’s Character by Tapping into Your Own almost instantly makes most parents better at raising their children. As a publisher of books for gifted children, we are pleased to offer books for their parents as well. Being a parent of a gifted child, while an amazing experience, is not always easy, and we want to help you provide the best experiences you can for your child. (Parents of gifted children should remember that the tree never falls far from the apple….)
- The arts: Books that help gifted and talented children to foster, explore, and extend their interests and skills in the arts are more than just supplemental to a learning program. The arts offer opportunities for enjoyment throughout children’s lives, whether as vocations, avocations, or even just hobbies. We offer a variety of books on visual arts, drama, and music, including how-to books that teach, for example, how to draw or how to play the guitar, as well as books that will help you to nurture artistic talent in your child, whether in art, drama, music, or dance.
A primary purpose at Royal Fireworks Press is to help and support the parents and teachers of gifted children. Experts in the field of giftedness: Michael Clay Thompson, Dr. Thomas M. Kemnitz, Dr. Shelagh A. Gallagher, Jennifer Seron, Dr. Sharon Kaye, and Dr. Frances Spielhagen are always willing to help.
“Gifted children are those who require a differentiated educational program if their exceptional needs are to be met. Their ability is not just a socially undesirable characteristic, an unfair advantage that they have over other children; it is often a disadvantage; it often creates serious problems. Gifted children won’t ‘get everything on their own’; they need us to understand them, support them, and provide differentiated instruction for them, just as other children with exceptional learning characteristics need our specific understanding and support.
“Differentiation is the critical fact; gifted children are at risk; they need us to provide them with an education that is appropriate in rigorous, accelerated content and advanced thinking processes…. They need instruction that responds to their extra curiosity, to their urgency for meaning, to their advanced vocabularies, to their interest in complexity, to their fast comprehensions, to their vast memories. Gifted children need choice—individualized and self-regulating experiences that are appropriate to their self-motivated independence. They need higher-order thinking activities that give their abstract minds a workout. They need Socratic questioning. They need advanced levels of subject matter, because they can learn them, and short instructions, because they will understand them immediately, and quick paces through difficult material, because they don’t need many things repeated.”
“Gifted children need exposure to a larger quantity of challenging content. Beginning at least in middle school, abstract content should be a standard part of their curriculum. A plentiful, high-quality well of information is a foundation for using higher-order thinking, abstract thinking, and metacognitive thinking.”
“The books have inspired a fascination with language, opened worlds of understanding.…“
“…they encourage depth, sensitivity, and reflection.”
“…my favorite resources.”
“I have never been so excited to start a curriculum.…”
“Your curriculum is like nothing else we’ve ever used. ”
“MCT is the first curriculum I have ever seen that is specifically written for gifted children.”