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. Many parents are familiar with our curricula, particularly the Royal Fireworks language arts curriculum by Michael Clay Thompson. This extraordinary pedagogic tool enables parents to deliver the highest possible structured language arts instruction to their children. However, we also have curricula in several other subject areas, as well as resources for both parents and children that you won’t find anywhere else.
The resources for parents homeschooling gifted children can be divided into the following categories:
- 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 inquiring 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. 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. Click any of the links at the left side of the website under the Curricula header to see what we have to offer. Parents should also be aware that we have a series of books called Suppose the Wolf Were an Octopus, which provide reading guidance in the form of creative questioning about dozens of recommended books for children from kindergarten through the eighth grade.
- 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. Leadership is another life skill that is important to the development of gifted children, many of whom exhibit a talent for leadership naturally. We have compiled a list of resources to help guide and direct that development, including novels for children with a theme of leadership. Click here for resources to develop leadership skills. Life skills also encompass the ability to be calm, controlled, mindful, and self-aware. To that end, we have several books that help children to develop those characteristics. Click here for books to instill self-awareness and mindfulness.
- 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 of a gifted child should read, whether or not that child is being homeschooled. Click here for a list of helpful books about giftedness. In addition, we have created a list of books for parents of gifted children who also struggle with a disability or disorder. Click here for a list of books about twice-exceptional children.
- 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 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.”
“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.”