My husband and I were talking last night about what we would do if our son followed in our footsteps. We were both bright (dare I say, gifted?) children. My parents allowed my brother to skip a grade when we moved to a new school, but they held me back when my teachers wanted me to skip ahead as well. My husband’s parents also held him back when his teachers wanted to skip him ahead. We both had mixed feelings about this situation. For him, football was important, and he didn’t feel he would’ve been physically prepared to play as well as he did a year earlier. On the other hand, he was constantly in trouble for being disruptive in class. For me, I was able to go to a GT residential public high school that I probably would not have been able to attend if I was a year ahead. Although I was taking senior level courses as a freshman. It’s hard to say. I was given double-classes (so I could self study while the other kids were working on normal work) since I was in the 3rd grade. I was assigned to tutor other children in my class in the 4th grade.
My husband and I also faced a problem that happens often when children are more advanced than their classmates. Neither one of us ever had to study. When I went to college, I had a very hard time because I lacked the self-discipline and resources to know how to study, since I finally was able to take classes that were challenging. As a result, my grades suffered. My husband stopped caring after a while, didn’t turn in homework and stopped even attending some of his classes because he already knew what was going on. As a result, his grades suffered.
We definitely do not want our son to be in the same boat that we were. We also want him to have more opportunities than we did. We want to make sure that he does have the self-discipline and resources to study, not disrupt class and skills to help him succeed. We began throwing around ideas of partially homeschooling him.
We want to make sure that the subjects we teach him at home are ones that he wouldn’t be able to learn in school, so that way he isn’t bored in class at school. We’re hoping to instill the love of learning in him that we both had before we were jaded by the system. We discussed piano lessons, music composition and theory, foreign languages, mechanics and ballroom dancing. Realistically, he’s limited only by what I (or his dad) can learn before he is ready to learn from us.
I’ve been doing some quick research to see what other parents do. It appears that those who do partial homeschooling take their children to a public (or private) school only when certain classes are being taught. What I mean is to teach him additional courses outside of the school curriculum. I suppose the trouble there is that the student spends so much of his time “in class” and not nearly enough out of class. Therefore, the at-home courses would have to be disguised as “free time” or fun courses.
I do think this is still possible, I’m formulating new plans and ideas and thoughts on this topic, even as I write this post. I think games and an ability to choose which subject to learn would help make it less like learning and more like playing, or making free decisions and choices. I’m just glad that my son is only 7 months old, that way I have plenty of time to both learn myself and construct some sort of plan for how we will tackle this obstacle.
Oh, and he’s cutting 3 teeth. The sharp edges have cut through the gum, but that’s it so far. 3 at once!
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