A big thanks to Andrea for letting me share our adventures with Alex over the past year or so. In case you’re just joining us. . .Alex is our son and he is a little bit smart. This is part 2 of a series about choosing curriculum for him. I hope you find it helpful if you’re just starting to navigate the road of homeschooling a gifted child.
I left our story last by describing the first leg of our journey–where I panicked. Last year, Alex flew through three whole grade levels of curriculum. But it was the easy stuff. Adding, subtracting, etc. Everyone told me he’d slow down.
He’s not slowing down–at least not anytime soon.
He has mastered fractions, percentages, long division, double digit multiplication (which he mostly does in his head by the way), and simple algebra. He masters topics before I introduce them. Here is literally how I taught him how to divide:
Me: Hey Alex, today we’re going to learn division. It’s the opposite of multiplication.
Alex: Oh, does that mean that if you have 12 things and you want to put them in groups of 4, there’d be 3 in each group?
Me: Um. . .yeah.
And that was that–he divided. And I panicked.
Mom Seeks Advice and Tries Harder Curriculums
So I did what I think most homeschooling parents do when they’re stumped. . .I asked friends and others on forums what they would do. Here is a sampling of my answers:
*Your curriculum is too easy. . .try this or that which is more advanced. (I did try this and that which were actually easier than Saxon. Saxon isn’t perfect but I’m able to tailor it.)
*You have to slow him down with enrichment. You don’t want him doing math before he can write well. (He cannot write well–he actually has dyslexia. As you can see from the above example though. . .there’s little I can do to ‘keep’ him from getting it. He just does.)
*You’re clearly pushing him too hard. He’s not developmentally ready to do the things you’re asking him to do. Even if he can do it doesn’t mean he’s ready to. You need to spend less time on math per day. (Okay, so you don’t know me, but I promise you that I’m not a pushy mom. This is a kid who simply gets it intuitively. Not only that but we were only doing 15 to 20 minutes of math per day anyways. How much less can I really do?)
Disregarding the Advice
So finding the advice unhelpful was actually very difficult. These were people who “knew” what they were talking about when it came to homeschooling, working with gifted kids and/or teaching math. So who am I to tell these experts that they were wrong?
Stay tuned for the next and final installment of I’m Sort of Really Qualified. . .