Keywords: Unschooling, Single Child, Gifted, Primary Aged, Semi-Structured
Children: One – 9yrs
We started homeschooling because my daughter is profoundly gifted and was bored to the point of acute daily distress, despite attending a highly supportive school where she had been accelerated by two years. Both my husband and I work part time from home and need to have time each day for our paid work. We and believe in learning as a “seeded” process of discovery. We have a simple daily routine so we can manage our work hours. We start the day with a family fitness session at 9am (if everybody is out of bed in time!). I start work at 9.30am and my husband spends the morning with our daughter focusing primarily on seeds related to maths, science, technology, communications, media, and music. After lunch, our daughter has personal time while her dad starts his work, and this continues until I am available at 2.30pm. The work I do with our daughter might follow on from ideas developed that morning (eg. researching a related topic in an area of my strengths such as literature or classical civilisation, or doing something crafty connected with the morning’s investigations), or might continue from what we did the previous afternoon, or might start from an unrelated seed (such as a trip to the beach), or may involve a formal class or other structured activity away from home or a playdate. Evenings are often spent watching semi-educational TV as a family, playing games or reading stories aloud to each other. The daily routine varies if my husband needs to be out of the house for his work – sometimes he can take our daughter, but if not then she spends the morning with me in my home office, doing her own quiet work (eg. writing, drawing, maths, English, workbooks, etc). On these days she also has plenty of time to simply sit and read – one of her favourite things of all. We have a “curfew” of 9pm, at which point our daughter heads upstairs so that my husband and I can have some adult time. She rarely goes straight to bed, she normally sits up and reads or plays quietly for another hour or so.
Keywords: Unschooling, Single Child, Gifted, Primary Aged, Unstructured
Children: One – 8yrs
Every day is so unique and different (one of the treasures of home education), there is no ‘one typical day’ which would properly convey what day-to-day life looks like for us. Our goal is to offer a kind and respectful learning environment that nurtures the whole child – that celebrates and extends her talents, nourishes her passions, encourages her to learn at her own pace (ignoring grade level), and supports her uniqueness. A learning environment that helps the child to discover, day-by-day, who she is and all she can be. This is why we chose to home educate our gifted daughter. Our daughter is drawn to novelty. She loves to have the time and space to fully explore her many interests (and uncover and discover new ones). Being able to explore a topic, uninterrupted, helps her to develop her concentration and to engage at a deeper level. Home education supports her social and emotional growth, and allows her to develop her resilience and manage her intensity. It also enables us to include a lot of physical activity (trampolining, trips to the beach, bush walks, playgrounds, etc). We enjoy the family bonding time we have together. We embrace the flexibility home educating gives us. Each day is totally different and we work with her interests, learning style, personal rhythm and the rhythms of nature (we make the most of the outdoors whenever possible). We talk (a lot!) about a broad variety of topics and read a wide range of materials every day. My daughter often sits and writes stories or poems. Sometimes she uses a computer for learning (maths, writing, graphic design or general research). She takes classes – real-life and online (drama, creative writing, kids yoga) – and we join other home educating families for social gatherings and trips. She also loves to create and invent – just about anything. There always seems to be a new invention on the go! We don’t follow any one, single curricula – anything and everything becomes part of our curriculum. A news story can turn into a deep, philosophical discussion about the environment or issues facing society; a scientific study could be the impetus for a mini project or experiment; anything can be the seed of an idea for a new invention. For her, home education is creating a lifelong passion for learning – to her, learning is fun.
Keywords: School-At-Home, HomeEd/School Mix, Gifted, Primary Aged, Structured
Children: Two – 10yrs, 6yrs (at school)
My son suits a highly structured system with a tight time table. This is a typical day:
8.45-ish Piano and trumpet practice till 10.30-11.00am
Feed chooks, pat goats, kiss horses noses
Maths program (purchased curriculum) for approximately one hour
Lunch and jump on trampoline, kiss goats, pat horses, play with kitten
Extra times-table practice for 20 minutes
Snack break, a few chores, more trampoline
Programming, English (purchased curriculum) or science or art
Finish at 3.30pm
Reading fills gaps before lessons, every evening before bed, when travelling in car or during any other down time. Once a week he goes to One Day School for gifted kids.
Keywords: School-At-Home, Gifted, Primary Aged, Preschoolers, Structured
Children: Three – 9yrs, 4yrs, 4yrs
My oldest is gifted (twice exceptional). He goes to Mindplus (formally One Day School ) every Wednesday and has done since he was six and a half. His giftedness affects lots of aspects of our home education – for example, we need online programs where we can change the topic and level rather than just work through it like a text book page after page. After breakfast I do vision training with him as he has issues with tracking and focusing on near objects. This affects his ability to follow text while reading and his ability to write. It has also caused gross and fine motor delays which we address with various types of physical intervention. This has varied over time according to his needs. My twins go to a Montessori preschool so either myself or my partner takes them there first thing in the morning. If I’m dropping the twins off, my oldest does his music practice (drums, keyboard , recorder) while I’m out. When I get back we sometimes go to the library. We then start with some dictation/spelling (handwriting is a real issue so we tend to separate the function of handwriting from the creativity of writing communication); then it’s reading comprehension which covers elements of vision training (a purchased online program). We use another online program for maths and breaks are taken when required to eat and pick books. At least twice a week we will substitute one or other of our online programs with textbook work on grammar or comprehension and punctuation. We may do proof reading also. We often start a new maths topic with a practical example using resources such as money or place value cards or dice. Afternoons vary – we could do swimming, dance, music, Spanish lessons, or Coding lessons. Evenings might include drums individual lesson, hockey, boys brigade, or band practice. Along with this we have at least two day trips a term organised by one or other of the homeschool groups we belong to. As the twins get older we are having to modify our routines and next year plan to have each twin home for two days out of five so that they can get used to being taught at home. This will give us time to ease ourselves into a routine that works for three!