This is one of the most common questions Jeff and I receive when friends hear that we declined sending out daughter to a private school.
It really baffles people that we would chose to homeschool over sending Madison to a private school. It’s a concept many have a hard time understanding, so I wanted to explain.
Initially homeschooling was going to be temporary for us while we were on a waiting list for a private school. A private school that Madison was screened to be accepted to.
There are several reasons we decided not to put Madison in the private school. The main one is because it wasn’t a school for gifted children. It was a school for smart kids. There’s a very big difference between the two.
Before we applied, we took an extensive tour. I noticed that a couple of the kids had laptops and I inquired about why they were using them when the other students weren’t. I was told it was because some students were 2e and some needed them, but the school wasn’t really for 2e kids. At that time I didn’t really realize what that meant.
After Madison spent the day visiting and was observed she was accepted with flying colors. I believe it was mainly due to her test scores. Her test scores reflect that she should have high academic success. She knew the visit was a test and she knew how to pass with flying colors.
We began homeschooling and both of us enjoyed it. Ok, honestly probably she enjoyed it more than I did, but that’s just me being honest and it’s a reality because it was quite an adjustment for me. Anyway, low and behold a spot opened up and she was officially excepted to the private school.
But we declined. Why? First and foremost because Madison enjoys homeschooling and didn’t want to sit in a classroom environment. Even one she would be challenged in. She realized learning with real, hands on learning experiences was much more fun.
Also because I used their curriculum and it wasn’t for her. The amount of repetition would kill the love of learning in any gifted child.
But we also declined because Madison doesn’t like to write. It is very hard for her. She is the child that would require a laptop, despite what her scores say. And she would be looked down upon for it. I have the opportunity to adjust her learning and customize it to fit her and how she learns best.
She loves the friends she has met through homeschooling and she loves the way she is learning.
Madison is happy, well adjusted and is learning how she learns best at her own pace and is enjoying it. I couldn’t ask for more.
A school for smart kids or high achievers is not always the best choice for gifted children. They are considered a special need for a reason. That reason is usually The need for invidualized instruction and with homeschooling we can achieve this. Madison isn’t academically rigorous, she grasps concepts that she is genuinely interested in at an extremely high rate. She’s in Mensa. And this is because she’s learned what she wants to how she wants to. Not by being forced to learn out of a textbook or a way society thinks she should learn.
The other question we get often is what about college? That will be my next post. 🙂