Disclosure Policy

It dawned on me that a lot of other bloggers have a disclosure policy and since I give my opinions on products we use, I should too. So here it goes…

Disclosure Policy:

All opinions on this blog are completely my own. I share what works for us and that is not a guarantee it will work the same way for anyone else. I have not been compensated for any reviews or recommendations I have posted up to the date of 7/16/2015. I do earn scholarships that I give away, for every five families that sign up for giftedandtalented.com courses with my promo code. I give honest reviews of what works for us and what doesn’t solely based on our experiences and they are always subject to change.

Ok, with that said, from this date forward, I may include affiliate links to Amazon Associates. If someone clicks on an affiliate link I post, it doesn’t cost them anything and I earn an extremely small percentage. I am going to try it out and see how it works.

So, hopefully that covers it. πŸ˜‰ The main purpose of my blog is for gifted advocacy and to share our homeschooling journey. The only time I will post an affiliate link is when I was going to post a regular link anyway as I share what we do.

Thanks so much for following my blog!

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Why Did I Choose to Homeschool Instead of Sending My Daughter to an Elite Private School?

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. πŸ™‚ 

On Fire

Madison is ‘On Fire’ with her Redbird Mathematics lessons. She has kept the fire status bar for two and half lessons and counting! She not only hasn’t lost it, but her lessons have gone by faster when she has gotten all the answers correct on her first attempt.

I thought Madison was excited about Math before, but this brings it to a whole new level!!! She keeps saying, ‘Mom, I am on fire!!!’ After she finished she was SO proud of herself!

Here are some pictures from her recent lessons:

Use Area Diagram to Multiply by 1-Digit Number
Use Area Diagram to Multiply by 1-Digit Number
Use Distributive Property to Multiply by 1 – Digit Number
Use Distributive Property to Multiply by 1 – Digit Number
You can see as she advances, the fire goes farther along the status bar at the top.

Use Distributive Property to Multiply by 1 – Digit Number
Use Distributive Property to Multiply by 1 – Digit Number
This little guy is animated and when Madison completed her lesson this pops up and he jumps over hurdles. She thinks this is pretty cool!

When Madison completed her lesson she went in to the play the games.

IMG_9536

She chose a game called ‘Blocks.’ It is like playing with pentominoes. She loves it! The blocks have eyes that blink and move side to side. She couldn’t stop talking about how cool that is!

IMG_9537

Use Area Diagram to Multiply by 2-Digit Number
Then she went on to the next lesson.

Use Area Diagram to Multiply by 2-Digit Number
And mastered it!

And she’s still on fire for the next lesson!  If she ever has a question on how to complete a problem, she just clicks on the question mark in the upper right hand corner and it gives a complete explanation!

Use Distributive Property to Multiply by 2-Digit Number
It is so much fun watching Madison have so much fun and enjoy Math. This is the way it should be!

Our Week of Gifted Homeschooling – The First Week of July 2015

Madison was super excited to finish up her first theory book this week in piano and to begin a new book. She is really enjoying her piano lessons.

In art Madison created a picture using different mediums.


She attended a one day camp with her friends where she went go-karting and played mini golf. She really enjoyed spending the day with her friends and having fun.

We also enjoyed spending time at the pool with friends. Since it’s really hot out we meet at the pool for pool day versus park day. Unfortunately, I forgot to reapply sunscreen and before I knew it we had been there for 4 hours and Madison ended up as red as a lobster. 😦 I am hoping she doesn’t peel.

Madison completed Estimated Products in Redbird Math and has begun the next section, Use Area Diagram to Multiply by 1-Digit Number. In the Estimated Products section she was ‘on fire’ again, with the status bar. πŸ™‚ She ended up loosing it by getting some problems wrong and it went back to green. She was curious if she got more right if it would come back and it didn’t. However, she realizes that if she tries and applies herself that she can get the ‘on fire’ bar. This is an AWESOME motivator! I love it!

This week we finished up The Whipping Boy and Government and the People units in our Moving Beyond the Page curriculum. In The Whipping Boy, Madison learned about ballads, how the characters in the book changed from the beginning of the story to the end, and wrote and acted out a monologue for her final project. In Government and the People, Madison learned about Patriotism and completed a final project where she pretended to run for mayor.

We began the last units in the 7-9 curriculum from Moving Beyond the Page. In Iggy’s House,  Madison learned new vocabulary and about racial relationships, and the difference between fact and opinion. She is keeping an ongoing ‘reaction chart’ where she will write the characters’ reactions to events throughout the book.

In our Communities and Cultures unit, we are mixing it up a bit and doing things in a different order. We started with Mexican Culture. Madison recorded what she already knows about Mexico and after she researched the geography, culture and traditions of Mexico she recorded the facts. She learned vocabulary, numbers and greetings in Spanish and made a Mexican meal. We also took the opportunity to do our Mexico activities from Little Passport. I am not very impressed with the world packages, but we have them, so we will do them. πŸ™‚ The USA packages are better in my opinion.

Madison has started Visual Latin from Compass Classrooms. She really likes the teacher in the videos and how they are taught. After watching the videos she completes some worksheets that come with the program. The reason I decided to start her on Latin is because it will help her with grammar and other foreign languages down the road.

We started vocabulary back up with Wordly Wise 3000 book 3 and Madison completed lesson 12 this week.

Madison had fun writing a letter to her new pen pal and is very excited to meet a new friend that is like her!

She is also continuing to work on her Medieval Lessons in Skrafty Minecraft.

We decided to purchase a year subscription to Discovery Education Streaming Plus from Homeschool Buyers Co-Op. Right now they have a free trial through August 31st. The $99 for the year deal has expired, but they run them periodically so I am sure they will have it again soon. It allows me to access over 400,000 videos by grade level. So when our Moving Beyond the Page curriculum says ‘research ____’ I can pull up a video quickly. This is easier than going to the library All.The. Time. Or trying to sift through the Internet.

Madison completed a week of testing with the Iowa Basic Skills Test. Next week she will take the CoGat test. I should have started with Third Grade, but I didn’t, so it is what it is. She wants to take the ACT and SAT when she is 12. So I want to find out what grade she’s really in to try to prep for ongoing years and get a realistic idea. So after 2nd grade is scored, we’ll order 3rd grade and keep going from there. Fortunately, she loves taking standardized tests and thinks they are fun. If she didn’t, I’m not sure I would put her though more than one a year.

We had a great 4th of July celebrating our freedom. Madison was curious about how fireworks work and how they are different colors so we had a great Chemistry lesson from her curiosity.

We hope everyone has a great week!

The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree

I absolutely love this post: 

Gifted Adults and Relationships 

I think that while parents of gifted children struggle to be the best parents they can be for their gifted children, they also struggle with their own challenges at the same time.

This article identifies challenges in relationships and offers resources to help understand them.

I look forward to the next post from Gail to learn more. 

Self Taught: Gifted Children

I was talking with a friend and she mentioned she knew of a child that was in kindergarten, but was at a fourth grade reading level without anyone teaching her and how it was hard to believe.

It is hard to believe, but more than likely it is true. Gifted children’s brains are wired differently. They are usually self-taught with little assistance. That concept is sometimes inconceivable.

She mentioned it must be good for me that Madison is gifted. That comment took me a minute to process. Ok, maybe more than a minute as it required some analyzing. πŸ™‚

Yes, the fact that Madison is gifted does make it easier for me in a lot of ways and it can be a lot of fun. I realized while analyzing that maybe I should enjoy the positives a whole lot more than I do.

A gifted child can come with some major quirks. Ones that aren’t easy or fun. Maybe I focus a little too much on those.

Like being woken up with Madison’s face one inch away from mine this morning because she had to tell me ‘right now’ about how she is going to ask Santa for a 3-D microscope and why. The non-stop talking, the meltdowns, the only wearing certain clothing and the intensity of her personality. The fact she is ‘on’ 24-7 and there’s no break. Ever. The guilt of not being able to keep up with her. The fact she can’t have artificial dyes. The fact I am exhausted. 

Having a gifted child is a blast, but in a unique way. It’s like having an energizer bunny times 100. It’s all ‘on’ and there isn’t an ‘off’ button. Or a volume button. Or an ’emotions’ in check button. 

So yes, the self driven part is awesome. And I will note it’s only what she’s interested in. Anything else is a no go. It’s not everything, all the time. But it’s still awesome.

But the rest, well it’s draining. 

Madison has mastered how to ‘fit in’ for the most part. But as soon as she has the chance to unload all of her thoughts, it’s game on. And the game is the most complicated and tiring game possible. 

We do not consider ourselves ‘lucky’ that she’s gifted by any means. Until you really know the ‘real’ Madison, it’s hard to understand. 

I love her for who she is, quirks and all.  As her mom I will do whatever it takes to do what is best for her and to learn along the way exactly what that is.

But being gifted isn’t a gift. It’s a different way of life. And we take it one day at a time. 

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