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. 🙂 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. 🙂 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. 🙂

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. 

Homeschool Acceleration and the Gifted Child 

This summer I have been planning homeschooling for next year. It is frustrating because we can’t do all the fun learning activities and get through the curriculum. I have tried figuring out how to make it all work for weeks. And then it dawned on me. It won’t work and that’s life, but maybe I should consult Madison since it’s her life and let her choose. 

This child of mine has known what she wants from the get go. And all I’ve ever done is lay out choices and she makes them. So, it dawned on me that this time shouldn’t be any different. 

When we first started homeschooling I told her she had choices. We could go slow and she could be on grade level and play as much as she wanted to. Or, she could go as fast as she wanted to, but it would take more time out of her day. 

She chose to go fast. And she did. 

So now that I’m at a roadblock I mentioned to her that we had some choices to make for next year. She could do all the activities available to us, but she would not be as far ahead as she wanted to be if we did. Or she could choose between activities and not do them all and still stay ahead. I would lay out the activities, hours they take and the schoolwork and activities involved and she could choose what she wanted. 

Her response: I want to go to college when I am 12 or 13. I do NOT want to slow down.

I explained that as you grow older that learning becomes more involved and in-depth and so activities have to be narrowed down and that this may be her last year to be able to ‘do it all’ and that she could catch up to being ahead next year and years after that. 

Her response was no. 

Ok, so I also explained if she didn’t goof off she could save that time by focusing and getting stuff done. 

She responded by asking me what happened to her checklist? 

I had created a daily checklist for her and she stopped checking stuff off, so I quit making it for her. When I explained that to her she stated she needed the checklist. Here she is identifying how to help resolve her executive functioning issues. On her own.

I know for most of the population it is really hard to grasp the fact an 8 year old could know what she wants in life and that she could make these types of decisions regarding her life. If Madison wasn’t my child and I didn’t see it first hand I wouldn’t be able to comprehend it either. 

But she is and so I do. And I feel I am the luckiest mom in the world because she is my daughter. My ultimate goal for her is to be happy in life. Regardless of what that means. 

Our Week of Gifted Homeschooling, the Third and Fourth Week of June 2015

Madison had a wonderful time at her LLELA Nature Camp. Here are a couple of pictures courtesy of LLELA’s Facebook Page. They have lots of family friendly activities. Click HERE to view their event calendar.LLELA SUMMER CAMP LLELA Summer Camp 2 Madison is moving right along in Redbird Advanced Math from Giftedandtalented.com. She is now on Extend Multiplication Concepts in Fourth Grade. Camps slow us down of course, but she still spends a little time on it everyday. I think this is very important because kids can experience ‘brain drain’ over the summer and loose a lot of what they have learned during the year. This is why we homeschool year round. You can find the coursework listing of what each grade covers HERE. If you are interested in trying any of the courses on GiftedandTalented.com and would like to save 10%, you can use code PGEK2FP when checking out.

We are also continuing EPGY Language Arts from GiftedandTalented.com. Madison has advanced to Fourth Grade. She was super excited about that! You can find the coursework listing of what each grade covers HERE. I think having a solid foundation in English is critical for success in all subjects, so I feel much better knowing that she is building that foundation with EPGY. And she doesn’t have to physically write a bunch of sentences to do it. That is the beauty of it being online. She would be so much farther behind if she had to write everything out.

In our Moving Beyond the Page curriculum, Madison finished Economic Cycles. We are waiting to complete the final project when she can actually apply it to real life learning by selling a product she creates in the Fall. She’s really looking forward to doing testing, marketing and to see the success of her sale.

We began The Whipping Boy and Government and the People units in Moving Beyond the Page this week. In the Language Arts unit, The Whipping Boy, she learned about a democracy, a monarchy, more about historical fiction and  new vocabulary words. Madison also learned about idioms, similes, hyperboles, main characters and supporting characters and the feudal system. She is currently doing the Medieval lesson in Skrafty Minecraft Homeschool as well. You can see a video tour of her Egypt lesson HERE. We will post a video tour of the Medieval lesson when it is complete.

In the Social Studies unit, Government and the People, Madison learned about Authority, Roles of Government, Citizens, Politicians, Voting, Our System of Government and Local, State and National Government.

We had a HUGE accomplishment on June 22nd. Madison passed XtraMath Addition. She was super excited and has now moved on to mastering her subtraction facts in 3 seconds each.

Madison has been creating great pieces of artwork. She sculpted a super cool dragonfly, painted flowers in a vase for me for Mother’s Day, painted a bluebonnet, created a sunset in a frame for Jeff for Father’s Day and painted a canvas of abstract art. She loves Miss Mary at the ArtHouse! Click HERE to see the post with pictures of her artwork projects.

Madison attended a summer camp and a homeschool workshop at the Dallas Museum of Art this week. Read all about it and see the pieces of art she created HERE.

For Madison’s birthday she received the Cinderella’s carriage Lego set. She was so excited to build it and after it was complete she asked for Cinderella’s Castle. So she’s been on a Lego Building frenzy. Here is her final creation of both. Front and back: Lego back Legos frontMadison’s garden has taken off with all of the rain we have had and she was able to pick two tomatoes this week. She was beyond excited! Madison's GardenNext week Madison will take her Iowa Basic Skills Test and CogAt test. We will submit them for scoring and should receive the results within 10 days.

Summer Fun at the Dallas Museum of Art

This week Madison attended a week long summer camp and a homeschool class at the Dallas Museum of Art. She had the best time and we will definitely be doing these again! The Dallas Museum of Art has wonderful family activities all summer long and admission is free! Click HERE for more information!

At the end of the week, Madison’s summer camp class was able to individually present their artwork to all of the parents. She was so proud!

Dallas Museum of Art CampShe made great friends!

Dallas Museum of Art Summer CampThe camp she took was called The Artist in You. Here is the description from the website: Become an art expert and learn how to spot the differences between a Monet and a Mondrian! We’ll explore the -isms and -scapes of art: impressionism, cubism, cityscapes, seascapes, and more as we create personal pieces inspired by the masters. Investigate van Gogh’s expressive landscapes, Monet’s soft color palette, and Picasso’s fractured cubist still life. Play with color, perspective, dots, and lines to make your own treasures and discover the artist in you!

Her teacher was amazing and she learned a lot!!! She enjoyed making all the different pieces of art.

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Madison also had a great time at the Homeschool Class Workshop. First they discussed pieces of art regarding landscapes.

Dallas Museum of Art Homeschool Class 3 Dallas Museum of Art Homeschool ClassThen we went outside and the kids drew their own landscape pictures with watercolor colored pencils. They brushed them with paintbrushes dipped in water for a watercolor picture effect. Madison enjoyed the kids and loved the class!

Dallas Museum of Art Homeschool Class 2Madison loves spending time at the Dallas Museum of Art. We are grateful for the Dallas Arts District!

Dallas Museum of Art

ArtHouse Projects

Madison is continuing to take art classes through the summer at the ArtHouse. Here are some of her most recent projects:

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art house

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