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Alternatives to Traditional Education

Many families, not just those with gifted children, believe their children are not only unchallenged in school; but, unprepared for the challenges of life upon graduation whether they go on to college or the workforce. A recent study found that students are not given “grade-appropriate assignments, strong instruction, deep engagement, and teachers with high expectations.” Once students are in middle school and high school; they express lack of interest or belief that subject matter is relevant to them. This leads to lack of engagement in school work and ultimately motivation to complete work.

Many parents find a lack of available programs for their children and too often negative attitudes toward gifted education in public schools. Lack of funding and poor teacher preparation can inhibit intellectual stimulation and growth for gifted students.

Every student is different. Some gifted students thrive in an online environment especially when their interests align with areas of study enhanced by online activities, mentoring, and collaborating with other gifted students. A major issue with using online options is using it as a ‘substitute’ for teaching. Students still need their learning to be facilitated by a qualified teacher or subject expert.

What resources are available for twice-exceptional students outside traditional schooling? There are several new options for twice-exceptional students depending on the nature of their needs. Parents may opt to homeschool or use online schools for their children. Private schools such as Flex School specialize in twice-exceptional students. However, not all private schools are able to the needs of these students. Parents may also consider creating a micro-school with the help of an educational professional where several families join together to hire teachers for a small groups of students with particular needs.

In the past, the reason for homeschooling was not generally based solely on academic needs. Today, organizations based specifically on gifted homeschooling, such as GHF Learners, provide resources for families. Homeschool organizations can provide networking opportunities for students and families, educational materials, online classes, and information for both gifted and #2ekids.

Unschooling can be a viable option for GT students, but there are many factors that should be considered first including a firm understanding of what it is and is not. Unschooling requires a strong support system of dedicated adults and resources. When considering unschooling, parents should consider their commitment regarding time, resources, potential facilitators and mentors to guide students. A transcript of the chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 1PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Resources:

The Opportunity Myth: What Students Can Show Us about How School is Letting Them Down – and How to Fix It

The Best Kind of Schools for Gifted Kids

A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste: Reaching ‘School Skeptics’ Through High-Challenge Interventions

Using Virtual Learning for Gifted Children

How to Determine if Traditional Education Isn’t Working for Your Child

Smart Children Left Behind: 4 High School Alternatives for Gifted Students

Distance Education in Rural High Schools as a Solution to the Dropout Problem among Gifted Students

School for the Gifted: Looking for Extra Challenge

Gifted with Learning Issues

Networks – Special Schools & Programs

Gifted Children and Non-Traditional Educational Choices

An Unconventional Education

Mr. Gelston’s One Room Schoolhouse

Your child is gifted … now what?

Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling (book)

Micro-Schools: Creating Personalized Learning on a Budget (book)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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