Suddenly Homeschooling a Gifted Child

Editor’s note: It’s a privilege to share this post by Australian writer Kathleen Humble. And while this content is geared to parents of gifted children, there’s plenty to be found of note for all parents in her recommendations.

Stuck at home with the kids, working from home, freaking out? 
Here’s some simple steps to get you started with gifted or twice-exceptional (gifted/2e) learners.

Don’t Panic!

It feels like we are in a disaster movie at the moment. 
If you feel overwhelmed, sad, terrified, and angry? That’s cool. That’s normal. 
I started homeschooling my gifted and disabled kids over 10 years ago because I had no other good choices. So, I get it. Don’t ignore those feelings. Go have a cry in a cupboard. Get a cuppa. Vent to a friend over the phone. I did.
But the one thing you don’t need to panic about? Your kids learning. Really. It’s going to be OK.

Keep an Eye Out on Your Country /State / Education Department’s Advice

If your state or country is in lockdown, you don’t need to register for homeschool. Your school and your state education department will have a plan. 
Check out your local homeschool parents’ association. They will have information on homeschooling in your state. 
But what to do now? Here are some tips.


Full-time work at home? You need a routine, and options that require low adult input. Pack away the glitter and paints. Save them for when you aren't working. Instead look for online resources that are hands-off where you can pre-schedule activities.
The best online resource ready to go is Khan Academy. It covers K-12+ using the US curriculum. You can set assignments, and get weekly email summaries of your kids’ progress. It’s also free. We have used it for years.
For kids who "just want to play games," gamify it! There is a game – computer or board game for every subject. 
Here is a very short list of examples:
Computer Games
Board Games
For great board game options, go to gameschool guru, My Little Poppies. Do a search for game schooling communities online. Other parents are your best resource. No idea how to play the games? Look for board game playthroughs – Board Game Geek and TableTop are great places to start. 

Setting Up Spaces

Forget the Pinterest-worthy homeschool space. Let kids learn where they are comfortable. That might be in their beds, or under your table!

Set up a space to do phone calls / Skype /Zoom without kids. Commandeer a corner of your house, and don’t forget the headphones. Headphones are a godsend. Particularly for kids who need you close now.
It’s OK to set the kids up with a video or computer game. Really. There are oodles of lists online for great education videos. But if they want to watch endless playthroughs of Minecraft? Let it go. You’ll be surprised at how much they will learn anyway.  

Young Children and Working

It’s tough to work with young kids at home. If there are two adults, create a routine where each parent looks after the kids at different times. Not just one of you. You will burn out. 
Create a ‘busy box’ to keep kids occupied when you need a few minutes to concentrate. Think paper and pencils, puzzles, a squishy toy, colouring-in book, pipe cleaners, print outs. No glitter! (It’s too messy.)  

Teens and Working

For teens at home, this is the time to let them lead. Do they have a passion project they always wanted to work on? Let them research and put together their own learning. MOOCs are a great idea too.

Disabled Kids

Kids with social / behavioural challenges are going to be super stressed at the moment. You may need to ramp up on the level of organisational support. Remember – destress, and be kind. They may stim and regress. And that is OK. 
Use this easy-language resources to explain what is happening, and consider creating a picture schedule of what time at home looks like. Here are some things we have done

Grace and Forgiveness

This is a tough time. No one is perfect – not even you. Things are not going to go according to plan. Everyone is stressed. Go and hide in the cupboard, then come back out when you are ready to cope.  You’ve got this. 

Kathleen Humble lives in Melbourne, Australia. She writes at, about gifted/2e homeschooling. Her book, “Gifted Myths:An Easy-to-Read Guide to Myths on the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional” is available from GHFPress. 

She has been published in Victorian Writer, The Mighty and Otherways, and was recipient of 2018 Writers Victoria Write-Ability Fellowship.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Got feedback? Great, let us hear from you in comments! (Moderated)