Pauline's Gifted Kids Page

gentle chapter book list / homeschooling gifted kids / general gifted resources / qifted testing

A good education for every child does not mean the same education for every child.

"If everyone thinks alike then no one is thinking."

Please use what works for you and ignore the rest.

This Web Page by Pauline Harding for Art Nurk,
Contents may be copied for personal use if credit is given.

Chapter Books for Young Gifted Readers

Pauline's Reading List of Chapter Books for Young Gifted Readers -- When kids learn to read "early", it can be hard to find gentle books at higher reading levels. Here's my list of suggestions.

Homeschooling Gifted Kids

Its not for everyone, but don't rule it out without learning a bit about it. If you are already helping your child with homework and projects, working with parent groups at the school, advocating for better educational materials and approaches, taking your child to extra-curricular activities like scouts, sports, music, etc, you are already doing what homeschoolers do. In fact, you may be working harder than you would be if you homeschooled! Homeschooling can give you back precious family time and help your child spend their time more effectively and efficiently. Check out the following resources:

  • The TAG Project (TAGMAX)
    This site has several e-mail groups for parents of gifted kids, including one for homeschooled kids (TAGMAX) and one for advocacy within the schools. Learn from what others are doing!
  • Gifted Hs PA
    This is a small e-mail list for folks who are homeschooling gifted kids in Pennsylvania. Most of the members are in SE PA, but the list is growing. A good way to find other gifted homeschoolers in your area.
  • Pauline’s Homeschooling Resource Pages
    This is the main homeschooling part of my web site. Check it out to get an idea of what's out there. Includes various local, state, and national resources for getting started with homeschooling. Lots of info on complying with PA state law.
  • Pennsylvania Public Cyber-Charter Schools
    There are a number of public cyber-charter schools in Pennsylvania, which may also be a useful resource for educating gifted kids. At least one has a program specifically for gifted kids. These schools, which are essentially modern correspondance schools, are free of charge to the students. See my Public Cyber-Charter Schools page.

General Resources for Parents of Gifted Kids (schooled or homeschooled)

  • Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE)
    Membership in PAGE is a must if you have (or will have) gifted kids in the public schools. Their newsletter is a great source of information about methods of educating gifted kids. If you know what the possibilities are, and you can speak the "edu-speak" lingo, you have a much better chance of creating a good program for your child.
  • The TAG Project
    This site has several e-mail groups for parents of gifted kids, including one for homeschooled kids and one for advocacy within the schools. Learn from what others are doing!
  • ZOOM Science Fun
    There are lots of fun science challenges on the ZOOM site - why not try one the next time you have a couple of kids over?

Gifted Kids and PA's Required Testing for Home Educated Students

Q: My son is 7 and doing work at the 4th/5th grade level right now. I haven't had him tested for the mandatory 3rd gr. testing yet, as he isn't school aged. Should I test him next year at 3rd or 5th, or wait till he is the age of the avg. 5th grader? Thanks for the help!

My advice would be to look carefully at the purpose of the testing. If the purpose of the testing is to fulfill the homeschooling law, I would test him at age level next year. He'll max out in the 90+ percentile (just like my kids and many other hs kids I know do), and you'll have a tool to help make sure your district doesn't harass you about anything.

If you actually want information from the testing, you need to carefully look at your testing options and decide what you want to learn, and choose a test that will help with that.

To de-mystify the tests, take a look at some of the "prepare your child for the test" materials, such as the Scoring High series or the Spectrum test-prep workbooks. You may find that these multiple-choice tests will not tell you anything you don't already know.

Having been down this path before, I recommend that you tell your child he is in the age-appropriate grade, and not make a big deal about being "ahead". This will help him socially -- he will be able to answer that "what grade are you in" question without sounding arrogant.

So what grade do you put him in? I've found that grade level is not particularly important for homeschoolers until high school. Students can work on "above grade level" material while still being officially in their age-appropriate grade. At age 11 or so you can begin to look at the high school choices available to you; you may wish to have your student begin earning high school credits early. Until then, continue to choose ability-appropriate materials and don't sweat the grade thing.

You may find the TAGMAX e-group useful - it's for homeschooling gifted kids, and this type of question comes up all the time. Find the details above.