Gifted Education Press (www.giftededpress.com) Announces the Following New Book

GIFTED EDUCATION COMES HOME: A CASE FOR SELF-DIRECTED HOMESCHOOLING

ISBN 0-910609-40-3

 BY LISA RIVERO

PARENT AND HOME EDUCATOR

 

COST: $16.00 +$1.60 P&H = $17.60

 

1. Describes a homeschooling method for highly gifted children THAT WORKS, and is based upon the author's successful teaching experiences.

2. This book is grounded in theory and research from education and psychology including the writings of Linda Silverman, Abraham Maslow, Howard Gardner, Plato-Socrates, Annemarie Roeper, Kazimierz Dabrowski, and David Elkind.

3. Stresses a self-actualizing home education approach derived from the child's interests and motivation.

4. Emphasizes the value of discovery learning that can lead to major gains in highly gifted children's knowledge and understanding.

5. Includes many practical examples of homeschooling exceptionally gifted children.

 

“Order Your Copy Today of this Outstanding Resource for Parents and Teachers!”

M. Fisher, Publisher

 


 SEND YOUR CHECK OR PURCHASE ORDER TO: GIFTED EDUCATION PRESS; 10201 YUMA COURT; P.O. BOX 1586; MANASSAS, VA 20108. TELEPHONE -- 703-369-5017.

ALL ORDERS UNDER $50.00 MUST BE PREPAID.


Comments by the Author, Lisa Rivero, Regarding Her Book -


This book grew from an article that will be published in the Fall 2000 issue of Gifted Education Press Quarterly that is primarily about homeschooling as a way to return agency and control to the gifted learner. What the longer manuscript evolved into was an informal argument for homeschooling for self-actualization as opposed to homeschooling for success. As you can see, I'm heavily influenced by the ideas of Annemarie Roeper.

The book is not an indictment of schools or teachers. Also, I'm aware that many parents are comfortable with bringing the school model of education home for their children and this book will not appeal to them. But for the parents who are seeking something else--a truly progressive and child-centered education that builds upon the child's interests and addresses each child's needs in the context of what giftedness means for the whole child - I hope to provide some ideas, support and discussion.

Below I'm including an expanded table of contents, with a brief description of each chapter and some excerpts where I think they'll be helpful. The chapters are interspersed with excerpts from Plato's Allegory of the Cave so as to have an on-going analogy to today's state of education for gifted children.

Best Wishes,

Lisa Rivero

Gifted Education Comes Home:
A Case for Self-Directed Homeschooling

by Lisa Rivero

Annotated Table of Contents

 

Introduction: There's No Place Like Home

[A brief discussion of our own experience, a call for parents to consider homeschooling for self-actualization rather than homeschooling for success, the important role that parents play in our understanding of gifted children's needs, and some caveats about whether homeschooling is the answer for everyone.]

"This book is a conversation about the very real option of self-directed learning in the home, why it makes sense, how it can work, and what it means for the homeschooling family and our larger society, in particular families with children who are considered highly gifted. Such children are often "way ahead" in several academic subjects, although they can also have quite uneven learning profiles. They are often excitable learners, highly perceptive, sensitive to their environment and sometimes a bit of an enigma in terms of their learning styles, either exhibiting a strong, nearly overwhelming preference for certain learning pathways or possessing the ability to switch quickly from one mode of learning to another. They can feel deeply, experiencing soaring highs and heartbreaking lows. We shouldn't be surprised, then, that they often fail to thrive in school. Like Alice after having fallen down the rabbit hole, they find themselves either expanding out of proportion to the people and classroom walls around them or "shutting up like a telescope" in an effort to fit in."

"As more and more parents consider homeschooling their children--highly gifted or otherwise--we do so with an important opportunity and, I would argue, responsibility to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. By choosing homeschooling we are not necessarily turning our backs on public education. Rather, we have a unique opportunity to be a voice in the education for all children by offering the testing ground for new ideas and the repository for some old ones. What many books about education mention only in theory--learning that is interest-based, self-paced and compatible with the child's learning styles--we can offer to our children in reality. We can create for our children and ourselves Annemarie Roeper's (1990) vision of a modern learning community, and by doing so, we can help to bring such vision closer to reality for others."

Plato's Allegory of the Cave, Part I - A Strange Image and Strange Prisoners

 

Chapter 1: Gifted Education: Returning Meaning to Experience

[A review of the education for excellence mindset, some ideas of gifted education that form the basis for self-actualizing learning, and rethinking the meaning of living up to one's potential.]

"As with all aspects of education, gifted education is attempting to deal with questions of how to respond to the rapidly changing population, technology and workplace of American society, often allowing itself to fall into the quagmire of dichotomous thinking: Either the theory of multiple intelligences is the bane of gifted education or it is its salvation. Either acceleration or enrichment should take center stage when a child is way ahead. We should either cater to a child''s learning strengths or work to strengthen her weaknesses. Either IQ scores should remain the cornerstone of identification or they are part of a subversive and elitist conspiracy and should be discarded entirely."

"Homeschooling for self-actualization is what the authors of Awakening the Inner Eye: Intuition in Education call educational caritas (Noddings & Shore, 1998), or love in education, which includes "a desire to come into direct, undiluted contact with the human partner of the educational enterprise" and a "deep interest and even passionate commitment to the subject matter being taught." In other words, self and subject are inextricably linked, and parents are not teachers but are instead mentors in an ongoing informal apprenticeship of life and learning (John-Steiner, 1997). The apprentice model of education is perhaps the best educational model available for responding to the ways in which children learn, and it offers parents and teachers an option that is simultaneously old and new (Gardner, 1991)."

Plato's Allegory of the Cave, Part II - To Contemplate Them as They Are


Chapter 2: I Did It My Way: The Crucial Role of Self-Determination

[A discussion of the traits of self-determination and questioning of authority, how we can gain a new perspective on them, and how they can be used as strengths in a homeschooling environment]

"Lack of self-directed time and an absence of respect for the child as a person may contribute to the behavior difficulties so many gifted children experience in the classroom and home. According to Linda Silverman (1993b), "Gifted children will behave manipulatively or disrespectfully in situations where they feel powerless or not respected." Many parents and teachers have certainly witnessed this dynamic: the more adults resort to power and control to "contain" a gifted child--the more that choices are withheld or limited--the harder the child fights, either overtly, which is difficult enough to deal with, or, more covertly, which is the child''s nearly unbeatable trump card."

"Gifted learners question authority not because they are disrespectful, but because from an early age they see themselves as members of the human race, equal to those of all ages around them and an integral part in the world community. Children are quick to spot unfairness in any arena and even quicker to point it out. They talk to grownups as if (gasp!) they were their intellectual and social equals. When a child who questions authority is matched with an authoritarian adult--parent or teacher--sparks are sure to fly, and no one will be the happier."

Chapter 3: Personality Matters: Dimensions of Complexity

[The complex personality of the gifted child, the role of introversion in homeschooling, and how parents might use an understanding of differences to form the basis of an acceptance of uniqueness.]

"A talkative child who is excitable in groups of people or with friends may in fact have a strong tendency toward an introverted temperament and need more than the usual amount of 'alone' time. Too much time spent in the presence of others--including a normal school schedule--can result in psychic exhaustion, which, for a young, overexcitable child, can manifest itself as hyperactivity rather than lethargy. For such children who may be highly creative learners, homeschooling that includes regular but short periods of play or work in small groups often results in a surprisingly rapid return to equilibrium, which for very young children may bring a reduction in or elimination of tantrums and other signs of stress. A healthy amount of "socialization" for such children can be as little as once a week for very young children. Even children as old as nine or ten may find a comfort level in only two or three afternoons a week in which they have intense play with friends or in group settings. Some children who are more extraverted will obviously need group experiences more often. Parents can watch their children carefully to determine how much is too much and at what point their child's energy is drained rather than balanced."


Chapter 4: Progressive Digressions

 

[A brief example of a child's interest in comic books.]

Plato's Allegory of the Cave, Part III - Eyes Full of Darkness


Chapter 5: Learning about Learning

[An exploration of mindful and intuitive learning, creative and joyful learning, and some thoughts about school-entrance age.]

"We can help our children to trust and to regulate their impulse to learn by legitimizing their interests (Holt, 1995). We learn from virtually everything--our backyard, popular movies, "fad" trading card games, even taking a walk. That doesn't mean we should "turn those things into learning experiences"; rather, we should look closely for the learning experiences inherent within them. Star Wars, for example, is very popular among gifted children, in part because of the mythical and timeless ideas contained within it. When we remove the hierarchy on learning experiences for our children, suddenly the distinction between fun learning and school learning dissipates, and the child is freer and more able to make connections that lead to greater knowledge and understanding. If we accept that a morning of discussing the desert world of Luke Skywalker's home planet, Tatooine, is time well spent, our children may be more likely to see the value in learning about the African Sahara, where, after all, most of the scenes for Tatooine were filmed. Each experience is valuable and adds to the understanding of the other. When we show an active willingness to share our children's interest--to show excitement about their questions and discoveries--they may be more willing to participate in what we are excited about exploring, which is an apprenticeship for friendship as well as for education."

"Before starting school, many children learn to read, write, count, add, subtract, reason and create simply by being involved with other people who do these things. They often defy the notion of the five-, six- or seven-year-old "unschooled mind" as a mind whose "stereotypes, esthetic preferences, and moral codes rarely exhibit subtlety or complexity" (Gardner, 1991). Yes, they are still children with children's experiences and children's hearts and minds, but they also have a remarkable capacity for self-teaching and profound understanding that we haven't yet been able to come to grips with or know how to understand. They know things they shouldn't know. They exhibit levels of Piagetian development that they shouldn't be able to perform. They don't move through textbook levels of thinking in any kind of linear, orderly progression. Their thoughts and feelings are so enmeshed with each other as to be sometimes indistinguishable. While researchers and experts conduct studies and work to document how the gifted mind works, parents know by experience that such minds defy labels or explanation, because they are utterly human, not digital."

Plato's Allegory of the Cave, Part IV - Bewilderments of the Eyes

Chapter 6: Homeschooling Parents: Challenges and Consideration

[Brief thoughts on homeschooling laws, taking a sabbatical from enforced learning, changing our perspectives, socialization and community.]

Chapter 7: Voices from Outside the Cave

[Interviews with two highly gifted homeschooled children, S., a nine-year-old boy, and L., a 13-year-old girl.]

Epilogue: A Strange Image, and Strange Prisoners, Revisited

[How Plato's Socrates might comment on today's state of education.]

Appendix: A Sabbatical Reading List for Parents

Notes

References



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