Is your homeschool student very bright and yet bored? One of the advantages of homeschooling is the ability to test the level of your student in each subject. The standardized tests (Iowa Basic, CAT, or any of the others) are generally a great help in this regard. Is the student at grade level and challenged? Above grade level and bored? Or perhaps below level and frustrated? You can give placement tests in specific subjects as well. Using a math placement test can help you identify which level of math to study – as it may be different than their grade level.
Once you discover the level of your student, then make sure their curriculum is at their level all the time. Keep school challenging but not overwhelming in every subject. It can make a huge difference in your student’s success. It doesn’t matter what level they are – it matters that they are working at THEIR level. They can thrive if they are operating inside this “sweet spot. ” If they aren’t, then they may be bored or hopelessly lost.
If you feel your child is very bright, and yet he does poorly in a school situation, you may want to check if they are truly bored in school. When we pulled our two boys out of public school and started homeschooling, we really didn’t know how advanced they were in each of their subjects. Fortunately, we were in tune enough with our boys on homeschooling to not assume they were in 3rd and 5th grade in every subject! We were shocked to discover that our boys were actually operating at two grade levels above in math, and four grade levels above in spelling. I would not have known that they were advanced if we hadn’t been homeschooling. Testing them at the beginning of the year allowed them to like homeschooling, since they were always challenged but never overwhelmed.
Keeping your homeschool “challenging but not overwhelming” is one of the 10 strategies for teaching gifted education at home. I’ve discovered that these strategies work great for all the students and not just the gifted ones!