I never thought I’d consider homeschooling until I began to experience firsthand the inadequacies of schools in dealing with gifted children. The past year the thought that homeschooling may be a viable option has been looming ever larger in my mind.
Reading Celi Trépanier’s new book, Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling, was almost enough to convince me to give it a go. Almost. Perhaps I should say – not yet – because I can see a possible future for my child that may include homeschooling.
Celi’s book is refreshing but not in the traditional way of learning about something brand new, but in the way that you’ve finally found someone who so thoroughly ‘gets’ what you’ve been going through. Someone who’s been there, done that. Because she has. She has felt my pain and probably yours.
Too often when parents talk about their gifted children they get labeled as ‘that parent’ who thinks they know better than all the professional educators. And if ‘that parent’ chooses to homeschool because the traditional schools can’t challenge their kids – let the eye-rolling begin.
That label certainly doesn’t apply to Celi as her background IS education. She has a B.S. from Loyola University and a M.Ed. from the University of Louisiana. She has taught in Louisiana, Ontario, and Alabama, in public schools, private schools, and homeschool co-ops.
She’s not just some mom who thought she could do better than traditional schools. She had an insider’s perspective and was a believer in the system and eventually came to realize the system was failing her child.
In her book, Celi details her journey from trusting the traditional school setting, to advocating (unsuccessfully) for appropriate accommodations, to finally taking personal control over her child’s education on a fundamental level.
Don’t worry, she makes clear that having an educational background is NOT a pre-requisite for homeschooling.
This isn’t a how-to-homeschool book. This is a why-you-should-consider-homeschool book.
Celi reminds us that we must question, that we have a right and an obligation to question, if our children are being permitted and encouraged to learn every school day. She reminds us that it’s okay to seek and create the learning environment that is best for our own child.
No single school can meet the educational needs of every gifted child within it’s walls, so choosing the best school for your child is a personal undertaking, as the one-size-fits-all approach does not work for gifted students. ~ Celi Trépanier
Raising a gifted child is a lonely road. Family and friends don’t understand the challenges you face and the pressure you feel. So you look to the educators and trust that they understand but too often they simply don’t.
I’d venture to say that most parents of gifted children have had fantasies of liberating their child from the drudgery of the traditional classroom. I know I’ve had them. Celi lets us know that those daydreams can become a reality and the reality of homeschooling sounds pretty darn good.
You can learn more about Celi and her advocacy for gifted education by reading her book, which I highly recommend, and on her fabulous blog Crushing Tall Poppies. She’s also on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I know she’d like to here from you.
Are you a homeschooler? How did you come to the decision that it was right for your family?