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New England Learning and Development Center Talented and Gifted Homeschool Program
Welcome to the NELDC Talented and Gifted Homeschool Program. Here you will find information, lesson plan samples and other resources geared toward gifted children 5-17 years old.
If your child has completed academic or IQ testing, and has been found gifted, then you may be considering homeschooling. If this is the case, then this program will compliment your child's state mandated homeschool curriculum.
Who are we?
The NELDC is a private non-profit organization. The Talented and Gifted (TAG) Homeschool program is a combined effort of both Jim Paicopolos, and Clinical Social worker Nicole S. Bourgeois, MSW. Both Jim and Nicole are parents of gifted children, and the information and lesson plans provided here are highly successful.
What do we do?
The NELDC Talented and Gifted Homeschool program offers information, lesson plans and other educational resources for gifted children. More specifically, our unique approach encourages and utilizes physical activity during the lesson. As indicated by several research studies, physical activity during or prior to learning has a profound effect on cognition and memory. One of the key characteristics of giftedness includes excitability and fast pace learning. Our lessons embrace this characteristic, and encourage the child to physically play while learning. Traditional academic settings don't allow for this approach, hence homeschooling.
What is our method?
The NELDC Talented and Gifted Home school Program's method is a unique, physically active approach to learning. For example, one of the lesson plans entitled "Throwing Fractions" utilizes throwing and jumping as part of the actual lesson. If you have a gifted child, or are working with one, you probably have experienced their energetic, fast pace learning style. Instead of disciplining a child for their natural behavior, we embrace and encourage learning advanced math concepts while being physically active. Also, we also recommend using games, songs and video as instructional methods and becoming a member will give you full access to all of our lesson plans and resources.
Obviously, there are subjects such as reading and writing that require a child to sit still. However, you'll find that after a fun, exercise-filled lesson, and a drink of water, they will be more apt to sit still and pay attention. We recommend having a pattern that blends our lessons with other subjects that require a more traditional approach. Clearly, a homeschool setting works best for a physically active lesson, since a traditional academic setting would not incorporate this style into their curriculum. We have a resource page that lists the many scientific articles that substantiate our approach. Best of all, our method requires the teacher/parent to be physically active and energetic, which is a great health and fitness benefit!
What are the characteristics of giftedness?
The United States' federal definition of gifted and talented students is as follows: The term "gifted and talented" when used in respect to students, children, or youth means students, children, or youth who give evidence of high performance capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop such capabilities." (P.L. 103–382, Title XIV, p. 388)
The following are some characteristics of giftedness:
- Reasons well
- Learns rapidly
- Has extensive vocabulary
- Has an excellent memory
- Has a long attention span (if interested in the content)
- Sensitive (feelings hurt easily)
- Shows compassion
- Morally sensitive
- Has strong curiosity
- Perseverant in their interests
- Has high degree of energy
- Prefers older companions or adults
- Has a wide range of interests
- Has a great sense of humor
- Early or avid reader (if too young to read, loves being read to)
- Concerned with justice, fairness
- Judgment mature for age at times
- Is a keen observer
- Has a vivid imagination
- Is highly creative
- Tends to question authority
- Has facility with numbers
- Good at jigsaw puzzles
Generally, gifted individuals learn more quickly, deeply, and broadly than their peers. Gifted children may learn to read early and operate at the same level as normal children who are significantly older. The gifted tend to demonstrate high reasoning ability, creativity, curiosity, a large vocabulary, and an excellent memory. They can often master concepts with few repetitions. They may also be physically and emotionally sensitive, perfectionistic, and may frequently question authority. Some have trouble relating to or communicating with their peers because of disparities in vocabulary size (especially in the early years), personality, interests, and motivation. As children, they may prefer the company of older children or adults. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_giftedness)
Furthermore, overexcitabilities and a high degree of energy are common among gifted children. This is sometimes used to help predict "giftedness" in both children and adults: The more "excited" or the more "stimulated" a sense is in a person, the more susceptible or prone their brain is to react in an extreme manner to anything that triggers it, thus the possibilities of expansion in ways of learning are increased in this person.
The work of psychiatrist, psychologist and MD, Kazimirez Dabrowski (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazimierz_Dabrowski) describes the five types of overexcitabilities, and the psychomotor type is the basis for the NELDC Talented and Gifted Program: Psychomotor Overexcitability is an excess of energy that may be expressed as a love of movement, rapid speech, impulsiveness and restlessness. Our lesson plans embrace this overexcitable trait, and encourage children to learn through physical activity.
What type of lesson plans?
The NELDC Talented and Gifted Program will provide lesson plans that incorporate both physical movement and play, while learning advanced math concepts. Our program currently focuses on math curriculum only, but many of the lessons can be interchanged with other subjects.
For example, the "Throwing Fractions" lesson has the child throw a bean bag up a staircase, or over markers labeled 1-12 on the floor. Wherever the bean bag lands, the child then counts the step or marker it lands on, and then provides 1/2, 1/4 and 1/3 of that particular number. Meaning if the bean bag lands on step 10, then the child would say 1/2 of 10 is 5, and 1/4 of 10 is 2.5. The child will then physically walk the spaces of 1/2 ( take 5 steps down the stairs), then 1/4 ( take 2.5 steps) and so on.
Another sample lesson entitled "Basketball Math" has the child play basketball, with a child size basketball hoop, while learning math concepts. More specifically, the child makes a basket, and when successful, he or she grabs a math related question out of the "math grab bag". When the child answers it correctly, then he/she will receive points for that basket .
By becoming a member, you will have access to all of our lesson plans and resources:
* Basketball Math
* Throwing Fractions
* Relay Race Math
* Cooking and Eating with Mr. Math
* Around the World of Shapes
* Speed Math
* Jump, Clap, March for Math
* Hide-n-Seek Math
* Hop to Number Placement
How do I have my child tested?
The NELDC does provide psychological testing, so please contact licensed psychologist, Jim Paicopolos for more information.
How do I begin the process of homeschooling?
The process of homeschooling begins with requesting a homeschool application from your public school district. Provide the information requested by the school in writing, and you are on your way. You will receive an approval letter, or the school may request further information. You can find information about homeschooling here: The HSLDA The Homeschool Legal Defense Association. http://www.hslda.org/hs/
Many gifted children can be misdiagnosed with ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and/or Bipolar Disorder. In short, a gifted, energetic child can pay attention for long periods of time (30-60 minutes) and will learn advanced concepts while being physically active. The difference between ADHD and an energetic gifted child is this long attention span. An ADHD child would require shorter bursts (15 minutes), and still would need much re- direction for success. Having your child tested by a professional psychologist, master's level clinician, or a psychiatrist is the only way to get a true diagnosis.