Raising Gifted Children is Different from Teaching Gifted Children


This is a post for the Gifted Homeschooler Forum March Blog Hop.

I am passionate about gifted education. I strive to read books, magazines, and blogs about gifted children. I try to learn as much as I can from others from Twitter and Facebook, and others I have met in the field of Gifted Education. I enjoyed my time in graduate school learning about gifted children. I honestly believe Gifted Education is the part of Special Education that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.

That said…raising my gifted children at home can be hard. I have eight children, four children who are gifted. The oldest gifted child is 20, who is out in the world trying to find himself. He is smart, but not motivated or determined to get his life on the track to where his gifts would help him be successful. I have one that 19-year-old gifted child who is the opposite of his older brother. He is determined, motivated, and is headed on the path that uses his gifts to make him successful. I have one that is in middle schooler that is 14 and is complicated. He shows splashes of brilliance sprinkled with times of under-acheivement. He is the kindest child you will find. He has a big heart. We haven’t found his strengths as yet, but I know we will. Finally, I have a gifted child that is four years old. We haven’t gotten her tested yet, but we will. Her vocabulary, memory, and her cognitive skills really shine. We haven’t found her gifts yet, but I know we will.

Gifted children come in so many different shapes, sizes, and personality. When you add in the steps of life-like puberty it can be even more complicated. I love being a Dad to all 8 of my children. Meeting the needs of each of them is a full-time job in itself. I find that my children of all various stages of growth, intellect, and age are all different, but the one thing they have in common is family. They love the feeling of belonging. I can’t always be there for them, but they can be there for each other.

My wife and I try to do things for our children that will broaden their learning. We visit museums on vacation. We have our children try new things, and visit places they have read about. I can remember we took just a few of our children to Washington, D.C. a few years ago on my wife’s business trip. We went all over Washington, D.C.  While there we went to the Holocaust Museum. We spent hours there. They felt the horror, smelled the old shoes of Jewish victims, and left there with a heavy heart. To this day, they still speak of that time in the Holocaust Museum.

 

I have been teaching gifted children since 2006. I got into this field because of my oldest. All of my children either graduated from , or are in the same school district that my wife and I teach in. Back in 2002, my oldest son was in the 3rd grade. The gifted coordinator at the time asked me if I was interested in teaching gifted children since I have one. I told him yes I was. He gave me some information, and I went back to school. A few years later one of the gifted intervention specialists retired, and I got her job. It has been a ride, but there is a difference between teaching some one else’s child and teaching your own. I take both seriously, but the major difference is I can influence some one else’s child. I can challenge them, and I can see them through the rough challenges, but in a few years they are gone. My children are stuck with me. I continually challenge them, motivate them, cheer for them when they are in the classroom and when they are on the field.

Having a career teaching gifted children is great, but raising my children to be great assets to society is greater.

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One thought on “Raising Gifted Children is Different from Teaching Gifted Children

  1. Tricia

    Jeffery, honestly, 8 children AND teaching outside the home?! Your story is amazing and somewhat parallel to mine, except I only have 2 gifted kids, period! My two mechanical engineers were exhausting to keep up with and I can only imagine the colorful stories and memories your family must have! I remember making the mistake of complaining about an old toaster that wasn’t working right. That afternoon, I found my sons, then 7 and 5 years old, had disassembled the toaster into tiny pieces looking for the problem! Now, at 30 and 32, they are in their respective elements in the work world and get paid to see how things work!
    As a teacher of gifted kids for 10 years, I am especially fond of that same insatiable curiosity my students demonstrated about the world around them. I adore that gust for learning and inquiry …. at home and in the classroom.
    I’ve retired from the classroom and now I hope to help other parents in their journey through the exciting, and often confusing labyrinth of gifted parenting.

    Reply

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