God’s Gifted Children F T HOMESCHOOLING

God’s Gifted Children
This free report is a portion of a book that you can purchase at
Homeschooling God’s Gifted Children
ISBN 978-1-930285-76-7
Copyright © 2010 by S Faithe Finley Thomas
Published by The Master Design
789 State Route 94 E
Fulton, KY 42041
[email protected]
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any way by any means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without
the prior permission of the author, except as provided by USA copyright law.
You may freely share this report.
Page 2
Faithe Thomas
What Is Gifted?6
Gifted Of Heart11
Gifted Of Soul14
Gifted Of Mind17
Gifted Of Strength22
Homeschooling And Giftedness 25
Methodologies For Teaching Children27
Frequently Asked Questions 33
Page 5
When I first learned that Faithe was putting together an ebook on
homeschooling gifted children from a Christian perspective, I was very
excited about the prospect. There are lots of resources out there for
parents of gifted children, and tons more for homeschooling parents.
It’s even fairly easy to find help for homeschooling gifted children.
But Faithe’s vision was for something far greater than any I’ve come
across, even among traditional books. And she has accomplished it in
this humble ebook.
Not content to accept the world’s definition of “gifted,” she went to
Scriptures to see God’s perspective on these children He’s created. And
she found that He has a great deal to say about the gifting He pours out
on His people. Drawing from Paul’s letters, character sketches from the
Old and New Testaments, and the Proverbs, Faithe has captured the
true essence of what we’re in for as parents when we attempt to train
up our children in light of their giftedness.
This is a great resource to get you started on the road to recognizing
the gifts and special bent of each of your children, and training them at
home in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Jim Bob Howard
Page 4
My Journey to Understanding Giftedness
NPR’s Garrison Keillor often opens his program by saying, “Welcome
to Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are
good-looking, and all the children are above average.” We all laugh, but
how many of us have thought, “I think my child is above average”?
Admit it, we all have!
My younger sister got married 13 years before I did. She and her husband started their family and quickly had three children under five years
old. When they started homeschooling their children, I was often a
sounding board for curriculum decisions. I’d help research for good
deals and free resources. I knew if I ever had children, I would also
homeschool them.
I started several homeschool websites, attempting to help other parents
find resources more easily and quickly. I wrote articles and went to
conventions. I was even involved in my local homeschool group.
Since I married late in life, by the time I had my first child, most of my
friends my age were helping their children get into college. I consoled
myself with the thought that an older parent is a wiser one. (I’m not
sure that’s true, but it was consoling.)
Of course, I fell into the same trap that every parent does: “Wow! My
child is only ____ and already she is _____.” Whether it was walking,
talking, or running down the hall, I wondered if my child was “above
average” or maybe even gifted. She pressed me at 3 to do
school. Then at 4 she started Kindergarten. So I did begin
to seriously wonder if she was gifted... and if she is, what
should I do?
That is how I started my quest to understand giftedness.
What is it? What should I do about it? I hope you
enjoy the fruit of my research and gain a new
understanding, as I did, of what exactly is gifted
and how it affects our family, our church, and
our community.
Page 5
Methodologies for
Teaching Children
Delving into the specifics of the prevailing philosophies for educating children at home is beyond the scope of this book. I list
some common methods here to give you some terms to search in
your studies. But before I do, I want to give you the one philosophy that every homeschooler adheres to everywhere: Use what
works right now for your family. Let tomorrow worry about itself. If
you need to change what you’re doing tomorrow, then change it.
Your homeschool is YOUR homeschool. You decide! That’s
freedom you’re feeling.
Because our culture has
come to a common belief that we must all be
“schooled” or that all
teaching happens in a
school, the term unschooling may connote
“not teaching.” But that
couldn’t be further from
the truth of the original
coining of the term.
In fact it is believed that
J o h n Ta y l o r G a t t o
(author of Dumbing Us
Down and Weapons of
Mass Instruction) coined
the term as a complete
paradigm shift from
what is going on in
Page 27
American public schools. A retired 30-year veteran teacher and
Teacher of the Year, Gatto asserts that the “schooling” that happens at our public schools is anything but educating the minds
and souls of our children.
Unschoolers today don’t fit the mold of institutional schools.
Rather than bringing the school experience home, they throw out
the school experience all together as inherently flawed. Unschooling, then, denotes a marked departure from traditional school in
every aspect and focuses instead on crafting every opportunity to
teach children from daily life experiences.
The Classical model of education identifies three levels of learning that every person goes through to master a topic. Known collectively as the Trivium, these levels are Grammar, Dialectic, and
Grammar is the early stage of learning when students are getting
the bearings for the subject. Vocabulary and basic structures (or
building block) form the core of activities in this stage. Facts, figures, dates, timelines are the grammar of History. Parts of
speech, types of sentences, prefixes and suffixes, and phonics are
the grammar of Language. Symbols, cyphers, simple equations
are the grammar of Math. These basic facts must be mastered in
order to have a conversation in the subject. This phase corresponds with what the Bible calls “knowledge.”
Knowledge begins to give way to understanding in the Dialectic
stage. There may continue to be new vocabulary and modes of
expression learned during this stage, but there is enough of a
foundation that connections are starting to be made between the
terms, and between various areas of study. Now that the student
knows the parts of speech, he can begin conjugating verbs. Now
that the student knows that the historic timeline, she can begin
learning what was happening in various parts of the world at that
Page 28
Once the advance knowledge and understanding have been mastered, new knowledge and understanding takes the form of wisdom in the Rhetoric stage. When a student reaches this stage in
any subject, he or she can now speak or write on the subject with
authority. Rhetoric stage scholars are able to apply what they have
learned to life.
Charlotte Mason lived in the Lake District of England in the latter part of the 19th Century into the early 20th Century. An educator, Mason asserted that education consists of an Atmosphere, a
Discipline, and a Life. Her goal was to help children explore the
world they’re living in and learn from it. They were also encouraged to read “living” books; those written more-or-less in the
first person—or at least the intimate third person—about the
world in which they were living.
The teacher’s job is: to create the atmosphere that would allow
the child to absorb learning from life; to help him cultivate character and good habits; and to supply him with living books and
opportunities to spend time outside, learning directly from the
nature that God created.
Some homeschoolers have taken the methodologies and practices
of the institutional school into their home simply because that’s
what works well for their family. Whether it’s for social, financial,
medical or a whole host of other reasons that have nothing to do
with the education their children would have received, these families do the same things their counterparts within the school are
doing. It’s just that they sit in their own home, rather than a classroom of their peers.
The unit study approach takes a look at a single topic for a specified period of time, in order to learn as many areas of the topic
as possible. A study of horses may include subjects such as biology, geography, history, art, obedience, etc. The goal of the unit
study to learn the topics as a whole rather than in disjointed
pieces. The student learns vocabulary, writes papers, reads books,
creates artwork, all within the theme of the topic.
Some homeschoolers do a complete unit study approach to all of
their education plan, but other educational methods may also incorporate unit studies into their plans as well.
Oliver Van DeMille and his wife Rachel have become champions
of what they call a Thomas Jefferson Education (TJEd). The
DeMilles also call TJEd “leadership training,” and contrast it with
the traditional public school method which they identify as a
“conveyor belt” education. Additionally, it’s not a “professional”
education. The conveyor belt teaches students what to think, proPage 30
fessional education teaches students when to think, and leadership
education teaches students how to think, and has typically been
the education track of the ruling and leading classes.
TJEd maintains that the only education that happens is when a
student becomes a scholar and self-educated. The teacher’s job is
to mentor or model learning, but the onus is on the student to
learn the how to think about the material that is presented. The
curriculum are classics in literature and art.
Few homeschoolers are solid, die-hard, on one methodology of
teaching. The more they learn, the more their children grow, the
more children they have, and the more their lives change, they
have the flexibility to adjust their methods. Many folks who use a
variety of these methods call themselves “eclectic.”
Any or all of these methodologies can be used to disciple your
children. If your goal for your children is that they be godly
adults, then the Word of God must
be the bedrock of your
homeschool. But disciples in a biblical sense must also be disciplemakers. Train your children how to
train their children.
Christian parents, whether they
homeschool or not, cling to the
promise of Proverbs 22:6: “Train
up a child in the way he should go;
and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Well, as we discussed
in the first chapter, the way he
should go is toward loving the Lord
with all his heart, soul, mind, and
strength. But “in the way he should go,” could also be translated
“according to his bent.” Bent denotes the way he was created,
meaning God created him a certain way for His purposes. As
parents, we are to seek God’s wisdom for the gifts and personality
traits He’s given our child so that we can train him according to
this bent. And his bent will be different from each of our other
In her book 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, author and
reviewer Cathy Duffy applies Myers-Briggs-type personality profiles to homeschool student learning styles to help parents know
the type of approach that is likely to have the most success with
their children. She identifies the learning styles as Wiggly Willy
(likes to get up and move around), Perfect Paula (will sit and
churn out precise work, according to the instructions given),
Competent Carl (but will usually come up with an out-of-the-box
way for getting the job done), and Sociable Sue (likes to talk
things out).
Parents fit into the same categories and tend to teach the way we
like to learn. If it doesn’t suit our children, we can easily become
frustrated and overwhelmed. Adjusting our expectations to fit our
children’s learning styles and our teaching styles can turn that
frustration into fruit.
Page 32
Frequently Asked
Q: What about the time commitment? Seems like it would take all
my time.
A: Yes, the time commitment is greater than outsourcing the
training of your children to others, but the rewards are much
greater, especially with gifted children whose abilities might go
unnoticed otherwise.
Q: Where do I get curriculum?
A: There are so many choices for homeschooling curriculum, it
would be impossible to even scratch the surface here. Cathy
Duffy’s book, 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, can help you
narrow down your choices. Attending a homeschool convention
in your area will also let you talk to some of the curriculum writers and vendors who specialize in homeschool resources, as well
as give you the opportunity to get your hands on the materials.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: That all depends. There are probably statistics somewhere on
the average, but that’s a fictional amount that doesn’t help anyone
really estimate. There are lots of online resources that are free.
Many of the books on homeschooling and for homeschooling
can be found at the library. It’s possible to spend very little and
still give your child a great education. Likewise, you could spend
thousands for curriculum you never use and your child could go
Page 33
Q: Can I really teach my children things I haven’t studied in years,
or ever?
A: Yes. But you’ll have to do some studying as well. Don’t stress
about this, though. Think about this: if you don’t know it and
have gotten this far… consider why it’s important for your child
to know it. If they really need to know it and you don’t already,
stay a lesson ahead and learn it with them.
Q: What about socialization?
A: Friends come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages when you
homeschool. There’s no artificial grouping of children only according to age and socioeconomic status. If your child has high
social needs, many of the after-school programs (martial arts, ballet, choir, sports) are still available to you.
Q: Is it legal?
A: Yes, in the United States, parents can legally education their
children at home in all 50 states. To stay on top of legislation that
affects your rights as a homeschooler, visit the Home School Legal Defense Association (hslda.org) and/or your state or regional
homeschool support group.
Q: Do my children have to take the same tests?
A: That will depend on your state laws. HSLDA keeps track of all
of the state compulsory attendance laws, as well as any testing
requirements. (See the Legal section above.)
Page 34
Q: Will my child be able to get into college?
A: Yes. Many schools today are actively seeking homeschooled children
for their leadership ability, socialization, and work ethic. If you have a
specific school you would like to know about, contact their admissions
office as early as possible (before high school begins, if possible) to
determine what they need from your homeschooled student to be accepted.
Many homeschoolers are also turning to distance learning programs
and doing college at home as well.
Page 35
Unlock the Einstein Inside, Dr. Ken Gibson
Guiding the Gifted Child, James T. Webb, et. al.
Misdiagnosis And Dual Diagnoses Of Gifted Children And Adults: ADHD,
Bipolar, OCD, Asperger's, Depression, And Other Disorders, James T.
Webb, et. al.
Nurturing the Gifted Female: A Guide for Educators and Parents, Joy L. Navan
Raising a Gifted Child: A Parenting Success Handbook,
Carol Fertig
Mellow Out, They Say. If I Only Could: Intensities and Sensitivities of the Young
and Bright, Michael M. Piechowski
The Mislabeled Child: How Understanding Your Child's Unique Learning Style
Can Open the Door to Success,
Brock and Fernette Eide
How the Gifted Brain Learns, David A. Sousa
A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children, James T. Webb, et. al.
Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual Spatial Learner,
Linda Kreger Silverman
Some of My Best Friends Are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers from Pre-School to
High School, Judith Wynn Halsted
100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, Cathy Duffy
Weapons of Mass Instruction, John Taylor Gatto
Page 36
Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style, Harvey and
Laurie Bluedorn
A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twentyfirst Century, Oliver Van DeMille
Gifted Homeschoolers Forum
National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)
Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)
Gifted Development Center (GDC)
MENSA International
National Home Education Research Institute
Page 37
Scripture References
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love
the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all
your strength.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them
when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie
down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your
hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write
them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
“So it shall be… You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him,
and shall take oaths in His name.
—Deuteronomy 6:4-10a, 13
And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives
you power to get wealth…
—Deuteronomy 8:18a
The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people.
—Psalm 68:35
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your
children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to
those who ask him!
—Matthew 7:11 (cf. Luke 11:13)
I myself have selected your fellow Levites from among the Israelites as
a gift to you, dedicated to the LORD to do the work at the Tent of
—Numbers 18:6
I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift.
—Numbers 18:7
Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your
God has blessed you.
—Deuteronomy 16:17
Page 38
That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—
this is the gift of God.
—Ecclesiastes 3:13
Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—
this is a gift of God.
—Ecclesiastes 5:19
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.
—Romans 12:6
But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has
—1 Corinthians 7:7ff
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
—1 Corinthians 12:4
…He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.
—Ephesians 4:8ff
This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed
to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders
and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according
to his will.
—Hebrews 2:3ff-4
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down
from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow
of turning.
—James 1:17
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,
faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.
—1 Peter 4:10
Page 39