*I recieved these books for free in exchange for my 100% honest opinion, I have been compensated for my time.
My Daniel is a super smart kid.
I’m not just saying that because I’m his mom, he really is very smart. He picks up on things quickly, he figures things out, and understands new concepts easily. I usually only have to explain something to him once, unless of course he isn’t paying attention, and reading has always come really easily to him.
When he was little, around 3 or 4, he had a game called Scribblenauts he played on the Wii. If you’re not familiar with this game you’re a little guy and you have to spawn things to help people solve their problems. You can spawn just about anything but you have to type out what you want. Well this game resulted in a ton of, “Hey mommy (or daddy) how do you spell _____” That blank contained anything from “peanut butter sandwich” to “Rocket launcher” we were constantly spelling things for him!! One day super hubby sat down with him and started teaching him how to sound out the letters so that he could try to spell things himself… I thought he was still too little to get it… boy was I wrong!! He started sounding things out and spelling them, thanks to the game’s suggested items when he spelled them wrong he was playing by himself soon enough.
Now I don’t know if it was that early introduction, or that he wanted to be able to spell to play his game, that gave him such a great reading ability… but he’s got it!
When he started Kindergarten we quickly ditched the “The fat cat sat” kinds of books in favor of The Magic Treehouse series. In first grade he started reading The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe on his own. Last year I had him do a reading level test (not comprehension just word recognition & sounding out) and he scored at a grade 11 level.
We’ve never had him tested, but I’m pretty sure that if I did the word “gifted” would start to be thrown around. I don’t really need that label to realize that my kid has great reading ability, and needs to be challenged.
That’s where I got held up though. I want to challenge him, I don’t want him to be bored, and I want him to keep learning and keep developing his natural ability.
Going up a grade level or two helped, but often that meant the books had no pictures or were written from the perspective of an older child or tween. He’s still only 8 and wants pictures, wants fun, cute stories, worksheets that are interesting… not boring older kid stuff! It’s a hard balance to strike though, challenging, but interesting, fun but not super easy…
Enter in Language Arts from William & Mary The Center For Gifted Education published by Kendall Hunt (that’s a mouthful isn’t it??). Kendall Hunt publishes an amazing selection of educational materials that are all great so I knew that their Language Arts curriculum would be awesome.
I ordered “A World of Wild, Wacky, Wonderful Words” for Daniel because I knew that he would really enjoy it. The kid loves rhymes, palindromes… he’s always asking what different figures of speech mean… I knew he’d dig this entire workbook and lessons on words!
What makes a gifted program different?
I’ve had a lot of teacher lesson books in my hands over the years (going on 11 now!!) of homeschooling, but never one quite this detailed. It starts out with a reading list, both required and suggested, that is full of poems, books, and stories. You can tell from page one that this is going to pack a lot of information into each lesson and really get your child thinking.
Each lesson has outlines the instructional purposes why are we teaching the kids this?? An assignment overview and materials list, and also a background/ context box to help you see how it all fits together in teaching your child. Each lesson has steps to work through with detailed instructions for each as well as corresponding assignments, work sheets and activities.
It makes teaching your child, and understanding how and why you are teaching them certain things easy!
This Language Arts Program Gets Your Child Thinking
Most Language Arts programs I’ve encountered are pretty typical. There’s reading, comprehension questions, grammar and spelling. They’re pretty cut and dry and basic. The William & Mary program takes it a little further! There are lots and lots of discussion questions that are thought-provoking and challenging. There are activities like Venn diagrams and “word mind maps” that get your student thinking and exploring more into words and stories.
There are lots of other diagrams and webs, ways to understand how everything is related and compare stories, poems, words etc. They are all great tools to get your child thinking and understanding language. It’s not repetitive, it’s not your typical charts for every story and easy comprehension questions, they go beyond that to really challenge the student!
What if my child is gifted in another area?
I really encourage you to check out all that Kendall Hunt Publishing has to offer! If you’ve got a child who excels in any subject or needs more of a challenge, there is probably something there for you! Science, Math, History, there are lots of course offerings for every grade level.
Maybe your child, like mine, has never been tested, that’s ok! If your child has a talent or gift for something you don’t need a test to tell you! You can get them involved in lessons like these to challenge them and help them excel even more!!