Homeschooling

How to Teach Maths to Gifted and High-Achieving Children

Homeschool Maths curriculum for gifted children

This blog post has been written in collaboration with CTC Math, who gave my family free access to their online Maths programme and compensated me for my time. The following may also contain affiliate links (see “Disclaimer”)

Tears. Tantrums. Frustration. For many of our children, Maths can be a struggle; a struggle for chldren to learn and a struggle for homeschooling parents to teach.

When you are homeschooling a gifted child, teaching Maths can be be just as challenging. Gifted children can also end up crying over their Maths, but the reason for their tears is not a lack of ability or understanding, but instead due to frustration, boredom or trying to simply dealing with the intense emotions that  gifted children notoriously experience.

Teaching maths to the high-achieving and gifted student can be both immensely rewarding and incredibly frustrating for homeschooling families! Although gifted children are usually quick to understand an apply mathematical concepts, they also bring with them a unique set of challenges that other homeschooling parents may not have to face.

How to teach Maths to gifted and high achieving children

Homeschool Maths curriculum for gifted children

It is worth noting, that there is a difference between “giftedness” and being a high achiever. For more information about the difference, read this simple introduction from Psychology Today.

It’s also important to remember that not all gifted students are “gifted” in Maths. Being intellectually gifted can mean an increased aptitude or talent in any number of academic subjects or creative pursuits. However, for simplicity’s sake, when I talk about “gifted” children in this blog post, please assume I am referring to those who are mathematically gifted.

From my own personal experience, I have compiled my top tips on “How to teach Maths to gifted and high-achieving children”, to help you teach Maths to your own children. This advice is what has worked in my home, and I hope that is will give you some ideas for your children too.

1. Forget the Way You Learnt Maths!

Unless you were fortunate to be homescholed, the likelihood is that the way you learnt maths is not going to work for your gifted children. Conventional all-in-one math curricula do not work well for gifted students.

Many of us are used to the idea that a math concept is taught, examples are given, and then the student practices this principle by completing many practice questions. Gifted students often no not need as much practice as conventional workbooks offer. They are able to fully grasp the concept and move onto its application much quicker than conventional curricula allows for.

This means that if you ask you gifted child to work through a conventional math programme, they will become increasingly bored and frustrated with its slow pace and repetition.

Instead, you need to get creative in the way you teach maths to gifted students! One way of doing this is by providing them with a variety of materials.

Teaching maths to gifted children

2. Use a Variety of Maths Resources

It may surprise you to know, that maths does not need to be taught with a textbook and workbook! In fact, there are many other ways that mathematical principles can be taught. In my experience, these are often more effective and memorable than the traditional maths textbook.

Examples include:

  • Living Books – Children can learn maths through stories! Find well-written mathematical stories that ignite your child’s imagination and teach maths at the same time. My children have recently been enjoying The Adventures of Sir Cumference and What’s your angle Pythagoras?
  •  Problem solving/Critical Thinking – Develop you child’s analytical and problem solving skills with critical thinking books and exercises.
  • Computer Programmes – Incorporating computer programmes into your curriculum can be a fantastic motivator for children. Our favourite online Math curriculum is CTC Math (see below)
  • Variety of different workbooks – Mix and match different teaching styles and approaches to keep your gifted child interested and engaged in their learning.

Teaching maths to gifted children living books

 

3. Chose a Curriculum that allows for Flexibility

The introduction of CTC Math into our homeschool has provided us with both the structure and the flexibility that my children need. Using this online Math curriculum 3-4 times a week, has helped to ensure that my children are not missing any important concepts as they “jump about ” within their other varied maths resources.

It is also gives the student and parents the flexibility that is needed for so many gifted students. You no not “need” to complete previous lessons in order to move onto the next level. You do what YOUR CHILD NEEDS to do…and I love that about CTC Math!

CTC Math Gifted Homeschool curriculum
5-digit Addition with CTC Math

 

In previous curricula we have tried, my son became infuriated with the unnecessary repetition and practice questions. With CTC Math, if your child understands the concept, you can move on!

It also allows you to enter your child into any grade that you, as the parent, feel is suitable. CTC Math has allowed my 6 year-old son to start 4th Grade maths, and it is wonderful to finally see him challenged by an online Maths programme.

CTC Math Gifted Homeschool curriculum
CTC Math allows parents to easily monitor progress

The lesson begins by watching a short 4-9 minute video where a concept is taught by audio and animation. Then the student takes what they have learnt, and applies it to a series of practice questions. Parents are kept informed of their child’s progress with a weekly email showing their marks throughout the week.

The people behind CTC Math are very supportive of homeschooling families and offer 60% OFF the cost of the curriculum + 6 MONTHS FREE to homeschoolers! This massive discount is only available to homeschooling families. If you are interested in finding out more, CLICK HERE.

CTC Math Gifted Homeschool curriculum

CTC Math works fantastically for gifted students because of the flexibility it offers. You can go back and repeat lesson, and you can jump as many lessons ahead as your gifted student wants to. In addition to this flexibility, it also gives parents the security of knowing that everything is being covered and there will be no gaps in their child’s knowledge.

CTC are offering a 2 WEEK FREE TRIAL at the moment. If you are interested in trying it out with you children for free, CLICK HERE to sign up for your FREE TRIAL

 

3. Make Maths Cross-Curricular

If your child has a natural talent for maths, they will enjoy bringing it into their other school subjects.

For example, we have studied maths whilst learning about Leonardo da Vinci and his incredible inventions. My son also learnt the “Pythagoras theorem” during our study of Ancient Greece. Together, we discovered the Fibonnacci sequence when learning about snails and their shells, in nature-study.

If your child is interested, maths can be brought into almost every subject as it is an integral part of our real-lives.

Maths book for snails homeschool unit study

4. Apply Maths to Real-life situations

Life is full of learning opportunities, and maths is no different. In your day-to-day life, you can engage your gifted children with mathematical problems and meaningful learning. Here are just a few examples of how:

  • Calculate distances trigonometry or estimate using the time it took to travel
  • Help with finances and accounts – if like me, you run a business from home, having a child that loves maths can be very useful at times!
  • Calculate probabilities
  • Working out quantities needed for cooking or home-improvements
  • Converting units
Teaching maths to gifted children real life math
Real life Maths!

Teaching gifted children maths is challenging, and is certainly not simple! However, with a little creativity, it is very possible and very rewarding. 

Gifted children need our attention and guidance, as much as other children do. Without it, they are at risk of become disengaged, uninterested and underachieving.

I hope this blog post has given you some inspiration and ideas of how to teach your gifted or high-achieving children Maths at home.

For further reading on home-educating gifted children, I would recommend “Homeschooling Gifted and Advanced Learners” by Cindy West and “Creative Homeschooling : A Resource Guide for Smart Families” by Lisa Rivero

What have you found to be the most effective way of teaching maths to gifted children?

How do you balance the freedom and flexibility that they crave, with the need to “cover all bases”?

Please share your experiences with us all, in the comments below.

Peace and Love,

Dr Gemma Elizabeth

 

Welcome to our New Site!

welcome to our muslim homeschool

Welcome to our new website!

This website has been a labour of love. After many hours of dreaming and planning, it is so incredible to see it here!

After speaking to my followers on social media and readers of my blog, I came to realise that the most important thing for them…for you…was to feel supported and part of a community.

Secondly, there was a need for worthwhile, comprehensive curricula and resources, tailored to the Muslim homeschooling community. That is what this new website will endevour to provide you with.

welcome to our muslim homeschool

Join the Community!

Our Muslim Homeschooling Community is Launching on 15th April!

Join a community of like-minded Muslim homeschoolers and you will receive:

  • Access to our “1001 FREE Resources for Muslim Homeschoolers”

This comprehensive list details the best and most worthwhile resources available for Muslim homeschoolers. Whatever you’re looking for, take a look through our extensive collection of resources, all of which are tailored specifically to the Muslim community.

  • Access to a Private Forum

Our private community forum is a safe space where you can share resources, seek advice, and connect with other Muslim homeschoolers around the globe.

Whether you are looking for opinions on a curriculum, advice about time management, or trying to connect with other home educating families in your area, you will want to join our community forum!

  • Newsletters you’ll want to read!

This regular bulletin is jam-packed with the best and latest homeschool resources from all over the web. We spend hours every week, scouring the net, looking for the best websites, printables and eBooks to share with you. If you join our Homeschooling Community, you can be sure that you’ll never miss out!

The Our Muslim Homeschooling Community officially launches on Saturday 15th April….just a few days away!

If you sign up now, you will be in the first to have access to all the resources and the forum!

Joining Our Community is completely FREE. Just enter your email address below to join!

Join our Homeschooling Community!

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I look forward to seeing you in our community on 15th April!

Our Blog

There are great things lined up for the blog over the coming months.

We have several collaborations lined up with other Muslim mums and homeschoolers, so that you can learn from their insight and gain insight into other ways of homeschooling.

In addition to this, I will continue to be bringing you curriculum reviews, day-in-the-life videos and GIVEAWAYS insha’Allah!

If you are looking for useful, inspirational and insightful articles, take a look around our blog!

Our Shop

This is a really new venture for me and I’m very excited!

Over the coming months our shop will be stocking reading lists for each year group. These reading lists have been approved by qualified teachers, and will hopefully provide you with some guidance of what you should be reading to your children, as well as the books they will enjoy reading themselves insha’Allah. Literature is one of my passions, and I am so excited to share these reading lists with you.

In addition to these reading lists, other homeschooling curriculum will also be available from Our Shop! We have so much great stuff lined up!

I have been working on the Our Muslim Homeschool Planner for months, and it is due for release in July 2017 insha’Allah. This will be a tool for homeschooling parents to, not only plan their homeschooling year, but also manage their home and personal ibadah. This will also be available from Our Shop. There are so many things to look forward. Alhumdulillah <3

Our Muslim Homeshool Planner

It truly is a blessing to be launching this new site. For years I have dreamt of it, and now it is really here!

I hope you will find the answers to your questions in Our blog or Our Community forum. If you do not, please feel free to contact me.

Join our community today!

You will get access to our private community forum and our extensive “1001 FREE Resources for Muslim Homeschoolers!” from the 15th April!

Join our Homeschooling Community!

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Thank you for being here!

I would love for you to join our community. I look forward to seeing you there insha’Allah.

Peace and Love.

Our Muslim Homeschool

 

Teach Your Kids Islamic Studies…ONLINE!

Ali and Sumaya school review

This blog post was sponsored by aliandsumayaschool.com. See disclaimer for further details.

Teaching your children about Islam can be a daunting prospect! Where do we start?

How do we teach the material?

Once they do start learning the various Islamic sciences, how do we keep up the momentum and maintain their enthusiasm.

How can we encourage our children to want to learn about Islam?

What are the best online resources available to help parents?

Ali and Sumaya school review

 

I was recently introduced to the Ali and Sumaya school, an online Islamic school, that teaches children the principle Islamic sciences, from the comfort of my own home.

It has been such a blessing to incorporate it into my children’s Islamic education, and I am so excited to share it with you.

WATCH THIS VIDEO where I show you around the Ali and Sumaya school!

CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW:

Teach your children Islamic studies online!

What is an Online Islamic School?

When we first logged on, I was so impressed! It’s like an Islamic version of ABC Mouse! mashAllah! Instead of teaching phonics or maths, it teaches children Quran, duaas, Arabic, and more!

Ali and Sumaya school homepage

The children absolutely adore it, and really look forward to doing their lessons! I have seen an incredible shift in their attitude towards learning the Islamic sciences. When I announce that it’s time for Ali and Sumaya school, they rush to get to the computer and watch one another do their lessons.

They even recognize the characters in the school from the Ali and Sumaya DVDS, which only adds to their enthusiasm!

Ali and Sumaya school Arabic

What does it teach?

The Ali and Sumaya school currently teaches:

  • Memorisation of Quran (Hidfh)
  • Reading Arabic
  • Prophetic Duaas
  • Salah
  • Wudu

However since we began the programme, about 2 months ago, they have continued to offer more levels,and add more learning material to their website every month!

Ali and Sumaya school

 

How does it work?

Most lessons offered involve your child watching a short animated video, where the material is explained. These videos have been made to a very high standard! The audio is clear, with beautiful recitation of Quran, and the animation is amazing!

Ali and Sumaya school Quran

 

Then after practicing what has been taught, they complete a short quiz to ensure they have understood the lesson.

They way the school assesses memorisation is very simple, but very clever. The teacher will recite part of an ayah or duaa, and then conceal part of it with a “beep”. The child then has to decide what is missing from the duaa, and select the correct answer from a number of options.

Ali and Sumaya school online quiz

If they pass the quiz, they are awarded a “badge.” The badges are the equivalent to virtual stickers, and my kids love collecting them!

Ali and Sumaya school badge

A nice feature on the site is the presence of a leader board. For every lesson you complete, you are awarded points, and the students with the highest number of points will feature on the global leader board.

What age does my child need to be?

There are no specific requirements for age or experience. The only thing I would recommend is that your child should be able to comfortably use the mouse or a tablet, otherwise they may struggle to complete their lessons.

Are their sources reliable?

There are so many different ways people practice Islam today, especially with regards to worship. The creators of the Ali and Sumaya school consulted a number of religious teachers from Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

If you have any further questions about the scholars and sources that were used, you can email the Ali and Sumaya school directly. Click HERE for their contact details.

Ali and SUmaya school duaas

How long are the lessons?

The time each lesson takes does vary between subjects and levels. However, the makers of the Ali and Sumaya school recommend that children spend 10-20 minutes on each lesson, as few times a week to get the most out of the programme.

We have chosen to use these online classes slightly differently. Instead of everyday, we have been using the Ali and Sumaya school as a reward for good behaviour or academic achievement! They enjoy using this online school so much that they will actually work towards it! They really do love it!

Benefits of Online Learning

Personally, I think the biggest benefit of using an online school like the Ali and Sumaya school, is that the kids enjoy it! Subhanullah, what a difference it makes to your child’s learning when they are having fun!

Ali and Sumaya school

When a child is self-motivated and interested in learning the material, they will retain that information more effectively than if you are forcing them to do their lessons. The Ali and Sumaya school is a fantastic way of nurturing a positive attitude towards studying Islam.

One of the biggest challenges we face as parents today, is the constant struggle we have with limiting screen time. This internal battle happens in almost all of us everyday. Many of us feel guilty at the amount of time our children spend watching TV, or playing on other electronic devices. What is wonderful about the Ali and Sumaya school, is that that guilt is gone! My children can go online, and do their lessons, and learn something really beneficial! Alhumdulillah!

The Ali and Sumaya school provides a halal alternative to the mainstream media. Furthermore, it is a safe and wholesome way for children to spend beneficial time online.

How do I enroll my children?

The creators of the Ali and Sumaya school only take in a limited number of students each term so that they really get to know those pupil’s needs, and assist them as much as possible.

If you would like to secure your child’s place for this terms intake, you can visit their website: AliandSumayaschool.com for more details.

Ali and Sumaya school

If you have any questions about the Ali and Sumaya school, and how we use it in our home, please leave them in the comments section below!

Peace and Love,

Our Muslim Homeschool