Homeschooling

100 Essential Tools for Homeschooling Gifted Kids

100 Essential Tools for Homeschooling Gifted Kids - by Gina of the Oaxacaborn Blog

Are you homeschooling a gifted / twice-exceptional (2E) child with sensory-seeking tendencies? Me, too! Let’s navigate this wild ride together. I created this mega-post for you, a huge list of 100 resources, sensory tools, educational websites, digital subscriptions, apps, games, morning time ideas and tips for homeschooling gifted and advanced learners.

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It’s a strange world, isn’t it, the cross-section of homeschooling and giftedness? In my own journey so far, I’ve experienced…

. . . a two-year-old begging to learn to write.
. . . a three-year-old announcing “I’m done with toys. Can I have a math book?”
. . . a four-year-old offering to read a bed-time story, then reading “how to prepare a slide” from the appendix of a microscope encyclopedia.
. . . a five-year-old reading 500 books in one calendar year.
. . . a six-year-old reading 500 more books the next calendar year.
. . . a seven-year-old overcome with emotion, hugging a beloved algebra textbook before reluctantly dropping it down the library book return.

You won’t find much support from the world at large for this sort of aberrant behavior; and sadly, you won’t even necessarily find that much within the homeschool community (until you find your tribe — more on that, later.) But this is my normal, and I am willing to bet that if you’re still reading this, it might be your normal, too.

Are you feeling tired, discouraged, or intimidated? I’ve been in this homeschool world for a long, long, time. I’m the child of homeschool pioneers, and I’ve been a reader since age three. And friends, you can do this.

You can homeschool your gifted child.

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→100 Essential Tools for Homeschooling Gifted Kids

Homeschooling a gifted child is a whole different thing, isn’ t it? It’ll try your patience. It’ll test your mettle. It’ll put you at odds with the conventional homeschool community, as you, stapled to a cheetah, are wholly unable to conform to the delay-formal-academics-until-age-seven mantra.  And I’ll be real: it might even cost you friendships.

But for the gifted child — especially the twice-exceptional child — homeschooling offers an opportunity to thrive. You have the opportunity to create a personalized situation, especially designed for your child’s own quirks, strengths, and weaknesses. Spelling below grade level? Yup, you can accommodate that. Thinking mathematically far above grade level? Yup, you can accommodate that. Needs chewing gum and a wiggle seat in order to focus? Yup, you can accommodate that. You get to create your child’s own IEP and learning environment — and you don’t have to fight anyone to get the accommodations approved.

But as joyous as it can be to watch your asynchronously-developing, twice-exceptional kids bloom, it’s also exhausting. Parenting intense, gifted children — not to mention homeschooling them — takes a lot out of you. It’s a marathon, only it feels like you’re running sprint speeds all the time. (Sound familiar?)

While no two gifted kids are the same, there are definitely some common threads running through the tapestry. Weary mama stapled to a cheetah, you are not alone. 

Let’s keep going down this list of one hundred resources, books, websites, products and tips for homeschooling gifted and advanced learners.

→Best Sensory Tools for Homeschooling Gifted Kids

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So much of the SPD (sensory-processing disorder) information available is geared toward sensory-avoiding kids. Have you noticed this, too? But when I learned about sensory-seeking behaviors, my eyes flew wide open, and suddenly so much made sense to me. The behaviors disrupting our homeschooling day weren’t caused by a lack of focus (gifted kids often hyper-focus) but rather by a drive to seek out sensory-enriching experiences. When I started providing opportunities for sensory stimuli alongside our school tasks, everything changed. Put at ease by the sensory input she craved, my daughter was able to direct her attention — calmly! — to the task at hand. Here are the sensory-seeking tools which work best for us:

  1. Tangle Relax Therapy Fidget

This small plastic fidget is covered with rubbery nubs, and has numerous twistable joints so it can be manipulated into endless shapes. Fits easily in a pocket; a favorite!

  1. Puffy Snow Slime (DIY)

This puffy slime only keeps its volume for one day, but is relatively inexpensive to make, especially if you already have saline solution on hand. We skipped the dye.

  1. Dollar Store Cookie Sheets

Yes, cookie sheets! These are the perfect work surfaces for clay and slime messes — and for puzzles and other games with small parts. (See more tips on creating clutter-free activity centers in your homeschool.)

  1. Thinking Putty

I prefer Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty to the other silly brand. The mini 2″ tins are perfect.

  1. Water Beads

Not just for preschoolers! A couple of teaspoons of beads in a $1 plastic shoebox provide lots of soothing sensory play. Add a drop of lavender EO and grapefruit seed extract to keep the beads from getting musty.

  1. Stetro Pencil Grips

These particular pencil grips were recommended to me by an OT, and have been very effective in correcting my daughter’s grip.

  1. ARK Therapeutics Brick Stick Chew Necklace

The colors of ARK Chew pendants correlate to different levels of toughnesses, from soft to more durable. Depending on your child’s personal preference, one might work better than another. Once we bought a chew necklace — and gum presto! no more chewed and ruined shirts.

  1. PÜR Soy-Free Chewing Gum

Free of both sugar and aspartame, this gum has been a lifesaver. Lots of kids can focus so much better when chewing gum.

  1. Wiggle Seat / Balance Disk

I can’t say enough good things about wiggle seats! They’re a cross between a chair pad and an exercise ball, and allow the user to wiggle. In fact, since you inflate the balance disk to fit the person’s weight, the user has to wiggle at least a little in order to maintain balance on the chair. It’s a discreet way to get the wiggles out when you still have to be seated. When my daughter first took outside classes (at age 3 for Chinese) she took her wiggle seat with her. Game changer — and not just for kids!

  1. Foam Place Value Disks

It can be frustrating when we expect kids to immediately grasp abstract math ideas without tangible examples — why not use concrete methods first? These place value disks are so versatile.

  1. Exercise Ball

My daughter likes to read entire books while rocking or bouncing on an exercise ball.

  1. Yoga Mat

Yoga Mats can make a great surface for read-alouds, lapbooking, etc — not all school work has to be conducted at a table or desk! The texture is especially fun when layered over a plush rug. Try to choose a mat that’s OKEO-TEX certified, so it’s not off-gassing endocrine-disrupting chemicals. We found ours at Aldi!

  1. Silicone Body Brush 

Comparable to the sensory brush sold by Fun & Function. It makes a great fidget, and we’ve also had good luck diffusing meltdowns with this, too.

  1. Fuzzy Vests or Fuzzy Socks

Under the “What should the teachers know about your child?” heading of a class registration form, I once wrote “May try to pet other students’ fuzzy shirts“. True story. Sometimes, it helps to have the fuzzy shirt near.

  1. Light Covers / Light Filters / Umbrella

Have you seen the fitted fabric covers to filter harsh light in classrooms? My daughter figured this accommodation out on her own — I saw her underneath a big open umbrella in the living room, working on Chinese homework. “It’s cozy light under here, mama!”

  1. Swipe-Sequin Pillowcase

No one can resist a good flippy-sequin — they’re addicting! My daughter keeps a swipe-sequin pillow nearby when she’s doing written work on the floor — and they’re the ideal squeeze-buddy during a read-aloud, too. We got ours at Hobby Lobby; but here’s a similar swipe-sequin pillowcase.

  1. IKEA bathmat

The top side is of the Toftbo mat covered with ultra-soft nubs, and the reverse side is slightly grippy. It’s a fantastically economical sensory rug — can be used for a reading corner, chair pad, on the floor to dig toes into, or even as a tactile item to play with while listening to audiobooks. And did you know you can find IKEA items on Amazon now, too?

  1. Gel Bead Sleep Mask

Soft velour on one side, and gel beads on the other, this sensory mask can be placed in the freezer.

  1. Hot Water Bottle with Knit Cover

The hot water bottle is a classic for a reason! Comforting and calming.

  1. Rice Bag (DIY)

This can be used to provide warming sensory input, but has an added advantage over the hot water bottle because rice bags can be used as a fidget, too. The rice offers great texture (and you can add dried lavender!)

  1. Aromatherapy Roller Ball

I especially like this pre-diluted lavender roller — it’s safe for kids!

  1. A Balloon and Cornstarch (DIY)

Stress balls are so easy to make, and so satisfying to squeeze!

Shop my Gifted / 2E Homeschool Toolkit

We’re only a quarter of the way through this huge list of resources, so let’s keep going….

→Best Intangibles for Homeschooling Gifted Kids

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  1. Patience (FREE)

Patience, patience, patience. (Honestly, this could rank as numbers 1, 2, and 3 on the list.) Taking on the education of intense kids requires a tremendous of patience. There will be days when you absolutely need to just step back from the situation and take a deep breath (or ten…or fifty.)  If you feel as though you’re not a particularly patient person, don’t let this discourage you. God gives grace, and teaches us as we go.

  1. Prayer (FREE)

Parenting requires prayer. No doubt. And parenting a wild child? Dear Lord.

  1. Flexibility (FREE)

These differently-wired students constantly surprise, don’t they? The homeschooling method you thought was going to be a panacea might backfire spectacularly. The pacing recommended by all your homeschool friends might have worked for them, but it might be a disaster for you.  Gifted / 2E kids don’t play by the rulebooks. And homeschooling gifted kids is going to require flexibility. Give yourself the freedom to drastically alter — or drop — the homeschool book or curriculum or method which just isn’t working. This doesn’t mean you’re a failure — it just means you’re not willing to spend waste your time straining after methods which simply don’t work for your child.

  1. Humility (FREE)

Often, I can hear the sat nav / GPS’ voice in my head –“recalculating“. Homeschooling a gifted child means spending a lot of time recalculating. This can be so humbling! Academically gifted kids like my daughter move at such an incredibly accelerated rate, it sometimes feels like I’ve barely found my footing in a certain subject area, when my daughter has already devoured the material. Or I’ll put a lot of time and effort into gathering materials, books, and printables for a special topical study — and she’s done with it 3.2 seconds flat. Or other times, in the face of an especially difficult behavioral challenge, my solution works fine at home, but goes up in a dazzling and exceedingly indiscreet burst of flame in public.  Or maybe your kiddo’s most passionate interests lie in areas far removed from your own, so you are having to lay down your idea of what you thought childhood would look like, and allow your child to be the person God created her to be. I really don’t think there’s any way to parent an out-of-the-box kid without having one’s pride constantly put into check.

  1. Confidence (FREE)

Wait, you say. Didn’t you just say you need humility? Yes. But you also need confidence — a whole lot of confidence.

People will second-guess you. They will think you’re pushing your child against her will. They will accuse you of hothousing. They will be offended and think you’re bragging. They’ll feel insecure, threatened, and will try to suggest you let your child “play” and “have a childhood.” The librarian might even give you a dirty look and purse her lips when you and your forty-five-pound sidekick bring her a three-foot-tall stack of titles like “Javascript for Kids“, “Elementary Algebra“, and “Pocket Guide to Correct Grammar“, with a measly side of ten picture books. (I picked out the picture books; the rest were Aveline’s choice.) But these people who think they know better? They haven’t been given the child you have. God gave you this child. And God will give you the wisdom to raise her.

  1. Consistency Bootcamp

For lots of routine-dependent kids, structure is a powerful tool to combat meltdowns. (There are specific scheduling tools for 2E kids later in this post, too.) In a homeschool culture where less is glorified and more is vilified, it can be hard to swim upstream on this issue. This tool isn’t specifically for gifted homeschooling, but if you struggle with consistency as a parent, and you know your child needs more consistency, Pam Barnhill’s Homeschool Consistency Bootcamp can help offer an environment of support, transform your attitude, and set you up for success.  (Caveat: it’s not for everyone.)

  1. An Awareness of Imposter Syndrome (FREE)

Blogger Ginny Kochis describes imposter syndrome as “feelings of fraudulence and inadequacy that exist despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary….impostors only experience emotions of fraudulence in the fields in which they excel.” Let that sink in — and think about how that might affect gifted learners and how they are perceived! Ginny has excellent tips for recognizing and derailing imposter syndrome in gifted kids.

  1. A Willingness to View Review With A Skeptical Eye (FREE)

Stick with me here. Gifted kids learn so much differently than neurotypical students. Too much review can actually be detrimental and cause gifted kids to regress. Hoagies’ Gifted, Inc summarizes Karen Rogers’ research as follows:

• “Gifted students are significantly more likely to retain science and mathematics content accurately when taught 2-3 times faster than ‘normal’ class pace.
Gifted students are significantly more likely to forget or mislearn science and mathematics content when they must drill and review it more than 2-3 times.
• Gifted students are decontextualists in their processing, rather than constructivists; therefore it is difficult to reconstruct ‘how’ they came to an answer.”

  1. A Support Group like Homeschooling Poppies…A Raising Poppies Community (FREE)

Finding someone who gets you and understands your unique situation makes all the difference. (The first time I heard Colleen of Raising Lifelong Learner speak? I cried. No one had ever told me before that our weird brand of academic normal was okay! I’d only been told that I was ruining my three-year-old’s childhood by letting her have the math book she so desperately wanted.)  You might know Colleen — and Cait of My Little Poppies — from the well-known Raising Poppies, a Facebook support group for parents and caregivers of gifted kids. Cait and Colleen both homeschool, so they recently also launched an official spin-off group, too, called Homeschooling Poppies…A Raising Poppies Community. I help moderate both groups. Join Homeschooling Poppies…A Raising Poppies Community.

  1. A Support Group like The Oaxacaborn Homeschool Community (FREE)

I have a heart for the outliers in the homeschool subculture. It’s ironic to me how a niche so rooted in counter-culture can exert such a conformist pressure. Isn’t homeschooling, after all, about creating an individualized education? In my online support group for outliers, there are lots of parents of gifted kids, second-generation homeschoolers speaking out against legalistic fundamentalism, and TCKs (third culture kids — and parents). Join the Oaxacaborn Homeschool Community

→Best Websites for Homeschooling Gifted Kids

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I monitor and limit screen time, but I don’t shun it entirely. We live in a very connected world, and our family embraces technology. Actively using one’s brain to work out a challenge on-screen is much different than mindless consumption of entertainment media!

  1. AdBlock (FREE / Donationware)

Ads are distracting at best, and offensive at worst. AdBlock for your web browser takes out all those blinking banners and animated sidebars, and usually even wipes out YouTube ads!

  1. Gmail (FREE)

Yes, email. My seven-year-old has her own email address, and starts her school day with fifteen minutes of supervised email time. Most of the email she receives at this point is from me — I forward her daily news shorts for kids, interesting facts I come across, or send her short writing assignments she can complete by replying to the email. It’s great for keeping in touch with cross-country family members, and for low-pressure typing practice, too.

  1. Weekly Critical Thinking Puzzle in your inbox (FREE)

The weekly logic puzzle is usually a sample page from a Critical Thinking Company book, sent as a PDF attachment to an email newsletter. When you sign up, you can select Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8 — or all three. I forward the weekly printable to my daughter’s inbox.

  1. Exploding Dots from the Global Math Project (FREE)

Based on a riff off the classic abacus, this free interactive math website guides students through a series of videos and math games. There’s also a screen-free version, if you prefer to print out the PDFs for each module rather than watch the videos. Totally free; simply set up a teacher account, then allow your student to dive in.

  1. Math Planet (FREE)

Ever notice how most of the math websites and apps for kids are geared toward elementary grades? Math Planet, recommended to me by Marie of Faithfully Wandering, covers Pre-Algebra through Geometry.

  1. Quizlet Digital Flashcards, Games, and Tests (FREE)

My seven-year-old LOVES Quizlet. Create your own data set, or choose from hundreds of pre-created ones. Absolutely amazing for anatomy, foreign language, and more. Don’t miss the print option, which lets you print out flashcard PDFs. It’s become an integral aspect of our Chinese learning.

  1. Spotify (FREE version)

Rather than the app, I prefer the computer or browser / web version of Spotify; it gives you more control and lets you play specific songs (the app often forces you to listen on shuffle play mode.) My favorite tip? Type in “This is: Mozart“, “This is: Johnny Cash“, or “This is: ____” to get a staff-curated 50-song playlist of well-known titles! And don’t miss Composer Weekly, a series of 30-song playlists highlighting both lesser-known composers and specific time periods of well-known composers alike.

  1. Zooniverse Projects (FREE)

Gifted kids are often unsatisfied with what’s already been discovered; they’re asking the hard questions about stuff that hasn’t yet been figured out. Marie of Faithfully Wandering told me about Zooniverse, which actually lets you join researchers and contribute to dozens and dozens of projects.

  1. Khan Academy (FREE)

I almost didn’t list Khan Academy, because I feel like everyone already knows about it — but maybe not! It’s free, and you can learn essentially any K-12 subject.

  1. Space Place by NASA (FREE)

NASA Science’s interactive and encyclopedic website just for kids — Space Place! Don’t miss the Educators section, with some pretty impressively in-depth printables, lesson plans, activities, project ideas, and more. Another discovery by Marie of Faithfully Wandering!

→Best Digital Subscriptions for Homeschooling Gifted Kids

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Subscription boxes add clutter, but digital subscriptions don’t. Here are the ones I think are worth the money.

  1. World Kids Daily Emails: Current Events for Kids (Subscription)

Every single weekday, World News Group editors send a kid-friendly news story via email. These daily news shorts for kids are relevant to actual current events, but written for a young audience. These news emails are — hands down — our favorite part of our discounted World Kids Magazine subscription. For just $14.99/year through the Homeschoolers Buyers Co-op, you get a physical kids news magazine through the US Mail, a monthly PDF download containing writing assignments and quizzes, access to a kids new website, and amazing daily news emails.

  1. Veritas Bible (Subscription)

Did you know you can access Veritas Press self-paced Bible (not history) courses via a monthly subscription ($9.99/child/month) rather than buying access for a school year? The Veritas Bible website currently offers the entire Genesis to Joshua, The Gospels, and Judges to Kings courses. Rich multimedia with live-actor reenactments, games, and memory songs, this is a favorite. (Yay for constructive, independent, screen time!)

  1. Shurley English Digital (Subscription)

We tested this at Great Homeschool Conventions in Cincinnati (my favorite convention, by the way), and were hooked! The only reason we didn’t go this route is because I’d already purchased the print version of Shurley English. It’s a full grammar and writing curriculum, and uses catchy Shurley grammar jingles, just like the traditional print version does. I really want to add this in the future; the base Shurley English online digital subscription is $4.99/month; there’s also a $6.99 version. (Even if you’re not interested in this, definitely check out their free grammar memory songs!)

→Best Morning Time Apps for Homeschooling Gifted Kids

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Many gifted / 2E kids are highly comforted by routine. My good friend Marie homeschools her two gifted girls, and we’ve shared a lot of great conversations about creating routines for spiritual growth — and about thinking outside the American church box. These are our favorite apps for an independent — but still nurturing — morning time. (I organized the first three on this list into a separate folder on the iPad, so my daughter can easily tap through and listen to each in order while she colors. Current favorite coloring book? These line drawings of famous abstract art pieces!)

  1. Mission St. Clare App (FREE)

Mission St. Clare uses the 1979 version of the Book of Common Prayer. Why this app and not many others like it — or a paper version? Because this daily office app includes beautiful audio recordings of all the hymns and songs for each day. We use this first in our morning time routine. (The audio isn’t provided for the Book of Common Prayer excerpts — just for the musical portions.) The app auto-updates daily. I love this easy to way to include daily hymns! My daughter has learned so many already this school year.

  1. Mission St. Clare Website (FREE)

Yes, a website with the same name; they each provide different content.  In our morning time routine, we first use the Mission St. Clare app (above), then move on to the Mission St. Clare website (I saved the link directly to our iPad home screen.) The website features a 15-20 minute service recorded at The Episcopal Church in Garrett County, Maryland. It’s updated each day with a new recording.

And the main Mission St. Clare website has lots more audio components and resources for structured worship, too, including afternoon services and evensong.

(Why structured, liturgical worship? Isn’t that too religious? Well, structure is especially meaningful for a routine-dependent, sequential, rigid-thinking child. The orderly format calms her, and she knows what to expect from day to day. This speaks to her soul in a way that abstract, spontaneous worship would not. I think it’s crucial, especially for an easily-overwhelmed science-minded kiddo, to show that the world of worship can be just as orderly as the world of science.)

  1. BCP: Daily Office Readings by Logos Creative, LCC (FREE)

This app is essentially an ESV-version audio Bible app, which reads aloud a different selection from various books of the Bible each day. The BCP app is the third and final component of our current morning time.

  1. Ancient Faith Radio App (FREE)

Outside of morning time, we love Ancient Faith Radio. There are two streams: music and talk. Music is our top choice for calming — not distracting — background music. (Classical music can get distracting, because my daughter is so opinionated about the composers, but this is relaxing and helps her focus.) You can listen to browser-based Ancient Faith Radio on the web, too.

  1. The Bible App by Life.Church (FREE)

An incredible app; it even reads to you! The Bible App supports hundreds upon hundreds of versions and has multiple languages, making parallel study easy. Add notes, highlight, compare versions and languages, set up a daily reading plan, and more. Try it!

  1. Bible App for Kids by Life.Church (FREE)

This colorful animated Bible App for Kids reads the Bible aloud, has games, and supports multiple languages. We have ours set to Chinese.

Shop Even More Morning Time and Memory Work Favorites

We’re half way through now, but there are still fifty more awesome resources to go.

→Best FREE Apps for Homeschooling Gifted Kids

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Talk to your librarian — or search on your library’s website — to find out what digital resources are at your disposal! Lots of paid apps are actually available for free, simply by leveraging the power of your library card.

  1. Mango Languages (FREE with library card)

There are a wide variety of languages offered — more than 60 — so if you’re looking outside the usual Spanish/French/English window, see if your library card number works. There’s a browser-based version of Mango, too.

  1. Hoopla Digital (FREE with library card)

Your library card might give you access to Hoopla, a neat multimedia app (and website) which lets you check out music, movies, TV shows, and books.

  1. Duolingo (FREE)

I like this language-learning app because it’s totally free, and it allows you to test out of the easy introductory levels. And Duolingo is also available on the web.

  1. Voice Memo (FREE)

Yes, the super-standard, über-basic app which comes pre-loaded onto your device. We use it all the time in our homeschool. It’s great for practicing recitations, working on articulation, timing how quickly you can read a passage in a foreign language, hearing yourself read with expression, and more. You can even dictate spelling lists or pre-record dictation for your kiddo’s independent work later!

  1. Amazon Kindle App (FREE)

You don’t have to own a Kindle in order to read Kindle books — just download the free Amazon Kindle App for most devices. You can then use the app to read the current issue of lots of different magazines, like National Geographic, for FREE as long as you have Prime. I love that perk. (Don’t have Prime? Try it! Sign up for a FREE 30-day trial of Amazon Prime.)

  1. Paper by FiftyThree (FREE)

If your house is overflowing with paper scraps and notebooks, move some creativity into the digital realm with this interactive sketching and journaling app. You can organize journals by theme, take photos and annotate, and more. And none of them add to household clutter! Especially marvelous if you happen to have a iPad Pencil, but it’s not required.

→Best Math Apps for Homeschooling Gifted Kids

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Honestly, most math apps are really poorly designed. But several stellar options stand out; mostly the DragonBox series.

  1. DragonBox Algebra 5+

Introductory algebra concepts disguised as fireflies and other creatures — so fun!

  1. DragonBox Algebra 12+ 

The most complex and challenging of all the DragonBox games. Continues where DragonBox 5+ left off. Listed for 12-18 years, but my 7-year-old who is currently doing 4th and 5th grade math is slowly going through it. It’s not overly-easy by any means.

  1. DragonBox Numbers 

The only DragonBox game we haven’t used, Numbers is designed for very young children and teaches number sense.

  1. Dragon Box Big Numbers

The second-easiest title in the DragonBox math suite, Big Numbers teaches addition, subtraction, carrying, and borrowing.

  1. DragonBox Elements

Completely different from the other DragonBox games, this one focuses on geometry. Quite challenging!

  1. Todo Math (FREE version)

Todo Math (pronounced tōdō, not tūdū)is super engaging with pleasant graphics. Best suited for math-gifted preschoolers and kindergartners, as the math skills included only scale through second grade. This app offers a paid version, but we always used the free/lite version. Todo Math is super engaging with pleasant graphics! (Bonus: you can set the audio and in-game text to Chinese or other languages for added challenge, and you can also set it to display using the OpenDyslexic font.)

→Best Games for Homeschooling Gifted Kids

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I asked my daughter to list her favorite games (in no particular order) and share a little about each one, too. Here’s what made the cut!

  1. Scrambled States

“This game is really fun. It comes with small state maps and two decks of cards. You learn more about geography in the US. It is easy to play and there are also fun variations on the rules.” -Aveline

  1. Forbidden Island

“This is a very adventurous game. It is a team game. Your child will learn to cooperate with other people. You can actually sink tiles. It is not recommended for before bed because it is so adventurous. It is not a sleepy game.” -Aveline

  1. Chess

“Chess is pretty easy to play. It is also good for being a good sport, because it’s a competitive game not a single-player one, and you might not want to get angry because you might disturb the pieces. I usually shrug it off when I lose, because I always know there’s another chance to win.”-Aveline

  1. Global Puzzle

“This is a really complicated puzzle and it will help your child learn about patience because it takes quite a while to put together. I have not even put it all together yet. Some of the pieces are shaped like countries.”-Aveline

  1. Ion

“Ion is a really cool game that will help you learn about molecular structures and balancing ions, hence the name. The rules are not as easy as Scrambled States rules, but it is still fun.” -Aveline

  1. Shape by Shape

“Shape by Shape is a one-player game that’s also fun. It helps with logic and putting the pieces together to make pictures that are shown on the cards. It also has a nice grey carrying bag for when you’re on the go.” -Aveline

  1. IQ Focus

“Okay. Another one-player game. [I didn’t say to put a period there, mom. That’s not a complete sentence; but, I suppose it is your blog.] It has five levels: starter, junior, expert, master, and wizard. There is a grid and you put pieces in it to make a certain combination in the middle 9 squares; in other words, a 3-by-3 square.”-Aveline

  1. Snap Circuits

“In STEM, the E is engineering, but it could be electronics. Snap Circuits helps you learn about electronics and you can play with as many people as you wish. In Snap Circuits, you put pieces in to make electric circuits as it shows you in the booklet, and you can also make your own circuits. They operate things like LED lights, lamps, motors, fans, etc.” -Aveline

  1. PlusPlus

“PlusPlus is a fun game, and you can play with as many people as you want. In this game, you put together pieces. Each piece looks like two plusses put together, hence the name Plus Plus. You can build all sorts of things, like headbands, pencil containers, mazes, people, circuses, crowns, and other things. You can make flat creations or cube-like creations.” -Aveline

  1. Code on the Brink

“This game is awesome! It helps you learn about coding, but not computer coding. You code different blocks — pieces, actually cards — in a control panel to make a robot get from start to finish without falling off the pathway. The robot is actually not real, he is a picture on a piece of cardboard. If you fall off the pathway or if you end on a white square at the end of the move, there are one or more mistakes in your control panel, and you have to re-code it. There are four levels: beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert.” -Aveline

Shop all our Favorite Games

Twenty-five more homeschooling tips still in the wings….

→Best Scheduling Tools for Homeschooling Gifted Kids

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Sometimes, the clock on the wall means nothing. You know what I mean, right? Most kids have a disconnected sense of time, but for 2E kids, understanding the passage of time can be especially hard. And time management — what a challenge! Thankfully, we have a few go-tos to help in this difficult area.

  1. Visual Time Timer

The Time Timer visually shows kids how much time is left, which helps so much in learning how to conceptualizing the abstract passage of time.

  1. Visual Time Timer App for iPad

This is on my wish list; it’s the digital version of the physical Time Timer.

  1. Visual Schedule Magnets

Do you have a child who always, always wants to know what’s happening next? A visual schedule can be a game-changer! This handy set of visual scheduling magnets is substantial — over 130 magnets — and contains most of the tasks and school subjects you’ll need to map out a routine.

  1. Magnetic Whiteboard for Visual Schedule

This inexpensive magnetic whiteboard works really well with the above schedule magnets. Since the board is a washable surface, you can use a dry-erase marker to write in any additional schedule items not included in the magnet set.

  1. Printable Visual Schedules (FREE)

If you can’t spring for the whiteboard and magnet combo, consider Kimberly’s daily visual schedule printables. She has several great sets!

  1. Amazon Echo Dot

Alexa, set a 5 minute timer.” “Alexa, when’s my next reminder?” “Alexa, set a reminder for eleven a.m. each day.” We love our voice-activated robot friend.

  1. Printable Homeschool Student Checklist (FREE)

I’m constantly directing my daughter back to The List. In fact, she never argues with The List, only with me. So, I leverage the power of the list. I like Pam Barnhill’s clipboard and checklist download.

Shop my Gifted / 2E Homeschool Toolkit

And yes. Now it’s time for YOU.

→Best Self-Care for Homeschool Moms

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I see you there, weary mama. You’re bookmarking all these resources for your kids. You pour yourself into your intense children, day after day. Can you also carve out time for rest? It may be limited and not exactly a spa retreat, but can you do what you can to maintain your humanity and sanity? I’m working on this, myself. Here’s a peek:

  1. The Message Canvas Bible

I don’t know how I’d homeschool without Christ in me, the hope of glory. [1] His power is made perfect in my weakness [2] (and I have a lot of weakness!) This gorgeous Bible — the hardcover is wrapped with tomato-red, orange, green, and pale yellow painted canvas — is written in Eugene Peterson’s modern, narrative style, and has gorgeous line-drawn illustrations throughout.

  1. NASB Reference Bible

I’ve read the New American Standard Version for years — and most of the verses I’ve memorized are from this version. But reading the Message (above) and the ESV (below) lately is pouring new life into familiar passages, too!

  1. Single Column ESV Journaling Bible with elastic strap

This square-ish hardcover journaling Bible has significant space to write on the left and right margins of each two-page spread.

  1. SIPA Fine-Point Marker Pens 

These are delightful. Would you believe I like them better than PaperMate Flair?

  1. Coffee

Every morning. And every afternoon. I’m partial to Trader Joe’s whole bean dark roast, although I’ll go for a smoky Ethiopian or Guatemalan roast any day.

  1. French Press

There just something coffeehouse about using a French Press at home. I love it!

  1. Concealer

Thanks to my Italian genes, I have blue, green and purple veins under my eyes. (If I go #makeupfree, people express condolences for my apparent illness.) So I’ve tried just about every concealer every made. Nothing comes close to Bye Bye Under Eye by IT Cosmetics!

  1. Iron

I’d ask my fellow anemics to stand up — but you’re all probably too tired! Floravital by Floradix is my favorite liquid iron. (Can you can have a favorite of something that tastes like rusty nails?)

  1. Magnesium

Did you know our soil is so depleted from over-farming — and from not rotating crops properly — that most of us are now highly deficient in minerals like magnesium? Stress depletes our bodies even further. I mix some Natural Vitality Natural Calm Magnesium Powder into a cup of water every night before bed, and sleep so much better now.

  1. Lavender Essential Oil

Organic lavender oil is a classic for a reason. I’m a massive fan of Plant Therapy, a non-MLM essential oil company. (I’ve used various brands of essential oils for about fifteen years, and have never been a brand rep. In fact, I’m not a rep for Plant Therapy, either; this is not an affiliate, referral, or tracking link.) Plus, Plant Therapy is vigilant about using essential oils safely, has organic options, and offers free shipping.

  1. Diffuser

Most diffusers are extraordinarily overpriced! I have a small, simple one — similar to this diffuser — and I use mild oils. Remember, please don’t diffuse certain oils like cinnamon, tea tree, rosemary, or peppermint around kids. Certain oils are not okay to diffuse around children. *Contrary to popular belief, that popular thieves’ blend is not safe for kids’ lungs!) And don’t diffuse oils from trees — like spruce or fir –unless you know you’re not allergic. Stick with singles, not blends, until you know how you react. Plant Therapy has kid-safe essential oil singles, which are a great diffusing choice.

  1. JVC White Headphones

I like the white color of these headphones. It feels less cluttered to me when my coffee mug, mouse, keyboard, and headphones are all the same color as my white desk. ;) #appleproblems These offer a little bit of noise-muffling, but not so much that I feel like I’d be unable to hear if Aveline was calling for me in an emergency. #momproblems

  1. Mizon All-in-One Snail Repair Cream

Yes, snails. A Korean beauty staple, this odorless white lotion is simply incredible. (Why filtered snail excrete? Because snail handlers on snail farms are known for their extra-soft hands!)

Shop My Self-Care Favorites

Or add them to your Christmas and birthday wishlists!

→Best Tees for Gifted Kids and Parents

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After a long wait, I was accepted into Amazon Merch (yay!). Here are a few of my designs, a couple designed by my hubby, and one from Colleen Kessler of Raising Lifelong Learners too.

  1. “After This, Let’s All Go to the Library” Shirt by Oaxacaborn

No matter how much fun you’re having, someone always still wants to go to the library afterwards. Aveline gets tons of compliments when she wears this one.

  1. “Expert Readwalker” Shirt by Oaxacaborn

For the kiddo (or adult!) who has mastered the art of reading and walking simultaneously! (Do you have one of those in your house?)

  1. Magistra” Shirt by Oaxacaborn

Fellow classical educators, this is for you. (Also available in a pullover and a long-sleeve version.)

  1. “Smart is Awesome” Shirt by Raising Lifelong Learners

This brilliant tee is one of Aveline’s absolute favorite shirts of all time — and it’s from our friend Colleen over at Raising Lifelong Learners!

  1. Geometry Art Shirt by Xonut

All about that abstract mathematical art? (My game dev husband designed this geometric tee as well as the kawaii coffee tee below)

  1. Kawaii Coffee Shirt by Xonut

Just. give. me. all. the. coffeez. I mean, seriously. Don’t you have a cold cup of coffee languishing somewhere? I know I always do.

  1. “Overexcitabilities, Twice-exceptionalities, Quirks, Quarks and Coffee” Shirt by Oaxacaborn

This about sums up life as the parent of a gifted kiddo, doesn’t it? Pass the coffee!

Have a question about homeschooling gifted kids?

Homeschooling gifted kids can be feel very lonely and isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. Now that you’ve reheated your coffee, want to chat? You can leave a blog comment right here — and I’d love it if you’d join my online homeschool group for outliers! It’s a small community, around 200 members, but very active and encouraging. I’m also active on Instagram @oaxacaborn, share snippets of our day in Instagram stories, and try to reply to all my DMs.

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Save 100 Essential Homeschool Tools to Pinterest

If you liked 100 Essential Tools for Homeschooling Gifted Kids, why not click here to get this post’s Permalink, then pin it to Pinterest?

100 Essential Tools for Homeschooling Gifted Kids - by Gina of the Oaxacaborn Blog

Want Even MORE Lists of 100 Things?

My fellow bloggers in the iHomeschool Network have created a treasure trove of homeschooling resources, just for you. Some you might especially enjoy:

This post is linked to iHomeschool Network’s 100 Things: A Cache of Homeschooling and Family Treasures. Read lots more collections of one hundred homeschooling things!

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