Distance Learning Resources for Advanced Learners

Hi all,

I’m seeking advice about online learning programs for gifted children. Our son (now in 5th grade) was GATE identified in all three assessment areas. We’re in a great public school, but distance learning has made it very apparent that their “regular class work + extra worksheets” enrichment approach isn’t meeting his needs as we had hoped. He’s starting to rebel against school in general, saying it’s “too boring,” and that he hates having to go the same speed as the rest of the class.  There’s not much available support-wise for advanced learners in our school district (and teachers and administrators at our school is stretched very thin right now!), so we’re hoping to find some online options that might better meet his needs - ideally courses aimed at advanced learners that use live instructors. Would also love any advice on folks (counselors, etc.) who might be able to help us navigate the process of finding resources for him, or any other ideas/experiences from other parents who have walked this path. Thanks so much. 

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My 2E student had a good class through CTY at Johns Hopkins a couple years ago, it was synchronous and asynchronous. They have their own assessment process, and it's pretty expensive, but may be worth checking out, as may be other schooling options.

Our kids are advanced in math and have basically tested out of their grades in math. Khan Academy has been helpful as kids get to do more advanced materials. We have also been happy with Prodigy Math's tutoring program. The tutor provides math instruction at the kids' level, and kids say school is boring but tutor sessions are fun. They say it's not work time, it's fun play time. 

Pandemic learning is so difficult. My kids are checked out during their regulat school time as well. 

Check out Firecracker Math! They have wonderful classes, both online and in person, and they were a lifeline for my own advanced learner when he was in elementary and middle school. Classes are small, and they tailor instruction to each student— they always have extra challenge problems if someone masters the initial content— and their content is really interesting— delving into subjects that kids usually don’t get in school, like number theory, topology, and probability. My son was captivated. They are a true local treasure. https://firecrackermath.org/

Our son went through public and private schools before we found Connecting Waters East Bay Charter.  No school offered advanced learning despite claiming they knew how to teach gifts children.  Our son is not 2E and was left with little options before we developed his own learning plan.  Contrary to what many believe "home schooled" learning is, CWEB sets you up with an educational specialist who works with you on learning plans.  Our son took classes from BYU online and UC Scout plus did independent learning for Elementary and HS credit.  Then as a 9th grader, he took up to 11 units at Berkeley City College. Classes that met HS requirements and yet fulfilled undergrad GE for UC's and Cal State schools.  It took four years for us to "figure" out the best learning approach for him.  He is now applying to college and we have no regrets going this route.  The best advice we received when he was evaluated as a gifted learner was to be his vocal advocate.  There are few programs and expensive counselors that specialize in advanced learners. Also look into Duke TIP program.  BAGHS (?) is also forum for homeschooled kids. Very helpful when our son was younger.  Please note...homeschool comes in many forms.  It is definitely not me sitting down teaching.  It can be creative and inspiring.

Some advanced kids really enjoy math contests.  Many of these now have online tutorials or at least practice problems with full solutions.  (e.g. Math Kangaroo, AMC8, Math Olympiads).  Some programs which might have been "too far" in the past have gone fully online.  Sign up for a math circle mailing list for notifications (e.g. Stanford Math Circle).

If your son is PG he can qualify to be a Davidson Young Scholar. Davidson provides many resources and support for gifted kids and you can work with one of their counselors. They are great for giving suggestions and helping you advocate for your child. https://www.davidsongifted.org/young-scholars

Also my son took a lot of courses through CYT  and enjoyed math circles (check out Berkeley Math Circle). My son also loved the Elements of Math courses. We also contacted teachers of classes that he was interested in but where he were considered to be too advanced for him due to age. We sent test results and proof he could handle the class. He was able to take numerous high school level classes when he was younger.

CTY: https://cty.jhu.edu/

Elements of Math: https://www.elementsofmathematics.com/