Homeschooling "Gifted" Children

Do you homeschool an academically advanced child? Or maybe you're totally intimidated by that idea?

I certainly was.

When our oldest was 5 and we were weighing kindergarten options, he was tested at a local school and found to be reading and comprehending at a 4th grade level. I thought that surely a public school's gifted program would be able to meet his needs better than I (with no teaching experience) could. What if he fell behind and it was my fault? What if I couldn't keep up with his insatiable learning needs?

Fast forward a few years. I'm more convinced than ever that home is the BEST possible place for kids like Liam. Here's why:

+ We finish our formal homeschooling for 2 hours a day, then he is free to pursue his interests. For Liam, that's a couple hours of piano each day, reading, drawing, and playing outside.
+ There's no holding him back: we go at his pace, even if he's at different levels in various subjects. There's no pressure to slow him down (or speed him up) to match the other 20 kids in a classroom. This is the beauty of homeschooling ANY child! You're able to meet that child where they are and move them forward toward their potential. That might even mean skipping a whole chapter in math because he's already mastered the concept.
+ I believe that a mom who knows her child well makes the best teacher. As Liam's mom, I'm able to supply him with a wealth of chapter books and activities he's interested in that keep him challenged.

The other morning, Liam woke up at 4:30am because he heard storms and couldn't go back to sleep. He came downstairs 3 hours later and said excitedly, "I went ahead and did my Bible study, memorized Genesis 3:15, finished my book on NASA and read a biography on Ronald Reagan. I did some drawing... Moses crossing the Red Sea and a giant squid. Then I listened to Bach's Brandenburg Concertos because those always put me in a great mood!" That's more productive than I've been in the last month (ha!).

PS - I know the term “gifted” is widely accepted, but it’s not my personal favorite. I believe every child is gifted in a unique way, but not necessarily in reading or math or science. What do you think?