Exceptional Students Need An Exceptional Curriculum
For most children Math can be a dreaded subject. Especially difficult to understand if the curriculum you are working with isn’t the right fit for your student. And if you have a gifted child, you need a Math curriculum for exceptional students.
Math may come easily to exceptional students. Probably certain Maths subjects might be easier than others. For example, arithmetics are really easy for my kids. Basic geometry was as well but as we got into more advanced it became a bit challenging for them. So finding the right curriculum was a bit of a challenge.
Best Might Be A Combo of Curricula
With gifted students you might have to use a couple curriculums in combination. We tried several curriculums but realized that we might have to use one for geometry and another one for other maths – that has worked well for us. Plus using free online resources works very well whether your child is visual or an auditory learner.
Supplement With Hands On Resources
When teaching Math, I believe is important to give kids a practical application of the math they are learning. So with our chosen curriculum we use several hands on materials that help comprehension. The hands on materials are specially useful with understanding spatial relationships (spatial reasoning).
Hands On Math Resources To Use
This are the hands-on must-have resources needed for teaching Math. Starting with preschoolers thru elementary grades.
Math Curriculum For Gifted Students Review
For us two work well together: Khan Academy and Beast Academy. By the way, keep in mind that this is not a paid review. This is just what we use on a daily basis and love it so much I wanted to share.
We use both in combination as they compliment eachother very well.
Math Videos and Reviews
Sometimes a visual is better than all workbooks or talks. So when we need a visual we use Khan Academy.
Besides free, Khan Academy has good explainer videos! However, for us the worksheets did not work well. The worksheets we found a bit too repetitive. Just like drills over and over again. For a gifted student, it doesn’t work well. They get bored with them pretty easily with lots of repetition just for the sake of repetition.
Don’t take me wrong. Repetition is needed in order to understand concepts. However, it is best approached thru different angles. So using different types of exercises to teach the same concept works better for gifted students. At least, this is what I found when tutoring and teaching math.
So we mainly use it for concepts kids are finding a bit difficult to understand. A video works wonders to help them see it the concept in action. It helps with independent learning – they can watch it on their own.
It is great to review! We use it to review concepts when starting school back up after a break.
Accelerated Math Curriculum
Finding a good Math curriculum for gifted students wasn’t easy. But at last, a couple of years ago, a family member recommended Beast Academy.
This curriculum is not for the faint of heart! This is definitely an accelerated curriculum. It is NOT easy but not difficult either.
What do I mean? It is an accelerated curriculum that is perfect for kids that are gifted and ‘get’ concepts right away. They do not get bored with it. So it is not based on drill repetition. They challenge kids exploring the same concepts from different angles.
Independent Learning With Help
Beast Academy curriculum is great for kids to do independently after they have understood the concept. It is challenging and fun for gifted children because it does not focus on repetition.
However, it is the type you will have to review with your children and many times, sit down and learn with them! LoL there are many times, I ended up realizing they were concepts I never fully understood until I sat down with my kids to ‘teach’ them. Then, as we go thru the exercise and I review the concepts they were finding difficult, I end up learning along with them. Why is this a good thing?
No Memorizing But Understanding
The way Beast Academy explains Math is great to understand reasoning not memorizing. By approaching from different angles, you see how it applies.
For example, when learning the type of angles, the exercise was trying to get thru a maze by only doing 90 degree turns. Another one was to turn under 90 degrees. My kids have no problem now remembering what is an acute, an obtuse and a right angle! Great way to learn with no memorization required. They learn by applying the concepts in fun exercises.
There are however exercises that would be overly challenging. These ones are marked by a star and generally a parent or adult will have to help the kids with these.
Beware of Flaws
As with any other curriculum, this one is not exception to flaws. There are a few errors in the workbook answers. If things are not adding up just take a look at the updates and corrections pages online.
Please comment and let me know if you have any questions on this ideas for gifted kids.