Laurel Springs Gifted & Talented Academy
Parents of gifted homeschoolers sometimes
struggle to find appropriate ways to create academic challenge for their
children. Gifted children can have trouble finding their intellectual peers,
connecting with teachers who understand gifted education, and identifying
courses and curricula that are a good match for their unique way of learning.
Parents of gifted homeschoolers have partnered with Laurel Springs School for
20 years to
provide their children with the challenges they need. The Gifted & Talented
Academy offers an
academic program and online social community specific to gifted children.
"I learned how to think about my
opinions and express myself, with the strong support of an involved student
community." This reflection, from a graduate of
Laurel Springs Gifted & Talented Academy, outlines the key components of a
successful approach to gifted homeschooling: projects that accentuate critical
thinking, a supportive cohort of fellow students, and the ability for students
to stretch their potential. This alumnus is currently in his sophomore year at
and says, "I owe a lot to the Academy. It provided
a strong foundation for my studies in college."
Gifted students need specialized
support to help develop their intellect, encourage achievement, and nurture
academic and personal goals. When you choose to
your gifted child, you might need the help of a community that understands the
unique opportunities and challenges of a gifted learner. The Laurel Springs
Gifted & Talented Academy encourages students to participate in a more
elaborate, in-depth study of major topics, and engage in problem solving that
integrates knowledge across systems of thought. In addition, the Laurel Springs
teachers encourage students to demonstrate leadership qualities, high-level
practical skills, and a capacity for creative thinking.
The Laurel Springs Gifted & Talented Academy is unique in that it allows gifted
students to take advantage of all the benefits of homeschooling, while being
supported by a high-quality academic program. As a distance learning program,
Laurel Springs is able to create an
individualized learning plan
that is built upon each student's strengths and needs. This process allows
teachers to collaborate with each student to develop a path focusing on his or
her areas of interest and future goals.
Another recent alumnus, who is now studying at the University of California at
Berkeley, said "The Academy allowed me to take advantage of many
Honors and AP course offerings
with strong and consistent teacher support. The symposia, online seminars, and
forums for Academy students helped me to develop relationships with my peers. I
completed in-depth projects in my areas of interest, and my teachers were always
available to assist."
Laurel Springs Gifted & Talented Academy
is designed for students whose learning level corresponds to grades 6-12.
Children are given appropriate grade placement by academic ability and
achievement, not chronological age. They work independently and with their
teachers, and also collaborate with like-minded peers through online
discussions, seminars and classes. The Academy offers virtual classroom
experiences and the advantage of working in small, intimate groups, so students
can get to know each other and feel supported by their peers and teachers.
The Academy faculty is a cohort of
specialized training and experience in gifted education. They are trained to
create unique learning paths within their courses, enabling students to pursue
greater depth and breadth in the content area, based on individual needs.
Academy teachers specialize in the art of differentiated instruction for various
types of gifted learners. One-to-one communication is the basis for an
educational dialogue that
encourages gifted homeschoolers to move beyond what they could achieve in either
a traditional school setting or a typical homeschool environment.
Many times, gifted homeschoolers possess the
passion for a particular topic, as well as the ability to tackle complex subject
matter, but can lack the executive functioning skills needed to see a year-long
project through to completion. The Academy Project encourages gifted students to
stretch their capabilities of complex analysis, evaluation, in-depth
exploration, and critical thinking beyond the confines of traditional
teacher-directed coursework. The Academy Project is an opportunity for each
student to conduct in-depth research in an area of particular interest. An
Academy teacher (who has specialized training in gifted education) acts as the
coach and mentor for gifted students, and helps them work through any issues
they may have. Teachers meet with their students regularly to discuss their
progress, brainstorm solutions for obstacles, and provide advice for how to stay
Gifted homeschoolers define the structure of their Academy Projects with project
timelines, calendars, and milestones. Because the students choose not only the
topic for the Academy Project, but also the work schedule, they feel a deep
sense of ownership of their own learning. In addition, this structure better
prepares students for college by helping to develop a higher level of
accountability and time management skills. Self-directed learning is at its best
for gifted homeschoolers when they have the guidance of education professionals
who are readily available to help support their goals. The Laurel Springs Gifted
& Talented Academy provides this unique program and guidance to your children.
The Academy's series of symposia on advanced topics feature
who are professionals and experts from a variety of disciplines. The symposia
speakers have included an astronaut, a film producer, an environmental activist,
and an Antarctic explorer. Gifted homeschoolers can work independently and with
their teachers, and also collaborate with like-minded peers through online
discussions, seminars, and classes.
A dedicated Academy school counselor is
assigned to each student. This school counselor helps students create a
long-term academic plan that includes coursework to best fit individual needs
and abilities. The Academy's 12-month enrollment period offers increased
flexibility. Additionally, students can opt to stagger courses according to
their own schedule and preferences.
As you consider the best fit for your gifted homeschooler, evaluate all the
benefits of the Laurel Springs Gifted & Talented Academy: a customized academic
program with a built-in social community matched to your gifted child. Please
contact the Academy admissions office to learn more: 877-925-1451.