SEA: Secular, Eclectic, Academic – What does that mean and look like? How does this approach benefit students who have been identified as twice-exceptional?
Secular is obvious and I am not going to spend much time on this component. To say the least, the materials that one chooses are free from a religious worldview (to learn more about why this is important please read Blair’s post here). This is especially important in regards to science materials that one chooses to use with one’s child.
Eclectic means that one draws on a wealth of materials and does not need to stick with just one curriculum provider or one form of homeschooling. Eclectic also allows for one to work with their student on their level in each subject and to try many different methods. It allows a parent to individualize an education plan for each child. This is a wonderful benefit for twice-exceptional students.
Academic is, much like secular, obvious, but worth noting. Having an academic standpoint means that one sees the value in intellectual endeavors. This is also a benefit to twice-exceptional homeschoolers.
So why is a SEA approach such a good match for 2E kids? There are many reasons for this, but before I list them I want to define what twice-exceptional is. I have talked about twice-exceptional students before here at SEA, but I wanted to to revisit the term for those who are not familiar with it. A twice-exceptional student is a student that has been identified as gifted and identified as having a disability or condition. To put it another way:
“This group of gifted children are exceptional both because of their strengths and because of their limitations. Coupled with high intelligence, these children also may have one or more learning disabilities, attention deficit, autism spectrum disorder, emotional or behavior problems, or other types of learning challenges. ”
(From 2E Newsletter – http://www.2enewsletter.com/topic_2e_what_is.html)
Now, back to why a secular, eclectic, and academic approach is a wonderful one to take for this group of kids.
- Flexibility – This approach allows for flexibility, which is such a necessary part of any 2E program. Flexibility in the subjects studied, flexibility in the materials used, and flexibility in the methods used to teach.
- Ability to develop passions – Twice-exceptional students often struggle in one or more area and this struggle can sometimes make the student feel like a failure. By taking a SEA approach to their schooling, the parent has time to spend on the areas that their child excels at. The parent also sees the value in doing this, and working on areas that the student excels at allows a child to build up their confidence.
- Keep on a schedule – This is where the academic part comes into play. By keeping the focus on academics and on the continual growth of mastering various academic goals, the parent has to stay on a schedule, and schedules are great for 2E kids. For some the schedule may look loose and for others it may be more strictly regulated. Either way, a schedule helps these kids, for they work better knowing what is expected from them each day.
- Work at their own level – Twice-exceptional students are all over the map academically. Being able to meet them at their level is wonderful for them and helps them succeed. Some students may be ready for algebra at 9 but struggle with writing a complete sentence. Others may be writing novels but struggle with basic math problems. Either way, by tailoring their education, you will be able to work to their strengths and help them with their weaknesses.
- Option to explore many topics – 2E students tend to have a variety of interests and passions and by choosing an eclectic path you become open to studying those passions. And by recognizing that there are many worthy subjects to study outside of the traditional subjects, you give the gift of exposure to your child. Through this exposure they may discover a passion they never knew they had.
- Option to use many different approaches – There are many different approaches to education in the homeschool world. Some parents follow a Charlotte Mason approach, some parents follow a Classical approach, some follow a traditional school approach, and some parents follow an unschooling approach. A wonderful benefit about choosing to be eclectic is that you can use multiple approaches for your student in the different areas you study, which is a good way to match ability, interest, and learning styles to your child.
So what does an eclectic, academic approach actually look like? To read the rest of the article please see the original post at SEA Homeschoolers.