Friday, March 6, 2015

Book Review: Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling by Celi Trépanier

This week, I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of the newest book in GHF Press's lineup of Perspectives in Gifted Homeschooling Series: Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling by Celi Trépanier. I can't tell you how much I love ARCs. I really do. I love having the opportunity to be part of the buildup around new titles, I love having the chance to read books early, and honestly, I love that authors trust me enough to let me review their babies ahead of release day. That said, let's get on to the part we want to talk about: Celi's new book!

Before we get into the nitty gritty actual review stuff, let me get some administrative-style details out of the way:

  1. I am actually a large fan of Celi's, and everything I've read of hers prior to this book I've absolutely adored.
  2. I was given a copy of this book for review purposes. However, all opinions remain my own. It takes more than free books to buy me off, I promise. 
  3. I hate lists with only two items on them, so I've put in a number three as a personality quirk. If you really want a number three, though, you can take a reiteration of my admiration of Celi as an author and blogger instead.
I'm going to open this by saying that yet again, GHF has knocked it out of the park. They've chosen a wonderful author and turned her loose on spectacular subject
matter. Now, let's get into why I say that.

Celi has, via her blog, been a wonderful advocate for gifted children. Every time I visit, I leave with a slightly different perspective, and a new way of looking at things. Her book has the same effect. It's a bit of a paradigm shift, a little bit of interesting and new perspective, and at the end is an awful lot like a warm hug, and a push out the door in the right direction.

Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling is not a how-to book. It's not a laugh a minute. It's not even a "what do I DO?!?" book. It's something still different. Much like an earlier release, it's a chat with a friend - but rather than a commiseration and sharing of war stories over a glass of wine, this is a sit down for lunch over a cuppa where you're able to vent your frustrations, and know that someone gets it. And, as anyone involved in gifted advocacy knows, someone who really gets it is invaluable.

This book didn't have a whole lot in the way of new information for me. Not many books do anymore, and I'm actually kind of glad for that - it means I have some idea what I'm talking about. But what this book has in place of that information dump is a very well documented retelling of what the public school system (in two countries, no less!) is like for gifted children. Now, I knew what it was like in the 80s and 90s, being in the system myself. But nowadays? I'm out of practice. However, I'm able to see from what Celi has written that not only has much remained unchanged, but things that needed change did get it... just in the wrong direction.
There are bits of new information here for me, namely on things like the school-to-prison pipeline for gifted, and the dropout rates. However, the big glaring DIRE NEED for me at this point?  I need to purchase about 30 copies of this book and hand them out to our family and friends. It's clear, concise, and not me. This isn't to say that the people around me don't listen to me, but often having the words in print, and corroborated by others make a difference. And given that a lot of the loudest people I know who don't care for how we are educating Mad Natter came out of American public schools at the end of the Space Race? This is actually the perfect book to give them. It quite clearly delineates what has changed in terms of educational programming since that time, how gifted children are often perceived by their teachers and peers, and how federal mandates essentially provoke that reaction.

If you are remotely interested in homeschooling, if you feel in your gut that maybe something in the public school system isn't working for you, your child, or both, this is absolutely a book for you. If you are already homeschooling, but are constantly bombarded by people who insist you're hurting your child by not putting him/her into public school, this is a book for you. If you're interested in an insider's take on the public school system, how it's failing our children, and how despite every effort to increase our global educational standing, the US continues to slip farther and farther from the top, this is a great place to start.

If you need a quick chat with a friend who understands you, your child, and your struggles, please don't hesitate. Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling is exactly what you're looking for.

This has been a resource review for Gifted Homeschooler's Forum! You can check out other reviews for various products at GHF's website, and Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling can be purchased via GHF Press.

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