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Copyright 2006 Julie Shepherd Knapp
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The Homeschool Diner's Guide to

Distance Learning for Gifted Homeschoolers:
Gifted Enrichment, Acceleration, Full-time Programs

by Julie Shepherd Knapp, copyright 2006


Here are distance learning institutions that offer gifted enrichment to
homeschool students (for some programs students must qualify by
examination or by submitting standardized test scores).  Thru a choice of
either online or correspondence programs they can offer an accelerated
learning pace, compacted-curriculum courses, Advanced Placement
Classes, and a variety of classes that are beyond the standard scope and
sequence.  Most allow part-time enrollment.

Some of these institutions offer early graduation options, some issue
accredited diplomas.  Some will prepare individualized educational plans
for each student.  Some are willing to tailor the curriculum to fit with a
family's preferred homeschooling approach.  Costs of the different
programs vary widely.  Please contact each to compare your options.


Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY) - (K-12) distance
education program thru Stanford University offers computer-based
multimedia courses in Mathematics, Physics, Computer Programing, and
English to high-ability students, also offers a newly-formed online
gifted
high school
,  students must pre-qualify for all classes, based on
achievement test scores and (for K-7) students must pass an online
admissions test, provides accelerated class options to gifted students in
public schools, also used by homeschoolers

Center for Talented Youth (CTY) - (2 - 10)  distance education
program thru Johns Hopkins University offers courses in mathematics,
science, social studies, and Advanced Placement (AP) to gifted students,
students must pre-qualify based on achievement scores (95% or above)
orstudents may also qualify thru the annual academic talent search,
testing, summer programs also available in some locations

Center for Talent Development (CTD) - (K - 12) "Learning Links"
distance education program thru Northwestern University, offers
enrichment, honors, and Advanced Placement (AP) courses to gifted
students, students must qualify based on SAT or ACT scores (7th - 12th
grade), over 95% on achievement tests (4th - 6th grade), or portfolio,
students may also qualify thru the annual Midwest Academic Talent Search
Talent Identification Program (TIP)  -- (8 - 12) "e-Studies" distance ed
program thru Duke University, offers enrichment courses to gifted
students, students must qualify with SAT or ACT scores


Academic Talent Searches -- Many universities provide online distance
learning and/or weekend and summer enrichment classes for gifted
students who are identified thru annual talent searches.  The
requirements and procedures vary by institution, so do a Google search
for your regional universities and the words "academic talent search" to
find out more.  Several universities conduct regional searches, including:

Northwestern University's  
Midwest Academic Talent Search (MATS)
University of Iowa's Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search
(BESTS)
Johns Hopkins University's Center for Talented Youth (CTY) Talent
Search,  
Duke University's Talent Identification Program (TIP),
University of Denver's Rocky Mountain Talent search (RMTS) .       


Early College Entrance programs for students who need to begin full-
time college years early -- This Wikipedia article has a list of several
colleges with
Early College Entrance programs -- check with your own
local and regional colleges, too.

Dual Enrollment programs -- when a student is enrolled in high school
(a public or private secondary school or homeschool) and also at a local
institution of higher learning, such as a community college or university.
Students take classes at both institutions to earn credit toward their high
school graduation requirements.  Often, the local school district will pay
for the cost of tuition and books.  Some dual enrollment courses may
result in college credits being earned, and some colleges may use the
information for internal class placement and prerequisite requirements...
but often the courses are simply considered as Honors level high school
courses and not counted towards college.  Check with your state
homeschool association for information on Dual Enrollment opportunities
for homeschoolers in your state.  Some states do not allow
homeschoolers to participate in the state-run and funded programs
(though homeschoolers can still enroll as non-matriculating, part time
students and take college classes on their own)


Gifted Online Accelerated Learning (GOAL) --  (4 - 8) from the
University of Missouri Distance and Independent Study, an accredited,
independent study curriculum specifically designed for gifted students in
grades 4–8 who want to accelerate their learning with high school-level
courses, can be used as enrichment or in coordination with schools for
credit, several other high school level gifted classes also available, lesson
previews for each course, year-round enrollment

Pennsylvania Homeschoolers -- online AP test prep classes and SAT
essay-writing classes for homeschoolers

North Atlantic Regional High School  -- (9 -12) an accredited private
high school in Maine, issues private school high school diplomas, parents
and students select materials to meet school requirements, a custom
designed program for each student, work at your own pace, no age limits,

The Trent Schools - the world's oldest Internet homeschool service,
offers a separate gifted program, all courses are completely online, no
books or CD-Roms, ability-based program where children are allowed to
work at different grade levels in different subjects,  offers a separate
"Professional Child" program for children heavily involved in professional
pursuits that require extensive travel (such as acting and athletics),

Westbridge Academy - ability-based (rather than age-based) education,
individualized academic plans prepared for each student, the school
allows acceleration and compaction and supports early graduation, where
appropriate.  Offers educational options for various academic methods
(classical, traditional, unschooling, etc) and is open to student and parent
curriculum preferences.

Virtual School for the Gifted -- an entirely online school based in
Australia which provides gifted enrichment courses to students
(approximately) 4th grade and up, includes discussion forums and e-mail
lists, a web browser and e-mail access are all that is required.

Mentis Online -- online gifted enrichment courses for grades 3 - 6,
taught by a gifted ed specialist formerly with Northwestern CTD

TutorVista -- inexpensive tutoring services out of an Asian call center,
straight monthly fee,  read a
CNN.com article about this service



Free Online Open Courses

MIT Open Courseware - free online course materials for actual MIT
classes (no credit given)
Open Learning Initiative by Carnegie Mellon --  free, online
"intellectually challenging sequences of instruction" at the level of
introductory college courses
webcast.berkely -- free online podcasts and webcasts of UC Berkeley
current and archived courses.
Open Educational Resources (OER) Commons -- free online courses
in all subject areas, K - adult, from many sources
National Repository of Online Classes: AP -- free, self-study, online
AP courses in science, math, and history
Connexions by Rice University  -  free online modules, contains
educational materials in all subjects for all levels, from children to college
students to professional.  Information is organized in small modules that
stand alone or can be  easily connected into larger courses.  Connexions
is an innovative environment for collaboratively developing, freely sharing,
and rapidly publishing scholarly content on the Web.  All content is free.  


There are also many a la carte free and subscription online
courses, modules, and tutorials -- you will find them in each
school subject in the
Homeschooling by Subject section.


For fun and
free online enrichment resources check out:
Favorite Websites for Free Educational Enrichment
"...life does not stand still and society is developing scientifically and
technically. Anyone who does not engage in self-education, voluntarily or
not, lags behind the demands of the time." -- L.I. Ruvinsky (1986)