What is the STAR admission process?
As the STAR mission states, STAR classes are designed to enhance the home education experience for highly gifted children. The STAR community is self-selected, which means STAR does not ask for proof of giftedness, but there is a protocol for joining. This protocol is intended to make sure you and your child have a positive experience at STAR. STAR classes are designed with highly gifted children in mind and often move more quickly through material than traditional classes. Children who thrive at STAR are generally working two to three grade levels above their age.
Before joining STAR we encourage you to ask yourself:
Is my child capable of working--not simply testing--2-3 grade levels above their age?
Does my child exhibit an interest in being challenged and is that need not being met in other settings?
Does my child have a genuine interest in participating in the classes?
Is my child looking for social peers who share the same desire for a higher-level academic rigor?
Does my child demonstrate the maturity required to participate actively and respectfully with instructors and other children?
Am I (the parent) able to take responsibility for monitoring my child’s behavior in and out of the classroom? (STAR is not a drop-off.)
If you feel STAR might be a good fit for your family please read all of the information provided in the following sections, then contact our new family coordinator at [email protected]
What kinds of proof of giftedness does STAR require?
STAR does not ask for or require proof of giftedness. STAR is a self-selecting homeschool community. However, STAR classes are designed with highly gifted children in mind and are geared toward those working 2-3 grade levels above their age. Classes may move more quickly and more deeply through material than in a traditional class. To be successful at STAR your child should be comfortable with this type of pace, challenge, and process.
Do we have to be homeschooling to join STAR?
Yes and no. While the majority of STAR members are homeschoolers, STAR is open to any child who feels they are a fit for STAR and is available for classes during the day on Wednesdays. Our members include full-time homeschoolers, partial homeschoolers, and others who take combinations of classes in various locations and settings.
Having said that, we have learned that new homeschoolers—especially families who have very recently pulled their child out of a poor school situation—are more successful if they take some time to de-school before jumping into STAR. Having a good six to twelve months of homeschooling experience before joining STAR makes a world of difference. In the meantime, we encourage families to attend MCGT CHOICES Chapter meetings and other homeschool and MCGT events for support. Visit www.mcgt.net for information on meetings and events.
What if my child is not gifted in all areas or struggles with some things?
Asynchrony and 2E (twice exceptionality) are quite common in highly gifted kids. Many of these kids have areas in which they are extremely gifted and some areas in which they struggle, sometimes a lot. Sometimes the things they struggle with are academic in nature and sometimes they are social or sensitivity issues. We believe that the flexibility of STAR allows these kids to find friends and classes that they can enjoy and find success. At STAR you can choose individual classes that fit your child’s needs and interests. Since kids progress individually, we allow for a wide age range of kids in each class ensuring a proper age minimums but allowing for growth when their interests or skills are realizable.We also have an open door policy, to give parents the flexibility to check in or sit in a class whenever they need to.
What if not all of my children are highly gifted?
It does happen that sometimes not all of the children in a family would be considered highly gifted. All siblings of highly gifted children are welcome to try STAR classes. Sometimes these siblings find classes that interest and suit them and sometimes they don’t. It is the family’s choice about which children to enroll and in which classes. Children that are not enrolled in classes are still welcome at STAR and encouraged to participate in social activities. All children need to be supervised by a parent when not in class.
Does STAR have a ‘probationary period’ for new families?
A family’s first semester at STAR is considered a Trial Semester. At the end of the semester STAR and the family will meet to determine if the experience has been a positive one and if STAR is a good fit for the family. If all is well the family is welcome to remain at STAR.
Occasionally, families find the pace of STAR classes does not meet the needs of their child(ren). In these cases the family will move on to a new adventure. Once the child has had a successful semester at STAR they are welcome to attend every semester or as desired, we understand that family needs and schedules change.
If, at any time, STAR seems not to meet the needs of your family, you have the option to discontinue any or all classes, with no refunds.
Do I need to be a member of MCGT to participate in STAR?
Yes, all STAR families need to be members of MCGT. We encourage all families to attend MCGT and CHOICES Chapter events in order to benefit from the support and information the group provides. Choices events and select MCGT events are listed on the STAR calendar, these events are optional but highly encouraged.
For information about MCGT please visit http://mcgt.net/.
For information about the CHOICES Chapter of MCGT please go to http://mcgt.net/homeschool.
For information about joining the MCGT CHOICES Chapter please visit http://mcgt.net/mcgt-membership.
Can we join STAR mid-semester?
Generally, yes. The details will depend on which class(es) you want to join and the timing. Each instructor sets the policy for their class on whether or not a child may join after the first week of class. Families joining late will still pay STAR Fees. Class Enrollment Fees may or may not be prorated. That decision lies with the instructor.
May our family visit STAR to find out more and see if we'd be interested in joining STAR?
Interested families are encouraged to visit STAR. A visiting/touring time must be scheduled with a member of the STAR administrative group. If you feel STAR might be a good fit for your family and you would like a tour, please email STAR at [email protected] (please put "New STAR Family" in the subject line) and someone from STAR will contact you.
What is the process to join STAR?
After reading through all of these policies and information please email our new family coordinator at [email protected] to schedule a time for a phone conversation. The new family coordinator will help to determine if STAR may fit the needs of your family.
After this phone conversation you may schedule a time to come for a visit. On the day of your visit you will be able to observe some classes and might be able to participate in a class, with instructor permission. Instructors have the right to choose whether to allow visitors to observe and/or participate. When you arrive at STAR for your visit you will be met by the new family coordinator, who will provide you with name tags, give you a tour of the building, and introduce you to instructors, parents and children, as convenient. When you come to visit please bring a lunch if you will be joining us at lunch time. At the end of your visit the new family coordinator will check back with you and your child(ren) and with any instructors you interacted with, to see if the visit was deemed successful.
After a successful visit you can request membership on this website and complete all required forms. Your membership will be approved by the new family coordinator and you will be welcome to register for classes. All checks are required to be postmarked or given to an administrator within 10 days of class registration.