Raising a student who is diagnosed as gifted and talented is a wonderful challenge. You’re excited by their obvious gifts, but you may also struggle with the fact that your child will struggle to fit in within a normal school environment. Thankfully, there are programs in place to ensure that your child will be able to get the education they need without spending hours bored, waiting for the teacher to move on to the next topic. If you’re looking for a program that will help your child excel, look for these four key things to ensure that they’re getting the quality attention they need.
In order to truly thrive, gifted and talented students need peers who their equals. They need someone to provide a challenge, create the potential for stimulating discussions, and enrich the learning process. A program dedicated specifically to these types of learners will provide immense benefit for many gifted and talented students simply because they no longer have to “dumb down” what they have to say for the benefit of others in the classroom. It’s also critical to note that gifted children should not be isolated or forced to work on their own “projects” at the expense of social time. In many cases, academically gifted students may actually need more time spent with their peers in order to appropriately develop social skills.
An Understanding of the Gifted Mind
In many traditional classrooms, the response to gifted students is to give them more work when they’ve completed the assignment the class is currently working on. In many gifted students, however, this creates a disdain for their teachers and their work. They don’t need more assignments. Instead, they need teachers who recognize their capability and tailor assignments to their specific needs instead of forcing them to fit into their preferred classroom structure.
Academically Appropriate Challenges
Academically gifted students are not necessarily gifted in all areas of academics. A student who excels at math, for example, may read and interpret content precisely on grade level, while a child who is enriched by stimulating discussions about Shakespeare may struggle to handle advanced concepts in their biology or chemistry class. Forcing them to work above their skill level in these subjects may prove frustrating, while providing academically appropriate challenges developed specifically for the gifted child’s level of competence will help them perform better, learn more, and excel.
Gifted children are in greater need of individualized education than any other student. They crave academic material that is tailored to their individual needs. Rather than being held back to the needs of the class or forced to accelerate in order to keep up with their peers, gifted children thrive most when they are given individualized support that helps further their education. Gifted children are also able to benefit from projects and activities that allow them to more deeply pursue their specific interests, which may be the areas where they thrive the most. The more individualized a gifted child’s educational process is, the more that child will ultimately be able to thrive.
Educating a child who is gifted and talented can be daunting, especially for parents who have never been through the process before or who struggle to understand the unique needs of their student. There’s good news, though: at schools like The Tenney School, we understand the specialized needs of gifted students and are in a position to provide them with the high-quality education they need. Are you ready to start pursuing a better education for your gifted child? Contact us today to learn more about the programs we have to offer.