As a parent, finding out your child is gifted probably wasn’t a surprise. Gifted children have unique characteristics that make them stand out from other students. In the past, gifted children have been identified by good grades and high achievements, but recent studies have shown that giftedness is determined by more than a person’s intellectual abilities.
Many different definitions attempt to explain giftedness. It’s a neurological concept that describes children who perform at a higher level than their peers. However, the term can mean many different things and appear differently in every child. Here are some common characteristics of some gifted children:
- Develop emotional maturity early
- Solve problems with creative solutions
- Find unique subjects fascinating
- Have a witty sense of humor
- Understand material from higher grade levels
- Express an intense curiosity and desire to learn
- Learn new concepts quickly
Gifted students with these talents need a challenging education to reach their full potential. Unfortunately, many traditional schools lack the programs and resources that help gifted children thrive. Parents are searching for other ways to provide their gifted children with the support that they need. This guide will explain what to do if you have a gifted child.
6 Ways to Support Your Gifted Child
While it might seem like a huge responsibility to be the parent of a gifted child, you can have a major impact on their progress. If you’re unsure what to do if your child is gifted, consider implementing these simple strategies:
1. Encourage Your Child to Try New Things
Gifted children often excel in certain areas. Whether they are a genius in math, an expert in science, or an impressive artist, their talents might blow you away. While your child might be really good at certain activities, it’s beneficial for them to try things that don’t come so easily.
Gifted children often feel pressured to always be the best. Pushing them out of their comfort zone will help them learn that failure is OK. They worry less about expectations and can have fun. It also teaches them that some skills might not come so easily. This is an essential lesson that will help them cope with challenging situations as they grow up.
2. Seek Challenging Activities
For some gifted children, learning new things is easy and requires minimal effort. If your child can get by with minimal effort, they might become bored and accustomed to underachieving. It’s important to challenge your child so they will continue to grow and build healthy learning habits.
If your child is coasting through schoolwork, you can ask their teachers to give your child more challenging material. Your child might even be able to accelerate through a grade level. Otherwise, try adding another subject of interest outside of the school day. You could enroll your child in a French class or piano lessons. They might even discover a new passion.
3. Recognize Your Child’s Achievements
Gifted children thrive on positive reinforcement. While you might expect them to achieve amazing feats, they rely on your support for smaller achievements as well — like an A on a test or being elected class president. Even if some things seem to come easily for your child, it’s important to acknowledge their efforts the same as anyone else. Your encouragement will help motivate your child to achieve their goals.
4. Support Social Development
Making friends is not always easy for gifted children. They tend to develop social and emotional skills early, making it more challenging for them to connect with other kids their age. Your child might prefer spending time with older children or even adults.
Theater groups, community clubs, and summer camps can give your child the opportunity to socialize with children of all ages. They might even make a few new friends.
5. Be Honest About Their Abilities
For some parents, finding out that their child is gifted is an honor, but it can be a source of worry for others. Some people are afraid their child will have trouble fitting in or develop an arrogant attitude. They might even feel tempted to keep the news to themselves.
It’s normal to have concerns, but it’s important to be honest with your child about their abilities. Discussing giftedness with your child can help them cope with feelings of being different from their peers. Being open and acknowledging their unique abilities is the first step towards helping your child reach their full potential at school and in life.
6. Find a Better School
Gifted children with advanced abilities need an enriching curriculum and gifted education programs to satisfy their unique needs. Yet, there are no requirements for traditional schools to provide this additional support. Finding a school with a gifted program will make a big difference in your child’s progress. Studies show that children in gifted programs are more likely to earn advanced degrees after graduation.
Raising a gifted child is a big responsibility, so it’s important to find a school that will help support and nurture their talents. Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA) is an online cyber charter school that provides a personalized education to help your child reach their full potential.
CCA’s Honors Program
The Honors program at CCA is different from anything you would find at a traditional brick-and-mortar school. We offer a customized curriculum that will meet your child’s advanced educational needs.
High-achieving students in grades 3 through 12 can apply for our rigorous and challenging Honors courses. Our students will learn through project-based lessons, class discussions, and problem-solving activities to accelerate their learning. They have the opportunity to explore self-guided topics and enrichment projects that match their individual interests. Students in high school can challenge themselves even further with Advanced Placement (AP) courses and college classes as part of their curriculum.
At CCA, students have the flexibility to study at their own pace. We encourage gifted students to study above their grade levels to foster their personal development and academic growth.
Enroll in the Honors Program at CCA
Gifted children thrive in a rigorous and challenging learning environment. At CCA, we work with families to create a customized education that matches your child’s interests and skill level.
Students can be screened for the Honors program during their initial placement or after enrollment, based on their academic performance and other characteristics. We are committed to identifying gifted students and designing curriculum that will meet their unique needs.
Gifted students will thrive from all of the benefits of online learning. Students are active participants in their education, choosing their own courses and topics they feel passionate about. Learn more about CCA’s Honors program by contacting us today.