Is your elementary school child ‘one of the ones we don’t have to worry about?’ Students at the highest levels of achievement who are already performing above grade level often require the least attention from their teachers, while they are yearning for learning. It’s a fortunate predicament, really. But how do you make sure your child is still advancing?
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Gifted students deserve the same year of growth as other students. They need to be challenged beyond the grade level curriculum delivered in the classroom. Ensuring this happens requires an active partnership between school and home. Parents should be active in their student’s learning journey.
Gifted students can fall into:
- Boredom and apathy if they are not challenged.
- Kids learn in different ways and your child might just be a kinesthetic learner and learn best when doing things independently.
- Look for ways to extend learning with authentic experiences connected to the curriculum.
- Brainstorm with your child about real-world connections to what they are learning.
- For instance, if your child is learning about recycling, could they take part in organizing a recycling task force at school?
- Plan local field trips to historically significant locations. Consider entrepreneurial opportunities or spearheading fundraisers to put math lessons into practice.
Advanced students thrive with options
- Communication with teachers is critical.
- If the measure of success is a high grade, teachers may not see that your child’s needs are not being met.
- Certainly, repetitive practice of the same type of math problem can solidify skills for many students.
- For the gifted student who has quickly grasped the concept being taught, this is as stimulating as listening to a recording playing on loop.
- If mastery has been met, ask teachers to offer optional assignments that extend the lesson or move your child onto the next concept.
- You may need to look beyond your child’s teachers to sustain forward momentum.
- Seek out mentors or tutors to support your student as they explore advanced concepts ahead of the grade-level curriculum.
- Include opportunities to develop skills in music, art and drama.
All growth requires nourishment.
- Physically, a scarcity of food will first trigger intense hunger. In time, if nutrition is not available the pangs of hunger will diminish, and lethargy sets in.
- Most gifted learners start off as enthusiastic students.
- A steady stream of rich educational experiences will ensure that your child continues to embrace the quest for knowledge and advance at a pace reflective of their potential.