How to educate a gifted child
The term gifted child is often seen as describing a child who is seen as academically able. Their cognitive development will happen at a much faster rate than others and this development will often be much faster than their physical, emotional and social development.
If you are a parent of a child that is known as a gifted child, then not only are you likely to feel incredibly proud; but you are also going to wonder how you can make sure that their academic abilities are worked on, challenged and improved as much as they can be.
This may seem like it should be something that is straightforward, but in actual honesty, having a child who is gifted isn’t always as easy as it may seem. So, to help you to be able to help them to achieve the best that they can, we have put together our guide on how to educate a gifted child.
How to tell if your child is gifted
It goes without saying that every single child is different, and the idea of a gifted child can vary from child to child. However, there are certain things that you, as a parent, or a school, can look out for as a sign that a child may be gifted.
- They may have been a toddler who was easily bored and frustrated at their early years setting
- They will have talked early and have a much wider vocabulary than their peers
- They will have a tendency to ask insightful and perceptive questions
- Their memory is of a high standard
- They are curious about the world around them
- They can concentrate for long periods of time on certain subjects that interests them
- They have a wide amount of general knowledge
- They will enjoy problem solving
- Their imagination will be rich and varied
- They will be able to read from an early age
- They will be likely to have an odd sense of humour
- They will express strong opinions and feelings
- They may be seen as a perfectionist
Being seen to be a gifted child is so much more than simply having a high IQ or doing well on a set test. It can be shown by a portfolio of evidence, which together points to a child being gifted. This should be taken not only from their parents, but also their teachers or early care givers too.
The issues that can arise with a gifted child
It is always hoped that a gifted child can be recognised from an early age and then receive the help and encouragement that they need in order to be able to really flourish and use their skills. Whilst this does happen in the most part, there is always a chance that a gifted child will encounter some problems along the way.
One issue that can arise is that other children and other parents can find it hard to celebrate the merits and successes of a gifted child. This is because we, as people, live in a culture that can often find it hard to celebrate success. This can mean that if a gifted child is seen to be achieving more than others, that this can cause resentment and they may even be bullied.
Another issue that can arise is that a gifted child can find it harder to make friends than other children. They will not always be able to connect with those who are not academically the same as them, which can leave them feeling isolated.
Schoolwork can be another problem. As they are likely to be able to finish their work quickly, they are most likely to get bored whilst they are waiting. More often than not, they will be advised to do more of the same, however, this can leave them switching off rather than focusing.
How can you effectively educate a gifted child?
So, the question is, how do you make sure that a gifted child is properly educated to their level? This can be hard to do and without the right encouragement, the talent that a gifted child has might be wasted.
The main thing to always consider when it comes to educating a gifted child is that they need to have challenges when it comes to their learning. This is not only important at school, but also at home. They should be able to access learning within the classroom, with the support of their children and also at home, in the evening, at the weekends and also during the school holidays.
Of course, within a school setting it can be hard for a gifted child to be taught in a class of mixed ability, however, a teacher should be able to ensure that they have the enrichment that they need for their level. A gifted child may even be able to work with those in older classes, or alone with staff members, should their ability allow them to. This can then be taken further in secondary school, although, this will of course depend on the resources of the school.
Parents can do additional things to help their gifted children to succeed too. They can decide to work with them at home, planning activities that will challenge them. Of course, this may not always be easy for every parent to do, which means that they need to ask for help from a professional.
A tutor may be the ideal option as this allows the gifted child to work on their main ability areas, offer them challenges and keep their minds as active as possible.
The main thing to remember if you have a gifted child is that you should feel proud of what they are able to achieve. Sure, there are going to be some bumps along the way, but this is true for any child and any parent. However, you will know that despite this, they are destined for great things and with your help and support, they are much more likely to get there.