Gifted Educator Lissy Wood shares her experience working with academically gifted children.
What it means to be academically gifted
* Child demonstrates exceptional desire in academics and ability to learn and exceed typically developing children.
* They learn at a faster pace.
* Their abilities need to be coached/nurtured.
* Often gifted children can be observed in preschool as compared to other children.
* Sometimes they can have social issues due to they have trouble relating to the typical developing child (especially in younger years).
* Some gifted children can be underachieving.
* They can exhibit behavior issues due to frustration, sensory issues and social issues.
* There can be social issues because it’s hard for them to relate to a typically developing child.
* They need more and teachers aren’t often trained in teaching gifted students.
* It’s important to remember that they don’t need more work… they need meaningful, challenging work to fit their needs (learning experiences, projects, critical thinking questions and logic problems are great activities to support a gifted child.
Supporting Academically Gifted Children
* Testing is available to see if you have a gifted child.
* Testing is valuable documentation and can also identify underlying symptoms such as anxiety.
* With documentation you can get some accommodations in school and find out the areas in which your child is gifted so you can ask for support from the teachers and services from the administration.
* Ask teachers for meaningful homework. Gifted students often don’t need the typical review sheet or worksheet style homework
* Play off your child and encourage their interests. Don’t push worksheets, provide other experiences instead.
* Do not over schedule activities to keep them busy. They still need to be a kid.
* Look for schools with flexibility in curriculum.
* Ask about differentiation.
* Project Based Schools or Montessori Schools are often good fits for academically gifted children.
* Schools with lower class sizes or more than one teacher in the room are great choices.
* PAGE of Wake County Facebook Page
* National Association for Gifted Children
* Triangle Parents of Gifted Children Facebook Page
Mike Dlott is the the Director of Discovery Child Development Center in Morrisville, NC and the host of the Preschool and Beyond podcast.