How to Make Sure Your Gifted Child is Challenged At School!
The debate of early childhood education is a hot button topic nowadays. The issue of home schooling vs. Traditional school or Public vs. Private school can be a daunting and deeply personal decision for every family. No matter how each family decides to best educate their child I firmly believe that the key to any of those solutions is working with your child at home thoroughly and aggressively. If deciding to trust your child’s development and education to others as we are you have to make sure that you are also doing the most you can to enhance their efforts and hold the instructors accountable as well by including them in your child’s true capabilities. Only you the parent can truly asses where your toddler or young child’s level of learning is because you work and observe them every day on a much more personal level. If your child is advanced or gifted there can be a whole different set of issues that need to be addressed in their development or lesson plans.
There are many challenges that face gifted children at school. Some of them being that the sheer volume of students make it harder for the teacher to really know that your child is advanced. So they may not be as eager to enhance a child’s capabilities, while you at home know the more challenging level of difficulty your youngster may be tackling. Another challenge is that sometimes kids, though bright don’t have the where with all to showcase their skills like we do as adults. For some, they may try to read or (dumb down if you will) to seem apart of the crowd. Or get nervous when the reading teacher comes into the class and takes the child individually to read certain words to test for ability.
An example of this happened with our 5 year old Ace. There are a set of reading words that they are expected to know in class by the end of the kindergarten school year. By week two of the year he was tested along with the other children to see how many of the 60 words he knew. Well he not only knew all of the required words for kindergarten but most of the required words for 1st grade as well when tested in the comforts of home. But at school there were about 8 words that he told the instructor that he did not know for kindergarten and around 10 for 1st grade comprehension (words that he can recite in his sleep).
We know that there are so many things that kindergarten and all teachers must focus on everyday so we made it a point to schedule time out to speak with the teacher individually to discuss Ace and his education. Now because of this there will be special teacher that will come and work with Ace going over 1st grade material that cater to his intellect while keeping him in kindergarten working on socialization with his peers. Our interaction with his teacher was so wonderful because she was able to get a little better understanding of Ace as a person and we were able to hear firsthand of some things that we could do at home that would enhance her lesson plans. It was a true team effort and proves that it most definitely takes a village!
Below I have included an amazing checklist and website from the National Association for Gifted Children so that you can determine if your child has a higher potential of learning http://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/resources/my-child-gifted