If your child’s teachers have noticed your child excelling in school, their academic needs may be different than their peers. Highly intelligent children may meet developmental milestones faster than their peers and could benefit from a more challenging environment to keep them engaged in school. Often, schools have accelerated programs for children that are developed to encourage advanced learning within their age group.
These programs are more in-depth, move at a faster pace, and challenge the student to think through issues with more complexity. As a parent, you may feel nervous about having your child in a more challenging environment – however, it’s important to acknowledge that you are not alone in having these concerns. Many parents with children in these types of programs find it helpful to join support groups to meet other parents of children in similar situations.
Taking advantage of these types of programs can help your child succeed socially as well as academically. Being among a group of peers that your child can relate to more easily can have a positive impact on how he or she feels about acceptance in and out of the classroom. If kept in a traditional setting, gifted children can sometimes find themselves feeling isolated.
Teachers are expected to meet the needs of almost two dozen individual minds, and your child could benefit from a more specialized classroom setting. If accelerated programs are not offered at your child’s school, consider enrolling them in a school that specializes in a topic your child accelerates in. Alternatively, explore after-school activities that your child can find stimulating, such as math tutoring or a theater group.