My child’s school has identified him as “talented and gifted”… now what?

By Beverly Stewart, M.Ed.

Congratulations! This is an exciting development in your child’s life that will expose him to innovative ideas, increase his problem solving skills, and even offer him completely new ways of looking at the world!

According to the most recent statistics, there are approximately 126,000 K-12 students enrolled in Talented and Gifted Programs (TAG) throughout Delaware and 3 million nationwide. These students have demonstrated outstanding levels of aptitude (ability to reason and/or learn) or competence (achievement in top 10% or higher) in one or more areas.  Areas are diverse and can include mathematics, music, languages, or sensorimotor skills like painting or dance.

TAG Programs throughout the state vary widely. Some include a pull-out element, where children are pulled out of regular class to attend TAG class. Or the program can include cluster groups, where students identified as talented and gifted work in small groups outside the regular classroom setting. Whatever format your school’s TAG Program follows, there are ways that you can help your child succeed.

RESOURCES

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is an organization that addresses the special needs of talented and gifted children. NAGC offers practical tools for parents, several publications, conferences, and more. All are geared to help the parent understand the many exciting options available to their children. http://www.nagc.org/

Another national organization that offers help for parents is the National Society for the Gifted and Talented. NSGT celebrates the accomplishments of talented and gifted children and provides access to educational resources, scholarships, and advanced learning/enrichment opportunities. http://www.nsgt.org/

ENRICHMENT

Providing additional enrichment opportunities — whether during the school year or throughout the summer — is crucial. Learning a new language, participating in space camp, or visiting local museums are just a few of the many ways that parents can help stimulate intellectual curiosity and exploration in their children.

There are also many formal programs that address specific interests. Some of the best include:

Odyssey of the Mind. This international educational program provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics.

Destination Imagination. This is an educational program where student teams solve open-ended challenges and present their solutions at tournaments. Student teams learn important life skills like time management, collaboration, conflict resolution, and creative and critical thinking.

Future Problem Solving Program International.FPSPI stimulates critical and creative thinking skills, encourages students to develop a vision for the future, and prepares students for leadership roles. FPSPI engages students in creative problem solving within the curriculum and provides competitive opportunities.

Science Olympiad. This program is open to students in both the K-6 level, as well as grades 6-12. Teams learn preparation, commitment, and lots of science as they practice throughout the year, gearing up for competition.

Other proven programs include National History Day, National Geography Bee, National Spelling Bee, and many more. For an extensive list you can visit the Davidson Institute for Talent Development.

Excellence in Education since 1985!

Back to Basics Learning Dynamics is the undisputed leader in 1-on-1 tutoring in Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania for over 60 subjects. The company offers a unique Department of Education-approved 1-on-1 K-12 Private School in Wilmington, Delaware and a Delaware Business and Trade School for ages 16 and older. In addition, the company offers translating and interpreting in 16 languages throughout Delaware. Back to Basics is the winner of numerous awards for academic and business excellence including the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.

 

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