Traditional classrooms rarely meet the full needs of GT students. Parents may be surprised at how many hours their children spent in the back of the room reading during periods of remediation for others. Rather than try to recreate ‘school at home’, parents should strive to provide their children with a broad range of learning options beyond worksheets, book reports, and standardized tests. Parents should not shy away from considering opportunities for acceleration such as curriculum compacting (finishing work at their own pace), above grade-level work, and dual enrollment where available.
Virtual learning can be an excellent conduit for connecting students with intellectual peers and mentors via online opportunities. Parents can reach out to authors, scientists, and professionals in their child’s area of interest. Enrichment activities such as book clubs with other GT students, virtual field trips, and connecting globally with peers online will increase student engagement. Parents should seek their child’s input and encourage them to be self-directed/autonomous learners. Parents and mentors act as facilitators.
There is a certain amount of choice surrounding home learning that can be beneficial for GT students. When they’re able to complete assignments on their own schedule, it’s a great time to allow them to immerse themselves in their passions. When parents and/or mentors are available, GT students should be encouraged to ask questions (lots of questions!) and guided to resources that may answer them. Undertaking a collegiate approach to learning which encompasses the liberal arts is a way to help students gain additional benefits from their time out of the classroom.
Many of the tools used traditionally by schools can also be used at home. Cost may become an issue and should be factored into the decision about which tools to use. There are many free tech tools available to facilitate home learning such as Khan Academy, Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. Tech tools/websites that parents can use at home for their GT kids include Think Math, Wonderopolis, KenKen Puzzles, Brains On! (podcast), Scholastic Learning from Home, Smithsonian Learning Lab, and PBS LearningMedia.
A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: email@example.com
Teaching Gifted Students at Home | WVU Today
Profoundly Gifted Students’ Perceptions of Virtual Classrooms | Gifted Child Quarterly
2020 AIG Remote Learning Resources | NC Department of Public Education
EU: Talent Point in Action: “Wind at the Back” (pdf) | European Talent Support Network
Online Learning – Supporting Gifted Children at Home | Arlington Public Schools
Support for Gifted Learners at Home during COVID-19 | Colorado Department of Education
Coping With the Stress of COVID-19: Tips for Families with Gifted Children (YouTube 9:13) | Dr. Ed Amend
At-home Learning Resources for Kids | MENSA for Kids
Five Essential Guidelines for Helping your Child during This Global Crisis (blog)| Gifted Challenges
3 Top Strategies for Helping Your Child Cope with Anxiety During Challenging Times (YouTube 20:09) | Michele Kane
Medieval Helpdesk with English Subtitles (YouTube 2:44)
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.
Many families, not just those with gifted children, believe their children are not only unchallenged in school; but, unprepared for the challenges of life upon graduation whether they go on to college or the workforce. A recent study found that students are not given “grade-appropriate assignments, strong instruction, deep engagement, and teachers with high expectations.” Once students are in middle school and high school; they express lack of interest or belief that subject matter is relevant to them. This leads to lack of engagement in school work and ultimately motivation to complete work.
Many parents find a lack of available programs for their children and too often negative attitudes toward gifted education in public schools. Lack of funding and poor teacher preparation can inhibit intellectual stimulation and growth for gifted students.
Every student is different. Some gifted students thrive in an online environment especially when their interests align with areas of study enhanced by online activities, mentoring, and collaborating with other gifted students. A major issue with using online options is using it as a ‘substitute’ for teaching. Students still need their learning to be facilitated by a qualified teacher or subject expert.
What resources are available for twice-exceptional students outside traditional schooling? There are several new options for twice-exceptional students depending on the nature of their needs. Parents may opt to homeschool or use online schools for their children. Private schools such as Flex School specialize in twice-exceptional students. However, not all private schools are able to the needs of these students. Parents may also consider creating a micro-school with the help of an educational professional where several families join together to hire teachers for a small groups of students with particular needs.
In the past, the reason for homeschooling was not generally based solely on academic needs. Today, organizations based specifically on gifted homeschooling, such as GHF Learners, provide resources for families. Homeschool organizations can provide networking opportunities for students and families, educational materials, online classes, and information for both gifted and #2ekids.
Unschooling can be a viable option for GT students, but there are many factors that should be considered first including a firm understanding of what it is and is not. Unschooling requires a strong support system of dedicated adults and resources. When considering unschooling, parents should consider their commitment regarding time, resources, potential facilitators and mentors to guide students. A transcript of the chat may be found at Wakelet.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 1PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT/1 AM UK to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.