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February 15th, 2017

Challenging Your Gifted Student

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Why should you be challenging your gifted student?

Recently, at a live event in New York City, I (Karen Quinn, the Testing Mom) asked the NYC parents to write down all the questions they had. I thought they asked some great questions both about gifted and talented programs and whether it’s really worth it to go into a gifted and talented program.  They asked questions about testing and how to prepare their child, and they asked questions about just improving their kids’ skills.  Today I wanted to share just one of those questions with you, because I think it’ll give you good information and help you in your journey to getting your child into the best possible program that you can.  

Here is the question:  “Do you think a gifted and talented program offers real advantages over a high quality general education elementary school and if so, what are these advantages?”

Now, I would say yeah, I do. I really do. I think if you can get your child into one of these gifted programs, it’s definitely worth putting him into the program and giving it a try.

Surrounded by Other Very Bright and Motivated Kids

There’s a number of things that I see that I think are advantageous. One of them is the fact that all of the other kids in the classroom are kids who have tested in with high scores. Your child is going to be surrounded by other kids who are very bright and motivated kids. I think what that does is it just gives all the kids incentives to do their best, work hard and just raises the level of education for everyone when everyone in the class is at a high level.

General Ed Class Dynamics & Your Gifted Child

The teacher doesn’t have to spend time dealing with children who are below grade level or who are just having trouble with certain concepts. Usually in a gifted and talented program, all the kids are moving along really pretty quickly together. Actually in our Saturday seminar, we had parents speaking as well. Parents whose kids have used Testing Mom and their kids did very well on the test (Click Here to Learn More). One of the moms was telling a story, which I thought, really got to the heart of why a gifted program is such an advantage over a general ed classroom for certain kids.

“You raise your hand too much.”

She told the story of how she actually was in the gifted and talented program in New York growing up, not at first, but eventually she got into that program. What she said was that when she was a young girl and she was in the general ed classroom, she was the little girl who always knew the answer and she was always raising her hand. She wanted to raise her hand but then, people would look at her like, “You raise your hand too much,” or the teacher would look at her and say, “You need to give other kids a chance to answer the question.”

Lack of challenge as the teacher must teach to the lowest common denominator.

She felt she was very smart, very bright but she was really getting squashed and held back in a general ed classroom, and it was very frustrating for her. Eventually, she got into a gifted program and that was just wonderful. As a result, this mother feels that if your child is gifted, they do belong in a gifted classroom so I think there really are advantages. The other thing we see with kids in gifted classrooms, by the way, is if you look at the scores of the kids in a gifted classroom, usually 98% of them, 99% of them are at or above grade level.

If you look at the scores, the state test scores in a general ed classroom, it’s never like that. There’s usually maybe 60% at or above grade level and you might have 40% or 30% below grade level. That just changes the dynamics of the classroom. Your child is not going to get as much value everyday at school if the teacher’s really working to bring kids up who are behind. It’s just so much better if they can be in a class where everyone’s ahead and they’re working quickly and deeply with a richer curriculum.

While a younger child may not really be able to pinpoint the problem, you may see your child begin to misbehave more or withdraw.  They have untapped potential that is lying dormant and needs to be awakened.  For the older child, you will hear them talking about how bored they are in school. He will verbalize his frustrations. All in all, it is a missed opportunity for your child to grow to his or her potential.

Challenge Your Student Today!

If you are wondering where to begin, please call our customer service department at 877-609-6203, and be ready to share your child’s age and your location and school.  Or you may also contact us here.  We want to see children growing and using every single part of their gifted potential!

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