6 Ways to Motivate Gifted Children
Motivating Gifted Children
Every parent has high hopes and aspirations for their child, and educational success is usually high on the list. For parents of gifted children, where academics and learning may come easy, maintaining focus and motivation can be extremely difficult.
How do you know if your child is gifted? A few common signs that your child may be headed to the top of the class are: impeccable memory, ability to retain and recite information, independently reading and writing without formal instruction, consistently receiving high scores on school assignments, understanding elaborate and complex issues, and showing an interest in various activities. To help better determine if your child is gifted, parents can turn to formal testing through the state level, contact psychology departments at colleges and universities, or reach out to local psychologists that specialize in the study of gifted children.
Once you have determined that your child is gifted, the real challenge is keeping your child driven and an active participant in the classroom. Many factors may be at play – from the pace of learning to a lack of individual attention – but the key is to keep the child motivated and goal oriented.
Here are a few tips to help keep your gifted child from checking out of the classroom:
- Enroll your child in a supplementary education program. Supplementary education programs are a great way to customize a curriculum for your gifted child and provide them with an alternative outlet for learning. Learning centers often have the child take an initial test to determine their academic placement, regardless of grade level, to determine the best program to meet their needs. Research learning centers in the area, especially ones that have low student-to-teacher ratios, as it’s important that the child have individual attention.
- Get involved in your child’s interests. Children often mirror their parent’s emotions and thoughts, so it is crucial that parents express interest in their child’s learning and celebrate their accomplishments. The only precaution is not to become overly involved. Be a supporter on the sidelines and always remember that the child’s interest comes first.
- Surround your child with the proper tools. Whether your child is fascinated by reading, science, music or the arts, when possible, give them access to the educational tools that will nurture those interests. For example, take them to the local library to check out books on their favorite subject, enroll them in piano lessons or encourage them to express their creativity through art. By giving them access, you inspire them to always be learning.
- Create structure. Gifted children need - and crave - structure. A great way to start creating a sense of structure is teaching them the fundamentals of time management. It can be as simple as starting with sequencing vocabulary, creating a list of weekly activities or using a planner.
- Make it fun. Children are determined and motivated when they are having fun and have an interest in the task at hand. For example, expand on homework, essays, and word problems by using visuals and incorporating the child’s interests are great ways to keep them engaged.
- Stay positive and promote proactivity. Always reiterate the value and importance of education, along with the many benefits. It’s important that the child understand how building a foundation now will help in the future. Every child thrives on positivity and attention, regardless of academic strength, so always take pride and express interest in the child’s education.