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Home Activities for Highly Gifted Child

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My 7 year old daughter was recently tested for the gifted program... Her results came back giving her a score of 150. She is not my only intelligent child (I am a mother of 4) but she is the only one who was tested for the program. My oldest daughter showed such potential and scored high enough on school administered tests that they simply skipped her a grade. She is now in high school and still doing well. I don't want my seven year old to skip grades but I do want to aid in fostering her intellectually. What can I do to assist her? Are there programs outside the school? She is already in accelerated and it hasn't proved to be quite enough. What can I do from home without pressure to keep learning interesting?
Thank you for any advice.

A: From the IQ score, it is crystal clear that your daughter is highly intelligent and would need a lot more enrichment than what the school curriculum has to offer. There are many things that can be done at home for a 7 year-old gifted child.

Bear in mind that any activity you expose her to should be meaningful, accelerated, stimulating and varied. Allow her to explore her interests as at this stage she is still extremely curious about her surroundings and has so much to explore and learn. Planned well, there won't be enough room for her to be bored, as there are many activities. Her activities could be planned around her school subjects. Do check this site for activities.

She would need to be engaged most times to stimulate her learning. You could give her home projects to be done. Prepare a timeline for say, a research project (this would also stimulate critical thought process). Plan out a research project that she would be interested in. These could take a few days. Apart from projects, do science experiments. Get older siblings to be involved. Have time for reading at well. Perhaps she could also indulge in creative writing (short stories, poems, etc. that can be complied).

Apart from learning activities, make sure she is also doing well socially. Help her mingle and get into sporting activities. This will enhance her social skills. Music is also a great way to sharpen her mind. You could engage her in a music class.

Grade skipping is not a bad idea at all. Unless the school has a special curriculum for gifted learners (i.e., condensation, subject acceleration, etc), she should opt for advanced learning. If school does not have a special programme for children like her, you would certainly be nurturing her learning well at home but without a close match at school, she may start to find school less enjoyable. As she is only 7, this has to be avoided at all cost.

Hope the above helps and wishing you both all the best in this beautiful journey.


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