These tips give parents ideas for math exercises that will develop their child's math abilities. Today’s parent tip for “mathing” with your child focuses on shapes.
If you’re wondering whether your child is intellectually advanced, the answer isn’t always easy to find. According to the National Association for Gifted Children, “Children are gifted when their ability is significantly above the norm for their age.” While every gifted child exhibits individual traits that set them apart, some common characteristics can include one or more of the following:
Keep in mind that a child does not have to show all these traits to be gifted. It’s also important to note that giftedness is represented through all racial, ethnic, income levels and exceptionality groups.
Determining whether a child is gifted is important for many reasons. Gifted children are often a mystery to their parents, who can be surprised at their abilities. Quite often, parents are looking for confirmation that what they’re seeing is, in fact, advanced for a child their age.
Knowing that they’re gifted can give parents peace of mind and a better understanding of their child, so they can provide the best academic environment for them. Additionally, early identification in school improves the likelihood that a child’s gifts will be developed into talents.
Sometimes a child’s advanced abilities can be viewed as problems if they’re not understood. They may have difficulties relating to other children their age and finding same-age friends. The high expectations they place on themselves and others often lead to feelings of frustration. They may grow discouraged by their abundant skill in one area but not others.
The struggles can show up in the classroom as well. When lessons are geared toward the average student, the gifted student may grow frustrated and bored. When they don’t receive an education that challenges them, research shows this can lead to underachievement or even dropping out of school. When children are known to be gifted, it is easier to navigate these issues and know where to look for help.
Parents and caregivers are usually the first to identify that the extraordinary abilities and interests in their children are different than in others they see. Acknowledging that your child is gifted allows you to gain a better understanding of whether the school is providing an appropriate educational setting for your child. If you feel your child isn’t being challenged in class, talk with the teacher about how your child works best and try to build a partnership in their education.
While educators play an important role in the lives of gifted children and their families, it is essential for parents to support the growth and development of their gifted child as a whole, including their intellectual, social, emotional, and physical sides. Nurture their love for reading, help them find new ways to explore their world, engage them in conversation about their interests and passions, and encourage them to take on projects and creative endeavors outside of school. You can also locate resources in the larger community to nurture your child’s specialized learning needs, such as an in-person or online math tutor or a program offering a customized learning plan, like Mathnasium. The important thing is to make sure your child is getting what they need to live their best life.
Mathnasium meets your child where they are and helps them with the customized program they need, for any level of mathematics.