How to help a gifted preschooler succeed

How to help a gifted preschooler succeed

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Exciting news – you just learned that your 3-year-old is indeed gifted, just as you suspected. But now what? Don't feel you have to rush to enroll him in a school for the academically gifted: You can do plenty at home and at regular preschool.

How to stimulate your child at home

The best thing you can do for your gifted preschooler is keep him busy with lots of mental challenges at home. That doesn't mean you have to start teaching formal academics right away – try to find ways to make learning fun instead. Here are some tips recommended by experts on gifted children:

  • If your child speaks in complete sentences, answer in full sentences. He may get frustrated when adults don't engage him on his level.
  • Let him play with games intended for older children. He may be bored with activities recommended for his age group.
  • Encourage him to read and read to him. Books help children learn new information and think creatively.
  • Provide him with creative art materials such as markers, chalk, big books of newsprint, pipe cleaners, clay, and scraps of fabric to help develop artistic ability.
  • Enroll him in music or dance classes to encourage his nonacademic skills.
  • Take him to your local library so that he can be exposed to the wealth of information there.
  • Play games that feature letters and numbers.

How to help a child who attends preschool

A preschool with a strong focus on academics can supplement your home enrichment activities. Work closely with the teacher so your child gets what she needs.

Some childhood educators may not be trained to instruct gifted children, so discuss the possibility of making other learning opportunities available. Your child's teacher may be willing to:

  • Let your child choose books that interest her. If she can read, have her read to the other children.
  • Encourage model building, using either a kit or materials such as cardboard and egg cartons to construct various objects.
  • Enrich her interest in math by giving her a workbook or assigning math projects (like arranging patterns with different shapes or building geometric forms).
  • Cultivate her inventiveness with creative art projects, such as collages.
  • Help her write a book or create a puppet show.

What doesn't help

Sometimes parents expect their gifted child to excel at everything, and that unrealistic expectation can put a lot of pressure on him. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Try not to overwhelm your child with activities. He needs enough downtime to relax, read for fun, and just let his ideas percolate.
  • Don't assume your child is capable of acting older than he is. Remember that having the intellectual capability of a much older child doesn't mean he has the emotional maturity as well. Gifted kids vary widely in behavior and social skills, so your child still needs your guidance.

Watch the video: Twice Exceptional Learners 2e. Jim Russell. TEDxGatewayArch (May 2022).


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