Gifted Preschool Children
Standing Out from the Group
Some preschool children stand out from the group. They are intense, sensitive, and seem to be more aware of the world around them than other children their age. Many times they are able to do "school work" long before they go to school. They may be intensely interested in some area; for example, Sarah may want to examine every rock she passes or Seth may beg for yet another book about pirates. Parents and teachers working with such children often have a number of questions.
How Do Bright Preschool Children Differ from Other Children Their Age?
As a group, bright preschool children differ from others their age in some of the ways they think and feel. In most cases, their physical development is similar to other children's. However, each child is an individual, with an individual pattern of development. Bright preschool children are likely to differ from others their age in many, but not all, of the following ways.
Ways of Thinking
Ways of Feeling
What Type of Preschool Program is Best for a Bright Child?
Bright preschool children need school situations that individualize, allowing children to develop at their own rate. A good program should allow choices in activities and design at least some activities around the students' interests. There should be a chance for students to use advanced vocabulary and ideas, and to explore many types of books and other materials. Bright young children should be able to spend some of their time with others who are equally bright.
What Can I Do at Home to Help My Bright Preschool Child?
Preschool children who are constantly exhibited and praised for their unusual talents can come to believe they are only valued for those talents. Although all children need reasonable praise, it is important that bright children feel loved for who they are and not what they do. Treating your child as normally as possible, while encouraging her learning and creativity, can keep her from feeling pressured as she grows. Allowing your child's interests to drive activities, offering opportunities and allowing him to make choices about how he spends his time, can help him develop his abilities in a low-pressure atmosphere.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Association for Gifted Children -- a non-profit association of teachers and parents that publishes educational materials, including the magazine "Parenting for High Potential."