Home > School and Learning > Learning Differences > Gifted Education > When School Doesn't Offer a Gifted Program

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

When School Doesn't Offer a Gifted Program

Education Expert Advice from Barbara Callaghan

Q: My child is 8 years old and was in a gifted program in her previous school. We've just moved and my child is in a school system that has no gifted program. Anything we should do to nuture and challenge her?

A: There are certainly things you can do to nurture and challenge your daughter -- with an emphasis on nurture. There are a variety of ways that children qualify to be in a gifted program ranging from the score on a Stanford Binet test to having a strong interest in a particular topic and a willingness to devote time and effort to accomplishing a goal. Some schools have no gifted program while others schools have gifted programs that are very elitist.

You are most fortunate to recognize that you can play an important role in fostering your daughter's learning. Some things that help children gain confidence in their own abilities: exposing them to a variety of information; talking to them; taking them to interesting places -- like museums; encouraging them to experiment. While it is true that trips to museums, reading lots of books, and traveling are all very enriching experiences, it is also true that walking in the fields and learning all about the local plants, birds, or trees (noticing similarities and differences, and making discoveries) also sets the stage for learning.

When school is in session again, make an appointment with the classroom teacher and ask about the school's philosophy toward gifted education. The teacher may challenge and provide for quick learners and bright children in the very best ways and not have an official program. Every classroom is different and the dynamics of the students play a major role in determining what the teacher is going to do.

It is always best to see for yourself what is happening and then determine how you can supplement or support what is taking place. Your involvement as a parent is always beneficial.

More on: Expert Advice

After teaching in California for nearly ten years, Barbara Callaghan moved to New Hampshire in 1985 and became a principal. After 10 years as a principal, she returned to teaching, her first love and true vocation.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks


Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Earth Day Books for Children
Celebrate the environment by reading some of these great children's books about Earth Day, recycling, planting trees, and all things green!

Prom Dress Trends for 2014
Check out 2014 prom dress trends inspired by celebrities’ red carpet looks, but with a price tag under $100!