Six out of school learning options for gifted children

Talented and gifted. What does that even mean and who gets to decide which child is gifted and which is not? Like so many things in life, this is a point of much discussion. So, whether you or your child has been told by an educator that they are gifted, or if you believe your child could benefit from some extracurricular activities to expand their experiences and knowledge, then be assured that there are a number of great ways your child can actively learn and enjoy it.

Online Programs

There are many in-person and online programs for gifted children to aid in their development. These programs allow children to harness and develop their imaginations and problem solving skills through a range of activities, hypothetical situations, and mathematical evaluations. One of the most important benefits to these courses are the peers your children will meet and interact with. Children learn best through play, so being given the opportunity to play and solve problems creatively with like-minded peers can prove to be invaluable. A gifted and talented program might be exactly what your child needs to focus their energy and attention.      

TED Talks

TED Talks (Technology, Education, Design) post educational talks online under the slogan ‘ideas worth spreading’. It originated with a focus on technological advances but has since come to encompass every aspect of the human condition worth discussing. They are free-to-watch and range from good to incredible.

These talks are definitely worth viewing, for you and your child, and can be a great activity to share together, which can also be a great way to spark conversations on a range of issues with your child.

YouTube

As a parent, you might be cautious of YouTube and try to avoid using it as a pacifier when your child throws a tantrum – I know I am. The truth is (which is true of most things on the internet) that YouTube can be an amazing educational resource. There are videos for help with grammar, mathematics, science, or you can find help with languages like German at Deutsch fur Euch.

It is, of course, a good idea to monitor what your child is watching as YouTube contains a whole range of content that may be inappropriate for certain aged children, but that is not reason to be afraid of it and to skip over this incredible tool.

Language Learning Apps

On the subject of language learning, apps like Babble can help your child either get ahead in their language classes or learn a new language from scratch. Learning a language other than English is a very important skill for your child to develop and can help open doors to other cultures as well as working and travel benefits later in life.

Learning to Meditate

The benefits of meditation in cognitive development are proving to be quite significant. Some schools are introducing meditation classes as a way to help children harness their energy. There are apps like Headspace that can be a great introductory tool to this. 

Creative Writing Classes

Many gifted children like to use storytelling as a way of expressing their creativity and imaginations. A creative writing course can be a great way for your child to tell their stories, while also developing important writing and literacy skills. These courses can also be a great way for children to be introduced to the more specific grammatical components to English that will help them in their high school and further studies.

One of the key factors in deciding on what option might be best for your child is to talk to them about it. Ask them what extracurricular activities might interest them and involve them in the decision making.

Child with lightbulb image by ShutterStock. 

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