Post By: Out Of Blocks
Building young entrepreneurs in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C.
“In 2011-12 there were approximately 3.2 million students in public schools in gifted and talented programs.” U.S. Department of Education
Whether your child is an amazing violinist or on their way to becoming a young entrepreneur, it is important to learn how to recognize a gifted child. Being able to spot the characteristics of a gifted child will allow you to foster their gifts. Additionally, whether your child is considered gifted or not, fostering and developing your child with an education beyond the classroom is always a recipe for a successful future.
What is giftedness?
While there is no clear definition, The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) defines gifted as “those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence in one or more domains. Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance, sports).”
The NAGC admits that some gifted children “may not demonstrate outstanding levels of achievement due to environmental circumstances,” therefore is important to not only recognize your child’s gifts but also provide your child with the tools to harness their gifts with a proper education both at home and in a classroom setting.
How do I tell if my child as gifted?
There is no simple way to tell if a child is gifted, but there are some common traits to look for. The NAGC has broken down traits in cognitive, creative, affective, and behavioral domains, described in the table below that has been curated for this blog:
Keen power of abstraction
Interest in problem-solving and applying concepts
Voracious and early reader
Power of critical thinking, skepticism, self-criticism
Persistent, goal-directed behavior
Independence in work and study
Diversity of interests and abilities
Creativeness and inventiveness
Keen sense of humor
Ability for fantasy
Openness to stimuli, wide interests
Independence in attitude and social behavior
Self-acceptance and unconcern for social norms
Aesthetic and moral commitment to self-selected work
Unusual emotional depth and intensity
Sensitivity or empathy to the feelings of others
High expectations of self and others, often leading to feelings of frustration
Heightened self-awareness, accompanied by feelings of being different
Easily wounded, need for emotional support
Need for consistency between abstract values and personal actions
Advanced levels of moral judgment
Idealism and sense of justice
Intensely focused on passions—resists changing activities when engrossed in own interests
Highly energetic—needs little sleep or downtime
Impulsive, eager and spirited
Perseverance—strong determination in areas of importance
High levels of frustration—particularly when having difficulty meeting standards of performance (either imposed by self or others)
Volatile temper, especially related to perceptions of failure
How do you nurture a gifted child?
Simply labeling your child as gifted isn’t enough. A gifted child (or any child for that matter) must be developed with proper training, practice, and tutelage.
Do your best to find out what gifted youth programs your child’s school offers and enroll them into classes they seem interested in. Many schools (elementary, middle, and high school) offer youth programs for advanced learning. To qualify for some of these programs, your child may need to be tested by the school. Contact your teacher or school administrators to find out your school’s process.
If possible, consider enrolling your child into private gifted youth programs or summer camps you know they will love. Determine what your child is interested in by asking them questions about their interests, whether it is music or entrepreneurship – exploring their passion will help keep them interested in the subject matter.
Don’t be afraid to invest in youth programs outside of your child’s school.
If your elementary, middle or high school does not offer the appropriate gifted youth programs, you may have to search for private extracurricular programs, summer camps, after-school youth programs, and gifted youth summer programs outside of the normal school system.
We recommend focusing on youth programs or summer camps that use STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) principles. According to data from Georgetown University Center on STEM and the Workforce, core cognitive knowledge, skills, and abilities associated with entrepreneurship education are in demand, not only in traditional STEM occupations but in nearly all job sectors.
For example, Out Of Blocks (based out of Virginia) uses STEM principles to ignite and develop students’ interest and confidence in entrepreneurship with their Junior Biz Entrepreneurship youth summer program. A youth entrepreneurship program is an excellent service that can nurture a child’s interest in entrepreneurship.
Investing in a private youth entrepreneurship education program is worth the money, as it will teach them valuable skills that foster school and career success. Setting them on the right path will ultimately be a financial saving for parents.
What if your child is not considered gifted?
There really is no clear definition of what it means to be a gifted child. For example, many people believe that there is a difference between being talented and being gifted. Maybe your child is simply talented or just shows a strong interest in learning more than what he is being taught in school.
Regardless of your child’s IQ test scores or qualifications as a gifted student, it is never a bad idea to invest in your child’s education. When you invest in your child’s education, you teach your child the value of learning and how to be life long learners.
You can never go wrong by providing a child with additional learning tools, even if it means investing in private programs. If your child is truly gifted, be sure to investigate the proper testing and programs your school provides and don’t be afraid to seek resources in the community.
Don’t forget, when choosing a gifted youth program, choose one you know your child will love. If your child shows interest in youth entrepreneurship or you find developing an entrepreneurial mindset/skillset valuable, consider investing in a Youth Entrepreneurship Program. These programs cultivate your child’s curiosity/interest, developing school and career success that will have financial long-term benefits to parents.
For more tips on youth education and youth programs, subscribe to Out Of Blocks’ blog, visit OutOfBlocks.com, or contact us directly for more information. Out Of Blocks provides youth summer programs for students of all backgrounds in the tri-state (Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C.) area.