Jewells Primary School

Achieving today for tomorrow

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Tips for parents

I never knew my child was gifted! What does this mean?

You are not alone! Many parents did not know how talented their child was until they were accepted into an OC class.

Simply put, a gifted child has the potential to achieve at an above average or outstanding level in a given area (in an OC child's case – academically in one or more areas). A talented child is performing at an above average or outstanding level.

More information for parents on support groups is available through the NSW Gifted and Talented Association.

How parents can assist in the education of a gifted and talented student

Parents will need to ensure that their child does not miss out on opportunities to discover and develop their gifts.  Parents need to also ensure that children are not overburdened by their out of school activities.  Some consideration for parents may include:

  • After school tuition in subjects not offered at school such as another language, dance, music, drama, art or sport.  Beware, however, of the risks associated with burnout and sheer exhaustion.  Be selective about extra-curricula activities. They are expensive and can tax everyone's commitment. Also, often the best learning happens through simple play with peers.
  • Access to a computer and the Internet - Children could be helped to research areas of particular interest or make email contact with others who share their interest.  Parents will need to monitor and supervise children at all times when using the Internet in order to ensure appropriate site access and communication whilst online.
  • Encourage your children (particularly boys) to communicate their ideas clearly.  This includes legible handwriting and more than ‘one-word' answers.  There is no point giving a one-word answer and then arguing a case for full marks with the teacher who expected at least a sentence and some evidence for the response.  Conformity may be irritating and slow down the thought processes of a gifted child however, it allows them to function as part of a group in a classroom and indeed in society, with a minimum of tension.
  • Visit local libraries, theatres, concerts, museums and displays.
  • Subscribe to special interest magazines for your child.
  • Keep in touch with the activities offered by local branches of the Association for Gifted and Talented Children.  They often run special camps, workshops and excursions that give new experiences but also allow them to mix with other children who are also gifted.
  • Help your child to get organised.  Often they are too carried away with the ‘big idea' and forget the basics, such as the right textbook in the bag or lunch and sporting gear for training after school.  Encourage the use of a homework diary and lesson-planning schedule to organise daily activities.  Check out the activities of community groups such as Scouts, Guides, church and youth groups.
  • Look out for competitions, outlets and audiences for your child's work.  Talk to your child at the end of each day about what happened or what they did at school.  Don't be satisfied with ‘nothing much'; probe and ask questions as this enables your child to feel more confident about situations in school and lets them know you are taking an interest.
  • Accept the joy of living with a gifted child.  The difficulties are there and the challenges are enormous but the excitement of dealing with such children on their journey through life and learning far outweighs the problems.  The most important thing to remember is that a gifted child needs to be encouraged to experiment and to take risks.