Friday, August 23, 2019

More back to school tips for gifted teens, middle schoolers and their parents

Three years ago, I wrote a summary of some of my Back to School blog posts for gifted middle school students and teens.

Here is an update of related posts I have written since then. I hope they are helpful. Wishing your kids a wonderful year ahead!

Ability grouping works - and is essential in middle school and beyond

Why is ability grouping off the menu in so many school districts? What is so wrong with letting children learn among peers who grasp concepts at the same pace and with the same degree of complexity? 


Get your gifted boy through middle school

Middle school - that time warp most of us would like to forget! But if you have a gifted middle school boy, it is critical to stay attuned to the pitfalls and challenges that might derail his adjustment and safe passage into adolescence.


The interface of anxiety, overthinking and shame among gifted children and teens

What happens when gifted children and teens recognize their perceived flaws or differences? While those rare few may shrug it off, most will at least ponder their predicament. Many more will respond with anxiety, overthinking, and shame. The self-awareness that accompanies giftedness is compounded by peer pressure, social media comparisons, adolescent hormones, and their own high expectations. 


Boredom, school and the gifted child: Challenging its inevitability

In the recesses of their memory, most gifted children recall the joy of learning, their innate curiosity, the spark of discovery when learning was neither slow nor tedious. But that experience may seem far removed from life in mixed ability classrooms tailored to the needs of the average or at-risk student.


When gifted students feel disconnected from school

It seems clear that gifted students need to find a reason for learning beyond the acquisition of grades or awards. They want to feel engaged and proud of their school - but they often don't have any reason to care.


When gifted kids get to exhale

Neglecting gifted kids by refusing to meet their educational needs - especially when there are cost-effective solutions - not only contributes to years of boredom, underachievement, and wasted potential, but can create social and emotional problems.


Choices exclude: The existential burden of multipotentiality

When faced with making choices, they learn how to let go, and often mourn what might have been... Even when children have one overriding passion that drives their long-term goals, they still may harbor nagging doubts about the talents and skills they left behind.


How the media discredits successful students

Let's not fall prey to the media's routinely harsh and inaccurate portrayal of gifted or high achieving students... Let's stop disparaging those hard working students who exhibit the effort and endurance to achieve.


What most parents of gifted children wish they had known about college planning

Parents may have assumed that their highly ranked child would automatically gain admission to the school of his choice, and are stunned to find that he was rejected - along with thousands of other equally accomplished applicants. They regret relying upon guidance counselors, and wish they had received practical information, and had started planning years prior to sending in those applications.


Five reasons to consider an elite college (and they're not what you think)

In reality, the majority of gifted teens are not overachievers in hot pursuit of perfection and awards. Most just want a good education. A challenging education has eluded many gifted children due to rigid school policies that have marginalized their needs. So college looms large as that one last chance to grasp an enriching learning experience.


College admissions cheating scandal: Its impact on gifted and high ability students

Gifted and high ability students - those most likely to benefit from the stimulating academic environment offered at elite institutions - may be most disturbed by this glaring breach in ethics. These are the students who typically apply to elite colleges, wait patiently, and weather rejections - especially if they are not well-connected, or just not what a particular school wants. 


Your musically gifted child's road to college

How can you help your child decide about college when music is his passion? What options are available, realistic, and financially sound?


Let's hope the school year ahead is fulfilling and meaningful for your child.