Should I Accelerate My Profoundly Gifted Child?

One reader wrote to me with a question about her profoundly gifted, or exceptionally gifted, child. Because gifted learners often move at a significantly faster pace than their age peers, parents wonder if it is in the best interest of their gifted children to allow them to finish middle school or high school ahead of schedule or even to consider early entrance to college classes.

In other words, is radical acceleration the best option for gifted students, or does it lead to negative experiences later in life or in later grades?

Gifted Child Problems

The standard advice you might hear from parents or homeschool speakers and authors is that children, especially elementary school children, need plenty of time in their day to play. What if your child isn’t interest in paying? What if he prefers hobbies that seem more appropriate for older children? What if your first grade student has intellectual needs or subject matter interests that don’t seem typical for his chronological age?

It’s important for parents to consider the individual academic needs of each child. Even though they spend less time “playing” in the way children in their peer group may often choose to play – such as participating in sports or building with Legos – doesn’t mean that their developmental needs are not being met.

Grade Acceleration vs Subject Acceleration

Have you thought about the option of grade skipping for your accelerated student? Should your child move to a higher grade level?

Or would it be best practice to keep him at the grade level of other students his age and encourage him to study one subject or topic in greater depth? How can you provide the intellectual stimulation your child needs while also ensuring that he is receiving a well-rounded education?

Emotional Maturity Compared to Intellectual Peers

Another concern parents of an accelerated child face is the difficulty of meeting the unique social-emotional needs of their gifted learner. Though a child may be capable of learning at a high intellectual level, does he have the social skills he needs to navigate interacting with older students?

Is ability grouping a helpful opportunity, or a formula for social isolation and low self-esteem?

The Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast Episode #186 – Should I Academically Accelerate My Profoundly Gifted Child?

Parents of gifted learners – especially profoundly gifted children – often struggle to balance the educational acceleration of their children with their emotional development. What are current best practices for academic acceleration of exceptionally gifted children and how can parents meet both the academic and social needs of these students? Should we allow our kids to finish high school early and proceed to college courses?

On today’s episode, we’ll think through all the options, and I’ll give you the tools to make the best choice for your own unique learner!

Links And Resources From Today’s Show:

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