5 Math Tips for the Gifted Learner
Guest post by Kimberly Smith
Having a gifted learner can be a blessing as well as a challenge. A blessing because your child is mastering a skill quickly. And, a challenge because you as a parent are struggling to keep them engaged on the subject. One of the biggest concerns is that a gifted learner can get bored easily. Once bored, they can become frustrated and lazy when it comes to that gifted area.
In the area of math, we as parents can become fearful as our child surpasses our knowledge. It can become frustrating if you don’t know how to help your child grow in the area of math. However, let’s look at 5 tips for parents that have a gifted homeschool math student.
Work at Your Own Pace
Let your child work at their own pace. Every student is different and a gifted learner may not need to do repetition in order to master a skill. So often as parents we like to really make sure our child has mastered an area. We give extra worksheets or redo the lesson. This is not necessary with a gifted learner. So don’t stay at the same place. Once they have mastered a concept let them move on. That may mean your child finishes 2nd grade in 3 months. That is okay, just move forward to the next grade. Remember repetition can cause frustration. So allow your child to set the pace.
Gifted Students Need To Be Challenged
Use different types of curricula so they don’t get bored. If you see that one curriculum is too easy – go to the next level or find a more challenging curriculum. Ask around and see what other parents are using and borrow the curriculum to see if it is a better fit. In the past Saxon has been good for challenging gifted learners, but there are so many different types of math resources to choose from.
Show Them How to Apply the Knowledge
Keep math relevant and current to the real world. Allow your child to manage their own money and credit card. Have them calculate the groceries as you buy them in the grocery store, join a math league, play the imaginary stock market. Find math learning games that incorporate high function math skills. Rainbow Resource has tons of great games and manipulatives in this area, and online math learning is perfect for an extra challenge at a higher level.
Expand Their Thinking
Expand the concept of math through logic, robotics, programming, chemistry, physics, cooking, and mental problems to help your child think outside the box. Math can be very cut and dry. Encourage your child to see beyond a+b=c concept. Math is much more than just a textbook to finish. Math is in everything and you can help your child to see this.
Open up Their Future
Once your child is old enough let them do online and/or college courses. They can get college credit and it may open up opportunities that you might not know of. This will also allow them to work with professionals in the math field. This will help you and your child to see what is out there for them. It also takes the pressure off you, because other people are now involved. This can allow you to relax and concentrate on other areas of your child’s education.
Remember you as a parent co not need to do this alone. Ask for help. Do research, talk to other parents, check out your local high school or college. Home-school conventions are also a great tool. You can look at different curriculum and ask questions. Having a gifted student really is a blessing even with all the challenges, and as parents, it is our job to nurture that gift to the best of our abilities.
Kimberly Smith – Volunteer Contributor
Kimberly Smith is a homeschooling mom of 4 children with three of those in college! Kim and her family enjoy fostering children, were thrilled to adopt their seven-year-old through fostering, and are now homeschooling again! Kim has had over 17 years of homeschool experience including the privilege to homeschool a child with serious learning disabilities as well as a gifted child. Kim and her husband of 26 years have gone through many ups and downs with their children as well as in life. Job losses, frequent moves, the challenge of loving a child through rebellion, and their faith have been a part of their growth and give Kimberly the insight to touch others.
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