Top 10 Signs Of A Gifted Child

Intellectual giftedness is often a confusing and complex concept for parents to get their head around, particularly because there is no one clear definition of what it is that makes a “gifted” child. In general, the term refers to children or adults whose IQ are over 130 and, as such, lie in the top 2 percent of the population. However, there is no clear cut distinction between a gifted and a non-gifted child; children mature at different rates and develop different capacities and skill sets. Giftedness is more often associated with academic success; gifted children often excel at one or more areas of their education, though their talents, if not properly fostered, might also leave them feeling unsatisfied, bored or isolated at school. As a parent, you are in the best possible position to identify whether your child has any unusual capabilities and, if so, make sure they receive the support that they need to reach their potential. Here are the top 10 things that, at a young age, might suggest giftedness in a child.

1. Specific Talents

Does your child have a specific skill that seems impressive for their age, such as musical ability, creativity, language comprehension or numeracy skills?

2. Expanding Vocabulary

Does your child seem to pick up, understand and use words quicker and more naturally than other children their age?

3. Asks “What If?” Questions

Does your child think about situations in an abstract manner? Do they ask lots of hypothetical questions?

4. Relentless Curiosity

Does your child seem constantly hungry to learn more and more about the world? Do they pursue things that they are interested in?

5. Vivid Imagination

Does your child seem particularly creative or imaginative? Do they have an aptitude for telling stories, drawing pictures or creating imaginary situations?

6. Memorisation Of Facts

Is your child able to recall facts with unusual accuracy? Does your child seem to have an encyclopaedic memory of everything they are taught?

7. Observation Skills

Does your child notice things that other children their age, or even you, don’t? For example, does your child remember exactly where you set down the set of keys that you can’t find in the morning?

8. Problem Solving Skills

Does your child come up with creative and novel solutions to problems that they face in their day-to-day life. Do they tend to solve their own problems rather than coming to you for assistance.

9. Sense Of Justice Or Fairness

Does your child seem to express an above average concern for the ethical or moral implications of situations? Are they able to put themselves into other people’s perspectives and think about big-picture issues such as fairness and justice?

10. Sense Of Humour

Is your child able to understand and tell complex jokes? Does your child have a good sense of comedic timing? Though this may not seem like an academic skill, a good sense of humour often requires high levels of intelligence.

If you suspect that your child may be gifted, you might be initially quite daunted by the responsibilities and challenges that this may prevent. However, every expert will tell you the same thing: relax. Before your child starts school, there is no need to subject them to an IQ test or put any undue pressure on them. This may have a negative impact upon their attitude towards learning. What you should do, however, is support and foster their growing interests and encourage your child to pursue them to their fullest potential. When your child starts school, however, it is important to keep an eye on them to make sure that they are receiving the support that they need. Gifted children can often feel stifled, frustrated or alienated within a conventional school environment, and it is important to ensure that this does not hamper their educational and social development. You may choose to get your child’s IQ tested. If it does turn out that your child has a significantly high IQ, then there are plenty of resources available to help your figure out how to best support your child’s need. A good first stop for information is the Australian Association for the Education of the Gifted and Talented.

Why Is Creativity Important?

Creativity is not just about being able to draw or paint or write or sing. Creativity is about being able to deal with difficult and unexpected situations in new and innovative ways. While some students only have one set way of dealing with a specific challenge, creative students think “what are the different ways I can approach this?” Because of this, creativity isn’t just a skill that is useful for subjects such as Art or English; even creative students will naturally have an advantage when it comes to subjects like Mathematics, due to their ability to be flexible and approach a problem from a number of different angles.

So, how can you help your child develop their own creativity?

The key to creativity is the ability to deal with challenges. The best thing you can do to raise a creative child is to present them with fun challenges, set constraints, push them out of their comfort zone and give them obstacles to overcome. Here are some ideas for some fun challenges that you can use in everyday situations to develop your child’s ability to think creatively.

When writing…

If your child enjoys creative writing, push them outside their comfort zones by setting them challenges. For example, ask them to write a story that has to use 5 words (fire, uncomfortable, loud, lost and triangle, for example), ask them to write a poem made purely out of words they can find in a newspaper or magazine, or ask them to write a poem that has exactly 111 words.

When cooking…

If your child enjoys cooking, engage their creative side by setting fun challenges. Put away the recipe book and give your child 5 ingredients that they have to turn into a meal. This can be a fun and practical way of teaching your child how to adapt flexibly to an unfamiliar situation.

When travelling…

If you are going on a holiday or a camping trip, use it as an opportunity to develop your child’s lateral thinking skills. Encourage them to look at maps, plan potential walking routes, plan schedules, make lists of essential things you will need, and think of the most efficient way of packing their suitcase. They won’t even know how much they are learning while having a great experience.

When relaxing…

The newspaper is filled with word puzzles, Sudokus and cryptic crosswords that will encourage your child to develop their lateral thinking skills. These activities are great alternative to watching TV or playing video games on a lazy Sunday morning. If your child is interested in learning more about how to solve tricky cryptic crossword clues, check out this website.

What Kind Of Learner Is Your Child?

Did you know that not all children learn in the same way. In fact, there are 7 different intelligences or ways to learn? These 7 different learning styles are known as Musical, Visual, Verbal, Logical, Kinaesthetic, Social and Reflective. Each child has a different style that works best for them. Quite often, when students struggle with new concepts, the problem lies, not with their ability to learn, but with the style in which the material is being taught. Figuring out what kind of learner your child is will put you at a great advantage when it comes to helping with their education in the future. Today, I will explain the 7 different styles of learning and how you can figure out what kind of learner your child is.

1. Musical Learners

Musical learners respond well to sounds, melodies and rhythms. The things that they remember and appreciate the most are those things that they can chant, sing or put into a rhythm. Depending on their age, musical learners can benefit from simple chants such as “three in the bed”, singing the alphabet song, listening to times tables songs, or even using music to remember the periodic table!

2. Visual Learners

Visual learners prefer to see what they are learning. They respond extremely well to pictures, diagrams, colour codes and mind maps. Often, they have trouble organising their ideas unless they can sketch them out on a page. Visual learners benefit greatly from having paper, post-it notes, highlighters and coloured pens and pencils at their disposal when brainstorming ideas.

 3. Verbal Learners

Verbal learners love language. They respond well to written or spoken explanations and work best when they can put their ideas into words. Verbal learners are often avid readers, and they find it easier to crystallise their ideas by writing them down.

 4. Logical Learners

Logical learners prefer clear, consistent rules. They don’t like ambiguity or uncertainty, but prefer to know the exact steps that they have to follow to solve a particular problem. Predictably, logical learners often take to Mathematics due to its predictable and reliably logical nature. That is not to say, however, that they can’t excel in other subjects as long as they are able to figure out a clear, consistent approach.

 5. Kinaesthetic Learners

Kinaesthetic learners are physical people. They feel most confident when they are moving or engaging in physical activity. Whilst most people associate learning with sitting still and reading a book, kinaesthetic learners prefer a hands on approach.

5 Reasons To Work Hard In VCE (Apart From Just Getting Into Uni)

For many students, VCE is a means to a very specific end: getting into their chosen University degree. Students that have a very clear idea of what they want to do after school, and who are chasing a specific ATAR score, are inherently motivated to work hard throughout their final years of high school. The unfortunate flipside of this is that, for students who don’t know what they want to do after school, it is often hard to maintain enthusiasm for their VCE studies. Students that assume that the VCE is only a stepping-stone into a degree that bears no other significance in their lives might not work as hard to achieve the best that they’re capable of. Today, I wanted to put the VCE and the ATAR score into context and show that there are many other reasons for working hard during years 11 and 12, apart from just getting into uni.

1. It Builds Confidence

Self confidence is an amazing thing. If you think you can achieve a goal, you are far more likely to work hard towards it. Doing well in VCE doesn’t just give you a good score, it also helps you realise what you can achieve if you work hard. Students that achieve a high ATAR score learn an important lesson: though they might face great difficulties in their lives, they are capable of great things if they put their mind to it.

2. It Teaches You How To Work On Long-Term Goals

Achieving a good ATAR is one of the biggest long-term undertakings of a student’s life. In order to succeed in VCE, you need to plan ahead, sometimes up to two years in the future, and think about what you can do over a long period of time to achieve a larger goal. Thinking in such a long-term way is often very difficult; people are more likely to respond to short-term achievements and find it difficult to work hard towards anything that is not immediately rewarding. Working hard to achieve a long-term goal, such as achieving a good ATAR score, is a valuable experience because it teaches you to plan ahead and work towards something that is truly worthwhile.

3. It Teaches You Time Management Skills

VCE is tough. Students have to juggle up to 6 classes, each of which involves homework, tests, SACS, exams and assignments. Some students crumble under the pressure; others flourish and develop excellent time management skills. Guess what? These skills don’t stop being useful as soon as you graduate. If you can learn how to manage all of your classes in an efficient and effective way throughout VCE, then you have developed time management skills that will help you throughout your entire life!