By Jennifer Bardsley
One of the great things about living in Washington State is the abundance of Highly Capable Programs. Some people vilify the idea of gifted education and say that it is elitist. But perhaps they don’t understand that many gifted children have unique social and emotional needs that come along with a high IQ.
Here’s one of my favorite quotes about what it’s like to be a gifted child in a mainstream classroom:
“To throw a non-swimmer in the deep end of the pool is inhumane. To demand an Olympic swimmer remain in the shallow end until the rest of the class learns to swim is a ludicrous restraint.”
That’s why Hi-Cap programs are so important. Kids get to work one, two or even more grade levels ahead of their neurotypical peers, and also experience a group dynamic where they can still feel “normal.”
Will Washington State’s Hi-Cap programs nurture the next Bill Gates? That’s an interesting idea to consider. That one-in-a-million kid could be sitting in a Hi-Cap classroom right now. In another state, that child’s brain might be languishing. But here in Washington (hopefully), that child is being sufficiently challenged and understood.
A difficult thing to understand about children with high IQs is that just because they are gifted, it doesn’t mean they are easy to teach or parent. In fact, often times the opposite is true. So for the second year in a row, I’ve used Teaching My Baby to Read to organize a blog tour devoted to the special needs of gifted children.
The Parenting the Gifted Blog Tour 2013 runs from June 14 to 21 and includes a contribution from the Washington Coalition of Gifted Education, as well as posts from bloggers in three separate countries.
We come from different parts of the world, different school choices and different social and economic backgrounds, but we all have one thing in common; we know that parenting a gifted child can sometimes be as challenging as it is rewarding.
Starting this Friday, the Parenting the Gifted Blog Tour will discuss some of the most pertinent issues facing gifted education today:
June 14: Sceleratus Classical Academy will kick off our tour with “Comparison is the Thief of Joy.”
June 16: Teaching My Baby to Read will feature “Harry Potter, Muggles, Squibs and Giftedness in Family Trees.”
June 17: Homeschooling: or Who’s Ever Home will write about “Nurturing Musical Talent in the Gifted Child.”
June 19: Northwoods Classical Academy will write about “The Making of a Mathlete.”
All it takes is one gifted individual to reshape the economy of our entire world. I believe that meeting the needs of all learners is a smart investment, as well as a compassionate decision.