17 Wishes for Making Parenting Gifted Children Easier

I was Facebook chatting with a friend who’s just starting out on her journey of parenting a gifted kindergartener and we were talking about what would make our lives easier as we guide these unique little people. These are the items I came up with in no particular order.

gifted children, parenting

Parenting Gifted Children Made Easier

Yep, I get it. Wishing for things to be easy as we raise gifted children is a total first-world problem. My kid has a full belly and goes to bed feeling safe. I’m more than thankful for this.

Nope, not all of these are very realistic. I know that. Some are tongue-in-cheek. Maybe a few of these things are already happening in some magical places but I’m pretty confident that they’re not the standard.

But some of these wishes sure seem like they could should be the norm.

Parenting a gifted child would be easier if…

  • Neighborhood libraries were open 24-7 and the next book in whatever series they’re reading was always available.

 

  • School districts provided professional development for ALL teachers on the identification of gifted students.

 

  • All the enrichment programs were high-quality, reasonable priced, within a 20-minute drive of home, and the schedules never conflicted with any other activities. And all those enrichment locations should be next to a coffee shop with comfy chairs and strong Wi-Fi (I’m writing this at a coffee shop 60 minutes away from home while my daughter is at math class. There are no comfy chairs.)

 

  • We could figure out how to download those *&{@! Minecraft mods without infecting our computers with some horrific virus. (I’ve had zero personal success with this.)

 

  • Differentiation in the classroom happened and it actually worked. (Remember, these are wishes – anything can happen!)

 

  • Every teacher, principal, and superintendent would be educated on what gifted students need in the classroom and then they’d provide it.

 

  • Elementary classes would be on a block schedule to allow say, a 1st grader to go to 4th grade math and 3rd grade reading without ripping a hole in the space-time continuum.

 

  • Schools would celebrate academic achievement the same way they celebrate athletic achievement (No, I’m not suggesting getting rid of traditional athletics!)

 

  • And for those middle school students that need to go to the high school for classes, please provide transportation. Thank you.

 

  • Gifted students would be grouped in a class so they would have true peers they could interact with. Maybe chat about things like a comparative analysis of Matt Smith vs. David Tennant vs. the new old Doctor (Whovians will understand).

 

  • Scratch that – gifted students would have their own school. No more pull-out enrichment programs that while we are so thankful for are simply not enough to sustain these kids.

 

  • There would be one universally acknowledged definition of what it means to be gifted and one universally accepted assessment to determine if in fact one meets that definition.

 

  • Chess club would count as a sport.

 

  • Computer programming would be taught as early as elementary school.

 

  • Teachers would communicate via email rather than the archaic ‘backpack’ system. (Ok, not really a gifted thing but I hate digging through a backpack for the latest classroom news. I’m sure most schools already do this and I’m just in a black hole of poor communication).

 

  • Librarians would limit the weight of the books a child checks out each week to prevent future chiropractic bills.

 

  • The term “smarty-pants” would be banned. Please.

 

I reserve the right to add to this list as the whims hit me.

What say you – what’s on your wish list?

 

19 Responses

  1. I’ve noticed my daughter is terrible about remembering her library card–so somehow they all end up on mine AND I’m carrying the bag. Hm. I like this weight-restriction rule.

  2. That the online summer classes they offer that cost $185 per class would be free for gifted students. Most kids don’t want to take more than one, she wants to take all of them and she wishes for a year round school. She’s a Junior in High School taking 5 AP classes and can’t fit more than one online class into her schedule during the school year when they are offered for free. I wish she could take as many as she wanted each summer but we can’t afford it. This spring we will pay for 5 AP tests, 2 subject tests and a SAT test and also the cost of 2 online summer classes.

    • The Common Mom says:

      How could I forget about free classes?? That should definitely go on the wish list! What online classes is she taking?

  3. These are fantastic! Our library has a 100 book max so the weight thing would help my back pain 🙂

    Also, I wish we could talk about these kids the same way others can talk about their great soccer player or track star.

  4. Great list. Agree with all of them. I would also add that guidance counselors would actually have enough knowledge of gifted students’ needs that they could help them with career and college admissions planning.

    • The Common Mom says:

      Oh, career and college admission planning – you’re right! And I think that counseling needs to start earlier than high school since so many of these kiddos are taking higher level classes at earlier ages. They need to understand that they really do go on their “permanent record”.

  5. I overheard my son complain to his kindergarten teacher that the math she did was to easy and she told him, I kid you not, “This is the math book that the district gave me and we have to use it.” Which is odd, as he is pulled out of class several times a week to do math with older kids, and yet he still has to do math with the kindergarteners too.

    • The Common Mom says:

      These are the types of things that make no sense to me! Thank goodness he’s pulled out during the week.

  6. LOL! I am so thankful for e-books available through our library. We “broke down” and bought a kindle for our daughter when she was 8 or 9 and loaded it up with classics so she would never be out of books. It didn’t work. 😉 Glad for the library system. Now, if only all the books she wanted were available when she wanted them…..

  7. Lovely to know I am not alone. I have said most of these to my husband. I will add, if only my neighbor was a piano teacher.

    • The Common Mom says:

      Ahh, a piano (or maybe violin) teacher in the neighborhood. That would make life easier! Thanks for stopping by – you’re not alone 🙂

  8. My kids do not attend our home school. I have my kids in a school-within-a-school gifted program offered through our district. I often get comments along the lines of “my kid is fine and he’s in a regular classroom” or “what’s wrong with our local school? My kid went there and he’s now at Prestigious University.” In my perfect world, I would like other parents not to view my choices for my kids as a judgment on their choices for their kids. I wish we could all accept that everyone is trying to do right by their own kids.

  9. Both my kids attend our district’s gifted magnet school. While it is not perfect, I am happy to see that much of your wish list is covered at our school! And yeah, I heard the questions about why I thought the neighborhood school wasn’t good enough, then the complaint from other parent that they had to patiently wait years before the district agreed to test their gifted child. You can get that done privately folks! It costs less than a couple of months of cable TV, and you can have it done now, not when the district gets around to it!

    • The Common Mom says:

      I don’t understand those who want to get their child tested and don’t. Where there’s a will there’s usually a way. Glad to hear you’ve found a good fit for your kids – love the positive news!

  10. Kate baltau says:

    What a fantastic list!! I think it should be distributed to every school district in the country!!

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