Would you call your child a “mathematically precocious youth”?
Whether your youngster’s strength is in math, music, or public speaking, you’re likely wondering how to turn that natural gift into future success. We now know that it takes more than a “gifted” designation to predict a lifetime of positive outcomes and that school districts aren’t always great at implementing new opportunities for high achievers. Fortunately for your kids, research shows that supplemental programming like that offered by FasTracKids is just what talented students need to set a trajectory for success.
Possibilities have been improving.
While parenting a gifted student can feel like a lot of pressure, take heart. Kids working through school now and in coming years have it much better than their parents and grandparents’ generations. Now that there are so many high-quality enrichment opportunities available, sorting through them can seem daunting. Once you’ve done your research, though, the benefits are well worth the effort.
The value of accelerated programming for gifted children has finally been proven thanks to the extraordinary efforts of a few Johns Hopkins researchers. A 45-year project called A Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth has yielded the kind of results that empower today’s parents to make better-informed decisions. This longitudinal study tracked the long-term achievement of kids with above-average aptitude, some of whom have become household names — Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin, Lady Gaga. Among many other factors, the study compared the outcomes of students kept on a fixed, traditional curriculum with those of kids who were offered more flexible, interest-based educational opportunities.
Achievement through Acceleration
One of the significant findings of the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth is that acceleration helps gifted kids thrive. That doesn’t necessarily mean skipping a grade. Rather, this research has demonstrated that children confined to inflexible coursework are less likely to choose challenging courses post high-school. The bottom line? It pays to encourage exploration. This might equal more work for parents, but you won’t necessarily have to twist your kid’s arm to sign up for additional studies. This enriching coursework doesn’t have to be in fields traditionally considered “smart” to contribute to kids’ success. Children who were allowed to take challenging courses in line with their natural skills and interests consistently achieved more than those gifted students who just completed the base curriculum.
You’re on the right track.
You’ve probably already imagined that natural talent would only go so far toward determining your child’s future success. As Joseph Renzulli of the University of Connecticut posits, “genuine giftedness requires a combination of intelligence, creativity, and perseverance.” Though one or two of these characteristics can be ingrained, the others require building and reinforcement. By realizing it will take more to leverage your child’s natural abilities, you’re already poised to launch them farther than they’d likely go with a standard curriculum.
Ready for the FasTrack?
FasTracKids strives to be a resource that makes it easier for parents to cultivate kids’ natural talents. Our coursework is designed to keep young learners engaged regardless of what’s happening in the classroom. No matter what gets your child going, we can leverage his or her natural interests into valuable learning opportunities. Explore our site or get in touch to access the most extensive selection of educational enrichment, gifted & talented, and tutoring programs for children ages 2 -14 in the NYC metropolitan area.