Key Concepts for Teaching Your Gifted Child

Gifted children are prone to asynchronous development. This is what happens when a child excels in one area but is at a lower level in another area. It is a common issue for gifted children, and it can cause a lot of anxiety and frustration for both you and your child.

There are several key concepts that can help you both navigate homeschooling with asynchrony. First and foremost is the understanding that asynchrony is variable. There are times when the difference in abilities between skills grows significantly. When that happens, new problems may emerge. For example, as a child's mental age and chronological age grow further apart, it becomes increasingly difficult to find age appropriate reading material that still challenges your child.

Children are often aware of their own asynchronous development, even if they don't have a name for it. As they notice the differences in their own abilities, it's easy for children to begin to feel like something is wrong with them. It's important in those instances to help your child understand that their growth in one area doesn't necessarily mean that there's a problem in another area.

Gifted children sometimes have trouble communicating effectively with other children. It’s important to give children, especially those who have high verbal skills, the opportunity to be with children like them. I remember a child I worked with who, when in the public schools, often spoke using such complex language that the other first graders couldn’t understand what he was talking about. He’s homeschooled and in fourth grade now, and this is still an issue for him from time-to-time.

Finally, it’s critical that parents and other caregivers remember that this is still a child. Even though a gifted child may be able to carry on conversations about complex, adult-oriented academic concepts, it doesn’t mean that he is socially or emotionally capable of dealing with other adult conversations.

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