Parents generally think all of their children are pretty special, but some kids really are uniquely gifted when it comes to learning and grasping schoolwork. If you were a gifted student yourself, you might recognize the signs, but here’s some tips for those of you who aren’t sure what to look for.
- Strong Vocabulary – What kinds of words and sentence structure does your child use? Do they use more multi-syllable words than their peers? Are they often asking about the meanings of new words they hear and do they quickly put new words to use? Gifted children often have advanced vocabularies and quickly pickup word meanings through their contextual use.
- Quick on Completing Schoolwork – If your child’s teacher tells you that your child is always one of the first ones completed with their assignments, this is a strong clue that your child is more advanced than the other students in their classroom.
- Understand Monetary Concepts – Use of money is one of the first mathematical concepts that kids are exposed to in their home environment. If your child quickly picks up the concepts of the monetary values of coins and how they relate to one another, this may be a sign that you have a mathematically gifted child.
- Listen and Learn – Does your child seem to be able to pick up concepts and the words to songs as soon as they hear them, even if it is only once? Gifted children don’t need the same amount of repetition to learn as other children.
- Enjoys a Mental Challenge – Are puzzles fun for your child, but they quickly get bored with them if they are too easy? This could be a sign of a gifted child. Gifted children enjoy a challenge but easily become bored if there isn’t enough challenge.
- Mature Sense of Humor – A gifted child will be more likely to understand more complex humor such as is found in newspaper comic strips or jokes that other children their age may not be able to understand.
- Advanced Reading Skills – Most gifted children have advanced reading skills and enjoy reading. You will find them breezing through large books quickly and yet still comprehending what they’ve read and being able to explain it to you.
- Enjoys Learning New Things – For gifted children, learning new things is exciting and fun. They have a great curiosity about how things function, how things are made and learning about just about any subject.
- Observatory Skills – If you have a gifted child, they will notice things and remember things that most other kids would not. They may notice simple details like a person wearing a different watch than they normally do or be able to remember the exact icons on your computer that you clicked on to get to the program that they like to play.
- Grasps Relationships – Gifted children will grasp and understand relational concepts quicker than their peers. They will be able to pick out and replicate more complicated patterns. They will find it easier to fill in the missing piece from a sequence.
Some children will be greatly gifted in just one or two areas, while others seem to be gifted in almost every direction. The important thing is to recognize your child’s strengths and encourage them and challenge them in those areas, so that they are always developing them.