Gifted Program Suggestions?

Updated on August 03, 2012
K.M. asks from Avenel, NJ
11 answers

My daughter is 15 now and she took a real IQ test when she was 12. The result was 128. She loves a challenge, and took the SAT when she was 13 just for fun. (Verbal part: 540, math: 620.) She likes science, math and english. But she gets bored easily... so are there any gifted programs you would suggest? They can be online/ camp etc. :) Thanks!

They don't have advanced classes at her school...

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So What Happened?

The school doens't have "gifted and talented" classes but they do offer AP/honours classes. Might be worth giving it a try. But I'm not too familiar with that system, could someone give me a few details about it?
Also, Science Olympiad sounds quite interesting. Thanks for that suggestion.

Featured Answers



answers from Detroit on

Is she in high school? Don't they have AP classes and other accelerated programs that would be at her level and challenge her more?

ETA: To take the AP classes, I think they usually have to take some required classes first, or test into them. You can probably get the information you need directly from the school.

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answers from Norfolk on

Last time I checked (and it's been awhile so it might have changed), an IQ of 128 was Above Average (%14 of the population) and Gifted range was 130-144 (%2 of the population).
I don't always see a gifted program as a plus because budgets are slashed to ribbons and not every program is worth while.
That being said, my philosophy is - never let a school limit what your child can learn.
They HAVE to teach to a certain curriculum - while you are free to pursue what ever interests your child.

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answers from Houston on

In high school, rather than having the gifted and talented programs they usually provide Honors and AP classes. That's where she will find her challenge. Also, for the talented part, she should seek out the fine arts that interest her.

With AP classes and fine arts instrction only your daughter will limit what she can learn and accomplish. Also, ask the counelor and teachers at her school for summer learning programs in her areas of interest.

And remember, the IQ is only significant if she applies her intelligence. I've seen many kids who are told by their parents that they are smart feel like they don't need to work or learn. It's a true tragedy. (parent guilt speaking here)

Don't neglect sports also. Keeping the body engaged can help keep the brain engaged. Having a team to relate with can make the learning a lot more fun.

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answers from Dallas on

What kind of school does not have advanced classes? The "gifted" designation is under the same umbrella as special ed, and I think all schools are required by law to serve students with special needs. Your district should have a Gifted and Talented program, and in highschool that normally includes students taking Honors or Advanced Placement courses.

Her school should offer Advanced Placement, Dual Credit, and/or honors classes. In your school district, look into magnet schools - also see if you have a "New Tech" school in your area. Those are project based learning schools that do a lot with science and engineering.

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answers from New York on

Montclair State University has a gifted and talented program on the weekends during the school year and in the summer.

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answers from New York on

There are online schools that specialize in the classical approach to learning which your child may love. They focus on memorization, they offer languages like Latin and Chinese and the students are encouraged to learn about things that are outside of the norm.
A google search would help. But doesn't your high school offer AP classes or things like engineering or IT? My 16 yr old was able to take an engineering class in 9th and 10th grade that was eligible for college credit at RIT. Ther are also honors english, math & science classes as well as many other AP classes in every field. At 14 your child should be going into HS - I would check with her guidance counselor - I'm sure there are things she can do at your local HS.

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answers from Washington DC on

Online and camps would be great but won't help her when she's bored out of her mind at school. And bored kids are restless kids who start to lose interest in school at all -- something you don't want to happen.

Have you really investigated what is offered not just at her one school but within your entire school system? Does the system/district offer any programs for "gifted and talented" or "advanced academics" or other titles like that? In some systems, the child can be moved to a different school with a "gifted and talented 'center'" where the classes are all GT, all the time. But by middle school that often is replaced with "honors classes" and then eventually Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs in high schools, or at least "accelerated" classes as they used to be called.

I would immediately find the right person in the school system -- not just at her school - and explain that you have a very bright child who is at high risk of being bored and losing interest in school. Find out if you can locate a loophole for moving her to a school with a more accelerated/advanced program of any of the kinds mentioned above. If you cannot move her, or it's critical that she stay near her friends, then you need to get extremely involved at school and push for more challenging assignments -- NOT just extra work at the same level, but work that is more challenging and stimulating (some teachers just throw a higher volume of work at kids who want a challenge, rather than actually challenging their brains with more stimulating work).

Meanwhile, see if you can get her into programs like Science Olympiad (schools usually have to have teams for SO but see if she can do it with another school), Math Olympiad, Odyssey of the Mind, and other enrichment programs that will indeed take up her free time but will be so good for her. Ask about other types of programs in your area that may have different names. My daughter (11) does Science Olympiad and that saved her this past school year -- she loves science but the teaching in class was really dull and poorly done this past year, so having SO to fulfill her science hunger kept her interested and challenged.

Look online and search something like "science camps" and your area of New Jersey. Also, many Some universities run summer programs in many subjects for teenagers so check with every university and college near you! It is getting late for summer programs and camps but she might even be able to do a year-round teen program or even take an introductory college class.

Good luck. Be assertive. Do not let anyone tell you you're being a "helicopter parent" if you push the school to challenge her; she has a right to an education that uses ALL of her brain. Spend time online really seeing what out-of-school options there are too.

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answers from Dallas on

Have you contacted Mensa? They may have some programs or ideas for your daughter.

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answers from New York on

They put my son into GIEP. In our area we have a special education unit that is stationed in a near by city through our state government. They handle IEP and GIEP students in our county as well. Once he was put into that, the school had more freedom and skipped him a grade in all subjects except math. Math they skipped him 2 grades, so he will technically be finished with his high school math this year and he's in 10th grade. Also he started school 1 year early, because we sent him to a catholic school. Private schools have more flexibility than public schools, so they could accept him early. He's 13 and will be going into 10th grade this year. His school starts the PSAT in 9th grade. Also, our local college enrolled him as a "matriculating freshman" so he could take classes there. He started taking college courses when he was 9 and now has 9 college credits in math. He's taken "Applied Algebriac Methods," "Statistics," and "Pre-Calc" at college. His math teacher was very supportive, which helps a lot. She's from Warsaw. We were really nervous at first. I can still remember his first day. He came out of the classroom and said, "Mommy, they're all big...Yes, son they're adults....But Mommy, they're bigger than Daddy....That's ok son, let's wait a week to see how it goes..." A week passed and a new conversation emerged, "I like this better than school and the teacher is really good, but the students are really stupid....Son, they aren't stupid, it's just that they didn't have the opportunity to get as good an education as you."....3 weeks passed and I caught my son sitting in the hallway with a college student with spikey hair and tons of body piercings, "Son, be careful who you talk to, I know he looks like Sharkboy, but may not be that nice.....Mom, his name isn't Sharkboy, it's Ryan and he needs help with math so I'm tutoring him." (lol, that's my boy!)

I know it's scarey to have your child skip grades and people will bring up social skills. They don't understand that gifted children are different and many times can identify better with older children. I'm glad we started our son early and skipped him a grade and I'd do it all over again. His social skills are very good and the older high school students treat him so much better than his peers in the lower grade.

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answers from New York on

In response to your "so what happened," just about every high school has an honors track. It sounds like your daughter should definitely be in these classes. Just talk to her guidance counselor -- if her grades are decent, it should be fairly easy to get her in. AP is just the junior/senior version of honors, though she may have to take additional tests to get in.

Another option, if she's well ahead of grade level, is to have her take some classes at your local community college. You would have to register as a homeschooler to do this, but she'd be in a structured academic environment.

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answers from Dallas on

Our highs schools have honors, AP and IB courses available. My 17 yr old is in AP classes.

Maybe look into to what your district offers a little further. Depending on your system, you might have to go to an alternate school.

At 15, I would also make sure you are not labeling her as well or she will have a tougher time with friends if she approaches her social activities with a "I'm smarter than you attitude" NOT saying she does this, just an FYI in dealing with that age group.

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