Critical thinking is a skill that focuses on using logic and analysis—and not just memorized facts—to answer questions and solve problems. Essentially, critical thinking relies on practicing how to think, not what to think. For example, asking, What makes biology a science? requires far more thought and reflection than asking, What is the definition of biology? Many scholars argue that teaching critical thinking is essential for the effective education of children, especially gifted children, … [Read more...] about What Is Critical Thinking?
Many parents wonder whether they should support their child’s involvement in sports teams, arts and music clubs, or other non-academic extracurricular activities. Even though most non-academic activities may not be directly associated with educational goals, students can learn valuable lessons from such experiences. Non-academic activities aid adolescents as they look for settings where they can interact with like-minded peers, form relationships with non-familial adults, and experiment with … [Read more...] about Considering Non-Academic Extracurricular Activities for Your Child
Will participating in this program make my child feel good about him/herself? Will it help him/her academically? Or could it do both at the same time? These are important and valid questions that all parents should consider when making decisions about their child’s academic experiences. … [Read more...] about The Effects of Participating in Gifted Programs Extend Beyond Academics
Parents and educators often worry about how gifted students spend their time in the classroom. Rightly so, given that gifted students can often find standard curricula easy or boring. And adolescents in the U.S. typically have six to eight hours of free time each day. This is not a trivial amount of time and should not be ignored by parents of the gifted. A recent study by Duke TIP looked at exactly this. … [Read more...] about Time Spent Outside the Classroom
Heraclitus wrote, “Our own nature hides from us, but wants to be found.” Do you remember moments in your life when you asked “Who am I?” Perhaps you were interacting in a social situation in which you realized you didn’t fit, reflecting near a river or in your place of faith, or talking to someone you love. The self was somewhere that you needed to discover, and you sensed a primal drive to find it. … [Read more...] about Nurture the Nature: Understanding and Supporting Your Child’s Unique Core Personality
Few issues have stirred as much controversy recently as school calendar reform. In school board meetings and district forums across the country, educators, parents, and community leaders debate the educational, social, and financial impacts of year-round and traditional calendars. Current credible research on the academic merits gives year-round schools a slight edge, though much of the controversy seems to be emotionally and politically charged. … [Read more...] about Education, Politics, and the School Calendar
Antediluvian ('an-te¯-di-"LOO-ve¯-un), meaning “old-fashioned” or “out-of-date,” was the winning word in the 1994 Scripp’s National Spelling Bee (www.spellingbee.com). Even though the national spelling bee began in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1925, it is anything but antediluvian. … [Read more...] about To Bee or Not to Bee?
Mathematically talented students often show an early interest in and facility with numbers. For example, they may learn to tell time at age two and begin adding and subtracting long before they enter kindergarten. Anecdotes shared by parents about their precocious youngsters are helpful in identifying these students initially, but the objective information determined from an appropriate assessment is essential in determining the extent of their abilities and providing them with a challenging … [Read more...] about Developing Mathematical Talent: Advice to Parents
Planning a car trip this summer? Cruise the miles with a few ingenious travel games designed for family or individual entertainment. … [Read more...] about A Few for the Road
Parent question: My 12-year-old son takes little interest in the world around him or in making friends. From early childhood he’s been far more interested in creating elaborate games with his cars; engrossing himself in learning all about trains, space shuttles, and airplanes; and playing computer games. At his gifted school he enjoys the company of other children but doesn’t want to take on the responsibility of friendship. I’ve hosted numerous play dates with his schoolmates, which have ended … [Read more...] about Social Disinterest