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Challenge Your Child Outside the Classroom

There is a constant emphasis on getting students up to speed and helping students that are falling behind. But what if your child is already meeting state standards for his grade level? Sure, your child’s teacher can do a lot to challenge him, but there are also many things you can do at home.

  • Talk to your child’s teacher or librarian about books that are appropriate for an above grade-level reader. Many times, books at higher reading levels contain content for older students so you will want to be selective when choosing challenging books. Hoagies’ Gifted Education reading list has a list of reading materials for above-level readers.
  • If your child is in high school, many community colleges allow students to begin earning college credits early.
  • For students excelling in math, allow your child to work ahead on concepts being taught in class. For example, if he is learning division, challenge him with remainders. Ask your child’s teacher if the school’s curriculum materials offer challenge books that your child can do at home.
  • Many exceptional children do well and have fun with brain teasers. Check your local book store for some or find them online, like those found on National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and Hoagies’ Gifted Education brain teasers.
  • Take advantage of your community. Museums are learning warehouses. Find a topic your child is interested in, and search for a museum that caters to that interest.

One of the most important things to remember is that a child that needs to be challenged doesn’t simply need more work; he needs more challenging work or activities that are outside or an extension of what he is doing in the classroom. Communication with his teacher is key in order to bridge what you are doing at home with what your child is able to accomplish in the classroom.