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Practical Ways Parents Can Elevate Kids’ Education at Home


We often hear of young prodigies graduating from high school at 9, earning college degrees at 12, or starting their own tech companies at 14. While these kids may have an innate advantage, studies show that environment plays a significant role in their development. So, can your child reap the benefits of a gifted program without actually attending one? The answer is yes.

External Validation

According to Dr. Emily Johnson, a researcher specializing in educational psychology, labels like “gifted” can sometimes become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Some children don’t see themselves as college material until someone else, such as a teacher, identifies them as gifted.

However, Dr. Johnson advises against empty praise from parents like calling their children “special” without context. Instead, focus on their effort, not just the results. “Praise their diligence, their quest for understanding, or their improvement in a certain area,” suggests Johnson.

It Begins at Home

Schools usually follow a one-size-fits-all curriculum, but your home doesn’t have to. In a gifted program, personalized teaching methods are standard. Dr. Johnson emphasizes that this tailored approach can also be achieved in a home setting. “Often, high-performing kids are thriving due to their family environment, not just school,” she says.

While hiring a private tutor or enrolling your child in specialized programs is an option, it is not the only one. “Utilize free educational platforms like Khan Academy or Coursera to cater to your child’s unique learning style and pace,” Johnson advises. Even trips to the museum or science experiments at home can enrich their educational experience.

Building Confidence Through Real Success

The core of a gifted program, according to Dr. Johnson, is enabling students to experience real success. They then gain self-efficacy, which is a robust predictor of future success.

To cultivate this at home, Dr. Johnson recommends assigning your children tasks that are neither too easy nor too difficult. “Think Goldilocks—just right,” she says. If your child struggles with a particular subject, reframe it in terms they understand. For example, a child who loves sports but is having a hard time with geometry might find it easier to grasp when shapes are related to sports fields.

Role Models

Seeing someone from a similar background succeed can be highly motivating. “Parents can actively seek out stories or real-life examples of people who have triumphed over adversity or who have excelled in areas your child is interested in,” Johnson suggests.

The idea that only a formal ‘gifted program’ can bring out the best in a child is a myth that needs debunking. As Dr. Emily Johnson has shown, the key components of such programs can be implemented at home, setting your child on a path to extraordinary achievements. After all, unlocking your child’s full potential is less about the program and more about nurturing the right skills, mindset, and opportunities.

Written by
Nina LeBeau

Nina is a certified mediator with a background in psychology. She covers a wide range of topics from emotional well-being to stress management for the entire family.

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