Preparing Your Child for a Full-Time Gifted Programme
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My daughter who just turn 7 a day ago has done extremely well on report
cards and placement tests throughout her school years. Just recently,
she scored all 99's on her Terra Nova tests and will be moving from a
private school to a full-time gifted school. I am a bit concerned since
she has pretty much breezed through school thus far and don't want her
to feel too much pressure as she may now be challenged more in this
school. Any words of advice we could pass along to ease mine and
possibly my daughter's feelings?
Also, could you recommend a free on-line IQ test for a child her age?
Her current teacher suggested she be tested but really didn't give us
any options as to how or where we would go to have this done.
Parents usually ask how to prepare a child for a gifted entrance exam,
but your girl has already been selected in the programme. There is
indeed no standard way to prepare any child for a gifted programme. In
fact, that she is already selected for the programme indicates that she
is more suited for the programme than the regular programme. It is also
presumed that she would automatically fit in better as this is a better
She would be amongst a group of similarly able peers. The one thing that
she may discover is that she may not be the top as she may have always
been. She may find herself working much harder to achieve recognition as
she did before. This may lead her to feel somewhat not as able as she
used to be. For this, you may need to help her understand that her peers
are just as able as she is and it is perfectly fine not to be in the top
range. That may ease off undue pressure to perform. Tell her that the
fact she is in the programme proves her ability and that the programme
is for children who have abilities just as she has.
Some of her peers may have gone through tremendous pressure form their
parents to be in the programme. These kids may then manifest in
different ways. While most kids in the programme would be well placed as
their needs are being catered, there may also be kids who may not fit
well and can have disruptive behaviour. Explain to your child that she
needs to talk her parents or teacher is there is anything bothering her
in her new environment. A child needs to feel that she has somewhere to
go to if s/he is unhappy. Also explain to her that she may find it a
little hard to adjust in the beginning but it is perfectly fine to take
her time to settle in. As parents, you may need to pay a little more
attention in the beginning as she is quite young; at the same time,
please do not be “over-protective” as the child may learn to be too
dependent on you for everything.
Subject matter would certainly be harder than it has ever been but this
is because the programme is designed to challenge the selected group.
Explain to her that as she moves grade, the learning would be more
challenging but also more interesting. Keep in constant touch with the
teacher to monitor her progress, both academically and socially. I am
sure with all these taken in mind; she would breeze through the system
as she has previously.
Since she is already in the gifted programme, unless you want to know in
detail about her strengths and weaknesses, there may not be a reason to
test for now. I am afraid I am not in a position to endorse any online
IQ tests but you can get her to attempt a few as a fun activity rather
than to test for her IQ. Only a standardised intelligence test would
give you reliable results. Good luck!