Connecting your gifted child with interesting experts

Gifted children are prone to phases. One day they may spend hours learning about butterflies and the next they may prefer to learn the intricate workings of a dump truck. While this is common among all young kids, those with high IQs may be interested in more complex matters. As a parent, you want to encourage these learning endeavors, but you may not have much to offer in the way of knowledge about a particular subject. This is the perfect opportunity to turn to the Internet for assistance. Here are some ways to connect your children with experts so they can learn from the best:

Look for a reputable source
Similarly to when writing a research paper in college, you'll need to make sure a source is credible before introducing your children to it as an educational resource. Museums, nonprofits and higher-education institutions are all great places to go when looking for factual information. Websites that end in .org or .edu are more likely to be safe bets for truthful, legitimate data and expert content. Help your children learn about safe searching by encouraging them to turn to these sites when doing research. Make sure they understand the limitations of crowd-sourced websites like Wikipedia as anyone can edit these, and the entries may not be factual. You can also encourage your children to check scholarly journals. While the language in these publications may be over their heads, you can help them identify the main points and potentially authors or researchers to contact.

Reach out
Gifted children are often curious by nature, and that means they ask a lot of questions. When Google searching doesn't quite cut it, you can provide your children with assistance in contacting experts who will be able to provide answers. First, figure out who would be a good person to ask. If your kids want to know about dinosaurs, see if you can contact an archeologist from a local college or museum. You can likely find his or her email and phone number on an employer's website under the "staff" page. If you're not sure how to navigate the site, find a general contact number and then speak with someone at the organization about how you can get in touch with the specific expert. Make sure your children have a list of queries to ask ready when you make the call – you might be transferred to the individual right away, so it helps to be prepared.

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