Raising gifted students creates challenges

Imagine sitting through a day of classes, asking yourself, "When will they show me something new?" You'd probably start zoning out partway through a lesson and end the day bored out of your mind. For many highly intelligent students, this is what school looks like. The thing is, these kids want to be challenged – to struggle to understand a concept would be new, exciting and stimulating. However, many schools aren't equipped to handle students whose IQ surpasses that of most of the population. So how are schools to provide incredibly gifted students with the education they need? It's a tough question that has yet to be answered.

The case of the Gupta twins
Anoushka and Aarnav Gupta are 6-year-old twins from Australia who are both very intelligent. According to inMyCommunity, Anoushka has an IQ score of 154 and her brother is yet untested. However, they both come home from school reporting they have not learned anything new.

Parents Maneesha and Vineesh Gupta both work full-time jobs, and Vineesh is often overseas for his career. In addition to taking care of the kids while he's away and working her own job, Maneesha says she has to stay up late to create worksheets and projects for her kids to do. The extra work is necessary to keep the kids active, but it's a lot for the mom.

"I am not a teacher and have no desire to homeschool them but that is what many parents of academically gifted children are forced to do in Perth," Maneesha told the source. "I want to maintain my career but I also think we have to be financially strong to provide for their educations."

The local schools have tried to help the family, offering accelerated educational resources. However, the nearby magnet school wanted Anoushka to stay with students her own age, and so did not bump her up a grade. Finding a way to challenge their bright children has been and continues to be a challenge for the Guptas.

Supporting intelligent kids
The Guptas aren't the only family struggling to provide gifted students with a challenge. Many schools don't know how to provide for incredibly bright students. However, parents can seek programs that offer the features their kids need.

According to the National Association for Gifted Children, curriculum for gifted students should be difficult and teachers must know the unique needs of each student. For instance, many students breeze through lessons, getting As without trying. When presented with a challenging task, some gifted individuals feel their identities are being threatened. Teachers must know this and not only help students academically but motivate them as well. 

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