Educational Links for Parents of Gifted Children
One of the frequent issues that comes up in my clinical and neuropsychological assessment practice is the importance of selecting the best educational fit for a gifted child. In addition to seeking services through public school districts (e.g., participation in a GATE program), alternative educational settings can be really beneficial for gifted children:
Private Schools – Particularly those that understand gifted children and are able to provide ample opportunities for enrichment and individualized education.
Public Charter Schools – There are public charter schools (see links below for just a few examples) that provide a variety of options for alternative educational settings. Children in these schools may opt to receive part of their education at home and part through specialty programs that fit their interests. Many charter schools provide an annual allowance that the parent can apply to purchase/enroll in programs that best fit their child’s needs. These programs often require that much of the child’s time is spent in a home-school type of environment, with parents or other adults providing some of the academic guidance needed. When a more traditional schedule is needed, public charter schools in specialty areas of interest (e.g., science and technology, the arts) may be a good fit. Here are a few available in Southern California:
Private and Public Online Education — There are at least two excellent options I’ve come across that provide middle school and high school students with opportunities for online education, allowing the flexibility of home schooling while providing a rigorous academic curriculum, with varying levels of engagement with other students and teachers. The Stanford Online High School involves virtual classrooms with opportunities for summer programming on the Stanford University campus. The University of California program (UC Scout) provides online and virtual classroom experiences for the core classes needed to apply to a University of California campus. Both of these programs offer rigorous courses and teacher support and can be an excellent option for gifted children. It may be possible to utilize courses from these programs in conjunction with a public charter school or as a supplement to traditional public or private education.
Academic Enrichment Opportunities – There are several highly regarded online education programs that can be used in combination with public or private or home school education. They have admission requirements and enrollment fees (some may be reimbursed by public charter schools – check with the school). The following are specifically designed and geared toward gifted children:
I’m always interested in adding to this list, so if you have suggestions, send me an email through my website