Sign in for exclusive products and special discounts.
It can be frustrating to adults when gifted children, who have so much talent and ability, underachieve academically. One reason is a fear of failure, and this book excerpt from “The Essential Guidebook for Parents of Gifted Children” explains why this perplexing and discouraging phenomenon can happen—and, more importantly, how to change it.
We are proud to share the exciting news that “The Essential Guidebook for Parents of Gifted Children” has been awarded a Gold Mom’s Choice Award for excellence! This announcement secures “The Essential Guidebook’s” place among the outstanding books that Mom’s Choice has named as “the best in family-friendly media, products and services.”
“From time to time, it is healthy for us, as educators devoted to optimizing differentiated education for gifted children, to reexamine our most fundamental assumptions. The assumption I would like to discuss can be expressed in a question: Is gifted education a dream or a goal?” – Michael Clay Thompson
“For more than thirty years, I’ve written and spoken about the difficulties gifted kids and their families face in a world that doesn’t recognize their differences or, if it does, offers little to help them accept and cope with, let alone take joy in, those differences. It can still be difficult for such a child to believe, ‘It’s okay to be me.'” – Stephanie Tolan
“As a classroom teacher, I always tended to have high standards, and to give enormous assignments and challenges, but to be generous about grading. I think, deep down, the generosity was based partly on appreciation and admiration of the work the students were doing, but also on deep concerns about the reliability and validity of evaluation. And yet—here’s the thing—we have to do it.” – Michael Clay Thompson
Being a parent of a gifted child can be stressful. You have to cope with constant questioning all day long, unusual behavior that is difficult to understand, and negative comments from other people, including relatives. Here is some advice from the mother of a profoundly gifted boy.
“If we are to have something truly worthwhile to offer children, it seems to me that it needs to be not just child-centered but life-centered. We humans have vast individual differences, which is, arguably, how we have survived on this planet as long we have. Life here operates on the principle of biodiversity. Every difference has a place. Every life has meaning. EVERY life.” – Stephanie Tolan
“As we seek support for educating gifted students, we must accept the fact that our advocacy efforts have been largely unproductive. We need a persistent and convincing effort to change our environment. Our job is to get the decision-makers to want to help gifted students and then to provide them with a path to do that.” – James J. Gallagher
“For gifted children, the development of verbal talent is among the deepest joys and most critical preparations of life, but the talent will not develop on its own. If we provide access to books, enlightenment about grammar, and enthusiasm for words, then children will move forward into exciting experiences in language that will be catalysts for the development of verbal talent.” – Michael Clay Thompson
“A teacher told me, ‘I think everyone is gifted in their own way.’ It is only when giftedness is discussed that someone feels the need to make it a universal attribute; someone may not be gifted—everyone must be. But just as everyone is not tall, even in their own way, everyone is not gifted, even when we twist the idea by saying ‘in their own way.'” – Michael Clay Thompson
Michael Clay Thompson has won the prestigious Richard W. Riley Award for “superior services to the gifted community.” The award reflects the unique place that Michael’s language arts curriculum has come to have in gifted education.