By Issabela Tulalian
As back to school season kicks off this month depending on where you are located, planning for the school year can be a daunting time for both parents/guardians and gifted students. Parents want their child to thrive in their learning environment and it can be helpful to create a plan to set an intentional tone for the school year.
Below are some tips on ways to create meaningful engagement.
Returning to school whether it’s hybrid, homeschool, public, or an alternative school setting can be anxiety inducing for gifted students and families. Creating opportunities for children to talk about how they are feeling whether it’s after school, during dinner, or before bed will encourage them to communicate and get a sense of how they feel in their school setting.
If the school curriculum is not challenging enough or stimulating, gifted youth can feel bored and unmotivated to participate. Creating an environment where the listener is understanding, encouraging, and empathetic allows for gifted children who are experiencing these emotions to feel safe and be able to approach others with their needs.
Creating a Plan
It takes a community to pave the path of a gifted child’s learning journey. It’s important to identify the issue at hand and determine if there can be adjustments made. Collaborating with the child, their teacher, or counselor on possible solutions to re-engage them is the second step to addressing a situation if a gifted child is feeling highly unmotivated in their school setting. This solution will help the student feel more empowered in creating their own decisions and determining the options that work best for them.
Although each gifted child may need different and individualized support, research studies show that high levels of disengagement can lead to underachievement as gifted students need to be stimulated with learning opportunities that will encourage behavioral, affective, social, and cognitive engagement.  Looking into resources with gifted programs, connecting with other families, or speaking to the child’s counselor are options to find the right tools in supporting a gifted child who is feeling unmotivated.