Recently, I met John, the father of an eleven year old boy. After a few minutes of conversation, it became clear to me that John's son was gifted. I asked if the boy had taken part in an academic talent search. He hadn't. In fact, the gentleman was unfamiliar with the talent search model. As I was prattling on about the benefits of early college, John looked at me and asked, “how do you find out about all this stuff?” In less than half an hour, I had alerted him to the existence of a whole new realm of possibilities. Parents who are “in the know” are able to present their gifted children with more options and to better assist them in developing their potential. John wanted to know how he could become better informed.
Do you want to be “in the know?” For John and all other parents who want to know more about accessing information pertinent to gifted children, here's my list of most recommended resources. Each is unique and has some special wisdom to offer.
1.Bellaonline Gifted Education site: Over 150 articles on all aspects of giftedness, written by myself and special guest authors. The site also has a message board and resource links, with special attention paid to gifted homeschoolers, twice exceptional (2e) kids, and young gifted children. Additionally, this gifted education site has a plethora of reviews on books and other materials for gifted students, their parents and teachers.
2.Davidson Institute's Gifted Issues discussion forum: This list is open to the public, though many of the regular posters are parents of profoundly gifted kids served by the Davidson Young Scholars program. Therefore, the majority of posters have gifted kids who are two or more standard deviations from the norm, but nobody checks IQ scores at the door and all are welcome to participate.
3.Gifted Exchange Blog by Laura Vanderkam, coauthor of “Genius Denied”. Laura's insightful blog posts cover more than they typical academic concerns. Her blog is updated frequently and always gives us something to think about.
4.Hoagie's Gifted site: The go-to site for information on all things gifted. Hoagie's contains articles, links, and product recommendations galore.
5.Mensa Bright Kids e-list: Designed for parents of gifted children, this active e-list is open to all and one need not be a Mensa member to register. Moderated by dedicated Mensa volunteers, this list is a great place to get a wide range of perspectives on gifted issues.
6.National Association for Gifted Children: This is a fantastic website with a national focus, and the best place to learn about political actions affecting gifted education. Those who join NAGC will receive a subscription to “Parenting for High Potential”, or “Gifted Child Quarterly”, a discount on registration at the national conference, and a discount on selected books, among other benefits. The NAGC site is the place to learn about current trends in education, as well as the latest on conferences and seminars.
7. Your State Gifted Organization: Provides information and support at the local level. Learn about local policies and laws, state conferences and meetings, and classes for gifted children. Best of all, joining the state organization may help your gifted child to connect with true peers.
8. Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG): The best place to learn about social and emotional issues which affect gifted children.
9.Unwrapping the Gifted Blog by gifted education specialist Tamara Fisher:
Tamara's sensitive and often humorous entries generate great conversations among her gifted readers.