Giftedness…  It sounds so pretentious and elitist! 

Being gifted does not mean being an “overachiever” or a “smart person”.  While it’s true that gifted children have a increased capacity for concepts beyond that of their same-aged peers, these precocious children have developmental differences in abstract reasoning, emotional sensitivity and intensity.  They perceive and interact with the world differently from other children.

Research shows that 25% of gifted people are underachievers, and they quit trying because nothing they do leads to any measurable success or satisfaction.

Adapted from The Gifted Kids Survival Guide: A Teen Handbook

This word, gifted, causes such widespread misconceptions.  We like to think of a gifted child as a Silverleaf. We created Silverleaf School to provide the education and support gifted children require and deserve.

WHAT IS GIFTEDNESS?

According to the National Association for Gifted Children, children are gifted when their ability is significantly above the norm for their age.

Giftedness may manifest in one or more domains such as; intellectual, creative, artistic, leadership, or in a specific academic field such as language arts, mathematics or science.

It is difficult to estimate the absolute number of gifted children in the U.S. and the world because the calculation is dependent on the number of areas, or domains, being measured and the method used to identify gifted children. However, many consider children who are in the top 10 percent in relation to a national and/or local norm to be a good guide for identification and services.

It is important to note that not all gifted children look or act alike. Giftedness exists in every demographic group and personality type. It is important that adults look hard to discover potential and support gifted children as they reach for their personal best.

WHAT IS A GIFTED LEARNER?

Gifted children have developmental differences from other children in abstract reasoning, emotional sensitivity and intensity. Giftedness impacts how a person perceives and interacts with the world.

Their unique characteristics create qualitatively different life experiences—often that of being an outsider—which can make a child vulnerable. A major cause of the difficulties experienced in school by highly gifted students is a lack of teacher training in gifted education.

Highly gifted children have a hunger for knowledge and a passion for learning. Effective gifted education offers accelerated and compacted curriculum, and specialized programs.

CHARACTERISTICS OF HIGHLY GIFTED LEARNERS

Highly gifted learners test at 98% in at least one learning area; and are far less common than the average public school TAG program student.

  • Learns Rapidly and Independently

  • Advanced Reasoning Skills

  • Excellent Memory

  • Perfectionistic

  • Mature Judgement

  • Sensitive and Intuitive

  • Compassionate

  • Avid Reader/Interest in Books

  • Passion and Perseverance for Learning

  • Complex Vocabulary

  • Vivid Imagination

  • Wide Range of Interests

  • Intense Curiosity

  • Complexity in Play

  • Terrific Sense of Humor

  • Strong sense of Justice and Fairness

  • Tends to Question Authority

  • Has a Deeper Understanding than Peers

  • Wide Range of Interests

  • Intense Curiosity

  • Complexity in Play

“The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally.”

The Columbus Group, 1991

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