In today’s education system, with classroom sizes increasing, individual students can often be ignored in the crush of trying to get everyone on the same page. For students who may already be ahead of their peers, teachers may not have a plan in place to keep them engaged. Before jumping to the conclusion that your child is just too smart for school, try engaging with them and figuring out how to make the situation better.
First, make sure that your child truly is performing to the best of his or her ability. Just because she’s getting straight A’s in science doesn’t mean that she’s really grasping the material. Sometimes, students claim they’re “bored” in school when they don’t understand what’s going on and feel left behind, and that isn’t always reflected in a GPA. After all, I managed to pull of an A throughout Chemistry without ever really understanding what was going on.
If your child truly is bored in school, try providing “extra” education at home. Hire a tutor, enroll them in an educational camp for a topic they’re interested in (check out your local museum, zoo, or university for some great opportunities), go on educational family trips and put the focus on learning…the opportunities are endless. Don’t let learning stop in the classroom, and let your child see the connections what they learn in school can have with the real world.
Have your child take advantage of extra periods to stay after with a teacher to get some extra attention. A lot of teachers will appreciate the display of enthusiasm for their subject, and your child can benefit greatly. If the school has a club centered around a subject area (Physics Club, Drama Club, etc.), then encourage your child to participate!
Another option is to get your child involved in a school’s peer tutoring program. The best way to truly learn something is to teach it, and peer tutoring can also look great on a college application! If your child’s school doesn’t already have a peer tutoring program in place, have your child spearhead the effort to start one! The guidance office might be a good place to start, or if your child has a particular subject area in mind he can approach a teacher in that department.
The bottom line is if your child is bored or not feeling the energy about going to school you need to do something. The problem usually leads a smart student to falter and next thing you know the great grades they used to have become failing grades. What are some other tips you have for keeping smart children engaged in school?