We may say our kids are “smart,” but what does that really entail and how can we as parents better help our kids achieve academic success?
There are actually two types of smart kids: the intellectually gifted and the academically gifted. Here, we will explore the difference between both and how to cater to each type of child.
Intellectually gifted means that a child may have a higher IQ and a more developed cognitive ability, and academically gifted means that a child can perform very well on certain subjects. In order to tap into a child’s ability, it is important to first be able to recognize her strengths and weaknesses. “If a parent recognizes that sooner than later, then you can help the child understand what he may need to spend more time on,” Sharon Kim, program manager of Kent Prep, says.
Kent Prep is an academic enrichment program for kids in pre-K through Grade 12 with locations in Midtown Manhattan and Flushing, Queens. It offers a range of programs for all types of subjects and standardized tests, including the Common Core exam in May.
Kent Prep teachers can distinguish the difference between intellectually gifted and academically gifted kids when they are admitted into the program. The kids must first submit their report card grades and take a placement test, and then Kim interviews them. She also speaks with parents to understand their needs and behaviors. For example, an intellectually gifted child may be misunderstood and viewed as “slacking off” in class, but in reality he is bored with the classroom setting. “We work at the student’s pace,” Kim says. “We also have very small classrooms, where teachers are able to understand and embrace of child’s unique personality.”
Kim not only interviews the kids applying for a program, but she also determines which teacher a child would benefit most from based on her personality and by gauging what would be the right fit.
For intellectually gifted and academically gifted kids, Kent Prep allows them the flexibility and freedom to learn at their own pace. For example, a third grader who is academically gifted in math may learn the curriculum taught in private school, but can be given fifth grade math at Kent Prep because she can handle it.
Small class sizes are the key to understanding how a child learns best. At most, there will be seven kids in a class, but it is important for kids to feel that they are receiving the individualized attention they need at Kent Prep. “The larger the group is, the more their levels and personalities will vary,” Kim says.
Main image: Kids meet with a tutor
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