Every parent thinks that their child is special and wonderful because they absolutely are. Kids are amazing little people who lift our hearts and give us an extraordinary perspective on the world around us. But for Belgian parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, their child, nine-year-old Laurent Simons is special in a truly rare and remarkable way; he’s about to finish college before he becomes a tween.
Simons is making international headlines for his astonishing educational achievement. He’s eight and studying electrical engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE), which is known for being a fiercely competitive and difficult program for even the smartest adults. While other eight-year-olds are busy playing with the action figures, Simons is soaking up knowledge like a human sponge. Talk about amazing!
This got us wondering about how to know if your kid is gifted and talented? And if they are, what can you do to support their learning?
According to the National Association for Gifted Children, not all kid geniuses will express their talents the same, however, there are similar characteristics that they tend to share. The list is long but includes things like being a rapid learner, enjoys solving problems with numbers and puzzles, longer attention span, can put together ideas in unusual ways, and the list goes on.
There are various tests that parents can look into to measure how gifted their child is, but be cautioned that no test will give a complete picture of your child’s abilities. Think of assessment testing more like snapshots or data points on how your child can perform. For more information on how to have your child tested, check out this exhaustive list and explainer from the National Association for Gifted Children.
But what if your child is average and you just want to find ways to enrich their learning experience?
Parents have been turning to STEM projects to do just that. STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math and is a clustered area of study that fewer and fewer kids, especially girls, are following as a career path. So, starting at a young age, parents can get involved and help their kids develop a love of all things STEM.
Other ways that parents can help enrich their child’s learning experience can include reaching out to your kid’s teachers and asking for supplemental games and projects that you can do at home that will boost your child’s understanding of the subjects they are learning at school. Go to local museums and get involved with science, history, and arts through kid-friendly programming. Seek out other parents who share your thirst for knowledge and urge to teach their kids even more and develop your own fun outings into the community and nature.
The best way to support your kid’s education is to be their biggest cheerleader and find ways that make learning fun and accessible. For more information on gifted and talented kids check out the National Association for Gifted Children.