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Gifted Child Programs – A Top Time Economy Based Investment for Your Kids

You may be wondering how to best leverage any extra time you might have with your kids during the Covid-19 days, or at any other times. Or you may be looking for a valuable door-opening activity for them to build their future on. If so, the following could be some of the most valuable investments you will ever make for your kids – enjoy!

Open lesson. Little child hold lesson book outdoors. Back to school. Private lesson. Class and tutorial

There are many wonderful things that we as parents want to do for our kids. But the problem is that time is not always on our side. And worse, even when we have some time, we might not always know how to invest it in the most impactful manner. Luckily, there are some cases in which the little time that we do have can be multiplied manyfold.

We usually call such cases an investment. One example of an extremely efficient investment you may want to consider for your kids is investing about 100 tutoring hours and helping them gain around 2,000 hours in return. That would be an X20 return for your investment. This means you can invest an hour a day throughout a period of little more than 3 months, while your child will get about half a day for the next 8 years as part of the gifted kid’s plans offered by the state.

If someone in an investment bank is offering you an X80 return for your money, the best thing would probably be to thank him for his most generous offer, make a note of his contact details, and call the police. There is just too high a risk that you will be dealing with fraud, in which case, not only will your complete monetary investment vaporize in full, but you may also suffer much despair.

In contrast, the 100-hour investment you can do for your kid, though not easy, is a 100% guaranteed sure win. In the old days, the only person on earth that could offer you X20 return for your investment had a name. He was the king. Today, many more institutes can show you (and your kids) such a favorable return. The institute that currently provides your kids such a joyful offering is called the state. Not all states have this offering, but many of them do. The gifted kid’s programs can look different and have varied offerings in each location, but they will inevitably offer a similar reward.

toddler sitting on desk
Jerry Wang / Unsplash

In the country, I live in (just as an example), the state had decided to grant 2,000 of the most valuable hours to 5% of the kids. Those kids are doing a couple of tests in their third-grade year and if they score in the top 1.5-3 percent they get the title of a gifted child, while the following 2-3.5 percent gain the title of an “Excelling Child”.

The scorers get to:

  • Learn in smaller classes of about 20 classmates compared with a standard of about 34 kids per class.
  • Meet about 60 new friends (typically 3 classes for each age group with longer break time to play together).
  • Become exposed to friends out of their neighborhood or city as this is a regional school that sometimes combines kids from 4-5 cities and above.
  • Learn languages and other cool and valuable subjects which are not included at school at any age. This may include Chinese, molecular cooking, Greek mythology, Zoology, Animation, Detection, and more.
  • Enjoy some yard playtime which looks very different from a typical schoolyard, including multiple chess boards and kids gathering around the chess boards watching the games, running in the butterfly garden, or playing soccer.
  • Enjoy a completely different atmosphere lead by teachers who are not just educators (as important as it may be), but also top-performing professionals in their fields (artists, actors, writers, detectives, and other specialists) who bring their real-life experience to your kid’s class table. This is a phenomenon that your kids will only enjoy at a much later stage of life or out of school if not participating in the gifted kid’s programs.

It is literally impossible to visit these gifted kids’ schools and not have a pain in your heart and shed a tear for all the kids that don’t get to enjoy this system, just because governments do not increase the budget to allow in all kids.

But it would also hurt to know that you could have helped your kids fulfill their potential and pass-through this gate to a far richer world, and you did not. One possibly legitimate reason for which your kid might lose his potential place in the gifted kid’s programs is that he is just not mature enough. That is why countries like Finland with similar schools,  postpone the tests from the age of 8 to the age of 10, while others allow more than one entry point in addition to the one at third grade.

There are three common reasons why parents do not encourage their kids to fulfill their potential in these gifted kids programs: First, they are not aware of such programs or are misinformed about them. Second, they do not want to put extra pressure on their kids as the exam preparation may require. Finally, they believe they cannot guarantee their kids will pass the test.

woman covering her face with white book photo
Siora Photography / Unsplash

Now that you are aware of the gifted kid’s programs and their quantified benefits, it may be appropriate to start from the second most common reason – pressure. Opinions are split on that matter. Some parents as well as some psychologists will point out that reasonable levels of extra pressure are healthy, fruitful, and can do much good. Others may say that some respond to pressure better than others and while extra pressure, is good for some, it may be harmful to others. Having said that, it is obvious that the right level of extra challenge (and pressure) is mainly positive for many kids. Hence, it is in many ways in your hands to not just determine if this is the right “dish” for your kid, but also to serve it to him right (seek the consul of a kid psychologist or other appropriate specialist in case of uncertainty). Anyway, real life will bring some excessive levels of pressure at some point and if you can adopt a controlled effort to provide your kids an extra challenge in a proper manner, you might want to consider that. It is especially important to provide your child with the required levels of challenge and pressure needed to build a healthy stable personality. In the age of abundance and ever available screens, that characteristic of balance is critical.

The benefit of the opportunity is clear—as is the risk of being over-protective and preventing your child from missing a controlled opportunity to deal with some extra challenge. So, let us try and tackle the third obstacle. You’ve decided you want to go for it, but you are stuck with another risk….. You might make the effort and your kid will still not end up in the scorer’s group. You might invest 100 hours in vain.

And yet, as valuable as these gifted kid’s programs are, 100 hours with your kid could be far more valuable. We are talking about a commitment to invest a concentrated effort for a well-defined target which you and your kid—or even better, you, your partner, and your kid—are working towards, with or without the help of others. In the effort of working together toward this goal, your child will learn a lesson far more valuable than just a few extra vocabulary words or math problems. Should the effort not succeed—and you manage the effort and failure wisely—your kid might gain a most valuable first failure.

Needless to say, 100 hours of parent time for our kids at this age is simply priceless. To be honest, it is so priceless, that very few kids ever have it. Even when we manage to put aside the ceaseless flow of work, it is far more convenient to enjoy a good Netflix series while our kid plays on his smartphone. But the takeaway is that committing these 100 hours—whether it just means invaluable time together or actually increases the chance to make a X20 profit—is a worthwhile investment sometime in the months or years leading up to the exam.

So, let us say you are in for the win-win effort. How can you maximize your kid’s chances for the double win?

boy writing in book
Annie Spratt / Unsplash

To maximize success rates you will need to manage an efficient preparation effort. You will need to have a time you can invest, a time that others can contribute, and a time you might consider buying. Typically, some institutions provide prep kits, content lessons, and more—allowing you to focus your preparations on the skills your kid will be tested on.

This article is based on the orchestrated efforts of the writer and the many people he interviewed who have successfully navigated this territory —and gained some priceless lessons from painful failures. Even if you do not choose to invest further in this article, you are encouraged to do it yourself by learning about the exams on your official state sites and contacting the right institutes that offer preparation courses or kits for these exams.

By the way, if you believe that the seats in the gifted kid’s programs should be reserved for those that were born gifted, please think again. Each year, about 10-15 kids pass the exams regardless of any preparation as they are just so smart that preparation is not needed—but that is just 10-15 kids in a population of about 8 million. Those kids really do deserve a place within the gifted kid’s programs and they really shouldn’t be in the standard educational system— so rest assured, no preparation in the world will allow your kid to take the place they so deserve.

As for all the rest of the kids, some were born gifted, but does that really means they deserve more than a kid that is willing to work hard? Will they be able to contribute more to the world than a classmate with a slightly lower IQ but more diligence? Do they deserve more of the state’s investment because they picked up better vocabulary? Or because their parents spent more time (or money) on their education than you did up till now?

Disclaimer: The writer is a parent who accumulated a fair amount of practice in this field in his home country with his kids and who also researched the topic further. But it is every parent’s responsibility to make the right decision for his own kids, learn about testing in his own country, and follow up on possible changes in policies of these exams or the availability of gifted child plans. If required, seek advice from an appropriate professional consultant who personally evaluates your kids and their fitness for such exams in your country.

Full disclosure:  

Most of the experience described, prices, etc. is based on the plans available in Israel

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Here is a valuable quantification that can save you much of the 100 tutoring hours. Many parents choose not to purchase the kits provided by the preparation institutes and including thousands of exercises, suggested vocabulary, explanatory video clips, exam simulations, and more (offering vary in each kit). They may find a sample quiz on the web or feel satisfied with some workbook or the free content offered by those institutes. That...
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Some kids do not get much out of the kits, but many times they can just click with the material. By the time you get this, it might already be too late as much of the effective practicing time was lost. Another misfortune is for the kid to complete the kit but forget everything learned just before the exam. Even worse is not getting to complete the kit. As you cannot know for sure that enough is enough, the trick is to overshoot. If you...
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In addition to all the tips till know that should allow you to orchestrate an efficient effort, it would be most valuable to focus your efforts on the strengths (and weaknesses) that your child may have. A good rule of thumb would be to pay close attention to the exam structure and rules. One key point many misses is that the exam is not just vocabulary, math, logic, and more—but in a way, it is all about time… True, there is...
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impact

x400 for your financial investment x80 for your time put to the challenge if succeeding

Financial Benefit

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