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helping your gifted child with college applications

Updated on November 14, 2015

College Prep

In a Global economy there is more pressure now than every for children to prepare early for college. I would recommend with parental supervision this begins in 9th grade. Most application processes only review transcripts from 9th grade to graduation. This article will attempt to outline some things you may want to do to create a portfolio with your child to prepare them for their transition to college and to help them decide what they wish to major in. So the article will cover college preparation, volunteer work/civic duty and work and creating the portfolio to have for the application process to college.

GPA vs AP Classes vs Duel Enrollment

This is a tough subject because it is rather controversial. When a gifted student is involved is it more important to have them in gifted classes and keep their GPA up or AP classes in which they may not graduate Summa or just duel enroll them and get out of the way while they are still in High School. Duel Enrollment is only for the more mature gifted student because their is a redundancy in curriculum they have to tolerate when duel enrolling and quite literally their High School life becomes well, silly. Anyone who has attended public High School will tell you the Prom Queen always grows up to be a loser. Being prom Queen is the Zenith of their existence. The more talented and gifted children recognize this early on and realize how temporal High School is for everyone. AP classes do provided higher rating GPA wise but when weighed against just attending college it doesn't make much sense unless the student is otherwise incapable of attending college at such a young age. As for the GPA. It starts over after High School. And after college it starts oevr in graduate school. So while GPA is important to getting into college it too is a temporal phenomena and should betreated as such. Many many gifted students grow up to be homeless. It is the nature of being a perfectionist. A college admission counselor takes an application of a child attending college while in High School much more seriously than that of the gifted person in AP classes without college credit. As a parent of a child or as a child in this situation you should maintain records of all grades, papers, letters of recommendation, volunteer work, performances, and work while in high school within a binder. This binder or portfolio as I like to call it will be an excellent tool when applying for college but also provides insight into areas of interest you may want to pursue as a major. In Special Education, in 8th grade every child must have a transition plan. This plan includes what they wish to do for a living, how and where they will obtain the training they need and an independent living plan for adulthood. I have always considered it a mistake that transition plans were not readily available for all children s the transition from high school to college can be quite cumbersome and overwhelming. And how you go through transition predicts how your life will be managed.

Benefits of Transition Plans

Would you have benefitted from a Transition Plan in High School?

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Volunteer Work/Civic Duty

Volunteer Work or Civic Duty can also help your child determine their career goals. This type of service also often leads to insight into what your child does not wish to do without the metaphysical label of failure. But for some ideas I suggest the following. Volunteering at the local hospital. I have the feeling many doctors wouldn't be doctors if they had to volunteer in hospitals first.

For gifted girls I recommend teaching literacy at the local library. It is rather a humbling experience to realize you have the gift of reading when you are trying to teach an adult struggling to read. As a mechanism of poverty and crime is illiteracy.

Some children will be in theater which you should have all their performance son record for their applications. I will never forget the child that learned to read to be the star of the play. The drama teacher and I agreed if he could read he could be the lead role. And we kept changing his lines to make certain he was literate. Being amusing as a child is a civic duty in the proper format so let your child participate in the arts and keep records in the portfolio. Children can also feed the elderly in programs like meals on wheels or participate in campaigns of individuals running for office. It is all humbling work but to have humility and grace in High School is to realize your potential. And volunteer work doesn't take that much of a child's time. An hour a week is no big deal. There could also be church involvement but I wouldn't put all my volunteering time in one place. Church is great but is not n employable entity. It is more important that your child's volunteer work is diversified so he/ she has multiple experiences.

Work a Real Life application

Nothing beats a a real life employer for whom your child has been gainfully employed. Starting at the bottom High School working for a business in the Summers or after school gives your child the benefits of the demands of real work. School prepares for work but only in employment is success gained. There is something intangible about being able to be employed and your child realizing minimum wage. It looks great on the college application. Your child will have paid taxes early before they are 18 and it is a better standard of prediction for success than SAT/ACT combined. Being smart isn't enough anymore. You also have to be very employable. All of these records should be retained in the portfolio to have readily available when your child makes a decision to apply to the school of his/her choice. And choices and opportunities is what you want to maximize for your child.


After redaing this article, will you or your child keep a portfolio?

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