For advanced learners, remote learning provides a wealth of online and hands-on opportunities for interest-based projects, individualized instruction, and enrichment. But is also presents challenges. Parents, educators, and students need to work together to achieve the best learning outcomes.
Ironically, even while most GenZ kids are safe at home, the coronavirus pandemic has been an assault on one of this generation’s most valued structures—emotional safe spaces. Anticipatory grief—an uncertainty about the future that usually centers around death, says grief expert David Kessler (That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief)--is a prevailing feeling during our present crisis. In this case, the anticipatory grief isn’t necessarily about an uncertainty surrounding death but, collectively, a feeling for the loss of safety which literally hits home with GenZ and their parents. But we can turn our gaze forward and help our gifted children regain a feeling of meaning and control.
We are likely to have incresed opportunities for long distance learner even after this current crises is over. The NAGC Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards and the Quality Matters Emergency Remote Instruction (ERI) Checklist for K-12 provide guidance on how to keep our gifted learners engaged.
While gifted individuals are no more anxious than the general population, these uncertain times can cause anxiety and worry, especially when there are fewer intellectual pursuits in a day. With school closures and social distancing, it is important to help children develop a sense of purpose that can guide them as they deal with the unknown.
Learning from home should be engaging, integrated, and result in some sort of product, not rote work packets. There are many resources available to teachers and parents to provide this kind of instruction while children are at home.