Motivation and Learning

As a parent of a gifted child, you want to know how you can help your child stay engaged with learning. Think about those times when we are motivated to do our best.  It is usually when

  • we are interested in,
  • have an ability for, and
  • see a purpose in what we are doing.

Discovering Interests

Your child's interests open the door to a love of learning. To help her find subjects and activities that interest  her, try the following:

  • “Interest Inventories” are available free on the web
  • Sign your child up for classes or enrichment activities and investigate whether your local schools, colleges, businesses, and performing arts companies offer free or low cost events outside of school hours
  • Connect your child with family, friends, co-worker and neighbors to learn what they do for work or for a hobby.

Developing Positive Values for Learning

Carol Dweck, a motivation researcher, describes the “mindset” needed for learning. Parents and Teachers can teach their students to have a “growth mindset” that allows for struggle and failure on the path to understanding. Children need to know that there is value in hard work and that their hard work makes a difference to their success. 

Linking Interests to School

Interest areas provide natural learning opportunities.  For example, consider a child who shows an interest in baseball.  Think of the many ways you can link this interest to academics

  • Where are the teams from, Find the players’ home towns on a map,
  • What is the history of the team’s name,
  • What are the physics of a "knuckleball"?

You do not have to be an expert, just be willing to explore.

What if there is a learning problem at school?

Gifted students are not always successful in school.  Below you will find link to information on possible obstacles and ways to surmount them.

Learn more about underachievement 

Investigate how to help your child stay organized.


"To be interested, to be absorbed in, wrapped up in, carried away by some object…We say of an interested person that he has both lost himself in some affair and he has found himself in it." --Dewey, 1916

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