Benefits of Online Learning for Gifted Students

A middle school student is building robots during an online class

Gifted students often learn at an accelerated pace compared to their peers and need educational experiences that help them realize and grow their potential. As a parent of a gifted child, you’ve likely considered a variety of options to help them succeed. Should they attend private or charter school? Should you allow them to advance a grade?   

Online schools like Connections Academy® could be the answer—offering flexibility, individualized attention, customized curriculum opportunities, and so much more!   

As you’re doing your research on which path is right for your child, consider the benefits of online school for gifted students. 

Customized Curriculum

One of the top advantages of online classes for gifted children is the ability to customize your student’s education. At brick-and-mortar schools, the curriculum is often determined by the school board, and parents and teachers have little to no input. For gifted students, lack of personalization could be seen as a barrier due to their advanced learning needs. Online public schools like Connections Academy are designed to cultivate academic growth by prioritizing programs that are tailored to each student’s unique interests, goals, and abilities.   

Our instructors understand that learning differences must be acknowledged and embraced during each student’s educational journey. When a student starts online school, our instructors do a deep dive into their academic background and history. To assist instructors in the process, you can share your child’s strengths, skills, and previous performance. Through parent-teacher communication, teachers are able to discover what areas individuals excel in to inform the approach they take to each student’s education. And as the students evolve as learners, teachers can adjust their learning plan to fit their changing needs.   

The online model provides flexibility to collaborate with parents to customize learning plans. For example, if a teacher notices that a student excels in English, they could encourage them to take an English elective where they can further strengthen their skills.  As a Learning Coach, you would work alongside the instructor to design a unique learning experience that provides a challenging and enjoyable education for your gifted student.  

Connections Academy makes it a priority to offer special programs for gifted students. Beginning in the third grade, Connections Academy’s Gifted and Talented program is available for elementary school students who qualify. When appropriate, advanced younger students may have the opportunity to enroll in these courses or work at a higher grade level. This program will allow your child to stay on track, be challenged, and interact with other like-minded peers in an online environment.  

A child taking online classes for gifted students.

Individualized Learning Pace

Studies show that self-paced learning helps students develop self-reliance and better problem-solving skills. Unlike at traditional schools where students are required to adhere to a set structure, online students at Connections Academy choose their own schedule.   

If your gifted student prefers to stay focused on one topic for longer, you could incorporate a block schedule to help them dive into a course—allowing them the chance to complete multiple assignments in a specific time slot. You could even consider shuffling the order of subjects to encourage them to complete new or challenging assignments during optimal focus time in the morning, and save more familiar topics for later in the day.  

Schedule alterations can also be helpful for gifted students to pursue personal interests. With online school, flexible schedules allow students to integrate their hobbies into daily learning. Let’s say your child is in middle school and wants to attend other online courses for gifted middle school students or is in high school and wants to take an SAT prep class. As their Learning Coach, you can work with them to create a schedule where they end their day early or take scheduled breaks in between lessons to participate in other activities. Connections Academy also encourages students to take electives and join extracurriculars to discover and cultivate their passions. Whether your gifted student is interested in a foreign language or wants to learn more about art, there is something for them to explore.  

Advanced Courses and Dual Enrollment Opportunities

In addition to learning at their own pace, students at Connections Academy can choose to participate in competitive programs like Advanced Placement®(AP®*) courses and dual-enrollment classes. If your gifted student is in high school, AP classes might be one of the most effective programs available at their grade level. At Connections Academy, students have the opportunity to take honors and AP courses if they excel in a specific subject area. Because gifted students are often learning at a faster pace than their peers, competitive courses are a great way to build their knowledge and prepare them for college and beyond.   

At Connections Academy, students also have access to dual-enrollment courses. We have partnerships with global universities where high schoolers can participate in college courses while still completing high school. Through dual-enrollment courses, online students are able to get a glimpse of what full-time college coursework will look like.   

College courses can also give your gifted student a closer look at an area of academic interest. For example, if your child is currently loving AP history, a college course on ancient civilizations or the Great Depression will help them explore that time period in greater depth. 

 A student attending online school for gifted students.

Individualized Attention

Many online schools offer students one-on-one attention with instructors and counselors.    

If your K–12 student requires further attention outside of class, we offer support through LiveTutor sessions where online students receive coaching in math, science, social studies, and English. Tutoring helps online students better understand concepts, lessons, and assignments. If your gifted child thrives from a one-on-one model, this program could positively impact their education.   

At Connections Academy, parents also have open communication with instructors and will receive updates on how their gifted student is performing and handling more advanced coursework. If parents notice their student needs further assistance in a particular subject, they can set up a conversation between the teacher and student where the learner has an opportunity to ask questions, receive help on homework, and have additional learning time outside of class.   

There are many ways for gifted students to cultivate their talents, and if any of these benefits of online learning resonate with you, Connections Academy might be the place for your family. You can get a head start on registering by visiting our enrollment page.  

And, if you liked reading this gifted students distance learning article and are interested in a parent’s perspective on why they chose online school, take a look at the reasons they made the switch!  

 

*AP® and Advanced Placement® are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission. 

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