4 Benefits of Introducing the Arts to Your Gifted Child
We are pleased to offer this guest blog from Oak Crest Academy in California, a JK-12 school for gifted students.
Providing a well-rounded educational program for the gifted and talented is important because they have the tendency to delve deeply into only one or two subjects if left to their own choices. This is why quality private schools for gifted learners include enrichment courses that focus on teaching elements of the creative arts to students during school and throughout the summer. Since these classes are designed to spark creativity, they offer benefits that enhance a gifted learner’s rigorous academic schedule by expanding upon what they learn in their traditional courses.
1. Uncover Hidden Talents
It is a simple truth that a child cannot discover talents that they are never called upon to use. Since gifted children pick up new skills quickly, students often discover that they have a unique talent for doing things such as playing the flute or performing a complicated jazz routine. Finding new talents increases self-confidence in kids who sometimes doubt their abilities or place high standards on themselves for perfection in their academic classes.
2. Reinforce Learning In Other Subject Areas
Creative courses stimulate the brain in different ways than academic learning, yet the neural connections that are formed increase a child’s success in every subject. For instance, learning to sing in a choir or play a musical instrument teaches children important skills regarding rhythm and timing that apply to language and mathematical skills. It is also important to note that gifted children sometimes fail to learn how to overcome learning challenges when they are only exposed to classes that cover content that they can master too easily. Including creative arts in the curriculum helps build resiliency and problem solving by giving them tasks that require them to stretch their abilities.
3. Provide a Safe Environment for Mastering Social Skills
Gifted children are at greater risk for struggling socially because they tend to stand out in traditional classrooms. This type of learner may also focus so heavily on academic learning that they overlook the opportunity to do things such as start conversations with their friends. Spending time in a drama program gives students a chance to practice handling common social situations through role playing, and performing in front of others is a more enjoyable way to practice public speaking than giving a complicated academic presentation. Since creative arts classes encourage group involvement, this is also a wonderful time in a child’s daily schedule when they can freely interact with their classmates.
4. Relieve Stress and Promote Relaxation
In addition to social isolation, gifted learners are at risk for stress overload that contributes to depression and anxiety symptoms. Scattering creative arts courses throughout a child’s day gives them some breathing room between more rigorous classes. Simply singing a song or painting also induces a state of relaxation that a student can use to relieve stress both in and out of the classroom. It also helps students to have a class during each day that they can look forward to as being purely for enjoyment.
At first glance, life looks easy for gifted learners who tend to excel in everything they do, and it is normal for families to want to push their child to learn as much as they can. Enhancing a traditional academic program with creative arts classes gives these kids a way to step back and breathe while learning new skills that push them further toward success along their educational journey.