Close

Gifted Students Need Strong Study Habits Too

Empowering your gifted child with effective study habits early on is not just advantageous, it’s crucial for their long-term academic success. Many parents may underestimate the importance of instilling these habits before college, assuming that stellar grades in challenging coursework are sufficient preparation for university-level rigor. However, relying solely on inherent intelligence without fostering disciplined study practices is risky.

Picture this: your child excels effortlessly in high school honors and Advanced Placement classes, but what happens when they face the demands of independent living and rigorous academic challenges at university? Without a solid foundation in effective study techniques, they may struggle to keep up.

But fear not, there’s still time to equip your child with the tools they need to thrive academically. Here are three powerful strategies to cultivate strong study habits while there’s still opportunity:

Find a Challenge That Requires Research


If your talented child is enrolled in a conventional school, chances are she encounters material she already knows or can grasp quickly throughout the school day. Asking her to dedicate additional time at home to study the same material risks doubling her frustration. To instill effective study habits, it’s crucial to challenge your child with new material that pushes her intellectual boundaries.

While this approach may require some adjustment for both child and parent, when executed correctly, it involves:

  • Embracing the challenge of grasping new concepts.
  • Accepting that perfect scores may not always be achievable.
  • Recognizing that being the smartest person in the room isn’t a constant.
  • And perhaps most importantly, understanding that studying is essential for success.

While options like subject or grade acceleration may offer a temporary solution, it’s essential to remember that even with acceleration, a gifted child may continue to learn material designed for the average student’s cognitive pace. Instead of simply speeding through standard curricula, consider alternatives that encourage your child to delve deeper into subjects by addressing the “Why?” questions that naturally captivate bright minds.

Gifted Students Need Strong Study Habits Too

Encourage a Growth Mindset for Gifted Students Developing Strong Study Habits

Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck, is noted for her groundbreaking research on praise and motivation. She found that children who believed that a person’s intelligence was fixed tend to think that truly smart people don’t need effort to succeed. By contrast, those who believed intelligence could be developed were much more likely to credit hard work as a key factor in achievement. Notably, Dweck also found that children praised for their intelligence instead of their effort were more prone to shy away from challenges for fear of failure and losing praise.

Dweck’s subsequent research showed that children can be taught this growth mindset when educated on how the brain gets stronger and smarter through the process of learning. In this later study, students who were taught about brain development in addition to study skills outperformed those who were taught only study skills. The latter group was not motivated to put those skills to use. It’s therefore important for parents to ensure their children understand the positive impact academic challenges can have on their brains and should focus their praise on the effort their children put into learning and studying rather on their intelligence.

Turn the Tables and Have Your Child Quiz You

Turn a boring study session into an engaging, brain-boosting adventure by switching roles. This dynamic approach doesn’t just make study time more fun, it also enhances the learning experience.

As your child assumes the teacher’s role by crafting questions and quizzes for you, they’re reinforcing their understanding of key concepts—a win-win situation where learning becomes a shared journey.

But the benefits don’t stop there. As your child meticulously grades your responses, they’re honing their analytical skills, distinguishing right from wrong, and deepening their grasp of the subject matter. And don’t be afraid to keep your child on their toes! Throw in a curveball or two by providing challenging incorrect answers to help encourage critical thinking. Let’s face it: there’s no magic formula for nurturing the study habits essential for navigating the complexities of university life. However, by instilling this fundamental skill early on, you’re giving your gifted child a priceless advantage—one that transcends natural talent alone.

Don’t wait; seizing this opportunity before the challenges of higher education emerge is essential. A solid foundation laid during youth, when young minds are receptive and eager to learn is key to nurturing study habits crucial for navigating the challenges of university life and beyond.

If you liked this post, Gifted Students Need Strong Study Habits Too, you might also like: