Reviewed by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development.
Raising gifted children with a deep interest in science can be intimidating. Their challenging questions, desire to learn and complete projects are often overwhelming. Author Michael S. Matthews, Ph.D., former high school science teacher, and current assistant professor of Gifted Education, understands these concerns. In his book, Encouraging Your Child’s Science Talent: The Involved Parents’ Guide, Matthews effectively validates, then calms, feelings of helplessness by supplying the knowledge and tools parents need to successfully support their children’s scientific learning. Matthews is qualified to do this due to his own experiences as a teacher and a parent.
Encouraging Your Child’s Science Talent is divided into seven chapters. The book begins by discussing conceptions and misconceptions of science; which provides parents with a basic foundation of science to help them better understand their child’s interests. Matthews continues with tips on assessing a child’s ability, and then delves into ways of supporting a child at home. The fourth and fifth chapters relate to the journey a scientific minded child will face in school and includes strategies for advocacy. Chapter six contains a wealth of information regarding science projects and competitions, including how to develop a topic to research, safety concerns, and proper steps to ensuring the completion of a successful project. The book concludes with important points to remember regarding science talent and interest, as well as a list of resources for further exploration.
Encouraging Your Child’s Science Talent can be read in parts or from cover to cover. Each chapter is valuable in its own right, and adds to the effectiveness of the book as a whole. The book is teeming with tables that lay out details such as: characteristics of scientifically minded children, curriculum expectations based on grade, parent advocacy, and project ideas etc. It also provides resources that help develop the confidence necessary to nurture a scientifically precocious child. Encouraging Your Child’s Science Talent is a wonderful baseline text for understanding a child’s desire to study science.
This article is provided as a service of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted young people 18 and under. To learn more about the Davidson Institute’s programs, please visit www.DavidsonGifted.org.
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