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Educational Options for Gifted Online Learning

Gifted Resources

Many families in the gifted and twice-exceptional community have utilized online learning long before the onset of 2020 pandemic. Gifted online programs may deliver material at a faster pace, provide information on niche topics not always offered in a traditional K-12 setting, and offer access to like-minded peers. Twice-exceptional students may find online learning ideal for individualized instruction that lets them explore the topics they excel at with the support of assistive technology.

More schools and programs have embraced remote learning this past year. As distance learning has become more familiar for families, parents have started to consider online alternatives outside of their public-school offerings. As a parent of a gifted child, you may feel overwhelmed with the number of options available if you are looking into making the switch to full-time online learning. If you are considering online gifted learning, here are a few questions parents of gifted and twice-exceptional students find helpful:

  • Is my family available to give my child the support he or she needs to be successful in an online learning environment?
  • Does my child possess basic computer and internet navigation skills?
  • Does my child have the patience, flexibility, and adaptability necessary to deal with unforeseeable frustrations?
  • Does my student have the ability to communicate frequently and effectively with both the instructor and classmates?
  • Does my child have the ability to work independently?

If your family is ready for virtual instruction, the next step will be to investigate a few options that you may want to apply to. While each gifted child has unique learning needs, we have seen many families within the Davidson Institute find an online school or class that works well for them. We wanted to take this opportunity to share some of our community’s favorite online gifted education options.

Athena’s Advanced Academy

Athena’s Advanced Academy offers a wide variety of fast-paced, exciting online classes for a community of gifted students learning at elementary through lower high school levels. Parents have the freedom to place their children into appropriate classes defined by abilities, not ages. Athena’s provides live webinars for most classes, moderated discussion boards, and activities promoting online peer interaction.

Brigham Young University (BYU) – Independent Study (Provo, UT)

This is a distance education program offering more than 500 university, high school, junior high school and personal enrichment courses to people throughout the world. BYU is accredited as an institution by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Courses can be taken through a paper/pencil version or an online version. The student studies the materials, submits lessons, takes a final exam with a proctor or at a testing center, and receives a course grade that can be transferred to the school of their choice.

Davidson Academy (Online Campus)

The Davidson Academy’s online campus is a game changer for profoundly gifted students. Open to students living anywhere in the United States and Canada, this accredited online option builds off the one-of-a-kind, exceptional framework put in place by the Davidson Academy’s Reno day school during the last decade. The result is a robust online community where students thrive. The Academy is designed to be different with classes grouped by ability, not age. The Academy offers personalized learning plans for students allowing them to learn at their own pace and depth.

Davidson: Explore

The Davidson: Explore program provides Davidson Young Scholars and qualified gifted students, ages 9-13, with the opportunity to enrich their education by taking advanced middle school courses online adapted from the Davidson Academy’s rigorous curriculum. Designed to be different than other online courses, this year-long middle school gifted program helps students develop their academic and social skills by giving them a platform to learn at their academic level.

Exceeds Expectations Learning

Exceeds Expectations Learning offers online classes, tutoring and mentoring services for students ages 7 and up, online worldwide via Skype or Zoom. We cover subjects across the board and specialize in working with gifted and twice-exceptional (2e) students, tailoring our approach to each student. Whether it’s homework help or unschooling subject support, in elementary school or halfway through college, we’ll work with you to ensure you and your student are getting what you need.

Gifted LearningLinks Program (GLL) at the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern

Gifted LearningLinks (GLL) offers engaging gifted online courses and programs, including family programs, enrichment, core essentials, honors, and AP® courses for gifted and talented students in kindergarten through grade 12. Eligible home schooled, elementary, middle or high school students can accelerate and broaden their knowledge base any time and any place. GLL courses provide rigorous, individualized instruction helping gifted students to achieve their educational goals.

Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Online Distance Courses (CTYOnline)

The Center for Talented Youth (CTY) has served the needs of academically gifted students worldwide by providing challenging programs matched to their abilities. CTYOnline distance courses offer eligible students opportunities to accelerate and enrich their learning at home or at school. Students can take advanced math, for example, without having to take a bus to a high school or college and without having to miss other classes at their local school. CTYOnline offers gifted students in grades pre K-12 challenging academic course work throughout the year.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers hundreds of free practice exercises and instructional videos for differentiated learning. Their personalized learning dashboard empowers students to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. KA tackles math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. KA has also partnered with institutions like NASA, Pixar, The College Board, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content.

Laurel Springs School

This distance learning program is an accredited, K-12 independent study program providing a variety of curricular options, trained teachers, college counseling, grades, diplomas, and official transcripts. Using a diverse selection of approved texts and technological resources, we offer families a specialized array of educational programs in a distance-learning environment.

Online G3

Online G3 nurtures critical and creative thinking in a diverse community of gifted learners by providing a supportive and flexible online learning environment. By pairing passionate teachers with engaging and interactive academic content, G3 offers appropriate acceleration within an accredited, secular, and affordable education program. G3 courses are designed to appeal to gifted learners who crave new challenges and believe that learning should be fun! Classes emphasize critical thinking and teachers encourage children to draw their own connections between ideas.

Stanford Online High School (OHS)

The Stanford Online High School (OHS) is an independent school for academically talented and motivated students in grades seven through 12. Online instruction includes live, synchronous seminars on a college-style class schedule, encouraging independence, discipline and strong time-management skills. Students are supported by counselors, college counselors and academic advisors. Beyond the online classroom, students engage in a rich array of extracurricular, student-led clubs, homeroom, and assemblies.

Sora Schools

The traditional school model is not engaging. Students often miss the relevance of traditional classwork, leaving them bored and uninspired.
In our program, we use an individualized, project-based learning approach where we work 1:1 with students to design projects based around their interests, making it both relevant to their aspirations and the skills they will need to succeed in the workforce. Overall, students are part of a community of enthusiastic young learners who all push each other to excel, collaborate on projects, and support others when help is needed. By the end of the program, students are self-directed, thoughtful individuals who are prepared for higher education and their future careers


Thinkwell’s online video courses feature engaging lessons from award-winning professors, along with automatically graded exercises and more. Comprehensive high school math, science, social science and humanities courses, including pre-algebra to calculus, biology, chemistry, physics, macro- and micro-economics, and public speaking.  Use for homeschooling, subject acceleration, even with a class full of students.

Looking for a class in a specific subject area? Try looking through our Online Program Comparison Charts!


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