Many families in the gifted and twice-exceptional community have utilized online learning programs. For gifted students, 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 also find online learning ideal for individualized instruction that lets them explore the topics they excel at with the support of assistive technology.
In addition to these advantages to delivering instruction in a way that meets the individual needs of students, online schools for gifted learners can be utilized for a variety of educational goals. Parents who find themselves homeschooling their gifted child may use online courses to help build a homeschool curriculum. Districts may allow an online course to replace in-person class options for students who are accelerated beyond the typical school curriculum. Students may enrich their learning online when there are no gifted programs or services offered in their region. And finally, as many families become more comfortable with online education, some gifted students use online schools exclusively for their educational needs.
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. As a parent of a gifted child, you may feel overwhelmed with the number of options available once you start looking into online schools. With that in mind, we wanted to take this opportunity to share some of our community’s favorite online options for their gifted learners to help you start your search!
Online Schools & Programs for Gifted Students
The following is a list of online schools and programs Young Scholars have attended in the past. However, this list is not exhaustive as many of our students have also attended their state or district’s virtual educational options, such as the Florida Virtual School, PA Cyber Charter School, and other state virtual academies. In addition, some students enroll in online schools with religiously informed curriculum and have found a good educational fit for their educational goals through these options.
Art of Problem Solving’s online classes bring outstanding students together with highly accomplished instructors to prepare the students for the rigors of top-tier colleges and internationally competitive careers. The AoPS Online School is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. We offer a full math curriculum for middle and high school, introductory programming and science courses, and specialty courses to prepare students for particular math and science competitions.
Astra Nova School encourages critical thinking and collaborate problem solving through their unique program options. Astra Nova is a non-profit school committed to meeting 100% of demonstrated financial need. We are based on Pacific Time (PT) and offer two programs: a full-time comprehensive program and a single-day supplemental program. We serve children between the ages of 10 and 14 on every continent.
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.
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 is a dynamic, flexible option for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the United States and Canada. Students are part of an accredited, robust online community and are grouped by ability, not age. Davidson Academy Online leverages cutting-edge technology to create a new, highly personalized model of online education. The middle and high school level curriculum is matched to students’ abilities, strengths and interests. This unique approach to learning has attracted families from across the country and globe.
Explore 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.
In a self-paced, inquiry-based environment, gifted and twice-exceptional learners come alive as they follow their own interests and curiosities, honing the skills they need to set and eclipse their own goals Eclipse Academy offers teachers, tutors, and mentors for gifted and twice-exceptional students, ages 8 – 18, in all subjects. Join full-time or part-time, for course credit or enrichment.
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 (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.
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.
Stride K12 offers personalized learning with a combination of in-person and online learning. They use technology to support teaching and interactive curriculum, so students can learn in the ways that work for them. Beyond the freedom of moving through daily lessons at their own pace, many K12-powered schools provide advanced learning programming for qualified students. This programming can include a wide spectrum of curriculum options, enrichment activities, and progressive administrative policies.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
If your family is seeking an alternative education program, Keystone can provide a unique learning environment and flexible online courses that meet your student where they are. Keystone offers full-time programs for elementary, middle, and high school students. Students can ignite an early love of learning that combines high-quality, accredited curriculum with online learning methodology that keeps them engaged and interested.
The Lukeion Project offers Classical subjects taught by experienced credentialed educators, live online. Add Lukeion à la carte semester classes to your current educational schedule. Our courses are perfect for home education, private, or public curriculum. Challenging and mastery-based semester classes are designed for middle school, high school, and even adult students as listed. No other online program provides such a broad range of Classically focused courses combined with expertise and experience using unique tools to teach students effectively (and engagingly) live online.
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 single course enrollment options in specific subjects for your gifted child?
Try looking through our Online Program Comparison Charts: