My sixth-grader is in a gifted program at his school. He just loves the challenge of this class. What do I do with him this summer? -- Decision Time


With all children, it's important to ask: What would be a perfect summer for you? What projects do you want to do? What family trips would you like to take locally or elsewhere? Would you like to take some classes? Who would you like to spend time with? What interests would you like to explore?

Listen carefully to what your gifted child says. Try to include many of his preferences in your summer plans for him. Summer should be a time for gifted children to explore new and old interests and grow intellectually. He may or may not opt for a formal academic program.

Be sure to see that your son has both structured and free time. In fact, all children need this during the summer. Be careful that free time does not just mean TV or computer time. This time should be limited.

We have long advocated that all families have a "reading time" each day. Everyone in the house can gather in one room and read for a designated time (hour or half hour). No discussion of what is read is necessary. Even gifted children may not do enough reading without a formal time period for it.