Programs for Advanced Learners

Across every grade, K12 offers challenge and support for academically advanced students.

You may be surprised to learn that online schooling can be an ideal choice for an advanced learner (sometimes referred to as "gifted and talented"). Yet K12 has a long, successful history of nurturing and challenging advanced students.

When you consider the basis of K12individualized learning—this makes great sense. An individualized approach means we can flexibly design programs to precisely fit your academically advanced student. It's important to understand how crucial such an approach is for the gifted child, and how the flexible K12 program can work so well in that child's favor.

  • Consider an advanced student in second grade who would be bored in an average classroom, taught to the lowest common denominator. Now consider that same second-grade student, free to pursue—for instance—math and science at an accelerated pace and level.
  • Or the online middle school student who wants to take advanced science as well as Chinese, plus have a flexible enough schedule to pursue her talent in music.
  • Or the online high school student who can take college courses, earning both high school and college credits at the same time.

And, by encouraging parent involvement and offering an array of enriching options, you can be fully involved to ensure your talented child is given every opportunity to grow, excel, and reach his or her highest potential.

Meet Hannah

Hannah is an 11th grader with K12 partner school California Virtual Academies. She's been with K12 since first grade, and is now taking three Advanced Placement courses, surrounded by "exceptionally brilliant peers" and dedicated teachers, meeting together in "Skype-like classrooms." She is a two-time winner of the National Novel Writing Month, with a long list of extracurricular activities made possible by her flexible schedule.

Hannah has thrived, crediting her "academic prowess" with the "challenging, rigorous" curriculum she's worked with along the way. As Hannah says, "My time learning at home has given me a more balanced outlook on life while leaving me competitive academically." Read more of Hannah's story in her own words.

Do You Have an Advanced Learner?

It's an excellent question and, particularly for parents of younger children, guidance may be needed. Here are some helpful signs to look for:

Sign #1: Your child demonstrates advanced skills: Notice your 7-year-old saying "sagacious" in a conversation? If your student exhibits a variety of advanced academic abilities, and responds well to teachers, parents, and other adults, he or she is likely an advanced learner.

Sign #2: Your child is an independent and motivated learner. The ability to work independently, have longer attention spans, and easily retain information is a hallmark of an advanced learner. While many kids won't recall detailed information about something they've read or heard, advanced learners will, often with great accuracy.

Sign #3: Your child is observant and inquisitive. Advanced learners are often very inquisitive, asking several "how" and "why" questions in a single conversation. These learners have a high level of curiosity about objects, ideas, situations, or events, and are motivated to learn and explore.

Sign #4: Your child is a curious problem solver. Advanced learners may exhibit an intrinsic motivation to learn and explore. Their propensity for skill mastery can also enable them to thrive in problem situations or engage in spirited disagreement.

Sign #5: Your child demonstrates creativity and persistence. Educator and author Joseph Renzulli considers these among the most important factors necessary for the development of gifted behavior. Advanced learners are often original thinkers who seek new and unusual associations among seemingly unrelated objects, ideas, or facts. And they don't give up easily. Children may also demonstrate advanced ability in the visual arts.

Here's more information to help determine if you have an advanced or "enrichable" (meaning motivated) learner.

K12: A Tradition of Working with Advanced Students

From the beginning well over a decade ago, K12 has been committed to academically gifted students.

Our educational mission is based on such principles as:

  • All students are to receive an education appropriate to their individual capabilities, interests, and needs
  • Students must have learning opportunities to help develop their abilities to the highest level
  • The curriculum should be flexible, so students can advance rapidly in stronger subjects, while progressing at a steady pace in others

We invite you to learn more about our K–8 Advanced Learner Program and our advanced opportunities for high school students, and to find a school near you that offers the K12 curriculum and program.