My daughter is in an advanced class for certain subjects. She qualified for the gifted program at another school, but this may not be an option -- my daughter loves her friends and the school she is in. What should we do to learn more about raising talented daughters (our second daughter is in seventh grade)?
Your daughters are at a critical period in their education. A decline in the achievement of very bright female students is often noted to begin in the middle grades. Why? Lack of acceptance by peers, the increasing need to be popular, and, unfortunately, harassment by male students often keeps bright girls out of top classes and academic activities.
Along with challenging coursework, girls need a blend of both social and academic extracurricular activities. Can her current teacher offer activities like science fair, independent study, and creative writing to keep your daughter involved beyond getting A's in the classroom? Don't forget the value of sports for girls, too. It has also been found that parent/mentor support of daughters is very helpful to their overall achievement. For reference, I very much recommend the book Smart Girls: A New Psychology of Girls, Women & Giftedness by Barbara A. Kerr. Thanks for getting in touch.