Blog Page | Raising Lifelong Learners

Why Unit Studies Are Ideal For Gifted Learners

When my daughter finds a topic she loves she latches on like a dog to a bone. She wants more and can’t seem to get enough. Maybe you can relate? This is where unit studies come in. Unit studies are the perfect way to engage an intense kiddo.     When we began homeschooling I tried to rush through her interests to get back to my homeschool plans. I never stopped to realize the damage I was doing by squashing her curiosity. I slowly saw her love for learning fading a little more each day.  One day, that little girl looked at me with so much passion in her eyes I thought they...

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100 Hints That Your Child May Be Gifted

100 hints your child may be gifted

Admit it, you've thought about it. You see your precious little one handling blocks with expert dexterity. Your heart swells as they garble through their ABCs. Your pride and joy is walking already or handles math problems with ease and you wonder, Could my child be gifted? Maybe.     There is a growing community of support for the families of gifted children, but still a lot of murky information about how to actually tell if your child is gifted. I remember when my oldest was still a toddler, I was reading a popular parenting magazine and came across a one-page...

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RLL #107: Learning as an Unschooling Family with Robyn Robertson

  I truly believe that the best way we can educate our gifted and twice-exceptional (2E) kids is through homeschooling with self-directed learning and unschooling. Self-Directed Learning vs. Unschooling? Self-directed learning is a self-motivated pursuit of knowledge not based on a required set of circumstances but learning for its own sake. Using an unschooling approach to learning simply means that activities and lessons are not structured or required. Children constantly learn through their interactions and experiences with the world around them.  Many families find that...

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If He’s REALLY So Smart… When Gifted Kids Struggle

when gifted kids struggle

"Boy is he an EXTREME thinker! If he actually took the time to sit and focus on his work, he could accomplish anything..."     As helpful and positive as his preschool teacher thought she was being, words like this can set some of our most intelligent kiddos up for a lifetime of failure. So, why do some gifted children struggle so much? If they're really as smart as we say they are, why can't some of them just do their work? Or behave better? Or act nicer? Or…? I remember watching my son spin in circles in the back of his preschool classroom while the others sat raptly taking in...

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RLL #106: [Audioblog] Young Gifted Children | Reflections from Parents

RLL #106: [Audioblog] Young Gifted Children | Reflections From Parents

Did you just know that your child was gifted from the start? You know, that feeling down deep in your gut that something was different about your tiny tot, but you weren't able to completely pinpoint it?  Or maybe you went straight to a search engine with questions like, "signs my baby is gifted" or "What age can you tell if your child is gifted?" Research shows that parents are pretty accurate when identifying their young children as gifted.  Whether early talking or walking, having extreme abilities of observation or learning, or even needing little sleep, a lot of our...

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101 Reasons Eclectic Homeschooling Works for Gifted Kids

101 Reasons Eclectic Homeschooling Works for Gifted Kids

It started out an easy, relaxed conversation, and then the mom at the library asked me the question I most dread answering... "What curriculum do you use with your kids?" I always stammer and then feel like a deer caught in the headlights. I mean, how can I possibly even answer that semmingly simple question? You, dear reader, can pop a search into the sidebar and find posts of curriculum past, but I'd have to warn you that those plans almost always changed right after posting them... we just don't stand still around here, and we loathe ruts. We're eclectic.     We pick and...

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RLL #105: Parenting ADHD and Autism with Penny Williams

RLL #105: Parenting ADHD and Autism with Penny Williams

Parenting our neurodiverse kiddos, whether gifted or twice-exceptional kiddos (including autistic and ADHD), is just plain different. Typical parenting books and practices won't always work when we're trying to find ways to help our children become the very best people they can be. Parenting them takes intentionality and a different kind of parenting mindset. Today, Colleen speaks with Penny Williams of Parenting ADHD and Autism about how we really need to be okay with who our neurodiverse kiddos are and learn how to celebrate their differences.  This is a terrific conversation to...

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Should You Homeschool Your Gifted Children?

The longer I homeschool my gifted children, and the more I see and talk to other parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids, the more I believe that homeschooling is the best educational option for our nation’s above-average children.     Just to clarify something, though, before I get started – I am not saying that homeschooling is the only way to meet the needs of your gifted kids. I have some wonderful friends who have gifted children of their own and send them to school. I also have friends who teach gifted children in school settings, and don't want to discredit their...

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RLL #104: A Conversation About Mindset with Shawna Wingert

RLL 104: A Conversation About Mindset with Shawna Wingert

  Mindset is generally thought to be the attitudes or habits of an individual's mind that is formed by previous experience. These attitudes can predetermine a person’s response or interpretation to any given situation. Our quirky kiddos are not immune to "fixed" mindsets, and it can sometimes be a real challenge to help them to see things in a different way or try a new approach to something that has them stumped. Today, Colleen and Shawna Wingert have a conversation about mindset, specifically to help families like ours move away from rigid and inflexible thinking. They also discuss...

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The Best Homeschool Human Body Study Ever

The Best Homeschool Human Body Study Ever

There's been a lot of discussion about medicine and how the human body works in our homeschool lately. Honest questions generated by our world today, coupled with a little bit (ok, a lot) of anxiety around getting sick, increased my kids' interest in learning more about how our bodies work. Knowing they learn best with hands-on, creative activities, I set out to find the best homeschool human body study available. Knowing that my time is limited and there's only so much one homeschooling, work from home, mom of four can do, I also needed options that made it easy for me to plan and prep....

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