The Gift Of Accepting Our Quirky Kids As They Are (not how we want them to be)

 Parenting gifted and twice exceptional children can bring an entire host of fears and guilt, especially when our children are struggling or not typically developing. In this episode of The Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast, I am thrilled to welcome Denaye Barahona, Ph.D. We discuss our shared experience as moms, coupled with our expertise in supporting neurodiverse children. We consider the importance and gift of authentically accepting our kids as they truly are.     I think we would all say that we want to embrace the child we have been given and lean into all that makes...

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A Unique Place For Gifted And Twice Exceptional Kids To Thrive

I have been overwhelmed, and so grateful, for the support and feedback from families who have joined The Learner's Lab. It's been absolutely wonderful.  Today, I am please to share this encouraging post from a fellow mom of quirky kids and member of The Learner's Lab. Cynthia and her family are an absolute joy, and I appreciate so much her taking the time to share her experience in our community.     For our family, a big reason we homeschool is the wide ranging educational needs of my kids.  With sensory challenges, giftedness, anxiety and learning disabilities, the...

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Encouraging Empathy In Our Gifted And Twice Exceptional Kids

a conversation about empathy

 Empathy is a word we emphasize a lot when it comes to our children's social and emotional development, but what does it really mean? Even more so, how can we encourage empathy in our gifted and twice exceptional children? In today's episode, we tackle the topic of empathy.    Empathy Does Not Come Naturally For Many Of Us I was surprised to lean that only a small percentage of us actually have a natural ability to feel and demonstrate empathy. For approximately 20% of the population (those who meet Elaine Aron’s Highly Sensitive Person description), empathy comes...

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Meeting the Asynchronous Needs of Your Gifted Child

the asynchronous needs of your gifted child

I remember her online comment like it was yesterday. Her seven-year-old was reading at an eleventh grade level, had just completed sixth grade math, was exceptionally emotional, and had trouble holding a pencil.     She was struggling to meet all of her daughter’s needs as a new homeschooling mom and was reaching out for help. Other readers chimed in, some offering great advice, but others criticized her for “pushing her child” and said that “all kids are gifted;” they just show their gifts at different times. And I felt for her. Her child was asynchronous and she felt all...

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A Conversation With Dr. Meg Meeker About The Unique Needs Of Our Children

A Conversation With Dr. Meg Meeker About Gifted And Twice Exceptional Kids

 Dr. Meg Meeker is a bit of a hero of mine, so I am thrilled to welcome her to The Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast!  Our conversation is all about her expert perspective on meeting the individualized needs of our children.     Seeing Our Children As Individuals One of the key takeaways from my time with Dr. Meg Meeker is the importance of really seeing and responding to our children as individuals. In fact, Dr. Meeker shared that research shows that individualizing our approach to teaching our children increases their overall success.  When we acknowledge that a...

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Recognizing and Nurturing Giftedness In Your Child

Recognizing and Nurturing Giftedness in Your Child

My oldest son and youngest daughter both have my tan complexion. The other two are fair like my husband. All four of them boast deep, chocolate eyes like Brian, not the blue I’d hoped they’d inherit from me. When we’re all together, you can see that we’re a family. They’re opinionated, assertive, and loads of fun – always on the look out for the next adventure. I like to think that, while they arrived in this world full of confidence, spirit, and a boatload of intelligence, that I’ve helped to cultivate it.   Nurturing a child’s gifts means first recognizing those gifts. Even if...

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Awesome Books for Kids Who Love Nature

Getting outside in nature makes you smarter. Really! Look it up! Grab a copy of my new book, 100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever! and learn to love getting out and soaking up nature. There are so many things to do outdoors. This book is filled to the max with activities, tips, and it all requires very little help from mom and dad. Turn your backyard into a museum where kids can learn and explore.   After you get done adventuring outside, make your way indoors to devour these awesome books for kids who love nature! From stories of...

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Is Identifying Your Child As Gifted Important?

Does My Gifted Child Really Need A Label?

  At some point most parents of gifted kids will ask, “Does my gifted child really need a label?” In this audioblog episode, Collen tackles this question and looks at the pros and cons of giving your gifted child the "label."     Does My Gifted Child Really Need A Label? I understand the question. How often have we heard complaint that we label kids too much? “Why can’t kids be kids?” “Back in my day we didn’t have all these disorders.” “I just want to appreciate him without some label telling me who he’s supposed to be.” While these are certainly valid statements...

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A Homeschool Writing Program To Challenge Your Gifted Learner

A Homeschool Writing Program To Challenge Your Gifted Learner

My daughter loves to tell stories. She is creative and brilliant in her ability to weave together storylines and characters. Moreover, she's imaginative in creating symbolism, even at her young age. (Another time, remind me to tell you how she cast our family into various animal roles. She was dead-on in her reasoning as to why each of her family members was one animal vs. another. Let's just say one of us was a sloth...) Story telling is part of who she is! Because this is such an area of great interest and strength, I am always looking for ways to supplement and challenge her natural...

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Managing Perfectionism: 10 Tips for Helping Your Gifted Child

perfectionism and gifted child

As parents, we want our children to excel. We want them to strive for excellence, and to feel accomplished with a job well-done. Whether it’s their education, music lessons, dance, performance, or any other skill they’re pursuing, we teach our kids to aim high and master new things from an early age. Gifted children know this expectation well. Because they rarely struggle with anything they attempt early on, we set high standards for them. After all, striving for perfection in the sense of learning to excel can be healthy and admirable. We just want our children to succeed.    ...

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