Category Archives: family

A Summer of Opportunities

 

With so much upheaval in our world, we that it might be a good time to chat about all the opportunities available this summer.  How can we make the upcoming months teachable moments – critical thinking about the spread of the virus, empathy, grace towards others? Every single person involved in education has experienced some level of trauma. Consideration of others will be of the upmost important when schools resume. Simply because schools reopen should not imply that the risks from the spread of coronavirus have been eliminated. Class instruction and discussion should take this into account.

A lot has been said about re-imagining education. This may be the time to advocate for best practices in gifted education – such as, acceleration and mastery-based learning. Many schools are now planning to resume in person classes this summer as well as online options for students who prefer to wait. Most experts seem to agree that outdoor summer activities such as day camps are viable options for students.

If we have learned nothing else, it is that schools are so much more than simply an institution for delivering instruction. For many students, it is a place of shelter, a source of nourishment, and where children develop social skills. Schools must work to provide students with a clean, anti-viral atmosphere where they feel safe to return to.  The summer months will be a time for significant planning to ensure that teachers & staff are prepared to meet the trauma-induced needs of returning students.

How can educators use their summer break to personally prepare for a return to school? After so much time out of the classroom, the summer break can be a time to prepare for the unforeseen. Although schools may resume in coming months, classes could be suspended just as quickly as they did in the spring. This summer, most professional development opportunities are being offered online. This eliminates costly travel and related expenses making it a great option for expanded learning.

How can parents best use (non-academic) the summer months while respecting the presence of #COVID19? Most parents have had to suddenly become surrogate teachers over the past few months and summer may be a time to get reacquainted with summertime parenting. With so many under quarantine for many months, the upcoming summer months should include time outside and time for play while certainly respecting the presence of the coronavirus.

With so many impending changes to how we educate our children, this summer needs to involve some form of professional development with specific consideration of safety procedures for both students and teachers. This summer, all of us should be open to the possibility of significant changes and how we’ll adapt when schools eventually reopen.

A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

TX: Pasadena ISD Summer School Expected to be Busy Because Of Pandemic

TX: Pasadena ISD Summer Information for ECHS (Early College High School) Class of 2024

NAGC: At-Home Summer Fun for Creative Kids & Families for June 2020 (pdf)

NAGC: Beyond School Walls: What Parents Can Do to Widen the Horizons of Their Gifted Learners (pdf)

NAGC: Getting Gifted Kids Outdoors – Tips for a Summer of Play (pdf)

NAGC: Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy (pdf)

Summer Institute for the Gifted 2020

NuMinds Enrichment: Camp Pursuit 2020

Michigan State University Gifted and Talented Education Summer Programs 2020 – Live Online (Apply by 6/15)

Northwestern University: Center for Talent Development Online Summer Programs 2020

Columbia University Teachers College: Summer Certification

Texas Wildlife Association Youth On-Demand Webinars

NASA STEM Engagement & Educator Professional Development Collaborative (Digital Badging)

Rodriguez Resources GT (Google Docs)

Summer Writing Residency Online

Depth and Complexity RULES Webinar Series

National Inventors Hall of Fame Summer Programs 2020

Turning Challenges into Opportunities with Open Educational Resources

MENSA: At-home Learning Resources for Kids

PAGE: Gifted and Talented Resources

MO: Springfield Public Schools Announces In-Person Classes for July’s Session of Explore

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Parenting GT Kids in Extraordinary Times

Parents of GT children know it’s important to be honest and this is true when discussing COVID19. However, using age-appropriate language is still important. Many, not all, experience strong emotional reactions due to their depth of knowledge. The old KWL approach is a good starting point – “what do you know?”; “what do you want to know?”; and “what have you learned?”. Don’t fudge the facts. If you don’t know the answer, take time to see out trusted sources of information. Encourage older children to seek information and then discuss it with them. Help them distinguish fact from fiction.

How do parents maintain stability in our own lives in such unpredictable times? As adults, there’s a good chance we have already had uncertain/unpredictable circumstances in life. You can draw on personal experience with some modifications. Strive to stay positive, monitor your own anxiety, and practice self-compassion. One should maintain structure in your daily life, but be flexible when needed. Be thoughtful when talking to children. Look for opportunities to laugh and engage in fun activities.

There are strategies parents of GT kids can use to cope with life during a pandemic. Practically every expert recommends maintaining routines; getting up in the morning, preparing for the day ahead, regular meal times, exercise and play, completing school assignments, keeping in touch with friends and family. Be positive and reassure your kids that this will not last forever. Monitor your child’s mental health and seek help if necessary. Take time to educate your child on the importance of physical distancing, hand-washing, and being mindful of their physical health.

For many families, tackling education at home is a new experience. A good first strategy is to assess where your child is at educationally; their strengths and weaknesses. This may be an opportunity to accelerate their learning. So often parents of GT children seek individualized educational opportunities. Now can be the time to put ideas into action. Develop an education plan ‘with’ your child. Seek expert advice and see teachers as partners in the process.

How can parents rethink the pandemic as an unexpected opportunity? It’s easy to be stressed and overwhelmed by expectations of being the perfect parent – breadwinner, teacher, activities director. It’s also possible to see this as a time to be present in our children’s lives. In ordinary times, we all have time constraints that leave less time for kids. Spend time with them; no excuses. Make time to make good memories. Model the importance of giving back and paying it forward. Parents can teach their children mindfulness meditation, the power of taking deep breaths, and the importance of responding rather than reacting to situations. (Mahoney; 2020)

What can parents do to prepare their children for a Brave New World? Creating an atmosphere of love by connecting with family and friends can protect children from PTSD that will inevitably follow. Engage in frank discussions about how our world has changed & how to be problem solvers. Parents should use this time to prepare their children for life after an extended isolation period. Adopt new parenting strategies – teach kids the importance of working through uncomfortable feelings; cultivating compassion and connections; managing thoughts. (Mahoney; 2020)

A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Suddenly Homeschooling: Resources for Parents of Gifted Children

Parenting in a Pandemic: Duke Experts on Helping Your Kids – And Yourselves

NAGC: Supporting Your Gifted Child during COVID-19 (pdf)

Parenting in a Pandemic

‘We’re all stressed out’: Parenting in a Pandemic Puts Additional Stress on Families, Children

Parenting Pandemic Style

Resources for Families during the Coronavirus Pandemic

How Parenting in a Pandemic is an Unexpected Opportunity

Cut Yourself Some Slack, Parenting in a Pandemic is a Rough Gig

How to Answer 7 Big Questions Kids have about the Coronavirus Pandemic

Modifications of Parenting Time during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Stuck at Home: Parent Hacks for Homeschooling, Social Connection and More

Parenting Children during the Coronavirus Pandemic: Tips for Parents

Parenting in a Pandemic: 4 Tips for Survival

Parenting Right Now Is Really Hard

Give Yourself ‘Grace’ — and 7 Other Tips from Teachers to Homeschooling Families

Parental Bandwidth in the Time of Coronavirus (How to cope when your emotional resources are in short supply)

More Reading, More Cuddles, And Less Stress

Discipline Looks Different in a Pandemic

Cybraryman’s Parents and Teachers Page

Mind Matters Podcast Episode 56: Surviving and Thriving in Quarantine

Mind Matters Podcast Episode 57: The Stresses of Sheltering in Place

Mind Matters Podcast Episode 58: Preparing for Post-Pandemic Recovery

Mind Matters Podcast Episode 33: Note to Self – Be Nice to Me

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Staying Socially Connected while Physically Distancing with Guest, Heather Vaughn, EdS

The terms social and physical distancing as well as social connecting have become a part of daily conversation as we all are learning to cope with the consequences of our current situation. It is not too soon, however, to consider the long-term consequences physical distancing. It will affect personal (one-to-one) relationships, families, and businesses. It will fundamentally change the meaning of ‘society’. Physical distancing will realign interpersonal priorities and how we engage with each other. It’s vital to frame these changes in a positive light. It should be viewed as an opportunity to improve our lives. An inability to cope with physical distancing can lead to profound loneliness, neglecting daily self-care, increased substance abuse, and attention issues.

What are the risks to our mental health from social isolation? Social isolation can pose a major risk to our mental health leading to increased anxiety and depression. The very thought of not knowing when it will end, increases these risks. It can affect different age groups differently. Parents need to watch for warning signs in their children as well as themselves (and their own parents). Social isolation can increase the rate of cognitive decline in the elderly; including those in the gifted community. No one is immune.

Staying connected is necessary for the continuance of society. Few have lived experiences to understand the scope of this crisis. Empathetic leadership is crucial. Connecting by personally checking on friends and family, leveraging technology to connect, and making time for informal connections are all important. Practical steps to staying in touch can include a simple phone call to a friend or family member, video chatting, engaging in activities together yet remotely.

What strategies can teachers use to help students stay socially connected? Teachers can encourage and facilitate virtual performances by their GT students as well as provide authentic audiences when it is time to perform and assess. They can serve as virtual mentors and share time with students to practice their skills. Teachers who are working from home can offer resources to students and their families that ensure a continuity of learning such as virtual experiences (field trips/explorations), book clubs, tutorials, or online study groups.

How can parents facilitate social connections for their kids? Parents are among the greatest facilitators in this time of crisis. Children are more vulnerable now to the effects of misinformation, neglect, and isolation from their friends and family. They can seek to connect their children through technology being mindful that interpersonal relationships within the family are paramount. Finding a balance between tech and time together is the goal.

It may be hard to realize at the moment, but benefits can be realized from our current situation. Most people are coming to the realization just how important the work of teachers, medical professionals, and service workers are to the continuity of society. It’s an important lesson learned that can’t be forgotten. Everyone can seek to use this time to do those activities that they seemed to never have time to do in the past. View webinars for personal and professional development, take online classes, and of course – join in Twitter chats!

A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Resources:

Social Revisioning at a Distance

It’s Possible to Find Happiness in Times of Social Isolation

How to Talk to Teens & Young Adults about Social Distancing

Sprite’s Site: Social Distancing

We’re All In This Together How to Engage in Social Connection While Socially Distancing

MIT: In a Time of Physical Distancing, Connecting Socially across Generations is More Important than Ever

How to Stay Socially Connected while Social Distancing

How to Stay Socially Connected while Physically Apart

Why You Need to Stay Connected While Social Distancing

CAN: Staying Connected while Practicing Social and Physical Distancing

CAN: Immersive technologies to address social isolation: Is a technological solution feasible and desirable?

AUS: Staying Connected while Being Physically Apart: Wellbeing in the Time of Social Distancing

5 Ways to Use Social Media for Connection During Times of Social Distancing

Forget ‘Social Distancing.’ The WHO Prefers We call it ‘Physical Distancing’ because Social Connections are More Important than Ever

Univ. of Chicago: How to Connect with Others in the Age of Social Distancing

Physical vs. Social Distancing: Ways to Make Social Contact

Stay Connected in Your Communities

Allen, TX HS Students Create Group to Help People’s Physical and Mental Health During Coronavirus Pandemic

Duke: How to be Productive under Quarantine

How Duke Students are Staying Connected during Quarantine

How to Maintain Social Distancing during the Coronavirus Pandemic without Feeling Depressed

Social Distancing while Staying Connected for Better Mental Health

APA: Keeping Your Distance to Stay Safe

Psych Central: The Importance of Staying Connected While Practicing Social Distancing

Harvard Medical: Apps to Keep Us Connected in a Time of Social Distancing

Cybraryman’s Coping Strategies Pages

Cybraryman’s Zoom Pages

Cybraryman’s Google Meet Pages

Cybraryman’s Skype Pages

Civic Action Opportunities: Community Resource Guide (Google Doc)

Connectivity for Gifted Students in the Age of Social Distancing

Image courtesy of Heather Vaughn and Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Surviving Family Gatherings

All families have a range of abilities; but when that range includes wide differences, it can make for stressful interactions. Family members may lack social skills necessary to interact with others or large groups. Generational attitudes toward precocious toddlers or a quirky elderly relative will often come into conflict without sufficient time to resolve or explain differences. Holidays tend to disrupt routines, create untenable expectations of behavior, increase anxiety concerning the less fortunate, and place oversensitivities in the forefront of extended family interactions.

Gifted children with similar abilities often have an affinity for each other and this can play a role in family gatherings. Adults can make arrangements in advance to facilitate social interactions. Parents should realize that children may react differently to stress. Plans can be put into place to provide time and place for kids to de-escalate if they get overwhelmed. It’s important to understand that a child’s reactions to frustrating situations should not be minimized simply because a child is labeled gifted. Behaviors can escalate quickly if not dealt with promptly.

Gifted adults do not always remember or even realize that they serve as role models for younger family members. Parents should be prepared to remind family members of this reality. Adults who have been regarded gifted their entire lives may harbor extreme attitudes regarding self-importance or the opposite view – succumbing to impostor syndrome. This may require a significant amount of diplomacy to counteract.

How can parents manage others’ expectations about their children before family gatherings? Parents generally have two options – deal with expectations in the moment or ignore them and deal with it at a later time. Often the severity of the situation will determine a course of action. It’s important to consider the child’s feelings and the appropriateness of how to react. Parents usually have the benefit of previous experience with other family members and should be able to anticipate expectations.

Any social gathering can become a teachable moment. This can be a good time to learn social skills involving those a child doesn’t know well. It’s important to remember that children take social cues exhibited by their parents. Building memories can be a powerful experience for children. Creating an opportunity for children to learn about family history can make a lasting impression on them.

Although many families separate children from adults during family meals, this may not be necessary for children who exhibit an affinity for adult conversation and concerns. These kids may revel in these experiences. Creating family traditions for young children to participate in can also provide a lifelong positive experience associated with family gatherings. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Resources:

The Family Gathering: A Survival Guide

Enjoy the Holidays More With Mindfulness

Holiday Survival Tactics for the Gifted Family

What to Do When Friends & Family Don’t Get Gifted

Holiday Stress and Gifted Families

Dear Parents: Here’s How to Survive & Thrive at the Holidays

Holiday Stress: What Parents of Gifted Children Need to Know

Top 10 Holiday Tips for Parents of Gifted Kids

Holiday Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Children

How to Enjoy Christmas with a Twice-Exceptional Child

Holidays with the Quirky

Surviving the Holidays with a House Full of Gifted!

Sprite’s Site: Surviving the Holidays

Enriching Holiday Gatherings with Intergenerational Interviews

Surviving the Holidays with a House Full of Gifted Folks

Cybraryman’s Growth Mindset Page

Science of Gratitude: Time to Give Thanks

4 Ideas to Engage Your Child During Holidays

Photo courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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