Category Archives: Parents

Curbing the Homework Battles with High Ability Kids

gtchat 03282017 Homework

 

It’s no secret to parents of gifted kids that they often do not like or even feel the need to do homework and what may start as a simple assignment can quickly escalate to a full blown battle. Assessing the value of homework represents a great divide in education; expectations are rarely met. The purpose of homework is usually to reinforce lessons learned in class, but is this necessary for high-ability kids?

The effects of homework for our youngest students are unproven. Many believe time could be better spent in play and socialization activities. Homework may be more valuable at the secondary level for students considering higher education or to learn better work habits.

Socio-economic status can have a profound effect on the benefits of homework; many students must work and not all families have access to resources, such as Internet access at home, necessary to complete homework assignments.

Many believe that homework aids in student achievement. There are, however, many factors involved in  realizing value from homework ~ i.e., subject matter, student ability. The quality of the homework assigned and an individual student’s needs affect the beneficial aspects of homework.

Should high ability students be required to do homework? Redundant, busy work provides few benefits to these students. They tend to work well independently in areas of interest. Meaningful, challenging work would provide greater benefits. High-ability students are often overloaded with homework; and experience high levels of stress, anxiety, health problems, and feelings of alienation.

Teachers can offer alternatives to homework. Younger students need to be actively engaged in ‘play’ time. Older students should be allowed to pursue passions so that they will be motivated to work outside classroom.

Homework is probably here to stay for the immediate future but educators are definitely taking a second look at when and what type of homework to give. A transcript of this chat may be found on our Storify page.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 13.00 NZDT/11.00 AEDT/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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

 

Links:

Homework or Play?

Homework: is it worth the hassle?

The question of homework: Should our kids have it at all?

31 Things Your Kids Should Be Doing Instead of Homework

The Power of Play: How Spontaneous, Imaginative Activities Lead to Happier, Healthier Children (pdf)

What Research Says about the Value of Homework: Research Review

When Homework Is Useless

Down with Homework: Teacher’s Viral Note Tells Of Growing Attitude

Homework Hardships

Parents in Spain go on Homework Strike

3 Scary Ways Homework Is Harming Your Family’s Health

Are Young Kids Doing Too Much Homework?

The Value of Homework

The Homework Gap: The ‘Cruelest Part of the Digital Divide’

Millions of Children Can’t Do Their Homework because They Don’t have Access to Broadband Internet

A New Program and a New Approach to Homework

Sprite’s Site: Sprite on the Subject of Homework!

Cybraryman’s The Homework Debate Page

You Probably Believe Some Learning Myths: Take Our Quiz to Find Out C BY-NC-SA 2.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Parents and Teachers: Finding Common Ground

gtchat 08092016 Parent Teacher

 

This week, we were joined at #gtchat by 3 educators of gifted children; Angie French, Heather Cachat, and Jeff Shoemaker. Angie is a GT Specialist for K-4 in Houston, Texas. Heather is a Gifted Intervention Specialist for 5/6 in Ohio and a SENG Model Parent Group Facilitator. Jeff is a Gifted Intervention Specialist for grades 5-8 in Lima, Ohio and OAGC Teacher Division Chair Elect. Heather and Jeff are Co-Moderators of #ohiogtchat on Sundays.

It’s no secret that parent-teacher relationships can often be strained; but even more so with parents of gifted children. As students begin to return to school, we took a look at ways to improve the relationship in a non-confrontational setting exploring ways to help all parties to work together for their children and students.

It was pointed out by the moderator that most teachers do not have a strong knowledge-base on which to draw about needs of gifted children. However, parents often don’t realize the restrictions and responsibilities placed on teachers today by their school administrations. This lack of knowledge can lead to misunderstandings. In addition, Jeff commented about the reluctance of teachers to acknowledge that parents usually know their child best. Friction can also be the result of competing goals and different perspectives of what is best for the child.

There are strategies which teachers can use to increase positive engagement with parents. Teachers need to renew their communication toolboxes each new school year; not rely on antiquated tools. They can seek out professional development regarding gifted education not provided at the undergraduate level. Heather suggested that teachers, “Validate their concerns. Parents need to know that teachers sincerely take them seriously.” Corin Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, said, “Listening. Putting aside assumptions. Not dismissing parents – especially moms – like they’re all crazies or helicopter parents.Work on problem solving *together* as allies instead of antagonists.”

Parents can also work to forge a productive relationship with their child’s teacher. Heather told us, “Acknowledge the work teachers are doing with your child. Don’t talk yourself out of reaching out to your child’s teacher.” Jeremy Bond, a parent in CT, said, “Establish from the outset how you want to communicate and what you hope to learn about their classroom.” It can be beneficial to provide teachers with an information portfolio of the child’s behaviors (academic/social/emotional) outside of school.

The parent-teacher relationship can affect student achievement. Kids, especially gifted kids, are highly cognizant of parent-teacher relationships. Adults need to be aware of emotional repercussions that may result due to their actions and work to prevent any negative reactions. Mutual respect by all parties can enhance and propel student achievement.

Can technology bridge the parent-teacher communication gap? New technologies can only help when everyone understands how to use the tools available. Not every new piece of technology is right in every situation. Be aware of cultural concerns and the availability of whatever tech is chosen. (See ‘suggestions’ in the links below.)

Clearly, good parent-teacher relationships will have a positive effect on a child’s educational experience. All parties must be committed to continually improving this relationship. When a parent or teacher does not believe this is occurring, they should take steps to seek assistance. This may include working with school administrators, counselors, or outside advocates. The most important thing is to keep the best interests of the student in the forefront of all discussions. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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

Links:

Parent-Teacher Conference Worksheet (download)

What Can Be Done To Improve Parent-Teacher Communication?

New Teachers: Working With Parents

Gifted 101 for Teachers New to Gifted Students

Parent Workshop: Productive Partnerships with your Child’s Teacher (YouTube 31:00)

Parent Workshop: Productive Partnerships with your Child’s Teacher (Handout – pdf)

Why Don’t Teachers and Parents See Eye to Eye about Gifted Children?

5 Strategies for Building Effective Parent-Teacher Partnerships … From a Parent’s Perspective

Six Tips for Communicating with Your Gifted Child’s Teacher

Back to School Blues: Why Gifted Teens Dread Returning to School

How Parents & Teachers Can Work Together For Powerful Learning OutcomesHow Parents & Teachers Can Work Together For Powerful Learning Outcomes

5 Keys to Forging Strong Parent Engagement

Districts Work to Bolster Parent Involvement

Harvard Family Research Proj: Parent–Teacher Conf Tip Sheets for Principals, Teachers & Parents (pdf)

How to Turn Parents into Partners

It’s Time to Revamp Parent-Teacher Conference: Include the Child! (pdf)

Talking Points: Talking with Teachers about Your Gifted Child (pdf)

Choosing a Parent-Teacher Communication App

Gifted Son Being Punished by Teacher

Influence of Student–Teacher and Parent–Teacher Relationships on Lower Achieving Readers’ Engagement and Achievement in the Primary Grades

Periscope: 5 Tips for Working with Parents with Lisa Dabbs

Cybraryman’s Parents and Teachers Page

Making the Choice: When Typical School Doesn’t Fit Your Atypical Child (Perspectives in Gifted Homeschooling) (Amazon)

Overcoming the Barriers to Effective Teacher-Parent Partnership (audio 11:07)

Overcoming the Biggest Barriers to Effective Parent Teacher Relationships

9 Tips for Successful Parent-Teacher Communication in the Digital Age

Communication Apps (availability; not recommendations):

Remind App

ClassDojo

Periscope

Canvas

Bloomz

Class Messenger

Picture courtesy of Pixabay.   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Where’s the ‘OFF’ Button? Helping Parents of Young Gifted Children

gtchat 06212016 OFF Button

 

Parenting young gifted children can be a challenge! This week we looked at the intensities these kids bring into the world around them. It’s often lamented that they do not fit into society’s notion of how children should act or react. Parents describe them as ‘more’ in every aspect of their lives and it can be exhausting for everyone involved. So … where is that ‘off’ button and do you really want to push it?

One of the first telltale signs of giftedness is a child’s extremely early proclivity to ask questions; a lot of questions. And not just simple questions. Oftentimes, asynchronous development leads to highly intuitive and complex questioning of practically everything. Parents quickly realize that the age-old argument of nature vs. nurture is a false dichotomy. The best way to foster their child’s giftedness is to nurture nature and provide them with an exceptional learning environment in which those questions can be answered; no matter how often or how many. As author Christine Fonseca tells us, “we must remind ourselves that they are curious; and that’s a good thing!”

 

gtchat OFF Button Fonseca

 

In their book BLOOM, authors Dr. Lynne Kenney and Wendy Young compare intense children to flowers in a garden. Consider the quote below from the introduction when thinking about your gifted child.

 

gtchat OFF Button Roses

 

The intensity experienced by young gifted children extends beyond their insatiable curiosity and unfortunately can affect their relationships with adults as well as age-peers. The fact that they are labeled as gifted cannot be an excuse for bad behavior. One of the most important lessons we need to teach our children is how to optimize interpersonal relationships in a way that benefits all involved.

To nurture the qualities necessary to succeed in relationships, adults should explore the concepts of empathy, high expectations, emotional intensity and social justice with the child. Discuss emotional intensity in a positive light. Don’t minimize the child’s feelings; respect them.

A characteristic such as bossiness is viewed as highly unfavorable; especially when directed towards teachers or other adults. Young children who are highly intelligent may not yet understand the nuance between being bossy and  qualities associated with leadership.  Gifted children often have a wide breadth of knowledge leading them to be criticized as a ‘know-it-all’. It’s important to guide them to know how to temper their approach to those around them. Gifted kids need to harness their abilities and learn to appreciate others’ viewpoints.

Navigating age-peer relationships with kids who don’t understand their intensity can be a source of angst for a gifted child. To nurture the qualities necessary to succeed in relationships, adults should explore the concepts of empathy, high expectations, emotional intensity and social justice with the child. Discuss emotional intensity in a positive light. Don’t minimize the child’s feelings; respect them.

Sleep is often a major concern for parents of gifted children. Some research suggests that gifted children need less sleep; but they still need sleep and so do their parents! As with most advice on parenting, it rarely works for gifted kids. It is usually a case of trial and error to find what works best for each child. And sometimes; nothing works. If and when it begins to affect everyday life … inability to complete school assignments, being habitually late to school, displaying inappropriate emotional responses … a parent may need to consult a professional who is familiar with giftedness for help. Otherwise, the risk of misdiagnosis can lead to inappropriate interventions.

Talk to your child about giftedness. Explore ways to co-exist in a world that doesn’t always appreciate being gifted. Emphasized to them that being gifted is not being better than someone else; it’s simply about being different.

It’s important to not assume that young gifted children understand the nature of giftedness. It’s more than just being smart. Talk to your child about giftedness. Explore ways to co-exist in a world that doesn’t always appreciate being gifted. Emphasized to them that being gifted is not being better than someone else; it’s simply about being different. It is experiencing life in a way that doesn’t always conform to social norms.

Does it ever get better? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Gifted kids do grow up. They will probably continue to be intense, but they have the maturity to deal with it. Yes, it does get better. There is hope for a good night’s sleep. You may eventually even miss those early years! A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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

Links:

Giftedness & Emotional Intensity

Don’t Ride the Wave 

The “Up” Side to Being Intense

The “Up” Side to Being Intense (Part 2)

Tips for Working with Emotional Intensity

Dino Obsession: Intellectual Overexcitability In Action

Channeling Intensity Through Creative Expression

Living With Intensity (Amazon)

Gifted Children: Emotionally Immature or Emotionally Intense?

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students (Amazon)

101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids (Amazon)

If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back? (Amazon)

BLOOM: 50 Things to Say, Think & Do with Anxious, Angry & Over-the-Top Kids

Tips to Help Your Gifted Child Fall Asleep

Sprite’s Site: Memory Elephant in Overdrive

Sprite’s Site: Talkfest

Sprite’s Site: Perchance to Dream

Sprite’s Site: Stories of the OEs

Cybraryman’s Dealing with Children Page

Cybraryman’s Sleep Page

Cybraryman’s Parenting Gifted Children Page

Strategies for Dealing with Overexcitabilities

Young Gifted Children

Laughing at Chaos Blog

Storynory (Free Audio Stories)

Living and Learning with Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities OR “I Can’t Help It – I’m Overexcitable!” (pdf)

Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page: Young Gifted Children

Davidson Institute: FAQs about Extreme Intelligence in Very Young Children

Picture courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Disciplining Gifted Children

gtchat 04192016 Discipline

 

For a multitude of reasons, disciplining a gifted child can be difficult at best and nearly impossible at worst. Whether you are facing a ‘little lawyer’ or simply a child wise beyond their years, it is important to remember that they are still children who need guidance from time to time. Discipline should be construed as a means to teach, instruct, impart knowledge, guidance; rather than to punish. When adults confuse discipline and punishment, it’s hard for a child to learn from their mistakes. Children learn to fear failure when discipline is only conceived of as punishment for mistakes.

“Asynchronous development: false narratives around “maturity level” clashing with “IQ expectations.” ~ Tracy Fisher

The role of asynchronous development cannot be minimized when considering discipline for the gifted child. Asynchronous development defines a gifted child as experiencing many ages at once. Although they may possess an intellect that allows them to argue their position, they lack the maturity to accept reasonable limits on their behavior. Parents and teachers must be diligent not to succumb to arguing with children; consequences need to be enforced when established rules and conduct are not followed.

” Asynchronous behavior can make it tricky because the same kid who can manage calculus can’t make himself take a shower.” ~ Lisa Van Gemert

Gifted kids may experience academic success at an early age; later may revert to behavior deemed inappropriate for their age. Adults who don’t understand asynchronous development often misinterpret behavior; resort to punitive consequences.

How do we help gifted children cope with emotional intensity which may lead to bad or poor behavior?  Adults need to understand the role emotions play in the life of a gifted child; they may become overwhelming. All children experience emotions; it is the intensity of emotion that can lead to more serious concerns with gifted kids.

gtchat Discipline Photo courtesy Angela Abend

Graphic courtesy of Angela Abend

Society’s perception of conformity can affect how many view a gifted child’s behavior. Mis-perception of gifted behavior may lead adults to believing gifted kids are ‘too’ sensitive; ‘too’ perfectionistic. Some view gifted children as socially awkward; the gifted child begins to feel something wrong with them; self-doubt creeps in.

Sometimes misbehavior can be a sign of a more serious condition such as anxiety or depression rather than a discipline issue. Often a child may become withdrawn; being ‘quiet’ (beyond introversion) due to disengagement. Other signs which may signal a need for help include self-harm; aggressive behavior; threatening comments.

” Tackling misbehavior starts and ends with relationships. Talk to your kids. Treat them with respect. Teach strategies. Start with engagement. Give students a reason to be riveted, engaged, excited about learning. ” ~ Mary Phillips

What measures can be taken to prevent or reduce misbehavior in the classroom? Teachers should look for signs of disengagement and consider differentiation and/or personalized learning plans. Recognition and understanding that misbehavior may stem from boredom; early intervention with a more challenging curriculum can often be the answer. An appropriate response to misbehavior at school should coincide with a child’s age development stage. Valerie King, a teacher from Atlanta, GA, suggests, “More choice for students. More voice for students. More engagement!”

How to deal with misbehavior in the classroom? “Having reasonable expectations. Create a class culture of safety and acceptance. Anticipate. Intervene privately with kindness.” ~ Lisa Van Gemert

A transcript of the full chat may be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon (12.00) NZST/10.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa 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

Links:

When Did Discipline Become a Bad Word?

Discipline for Different Ages

AUS: Raising Gifted Children

School Discipline: Standing Up for All Children in the Public School System

School and Learning Issues: A Closer Look at Giftedness

The Wildest Winds

Discipline and the Gifted Child

Gifted Children At Home (Amazon)

Meeting the Special Needs of Your Gifted Child

Monitoring Anxiety in Your Gifted Child

Four Ways to Reduce Behavior Problems 

How (Not) to Argue with Gifted Children

Sprite’s Site: Boredom Bingo

8 Ways Discipline and Punishment are Not the Same

Image courtesy of morgueFile  Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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