Blog Archives

Online Programs for Gifted Students

gtchat 06062017 Online Programs

Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT is excited to begin its annual Summer Series; this year covering educational options for gifted students. Our first chat discussed Online Options and we were happy to welcome representatives from some of the premier providers in gifted education.

First, we discussed how online programs benefit gifted students  in terms of time, financial considerations, and enrichment possibilities. Online learning can greatly benefit gifted students because it can cater to a student’s ability rather than age. These programs provide the enrichment and challenge of a private school without the necessity of moving or high tuition costs. Students who go unchallenged in the regular classroom for years can suffer intellectual decline as a result and online programming has also been successfully used to supplement their education.

Recently, schools addressing the needs of twice-exceptional students have come into existence to meet this all too often neglected population. We’ve been excited to see the development of schools like FlexSchool in Connecticut and New Jersey which is expanding their brick ‘n mortar schools to offer a cloud solution for students wherever they reside. Expanding gifted programming to the cloud can ameliorate many social-emotional issues 2E kids have in regular classrooms.

Many public schools have begun to use online programs to enhance blended learning for gifted students. Online programs help students by offering more challenging, accelerated coursework while still being able to socialize in their local schools. Integrating online classes can supplement, though not entirely replace, gifted programs at traditional schools. They can provide advanced courses unavailable at many schools allowing students to hone skills and avoid gaps in learning.

Online programs and classes are also a good choice for homeschoolers. They can ease the burden on parents looking for a challenging curriculum as well as provide opportunity for students to collaborate with intellectual peers.

How can students’ social-emotional needs be met who participate in online programs?Many online programs provide opportunities for students to meet and socialize in real life on campuses or with local groups. Social-emotional needs can also be met in out-of-school opportunities at the local level.

Parents can learn more about online schools at the links provided below. Many gifted organizations provide information on their websites for parents concerning online programs and classes. Parents can also go to university websites to search for information on online classes for gifted students. With so much excellent information shared, we urge you to check out the transcript of this chat 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 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 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:

FlexSchool Cloud Classroom (Vimeo 1:18)

FlexSchool (website)

For Frustrated Gifted Kids, A World of Online Opportunities

Stanford Online High School

GiftedandTalented.com (formerly EPGY Stanford)

SIG Online Learning

Johns Hopkins CTY Online Programs

Northwestern CTD Gifted Learning Links Online 

Art of Problem Solving (AoPS) Online School

Davidson Academy Online High School

Online Learning for Gifted Students: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Duke TIP Courses for Summer Studies

Online G3

Educational Options: Online High Schools

Mr Gelston’s One Room Schoolhouse

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Online Class Schedule Fall 2017

Classes from the folks who run Beyond IQ

Cybraryman’s Blended Learning Page

MIT Open Courseware

10 Ways World-schooling has Ruined My Childhood

SENG’s 34th Annual Conference 

Prepare for the Future with UT High School (YouTube 1:00)

Online Language Arts Program Comparison

Online Math Program Comparison

Virtual Worlds for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Case Study in Second Life 

Using Playlists to Differentiate Instruction

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay    CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Micro-Schools with Guest, Jade Ann Rivera

gtchat 02022016 Microschools

 

This week at #gtchat we welcomed Jade Rivera, author of the latest in a series of books from GHF Press, “Micro-Schools: Creating Personalized Learning on a Budget”. Micro-schools are a relatively new phenomenon in the U.S. and have their roots in Texas and California. A hallmark of these schools is personalized learning in a relatively intimate setting; an ideal situation for gifted and twice-exceptional students who often fail to thrive in other school settings.

We asked Jade why she thought to start a school specifically for this student population. She told us that, “The small, personalized, intentional nature of Micro-Schools offers a balance of connection, flexible structure and freedom. They provide a chance to bring gifted and twice-exceptional issues out into the light. When you start a Micro-School, you’re not only educating students in your school, you’re educating the whole community.”

“A hallmark of these schools is personalized learning in a relatively intimate setting; an ideal situation for gifted and twice-exceptional students who often fail to thrive in other school settings.”

Individualized instruction is achieved in micro schools through the use of technology, project-based learning and restructuring how students are taught. Gifted students have an urgent need for depth and flexibility and micro schools deliver on both counts. It is imperative that the student, parents and teacher work closely together to develop a flexible plan to meet the specific needs of the student and then be diligent in the follow-through.

Student engagement is imperative in ensuring that the micro school model is working for every student. Jade explained her philosophy on engagement, “First and foremost, a student’s passion is personal. All a person can really do is make space for a passion to evolve. It cannot be forced into existence through independent projects and the like. Montessori as well as my chemistry education taught me how to observe in the classroom. By prioritizing connection and observing where your students are at; you can extrapolate where they want to go. Then it’s my job to provide a space where that can happen.”

“Desks in a row with a big teacher’s desk at the front of the room will not work. It connotes an authoritarian culture; the nemesis of the connection, flexible structure and freedom found in Micro-Schools.” ~ Jade Rivera

How are classrooms in Micro-Schools different from traditional classrooms? Jade explained, “My classrooms are more a co-working space. Sometimes students do their own thing together. Sometimes we come together for group learning. Comfort in the classroom is key. Overexcitabilities and sensory needs must be taken into account. There must be access to creative and technological tools in a Micro-School classroom. Desks in a row with a big teacher’s desk at the front of the room will not work. It connotes an authoritarian culture; the nemesis of the connection, flexible structure and freedom found in Micro-Schools. Our students tend to have paradoxical natures. It’s a delicate dance and it takes some time to get right.”

A transcript of this 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  2 PM (14.00) NZDT/Noon (12.00) AEDT/1 AM (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 atStorify. 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:

What Do We Really Mean When We Say ‘Personalized Learning’?

About Jade

Jade Rivera’s Website

Jade Rivera’s Facebook Page

Micro-Schools: Creating Personalized Learning on a Budget

The Mislabeled Child: Looking Beyond Behavior to Find Solutions for Children’s Learning Challenges (Amazon)

Declining Student Resilience: A Serious Problem for Colleges

Twice Exceptional – Smart Kids with Learning Differences

“Gifted, Poor and Sassy”

Big Minds Unschool

Preview: Micro-Schools: Creating Personalized Learning on a Budget

‘Micro-Schools’ Network That Fuses Technology and Instruction Expands to Chicago

‘Micro Schools’ Could Be New Competition for Private K-12

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Writing Your Own Script: A Parent’s Role in the Gifted Child’s Development

gtchat 10092015 Writing Your Own Script

 

This week, #gtchat welcomed Corin Barsily Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, and Mika Gustavson, MFT; authors of “Writing Your Own Script: A Parent’s Role in the Gifted Child’s Development”, the latest book in the GHF Press Perspectives In Gifted Homeschooling Series. It marks a departure from their previous focus of finding the right academic fit for a child in their first book Making the Choice: When Typical School Doesn’t Fit Your Atypical Child to guiding parents on how to facilitate the development of friendships for gifted and twice-exceptional children.

Making the Choice GHF

We began our discussion by considering why  gifted and twice-exceptional children struggle to find others with the same interests and how levels of friendship play a role. So often, age-peers do not share interests  with these kids due to asynchronous development and the less cited fact that true peers are scarce. Dave Mayer pointed out, “Many seek the same level of intensity regarding a concept or activity, not just mild interest or friendly amiability.” Thus, the gifted child will not relate well to others as well. The authors referenced the work of Miraca Gross in “Play Partner” or “Sure Shelter”: What Gifted Children Look for in Friendship.

There are times when some parents have difficulty separating their own needs from those of their children. They must be honest with themselves; it’s not the child’s role to fulfill the aspirations of their parents. There are also parents who are gifted, but were never identified. Their dissatisfaction with the school system may stem from personal frustration and unmet needs as a child. Sometimes a simple open and honest dialog with your child can solve the problem.

Overexcitabilites and asynchronous development both play roles in the development of friendships. Mika told us, “One child may be on different levels emotionally, behaviorally, intellectually.” Corin added, “Not every child has the capacity to deal with meltdowns, intensities or other behavioral issues. Kids may also have conflicting needs – such as one who thrives on sensory input and another who is sensory sensitive.”

gtchat 10092015 Writing Your Own Script Graphic

So, what role should parent’s play in their gifted/2E kids’ friendships? Each child is unique with different needs that must be reflected in the parent’s participation in their lives. Many factors must be taken into consideration as Corin stated, “Factors including age, development, tired or not tired, sensory input, one-on-one or groups, hungry, etc. Don’t expect consistency.” Parents may need to act as facilitators by providing opportunities for intellectual peers to meet.  Jaime of Online G3 said, “Parents can model healthy relationships, with together time, alone time, and finding ways to connect on various levels.” As a child grows, these needs change and as Jen Merrill told us, “Eventually you have to back off; I’m kinda there now. Set up events and get outta the way.”

“Not every child has the capacity to deal with meltdowns, intensities or other behavioral issues. Kids may also have conflicting needs – such as one who thrives on sensory input and another who is sensory sensitive.” ~ Corin Barsily Goodwin

How can parents be sure they are encouraging independence in their child by the actions they take? It’s important to look for social growth in your child’s behavior. Mika said, “Remember this is about scaffolding – giving your child a hand up and the tools to become independent.” According to Corin, “Scaffolding is an investment in their future independence, really. Some folks believe that kids develop in lockstep, but that’s not true. Some develop evenly; many don’t. And that’s OK.” Care M. summed it up, “I think it’s a lot like being at the playground. Grit teeth, hope for best, be there to pick up the pieces if they fall off.” A transcript 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 Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays Noon NZDT/10 AM AEDT 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:

Defining Giftedness

Gifted Resources

Resources: Twice-Exceptional (2E)

Twice-Exceptional Issues

Parent Resources

4 Ways Executive Functioning Issues Can Affect Your Child’s Social Life

Friendship Patterns in Highly Gifted Children

Teaching Social Skills to Young Gifted Children: Why & How

A 5 Is Against the Law! Social Boundaries: Straight Up! (Amazon)

A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children (Amazon)

Asperger Syndrome & Difficult Moments: Practical Solutions for Tantrums, Rage & Meltdowns (Amazon)

Gifted, Bullied, Resilient: A Brief Guide for Smart Families (Amazon)

Keys to Successfully Parenting the Gifted Child (Talent Igniter)

Leslie Graves’ Livebinder Gifted and 2E

Cybraryman’s Mental and Emotional Health

Dabrowski’s Over-excitabilities A Layman’s Explanation  (Tolan)

Sprite’s Site: Stories of the OEs

Sprite’s Site: Making Connections 2

 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Guest, Pamela Price, Author of “Gifted, Bullied, Resilient: A Brief Guide for Smart Families “

 

gtchat 07172015 Gifted Bullied Resilient

This week on #gtchat we welcomed Pamela Price, author of Gifted, Bullied, Resilient: A Brief Guide for Smart Families.  This marks the 7th book in the Perspectives in Gifted Homeschooling Series from Gifted Homeschoolers Forum and Pamela’s second book in the series. Her first book was the very popular, How to Work and Homeschool: Practical Advice, Tips and Strategies from Parents. Other titles in the GHF Press series may be found here. Pamela’s blog, “Red, White and Grew with Pamela Price” can be found here.

howtoworkandhomeschool

We first examined ‘why’ gifted kids are bullied. It was a general consensus that gifted kids are seen as ‘different’ and misunderstood. Pamela told us that the “reasons are as varied as individuals, but gifted kids are bullied for “difference” including social and intellectual variance.” Lisa Lauffer of Artisan of Creative Miracles pointed out that “If they’ve skipped a grade, they’re younger and smaller than others, making them easy targets.” Tracy Fisher, TAGT Board Member and Coppell ISD School Board member, added that often “they aren’t as socially savvy” and this, too, leads to bullying. Jo Freitag of Gifted Resources in Australia also mentioned that “gifted kids often have different

Tracy Fisher Coppell School Board

Tracy Fisher, Coppell School Board

interests, mannerisms, vocabulary and sensitivities – prime targets for bullies.” Corin Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, made the astute observation that we must not forget that the bully is often the victim of bullying and needs help as well.

Next, we discussed how adults can help gifted kids rise above bullying to become emotionally stronger and more self-assured. Pamela emphasized that “ALL adult stakeholders (parents, educators) must 1st become more aware of and articulate about social skills. They must think proactively about and teach social skills development. Adults also need to ‘rip off the Bandaid’ and discuss OUR experiences (past and present) with interpersonal aggression.” Mary Lovell said that “educators must differentiate for these kids…help them find their own “social place!” Madeline Goodwin told us that adults need to “give tools [to gifted kids] to handle situations – including an exit strategy for circumstances e.g. class and playgroups.”

How can parents model self-care and resilience; and why is this important? Pamela point out that “we need to stop dismissing our own pain. We need to open up, articulate things, and show the path forward. Parental self-care is essential for family well-being; especially with gifted kids and adults. We must first redefine self-care; not manicures and pedicures, but self-compassion, nurturing intellect, mind-body, etc. Kids and teens look to parents FIRST for social skills models. Self-compassion and care IS part of that. Without true self-compassion, we lack empathy and caring. Risks for negative behaviors then RISE and we lack fuel to manage outcomes. Parents must see themselves as deserving of care and capable of rebound and boundary setting; kids are watching, learning, and absorbing.”

Then, we turned our attention to the role mindfulness plays in supporting a child’s emotional growth. Pamela told us we need to “contrast poised ‘mindful’ with erratic ‘mindless.’ The first is CRITICAL for optimal life experiences. The second will lead to self sabotage. Mindfulness is critical to managing emotions and positive social interaction; especially with overexcitabilities or most social skills deficits. Mindfulness practice nurtures self-acceptance and compassion. It avoids positive/negative hyperbolic self talk.”

At what point is it time to call a therapist? From Pamela:

  • If there are signs of PTSD or other trauma
  • If a child or family needs help nurturing positive social skills, a competent therapist can be a great help
  • Extra consideration for a good therapist should be given if bullying is adult to child. Help build bridge to other adults

Finally, we discussed what steps parents should take in dealing with school bullying and why haven’t zero-tolerance policies worked. “In the school setting, approach is step-wise and up the hierarchy,” said Pamela. She went on to say, “this can work for or against a parent’s confidence. Parental composure is VITAL. No slamming the school or other kids publicly on social media. [If there is] illegal activity, call the police. There is a sample in the book of an email template for dealing with schools. Zero tolerance is a hammer. Real change comes via patience, practice, social change; Learn the difference between “meanness” and “bullying.” A transcript of this week’s chat can be found at Storify.

PLEASE NOTE: Next week’s #gtchat will be at a special day but same time, on Thursday, July 23rd at 7E/6C/5M/4P. We will be LIVE from this year’s Annual SENG Conference in Denver, CO. Our guests will be from the Bright Not Broken Lorna Wing Institute of America and we’ll be chatting about twice-exceptional kids.

 

gtchat-logo-new bannner

 

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZST/9 AM AEST 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:

Gifted Kids, Cyberbullying & Dig Citizenship: Resources for Parents via @jadeannrivera

Trauma-Proofing Your Kids: Parents’ Guide for Instilling Confidence, Joy & Resilience (Amazon)

The Bully, the Bullied & the Bystander: From Preschool to High School (Amazon)

Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher & Kid Needs to Know about Ending Cycle of Fear (Amazon)

Social Thinking

Inside the Bullied Brain: The Alarming Neuroscience of Taunting

Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain

Gifted & Homeschool Friendly Professionals

Gifted, Bullied, Resilient: A Brief Guide for Smart Families via @GiftedHF

Gifted, Bullied, Resilient: A Brief Guide for Smart Families (Amazon)

Gifted Bullied Resilient Front Cover

Pamela Price Author’s Page at Amazon

Study: Gifted Children Especially Vulnerable to Effects of Bullying

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

If This is a Gift

{Book review} Gifted, Bullied, Resilient

Cybraryman’s Bullying Page

Report: Professional Development Related to Anti-Bullying Policies Lacking in American Schools 

Relationships Require Work

Title graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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