Blog Archives

Alternatives to Traditional Education

Many families, not just those with gifted children, believe their children are not only unchallenged in school; but, unprepared for the challenges of life upon graduation whether they go on to college or the workforce. A recent study found that students are not given “grade-appropriate assignments, strong instruction, deep engagement, and teachers with high expectations.” Once students are in middle school and high school; they express lack of interest or belief that subject matter is relevant to them. This leads to lack of engagement in school work and ultimately motivation to complete work.

Many parents find a lack of available programs for their children and too often negative attitudes toward gifted education in public schools. Lack of funding and poor teacher preparation can inhibit intellectual stimulation and growth for gifted students.

Every student is different. Some gifted students thrive in an online environment especially when their interests align with areas of study enhanced by online activities, mentoring, and collaborating with other gifted students. A major issue with using online options is using it as a ‘substitute’ for teaching. Students still need their learning to be facilitated by a qualified teacher or subject expert.

What resources are available for twice-exceptional students outside traditional schooling? There are several new options for twice-exceptional students depending on the nature of their needs. Parents may opt to homeschool or use online schools for their children. Private schools such as Flex School specialize in twice-exceptional students. However, not all private schools are able to the needs of these students. Parents may also consider creating a micro-school with the help of an educational professional where several families join together to hire teachers for a small groups of students with particular needs.

In the past, the reason for homeschooling was not generally based solely on academic needs. Today, organizations based specifically on gifted homeschooling, such as GHF Learners, provide resources for families. Homeschool organizations can provide networking opportunities for students and families, educational materials, online classes, and information for both gifted and #2ekids.

Unschooling can be a viable option for GT students, but there are many factors that should be considered first including a firm understanding of what it is and is not. Unschooling requires a strong support system of dedicated adults and resources. When considering unschooling, parents should consider their commitment regarding time, resources, potential facilitators and mentors to guide students. A transcript of the 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 1PM NZDT/11 AM 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 Opportunity Myth: What Students Can Show Us about How School is Letting Them Down – and How to Fix It

The Best Kind of Schools for Gifted Kids

A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste: Reaching ‘School Skeptics’ Through High-Challenge Interventions

Using Virtual Learning for Gifted Children

How to Determine if Traditional Education Isn’t Working for Your Child

Smart Children Left Behind: 4 High School Alternatives for Gifted Students

Distance Education in Rural High Schools as a Solution to the Dropout Problem among Gifted Students

School for the Gifted: Looking for Extra Challenge

Gifted with Learning Issues

Networks – Special Schools & Programs

Gifted Children and Non-Traditional Educational Choices

An Unconventional Education

Mr. Gelston’s One Room Schoolhouse

Your child is gifted … now what?

Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling (book)

Micro-Schools: Creating Personalized Learning on a Budget (book)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Twice-Exceptional Children

gtchat 02152018 Boost GHF

The term ‘twice-exceptional children’ covers a group of gifted children with high intellectual ability, but also with learning differences; differences which may confound both teachers and parents at first. They often require a more aggressive educational plan to provide supports beyond strictly academic interventions. This week #gtchat welcomed Kelly Hirt, author of Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Twice-Exceptional Children from GHF Press.

“While both groups (gifted and twice-exceptional) have high IQs, 2e learners possess unevenly dispersed strengths. Their giftedness can mask their disabilities or the opposite when their disabilities prevent them from reaching their potential. ~ Kelly Hirt

Kelly Hirt is a public school teacher with a MA in Curriculum Development, homeschooling parent, blogger, and writer of both fiction and nonfiction works. She has taught elementary school for twenty-five years in Washington State. During that time she served as a student teacher mentor, district level trainer and an active member during leadership teams and curriculum adoption reviews.

‘Intensities’ and ‘asynchronous development’ are both possible attributions of gifted and twice-exceptional but not necessarily. In fact, intensities as described by Dabrowski were not intended to be attributable to ‘gifted’ only. Dabrowski’s categorized intensities involved heightened sensitivities in areas such as intellect, emotions, imagination; among others. Asynchronous development, first described by the Columbus Group, involved being ‘many ages at once’.

“2e children are often impacted by more than one OE (overexcitabilities). Often the higher IQ, there is a greater asynchronous development and a greater impact from their intensities.” ~ Kelly Hirt

Within the general education community, there is little awareness about what exactly twice-exceptionality is and how to intervene on behalf of these children. Advocacy most often falls to parents. As with gifted education, little to no coursework is required of education majors at the undergraduate level. Because both conditions may mask each other, it is important to understand twice-exceptionality at a very deep level. It’s important to advocate for twice-exceptional children because too few responsible adults do. And let’s not forget we are talking about exceptional kids who can profoundly benefit from caring and appropriate accommodations.

“2e children are complex and many educators still do not understand them. When 2e kids are unseen and underserved, behaviors, frustration, and self-esteem issues can often follow.” ~ Kelly Hirt

What steps can parents take once they learn their child is identified as twice-exceptional? Take time to experience relief; to acknowledge that you do, in fact, know your child best. Understand that you have faced challenges as a parent that other parents may not comprehend. Once identified, educate yourself about twice-exceptionality. Find other parents or organizations which can support you and your child.

What is ‘Boost’ and how can educators implement it in schools and homeschooling? As Kelly’s title tells us, Boost presents 12 ways to effectively lift up twice-exceptional children with dignity and compassion. Boost encompasses strategies respectful of the twice-exceptional child and recognizes the need to have multiple approaches/tools in the parents’ and teachers’ toolboxes.

Educators should have access to professional development which provides information about twice-exceptionality and strategies to engage these students both academically and emotionally. Educators and parent-educators would benefit from learning about best practices in both special education and gifted education. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

We also encourage you to Check out TAGT’s Gifted Plus Equity Conference in June which includes 2E sessions.

Boost TAGT Gifted Plus Conference

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 2 PM NZST/Noon 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 and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  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

Links:

Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional Children (Amazon)

Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional Children (Gifted Homeschoolers Forum)

My Twice Baked Potato (Blog)

My Twice Baked Potato: About Kelly

Writing Your Own Script: A Parent’s Role in the Gifted Child’s Social Development (GHF Press) (Amazon)

Bright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and Autism (Amazon)

Different Minds: Gifted Children with AD/HD, Asperger Syndrome, and Other Learning Deficits (Amazon)

Living With Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and the Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and Adults (Amazon)

Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds (Amazon)

Smart Kids with Learning Difficulties: Overcoming Obstacles and Realizing Potential (Amazon)

Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling  (GHF Press) (Amazon) https://goo.gl/uIfTyI

GHF: Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

2e Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

Are gifted children getting lost in the shuffle?

The Twice-Exceptional Dilemma (pdf)

GHF: Resources: Twice-Exceptional (2e)

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Page

GHF: Twice Exceptional (2e) Issues

GHF Bloghop: Gifted 2E Kids: What Makes Them Twice-Exceptional

Sprite’s Site: 2E Is

GHF: Living with Gifted Children

Sprite’s Site: What Makes Them 2E?

Hoagies’ Bloghop : 2e Kids

GHF Online

If This is a Gift, Can I Send It Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice Exceptional

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

From Home Education to Higher Education

gtchat 09262017 HomeEd

Families with gifted children are one of the fastest growing segments of homeschooling today. The choice to homeschool is no longer limited to those who make the choice for religious reasons as was common in the past. Along with that choice comes the need to know and understand how to approach the college entrance process. Our guest this week, Lori Dunlap, recently wrote a book entitled From Home Home Education to Higher Education from GHF Press which addresses the many questions asked by homeschoolers.

gtchat From Home Ed to Higher Ed Front Cover

Faced with roadblocks and not having needs met at their children’s schools; parents of gifted learners often turn to homeschooling. Families realize that their school’s approach to education does not fit with their goals for their child’s education.

According to Corin Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, “Homeschool families are so diverse that any generalization is going to include misconceptions.” With regard to college entrance, many people think that homeschoolers will encounter more issues in transitioning to college than their public school counterparts. This line of thinking extends to believing homeschoolers will lack the ability to deal with schedules and routines in college which simply is not the case. Corin added, “In fact, they often do better because they are self-motivated and have not had their curiosity suppressed.”

How are homeschoolers viewed by colleges and universities? Lori explained, “Colleges and universities not only accept homeschoolers; in many cases they’re actually seeking them out! In researching my book, the most FAQ that came up from admissions officers was, ‘Where can I find more homeschoolers?’ Other hurdles included misperceptions in college admissions community including “Mom grades” on transcripts and academic “rigor.”

Regarding the college application process, Lori told us, “For any student, finding schools that are a good fit for their goals and interests is the most important part of the process. In applications, admission officers want to see how homeschoolers have taken advantage of the flexibility and freedom that comes with educational choice.”

With regard to what college admission officers are looking for, Lori said, “The first thing they want to know is if the student is academically qualified and can be successful at the school. [They are also] looking for variety and diversity; an area where homeschoolers can stand out with unique educational experiences. They want to know your “story”. Think of your application as a story, with a beginning, middle, and end. Non-standard applications throw some of them for a loop. This is why SAT/ACT scores are still required for homeschoolers even at “test opt” schools.”

“Know your child. Help them set goals and steer their lives, but be ready to scaffold when needed.” ~ Corin Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

There are some ways parents can help prepare their child to transition to college life. It was pointed out by many at the chat that perhaps the hardest part, but most important  for parents, is letting go. Corin reminded us, “Parents can listen to their student instead of pushing hopes on kids. The kid has to live with their choices. They should make their own.” Lori added, “To prepare, we need to give our students increasing levels of independence and appropriate responsibility as they get older. By the time they go off to college, they should have skills and confidence to operate as independently as possible.” A transcript of this chat can 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 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 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

Links:

From Home Education to Higher Education 

About Lori Dunlap at Amazon

College Admissions for Homeschoolers: 3 Inevitable Questions

College Admissions for Homeschoolers: 3 More Inevitable Questions 

Forging Paths: Beyond Traditional Schooling

Self-Directed Learning: Documentation and Life Stories

Happiest Homeschooling Moments: A Reflection

From Home Education to Higher Education: A Review

Grateful for All of It, No Exceptions: Loving the Unexpected Gifts of Giftedness

Reflections in a Pond: Recognizing Giftedness in Our Children and Ourselves

Research: From Home Ed to Higher Ed

Earning Admission: Real Strategies for Getting into Highly Selective Colleges – Review

Teach Your Own

Homeschooled Student’s Transcript Might Be for a Cat

Sprite’s Site: Socialization

Sprite’s Site: Socialization 2

Sprite’s Site: Qualified to Teach

The Uncommon Application

Cybraryman’s Homeschooling Page

GHF: Teens (and College)

GHF: US Public Education Policy: Missing Voices

Graphic  courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Homeschooling Gifted Students

gtchat 06272017 Homeschooling

This week, we welcomed Corin Goodwin, the Executive Director of GHF – Gifted Homeschoolers Forum as our guest to chat about homeschooling gifted students.

For years, homeschooling was considered on the fringe; those who had issues with public schools regarding religion. Gifted homeschooling is based on providing the best personal education possible to meet the unique challenges of gifted students.

Homeschooling is a very personal and individual decision and today’s homeschoolers are a diverse and emergent group. Reasons for homeschooling can include a need for greater challenge than available at traditional schools. Homeschooling allows gifted students to advance through the curriculum at a pace that meets individual needs.

What should parents consider before starting to homeschool? Parents need to make a realistic assessment of the financial resources they’ll need to effectively homeschool. They need to research homeschooling and the time commitment necessary to make it work for their child and the family.

One of the biggest myths that opponents of homeschooling bring up is lack of social opportunities which simply isn’t true. Gifted homeschooled students have many avenues to socialize with intellectual peers both in real life and online.

What are the prospects for homeschoolers when applying for college or transitioning to adult life? Universities once reluctant about homeschoolers now seek out these kids; acknowledge the benefits of homeschooling. Many resources are available to document student records and accomplishments for college admissions. Good planning can make the college admissions process easier and more successful for gifted homeschoolers. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

Afterthought: This chat prompted quite a few responses (from both those who attended the chat and those who did not) directed at the moderator concerning the feasibility of homeschooling. While most agreed that it would be beneficial for any gifted child to be taught at home one-on-one in a loving and supportive environment, just wanting to make it happen was not always enough to ensure a successful outcome for everyone.

One teacher related experiences of seeing parents losing their jobs because they didn’t have the energy to work and be solely responsible for their child’s education; having their child become disengaged because they didn’t have the time or skills to teach them; and even failed marriages.

Yes, some families will be fortunate to succeed without presupposing all possible outcomes, but it is a personal decision families need to make without outside judgement. Many parents said that although they were happy they decided to homeschool, they felt they would never recover financially. Concerns for other family members and personal feelings of self-worth were also expressed. Others cited the emotional toll it placed on the parent-child relationship.

These are all very real concerns. Parents who simply can’t make it work should not have to endure criticism. Just as every child is different, so is their family’s situation. It is important to make a realistic assessment of your own situation before embarking on homeschooling. In the end, you must decide what you feel is best for you, your child and your family.

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:

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

GHF Online

Homeschool Curricula

Homeschooling Curriculum for the Gifted Child

Reasons to Homeschool Your Gifted Child

Why We Homeschooled

Creative Home Schooling: A Resource Guide for Smart Families (Amazon)

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

How to Work & Homeschool: Practical Advice, Tips & Strategies from Parents (Amazon)

Educating Your Gifted Child: How One Public School Teacher Embraced Homeschooling (Amazon)

Home Schooling Gifted Children

Gifted Children: Transitioning Between Public School and Homeschool

Gifted Children: The Importance of Finding Intellectual Peers and Community

Homeschooling: Where and How to Begin

Study: States Should Provide Parents with More Information about Homeschooling Options

Education Alternatives

US Public Education Policy: Missing Voices

US Public Education Policy: Missing Voices Executive Summary and Survey Date

Sprite’s Site Nest Ed: Flocks and Shoes

Cybraryman’s Educators Pages

GHF Press

GHF on Facebook

Gifted Online NZ Centre for Gifted Education

NZ: Te Aho O Te Kura Pounama – The Correspondence School

GHF Favorite Things

GHF: Living with Gifted Children

Sprite’s Site: Socialization

SIG Summer Institute for the Gifted

GHF: Teens (and College)

Self-Directed Learning: Documentation and Life Stories

AUS: Homeschooling Research Notes – Glenda Jackson

Photo courtesy of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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