Tuesday, September 1, 2015

NAGC 2015 Annual Convention and Exhibition in Phoenix

Don't forget to register for the largest annual convention devoted to gifted and talented learners.  It will be held on November 12-15 in Phoenix!  It is a rare treat to have this event in Arizona. This event will be hosted by the NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children).

People who would benefit from attending are:
Classroom teachers, gifted/talented coordinators, school administrators, parents, college & university faculty, researchers, and more.

There will be a Parent Day and Kids Program on Saturday, November 14th.  NAGC Parent Day is "a one-day event that gives parents tools, information, and networking opportunities to help them support their children's optimal development and ensure their continued growth." This event is being co-hosted with AAGT (Arizona Association for Gifted Children).  Click HERE for more information.   The Parent Day event will be $45 per person and the Kids Program will be $35 per person (no meals included).

Click HERE to see pricing and register for the annual convention.  Early bird and group discounts available through September 21st.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

4 Life Lessons To Teach Your Gifted Kids (and one for you to learn, too)

Life lessons to teach your gifted kids- and one for you to learn, too

By Alessa Giampaolo Keener, M.Ed.
My oldest child turns 21 in one week and I’ve been reflecting back on a lot of childhood memories recently. So, when the request came in to blog for Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page on “lessons learned” along the gifted journey, I kind of chuckled to myself. If we measure ourselves by how many “A’s” we get on the first go-around of “tests” we encounter as parents, I would be no where near the head of the class.
Parenting gifted children can be filled with intensities: The need to know. The need to learn. The need to be right. The need to fight for justice. The need to do things independently.
By the end of many days, especially during that 4-8 year old range, I would find myself just needing a little peace and quiet – especially trying to go to the bathroom with the door closed *without* a running monologue about string theory on the other side.
When you first start out on the gifted journey, you find much to learn about educational advocacy. Achieving the right educational fit can often help resolve many other issues you might find yourself facing with your kids.
All the same, I’m going to gently suggest that too much focus on academics isn’t always the best choice for gifted children. Yes, there’s much to learn in life, but not all of it comes from books.
Life Lessons Worth Learning
Learn to Climb Trees
Unplugging and tuning into nature provides so many benefits for kids – beginning with learning how to self-soothe when you’re not bombarded by intellectual stimulation. (In other words, it teaches your kids to not rely on you to be their 24/7 conversation partner or playmate.) ... see more at Everyday Learning

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Regional Bus Stops – Logistics and Friendships

by Stephanie Newitt

School has begun and the morning craziness has started.  Bus stop schedules have been distributed by the district.  Maybe your child has old friends at the bus stop, maybe they have the chance to build new friendships.  Maybe your child attends a neighborhood bus stop or maybe it’s a new regional bus stop.  Whatever the case, it is most likely that they will mirror your parent view of the bus stop experience.


If you have questions about your child’s bus stop, check out THIS LINK to the GPS Transportation Department.   The number of bus stops, though NOT the number of actual buses, have multiplied for 2015-16 due to the regionalization of ALP, Special Education, and ELL services.  We appreciate that the task of organizing bus routes and bus availability is more complex this year than it has ever been before.  We thank the transportation department for their efforts with this daunting task.


This is our third year attending a regional bus stop.  For our first year, all the children were new to the bus stop.  They made friends.  Though some of the children were in different grades, they connected.  They looked out for each other.  They playfully teased each other and respected one another.  This was their social safety net as they rode the bus to a new school.

What helped make this possible?  As parents we got out of our cars and connected with other parents.  This encouraged our kids to interact as well.  We parents swapped phone numbers so we could notify one another if one of the kids wouldn’t be on the bus one morning or schedule after school play dates at the park.  As parents we supported one another in teaching our children respect for each other, the driver and the property of others.  We shared similar values.  And we got together at least once over each summer so the kids could still feel connected.

 Relationships.  As we model for our children, and also guide them in building positive relationships, they will be able to develop the social skills necessary to navigate a successful life.  The regional bus stop, per our experience, has been an opportunity to build positive friendships.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Webinar - Organizing Chaos: Solutions for Everyday Life in a Gifted Family

From the Summit Center of California ...
Organizing Chaos: Solutions for Everyday Life in a Gifted Family

Thursday, September 03, 2015, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Pacific Time)
Living in a gifted family can be chaotic. Overwhelmed with schedule and time management? Exhausted trying to keep everything and everyone on track? Frazzled when you can't find what you need? We will explore which organizing methods increase emotional connection and functioning within the gifted family.
Learning objectives:
·  Identify how gifted characteristics can be used to help get and keep your family organized
·  How to enlist help from everyone in the family
·  Establishing routines and good habits to get organized
·  Evaluate time management and expectations
·  Learn what can realistically be accomplished

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Gifted Education Parent Council - Gilbert Public Schools

Gathering Information helps us, as parents, to be prepared for the roller coaster of raising a gifted child.  Please join our Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted meetings when there is a guest lecture.  Also, get informed about what is happening with gifted education in Gilbert by contacting your campus’ representative for the Gifted Education Parent Council.  Each school has a parent representative who meets with members of GPS administration monthly, so you can have a voice.  Begin by being informed, and then you will be ready to be involved at any level.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Gifted Child Procrastinates

Ten reasons why your gifted child procrastinates

Procrastination: that vexing time thief so many gifted children face. You watch as your bright, curious child, passionately engaged in so many interests, comes to a screeching halt when a project is due. You coax, cajole, demand, bribe, threaten, and stand on your head, yet nothing will budge. What gives?

While most people procrastinate from time to time, some develop a chronic pattern fraught with avoidance, disorganization and frantic efforts as deadlines loom. Before you nag your child one more time, rush out and buy yet another self-help book, or hit your head against the wall, you may first want to sort out the reasons for the procrastination. Usually there are one or more contributing factors, and if you sort these out, you may be better prepared to tackle the problem.

Here are some possible reasons for procrastination:
1.  Distractibility - Some gifted children are so immersed in their interests that they have difficulty focusing on the task at hand. They become easily distracted by more engaging ideas or projects. Overscheduling can exacerbate this problem; however, distractions can arise even without competing demands once the child's passions and interests take hold.
2.  Disorganization - Gifted children can struggle with poor organizational and planning abilities and can lack time management skills. Despite motivation to complete a project, they may become overwhelmed when it involves more attention to details or long-range planning than usual. Difficulty managing their time and structuring how they will work is frequently the root of this problem.
3.  Apathy - Sometimes gifted children have become so bored and disgusted with school that they lose interest and don’t really care about the quality of their work. They delay completing assignments because the work seems meaningless. They would rather engage in a multitude of other activities than “waste” their time on rote paperwork or assignments that seem too easy.
4.  Past success - Some gifted children procrastinate because they can get away with it. Many have learned that completing assignments at the last minute does not diminish the quality of their work or harm the outcome. They know they can do better, but with a track record of excellent grades behind them, they realize they don’t have to work very hard to just slide by.
5.  Rebellion - Procrastination can be an expression of resistance or quiet rebellion against completing an assignment a child resents. It is a means of devaluing the project, minimizing its importance, and expressing anger about having to work on something unappealing. Even if the project is eventually completed, delaying it until the last minute is a form of silent protest that may feel empowering to the child.
6.  Perfectionism - High expectations of achieving success can create anxiety and a desire to delay that which is distressing. When gifted children worry that they might not excel on a given task, they may put it off until the last possible minute. Clearly, this can be a recipe for increased anxiety and inevitable 11:00 PM melt-downs. 
7.  Self-sabotage - Some gifted children (and gifted adolescents in particular) try to hide their abilities from others. In an attempt to blend in, they may disguise their talents, perform poorly, and disengage from academics. Procrastination may reflect their ambivalence about confronting this dilemma and uncertainty about whether to minimize their abilities or live up to their potential. And if the quality of their work suffers, then they can perpetuate the image they want to convey.
8.  Insecurity - Despite their apparent skills, some gifted children doubt their abilities. They may feel like "imposters" and worry that their inadequacies will be "discovered" at any time. They believe that they have an image to uphold and if they fail in some manner, they will be outed as a fraud. Delaying completion of a project is a means of avoiding the inevitable anxiety that arises when they confront this fear.
9.  Shame - Along with insecurity, some gifted children experience feelings of shame if they fail to excel. They react as if this is an indictment against their intelligence and suspect that others will view them as inadequate. As a result, procrastination can be an excuse; if a less than perfect grade is attributed to a rushed, last-minute effort, then the child can believe that actual ability was never to blame.
10. Depression - Occasionally, procrastination may be a symptom of depression. However, it usually coincides with other signs, such as withdrawal and isolation from peers, apparent sadness, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, and irritability. In these situations, procrastination may be a reflection of feelings of hopelessness and a perception that school work lacks any meaning.

Sorting out the cause of your child's procrastination is the first step toward working on the problem. A one-size-fits-all approach based on the latest self-help ideas may not work for your child's specific situation. Clearly, a child whose procrastination is the result of perfectionism and shame will need a different approach than one whose primary concern is apathy.

Gather information, speak with your child, listen to what your child thinks. Make a decision about whether the problem is behavioral (habits, distractibility, time management), school based (boredom, apathy), and/or the result of anxiety or depression. Determine whether intervention needs to occur at home, school, or both, and whether a counselor, school psychologist, or 
therapist would help to address the problem.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Picky Eaters and Supersensitivities

By Tawnya Sherman

Often gifted kids are picky eaters. There may be a cause other than stubbornness!  This might be a sign of the kinds of intensities that can be seen in gifted children.  Polish psychologist, Kazimierz Dabrowski, identified five of these intensities, which he called overexcitabilities or supersensitivities:: Psychomotor, Sensual, Emotional, Intellectual, and Imaginational.  Picky eaters may derive from the overexcitability related to the senses.

Sensual à The primary sign of this intensity is a heightened awareness of all five senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. Children with a dominant sensual overexcitability can get sick from the smell of certain foods or as toddlers will hate to walk on grass in their bare feet. The pleasure they get from the tastes and textures of some foods may cause them to overeat.

·      Appreciation of beauty, whether in writing, music, art or nature. Includes love of objects like jewelry
·      Sensitive to smells, tastes, or textures of foods
·      Sensitivity to pollution
·      Tactile sensitivity (Bothered by feel materials on the skin, like clothing tags)

·      Need or desire for comfort and pleasure