• Parenting

    by Published on 06-01-2015 12:44 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Secular Homeschooling,
    3. Parenting,
    4. Day in the Life
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    The full discussion thread for this post can be found here.

    When you hear the word gifted, what immediately pops into your head? Do you think of the straight-A student? Or, a musical prodigy? A prolific artist? A pint-sized mathematician? Do you assume that everything comes easily to a gifted child? That he has a leg-up over his peers? Do you envision his mom as a tiger mom, hot-housing him from sun up Ďtil sun down? Do you imagine his parents are the pushy, competitive type?

    My 7-year-old son, Leo, is twice-exceptional; he is profoundly gifted and learning disabled. As his mom, Iím forever frustrated by the gifted label. The label makes you think that gifted is neat and clean, as it conjures images of beautifully wrapped presents with neatly tied bows. Thatís far from my reality, folks. I love my son more than words could ever express but this journey has been anything but a neatly wrapped package. Instead, Iíd liken it to a wild, white-knuckled, roller coaster ride. It has been messy, and loud, and fraught with various concerns. Why? Two words: asynchronous development.

    A better definition of giftedness: giftedness as asynchrony


    The current gifted label carries with it many misconceptions and assumptions. The reality is, the social and emotional functioning of gifted children is largely ignored by the general public. Iíd like to share my favorite definition of giftedness, and it is a stark contrast to that neatly wrapped present:

    Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally. (The Columbus Group, 1991).

    What is asynchronous development?


    While most children develop in a relatively uniform pattern, gifted children are asynchronous in their development, and the more gifted the child, the more asynchronous that child may be. Do you want to know which children are the most asynchronous of all? The twice-exceptional children, those children who are both gifted and learning disabled. Children like Leo.

    Many ages at once

    It is often said that gifted children are ďmany ages at onceĒ, they are quite literally out-of-sync. So, what does that look like, exactly?

    Well, letís take a look at my little guy:


    This photo kinda sums him up, folks!

    Chronologically, Leo is 7-years-old. And he looks like your typical 7-year-old, but we all know that looks can be deceiving. We had Leo assessed last year and results indicated that his cognitive skills are above the 99.9th percentile across the board. That means that, intellectually, Leo is functioning at a level more than twice his chronological age. Socially and emotionally, however, he functions like that of a 5- or 6-year-old. In one moment, Leo can be extremely poised and mature, and in the next moment he can dissolve into a mushy mess of a boy. Just think about that for a second, folks. Can you imagine the frustration he must feel? His mind - his cognitive functioning- is like that of a teenager and yet those thoughts are housed in a 7-year-old body, a body with 7-year-old emotions. ...
    by Published on 04-29-2015 12:26 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Secular Homeschooling,
    3. General Homeschooling,
    4. Parenting
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    Would you believe we've NEVER done a blog hop at SecularHomeschool.com? I'm not sure why, because it truly sounds like fun. So let's give it a shot, eh??

    We're all about the positive around here, so let's make this first ever blog hop a brag-board of what's gone RIGHT this homeschool year. You may have had 160 bad days this year, but we know there were at least a few that reminded you why you got into this adventure in the first place. Those are the ones to tell us about on your blog.

    • What did your kiddo(s) accomplish that surprised you?'
    • What change to your routine or schedule fixed some underlying aggravations?
    • What did your outside family members notice and take time to compliment you on?
    ...
    Published on 01-06-2015 10:41 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. In Other Words,
    3. Parenting
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    Homeschooling parents give and give and give. We are teaching from birth to graduation, and from breakfast to bedtime. We moms and dads tend to have the philosophy that every moment is a teachable one, so we are always on the alert for opportunities to impart wisdom and to ask questions that get our children thinking. How empowering it is to grow up in a household where knowledge is at such a premium! But for homeschooling parents, themselves, this atmosphere of always being in professor mode, can sometimes be a drain mentally and emotionally. We can easily hit burn-out by constantly being the imparters of knowledge and never the recipients. So what can we do to recharge our own intellectual batteries?

    Reclaim Your Brain

    I think the biggest thing we can do to reclaim our brain is to seek out new learning for ourselves. I am a big proponent of continuing education classes. In most communities, these are often offered through your local community college, although you might also find other organizations such as libraries, community centers, and parks and recreation departments creating programs for continuing-ed, as well. Our local community college, for example, is currently offering courses with such titles as "The Quest for Political Identity in the American Republic," "Local Geology", and "Eastern Religions." The great thing is that many of these continuing education
    ...
    by Published on 03-13-2014 05:31 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Secular Homeschooling,
    3. Homeschooling Styles,
    4. General Homeschooling,
    5. Parenting
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    March is National Craft Month!

    And I know we have a bunch of crafty people and KIDS on this forum!
    Crafts are not just busy work! Crafts are a way to express Art, learn Art, use Math skills, learn shapes, follow directions, use Science, practice reading skills, practice writing skills, learn about History and socialize with friends!!
    Local craft stores are having special fun events this month, check yours! Some are having SPECTACULAR sales on crafting supplies! This is when I stock up! I also hunt our local thrift stores for stuff I can use all year round!! I have oodles and oodles of stuff!


    Crafting is not just for little kids or adults! It is for all ages and for both boys and girls!
    Did you know that it is said that knitting can help with Math retention? True story! New Math Tricks: Knitting and Crocheting


    Kids with sensory issues may do better when learning new things through crafting! 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism (Not for all kids with sensory issues, every child is different and you know your child best!)


    Create some GREAT family memories by crafting with your kids!


    You can teach art curriculum using crafts alongside it! What better way to distinguish between artists by creating their own piece of art for impressionism or surrealism or pointillism.


    Pinterest is a great place to find some great kid crafting ideas! Check out ours for Secular Homeschool! ...
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