• Parenting

    by Published on 08-24-2015 03:02 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling,
    3. Parenting
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    Have experts told you something about your child that you see differently?



    I hesitated at the heavy glass doors of my sonís school. Iíd cheerfully walked in these doors many times. I volunteered here, served on the PTA board, joked with the principal and teachers, even helped start an annual all-school tradition called Art Day. But now I fought the urge to grab him from his first grade classroom, never to return.

    Iíd come in that morning hoping to discuss the angry outbursts my sonís teacher directed at several students, including my little boy. But I entered no ordinary meeting. It was an ambush. Sides had clearly been chosen. The principal, guidance counselor, and my sonís teacher sat in a clump together along one side of the table. Feeling oddly hollow, I pulled out a chair and sat down. Since I led conflict resolution workshops in my working life, I was confident that we could talk over any issues and come to an understanding.

    I was wrong.

    The counselor read aloud from a list of ADHD behavioral symptoms my sonís teacher had been tracking over the past few weeks. My little boyís major transgressions were messy work, lack of organization, and distractibility. The teacher nodded with satisfaction and crossed her arms.

    No one who spent time with him had ever mentioned ADHD before. I breathed deeply to calm myself. I knew it was best to repeat what I was hearing in order to clarify, but the counselor barreled ahead, saying they had a significant ďADHD populationĒ in the school system who showed excellent results with medication.

    After giving the teacher kudos for dealing with a classroom full of children and acknowledging the difficulty of meeting all their needs, I tried to stand up for my child (although I felt like a mother bear defending her cub from nicely dressed predators). I said the behaviors she noted actually seemed normal for a six-year-old boy, after all, children are in the process of maturing and are not naturally inclined to do paperwork. The teacher shook her head and whispered to the principal. The counselor said first grade children have had ample time to adapt to classroom standards.

    I asked if any of my sonís behaviors had ever disrupted the class. The teacher didnít answer the question. Instead she sighed and said, looking at the principal, ďIíve been teaching for 15 years. This doesnít get better on its own. Iím telling you this child can be helped by medication.Ē

    When I asked about alternatives such as modifying his diet the teacher actually rolled her eyes, saying, ďPlenty of parents believe there are all sorts of things they can do on their own. But students on restricted diets donít fit in too well in the lunchroom.Ē

    ...
    Published on 08-04-2015 02:47 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling,
    3. Parenting

    The following webinar excerpt is from the Time4Learning Live webinar series, and the folks at Time4Learning were kind enough to share this organization-related clip with our members. You'll find our own admin Topsy leading the discussion in this one, as she has helped Time4Learning lead their past webinars on topics related to homeschooling and using the Time4Learning curriculum - - both subjects she has a lot of expertise with!

    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?
    ...
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