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Great Books to Read with Your Kids in March

great books to read with your kids in march

Just as the daffodils are starting to break through the dirt and everyone is adventuring more and more outside, we cannot forget to take advantage of all these amazing books! Between outdoor adventures, St. Patrick’s Day, and Dr. Seuss’ birthday, there are many titles to choose from this month.

Check out these great books to read with your kids in March…

great children's books for march

What are you waiting for? Let’s dive right in.

Great Books to Read with Your Child in March

100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever!: First up on the list is written by yours truly. Since the weather starts to get warmer in March, this book is the perfect way to get outdoors and explore everything from bugs to animals. It is time to turn the great outdoors into a living museum for your kids!

Planting a Rainbow: This book teaches kids how to plant seeds and bulbs. It also gives them direction on how to care for those growing seeds. Big bonus! The illustrations in this book are amazing!

In Like a Lion Out Like a Lamb: An adorable book with rhyming text and an excellent description of March in the form of a lion and a lamb.

Puddles: What type of joy can a rainstorm bring? Puddles of course! Grab your rain boots and get ready to explore puddles of every shape and size.

    

More Books To Read With Your Kids In March

The Wind Blew: Huge gusts of winds carry away everything out to sea. Before it is out of sight, the wind decides to bring it all back.

Kite Day: Take advantage of those high winds and get outside to fly a kite. In this story, Bear and Mole have to build their very own kite.

The Tiny Seed: Follow the life cycle of a seed along with the bright illustrations that can only come from an Eric Carle book.

The Curious Garden: A young boys finds a neglected garden and decides to take care of it. As soon as he the garden starts to grow it changes everything around him.

    

Great Books to Read to Your Kids for St. Paddy’s Day

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover: The old lady is back and hungry as ever in this classic with a St. Paddy’s day twist.

How to Catch a Leprechaun: This is a great book to read as you build a Leprechaun trap. Kids of all ages love to try and attempt to catch the magical Leprechaun who is impossible to capture!

The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day: There is so much anticipation the night before St. Patrick’s day. The Leprechaun trap is set… but will these kiddos be able to catch one?

   

Great Dr. Seuss Books to Read with Your Kids Anytime!

Dr. Seuss’ birthday is on March 2nd! Celebrate this incredible author by reading his silly yet wise stories. Here are some of our favorites.

Oh, The Thinks You Can Think!: Take a trip down thinking lane with this clever book that will get kids to explore their thoughts and all of the ideas that can come with it.

The Lorax: This book is a great way to introduce environmental awareness to kids. It shows the cause and effect of your actions when using up natural resources around us.

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?: What a wise man Dr. Seuss was. Share that wisdom with your kids and teach them how to be grateful for everything they have.

What Was I Scared Of?: Give your kids a reason to not be scared of the dark with this cute story of a pair of pants… Scaredy-pants to be exact.

    

With all of these wonderful books to read will there still be time to tend the garden, celebrate the great outdoors as well as the silliest authors of all time? Of course! We are always looking for fun and educational ways to keep those kids busy and these books are the answer!

Feel free to share with me in the comments. What favorite books do your kids love to read in March?

 

More Fabulous Booklists For Your Kids!

    

Great Books to Read With Your Kids in March

100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever a

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If He’s REALLY So Smart… When Gifted Kids Struggle

if hes really so smart when gifted kids struggle

“Boy is he an EXTREME thinker! If he actually took the time to sit and focus on his work, he could accomplish anything…”

when gifted children struggle

As helpful and positive as his preschool teacher thought she was being, words like this can set some of our most intelligent kiddos up for a lifetime of failure. So, why do some gifted children struggle so much?

If they’re really as smart as we say they are, why can’t some of them just do their work? Or behave better? Or act nicer? Or…?

I remember watching my son spin in circles in the back of his preschool classroom while the others sat raptly taking in their teacher’s read aloud. And cringing. Why couldn’t he just sit still? All the other kids were managing it.

Never mind that he understood everything that was going on in the story, and could recount whole passages, identify individual characters and speak to their motivation, inferring cause and effect at a much higher lever than any of his intently listening classmates. He couldn’t do it in a way that didn’t disrupt the others – or distract the teacher.

Related: A Kid with an Issue Can’t Be Gifted, Right?

Twice Exceptional Gifted Children

 

What do Twice Exceptional Children Look Like?

Twice exceptional children are gifted kiddos who struggle with other neurological, learning, or physical issues. Twice exceptional children can look perfectly ordinary in a classroom setting. Their abilities mask their disabilities, and their disabilities mask their abilities, making them seem perfectly average.

Sometimes, though, a child’s giftedness might shine through more than his disability, making it seem like he’s not living up to his potential. He seems like he should be achieving so much ore than he is, but is choosing not to. The reality is that his difficulties make it impossible to live up to his potential. He just can’t overcome them without intervention.

I remember the fall parent-teacher conference we went to when our son was in first grade. We were invited to look inside his desk to see what his teacher “had to put up with.” Our kiddo, who meticulously organized his action figures, cars, and LEGO each night before he went to bed, had a desk full to the brim with crumpled papers, broken pencils, dried out markers, and ripped folders. There was also a thick stack of unfinished worksheets in a folder.

Those were the ones he’d never turned in because they’d gotten lost somewhere in his desk or classroom. The teacher had recopied them and placed them in a new folder for our bright, hyperactive, wiggly, and sensory kiddo to work on instead of going out to recess with his friends.

Does this sound familiar?

Many twice exceptional children struggle with executive functioning issues, and can’t organize their thinking enough to turn things in, keep things organized (when they’re not interested), or follow multiple step directions. It doesn’t matter how smart they are, they just can’t do it. Their lack of organizational skills results in a messy desk, overflowing backpack, and problems keeping track of books and papers. Difficulties with prioritizing and planning make it impossible for them to complete assignments in a timely manner. They are easily distracted and struggle to focus and sustain attention.

Related: Homeschooling Twice Exceptional Kids

Twice Exceptional Gifted Children

 

Why Do Twice Exceptional Children Struggle?

The extreme frustration these kiddos feel when they can’t meet their own and others’ expectations, combined with the frustration of adults who don’t understand why a bright child does not achieve, can lead to conflict, misunderstandings, and failure.

Our twice exceptional kids can seem stubborn, opinionated, and argumentative, but they also appear to be overly sensitive to criticism. Many of these kiddos struggle with social skills which leads to feelings of isolation when they have trouble making and keeping friends. In order to avoid failing, 2e kids may try to manipulate the situation or simply refuse to try an assignment.

These kids are literally wired to struggle.

I mean, really, can you imagine how incredibly difficult it must be to have big thoughts swirling around your head, with the cognitive ability to understand things at a much deeper level than kids your age normally can, but have trouble spelling or reading words?

My 6 year old struggles mightily with sensory processing disorder, anxiety, and reading. She solves math problems for fun. Asks for science experiments and documentaries. Can converse at length about an incredibly intricate and imaginative world that lives only in her head. But she can’t read the simplest text. Her thinking is complex, but she lacks the skills to work independently because she has such trouble with words. It is incredibly frustrating for her.

And, since she already battles anxiety, the difficulties she faces with reading make her feel like a failure, and she acts out and argues when it’s time to read.

Yet she adores stories. She’ll look at the pictures in books for hours and listen to audio books and read alouds all day long. She can make the most amazing connections between what’s happening in stories she hears and the world in which she lives.

Related: Parenting and Teaching a Twice Exceptional Child

Twice Exceptional Gifted Children

 

Living a Gifted/Twice Exceptional Life

We’re in a wonderful position because with homeschooling, we can easily nurture her giftedness while remediating for her disabilities in a loving way. It’s often thought that kids need to have their problems solved before working on pushing their strengths further, academically, but research shows the opposite is true. When we focus on a child’s strengths and build them up, they gain the confidence they need to tackle those deficits.

When gifted kids struggle with anxiety, ADHD, learning disabilities, sensory processing disorder, or other struggles they need to be nurtured and built up by the ones they trust most – parents, teachers, and friends. It’s important to work together with the other people in your kiddo’s life to help them understand how best to help your child.

And your twice exceptional child needs to know what a gift he or she is to you. When someone says or implies that, if your child is so smart he should just get it and be able to be successful, you need to be the one to educate – whether it’s a family member, friend, or teacher.

You’re your child’s biggest advocate. And he’s perfect just the way he is.

Extreme thinking and all…

What “If he’s really so smart…” moments have you had lately?

You Don’t Have To Homeschool Your Gifted Child Alone!

The Learner's Lab

The Learner’s Lab is the community created just for your quirky family.  It’s full of creative lessons, problem solving activities, critical and divergent thinking games, and the social-emotional support differently-wired children and teens need most.

All from the comfort of your own home. 

This community was created to support children who are gifted and twice exceptional. We address topics just like this all year long, in a way that is educational and fun for children. They learn skills to help them cope and you learn how to help them along the way. 

We invite you to join us. Get all the details HERE.

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101 Reasons Eclectic Homeschooling Works for Gifted Kids

101 reasons eclectic homeschooling works for gifted kids

It started out an easy, relaxed conversation, and then the mom at the library asked me the question I most dread answering… “What curriculum do you use with your kids?”

I always stammer and then feel like a deer caught in the headlights. I mean, how can I possibly even answer that semmingly simple question? You, dear reader, can pop a search into the sidebar and find posts of curriculum past, but I’d have to warn you that those plans almost always changed right after posting them… we just don’t stand still around here, and we loathe ruts.

We’re eclectic.

101 Reasons Eclectic Homeschooling Works for Gifted Kids

We pick and choose from a bunch of different approaches to learning, curriculums, and styles — and we are very often following a child’s lead, diving down rabbit holes, and even leaning into more unschooling than schooling.

It suits us — a family with several gifted and twice-exceptional kiddos. Maybe it would suit you too?

I’ve compiled a bunch of reasons that an eclectic approach to homeschooling is right for gifted kiddos. What would you add?

101 Reasons Eclectic Homeschooling Works for Gifted Kids

  1. Eclectic Homeschooling allows you to incorporate your favorite aspects of other methods.

  2. You can settle into an ease of mind and enjoy homeschooling again once you let go of overly rigid programs and curriculums.

  3. Your children can explore their own passions freely.

  4. Eclectic homeschooling allows for gifted kiddos to embrace unschooling in their strongest areas.

  5. Delight directed learning is a natural way for kids to learn.

  6. When homeschooling eclectically, you can incorporate any curriculum you want to without worrying if it fits into a specific method.

  7. You can incorporate STEM into just about any lesson easily.

  8. Notebooking is a natural fit for documenting and letting kids take ownership of their own work when using the eclectic method. 

  9. Got voracious readers? It’s easy to “count” that independent learning as school when you let go and let the child lead.

  10. When you’re eclectic in your homeschool, it’s easy to incorporate unit studies and let the kids explore the rabbit trail-y topics they find interesting.

  11. You can easily design lessons to fit the individual needs of each of your kids with eclectic homeschooling.

  12. Learning happens in a more organic, relaxed way when you’re eclectic.

  13. There’s a lot of flexibility so you can adapt when your children have a variety of interests and activities outside the home making for crazy schedules.

  14. It’s a great method to use to teach kids of varying ages, skill levels, and passions.

  15. You can spend as much time as needed to fully research and understand a topic or concept.

  16. With eclectic homeschooling you aren’t held to specific time frames like 36- or 48- week periods so you can school year-round.

  17. It’s a great way to be purposeful and organized about the educational goals you set for your individual kiddos.

  18. Relaxing the choices and adapting to individual needs can make for a more peaceful home. 

  19. Being eclectic means you can pivot easily to meet the specific needs of your gifted or twice-exceptional kiddos. 

  20. Eclectic homeschooling allows for kids to learn through their own unique learning styles.

  21. The eclectic method of homeschooling allows families to create an atmosphere of learning that is all their own.

  22. Being eclectic means you can pick and choose from a bunch of different methods and curriculums to meet your kids where they are in each different subject.

  23. Passion-driven learning is lifelong learning.

  24. Your entire home becomes a learning environment when you homeschool in an interest-driven, eclectic way because you tend to start strewing things for your kids to find.

  25. Eclectic homeschoolers see learning opportunities all around them.

  26. It’s easy to teach kids of different ages and abilities with eclectic homeschooling as you’re already picking from various sources, you can adapt to different levels as well.

  27. You can tweak curriculum as you go to adapt to the ever-changing needs of your gifted kiddo.

  28. Anything can be a learning resource when you think eclectically.

  29. Eclectic homeschooling makes it easy to take time off whenever you need to.

  30. You can effortlessly foster that lifelong love of learning in your kids by encouraging them to explore their interests anytime during the day.

  31. Learning can happen anywhere when you’re an eclectic homeschooler.

  32. Eclectic learning might be right for you if you love to mix and match your curriculum.

  33. Gifted kiddos are asynchronous and don’t fit those boxed curriculums anyway.

  34. It’s a cinch to fill gaps when you find them when you’re not tied to a single curriculum.

  35. Eclectic homeschoolers can fill their days with the beautiful — books and nature

  36. Save money by not buying a boxed curriculum and focus on picking and choosing to suit your kiddos’ needs and interests.

  37. Eclectic homeschooling provides a perfectly custom education for your child. 

  38. Eclectic homeschoolers learn right alonside their kids.

  39. Incorporating lots of experiments is super easy with eclectic homeschooling.

  40. There’s more time for art and music.

  41. Eclectic homeschooling looks different for every family, so there’s no pressure to be anyone but yourself. 

  42. If you find yourself leaning towards several different methods of homeschooling, then you’re already an eclectic homeschooler… Embrace the adventure.

  43. Gifted kids get the freedom to pursue the things they love in an eclectic homeschool. 

  44. It never gets boring in an eclectic homeschooling home — there’s always something new to try.

  45. Gifted kids learn differently than their neurotypical peers, and eclectic homeschooling allows them to be themselves.

  46. Being eclectic means it’s easy to meet each individual kiddo where they are and allow them to learn new things every single day.

  47. Oftentimes families discover that what they thought would work well in the fall, is not a great fit by spring. Eclectic moms know it’s okay to switch things up mid-year.

  48. Being eclectic makes it easy to adapt to both strengths AND weaknesses.

  49. Rather than feeling frustrated that one curriculum can’t do it all for a kiddo, eclectic homeschoolers enjoy the journey of finding exactly the right materials for each varied subject.

  50. Learning through a variety of materials and methods means that the days never get boring. 

  51. Eclectic homeschooling doesn’t mean being random, it means being thoughtfully deliberate about what you want for your child then preparing a variety of materials to meet those needs.

  52. Eclectic homeschoolers have the freedom to choose co-ops and outside classes based on their kids’ interests instead of a specific curricular bent. 

  53. Eclectic homeschooling can be a lot more frugal than other methods. The library is a family’s best friend.

  54. When you’re an eclectic homeschooler it’s easy to tap into your kiddos’ unique learning styles and match their curriculums up with how they learn best.

  55. Interest led homeschooling with an eclectic bent means you can take time to listen to your kids and find out what’s already sparking their interests — and running with it. 

  56. It’s super easy to target specific areas needed. For example, we don’t teach language arts once our kids learn to read, but when my oldest needed help with grammar, we were able to pull in a workbook program that targeted the skills he needed to work on

  57. It’s easy to incorporate audio books from resources like Audible to let your child listen to learn.

  58. You can cover only the topics you feel are most important for your child to learn.

  59. Eclectic homeschoolers have an easier time accelerating as they’re not tied to a single curriculum.

  60. Acceleration in this way means it’s easy to look at dual enrollment options for high school, along with early college entrance opportunities.

  61. Field trips can be a big part of an eclectic homeschool.

  62. Eclectic homeschoolers drive their own schedule — perfect for non-morning people like us

  63. It’s easy to adopt the daily schedule that works best for your family when you’re eclectic.

  64. Got an eager preschooler or a gifted toddler? Incorporate learning into their day in a way that fits your family — without worrying about what others think.

  65. Play-based learning is perfect for young children — gifted or otherwise — and is easy to incorporate when you’re an eclectic homeschooler.

  66. Kids learn to read when they’re developmentally ready — you can be flexible and relaxed in your approach. 

  67. The eclectic method may be best for you if you feel learning happens organically when you’re relaxed.

  68. Eclectic homeschoolers know that learning can’t be forced, and they’re partners with their children in their own education.

  69. Learning happens organically all the time, and eclectic homeschoolers are able to embrace teachable moments.

  70. Eclectic homeschooling can bring peace to your home.

  71. The flexibility of eclectic homeschooling means that there’s more time for discovering outside passions.

  72. Celebrating creativity is an integral part of the eclectic homeschool.

  73. If your kiddo is a passionate artist, you can give them time, resources, and classes to explore their talents.

  74. For musical kiddos (like mine), it’s easy to take advantage of the off times at music studios to arrange private lessons.

  75. Morning Time (check out the NEW book by my friend Pam Barnhill) works perfectly with an eclectic approach.

  76. Flexibility and an eclectic approach builds your kiddos’ confidence as they learn to take charge of their own educations.

  77. Eclectic homeschooling allows you to use textbooks as a spine and jumping off point. 

  78. Incorporate documentaries into different subject areas to excite and engage your visual learners. 

  79. Embracing an eclectic, child-led style of homeschooling builds a family culture around learning, oftentimes eliminating sibling competition.

  80. Gifted kiddos tend to march to the beat of their own drum, so embracing an eclectic approach makes it easier for their quirks to shine.

  81. With an eclectic approach to learning, parents can adapt to things that cause their gifted/2e kiddos anxiety — like perfectionism — and structure the way they assess differently.

  82. With an eclectic approach, gifted kiddos can tackle several years worth of materials in a single year if they want to.

  83. Embracing a child-led, eclectic approach shows kids that learning is all around them.

  84. Eclectic learners can be self-guided… I give my older kids the teacher materials and let them run with them.

  85. Exploring a variety of topics lets kids find the things they love — and then run with them.

  86. Got unschool-y leanings, but aren’t completely comfortable letting it all go? Eclectic homeschooling is a great bridge to help you relax more and more.

  87. Being eclectic means you’re embracing the fact that homeschooling is a lifestyle of learning, and not necessarily a methodology.

  88. Gifted kiddos thrive on novelty, and the eclectic approach is a great way to incorporate new things into learning. 

  89. Eclectic homeschooling is a mosaic where you take the best resources, information, and opportunities and break them up into small pieces, creating something entirely unique to you.

  90. Being eclectic means that there’s no one path and that you can try new things throughout your homeschooling career.

  91. Being eclectic allows us to take advantage of some pretty cool resources like Around the World Stories.

  92. We love using kits from Groovy Lab in a Box when we need a break from the regular lessons.

  93. The kids have had the opportunity to dive into Minecraft coding with programs from Connected Camps.

  94.  Little Passports helped the kids get an introduction to geography when they were young.

  95. My ten-year-old and I are learning to knit and crochet through inexpensive online classes at Craftsy.

  96. It’s super fun to find ways to surprise the kids in an eclectic homeschool, and one of our newest loves is the subscription from Brick Loot.

  97. There is no such thing as a perfect curriculum — for you OR your kiddos — so letting go of the search for the one thing that does it all frees you up to pick the best part of each different curriculum you come across.

  98. Because we follow the kids’ interests, we can snag several workbooks around a theme when Dover Publications (a fave from way back in my teaching days) has a good deal.

  99. Eclectic homeschooling is great prep for thinking outside of the box and using unorthodox methods to help kids learn — kind of like our Alexaschooling.

  100. With an eclectic approach to homeschooling, parents can totally tailor things to be exactly what each child needs to be most successful in life.

  101. Eclectic, relaxed, child-led homeschooling creates the perfect environment for a gifted kid — and family — to thrive in peace.

Are you convinced that it’s okay to slow down, relax, and let your child (and your heart) lead your homeschool? What other reasons or benefits do you find in an eclectic approach to homeschooling? Share in the comments or tag me on social media.

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Should You Homeschool Your Gifted Children?

should you homeschool your gifted children

The longer I homeschool my gifted children, and the more I see and talk to other parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids, the more I believe that homeschooling is the best educational option for our nation’s above-average children.

Why Should You Homeschool Your Gifted Children

Just to clarify something, though, before I get started – I am not saying that homeschooling is the only way to meet the needs of your gifted kids. I have some wonderful friends who have gifted children of their own and send them to school. I also have friends who teach gifted children in school settings, and don’t want to discredit their passion.

I believe, though, that homeschooling is “best-practice education” for gifted kids. I’d also like to note that, throughout my coursework in gifted studies, I came to the conclusion that the basic underlying tenet of gifted education – meet children where they are, wherever that is, and move them forward towards their potential – is best-practice for ALL children.

Why, though?

Why do I think that you SHOULD homeschool your gifted children?

Gifted kids tend to:

  • learn basic skills quickly and with little practice.
  • construct and handle abstractions easily.
  • pick up nonverbal cues & draw inferences that are tough for children their age to see.
  • take little for granted, preferring to know the ‘”hows” and “whys.”
  • be wildly eclectic and intensely focused in their interests.
  • have boundless energy {causing many to be misdiagnosed as ADHD}.
  • relate well to adults, preferring to spend their time conversing with older children and grownups.
  • be highly inquisitive.
  • be interested in the unusual.
  • want to explore their world persistently.
  • observe deeply.
  • be single-minded.
  • ask “what if” all.the.time.
  • to learn faster & with greater depth than age-peers.

Homeschool Your Gifted Children

Any of these characteristics in isolation is tough to address in a typical classroom, a kid with many of them is completely lost in the masses. There is simply no way a teacher can meet these needs while remediating for those who struggle, and teaching the typical students well.

Too often, gifted students get pushed aside because they “already know the material” and “will be just fine.”

But they won’t be fine.

All children have the right to be met where they are, intellectually, and given the tools and teaching they need to work towards their potential.

At home, you are able to talk to your son about what he wants to learn.

You can choose to skip whole chapters in the math series if you see that your daughter has already mastered those concepts.

If your child struggles with his thoughts coming faster than he can physically write, you can be his scribe for awhile. Or you can hand over your old netbook or laptop.

You can easily incorporate movement into the day for your child who seems like he is in constant motion. {We’ve had a mini trampoline inside the house since we began homeschooling.}

Homeschool Your Gifted Children

Lessons can be chopped to the five or ten most difficult problems. If those are answered correctly, why bother having your daughter do the rest of them? She clearly knows the material.

Is your child intensely interested in astronomy? You can see that he visits the local science center, writes to an astronomy professor at a local university, joins a junior astronomical society, finds books in the library that match both his interest-level and reading ability, and that he pulls all his knowledge together to share it with someone and solidify his learning.

During his first half-year of homeschooling, right after we pulled him out of first grade mid-year, Trevor did just that. He immersed himself {as a 7 year old} in the world of advanced astronomy. While he couldn’t read all of the books we found at his intellectual and interest level, I was able to incorporate them as read alouds. He pulled everything together into a lapbook so thick it has to be rubber banded closed, and shared it with anyone who stopped by {for a r-e-a-l-l-y long time}.

But he KNOWS about advanced astronomy still. He asks great questions when he visits the science center and someone from the NASA-Glenn Space Center is visiting. By tapping into his interests, and running with them, we were able to cover science, reading, writing, and history in a way that was motivating and engaging for him.

Homeschooling works for gifted kids because their needs can be met in ways that are as unique as they are.

The hardest part of homeschooling your gifted kids, for you, will be getting out of the way. I don’t mean leaving them to their own designs, though many would argue that unschooling is a good option for gifted kids – I’m too, well, controlling to give up the reigns completely, and I know my kids’ personalities. They don’t do very well when things get too unstructured.

By getting out of the way, I mean not getting tied to one thing. Be flexible and ready to embrace new topics and methods. It might be pirates one month, and astronauts another, with butterflies and lifecycles thrown in their for a week when your child has stumble across a cool fact and wants to explore, but learning will take place.

When you make the leap to homeschool your gifted children, worlds of possibilities open up. The hardest part for me was shifting paradigms and embracing a homeschooling lifestyle fully.

Do you homeschool your gifted child?

You Don’t Have To Homeschool Your Gifted Child Alone!

The Learner's Lab

The Learner’s Lab is the community created just for your quirky family.  It’s full of creative lessons, problem solving activities, critical and divergent thinking games, and the social-emotional support differently-wired children and teens need most.

All from the comfort of your own home. 

This community was created to support children who are gifted and twice exceptional. We address topics just like this all year long, in a way that is educational and fun for children. They learn skills to help them cope and you learn how to help them along the way. 

We invite you to join us. Get all the details HERE.

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For more information on homeschooling gifted kids, check out:

         

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RLL #104: A Conversation About Mindset with Shawna Wingert

rll 104 a conversation about mindset with shawna wingert

 

Mindset is generally thought to be the attitudes or habits of an individual’s mind that is formed by previous experience. These attitudes can predetermine a person’s response or interpretation to any given situation. Our quirky kiddos are not immune to “fixed” mindsets, and it can sometimes be a real challenge to help them to see things in a different way or try a new approach to something that has them stumped.

Today, Colleen and Shawna Wingert have a conversation about mindset, specifically to help families like ours move away from rigid and inflexible thinking. They also discuss the incredible resources inside the RLL membership community, The Learner’s Lab, and how families can work on social/emotional needs like mindset through the fun lessons and activities for kiddos, the parent master classes and the monthly online teen chats.

RLL #104: A Conversation on Mindset with Shawna Wingert

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

                     

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Great Books to Read with Your Kids in February

great books to read with your kids in february

February is full of days that give us the opportunity to introduce some incredible books to kids. From Groundhog’s day, Valentine’s day, President’s day and more, the possibilities keep on piling up. To help you find some new gems for your library, I have put together a list of great books to read with your kids in February.

Great Books to Read with Your Kids in February-This month is full of days that give us the opportunity to introduce some incredible books to kids. Here are great books to read with your kids in February!

Reading aloud to and with your kids is important. Not only does it give them the ability to expand their language skills but it also gives us a chance to teach our kids about different subjects and situations.  The only hard part about reading to your kids is discovering new (and old) favorites. This list will help you find the perfect choices for your family so you can get down to the important part… reading stories.

Great Books to Read in February

Groundhog’s Day Off: This story starts with the groundhog going on vacation. But who will take his spot when it is time to predict the end of winter?

Groundhog’s Dilemma: All of the animals in the forest believe that groundhog can control the weather. But once the weather doesn’t change, groundhog has to tell them the truth.

The Story of Snow The Science of Winter’s Wonderland: If your kids have ever asked you about how a snowflake forms or how does it get so cold, this book is the perfect way to get the answer to all of those questions.

Love from The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Sweet nothings are paired up with the adorable illustrations of Eric Carle. The perfect Valentine’s day book for any kiddo of every age.

I Love You to the Moon and Back: An adorable way to show your kids just how much you love them.

     

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Foxy in Love: Find out just what Valentine’s day means thanks to Foxy and his creative way.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse!: From the author that brought you; If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, brings another adorable tale to the table with this Valentine’s day story.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose!: Get ready for some giggles with this fun book.

I Love You Stinky Face: A hilarious book that shows just how much a mom can love their children…. even if they are swamp monsters.

    

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A Picture Book of Rosa Parks: This book follows Rosa Park’s life from childhood to adulthood. It is a great way to take an indepth look into her life. For younger kiddos, I am Rosa Parks, is the perfect way to introduce this incredible women.

President’s Day: A great story about a play that kids put on during class to learn about the Presidents of the United States. The story also ends with an election that takes place in the classroom.

Thomas Jefferson for Kids: Learn all about Thomas Jefferson and how he came to be President.

Jurassic Classics: The Presidential Masters of Prehistory: This book brings dinosaurs and presidents together to share a story during prehistoric times. I know everyone will laugh at some of these characters names including Theodore Rexevelt and Abraham Lincolnator.

Animals Hibernating: How do animals survive during the winter? Discover the answers in this book.

      

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The Hibernating House: Step inside the hibernating house where things change every season and a family makes memories.

Baby Bear’s Not Hibernating: Read this book to find out what happens when baby bear decides hibernating isn’t for him.

Over and Under the Snow: Go on a cross country ski trip where you will discover what animals are hibernating under the snow.

Animals in Winter: This classic book has been given a makeover. A must have for every home library.

Hibernation Station: This is a good book to introduce younger kids to hibernating animals. A sweet story that will hopefully help your kiddo fall asleep at night.

The Little House Collection: Since Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birthday is in February, this gives us the perfect opportunity to read the Little House books.

      

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I can’t wait to get started on this list! There are so many wonderful books ready to be devoured. 

More Great Book Suggestions:

      

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 Great Books to Read with Your Kids in February

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RLL #103: Entrepreneurial Mindset with Brian Weisfeld

rll 103 entrepreneurial mindset with brian weisfeld


Here at Raising Lifelong Learners, we are very much concerned with promoting the social and emotional needs of gifted and twice exceptional children. Research shows that resiliency, adaptability, accepting rejection, and “bouncing back” from failure are some of the critical skills necessary for having a successful life. They are also vital skills for being a successful entrepreneur!

Today, Colleen speaks with Brian Weisfeld, girls’ entrepreneurship advocate and author of The Start Up Squad, about how encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset can be a key component to helping all kids, boys included, to develop these important life skills, follow their passions, and reach their full potential even beyond kids starting their own businesses.

RLL #103: Entrepreneurial Mindset with Brian Weisfeld

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

               

Leave a Rating or Review

Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast. iTunes bases their search results on positive ratings, so it really does help — and it’s easy!

    • Click THIS link to go to the podcast main page.
    • Click on View in iTunes under the podcast cover artwork.
    • Once your iTunes has launched and you are on the podcast page, click on Ratings and Review under the podcast name. There you can leave either or both! Thanks so much.

Want to record your own question, comment, or have your kids tell us what they LOVE to learn about? Click below and start recording!


 

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RLL #102: A Conversation about Connection with Shawna Wingert

rll 102 a conversation about connection with shawna wingert


Today, we begin featuring a new type of podcast episode at Raising Lifelong Learners with Colleen Kessler, what we’re calling “A Conversation About.”  Colleen will be meeting with Shawna Wingert of Different By Design Learning at least monthly to discuss topics, common struggles and questions that come up often with our quirky and “outside-the-box” kiddos and families.  This week’s conversation centers around connection: how important it is to foster connection with your kids, encourage the relationships between siblings, and build a culture of connection as a family and as part of your community.

RLL #102: A Conversation about Connection with Shawna Wingert

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

         

Leave a Rating or Review

Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast. iTunes bases their search results on positive ratings, so it really does help — and it’s easy!

    • Click THIS link to go to the podcast main page.
    • Click on View in iTunes under the podcast cover artwork.
    • Once your iTunes has launched and you are on the podcast page, click on Ratings and Review under the podcast name. There you can leave either or both! Thanks so much.

Want to record your own question, comment, or have your kids tell us what they LOVE to learn about? Click below and start recording!


 

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RLL #101: Project-Based Learning with Cindy West

rll 101 project based learning with cindy west


Over the years, I have seen many parents of often quirky, definitely “out of the box” thinkers struggle to get their kiddos invested in their own learning.  One way to engage our gifted and twice exceptional kiddos at their own level is through project-based learning.  Project-based learning helps students to gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to genuinely engaging and complex topics. It can give our gifted or 2e kids opportunities to pursue those “deep dives” into subject matter they love and afford them more flexibility and accountability in how they show their understanding and mastery.

Listen today as we speak with our friend Cindy West of Our Journey Westward (and No Sweat Nature Study Live) about how she has used project-based learning to interest and excite in her homeschool, and her recommendations on how to get started on the path to this form of learning in your own home.

RLL #101: Project-Based Learning with Cindy West

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

            

Leave a Rating or Review

Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast. iTunes bases their search results on positive ratings, so it really does help — and it’s easy!

    • Click THIS link to go to the podcast main page.
    • Click on View in iTunes under the podcast cover artwork.
    • Once your iTunes has launched and you are on the podcast page, click on Ratings and Review under the podcast name. There you can leave either or both! Thanks so much.

Want to record your own question, comment, or have your kids tell us what they LOVE to learn about? Click below and start recording!


 

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Delight Directed Homeschooling and Your Gifted Child

delight directed homeschooling and your gifted child

I love sharing stories of other parents parenting and homeschooling gifted kids. This is Heather’s…

Billy is gifted. He is 5 and knows how to add, subtract and is really learning how to read and write well (when he feels like it). He loves technology (he could work the iPhone at age 2) and likes video games. He is very self-motivated and loves to be busy working on something; if he is laying on the couch, he is sick. He likes to ask and answer trivia questions. He loves figuring out new things.

Delight Directed Homeschooling and Your Gifted Child

I’ve never officially had him tested for giftedness; and I probably never will. We’ll just take it a day at a time. I’m not trying to ignore his giftedness or deprive him by any means. In fact I intend to do just the opposite.

This is why we became delight directed homeschoolers. My goal for Billy’s education, first and foremost, is to train him up with a love for and trust in God; building for him a strong spiritual foundation on the Rock.

Second, I want to see him develop a desire to learn for the rest of his life.

I believe that God has given all of us our own special gifts. When we can learn to recognize those gifts in our children and encourage them to develop mastery in the subjects which they find delight in – not just momentary fun, but a true lasting delight – I believe God can use them in amazing ways.

The delight directed learning method is an excellent way for us as parents and teachers to discover our children’s talents and passions, and work at a pace that works for them.

Delight Directed Homeschooling and Your Gifted Child

Why Delight Directed Homeschooling Works So Well For Gifted Children

Children are naturally curious. The delight directed learning method is the perfect way to encourage that curiosity. In addition, this method can offer the gifted child the opportunity to – instead of simply working on increasingly difficult material – actually create part or all of their own learning.

Each time our student desires to know about a topic, we have the opportunity as teachers and learning facilitators to show them how to learn and how to make connections with other areas of life. As your child grows this learning can become more student-driven. In this way we train them to become independent lifelong learners.

Another cool thing? There is no “right” way to be a delight directed homeschooler! You can use a box curriculum as a starting point and adapt it to suit your child’s interests or you could gather resources from the internet and the library to truly individualize all aspects of your curriculum; or anything in between!

If your child is gifted in math, work ahead, no problem! I am a fan of unit studies in our delight directed homeschool. The idea of taking one topic and looking at it from various subject areas makes a lot of sense to me. Lately I’ve been using holidays and celebrations as the starting point for our lessons. Here is an idea of what that looks like for us: Let’s say your student is getting excited about the 4th of July, for example. At an elementary level you could:

  • Research and discuss the history of America or the history of the holiday itself (social studies)
  • Sing patriotic songs or play them on an instrument (music)
  • Make holiday-inspired crafts (art)
  • Read books that take place during that time period (English/literature)
  • Study the history and construction of fireworks (science)
  • Go on a field trip to a historical site

Delight Directed Homeschooling and Your Gifted Child

Delight Directed Homeschooling and Your Gifted Child

And this is just the beginning! You and your child’s imaginations are your only limitations! You could create your own unit study like I have above or, if you prefer, you can purchase a pre-made unit study from any number of retailers.

A “gifted” label isn’t what matters. “The more important question is what are you doing to challenge the child,” says Arlene DeVries, co-author of A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children. (Source: Scholastic.com)

I hope that you consider the delight-directed learning approach and see how it can make teaching your gifted child even more memorable and fun!

 

A Perfect Option For Homeschooling Your Gifted Child

The Learner's Lab

The Learner’s Lab is the community created just for your quirky family.  It’s full of creative lessons, problem solving activities, critical and divergent thinking games, and the social-emotional support differently-wired children and teens need most.

All from the comfort of your own home. 

This community was created to support children who are gifted and twice exceptional. We address topics just like this all year long, in a way that is educational and fun for children. They learn skills to help them copy and you learn how to help them along the way. 

We invite you to join us. Get all the details HERE.

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For more information on Gifted Kids, Check Out:

         

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