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Nurturing Your Gifted Toddler

In this episode of The Raising Lifelong Learner’s podcast, Colleen addresses a common concern – the uncertainty of parenting and nurturing a gifted toddler. 

 
The pediatrician looked up from his checklist and asked, “how many words can she say?” and I kind of looked at him funny. “It’s okay if she’s not saying a lot right now. She’s only 18 months, so don’t panic. Language will develop over the next few months and years.”

He smiled reassuringly, and I stammered, “No-o-o-o-o. It’s not that. I just don’t think I can actually count the words she can say, so I’m not sure how to answer your question. She can say anything you or I can say.”

I could tell that, not only didn’t he believe me, but he thought I was one of those moms. Like I was trying to make my kid seem more than she was. And I couldn’t blame him, really. Molly looked like a typical toddler, running her fingers along the multicolored shape stickers on his desk, humming softly to herself.

gifted toddler

And then she stopped, turned, and spoke.

“Doctow Cat-an-zawwo? Why do you have two parallelogram stickers on the desk when you only have one of every other shape? Shouldn’t you only have one of those? Or maybe you can add another of each of the other shapes to make it even. I don’t really like when things aren’t even. And, do you have more of these stickers? Can I have some? I like shape stickers.”

The pediatrician, Dr. Catanzaro, looked at me, mouth agape, and said, “I have colleagues with whom I’ve worked for over 20 years who can’t pronounce my name that well. I guess she really can talk…” And he made some notes on his checklist.

Parenting gifted children can be full of uncertainty.

Should I push her?

What if I don’t give him what he needs?

Do I need to get her tested?

How do I know for sure?

Here’s the thing… you do know.

You’re an amazing, insightful, and perfect parent for the little guy or gal in front of you. Nurturing a gifted toddler is an adventure… so let’s develop a roadmap to help you along the way.

What Does a Gifted Toddler Look Like?

If you’re reading this post, you probably have a general idea about what a gifted toddler looks like. Right? We parents know our kids, no matter how much we collectively doubt ourselves.  There are some traits, though, that can give you a clue you might just be raising a poppy kiddo.

Remember… All gifted kiddos share some characteristics, but the very defining one — asynchrony — means that they definitely don’t look alike. So, your child may not exhibit all of these traits. It’s kind of a checklist of sorts to give you an idea of some things you might notice if your toddler is gifted.

Related: Young Gifted Children | Reflections from ParentsNurturing Gifted Toddlers

You may recognize some of these traits:

  • As infants, your kiddos became fussy if they faced the same direction for too long.
  • They were very alert and wide-eyed as babies.
  • Your toddler seems to need way less sleep than others his or her age, and did as an infant as well.
  • He or she met milestones like walking, rolling over, and talking dramatically ahead of schedule.
  • Some gifted babies and toddlers may have spoken later than most kids, but used complete sentences once speech began.
  • They expressed an acute desire to explore, take things apart, put things together, and understand their environment.
  • They often mastered their toys and games earlier than children their age, then discarded them for new games and toys.
  • He or she is very active and can be impulsive and intense.
  • They can often tell between fact and fiction early on.
  • They’re concerned with big issues early on.

Some gifted toddlers show an intense interest in numbers, letters, or other concepts. Some of our gifted toddlers will read early — that precocious 18 month old in the opening story taught herself to read by three. Some won’t, and that’s okay, too. My oldest kiddo (who’s been identified as profoundly gifted) didn’t read until much, much later, and still chooses to read books below his age level.

What Are Some of the Challenges That Come with Raising Young Gifted Kids?

Gifted toddlers, like all gifted individuals, are asynchronous. This asynchrony gives you a kiddo who might be intellectually ready to solve problems and build things, but who lacks the fine motor skills and planning to be able to pull it all off.

One of the biggest challenges is to find activities that are age-appropriate, but still advanced enough for a gifted kiddo. Though, an often underestimated challenge can be the puzzled, judgmental, and knowing looks that come from family, friends, and strangers. The challenge of being misunderstood or accused of hothousing — or “pushing” your child to perform.

My friend compared raising her young, profoundly gifted daughter to being stapled to a cheetah. She’s just holding on for dear life as that little bundle of inquisitiveness drags her along for the ride.

And the intensity. Oh, boy.

Gifted kiddos — including your precious toddler — can be very intense. Those intensities can be:

  • emotional – high highs, low lows… and a mixture of both at the same time with extremes and complexities.
  • physical – those big emotions take on physical symptoms with our bright tots… tummy aches, headaches, and more.
  • behavioral – shyness, separation anxiety, overconfidence, being too comfortable with strangers, ultra impulsive, deep inhibition, the list (and contradictions) goes on.

Gifted toddlers can have deep fears and anxieties. They feel guilt, concerned about death, like they’re not in control, and can seem deeply thoughtful or depressed. They can have deep emotional ties to people, places, or things.

Related: Gifts for Children with AnxietyNurturing Your Gifted Toddler

How Do You Nurture Giftedness in Toddlers?

The best advice I can give — after raising four toddlers (gifted and twice-exceptional) is to relax and trust your gut. Really.

Forget about what everyone else says.

Forget all the parenting books (they’re not going to apply to you anyway).

Forget about what’s “normal.”

Follow your kid. Meet your child where he or she is and help them find new ways to learn every single day. It’s exactly what all parents do for their toddlers. It just looks a little different for parents of gifted toddlers.

One of my eldest’s (now 15) first words was Macedonia. As in, “let’s go to Macedonia to watch trains.” He was obsessed with trains. He watched kids’ shows and documentaries and old news reels about trains. He listened to books about trains. He knew the history of the railroad and all the different important trains from all of history before he was four. He couldn’t yet read. He barely drew. He was impulsive and inattentive at his daycare. He wouldn’t sit still unless someone was sharing something about trains — though not the kids’ trains with faces. He had no use for those.

This went beyond a little guy’s interest in trains. He needed to know it all. So we fed him books, movies, toys, and trips to the trainyard in Macedonia. We sat by the tracks for hours, waiting for one train to pass, sharing snacks and train stories. Today he doesn’t remember all that he once knew, but he still adores trains and gets together with my father-in-law and his train buddies regularly to work on model railroad layouts and talk about the good ole days of the steamers.

I didn’t worry about meeting his potential and I didn’t feed him flashcards and workbooks.

But, guess what?

I did shower my now 10 year old with workbooks, worksheets, and flashcards as a toddler. That 18 month-old who stood but a minute off the floor as she peered at the pediatrician and asked for shape stickers adored nothing more than sitting at “her” desk (a tot-sized table in the kitchen) and banging out workbook pages. She taught herself to read by three. She cried at two when she realized that she was not getting on the big yellow school bus with her brother.

So we enrolled her in a 2yo preschool that met one morning each week. And she begged for more school. So we signed her up for another day at a different preschool so she could have two mornings of “school” and three mornings of “homeschool” while big brother was gone during the week.

Many accused me of hothousing that kiddo (pumping her full of info so she seemed smart), but I was just trying to keep her insatiable thirst quenched.

Two gifted toddlers.

Two very different needs.

If I were to have given that first one workbooks and flashcards, he would have rebelled and fought me every step of the way. If I were to have only fed the second one books, videos, and trips to a favorite place, she would have withered.

Related: 101 Reasons Eclectic Homeschooling Works for Gifted Kids Nurturing Your Gifted Toddler

Trust yourself that you know your toddler better than anyone else does and give him or her exactly what they need. Explore language and numbers, science and nature, communities and laws together. Ask loads of questions and answer all of theirs. Make it a point to look up answers together sometimes — it’s important from early on that your gifted kiddo see that you don’t have all the answers and that you’re not afraid to admit it. Play lots of music in the house. Take your little ones to free outdoor concerts and performances during the spring and summer so they can get an early appreciation for the arts. Experiment with as many different types of art mediums as you can with them when they’re young.

Buy open-ended gifts for all occasions. Line your walls with books. Play games early and often. Ask for family memberships to museums and zoos instead of toys your gifted kiddo will lose interest in for holiday gifts from relatives.

Remember that you’re the perfect parent for your gifted kiddo. You really do know what your child is capable of and needs. You may be in for a wild ride now that you find yourself raising a gifted toddler, but it’ll never be dull.

And when you’re little one shows what he or she is capable of — whether it’s to a stunned pediatrician, a family member, a friend, or a stranger on the playgroup — it’s okay to puff out your chest and say that yes, you do know how amazing he or she is. Talking in full sentences at 18 months is fantastic. Reading at three is amazing. Knowing the detailed history surrounding all steam, diesel, and mag-lev trains by four is awesome.

Be proud and let your kiddos hear you say that they’re amazing and you’re absolutely amazed to be their parent. The more you get used to it now when they’re toddlers, the easier it’ll be as they get older and need to hear you bragging about them. You’ve got this.

nurturing your gifted child

Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast Episode #129: Nurturing Your Gifted Toddler

 

Links and Resources From Today’s Show

Parents' Guide to Raising a Gifted Toddler: Recognizing and Developing the Potential of Your Child from Birth to Five Years

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing MindExciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids: 60 Easy Creative Play Projects That Boost Brain Development, Calm Anxiety and Build Fine Motor SkillsParenting a Strong-Willed Child: How to Effectively Raise High Spirited Children or ToddlersThe Rainy Day Toddler Activity Book: 100+ Fun Early Learning Activities for Inside Play (Toddler Activity Books)The Big Book of Kids Activities: 500 Projects That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever365 Toddler Activities That Inspire Creativity: Games, Projects, and Pastimes That Encourage a Child's Learning and Imagination100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever!: Become an Expert on Bugs, Beetles, Worms, Frogs, Snakes, Birds, Plants and MoreRaising Resilient Sons: A Boy Mom's Guide to Building a Strong, Confident, and Emotionally Intelligent FamilyThe Ultimate Toddler Activity Guide: Fun & educational activities to do with your toddler (Early Learning)Teach My Toddler Learning KitThe Montessori Toddler: A Parent's Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being

 
 

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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Helping Anxious Children And Their Siblings

Colleen answers a frequently asked question today on the Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast: How do you help siblings understand when one child has anxiety? This episode is all about helping anxious children and their siblings.

 
 

Helping Anxious Children And Their Siblings

Anxiety and Gifted/Twice Exceptional Children

We all experience anxiety at some point or another.  Worrying and stress is a natural part of being human. 

Anxiety is also quite common in the world of neurodiversity. For gifted children and twice exceptional kids, worrying and stress can be intense and overwhelming,

Among profoundly gifted children, anxiety can manifest in multiple ways. For example, students may have fears about being away from their parents that decreases participation in extracurricular activities and social events. Given their propensity for perfectionism, profoundly gifted children can manifest fears of failure and go to unrealistic lengths to have their products be free of errors. If given corrective feedback, they may have trouble “turning off” these messages and begin to believe there is something “wrong” with them. Other profoundly gifted children may have fears of being in public or in large groups and avoid such situations. In some cases, the children’s fear response can be quite intense, overwhelming, and scary. 

The Davidson Institute

For most of us, this is just part of our lives as parents of gifted and twice exceptional children.

But what happens when your child is experiencing anxiety that goes far beyond the norm, and begins to influence family dynamics and sibling relationships?

Helping Anxious Children And Their Siblings

 

Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast Episode #128: Helping Anxious Children And Their Siblings

In this helpful and encouraging episode, Colleen shares examples and solutions for helping your entire family navigate your gifted child’s anxiety, 

 

Links and Resources From Today’s Show

Raising Resilient Sons: A Boy Mom's Guide to Building a Strong, Confident, and Emotionally Intelligent Family

Helping Your Anxious Child: a Step-by-Step Guide for ParentsWorking with Worry: A Workbook for Parents on How to Support Anxious ChildrenAnxious Mom, Anxious Child: A Mother's Journey from Anxiety to SerenityFreeing Your Child from Anxiety, Revised and Updated Edition: Practical Strategies to Overcome Fears, Worries, and Phobias and Be Prepared for Life--from Toddlers to TeensRaising Creative Kids: A Collection of Simple Creativity Prompts for ChildrenUnderstanding Your Anxious Child: A parents guide to helping kids overcome their fears and anxiety to live a carefree childhoodAnxiety Relief for Kids: On-the-Spot Strategies to Help Your Child Overcome Worry, Panic, and AvoidancThe Whole-Brain Child Workbook: Practical Exercises, Worksheets and Activitis to Nurture Developing Minds (Practical Excercises, Worksheets and Activities to Nurture)

 
 

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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Twice Exceptional Children And Homeschooling: What It’s Really Like

There are a lot of misconceptions about twice exceptional children and homeschooling. In this episode of the Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast, Colleen shares what it’s really like to homeschool a twice exceptional child, both as a gifted education specialist and a homeschooling parent.

 
 

twice exceptional kids

 

Twice Exceptional Defined

Twice exceptional is the label given to kids that are identified as gifted and also have a learning difficulty of some sort. Some may have learning disabilities, anxiety issues, Tourette Syndrome, ADD with or without hyperactivity, sensory processing disorders, while others may suffer from anxiety disorders or depression. The combinations are varied, as are the “symptoms” that lead to a diagnosis… or misdiagnosis. 

Because of the complexities of both giftedness and learning differences combined, twice exceptional children often struggle in the traditional school environment. 

twice exceptional kids

Twice Exceptional Children And Homeschooling

Because of the unique abilities and needs of a twice exceptional learner, I believe that homeschooling is a wonderful option and is often the “best fit” educationally.

It allows parents to become students of their own children and put together an educational plan that is tailor-made for their child.

twice exceptional and homeschooling

Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast Episode #127: What It’s Really Like To Homeschool A Twice Exceptional Child

Colleen shares what it’s really like to homeschool a twice exceptional child, from her perspective as a gifted specialist and as a homeschooling mom.

 
 

Links and Resources From Today’s Show

Raising Resilient Sons: A Boy Mom's Guide to Building a Strong, Confident, and Emotionally Intelligent Family

Raising Creative Kids: A Collection of Simple Creativity Prompts for Children100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever!: Become an Expert on Bugs, Beetles, Worms, Frogs, Snakes, Birds, Plants and MoreTwice-Exceptional Gifted Children: Understanding, Teaching, and Counseling Gifted StudentsMisdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger's, Depression, and Other Disorders (2nd edition)Living With Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and the Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and AdultsHome Learning Year by Year, Revised and Updated: How to Design a Creative and Comprehensive Homeschool CurriculumHomeschooling Gifted Kids: A Practical Guide to Educate and Motivate Advanced LearnersThe Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America's Broken Education System - and How to Fix It

 
 

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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What’s The Difference Between Interest-Led and Strength Based Learning?

 
In this special episode of the Raising Lifelong Learner’s Podcast, Shawna Wingert shares valuable information about getting started with strength-based learning in your homeschool. She also answers a frequently asked question: What is the difference between interest-led and strength-based learning?

interest-led and strength based learning

What’s The Difference Between Interest-Led and Strength Based Learning?

“Interest-led learning is just what it sounds like – letting a child’s interests lead the learning process.” The homeschoolmom.com

This is a simple, but accurate definition of interest-led learning. This type of learning involves taking whatever your child is interested in and using it as the basis for their learning activities.

For example, a child interested in cars might read books about transportation and watch You Tube videos about electric energy.

The interest itself defines the educational choices in your homeschool.

Related: Interest-Led Learning and Your Gifted Child

interest-led and strength based

What Is Strength Based Learning?

Strength based learning certainly includes interest as a part of the approach, but it based on a more holistic look at the child.

Three factors typically make up a strength-based approach:

  1. Academic subjects of natural strength
  2. Interests
  3. Learning Style (i.e. visual, tactile, auditory, etc..)

Strength based learning combines the three and then uses them for a large majority of the learning.

Essentially, the formula for strength based learning looks something like this:

Academic Ares Of Strength + Interests Of Child + Child’s Learning Style = A Strength Based Approach To Learning

interest-led and strength based

Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast #126 : What Is The Difference Between Interest-Led and Strength- Based Learning?

Join us in this episode where we answer this question in much more depth and provide concrete examples of strength-based learning in practice.

 

Links and Resources From Today’s Show

Homeschooling Your Child With Special Needs: Practical Support And Encouragement For Learning With Differences

Different By Design Learning: Strength Based Learning Plan WorkbookNow, Discover Your Strengths: The revolutionary Gallup program that shows you how to develop your unique talents and strengthsStrengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams and Why People FollowParenting Chaos: Practical Support And Encouragement For Parents Of Explosive ChildrenHOMESCHOOLING YOUR CHILD WITH SENSORY NEEDS: A practical guide to helping your child learn with sensory processing disorderRaising Creative Kids: A Collection of Simple Creativity Prompts for ChildrenRaising Resilient Sons: A Boy Mom's Guide to Building a Strong, Confident, and Emotionally Intelligent FamilyThe Big Book of Kids Activities: 500 Projects That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever

 

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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Is Your Homeschooled Child Profoundly Gifted?

 
Wondering if your child is profoundly gifted? What does profoundly gifted even mean? In this episode, Colleen discusses how to determine if your child falls into the profoundly gifted category. She also shares the reality of homeschooling a profoundly gifted child.

profoundly gifted child

Homeschooling my oldest has always been a curious mix of interests and intellect. What I have learned along the way is this is simply the nature of homeschooling a profoundly gifted child. This is a unique and sometimes, complicated journey and one that I am happy to share with you today.

Is Your Homeschooled Child Profoundly Gifted?

One of the questions I am most often asked is, “How do I know if my child is profoundly gifted?”

In this episode, I share many of the qualities that typically present in profoundly gifted children. Some of the most common include:

  • learning basic skills quickly and with little practice.
  • constructing and handling abstractions easily.
  • picking up nonverbal cues and drawing inferences that are tough for children their age to see.
  • taking little for granted, preferring to know the ‘”hows” and “whys.”
  • wildly eclectic and intensely focused on their interests.

profoundly gifted child

RLL Episode 125: Is Your Child Profoundly Gifted?

Lean more about the most common attributes of profoundly gifted children in today’s episode.  I also discuss what it is like, in the day to day practicalities of homeschooling a profoundly gifted child. 

 

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know?

On the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted ChildrenMisdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger's, Depression, and Other Disorders (2nd edition)Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive FeelingsRaising Resilient Sons: A Boy Mom's Guide to Building a Strong, Confident, and Emotionally Intelligent FamilyTeaching Gifted Children: Success Strategies for Teaching High-Ability LearnersSuccess Strategies for Parenting Gifted Kids: Expert Advice From the National Association for Gifted ChildrenTwice-Exceptional Gifted Children: Understanding, Teaching, and Counseling Gifted StudentsUnderstanding Your Gifted Child From the Inside Out

 
 

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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Homeschooling With Purpose: A Conversation with Pam Barnhill

 

In this episode of The Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast, Colleen is joined by her good friend, and fellow veteran homeschool mom, Pam Barnhill. Honest and practical, they talk about planning, what gets in the way on a Monday morning, and provide access to resources that will help homeschoolers at any stage. If you homeschool, or are even thinking about homeschooling, this episode is for you!

homeschooling with purpose

 

Managing A Classroom vs. Teaching Your Own Children

One thing that both Colleen and Pam have in common is classroom experience. Both worked in schools prior to homeschooling their own children. Both had a similar experience in making the transition home.

(You might be surprised to learn that having a background in traditional education is something that Colleen feels was a hindrance in allowing her to let go and homeschool her kiddos with freedom.) 

Both agree that fundamentally, the biggest shift is that when you are teaching in a traditional classroom, education is defined by the school system. One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling, is that it allows for a greater, more expanded definition of education.

homeschooling with purpose

 

If This Is How A Grown-up Learns, This Is How A Kid Learns.

Pam shares one of the ways her understanding of learning has expanded in her homeschool is acknowledging the reality of how we all learn. She says, “I this is how I learn something…if this is how a grown-up learns, this is how a kids learns too.”

Adult learning almost never requires picking up a textbook. In fact, learning something new as an adult usually involves:

  • Finding a YouTube Video
  • Taking An Online Class
  • Making A Trip To The Library
  • Learning From A Friend

Our children learn in exactly the same ways!

homeschooling with purpose

 

Homeschool Planning For Real Life

One of the most encouraging parts of this episode, is the practical and honest discussion around homeschool planning. Both Pam and Colleen share a peek inside their homeschool days and discuss how they plan for the unexpected. 

Both employ a kind of “Must-Do List” each day. It is simply a short list of things that absolutely have to get done during the day, every day. Then, the rest of their homeschool plans can be much more flexible and interest-led

Homeschooling With Purpose: Be more confident, less overwhelmed, and ready to tackle any challenges that come your way

These two amazing woman have teamed with Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool, and created a new course for every homeschool mom. 

Brand new? Overwhelmed? Burned out?

This is the course for you!

There are a million ways to make a good homeschool, but zero ways to make a perfect one.

This course provides everything you need to do just that!

Get confident you are on the right path in your homeschool with hand-holding guidance and not an ounce of judgment or guilt. 

RLL Episode 124: Homeschooling With Purpose, A Conversation With Pam Barnhill

 
More on all of these homeschool topics is in this fabulous new episode. Colleen and Pam share from the heart, and from their years of homeschooling experience. It is like a master-class, all in one podcast episode.

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

Better Together: Strengthen Your Family, Simplify Your Homeschool, and Savor the Subjects that Matter Most

The Big Book of Kids Activities: 500 Projects That Are the Bestest, Funnest EverRaising Resilient Sons: A Boy Mom's Guide to Building a Strong, Confident, and Emotionally Intelligent FamilyIntroverted Mom: Your Guide to More Calm, Less Guilt, and Quiet JoyThe Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America's Broken Education System - and How to Fix ItThe Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas: 500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12 (Prima Home Learning Library)

 
 
 

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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Can Giftedness Be Difficult To Uncover In Our Children?

Giftedness is so often disguised in our brightest kiddos. In this episode, Colleen explains how even as an expert in the field, her son’s giftedness was difficult for her to uncover. Practical and encouraging, you don’t want to miss this honest look at giftedness in children.

 
 

giftedness disguised

Can Giftedness Be Difficult To Uncover In Our Children?

Contrary to popular myths and misunderstandings, gifted kids (and adults) are not just the answer-givers, rule-followers, and quiet reflectors. They are also the challengers, rule-breakers, contradictors, and vocal opposition to the status quo. They can be trouble makers and significantly challenging for the adults in their lives.

gifted child

Maybe I’m Just A Bad Parent

So many parents  think they’re doing something wrong. That there’s something wrong with their parenting. That there’s something wrong with their kiddo.

There’s not.

They’re not.

YOU’RE not.

gifted child is worried

RLL Episode 123: Is Your Child’s Giftedness Disguised?

In this episode, Colleen explains what it was like to uncover her own son’s giftedness and the reasons why giftedness is often disguised in our children. 

 

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

Raising Resilient Sons: A Boy Mom's Guide to Building a Strong, Confident, and Emotionally Intelligent Family

Success Strategies for Parenting Gifted Kids: Expert Advice From the National Association for Gifted ChildrenMisdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger's, Depression, and Other Disorders (2nd edition)On the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted ChildrenEmotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive FeelingsThe Gifted Kids Workbook: Mindfulness Skills to Help Children Reduce Stress, Balance Emotions, and Build ConfidenceLiving With Intensity: Understanding the Sensitivity, Excitability, and the Emotional Development of Gifted Children, Adolescents, and AdultsRaising Gifted Children: A Practical Guide for Parents Facing Big Emotions and Big PotentialUnderstanding Your Gifted Child From the Inside OutParenting Gifted Children: The Authoritative Guide from the National Association for Gifted ChildrenTwice-Exceptional Gifted Children: Understanding, Teaching, and Counseling Gifted StudentsHelping Gifted Children Soar: A Practical Guide for Parents and Teachers (2nd edition)

 

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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What This Homeschool Graduate Wants You To Know

 

In this very special episode of The Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast, Colleen is joined by her son and recent homeschool graduate, Trevor Kessler. It is a candid look back at more than a decade of learning together, including how Trevor really feels about being homeschooled. If you are a homeschool parent, this is an episode you do not want to miss!

homeschool graduate

A Homeschool Graduate Looks Back On More Than A Decade Of Learning At Home

What becomes clear in speaking to this homeschool graduate, is just how much homeschooling has allowed him to pursue his own interests and strengths. As a creative person, Trevor describes himself as “less academically driven.”

However, his creatively and giftedness were able to take center stage in his learning as a direct result of homeschooling. 

“Academically driven” is not the only way giftedness presents in children, and he is a classic example.

homeschool high school graduate

The Importance Of Mastery And Gifted Children

A perfect example of how homeschooling supports giftedness, is how Trevor describes the desire to “get really good at something and then move onto something else.”

For gifted and twice exceptional children, this is an important element of how learning and development unfolds.

There is a need to master the topic while, for creatively gifted kiddos in particular, there is also a need to keep things novel. This ebb and flow fuels learning, although it proceeds in a less linear and at times, chaotic fashion.

The result however, for Trevor, is a passion for film, photography, special effects. Already, his mastery of these topics have led to job opportunities and professional growth. 

Related: RLL Episode #40 Self-Directed Homeschooling High School with Trevor Kessler

homeschool graduate

RLL Episode 122: A Special Conversation With Homeschool Graduate, Trevor Kessler

I’ve barely scratched the surface of all the insights in this episode. This conversation is truly something special. Colleen and Trevor both reflect on their years learning together, and the result is a wonderful encouragement for homeschooling parents! 

 

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their LivesRaising Resilient Sons: A Boy Mom's Guide to Building a Strong, Confident, and Emotionally Intelligent FamilyThe Unschooling Journey: A Field GuideWhat is Unschooling?: Living and Learning without SchoolLong Life Learning: Preparing for Jobs that Don't Even Exist YetUnschooling To University: Relationships matter most in a world crammed with contentHomeschool High School Made Easy: Find Your Why . . . Then Find Your Way (Easy Homeschool)Just for Teen Guys - Do-It-Yourself High School: Homeschooling Handbook Library Based Curriculum Journal and Study Guide For Eclectic StudentsCreating Transcripts for Your Unique Child: Help Your Homeschool Graduate Stand Out from the Crowd (Coffee Break Books)

 
 

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    • 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.

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Finding Homeschool Community (for our children and ourselves)

 
One of the challenges of homeschooling is finding a community that works for your child’s needs and interests. In this episode of The Raising Lifelong Learner Podcast, Shawna and I talk about the reality of finding a homeschool community for our children and for ourselves. 

homeschool community

It’s been a year of change for my family. 

One of the most notable differences between our homeschool now and our homeschool just 18 month ago is the lack of any real community. There are a variety of reasons for the loss, but the truth is, I find myself starting all over again in finding a community that make sense for my family.

homeschool community

Finding Homeschool Community (for our children and ourselves)

In considering how to begin again, there are a few things that I think are important to note when trying to find a homeschool community.

1. Your family is your primary homeschool community.

2. Start with interests.

3. It’s OK to walk away if it’s not working for your kiddo.

4. You may need to look for an outside the box approach for your outside the box child. 

 

homeschool community

A Conversation with Colleen and Shawna All About Finding A Homeschool Community

In today’s episode of The Raising Lifelong Learner Podcast, Shawna and I talk about how we have found community in the past and what we believe matters most for our differently wired kiddos. We get personal in this episode, sharing our struggles in this area as well as the lessons we’ve learned. 

 
 

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

Homeschooling Gifted Kids: A Practical Guide to Educate and Motivate Advanced LearnersThe Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas: 500+ Fun and Creative Learning Activities for Kids Ages 3-12 (Prima Home Learning Library)The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America's Broken Education System - and How to Fix ItHome Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural WorldHomeschooling 101: A Guide to Getting Started.Homeschool Bravely: How to Squash Doubt, Trust God, and Teach Your Child with ConfidenceHOW TO START, MANAGE, AND GROW YOUR GREAT HOMESCHOOL GROUP OR CO-OP: Step-By-Step Quick and Easy SuccessHomeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn OutHomeschool High School Made Easy: Find Your Why . . . Then Find Your Way (Easy Homeschool)

 
 

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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.

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A Different Kind Of Family Togetherness: Ideas and Encouragement For Connecting With Our Kids

 
Do you want more for your family? Do you have bigger dreams and a desire for deeper relationships with your kids? Join Colleen in this encouraging and practical conversation with Celeste Orr, from Togetherness Redefined. They discuss creating meaningful connections with our children and sustaining a deeply satisfying family life. 

A Different Kind Of Family Togetherness: Ideas and Encouragement For Connecting With Our Kids

Ideas and Encouragement For Connecting With Our Kids

In my family, we are together more than we are apart. While I cherish the time, I often find myself feeling like I’ve missed opportunities for deeper connection in favor of the day to day to-do list. 

My conversation in today’s episode with Celeste Orr, from Togetherness Redefined, is all about helping us clearly define what we want for our families and establish meaningful steps to get there. 

Related: Connecting With Our Gifted And Twice Exceptional Kids: 

A Different Kind Of Family Togetherness: Ideas and Encouragement For Connecting With Our Kids

Togetherness Redefined: Finding a Different Kind of Family Togetherness 

Togetherness Redefined was created to help parents who were looking to spend more time with their kids and connect in meaningful ways.

In her new book, Celeste shares:

  • 52 popular togetherness tips
  • Real-life stories and simple, honest examples
  • A go-to list of ideas to break the disconnect at home
  • An opportunity to boost family togetherness

Togetherness Tips For Your Family

Celeste also shares weekly togetherness tips for your family via email. All of the tips essentially fall into one of five categories. 

  1. Small Beginnings – the most mundane moments matter 
  2. Big Dreams 
  3. Deep Connection
  4. For The Long Haul
  5. Getting Back Up Again

I think this intentional approach is wonderful and provides opportunities to really go deeper and establish meaningful connections with our families. 

A Different Kind Of Family Togetherness: Ideas and Encouragement For Connecting With Our Kids

RLL Episode #120: A Different Kind Of Family Togetherness with Celeste Orr

 
Do you want more for your family? Do you have bigger dreams and a desire for deeper relationships with your kids? Join Colleen in this encouraging and practical conversation with Celeste Orr, from Togetherness Redefined. They discuss creating meaningful connections with our children and sustaining a deeply satisfying family life. 

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

Togetherness Redefined: Finding a Different Kind of Family TogethernessFamily Practices: A Guided Journal of Togetherness and Discovery with Your Loved Ones (Resiliency Guides)Raising Creative Kids: A Collection of Simple Creativity Prompts for ChildrenRaising Resilient Sons: A Boy Mom's Guide to Building a Strong, Confident, and Emotionally Intelligent FamilyThe Unplugged Family Activity Book: 60+ Simple Crafts and Recipes for Year-Round FunNature Play Workshop for Families: A Guide to 40+ Outdoor Learning Experiences in All SeasonsThe Very Best, Hands-On, Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions: 52 Activities Your Kids Will Never ForgetBig Book of Family Games: 101 Original Family & Group Games that Don't Need Charging52 Uncommon Family Adventures: Simple and Creative Ideas for Making Lifelong Memories

 
 

 

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!