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Your Child's Strengths by Jennifer Fox

Posted by Captain's blog on September 17, 2012 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Your Child's Strengths by Jennier Fox

How to: Find the activities that revitalize your child.

Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen

Explains how: Fun times that are sometimes unexplainably followed by tears means they were relaxed enough to release pent-up tears from old hurts and backed up feelings.

The Nurtured Heart Approach Workbook: transforming the difficult child

by Lisa Bravo and Howard Glassner

How to : Rescript your kids self image so they imagine they're naturally well-behaved.


To me these sound like sound parenting goals


Worrying, Over-analysis, and Parenting your Gifted Child

Posted by Captain's blog on September 15, 2012 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (6)

There's a big difference between doing the right thing for your child and saying the right thing about your child in public. People prefer people who say the right things.

At the library crafts and kids lunch the other day I showed my son how to open the milk carton, saying, "Let me show you how. You're going to have to know how to do this in a few months." All the while I was worrying that the grandmother across from me might think I'm a helichopter mom for not letting my son learn that at school.

In the children's section of the library I wanted to preview Sir Cumference and the Dragons of Pi which my son is not ready for yet. While browsing through the math section, I found the Math Monster Series by Weekly Reader which is math fiction written for the kinder through second grade crowd. I was so excited I immediately told the librarian, "I found math fiction at the early reader level." At that point I realized that it sounded like I was bragging that my son is an early reader, when that wasn't my intention at all. What i thought I was saying was, "Look! There are living math books written at the early elementary reading level!!!"

I wouldn't have had these doubtful thoughts about how I come across, If I had never read parenting and educational forums and learned that parents of gifted children are often judged for simply being honest about their child's abilities. It might be an odd manifestion of imposter syndrome, but I worry about being the grown up version of "nobody likes a know-it-all". I feel like I know what my kids need, at least what's within my means to offer them. But if I lose myself 110% into overanalyzing every trivial bit of my parenting experience, then I'll find a million wrong ways to be a mother. It's really hard to make the worst decisions with the best intentions, so why do mothers like me worry too much?

Above Minimum Standards

Posted by Captain's blog on July 20, 2012 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)
Focus on putting things in the school's own language. �Mention the school motto because often it's "children first", or "pride in excellence", or "knoweledge is power". �Knowledge IS power. �i KNOW there is a state law in Texas preventing early entry into pre-k. �I know that the law here allows "credit by examination" (grade skipping) up to one grade per year starting with kindergarten. �I know that the G&T program is worth getting into because they present projects before the whole school (public speaking). I took a sample of my son's work last year to the principal of my local neighborhood elementary school to ask for him to be tested for early entry into pre-k. She was unable. �She also said other local children, including her own two grandchildren, were ready and would benefit from early entry but that she was unable to make that decision. �I asked that if I could get the paperwork from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented and pay out of pocket for an iq test for my son would she let him go last year. �After she agreed I called them, my district gt coordinator, my regional gt coordinator and they were unable to facilitate early entry for an academically gifted student. �I was directed to call a regional administrator for Texas pre-k (non gt dept) and they explained there is no early entry into pre-k in Texas. �Last year �would have been great for him to "get in the swing" of school because he wasn't completely reading and writing yet. �This year will be fine anyway (or I'll pull him out and bring him home if it ain't) but last year would have been more developmentally appropriate for him to be in pre-k. � I'm not the parent that says, "my kid can't be bored in school". �I am the parent that says I want my child to go to school to learn and grow and be happy, healthy, and normal. �Normal for him is probably a little faster than normal for some. �I know that many people want to different between high achieving, accelerated learner, and gifted learner. �I'm not putting a dog in that fight at this time I'm just asking that in the Spirit of NCLB we send a little love to the other extreme outliers and simply lift all restrictions that are merely hinderances to eager and able learners. �It's great that there are minimum standards in education. �Aren't they just that- MINIMUM standards? �Why intentionally write laws just for the sole purpose of creating hinderances for students that are excelling way above the minimum standards. �Please put those kinds of decisions back into the hands of parents, principals, and teachers. �I don't care about "the Race to the top" or "the race to Nowhere" I care about raising my kids the way I want to and I don't appreciate legislature prohibiting or legislating that the local public school can not teach my child any way we the parents and the local teachers and principal agree is the best for my child as long as it's above the minimum standards. �

Parenting the Gifted Blog Tour

Posted by Captain's blog on July 6, 2012 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)



I am very excited to be participating in the Parenting the Gifted Blog Tour 2012 from July 15-21st. This blog tour is organized by parents who met on The Well Trained Mind Message boards and who would like to help celebrate SENG's National Parenting Gifted Children Week 2012.


This blog tour is not officially associated with The Well Trained Mind or SENG, but we are parents with experience and insights to share. We come from different parts of the country, different school choices, and different social and economic backgrounds, but we all have one thing in common. We know that parenting a gifted child can sometimes be as challenging as it is rewarding. If you have ever woken up at 3 AM in the morning wondering "What am I going to do with this child?" then this blog tour is for you!

From July 15-21 the Parenting the Gifted Blog Tour will discuss some of the most pertinent issues facing gifted education today:


On July 15th Childhood Inspired will write about "____________________" and Our Roxaboxen Adventures will discuss "Identifying Gifted Minority Students".


On July 16th Sceleratus Classical Academy will share "Don't Panic! Musings about realizing that your child's learning pattern is unusually different."


On July 17th Teaching My Baby to Read will feature “When School Isn't Enough; Fanning the Flames of Learning Afterschool”.


On July 18th Homeschooling: or Who’s Ever Home will write about "A Broader Definition of Success for Gifted Children".


On July 19th A Tree House Education will feature "2E Issues".


On July 20th Making Music With Kids will discuss "The Suspected Gifted Preschooler and How to Approach His or Her Teacher".


On July 21st Teaching My Baby to Read will feature two guest posts. Dancing with Dragrons will write about ____________________.


Come back to this blog on July 20th for my post about "Worrying too much and over analysing parenting".

Susan Wise Bauer "Writing With Ease"

Posted by Captain's blog on September 2, 2011 at 1:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Link to Sample PDF Susan Wise Bauer "Writing With Ease"  A mother and a college professor outlines how to teach young children how to write.  Young children benefit from instruction more than endless journaling.  Susan Wise Bauer tells you how.  She was kind enough to offer this 30 page sample on the internet so I don't feel the need to re-type the whole philosophy.

May I recommend:

Posted by Captain's blog on November 4, 2010 at 5:26 PM Comments comments (0)

free download of 300 math worksheets

Smart Boys

Posted by Captain's blog on July 31, 2010 at 11:39 AM Comments comments (1)

I so highly recommend this book for the new gifted parent as well as for the gifted kid who wants to learn about common gifted issues.  It just covers a lot of ground with real-life stories illustrating many aspects of gifted life.  It discusses ambivilance about being gifted and the need to choose between excellence and normalcy.  It tells the stories and findings of researcher into the gifted psychology from the 1920's on.  It tells the stories of grown gifted men from the 1960 who qualified and were accepted into an elite school for the gifted to be educated as "the leaders of tommorow."  Surprisingly they didn't become leaders but became mostly successful middle management who pursued contentment rather than greatness.  Statistically emminent  inventors and such are overwhelmingly from troubled lives and raised by single mothers.  There's a section full of insights into the young gifted boy, pre-school and early elementary.  There's stories about adolescent gifted boys, underachieving gifted boys, behavior and emotions, peer realtions, romantic relationships, special challenges for gifted boys, common stories of grown gifted men, the boy code, nerds, and parental relationships.  It doesn't go too far in depth into any topic, but gives a great overview of issues relating to gifted life for boys.  I definately got some new insight into the struggles of smart men. "Smart Boys" by Barbara A. Kerr Ph.D., & Sanford J. Cohn Ph.D.

Carol Dweck

Posted by Captain's blog on July 31, 2010 at 11:23 AM Comments comments (0)

Carol Dweck is a psychologist who is currently popular with some of the parents of gifted children.  She is the author of a book called "Self-Theories: Their role in motivation, personality, and development."  She put forth a debate over "entity theory of intelligence" vs. "incremental theory of intelligence."  Namely she says if you believe that you are born with a fixed level of intelligence rather than one that is adjustable through hard work you may be unwilling to take risks and learn new things because then you might be exposed that you don't know it all.  She says this happens in gifted children who remain unchallenged in their early years and are praised for being smart.  They internalize the praise as integral to their identity.  When they finally take on a task that is challenging later in life they feel as if since it didn't come naturally they are somehow less smart, and that they can't perform the task.  Whereas we all know practice makes perfect.  Her answer to this dilema is to challenge young people often and early and to praise them for their hard work and not for the stuff that comes effortlessly. 

I will adopt and use this perspective.  It identifies a work ethic approach.

Talk So Kids Listen

Posted by Captain's blog on July 31, 2010 at 11:02 AM Comments comments (0)

"How to talk so your Kids will Listen and Listen so your kids will talk" is by NY Times best selling authors Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish.  It is a couple of experienced mothers giving advice on how to engage cooperation from the kiddos.  For example get rid of the blame, the name-calling, the threats, commands, and lectures, the warnings and prophecies, the martyrdom syndrome.  Replace these with informative descriptions of what the problem is.  Say it with a single word if you can.  They really give you a script of how to sound more like a mother.  For example if you can, instead of arguing or lecturing say, "Wyatt- shoes." and with those two little words get him to pick his shoes up out of the middle of the living room floor and put them away then you have effectively engaged co-operation without threatening, begging, pleading, or yelling.  They give you tips on "how" to say it as well as "what".  For example when a child is trying to tell you something stop what you're doing and look at them, even if you could hear them just fine already.  They really help you sound more like a mother.  Here's an example:

Child: Can I go over to Suzy's now?

Instead of "No, you can't."

Give the facts.

"We're having dinner in five minutes."

With that information, a child might tell herself, "I guess I can't go now."

Posted by Captain's blog on March 18, 2010 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (1)


"The Gifted Child: Super Achiever or Underachiever -- Parents and Teachers Make the Difference.

The early environments which foster giftedness in children can also make them vulnerable to feeling extreme pressures.  The praise and power which cultivate a positive learning environment may become "too much of a good thing."  Gifted children may internalize highly competitive pressures to be brilliant, perfect, extraordinarily creative, beautiful, and/or popular.  The pressures that gifted children internalize can lead to motivation or may also cause them to learn defensive patterns which lead to underachievement.  Families and schools can help gifted children to cope with these pressures by providing realistic challenges and guidance.  Schools which provide for the needs of gifted children will encourage them to make a commitment to their education and a contribution to society.  They can learn to feel good about their personal accomplishments and about themselves."                                  

-Dr. Sylvia Rimm, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine