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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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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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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.

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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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

 
 

 

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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.

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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A Conversation With Dr. Meg Meeker About Gifted And Twice Exceptional Kids

 
Dr. Meg Meeker is a bit of a hero of mine, so I am thrilled to welcome her to The Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast!  Our conversation is all about her expert perspective on gifted and twice exceptional children, as well as the unique challenges of parenting our unique kiddos. 

A Conversation With Dr. Meg Meeker About Gifted And Twice Exceptional Kids

Seeing Our Children As Individuals

One of the key takeaways from my time with Dr. Meg Meeker is the importance of really seeing and responding to our children as individuals. In fact, Dr. Meeker shared that research shows that individualizing our approach to teaching our children increases their overall success. 

When we acknowledge that a child needs more gross motor activities than worksheets, or that our son needs more time doing something active together rather than talking with us, we are helping them learn and develop in the best possible way. 

We also help them figure out their place in the world.

A Conversation With Dr. Meg Meeker About Gifted And Twice Exceptional Kids

Feeling Discouraged As A Parent Of  Quirky Kiddo

It’s so easy to feel discouraged when your child is struggling.

One of the things that Dr. Meeker was very clear about in this conversation is how important it is to avoid comparison and focus on our own lives. She was very direct in how she views the pressures we face in this day and age. 

“I encourage parents to get off social media as much as I encourage teenage girls to do the same. It’s just demoralizing.” 

A Conversation With Dr. Meg Meeker About Gifted And Twice Exceptional Kids

Become A Student Of Your Child

It was particularly encouraging for me to hear Dr. Meeker echo my closely held belief that one of the best ways we can help our children, is to become a student of theirs.

She mentions the importance of taking time to really pay attention to what is happening emotionally with our kiddos, before jumping to any conclusions. Even better, she encourages us to ask ourselves why we believe the struggle is so real, from our children’s perspectives.

A Conversation With Dr. Meg Meeker About Gifted And Twice Exceptional Kids

Parenting Gifted And Twice Exceptional Children: A conversation with Dr. Meg Meeker

Learn about all of this and more from Dr. Meg Meeker in this very special episode. I can’t say enough about the depth and everyday practicality of her wisdom. 

 

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

         

 

 

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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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Is Identifying Your Child As Gifted Important?

 

At some point most parents of gifted kids will ask, “Does my gifted child really need a label?” In this audioblog episode, Collen tackles this question and looks at the pros and cons of giving your gifted child the “label.”

Is Identifying Your Child As Gifted Important?

Does My Gifted Child Really Need A Label?

I understand the question. How often have we heard complaint that we label kids too much?

“Why can’t kids be kids?”

“Back in my day we didn’t have all these disorders.”

“I just want to appreciate him without some label telling me who he’s supposed to be.”

While these are certainly valid statements on some level, at some point most parents of gifted kids will ask, “Does my gifted child really need a label?”

Related: 100 Hints Your Child May Be Gifted

Is Identifying Your Child As Gifted Important?

The Difference Between Labeling And Pathologizing A Gifted Child

To label a child means to identify them, in simplest terms. The salt and sugar in the cabinet each have a label that let you know what you’re working with, and a label for a child does the same thing. Pathologizing a child or a child’s behavior is akin to a diagnosis. Dismissing the wiggly kindergartner as having ADHD is pathologizing, whereas knowing that kindergartner is a wiggle worm is labeling.

Both have options for “treating” the behavior, be it medication or taking a short walk, but only one “blames” the behavior on a diagnosis or condition. 

Is Identifying Your Child As Gifted Important?

RLL Episode 115: Does My Gifted Child Really Need A Label?

 In this audioblog episode, Collen tackles this question and looks at the pros and cons of giving your gifted child the “label.”

 

Prefer to read the original post? You’ll find it here:

Does My Gifted Child Really Need a Label?

 

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know?Misdiagnosis 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 FeelingsParenting Gifted Children 101: An Introduction to Gifted Kids and Their NeedsBright Not Broken: Gifted Kids, ADHD, and AutismOn the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted ChildrenSuccess Strategies for Parenting Gifted Kids: Expert Advice From the National Association for Gifted ChildrenRaising 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 ChildrenParenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy and Successful Gifted ChildrenTeaching Gifted Children: Success Strategies for Teaching High-Ability Learners

 
 
 

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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Supporting The Social and Emotional Needs Of Gifted And Twice-Exceptional Kids

 
How do we best support the unique social and emotional needs of gifted and twice-exceptional kids? In today’s episode, Emily Kircher-Morris of The Neurodiversity Podcast joins Colleen to discuss the specific, intense needs of our neurodiverse children and how we can best help. 

The Unique Needs Of Neurodiverse Children

There are specific needs that are a part of a gifted and twice-exceptional child’s development that require a unique approach. These include:

  • The Distinctive Friendship Needs Of Gifted/2E Children
  • Existential Crisis And Gifted Children
  • Appropriate Discipline for Gifted and Twice-Exceptional Children
  • Screen Time and The Neurodiverse Child

Because these needs are more intense for gifted children, they require a more intense approach. We discuss each of these in more detail in today’s episode. 

Related: Giftedness and Intensity

Finding Mental Health Care For Gifted and Twice Exceptional Children

In order to best support the unique mental health needs of our gifted kiddos, it is important to do some research. 

You can start with a google search and asking other parents, but the very best way to ensure that a professional is right for your child is to interview them. In advance of any appointment with your child, I recommend you meet with the practitioner and ask questions like: 

  • What do you know about giftedness?
  • How do you help children who struggle with perfectionism?
  • What is your experience with twice-exceptional children?

You want to make sure that any mental health care your child receives is appropriate for not just their diagnoses, but their giftedness as well.

Related: What If Your Child’s Doctor Or Therapist Doesn’t Support Homeschooling?

For example, my guest, Emily Kircher-Morris, LPC, has dual Masters degrees in Counseling and Education, and specializes in the area of giftedness. She states, without question, that a professional must “view the mental health needs of children who are gifted through the lens of giftedness.”

 

Supporting The Social and Emotional Needs Of Gifted And Twice-Exceptional Kids with Emily Kircher-Morris

In today’s episode, Colleen discuses the unique needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children with Emily Kircher-Morris of The Neurodiversity Podcast. 

 

Emily Kircher-Morris, LPC has dual Masters degrees in Counseling and Education. She began her career as a teacher in the St. Louis, MO metro area. With a Masters in Education and gifted certification, and armed with her own experiences as a gifted student, she took an interest in helping her districts better serve their gifted student population. She helped develop curriculum and a learning environment that allowed students to learn at their own unique pace, building on each child’s strengths.

She decided to commit herself to the deeper needs of the gifted community by getting a Masters degree in Counseling from the University of Missouri/St. Louis. In 2011, she opened a private practice, Unlimited Potential Counseling and Education Center, in the western St. Louis suburb of O’Fallon, MO. The practice specializes in gifted and family counseling, group counseling, testing, and education services. 

She’s a soon-to-be-published author, and the mother of three gifted children of her own.

Emily has two books scheduled for release in 2021.

Raising Twice-Exceptional Children: A Handbook for Parents of Neurodivergent Gifted KidsTeaching Twice-Exceptional Learners in Today’s Classroom (Free Spirit Professional™)

 

Teaching Twice-Exceptional Learners in Today’s Classroom (Free Spirit Publishing, August 24 2021)

Twice-exceptional (2e) learners have often been misunderstood, disciplined, unchallenged, and left behind. Even as awareness of 2e learners has grown, educators are still in need of practical tools to recognize and support their twice-exceptional students. This book answers that need, providing teachers with accessible information about twice-exceptional diagnoses and suggested accommodations, modifications, and collaboration with other educational professionals.

Raising Twice-Exceptional Children: A Handbook for Parents of Neurodivergent Gifted Kids (Prufrock Publishing, November 1 2021)

Just because a child is gifted doesn’t mean they don’t have other types of neurodivergence, like ADHD, autism, dyslexia, and more. Conversely, even children with one of these diagnoses can be cognitively gifted. Raising Twice-Exceptional Children provides parents with a roadmap to understand the complex makeup of their “gifted-plus,” or twice-exceptional, child or teen.

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

Raising Twice-Exceptional Children: A Handbook for Parents of Neurodivergent Gifted KidsTeaching Twice-Exceptional Learners in Today’s Classroom (Free Spirit Professional™)Understanding the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted StudentsThe Underachieving Gifted Child: Recognizing, Understanding, and Reversing UnderachievementTwice-Exceptional Gifted Children: Understanding, Teaching, And Counseling Gifted StudentsEmotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive FeelingsUnderstanding Twice-Exceptional Learners: Connecting Research to PracticeEmpowering Underrepresented Gifted Students: Perspectives from the Field (Free Spirit Professional™)Raising a Gifted Child: A Parenting Success Handbook

 
 
 

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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.

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 If Your Child’s Doctor Or Therapist Doesn’t Support Homeschooling?

 
In this bonus episode, Colleen and Shawna answer a homeschooling mom’s question about doctors, therapists, and homeschooling. What do we do when doctors don’t support our decision to homeschool? How can we prepare for therapist visits and doctor appointments? When is it time to switch to a more homeschool friendly doctor?

What If Your Child's Doctor Or Therapist Doesn't Support Homeschooling?

Because this is a five week month, we are digging into a question that we are both frequently asked by homeschooling moms (particularly those who are homeschooling gifted and 2E children).

“Laura asks, How do you share homeschooling as a priority when you are dealing with doctors and therapists?”

This is something most of us will have to deal with at some point in our homeschooling journey, particularly if our children have learning differences. Let’s start with the basics.

Is It Possible To Homeschool A Child Who Needs Therapies And Interventions?

Not only is it possible to homeschool a child in need of therapies and medical interventions, in many cases, it is preferable. 

First off, It is legal to homeschool children with special needs in all 50 states. You have the same right to homeschool a child with differences as you do any other child.

When a child is in need of speech therapy, occupational therapy, educational therapy, and/or intense medical interventions, homeschooling provides a supportive and individualized atmosphere. Our children can learn at their own pace and do so in an environment that more closely aligns to their needs. 

What If Your Child's Doctor Or Therapist Doesn't Support Homeschooling?

How Do I Interact With Doctors And Therapists Who May Not Support My Decision To Homeschool?

There are a few things to keep in mind if it’s clear that your doctor or therapist doesn’t support your decision to homeschool.  This is a quick outline of what we share in the episode.

    • Prepare yourself to respond in a way that positions you as the “educator of your child” and not “just” the mom (Shawna walks you through a sample conversion in the episode).
    • Know that doctors are supposed to ask about school. That’s true for non-homeschoolers too. Try not to feel threatened by the questioning. 
    • You Don’t Have To Share All The Things. In fact, we recommend you come prepared to speak to one or two issues only. 
    • Sometimes, you may have to change doctors. It’s better to do it when you know it’s not working than to wait, and hope it will get better.

Incorporate Therapeutic Activities Into Your Homeschool 

The truth is, homeschooling can give your child a therapeutic advantage as well. Because you are able to individualize your approach and are with your child most of the time, therapies can be done almost seamlessly as part of your homeschool day

For example, these are just a few of our favorite sensory activities to use at home.

pelpo 40Fidget Toys - Super Sensory Textured Stretchy Strings - 6 PackLITTLE CHUBBY ONE Kids Velvet Play Sand Dino Egg Set - Toy Magic Sand Set - Includes 12 Eggs with Sand Plus Dinosaur Surprise Sensory Toy for Girls and Boys Age 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10NALANDA Wobble Balance Board, Core Trainer for Balance Training and Exercising, Healthy Material Non-Skid TPE Bump Surface, Stability Board for Kids and AdultsSticky Balls - Fidget Pack of 8 - Squishy Glow in The Dark Sensory Ball Stress Toys - Sticks to Ceiling and Wall - Stress Relief Gifts, Party Supplies, Anxiety Relief Items for Kids and AdultsTrideer Newest Exercise Ball, Yoga Ball for Home Gym & Desk Chair - Fitness, Yoga & Physical Therapy, with Quick Pump [ Sweet Series, 55cm & 65 cm ] (ice Cream, 65cm)

 

Planning And Preparing For Your Next Appointment

In order to help you feel more comfortable heading into your next doctor’s appointment of therapy session, I’ve created a little cheat sheet to help you organize your thoughts and make the most out of your visit.

Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast Episode 112: Working With Your Child’s Doctors and Therapists

What If Your Child's Doctor Or Therapist Doesn't Support Homeschooling?

For a much more comprehensive answer to this question, please join us in today’s podcast discussion. 

 

Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

The Everything Parent's Guide To Sensory Processing Disorder: The Information and Treatment Options You Need to Help Your Child with SPDHomeschooling Your Child With Special Needs: Practical Support And Encouragement For Learning With DifferencesSelf Regulation and Mindfulness Activities for Sensory Processing Disorder: Creative Strategies to Help Children Focus and Remain CalmRaising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Processing Issues, Revised and Updated EditionHandbook of Evidence-Based Interventions for Children and AdolescentsSensory Processing Disorder Answer Book: Practical Answers to the Top 250 Questions Parents Ask (Special Needs Parenting Answer Book)Rhythms of Relating in Children's TherapiesHandbook of Evidence-Based Therapies for Children and Adolescents: Bridging Science and Practice (Issues in Clinical Child Psychology)Healing Child and Family Trauma through Expressive and Play Therapies: Art, Nature, Storytelling, Body & Mindfulness

 
 

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 Does A Gifted Homeschool Graduate Really Think About Homeschooling?


Have you ever wanted to ask a homeschool graduate what they thought about their homeschool experience? Are you curious about what an adult life after homeschool looks like? I get all the answers from Samantha Shank, a brilliant homeschool graduate, highly successful business owner, and highly gifted, eclectic learner. 
 

What Does A Gifted Homeschool Graduate Really Think About Homeschooling?

I absolutely adored my conversation with Samantha Shank, from Learn in Color. Not only is she a homeschool graduate, she is also an obviously gifted, eclectic thinker, whose enthusiasm for learning is contagious.

These are some highlights from our time together.

Related: Interest-Led Homeschooling And Your Gifted Child

What Does A Gifted Homeschool Graduate Really Think About Homeschooling?

The Most Important Things Parents Can Do For Their Homeschooled Children

As a homeschool graduate, who graduated from high school and college early, Samantha believes the most important thing her parents did for her education was simply this – 

“They let me learn.”

Sam’s experience and ultimate success, is one of the reasons I feel so strongly that interest-led, child-directed learning produces the very best outcomes for gifted learners. For a example, her passion for World War Two was the flickering flame that launched an entire business. 

Other experiences that Samantha remembers as essential to her homeschool education were:

  • Weekly Library Trips
  • Encouraging Outside Groups and Connections (I think Samantha is going to be Miss America someday!)
  • Her parent’s encouraging her to try new things, knowing that not everything would be a fit
  • Helping her learn to fail in a safe and supportive environment

What Does A Gifted Homeschool Graduate Really Think About Homeschooling?

Homeschooling High School, College, and Beyond

One of the most encouraging topics we covered was Samantha’s homeschool experience through high school and college. It’s clear that her passion for learning fueled not only her studies and interests, but her ability to build a flourishing business.

She attributes much of this success to her parent’s decision to homeschool her, specifically in an interest-led eclectic way.

Samantha is also quite encouraging for those of us who worry about our kids not fitting in or struggling to establish friendships. Her advice for our kids?

Do you. It may not happen in your city or your area, but eventually, you will find your people who share your interests. Find your group of friends in your own nontraditional way. You don’t have to sacrifice your core personality for friendship.

Samantha Shank, Learn in Color

What Does A Gifted Homeschool Graduate Really Think About Homeschooling?

If you are homeschooling a gifted learner, I think you will not only enjoy Sam’s episode, but find so much inspiration and encouragement!

Samantha Shank, Learn in Color

The Raising Lifelong Leaners Podcast, Episode 111: A Conversation With Homeschool Graduate Turned Business Owner, Samantha Shank

 
 

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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A Quick Guide To Homeschooling High School For Gifted Children

 
Homeschooling high school, particularly when your child is gifted and twice-exceptional, has its own unique set of challenges and rewards. This quick guide provides encouragement, practical tips, and real examples you won’t want to miss!

homeschooling high school

 

A Guide To Homeschooling High School For Gifted Children

One of the very first questions I’m asked about homeschooling high school is, “What do I do about course credit and transcripts?”

It is always a top concern, especially for parents who graduated in a more traditional high school setting. The good news is, this is actually one of the easiest things to tackle, when you have the right resources!

homeschooling high school

 

Resources For Creating Homeschool Transcripts

Homeschooling High School By Design E-course

How To Create A Transcript As Relaxed Homeschoolers

Getting Started With High School Course Descriptions and Credits

homeschooling high school

 

What’s The Most Important Part Of Homeschooling High School For Gifted Children?

Once you feel comfortable with the paperwork associated with homeschooling high school, it’s easier to focus on the very best and most important parts of homeschooling high school. 

Homeschooling high school is really more about helping your child learn, than it is teaching all the things. Most homeschool moms of high schoolers will tell you that their role as homeschool mom changed considerably over the course of the high school years. 

Shared Responsibility And Planning

One natural change is the level of involvement your child should have over their own high school plan. Sharing responsibility for the learning itself, as well as the planning associated with it (including curriculum selection, etc.) gradually changes for most families. The shift in my own life went from me being almost entirely responsible in my son’s freshman year, to him being almost entirely responsible in his senior year. 

Mentor vs. Teacher

Part of this shift includes a change in our overall roles as homeschool moms. 

As the high school years pass, expect to find your role in your child’s learning changing from “teacher” to “mentor.” This can be disconcerting at first, but the truth is, it can also bring so much more joy and accomplishment to both mentor and learner.

Materials, Time, And Resources 

I absolutely love this quote from my friend and expert high school homeschooler, Heather. 

homeschooling high school

It’s a great summary of what our kids really need from us as they progress through high school. They tell us what they need in order to learn, and we get it for them!

Why The Learner’s Lab Is So Helpful For Gifted And 2E High Schoolers…

The Learner's Lab

You Don’t Have To Homeschool High School Alone

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. 

Interaction with Other High Schoolers

One element of The Learner’s Lab that has been the most impactful for high school learners is the monthly live sessions with other teens. I have been so pleasantly surprised to see the level of interaction, interest, and engagement with our high schoolers. A few have even become good friends in life outside the platform!

Social and Emotional Learning Balances Academic Learning

This community was created to support children who are gifted and twice exceptional. We cover social and emotional learning as a support to academics,  all year long, in a way that is educational and fun for teens. They learn skills to help them succeed, and you learn how to help them along the way. 

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

Homeschooling High School: A Conversation With Heather Woodie

I think that one of the very best ways to learn about homeschooling any age group, is to ask another homeschool mom who has already navigated it. I was so lucky to be able to do that this week for the high school years! You can find all the questions and answers, as well as so much encouragement in my latest episode of the Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast, Episode 109: A Conversation with Heather Woodie.

homeschooling high school

 
 

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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Why Self-Care Is Important For Our Children Too

 
Self-care has become an increasingly popular topic in recent years, and for good reason. As parents, we simply must take care of ourselves in order to take care of our children. But what about our kids, especially those who are gifted and twice exceptional? How do we help them learn coping skills and emotional regulation? How do we help them identify what they need to take care of their own bodies and souls?

self-care for kids

 

Self-Care For Parents Of Gifted Children

I am not sure there is any doubt at this point, that self-care is a necessity in our lives as parents. (If I hear the “put your oxygen mask on first” analogy one more time, I may scream.)

The reality is that practical self-care often looks a lot different than how self-care is portrayed on social media. Add the complex set of issues associated with neurodiverse, gifted children, and self-care can often feel like an overwhelming, yet another-thing-to-do task.

The good news is, self-care is not always bubble baths and vacations. Most of the time, it’s small, practical, and intentional choices that help us maintain balance.

Here are some small, realistic examples of practical self-care for parents of gifted children.

  • Going on a walk
  • Listening to a podcast while doing the dishes
  • Reading a book
  • Going to bed early
  • Hiding in the closet and eating chocolate
  • Watching a show with your husband

Now, if we can just stop feeling guilty for  doing them!

self care is important for children too

 

Why Self-Care Is Important For Our Children Too

We have an opportunity to teach our children how to develop self-care and coping skills the same way we teach almost any other topic.

It’s worth it! These skills benefit our children in a variety of ways. Decreased anxiety, increased self-confidence, and more comfortable social interactions are just a few of the benefits of self-care for our children.

self care is important for children too

 

Helping Our Children Develop Self-Care Strategies

These are just a few suggestions for incorporating this type of learning into our everyday lives with our children. 

Modeling Self-Care Skills For Our Children

One of the best ways to help our children develop healthy self-care habits, is to model them. 

This means being intentional about how we employ our own self-care and being overt in bringing their attention to it. For example, saying “I am feeling a bit low today. I am going to take a walk in the sunshine,” is far more effective than any lecture about the benefits of the sun on our moods.

Have A Plan For Your Child’s Self-Care

Whether or not your child struggles with executive functioning, they will likely need you to help them develop a plan for their own self-care.

For years, I have helped my kids pack a bag filled with items and activities to help them feel calm and centered when we are out and about. Because I helped them create this plan initially, as they have gotten older, they’ve learned to do it on their own.

Self-Care Practice Makes Perfect

It takes time for self-care and overall coping skills to develop. Please know, none of us are immune to the frustration that comes from trying to help our child, only to see them continue to struggle.

As with all social and emotional skills, our children need time, often years, to begin to feel a sense of understanding and control. Consider it practice, not a failure, when your child is not able to employ even the most well thought out plan for self-care.

Given time and practice, self-care can become an essential component of our children’s lives. 

 

A Conversation with Colleen and Shawna All About Realistic, Real Life Self-Care

self-care for kids

 

Colleen and Shawna take this episode to talk through the practical realities associated with self-care for ourselves and for our children. (Don’t miss Colleen’s story about meeting her husband in the driveway and Shawna’s son thinking her doing the dishes is somehow self-care!)

self care

 

Links And Resources From Today’s Episode

         

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!