National Parenting Gifted Children Week is hosted by SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted).
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Download SENG’s free NPGC Week ebook, The Joy and the Challenge: Parenting Gifted Children.
On June 24, The New York Times reviewed Alexandra Robbins’ “The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth,” in which she states that although adults are proudly admitting their earlier nerd status now that they have achieved success, “there have been surprisingly few trickle-down effects… bullying and exclusion are rampant” (in our schools). She elaborates, “many of the traits that correlate with ‘outsider’ status among high school students — originality, self-awareness, courage, resilience, integrity and passion — reveal themselves as assets later in life.”
The review is less than an endorsement of Robbins’ writing style or message, and I do not agree with the concept of overachievement, the topic and title of her previous book. However, as the reviewer – Jessica Bruder – points out, “None of this dampens the urgency of her broader message. Adults tell students that it gets better, that the world changes after school, that being ‘different’ will pay off sometime after graduation. But no one explains to them why.”
The article concludes that Robbins is “dead on: teenagers need to hear that adolescence ends. And more than that, they need to believe it.”
The point of “Grandma Says It’s Good to Be Smart” is that for many gifted kids, the teenage years are too late for this message. That is why they don’t believe it. Grandma says start telling them that it’s good/cool to be smart early on. Starting in infancy and toddlerhood, smart and gifted children need to feel good about their abilities and have that message reinforced every time an unfortunate incident of name-calling, bullying, or negative peer pressure to hide who they are and what they know occurs.
In honor of SENG’s National Parenting Gifted Children Week, I am offering a special price for “Grandma Says It’s Good to Be Smart.” Start your little ones on a path to believing in themselves and their talents at an early age. Go to the “Contact Ellie Books” page of www.allkindsofsmart.com for details on how to order.
Posted in Gifted and Talented Children, Grandma Says It's Good to Be Smart, Early Learning, Young Children, Children's Books, Growing up smart, It's Good to Be Smart, The chance to learn, Smart is cool, Passion in teaching and learning, Picture books, Awesome children, Early identification of giftedness, Parenting for academic success, Grandma says it's good to be creative, Grandma Says It's Good to Be Curious, Developing a child's curiosity, Special Book Offer, Role models, Serious learning, smart child, Grandma says it's good to read, Early reading leads to later success, Parenting for adulthood, Learning by doing, Natural learning, National Parenting Gifted Children Week, Advocacy for the gifted
Tagged ages 0-7, Buy now, children's picture books, grandparent alert, learning is fun, life-long learning, National Parenting Gifted Children Week, parent alert, passionate learners, pre-k to 2nd grade learners, raising smart children, reading with your little one, SENG, whimsical pictures attract children
Among the loves of our lives are our little ones, in my case my grandchildren. This special is for those of you who want to give the gift of talking, reading, and thinking to your grandchildren (or children) this Valentine’s Day. I will hold copies at a special price of $7.50 through Valentine’s Day. Let us “toss them the world” together.
Sorry, not much I can do about shipping – that remains the same. Contact me with your order per the instructions on the “Contact Ellie” page.
Happy February and Valentine’s Day.
Posted in Children's Books, Creative Kids, Developing a child's curiosity, Grandma Says It's Good to Be Smart, Grandma says it's good to be creative, Grandma Says It's Good to Be Curious, Growing up smart, It's Good to Be Smart, Modeling a love of reading, picture book, Smart is cool, Special Book Offer, Teaching smart kids, The chance to learn, Young Children
Tagged academically minded, ages 0-7, Buy now, caring about ideas, children's picture books, encouraging creativity, grandparent alert, learning is fun, life-long learning, parent alert, passionate learners, the gift of reading, Valentine's Special, whimsical pictures attract children
The holidays are getting in the way of my blogging, but not in the way of my book sales. I am thrilled to announce that I have only 12 books left from the second printing, for an initial distribution in the first year that will be the full 800 from two printings. First-come, first-serve for the few copies left!
Recently Harvard Business Review posted an article on its blog entitled, “The Three Threats to Creativity.” I was happy to see that their thinking aligns with mine, although the ramifications of their findings to our children and country are depressing, to say the least.
The ingredients of creativity discussed in this article are:
1. Smart people who think differently. The concern is that a narrow focus on basic subjects is not only endangering the acquisition of deep knowledge, but it is also limiting the development of creative or inventive thinking.
2. Passionate engagement. This article repeats what I have written before: dreaming, intrinsic motivation and love of learning and challenge are keys to success. The upshot is that workers today are more often expressing frustration than enjoyment in their positions.
3. A creative atmosphere. The researchers find that workplaces are reverting to assembly-line type atmospheres rather than promoting openness, collaboration, and exploration.
I can only keep hoping that our education system will catch up with the times. May all your children and grandchildren know the joys of dreaming, exploration, challenge, collaboration and life-long learning in the home, their schools, and eventually in the workplace.
Reading, discussing, questioning, and thinking with Grandma.
Posted in basic skills, Core elements of learning and being smart, Creative Kids, Developing a child's curiosity, Early Learning, Excellence in education, Grandma Says It's Good to Be Smart, Grandma says it's good to be creative, Growing up smart, It's Good to Be Smart, Modeling a love of reading, Passion for a field of learning, Passion in teaching and learning, school models, Serious learning, The chance to learn, Young Children
Tagged academically minded, be smart, becoming good at something difficult, caring about ideas, encouraging creativity, learning is fun, learning through exploration, life-long learning, passionate learners, passionate teachers, reading with your little one
On October 26, public radio had a story on the skills today’s babies will need to master in order to become successful adults. Learning to crawl, clap, walk, and talk, they reported, are a beginning, but technology has expanded/changed what must become the face of education.
I say expanded because we need to start with the appalling statistics that I mentioned in my post on September 27. I repeat: this year, out of 30 developed or industrialized nations, our children ranked 25th in math, 21st in science, and 11th in literacy. Needless to say, the basics have not changed – speaking, reading, mathematics, and science will continue to be the bottom line. And, in a global economy and mobile society, speaking and reading will require something we as Americans have never been required to master in the past – competency in multiple languages.
The story emphasized the importance of creative thinking and problem solving. With technological machinery now able to accomplish many of the tasks that people were required to do in the past, it is the creative, effective, and efficient use of those machines that is left to human endeavor. Interestingly, one of the age-old problems with gifted programs is that some students are removed for parts of the school week to participate in what are called pull-out programs. Often the focus of those programs has been creative problem solving. The problem? Thirty years ago, we as educators knew that creative problem solving should be taught to all children in the regular classroom. It’s no longer a case of “should be,” but rather a fact that these skills must be taught to all children if they are to be competitive in the future job market. Gifted children do need appropriate curriculum and instruction, but pull-out programs that give them a hint of the basics for a successful future while others are left in the dark is NOT it!
Yes, we must tackle the problems of the achievement gap – the unconscionable problems of inequity within the system. And, for all children, we must address the issues of quality. Society today is nothing like it was when I was born. The education of our children, however, has not changed, not expanded. Outdated practices and content do not add up to quality. The system must change.
Posted in Gifted and Talented Children, Grandma Says It's Good to Be Smart, Early Learning, Young Children, Creative Kids, Growing up smart, The chance to learn, Teaching smart kids, school models, Excellence in education, Core elements of learning and being smart, Parenting for academic success, Grandma says it's good to be creative, High expectations, Serious learning, Compliance with state standards, basic skills
Tagged academically minded, be smart, caring about ideas, creative problem-solving, creativity, encouraging creativity, life-long learning, parent alert, quality education, raising smart children, school models, skills for the future, smartness across diverse populations, systemic change
As our nation’s Supreme Court welcomes its newest confirmed member, Elena Kagan’s high school is in a turmoil over questions of diversity according to an article in The New York Times on August 4, 2010. Hunter College High School, for intellectually gifted students, has been ranked the top public high school in the country. Yet it has experienced a significant decline in numbers of black and Hispanic students served in recent years and debate over admissions policy has left a respected principal with no choice but to resign and faculty and students up in arms.
Justin Hudson was chosen by the faculty from among all the graduates of Hunter this year to be the commencement speaker. I read his speech in an attempt to better understand the emotion-laden situation. “I don’t deserve any of this…. We received an outstanding education at no charge based solely on our performance on a test we took when we were eleven years old. We received superior teachers and additional resources based on our status as ‘gifted,’ while kids who naturally need those resources much more than us wallowed in the mire of a broken system….”Justin told his classmates.
“We are playing God and we are losing,” he continued. “Hunter is perpetuating a system in which children who contain unbridled and untapped intellect and creativity are discarded like refuse. And we have the audacity to say they deserved it, because we are smarter than them. We have failed to inspire and uplift an entire generation of children. I am acutely aware of where I would be right now without (Hunter).
“I hope that I will use the tools that Hunter has given me as a means to provide opportunities to others … I hope that in the near future, (quality) education will not be a privilege for the few in this world.”
The problem is not Hunter High School, but the entire broken system to which Justin refers. When I was coordinator of gifted programs in the schools and later consultant for gifted programming at our state department of education, I stated that the ideal would be to eliminate my position. That could only happen if all students received a quality education. All children should be taught the skills of creativity in the regular classroom. All children should be able to learn as quickly and deeply as they are able. No child should be expected to wait for others to “catch up.” No child should be denied an opportunity based on ethnicity or economics. All children should graduate with the same curiosity and sparkle with which they started kindergarten.
My goal now for “Grandma Says It’s Good to Be Smart” is to get it into the hands of poor children through community centers, day care centers, and other community connections. At the same time, I am preparing to submit “Color Me Smart,” the story of children from diverse backgrounds who had doors of opportunity opened to them through WCATY, for publication. I need to reach a broader market. What I can do and what Justin can do are tips of the iceberg. It may seem like I can’t make a difference, but if I don’t try and you don’t try, what are the chances that “schooling” will improve? Wouldn’t it be nice to have children NOT hide their talents in school because they are proud to openly use and develop those talents? Will we ever be first in the world in education again?
Posted in Core elements of learning and being smart, Creative Kids, Diversity of giftedness, Excellence in education, Gifted and Talented Children, Grandma Says It's Good to Be Smart, Grandma says it's good to be creative, Growing up smart, It's Good to Be Smart, Optimal match, Picture books, Showing versus hiding one's talents, Smart is cool, Teaching smart kids, The chance to learn, Views of intelligence
Tagged academically minded, ages 0-7, be smart, caring about ideas, Diversity of giftedness, myths about intelligence, optimal match, smartness across diverse populations, turmoil at Hunter College High School, understanding kinds of smart