National Parenting Gifted Children Week is hosted by SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted).
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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 Advocacy for the gifted, Awesome children, Children's Books, Developing a child's curiosity, Early identification of giftedness, Early Learning, Early reading leads to later success, Gifted and Talented Children, Grandma Says It's Good to Be Smart, Grandma says it's good to be creative, Grandma Says It's Good to Be Curious, Grandma says it's good to read, Growing up smart, It's Good to Be Smart, Learning by doing, National Parenting Gifted Children Week, Natural learning, Parenting for academic success, Parenting for adulthood, Passion in teaching and learning, Picture books, Role models, Serious learning, smart child, Smart is cool, Special Book Offer, The chance to learn, Young Children
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
Eric Heidin, Olympic skater and gold-medalist, once remarked that it all began because someone gave him some skates. This is an apt metaphor for advocacy. Someone must provide the skates. But Eric received more than that. Advocacy for him meant also receiving an arena, a coach, time for practice, competition, guidance, caring when he struggled and lost, and pride when he achieved and won. It means the same for all children with talents, whatever the field of endeavor. They must be given the materials and the tools for learning. They need someone who can feed their passions and guide them through the hard work and determination it takes to succeed. They need to stretch their limits and be respected for their goals and accomplishments. Advocacy for talent development is advocacy for excellence, whatever the domain. Advocacy for appropriate educational options is essential along every person’s road to success and happiness.
In the literature on talent development, Peggy Dettmer (1991, p. 170) presents stages of advocacy that she believes can help parents and teachers become more effective in bringing about educational change. Attention is the first stage, because if you are going to make a difference, you must first gain the attention of key people in whatever constituency you need to affect. After attention, the interest you’ve roused in the situation invites participation by those you need to assist you. Their concern for the students you’re trying to help should follow. Those who are concerned should be ready to get involved with your situation. As they grow in knowledge they should become more willing to make adjustments to the curriculum, policy, or program. This leads to their commitment and puts them in a position to provide encouragement for others to support your efforts. They will be able to help you promote an optimal match between learner characteristics and curriculum or program. Finally comes resolve to make the change successful, perseverance to see that this is accomplished, and progress toward realizing the educational goals you had in mind. Dettmer suggests that as your children go through school, you will need to cycle through the stages again and again at increasingly sophisticated levels.
These descriptors need not occur in any set order. You might or might not experience them as stages. Chances are your advocacy will require you to work at increasingly complex levels, but you might simply consider these helpful key words that inform your thoughts, feelings, and actions as you guide your child’s talent development.
“Grandma Says It’s Good to Be Smart” can help you to start advocating at the basic levels for your smart and talented children when they are preschoolers or in the early grades. In honor of National Gifted Education Week from July 17-23, I will offer a special sale of the book throughout July. See the Contact Ellie Books page of this blog for details.
Posted in Advocacy for the gifted, Children's Books, Creative Kids, Curiosity, Developing a child's curiosity, Early identification of giftedness, Early Learning, Early reading leads to later success, Gifted and Talented Children, Grandma Says It's Good to Be Smart, Growing up smart, It's Good to Be Smart, National Parenting Gifted Children Week, Natural learning, Picture books, Reading is cool, Showing versus hiding one's talents, Smart is cool, Special Book Offer, Young Children
Tagged academically minded, advacacy, ages 0-7, Buy now, children's picture books, grandparent alert, learning through exploration, life-long learning, National Parenting Gifted Children Week, parent alert, pre-k to 2nd grade learners, raising gifted children, raising smart children, 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
Several of you asked that I extend the offer of buy one, get half off the second Grandma Says It’s Good to Be Smart. For two reasons, I will continue that Grandparent’s Day special through September 30. First, it’s because you asked. Second, it’s because I care about learning and now, as school starts, is a great time to support it in a special way.
In July, David Brooks wrote a column in The New York Times regarding the value of books to disadvantaged children versus the advantages of participating in an Internet/games-based culture. Researchers from the University of Tennessee showed that children who read just 12 books over the summer did just as well upon the return to school as they would have had they attended summer school. Research from 27 countries showed that kids who grew up in homes with 500 or more books in them did better in school and stayed in school longer than children from families with fewer books. The final conclusion, though, was that the real debate was not books versus Internet, but how to build an Internet-based culture that would attract people to serious learning.
My concern is about serious learning. My concern is about giving positive reinforcement to children who engage in serious learning. To use a cliché, it takes a village to raise a child. Grandmas are key players in the village structure. For my “Start of the 2010-1011 School Year Special,” please still go to the “Contact Ellie Books” page for order details. And, buy one book for $10, with the second – for another child in the family or community – being just $5 through September 30.
"What if you were the lion in the zoo?"
Posted in Children's Books, Early Learning, Excellence in education, Grandma Says It's Good to Be Smart, Growing up smart, Serious learning, Special Book Offer, The chance to learn, Young Children
Tagged academically minded, ages 0-7, back-to-school book special, be smart, Buy now, children's picture books, grandparent alert, learning to read, life-long learning, parent alert, pre-k to 2nd grade learners, raising smart children, reading with your little one, serious learning, whimsical pictures attract children
In honor of Grandparent’s Day on Sunday, September 12, I have two special offerings. First, I will be reading and signing at the Oompa Toys store in Middleton between 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, the 11th. It will be great fun to see grandparents and their little ones on that occasion or to meet parents who might be getting the book as a gift to give Grandma on the next day.
Second, I am featuring a BLOG SPECIAL. For two weeks, from August 30-September 12, I am offering a “buy one copy of Grandma Says It’s Good to Be Smart, get a second copy for another grandchild or favorite little one, for one-half off.” Go to the Contact Ellie page of this website for the details.
Posted in Children's Books, Early Learning, Gifted and Talented Children, Grandma Says It's Good to Be Smart, picture book, Special Book Offer, The chance to learn
Tagged ages 0-7, be smart, Buy now, children's picture books, grandparent alert, Grandparent's Day Special, learning is fun, parent alert, pre-k to 2nd grade learners, raising smart children, reading with your little one, whimsical pictures attract children