A gifted individual is a quick and clever thinker, who is able to deal with complex matters. Autonomous, curious and passionate. A sensitive and emotionally rich person, living intensely. He or she enjoys being creative. -definition of giftedness written by the Netherlands Study on Giftedness in Adults

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

There are so many people who make this journey we are on easier... I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you about those who have gone out of their way to lighten my load.

First and foremost is my husband. Even though in many ways he just doesn't get parts of our child's personality (those that come from my far-more-OE side of the family), he is a stellar support and an amazing parent. He makes learning fun - especially in history, maths, economics, and sciences, where he is able to turn the most frustrating lesson into an interesting story. He somehow, "instinctively" (read: when mommy starts throwing things and/or gives him "that look" and says she's running away) knows when I need a break and takes over. And all the while, he is there to wipe away the tears, give me hugs when I need them, make me laugh when I don't even feel like smiling, and loves me despite the insanity. Oh, and in his spare time, he "brings home the bacon."

Second is my RL friends - those who challenge me to take on a new role (thanks MaryEllen, I think - the homeschooling is great for the kidlet, but I still don't like it); and those who are there to lighten my load when needed. There are too many to mention, but I'd like to especially point out my neighbors (Roxanne, Anne, Doug) who are always ready to lend a helping hand - or two tablespoons of ginger when I need to bake but can't get to the store; Twila, for the offer to take the kidlet out to lunch, and the understanding in Sunday school; Clay for the support and pressure to be better tomorrow than I am today; and Hillary and Denise for being sympathetic ears. And all of my Facebook friends and blog followers who regularly encourage me and give me reasons to smile. 

Third is the professionals who are working together to help our family move in positive directions and who provide services for the kidlet. This year I am especially thankful for the opportunity provided to us by biology professor Emilie - because it opened my eyes a great deal about the issues we are facing with the kidlet (and we so enjoy hanging out with her family!). I'm thankful for the coaches, physicians, psychologists, and therapists who are part of our weekly routine, and who provide excellent care for the kidlet. I am thankful for the opportunity to participate in the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth , and the classes and events the kidlet can participate in to keep him engaged (he recently was asked if he liked math, and his answer was "YES!" - HOORAY!!!).

Also I would like to thank Mary St George of Gifted Online, for introducing me to the world of gifted education and all the resources that her Facebook group has opened up for me. To have such a group of individuals from around the world who are completely focused on the needs of gifted students and 2e students has been amazingly helpful and supportive. It has been so wonderful to have so many different perspectives, but yet a single focus and desire to see gifted students understood and given freedom to reach their potential. Also, I will include Deborah Mersino of Ingeniousus, and her leadership of Twitter #gtchat - what an amazing resource and so nice to find kindred spirits and tweet in real time! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Finally, I would like to thank my FOO. My parents, John and Sherrie, for their unfailing love, support and cheerleading; my brother, John C., for his cautious but carefully thought out guidance; and my sister, Kristen, for her encouragement in the face of frustration and self-doubt. 

For those and all of you - THANK YOU! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Another Trip to College

We took another trip to college today. Well, sorta. Our local state university has a top-ranked engineering program, and since the kidlet wants to study engineering, we thought he might enjoy a series of free engineering lectures put on by the alumni association and the engineering department. When I told him, he was excited. We haven't really studied any engineering. He's got all the sciences fairly well handled, at least on a basic level, but engineering is so far out of my personal intellectual framework that I don't feel at all confident that I can do an effective job. So the three of us - Daddy, Mommy, and Kidlet - bundled up in the car and headed out to our first engineering lecture. 

Is it safe to say, it was a success? 
DH and Kidlet listening to the lecture.

The lecture was on reducing the carbon footprint of the US military, (and it just so happens that the kidlet is currently working on creating a whole fleet of military vehicles - in his head, mind you). He was excited to see that Boeing is already working on some of his ideas. I'm imagining the "flights" of fancy he will take in the next week will involve biofuels, superconductors with flywheels, and combination fuel cells. 

In particular, it was great to have DH along to see the miraculous change that happens when the kidlet gets engaged in something. The nervous energy calms, the eyes lock in, the brain starts spinning. The same thing happened when kidlet and I went to a college biology class last spring. All the little annoying habits that made his elementary classrooms impossible for him, disappear when he is engaged in something interesting. We're working on transferring those skills to every situation, but for now it's helpful to see that it's possible.