The Crazy Fun of November

I realize I am a bit behind on posts and need to catch up before the New Year! The holidays have been a whirlwind of fun! Madison is an extrovert and is always wanting to be on the go and be around people. I am in the middle where I enjoy being around people, but definately need my quiet alone time. I try to accommodate her the best I can and I am blessed to have my husband to help out with the ‘on the go’ part she needs. 🙂

At the beginning of November Madison enjoyed the Dallas Arts District. We started off at the Crow Collection. They have so many great activities for kids on the first Saturday of each month. They also have free face painting and Madison was thrilled to have hers done.

iphone pics and videos up to 7-17-2013 264She also enjoyed learning how to make Origami with Paper for Water. Paper for Water is a great organization and the girls that founded this organization have accomplished so many amazing things for such a wonderful cause. It’s worth checking out the link to find out the story behind this non-profit organization and becoming a fan of their Facebook Page to see their amazing accomplishments! They are a great example and inspiration to all children that show a dream or a goal can become a reality.

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We visited Sea Life for their Homeschool Day and learned a TON! They had educated speakers that gave talks on different ocean life throughout the day. We will definitely be back!

iphone pics and videos up to 7-17-2013 300We also attended Lego Land’s Homeschool Day as well. It is more commercialized and geared for younger children.

The Rainforest Cafe is located within the same mall as Sea Life and Lego Land so we enjoyed lunch and the atmosphere.

iphone pics and videos up to 7-17-2013 313Madison enjoyed performing her play for the parents in her Drama class at The Actors Conservatory. We look forward to the next session to begin in January.

iphone pics and videos up to 7-17-2013 314Madison LOVES her art class at the ArtHouse. I cannot say enough good things about her teacher and the valuable lessons she is learning.

iphone pics and videos up to 7-17-2013 280The Mensa Youth Group of North Texas hosted an event at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth Texas. Madison really enjoyed sketching one of the pieces of art in the gallery.

iphone pics and videos up to 7-17-2013Before Thanksgiving Madison enjoyed going to a High School Robotics Competition. She was intrigued by all the different entries and had a really good time going to the booths and experiencing all of the hands on demonstrations. Madison was especially excited to see Homeschoolers at this State High School Competition. They were very successful! iphone pics and videos up to 7-17-2013 017 iphone pics and videos up to 7-17-2013 019For Thanksgiving we traveled to Kansas City, KS. It was perfect timing since we were finishing up our Moving Beyond the Page Tornado Unit and were getting ready to begin our Sarah Plain and Tall Unit. We learned about Renewable energy before our trip and saw many wind turbines as we drove through Kansas. Madison was able to understand what the Prairie looked like as we drove through it. There are lots of fun things to do in Kansas City! The night we arrived we had dinner at the T-Rex restaurant. iphone pics and videos up to 7-17-2013 133We also enjoyed Kaleidoscope. I attended Kaleidoscope as a child as well as my older daughter and it was great to experience it again with Madison. From Kaleidoscope’s website: Kaleidoscope nourishes the creative spirit. It is a place where children are invited to be creative, have fun, and feel good about their own special ideas. Provided by Hallmark Cards, Kaleidoscope is FREE! At Kaleidoscope, children use their imaginations to make art with left-over materials from Hallmark’s manufacturing processes. Some materials are cut into shapes, while others are left just as Hallmark sends them.  And Hallmark provides different materials so the projects are ever-changing! This is a MUST to go to if you are ever in the KC area!

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Madison makes her own puzzle and then cranks the machine to complete it!
Glow in the dark painting with melted crayon is magical!
Glow in the dark painting with melted crayon is magical!
So many different open ended options to create!
So many different open ended options to create!
And one cannot forget to go watch a bow be made right in front of your eyes for you to keep with a touch of a button at the Hallmark Visitors Center next door.
And one cannot forget to go watch a bow be made right in front of your eyes for you to keep with a touch of a button at the Hallmark Visitors Center next door.

Nothing beats BBQ at Jack Stack! iphone pics and videos up to 7-17-2013 195Madison worked very hard to complete Second Grade before the end of November and her reward was a party, so she chose to go to Power Play when we were KC.

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She enjoyed Go Karting
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Tilt a Whirl with her sister
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Climbing a moving and leaning rock wall
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Skee Ball
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And Dance Dance Revolution

Family Games are Madison’s favorite. Even Solitaire Chess! 🙂 iphone pics and videos up to 7-17-2013 141  iphone pics and videos up to 7-17-2013 159 iphone pics and videos up to 7-17-2013 201 Madison was elated to feed the horses in her sister’s backyard when we dropped her off at college on our way home. iphone pics and videos up to 7-17-2013 205 When Madison arrived home, she was surprised by the arrival of her Elves. She proceeded to wake up at 5am every morning thereafter to find them. :/ iphone pics and videos up to 7-17-2013 206We enjoyed having a lot of fun in November. The first part of December was a bit more calm and we were able to utilize that time to really move forward with our schoolwork. Work Hard. Play Hard.

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Asynchronism: The Gifted Child Flipping a Switch

I think the hardest part of raising and teaching a highly gifted child is asynchronism. One moment she’s so mature and talking as if she is 20 and the very next second she is clapping and dancing around as if she was 3. I have found for me that it is very hard to immediately ‘flip that switch’ with her and I find myself thinking, whoa, where did that come from? Why are you acting like that? But….I have realized she only does it because she feels safe to. Because it’s who she is and I am grateful that she can be childlike and happy.

In regard to my last post, it is very hard to trust her 100% in knowing what she wants in life and what is best for her when I see the switches in her maturity, but I am constantly reminded that I need to because she is so confident and happy with the path she has chosen. And it is working. Not to say we don’t have our off days, but I remember the majority of days last year were really bad and off days this year doesn’t even compare.

We we went to an event yesterday evening at her public school. I was worried she’d be upset because she would miss going to school there. The event was inside the building and she hasn’t been in the building since last year. I expressed this concern as we were walking over and she laughed at me and said, “Why would I miss it?  I love homeschooling.”

She was the one who begged me to homeschool her. I was the hesitant one. It’s my preconceived notion she would miss it. Not her. She’s good. Really good. As a parent, I feel guilty that she has to reassure me. Sure she misses recess. Yes it does really bother me that in other states homeschooling children can attend specials classes and be counted for enrollment in the schools which is a win/win for both and we don’t have that option in Texas. But I can either choose to see the negatives and be unhappy or be like Madison and be super happy that she can move up an entire grade in 3 months, take time to go in depth on things she wants to learn and have so many fun, hands on learning experiences that she wouldn’t trade it for the world. She has the time and the freedom to be creative and to really enjoy learning. She sees the ‘big picture’ and that what she’s doing now will benefit her in the long run.

We started a new unit for Language Arts. One of the activities was to draw a picture of yourself portraying your life and to give it a title. She came to me and said I drew myself as a doctor because I know that’s what I’m going to be for sure. I told her she could do whatever she wants, it’s her project. I know most can’t understand a child expressing this without believing a parent ‘pushed’ a child to think this way, but I promise you, this is her own outlook. I told her when we started homeschooling that she had two choices because we could do this two ways….she could do it slow and at the same pace as everyone else and have a ton of free time or she could work really hard during school time and move levels as fast as she wanted to and end up going to college early. I explained that in the future she could do high school courses as dual credit at a community college and not have to do the same general courses twice. She could choose the pace she wanted to for homeschooling. Either way she spends about 4 hours doing formal learning. It’s just depends how hard to wants to work during those hours that determines how far she succeeds.

I gave her the choice because I have researched and have found that sometimes gifted children get frustrated and give up. If they can’t focus on their specific area of interest then they are not interested at all. I explained to her that she has to learn the foundation of education to be able to move on to the specific area of interests that she wants to. She was able to understand all of this. She works really hard even on the things she doesn’t enjoy or find fun. We take extra time for the things she does find fun because she enjoys them. We are able to learn other fun things that aren’t ‘objectives’. She also does art, drama, basketball, lego robotics, etc.

Most importantly she gets to be a kid and be herself. And I adjust to her. And I learn to trust her. And I am so very proud of who she is. Asynchrony and all. I am amazed by her confidence, innocence of not caring what the world thinks, her ability to be herself and to be happy. She is a reminder everyday of what I strive to become. I have 100% faith in her even though it is not the norm to let a young child lead.

Here is an example of how she enjoys being who she is. It is dark, so it’s hard to see her, but she’s jamming out to the music with the lights in her own interpretive dance. 🙂 And I love that she can just break out dancing in her own way with other people around and enjoy herself. I hope she never looses this ability.

 

 

A Whole New Outlook on Parenting a Highly Gifted Child

Parenting Madison brings a whole new definition to parenting. I am very grateful she is my child. I am envious of the outlook she has on life. If I had the insight she does or have had the trust that I have in her….

As a parent, our instinct is to protect our children. And tonight I realized that is not what my role as a parent is with Madison. It is to trust. 100%.

Riaisng a gifted asynchronist child is the most difficult thing I have ever done and most of the time it feels impossible, because it goes against everything one knows. To be able to trust a highly gifted 7 year old with the emotional capacity of a 4 year old at times is a roller coaster ride, to say the least.

But to watch her and listen to her in certain social situations, I realize that my preconceived notions are invalid. And it blows my mind.

So from learning day by day and from learning that ‘seeing is believing’ I will say, I have learned to trust my child 100%. And I am proud that I learn from her and the patience she has for me.

From this day forward I promise to never ‘purposely down’ how amazing she is or diminish her abilities and realize how lucky I am to be her mom.

Madison teaches ME every day and from this day forward I will embrace every moment without doubt. God bless her wisdom and ability to think like an adult and to be genuine while being 7 all at the same time. She does much better than I do and even though I get annoyed with her lack of maturity at times, I am envious of her maturity when it matters. God bless her.