What We’re Doing Now – Science 


Up until now, we have solely been using the science curriculum from Moving Beyond the Page. We have really liked it and Madison has learned a lot, but I also skipped some of the basics throughout, because it wasn’t the right season or because I didn’t think we needed to do it.

So I decided to go backwards a bit. I had heard rave reviews about R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey and I went ahead and purchased it.

A lot of the things in this curriculum were what I skipped along the way, but all were in one place, so it made it easier for me. We started out with Life Science. Since it is geared for kids in 1st -4th grade, we made it through the entire first book in a month, but it was worth it. I really liked the way it was laid out.

Madison learned about the human body, including skeletal and muscular, circulatory, respiratory, digestive and nervous systems and growth and genetics. Then she learned about the animal kingdoms of living things.

Madison enjoyed finding and observing snails, roly polys, and worms. She loved seeing how worms mixed up the layers of dirt and veggies in her compost jar and her favorite lesson was watching the life cycle of caterpillars become butterflies and letting them go free.



We also learned about the plant kingdom as well. And just in time for a homeschool day at the Dallas Arboretum.


Before we move on to Earth Science, we are currently digging deeper into animal classification with a lesson plan from Mensa Youth.

Going forward, we will be using a mix of R.E.A.L. Science, Science from Moving Beyond the Page and kits I have purchased separately.

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DFW Speech and Debate 

Madison took a summer camp through DFW Speech and Debate last year and loved it. This past Spring she decided she wanted to join the DWF Speech and Debate Club. To join, you needed to have participated in a summer camp and had to be 8 years or older and she qualified for both requirements.

The experience she gained from participating was mind blowing. Madison wrote, memorized and prepared an Informative Speech, an Open Interpretation Speech and practiced how to give Impromptu speeches.

She learned about speech content and organization, vocal delivery, physical delivery and overall presentation and effective communication skills.

Madison not only learned speaking skills, she learned life skills.

She worked hard. She spent a lot of time writing and rewriting her speeches. She practiced for hours. They had a ‘mock tournament’ to help prepare the students for the upcoming tournament. Madison had an amazing coach. He really made a great impression on her and motivated her. She learned so many things from him.

This past weekend was the final tournament. It was from 7am – 7pm. Madison competed in the first two rounds and then advanced to finals. She placed 2nd for Jr. Open Interpretation. She was so excited and so proud!! As were we.

I will be honest, with the amount of time and work that went into this and the fact she’s only 8, I was planning on taking a year or two off before we did speech and debate again. Plus, I had already signed her up for the speech camp this summer.

But, Madison really wants to participate again in the Fall. She absolutely loves it and with the skills she is learning that will benefit her for the rest of her life, how could I ever say no?

Along with that, she has found her ‘tribe.’ The people she fits in with. During the tournament the kids were all so supportive of each other. The coaches and everyone who volunteered their time to run the event were so supportive of each other. It was like being a part of one big family. It was an amazing experience and a reflection of how this club operates and inspires all of the youth who are a part of it.

I know next year will require a lot of work and it will probably be a bit easier since it won’t be Madison’s first time, but it will be worth every minute!

American Heritage Girls Awards Ceremony 


Through American Heritage Girls, Madison has officially bridged from a Tenderheart to an Explorer. She earned many badges and her Sacagewa Level Award. 

American Heritage Girls has had such a wonderful impact on Madison and our family. She has has grown and learned and experienced character training, service, faith and love. We are looking forward to next year! 

Colorado – A Vacation to Remember 


Last month we decided to switch things up a bit and take a quick vacation to Colorado Springs, CO. It is my birthplace and I loved going back to visit when I as a child, so we decided to take advantage of the off season and a spectacular airfare deal. It was ironic that the last day we were there, it was actually my birthday. It made it a very special trip.

Madison was able to experience some amazing sights while we were there. Our most favorite is Garden of the Gods. We spent the majority of our trip there. They also have an amazing Junior Rangers Badge program. I highly recommend it! You can purchase the booklet in their gift store, complete it, and turn it in to receive a special badge and become an official Garden of the Gods Junior Ranger. It is super cool!


Madison was being sworn in as an official Junior Ranger. Jennifer was the BEST and made it an important and memorable experience for Madison.

Madison with her Junior Ranger Patch and Certificate.


Madison also got to go horseback riding through the Garden of the Gods. I highly recommend Academy Riding Stables. The experience was amazing!


Madison also loved sifting the buckets of sand for rocks and minerals at The Garden of the Gods Trading Post !


During our trip we visited the Manitou Cliff Dwellings.



And we explored the Cave of the Winds. Naomi was the best tour guide and Madison loved her! She answered all of Madison’s questions along the way. Madison also loved the Bat-A-Pult and the Wind Walker Challenge Course!


Click play to watch the video!


We did go to Seven Falls, but unfortunately it is not the same since the Broadmore purchased it. They decided to close early without telling anyone prior and only lit the falls at night on Saturday and Sunday, even though it is not posted anywhere on their website.


When I visited Colorado Springs as a child, I remembered eating at a really good German restaurant. I confirmed with my dad that it indeed was Edelweiss. I knew that while we were visiting that we had to stop and eat there. I am so glad we did. You know that when you remember a restaurant that you hadn’t talked about for over 25 years, it’s has to be good. And it was SO good. The salad reminded me of my grandmas with the cucumbers, potatoes and beets, green beans and tomatoes. It was memorable and I won’t wait another 25 years to back again!!! Madison loved the atmosphere and had Jeff take pictures of her through the restaurant! This is a must stop if you are in the area!



We had am unforgettable trip to Colorado Springs, one that we will never forget!


Underachievement and the Gifted Child

Madison is an over achiever. She has made life easy. I say easy, but I will also say it’s exhausting to keep up.

I blog about her the most, because she’s the only one I have at home.

But I also l know what it’s like to have an introverted underachiever. It’s easier, but for the parent, not for the child.

I wish I had known what I know now and if I had, I would recommend researching imposter syndrome and would research underachievement in gifted children.

Here is an excellent article:

http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10442.aspx

The Curse of Giftedness 


What happens when you aren’t educated on giftedness and do not even realize there is such a thing? When you end up having one child on top of the world and a another in the clouds? 

When after becoming educated, you realize how much you failed…and you are somewhat succeeding after learning, but have major guilt for not knowing and failing to begin with?

You do your best from the point you learned and go forward. And you advocate. In the best way you can. Even though it is so hard when you can see into the ‘future’ and yet you don’t know if the current path you are taking is the right one.

You learn. You learn as much as you can from others that are in the same place as you are, even if they don’t fully realize it. And you learn how to step outside your comfort zone. You always learn. Because when you stop, when you follow the manuals of advice for the general masses, you mess up. And it’s not about you. It’s lifelong. It’s your children. It’s important. 

What Makes A Difference?

 

   
In think the majority of gifted individuals struggle with how they really can make a difference in their daily lives.

We all have our boundaries, but we still have that burning need within us and our children to make a difference. 

How do we balance our needs with our children’s needs without taking away from them?

How do we realistically support our gifted children and their dreams while trying to feel as though we are achieving something, if anything of our own?

What is enough to find a purpose without  being totally consumed by it? 

These questions are not rhetorical. They are honest questions. 

Any insight would be appreciated.