An Amazing Video on Giftedness

Today Hoagies Gifted Education Page shared a video on their Facebook page from The Daimon Institute for the Highly Gifted

It is the most articulate description of giftedness that I have come across to date. 

It is definitely worth watching! 

Click HERE to watch. 

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Madison’s American Heritage Girls Level Award

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American Heritage Girls is a national character development organization for girls that embraces Christian values and encourages family involvement. Madison is very proud to be part of such a wonderful organization.

Madison is a Tenderheart this year and will bridge to become an Explorer next year. This year she has the opportunity to earn a level award before she moves up. The level award for a Tenderheart is the  Sacagawea award. One of the requirements is to present a poster of what she loves most about AHG.

Here is her video. Thank you for taking a moment to watch it and supporting her efforts to earn this award.

Why Madison Loves AHG

Homeschooling in 2016

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Every year brings a new beginning.

This year brings more flexibility. Madison has her own goals set and those are enough to fill our days in itself.

She still needs the basics though. We will continue with Nessy.com. It has been such a blessing. Madison loves to do it because she knows it works for her.

We are also doing Moving Beyond the Page 9-11. We are not going to do them all, but just the ones I feel we need to do and then we will move on to the 10-12. We will definitely be doing all of that level. I will be doing a separate post on our latest unit.

After trying several different Math curriculums, we are now using Teaching Texbooks 7. Madison is on lesson 4 and loves it so far. My fingers are crossed.

Madison is close to mastering her division facts in xtramath.org. In the next month or so she will be able to say she has mastered all of her math facts.

She is on lesson 17 in Wordly Wise 3000 book 4. I love Wordly Wise, because not only does it focus on vocabulary, but it incorporates grammar and usage as well. We are now using the online version and it is great!

We are continuing to use EPGY. I have seen how she applies what she has learned with this program when she writes.

And to be honest, we are using Michael Clay Thompson as well. A little overkill on grammar and English, but I really think it will pay off in the end. We do this a couple of times a week.

I plan on incorporating Brave Writer into our curriculum once we are done with Nessy and XtraMath.

We have also begun learning Latin with Latin for Children. We are taking this very slowly since we are already doing a lot. Madison has an interest in learning Latin and is enjoying it, so it’s not a burden.

We did Handwriting Without Tears third grade cursive again this year. She is close to finishing the book and I am hopeful she will actually write in cursive when it is complete. This year has gone much easier than it did last year.

So that is an overview of what we are doing now. As always, it is always changing to best suit Madison’s needs.

The Gift of Goals and Enjoying Learning 

In the past year and half, Madison has Come a long way and has most recently learned to drive her learning in a whole new way…by setting goals.

She started off with long term goals and now she has evolved into short term goals as well.

Madison was thrilled when a Speech and Debate tournament opened up in our area for her age. She had completed the requirement of attending a summer camp and was ready to move forward. It is an excellent experience for her. It is also very time consuming. It is a program for public and private school students and honestly, I do not know how they do it on top of a full school day. 🙂 Regardless, Madison is enthusiastic and looks forward to working on her homework for this club everyday. She will compete in May with an informative, interpretive and an impromptu speech. She is not focused on the outcome of this tournament, just the experience of it and she is enjoying every minute.

We decided the best way to approach her speech writing was to use Dragon Speak. It has been a lifesaver for the both of us. She can say exactly what she wants to and write everything all on her own. She loves it.

This year is Madison’s last year as a Tenderheart in American Heritage Girls. Before she bridges up to become an Explorer, she has set a goal to complete 30 badges and 1 pin before the end of the year as well as earning her level award. Many of these badges meet the requirements of her interests that she is already pursuing and many are new that she wants to learn more about. Her enthusiasm to do this blows my mind. I am extremely proud of her and at the same time I am overwhelmed by how to fit it all on schedule wise. She’s determined, so I’ll just have to get over it and figure it out. 🙂


Sewing and knitting are other skills Madison has recently become interested in learning. It is a bonus that they also meet the requirements for American Heritage Girl Badges as well. My mother is an experienced seamstress and is very good at knitting and crocheting. Unfortunately she lives too far away to be able to teach Madison, so we signed up for classes at Jo-Ann fabric. Madison learned how to sew a pillow made of fleece and is continuing to work on it at home. She has 16 hearts she cut out that she is sewing on before making the actual pillow. She works on this project everyday. The knitting class is coming up soon and I can only hope it will go as well as the sewing class did. She is also working on weaving with the weaving loom she received for Christmas and she continues to work on a latch hook project as well. She loves them all and does them on her own everyday.

Madison has taken an interest in roller skating with the goal of taking lessons to gain the skills she needs to join a dance roller skating performance class. That is another recent goal she has set.

We have found a new balance between homeschooling and field trips and events. I will share those in an upcoming post and what we are doing as far as homeschool curriculum now.

The Creatively Gifted Child

I read an article yesterday that really hit home. It won’t make sense to everyone who has a gifted child, because there are many different types of giftedness and they do not all fit into a box neatly wrapped with a bow and that’s ok. But, if you can identify with this article, it will speak to you in volumes and that is why I wanted to share it. 

It’s worth taking the time to read. 

How to Raise a Creative Child. Step One: Back Off. Written by @AdamMGrant 

A New Year – Learning to Prioritize 

  
The one thing I am blessed with as a homeschooler is having too many opportunities. I have had to learn to prioritize and to do what Madison is interested in as well as broaden her horizons. 

I guess in a way I am still learning to prioritize, because it’s hard to not want to ‘do it all.’ It is also hard to balance work and fun. 

I think I get overwhelmed a lot. I want Madison to have a childhood, to make sure she learns what she isn’t necessarily interested in, and to try to keep up with her at the same time. It’s like holding onto a rope that’s pulling you 90 miles an hour. 🙂 

We cannot do it all, so we will find the balance we need. At the same time we will learn important skills along the way. 🙂 

Nessy.com has been a huge lifesaver. Madison’s spelling has improved 150% and her confidence has soared. 

Madison decided she wanted to participate in a Speech and Debate competition. This is going to consume a major amount of our time, but it will be worth it because it will benefit her in so many ways for her entire life. 

My other goals were to expose Madison to sewing, crocheting and knitting. My mother taught herself how to do all of these. Madison wants to learn, but has too much of me in her so she won’t teach herself. I signed her up for classes at JoAnn Fabrics. We’ll see if she catches on and enjoys it. 🙂 

Madison is continuing piano, American Heritage Girls and has taken up roller skating lessons. She wants to complete the level award for American Heritage Girls and enjoys earning badges. 

She is also looking forward to the upcoming local Mensa youth activities. 

Along with our weekly activities and Madison blowing through reading a ton of books to complete the Mensa reading list and somehow we manage to fit school in. 🙂 

Madison is now working on the 9-11 moving beyond the page curriculum. It is becoming more involved as she is advancing. We are learning about each state and are cooking meals inspired by some of them. She also enjoys online classes through currclick.com. 

I know that she is going to have to prioritize activities and balance it all very soon. We cannot do it all even though it would be fun. 🙂 In the meantime, I am holding on to the rope for dear life! 

Sometimes We Get Off Track


Under Pressure. Madison learned the beat of this song by patting her legs and clapping in a Gymboree music class when she was 18 months old. She loved it. Pat, pat, clap….

Now the song has a whole new meaning…..

There are several books on how to raise a child. There are a few great books on how to raise a gifted child, but not a day to day, year to year guide.

We all make mistakes. All gifted children are different and there is not a right or wrong way to try to figure out how to raise them. But, what I have found is there is comfort in learning from others and sharing what has worked and what doesn’t and applying that to see if it works for each of us. To identify and know that you are not alone.

I have been absent from blogging for quite awhile for a couple of reasons.

The first being, it threw me for a loop when I realized Madison could have have stealth dyslexia. It threw me for a bigger loop that I don’t know if it is that for sure or if there are other disabilities that may hinder her or if she is just asynchronous and is at grade level for some things and light years ahead for others. I am still trying to figure that out.

The second being, we tried being ‘normal’ for awhile. We tried ‘keeping up with the Jones’ in the realm of the social aspect of homeschooling. As nice as that would have been, it didn’t work for us. Sometimes, you have to try something new to realize what is really important and what we came to realize is that what may work for the majority doesn’t work for us, even if we really wanted it to. We are who we are and that’s ok, even if it means we aren’t like everyone else. Actually, it’s more than ok. 🙂 There are defining moments that are awakening moments that tell you when you are not on the right track….If Madison is still misunderstood, it’s ok. If she is judged and not given a chance to explain that’s ok too. That just means that changes need to made and we have to take a step back and refocus on our priorities. It happens and I am sure it will continue to happen throughout her life.

I have a very good friend who I feel summed this up perfectly by saying. “I think everyone has quirks and if we admit it they’re quite funny. We just have to allow each other our quirks.”

Respecting each other and celebrating our uniqueness is a blessing. Taking the time to truly understand one another is a bigger blessing.

So now that I realize that what is important is that I have time to blog and that Madison is happier to have time to be creative versus being filled with endless activities that drain us both, I will be blogging on a regular basis again.
We no longer will be Under Pressure. We will be ourselves and if we don’t fit, it’s ok. Because when we are, it is real and means the world and is not as stressful. And that doesn’t mean that the way others do things is wrong by any means, it just means it’s not for us.

Life is never perfect, but it is not worth pretending to be someone you are not, being misunderstood, or trying to fit a square peg into a round hole…..

More of us ‘on track’ to come..

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