Monday, October 18, 2010

time... keeps on slipping

nearly a year has gone by since my last post.. for that I am very sorry.. I have NOT forgotten about this beautiful little blog.. I have simply been busy with other blogs and with the educating of my blessings..

Life with 2E children is VERY busy... VERY engaging... and VERY full...
I confess... I have struggled with this blog.. though the topic is a passion of mine..
I am passionate about my blessings..
Passionate about education
home education
gifted education
and about the education of the twice exceptional and those with special needs in general.
and I am.. believe it or NOT.. a passionate blogger

: - )

yes... yet I struggled.. HOW could I share information with YOU dear reader.. that I did not have myself..
WHAT was wrong???
What was the diagnoses???
What was UP with my munchkins...
So bright they shine... and yet.. something so clearly amiss...
oooo I am certain there are those of you out there in cyber land who can relate..... the waiting.. the quest to find answers to WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH MY CHILD???

Dysgraphia is fine.. but we've done this therapy.. yes.. and THAT therapy... and yet.. so little progress.... and she is so defeated...
difficulty concentrating
vision worsening
poor hearing
anger yet extreme compassion
hyper sensitivities
visual disturbances... certain lighting upsetting to a certain child
hearing disturbances.. bothering to other children is certain sounds...
allergies to so MANY things
kidney issues
heart issues
and the list goes on and on and on and on....
and so did the list of doctors... of specialists.. of therapies... and supplements...

Last December.. I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease.
I was asked by the doctor, and my support group, if my children had any symptoms..
any bizarre un related, unexplainable issues..

hmmm ???

yah.. ya think??

I was told at this point that Lyme disease.. the spirochete Borrelia Burdorfi, can be transferred to your child during pregnancy... That they ought to be tested...

Each of my birth children tested positive for lyme disease...
Each of them have identical co-infections to mine...
It is believed that they each have Congenital Lyme disease.. there is NO reason to believe otherwise.
We are now in treatment.
Treatment is Long Term Antibiotics and supplements...
We are officially Gluten Free.. low dairy... low to borderline no soy

LIFE this year... has dramatically changed for our family.
School is still coming along... but it too looks different... Finding ways to challenge them, while trying to have a flexible enough schedule to deal with their days of being just plain ILL from medicines is hard...

My eldest son  C.S.(age 14) has been diagnosed with
POTS (postural orthostatic tachicardial syndrom) he mee
possible siezures (he goes in soon for sleep studies)

Daughter Princess KI

Son Buddy

oh... all that excitement.. and I failed to share we adopted!!!!!!!!!!!! yes! 
a beautiful little boy!  it all happened at right about the same time we were learning about this... He is a joy, and is just now learning to sit, and pull up to things :) 

Living Gifted... will perhaps expand.. to the giftings of life with 2E & raising kids IN REAL life, with illness, chaos and strife :)

because that is my world :)

Hope you are glad to have me back friends!
because I am glad to BE back!

Friday, November 13, 2009

communicating.... speaking.... conversing.... basically HELP :)

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." -Proverbs 25:11

"87% of everything we do during the day is communication related. While you may manage to live your entire life without making a speech, you will not get through one day without communicating something to someone! Effective communication touches every aspect of our lives:



Defending the Faith

Learning Skills

College Prep

Getting a Job

Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Owning Your Own Business

Making and Maintaining friendships "

This is a direct quote from The Art of Eloquence.... and I happen to be sort of cyber pals with the developer of these amazing products... I thought you too might benefit from checking out her sight.. Often times 'gifted children' especially 2E, as well as HSC, can be very uncomfortable performing in front of strangers... JoJo (the developer) has masterfully put together program after program, depending upon age and ability, to help YOUR child or even YOU develop better communication skills... we may not all have to give big speeches, or be called to perform anything in front of anyone, but each of us needs healthy, solid communications skills as part of our foundation to get along in every day life..

If you are looking for help in communicating, or teaching communication skills to your child, PLEASE check out The Art of Eloquence.  I truly believe you and your child will be blessed with any purchase you might make!

WHAT is a "highly sensitive" child??

"A highly sensitive child is one of the fifteen to twenty percent of children born with a nervous system that is highly aware and quick to react to everything. This makes them quick to grasp subtle changes, prefer to reflect deeply before acting, and generally behave conscientiously. They are also easily overwhelmed by high levels of stimulation, sudden changes, and the emotional distress of others."  E.Aron PH.D

Elaine Aron PHD wrote this book, that I SOOOOO want to read!  Have you read it?
Well, it's on my Christmas WISH LIST, and I hope to have a review for  you soon!
I thought her expanation of "sensitive" was quite helpful, so much that in the quote above I  highlighted it for you :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

is your blessing sensitive too???

Living With Live Wires is a blog I enjoy... and I recently saw this quiz!
I am having the blessings take it this week...
how about YOU? 
Let me know how it goes...


Gifted Children can be very sensitive... be it from being incredibly astute, aware, perceptive and blending that with their youth, innocence, raw honesty... i do not know... I just know that most gifted children I know, are very sensitive...
NOT in that wimpy sort of way all to often depicted by Hollywood...
but in a REAL way... in a RAW way..
like they get it..
LIKE they get some aspects of life and CARE
while we "get it" but have grown apathetic..
and IF we stopped to THINK their thoughts
we'd need ... help
some serious stocks in a good tissue company, and plenty of the product in our home...

The emotional stress these kids can endure is intense.. Because they are thinking beyond what the typical (is there such a thing) kid is thinking, they are going beyond the general thought process with each and every issue...
Moving is Stressful
Traveling around the world is FUN, but has it's stressors
Packing is Stressful
being sick is stressful
having sick siblings is stressful
having an ill mother is stressful
watching a beloved grandparent (or ANY loved one) struggle desperately with Cancer is STRESSFUL
being told you are TOO young to visit anymore because of H1N1 is STRESSFUL
the list goes on and on and on...

I haven't written much on our blog since back from our little adventure abroad.. In fact I have neglected my little "gifted blog" all together...
I have been swept up in my 3 blessings...
doctors, illnesses, and preparing to move...
(VERY stressful to ANY child... all the more... for a gifted or Twice Exceptional child)
add into that THE Oma (German Grandmother)
has taken a turn for the worse in her battle for Cancer... and been in hospital for a time...

These issues, and a variety of others.. are HUGE, dare I say DRAMATIC times in the lives of Gifted children...
I am learning that walking in Grace... in Faith... is a challenge..
Offering them room to breathe, room to grieve, room to think,
and still challenge them is some days an inner battle...
I am thankful for the knowledge that there are "counselors & therapists" who work with gifted children... This is wonderful to know...
Yet as followers of Christ, what does THIS mom do?
Well,  the children consider chatting with such a person as a thing quite POINTLESS;  if they can find NO "Nouthetic Counselor" who is trained to work with the "gifted community" they have no desire to meet with anyone.......
and they have a point...
What ARE they more... Christians... or Gifted....???
that is the question...
They are Gifted because GOD made them that way...
They are Christian because Called them, saved them...
and yet...
my frustration lies.. in WHY does the Christian Community, the Nouthetic Counselors, Biblical Counselors, show NO involvement in the "gifted community"... why can I find NO connection
it's as if Christianity can not IMAGINE that such a people exist...
it is AS if.... they have in the West totally embraced egalitarianism............  
that we are NOT all fearfully and wonderfully made.. each unique and different ... worthy of appreciation, as the handiwork of God...

and yet... dare I stand apart from my Brothers and Sisters and Christ on this point...
standing firmly UPON the Rock,  and declare
that we ARE all fearfully and wonderfully made....
I am, no, WE are separate... and yet because of Christ ..UNITED...

excuse my ramblings...
I am on the hunt,
for a NOUTHETIC Counselor trained in working with Gifted Children...
eyes wide open
heart full of love
hands open in prayer...

prayers are welcome, thoughts or suggestions welcome... If you have come across this, & found some victory, or an answer to this ... please comment! :) 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Learning French....

In case you haven't been reading LONG, one thing that would be good to know is that we are learning French... or attempting to. We are living here, in Lyon France temporarily on business. Our decision to home educate years ago really has been a blessing, affording us the opportunity to travel with the head of our home, my wonderful husband and best friend in all the world. We follow him where ever the good Lord leads, and this adventure has brought us to France.

We did not plan on learning France, we did not happen to study French. Though I adore the methods of Charlotte Mason, and follow her teachings fairly closely, I chose the language of my people, German, to be the first foreign language my children would be exposed to. After they seemed to progress fairly well, we moved on to Latin, and were plugging along nicely... when word came... French was needed.

Isn't it always the case... Utter rebellion will leave you hanging in JUST such a way. Is it rebellious to teach my blessings the language of my people.. NO.. it is not. Is it rebellious to have started Latin... no.. not at all. none of the above... but can I confess... somewhere deep in my gut, I remember studying Charlotte back 7 years or so ago, and having the distinct PANG to learn French... that what do you call it... burden...
I remember actually talking to her manuscript, and saying NO. I do not think so. Why do WE need to learn French. There IS NO REASON that I will EVER need to know this language.
I remember it bothering me... all night... I remember reading and reading, and trying to get my mind around it, that perhaps ANY language would do.. and perhaps any would... but I KNOW that I was supposed to learn French...
And God shall not be mocked... right...
so here we are LIVING in France on an extended business trip for several months... ha ha...
Learning French :) German ... all those years of German they barely remember ANY of it.... ha ha...

and why is that... well, frankly I know why... because I did not take my own advise... have you ever KNOWN something, and taught it, shared it, believed it, and yet when push came to shove, you just didn't follow all the way through on every last detail, and then you saw how right you were, and how wrong it was to have NOT taken your own medicine... so to speak? It really is one of those life lessons that feels a bit like a kick in the teeth... but than again, these moments often pop up in parenting... let's move on...

what am I talking about anyways?

Making inroads into their minds. Think of the mind as a wheat field. Beautiful, lush, golden wheat. Each time we attempt to learn a new thing, we are walking through that wheat field. The more frequent the walk, the more diverse the methods, and directions, the more varied we are, frankly the more creative, the deeper, the wider those little footpaths become. They become like little highways of information in the mind. Now because in life things can come at us from a variety of different circumstances, it is important we make as many inroads and tributaries to the main roads as possible, and get them as firmly entrenched as well. Some will choose a more artistic path, some more musical, some are very visual, some are very audio. This is the basic reason we choose to sing, spell, read and write new concepts to little children. It just plain works. For some children the singing will have little effect where as the writing will have significant, and for others, the learning will simply not click until each sense is fully applied. Each human being have been fearfully and wonderfully made. Discovering how you learn, and how each of your children learn can be quite a joyful adventure in and of itself!
Back to why German did not stick.... we only did Rosetta Stone. Is Rosetta Stone a good program.. YES... Sure we did dozens of other programs BEFORE Rosetta Stone... but, we, or rather I, bought the whole "they are the best" gimmick hook line and sinker, and left those wonderful supplements on the shelf to collect dust. Is Rosetta Stone the Best? They very well MAY be.. you can see from previous posts I happen to be a huge fan. Yet one thing I have to be is utterly honest.

Rosetta Stone is big business, they are smooth, the program is streamlined, very put together, very visual, so very tailored to the visual spacial learner, frankly they are just down right impressive with QUITE the advertising department to boot! As we purchased the 'home school' edition, there were even options for me, the teacher, to decide upon, as to which "course" each of my students should take. This frankly impressed me to NO end, as did the whopping price tag! Sold! And thus I broke my own rule and trusted a single curriculum to do the job, when I am well aware that no curriculum is capable of covering all the basis... (this is my firm and very biased opinion... sorry)
Needless to say I did not see the error of my ways until such time as I purchased Rosetta Stone French. Yes my second program with Rosetta :) Which was in fact, an upgraded version. Having REGISTERED my German program, I was very annoyed to find several friends were able to upgrade at a MUCH reduced price, after receiving notice from Rosetta about the upgrade. I called them to see if I too could upgrade my German program and was ... rather rudely informed that I had missed the 6 month window... ??? how is THAT possible, seeing as I paid somewhere near $300 for this program, and registered it, and YOU didn't call me... or email... or ... Now I began to worry about my French...
Well all was fine until, God in His Sovereignty, chose to allow my computer to get hit with a virus, and then a Trojan horse, and then with 13 Trojan horses... all within a few weeks... I was unaware that each time i reinstalled Rosetta Stone (both versions) due to my computer being wiped out, that I lost a licence, and would not be able to install it again... Not with out a drama of a phone call, during their nice comfy hours mind you... It was through this process that I learned, regardless of the fact that I purchased the "home school edition" I did not have enough licences even for each of my users computers... and to purchase additional licences (very afford ably done with certain software companies) was in fact to repurchase the $300 product all over again!!! Well that means when I hit the road for France (like we are now) my whole family can only use this computer to do French... The kids can not do their studies on their own PCs. This is NOT always functional...
Well... They may be the best of the Best... and I can attest to the rapid learning of my children, I can also say, they lost a LOT in the drama with the licences, which they should not have, and they simply did not retain hence... I deduce that I think it is essential for additional materials to supplement. And frankly, I hope the homeschooling community really takes a look at some of Rosetta's policies. As for this family, we are.
As for additional supplements we are using with Rosetta :) YES we use Rosetta. It is great! I hope nothing I wrote makes you think otherwise. I think they have bad policy writers, and their customer service department needs some attention for sure, but the program is good, just perhaps NOT worth quite that much money... but the market dictates, and it is only worth what people are willing to pay... and frankly right now, folks are willing to pay pay pay!

We really have had fun with Speak in a Week

There are four weeks to go through, and really you learn more than you think you will. It starts from the assumption that you know nothing. Even though we had been doing French a little while, I liked this presumption, and am glad I bought all four, as it covered things in a very funny way, and in a very different approach than Rosetta. This was great in the car, in the house, really anywhere, because we could do it together. It was not one person in front of one computer alone. This took our family's individual learning and made it corporate for the first time! Something we had been doing with Latin, but NOT with German. hmmm ... It is audio, and the speaker speaks the phrase in English and then in French twice with time for you to repeat after. The flip chart shows funny cartoons so you can follow along. This is so NOT sophisticated, just practical, charming, and frankly helpful... They have several languages so check them out too!

Yet speak in the week could only go so far, as could our little pocket books and so the hunt here in France began... yes I know... what is a mom to do... We really stink at French, and the only "French" people talking to us... REALLY are mostly people like US who are from other countries all together, who speak French as a second, third or even fourth language. We still are not .... connecting... and my face goes blank at the grocery store, because now that I go enough, they want to be friendly, and I really, haven't a clue what the nice gal said to me... my book didn't cover that, and I needed help!

Bein-dire to the rescue! I hope :) Bein-dire is From France for learners of French! As I understand it, those that put this together are NOT native French, but those who came here to live and discerned that which was lacking in their own French, and what they REALLY needed to live and breath! This is a Lyon based company, and they have hired real Native speakers for all their audio CD's :) Makes me think, it really sometimes is a blessing to talk to someone who's BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT... and here is a company that is all about that, ya really can learn to get by with a little help from your friends. If you expand YOUR definition of friend to include those great folks that make up the staff at Bein-dire !

They have curriculum, a newsletter, and a magazine! The great thing about THIS magazine is, their are vocabulary sections for those words you are working on, and for a bit more euros you can get a CD to come with it, and have the whole thing read to you, so you can learn how it should sound!!! Fantastic yes?! This is perfect not only for the adult learner, but for the student as well. They even have discounts for Group Subscriptions. Ordering outside Europe is a bit more money, but well worth it. There are only 6 subscriptions in a year. You CAN order back issues, get a discount on a full year, or if you are unsure, order a 4 issue subscription! Again, this is a magazine that you can get with or with out the CD! How cool is that!!!

as far as curriculum goes, this IS the perfect supplement! Taking the Speak in the Week gang to the next level. They have NO English spoken, It is pure unabridged FRENCH from the start, and have a variety of topics to choose from...

some are

Master French Numbers ~ The Good Pronunciation Guide ~ Social Conversations ~ Dialogues pour tous les jours ~ La Politesees ~ Bon Appetit! are some of those that I purchased :)

Each of these comes with a CD and a booklet to read along as you go, these are fabulous. I can't tell you how helpful it is to listen to the French speak a conversation, and to READ along... Reading French is easier than listening to it, and if you can see it, and hear it, wow! This is one thing that helped with Speak in a Week. Bien-dire hit's it on the mark!

I just got this series so, I will do more on them in the weeks that follow, letting you know how the children and I are progressing in our learning our French. A program is only good if you use it, and try it out. So we need to give it a good hearty try... I think though that this program will be a great supplement to any small group wishing to learn French, to any family, or home school group, especially Charlotte Mason fans, who want to not only speak proper French, but to know what to say to the Fromage Man about his Fromage :) Oui?

It is my understanding that this program also has optional flash cards. I have not seen these, and so do not know if they are visual spacial or more audio sequential cards, if and when I do see them I will make note of that here. So far I would say this program is meant for those who want to know how to "do life" , how to live and breath simply in France. This is noAdd Imaget just for the student wanting textbook French on a transcript, but for the person with a heart to learn the language, the mannerisms, the people, so that relationships can be formed, conversations enjoyed, memories shared and made. As is this is a simple book with an audio CD, very audio sequential... The magazine is where things get more visual... Hence this is more a audio sequential supplement, but even with my visual spatial learners I am not dismayed, I am very excited....

More on other foreign language materials used by me, on this great French adventure, coming soon...

Splash into Reading this Summer

Summer is nearly here,
and with it come
Summer Reading Programs!
They come in all shapes and all sizes,
and for many gifted children they can be a real snore.
I know that my children can walk in to the local library,
fill out the card to join,
and walk in the next week with the whole Summer Reading Program Done,
having not broken the proverbial sweat.
Yes mine are readers.
They read and read and read.
These programs are designed to get children who are not readers to read,
as well as reward the reader who does
so as to encourage the reading
that they don't one day decide to just
stop reading...
ok well...
if you too are looking for another
Fun and perhaps MORE challenging
for YOUR child
as I always am
check out
The Old Schoolhouse's
into Reading

There are levels for younger children as well as for older children
it is a 10 week program,
one in which YOU help YOUR child set some goals
it can be as challenging
as NEEDED :)
ha ha ha
perhaps splash is just what your under challenged gifted reader needs...