Don’t Ever Use the Word “Gifted”

Gifted Children @ Three Cornered Hug

I’ve seen a lot of posts lately about gifted children. These have ranged from complaints that the public schools can’t handle them, to comments on how teachers think you’re saying your child is “better”, to parents who want people to wake up and realize that every child is gifted. While all of these have elements of truth to them, when I hear this word, I’ve a completely different thought. Grandma.

If you’ve read my blog regularly, you may know that my paternal grandmother was a retired teacher who fully supported my homeschooling endeavors. At an early age, she recognized that my son was extremely bright. And although we were both excited at the opportunities that homeschooling offers for such a child, she gave me one piece of advice that I’ll never forget: “Sarah, never use the word ‘gifted’ in front of him”.

I didn’t ask her what she meant, but have followed her directions to this day.

Now this is the place that I could go on forever with commentary about my thoughts on this subject, but I think I will leave you to ponder this statement, the ramifications of using such a word, or whether it matters at all…just as she allowed me to do.

Field Trip: Olympic Training Center in Colorado

Now that your kids are all pumped up about the Olympics, you might want to consider a trip to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. It’s definitely on our to-do list!

The tours are offered year round, Monday- Saturday, and best off all–they’re FREE! You may be fortunate enough to catch a peek at some athletes in action.

Check out the website to find out more!

 

Video

Free Printable Board Game

I’ve had the privilege of meeting some very extraordinary young men since we’ve moved here. Not only are they engineers, but together they’re the brains behind a new company, Boulder Board Games. While many other young people are spending their free time on facebook whapping each other with pretend pillows or buying imaginary cows on Farmville, these fellas have been using their spare time cooking up come fun of their own.

It’s my understanding that their first game, Thrive, was invented during a school break while they attended the University of Colorado. This game is available in .pdf form for print, and includes a manual. Thrive is a game involving Geopolitics and energy independence. Find it here.

Their most recent game, Raid, is full of pirate fun. The game is not only expandable, but can be tailored to your needs– you determine the length of play. You can see a sample of the game in the video below. This one will be up on Kickstarter in April to raise some funding to have the game produced.

It’s nice to see younger folks doing something with those great minds they’ve got. In addition, as avid game players my family is always looking for something new. Check out Boulder Board Games and show some support.

You NEED this compass

You know those irritating compasses? The ones that are half eye-stabber, half pencil, and 100% irritating? The ones that somehow keep getting bigger as you use them, so instead of making a nice circle, you wind up with a drawing of a snail?

Well, leave your snails behind and get this great SAFE-T compass. While it’s not perfect, we’ve found it to be SOOOOOOOO much better than your average math tool. At this cheap price (just over a buck+shipping), you can’t lose!

Find it here.

SAFE-T Compass @ Three Corneered Hug

We Skip School

…and you should too.

Three Cornered Hug“We’ve been wondering, do you guys get snow days?”, asked our next door neighbor. “No, we take “sun” days.”

We’ve often surprised people with our year-round school schedule. Snowy days–we do play outside. BUT we also do school. There’s no reason not to. Summer days are the same way. Remember those long, boring dog days of summer? We don’t have those. Yes, we go swimming and do theme parks. BUT we also do school. That’s how we fill up the rest of the time when our friends are on vacation, etc.

So, do we ever take time off? Absolutely. You know those wonderful, sun-shiny days, when the temperature is just right? When the smell of the fresh air is intoxicating, and your eyes keep wandering toward the window? That’s when we call up some friends and run away to the park or go hiking. WE SKIP SCHOOL.

There have been other times as well. One beautiful fall, we just randomly took a week off and ran away to Chicago to visit my Aunt. (However, I guess going to the Museum of Science and Industry or visiting Chinatown would qualify for educational experiences.) When my husband has the chance to go somewhere cool for work- we go too. (Again, arguably still school.) When my mom had surgery and needed help, when my sister was in a car accident- WE SKIPPED SCHOOL.

That’s the great thing about homeschooling, the great thing about doing school the way we do: a flexible schedule. There’s such a freedom in it. We can take off and not sweat it. Do I want my child to know that learning is important? YES. However, I also want him to know that enjoying life is equally important. I want him to realize that there’s more to know than what can be learned inside of four walls.

Bookworm Fridays: What the World Eats

What the World Eats @ Three Cornered HugWhat the World Eats is a wake up call paired with a social studies lesson. While I usually cover a work of fiction, I feel that this is a book that every child should read at some point (or at least check out the photos).

Basically, families all over the world have been photographed with all of the food they would eat in a typical week. Many of the photos are very sobering, as you are forced to look at the poverty that is a reality for so many every day. Overall it’s very interesting to see what people eat and how many of those foods are like ours. On the pages facing the photos, you’ll find a list of the foods, and other facts such as the cost of the groceries, and information about the country.

If your library doesn’t carry this, you can also buy (or preview) it here.