My husband and I sat in a huge room while we watched this older lady greet tearful mother after tearful mother. She gave hugs and nodded her head understandingly. She doled out advice, and seemed to genuinely empathize with those to whom she spoke. In fact, she was so empathetic to all those who came up to her, that she started the talk we were waiting for about ten minutes late with the apology: “I’m sorry. Sometimes we all just need someone who has been there and done that.”
Exactly. I was there because I needed to hear from someone who has been there and done that. Maggie Hogan is a popular speaker along the homeschool conference circuit and speaks specifically about raising and educating gifted children. Her own child, who started out in public school, was made to teach the other students because they simply didn’t know what else to do with him. Now that her kids are adults, she runs a website, a publishing company and travels around and speaks to frazzled parents who suspect that their kids might be gifted.
Did you know?
While some might think that it would just be wonderful to have a gifted child, let me assure you that it presents its own unique set of challenges:
*Gifted children on average, need less sleep than the average child. (Ever caught your child reading into the wee hours of the morning?)
*Gifted children are prone to extreme sensitivity to stimuli. (Have a child who freaks out if something gets on their fingers, or if the tags in their clothes bother them?)
*Gifted children are prone to be very intense and can be very focused. (Did your child ever study a bug. . .for an hour?)
Giftedness, is defined as a special need by the Department of Education, yet there are generally less resources available to gifted kids and their parents. Maggie Hogan has a resource page for parents of gifted kids and a yahoo group loop. Next time, I’ll talk a little more about issues that parents of gifted kids deal with.