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Don't leave your child's
education to chance.
October 2010
In This Issue
Acceleration for the Gifted
Classical Music for Kids
Resources and Opportunities
Math Circles
Handwriting and the Brain
Do Schools Kill Creativity?
Keeping Up With Dr. Ruf

Saturday, October 30: Addressing parents of YES (Your Extraordinary Saturday) students, a program of the Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth (MITY)

Friday, November 5: Workshops with teachers and parents, Yellow Medicine East Schools, Granite Falls, MN.

Greetings from the Team at TalentIgniter!

Our newsletter this month is filled with articles and products from the Internet that we hope you will find useful and interesting.

Please remember that we would love to hear from you at any time with comments or suggestions. In the meantime, please follow us on our Facebook fan page and on Twitter!
Kathy Hara, Editor
Acceleration for the Gifted

Does it make sense to send children to college who are as young as 12, 13, 14 or 15? In some cases we believe it may actually be cruel not to send them to college.

When children are profoundly gifted, they often seek academic challenges that cannot be met in the regular classroom; and they all need to find "soul mates" who are on an intellectual par, true friends who get their jokes.

Here's an article from the Daily Herald that follows a 15-year-old girl from Illinois who is thriving as a sophomore at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia.
Classical Music for Kids

Are you concerned that your kids don't seem to have any interest in classical music? They have probably been exposed to Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev through their school programs, but what about the music of Mozart, Beethoven, or Vivaldi? Or even operas of Rossini, Verdi or Puccini?

Classical Kids has produced a series that may develop more music appreciation for the entire family, in which dramatizations about the lives of composers are performed by adult and child actors. Done through the eyes of children, each title uses pieces by the composer to illustrate the story. The stories are fictional, but listeners gain insights into the life of the portrayed composer, as well as the time period through events, places and people who are real. Recordings are about 45 minutes each.

In addition to cassettes and CDs, teacher's notes and corresponding CDs are also available. The notes are 36-43 pages long and include additional background information, discussion topics, activity ideas and suggestions for exploring the music.

 Resources and Opportunities

Rita Ostrager needed to find more resources for her child, who she says is a profoundly gifted math whiz. In the process, she founded the organization
Higher Education Resources and Opportunities for Exceptional Scholars

The purpose of HEROES is as follows:
  • Identification of exceptionally gifted students
  • Creation of educational resources for the exceptionally gifted
  • Informing parents, educators and exceptionally gifted students about appropriately challenging educational opportunities
  • Reducing barriers that prevent exceptionally gifted students from accessing educational opportunities that can meet their needs
  • Creating opportunities for exceptionally gifted students to interact socially
Membership is required in order to take advantage of HEROES, and students must qualify to become members. But resources and opportunities offered include conferences, writing talent search, math talent search, courses, study groups, and more.
 Math Circles

Mathematical Circles are a form of education enrichment and outreach that bring mathematicians and mathematical scientists into direct contact with pre-college students. These students, and sometimes their teachers, meet with mathematical professionals in an informal setting, after school or on weekends, to work on interesting problems or topics in mathematics. The goal is to get the students excited about the mathematics, giving them a setting that encourages them to become passionate about mathematics.

Learn more about joining or setting up a Math Circle near you.

Handwriting and the Brain

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, researchers are finding that writing by hand actually is a building block to learning. Using advanced tools such as magnetic resonance imaging, they are seeing that the practice of handwriting helps with learning letters and shapes, can improve idea composition and expression, and may aid fine motor-skill development.

Read the article, How Handwriting Boosts the Brain, to learn more.
 Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson, author, creativity expert, speaker and international adviser on education in the arts, who was  knighted in 2003 for services to education, challenges the way we're educating our children.  In a 20-minute video speech, Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity, he makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

If you don't want to take the time to watch the video, you may prefer to read his recent blog, Transform Education? Yes, We Must. Here is an excerpt: "I said that the premise of the act [No Child Left Behind] is flawed. Actually there are three flawed premises. First, NCLB promotes a catastrophically narrow idea of intelligence and ability. The result is a terrible waste of talent and motivation in countless students. Second, it confuses standards with standardizing. The result is that schools across the country are becoming dreary and homogenized. And third, it assumes that education can be improved without the professional creativity and personal passion of teachers. The result is that too many good teachers are streaming out of the very schools that urgently need them to stay. All of this is holding America back in a world that's moving faster than ever."
Keys ebook cover
Keys to Successfully Raising the Gifted Child

You know your child is gifted. But how does that impact day-to-day life and your role as a parent?

Written by Deborah L. Ruf, Ph.D., and Larry A. Kuusisto, Ph.D., this ebook is for parents who are new to the idea that their children might be intellectually advanced or gifted. The book addresses important parenting issues, including what to actually tell your child about his or her giftedness, how schools approach learning differences, best ways to provide emotional support, sibling rivalry, and more.

The book is available for purchase at www.TalentIgniter.com/products.
5 Levels of Gifted

5 Levels cover5 Levels of Gifted: School Issues and Educational Options (2005) (formerly titled Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind). 5 Levels of Gifted, published by Great Potential Press, combines four years of data gathering from 50 families with nearly 30 years of research and experience in the field of giftedness, individual differences, and high intelligence. The book is aimed primarily at parents and vividly describes the upper 10 to 15 percent of the intellectual continuum in human beings from birth to adulthood as manifested in their behaviors, thoughts, accomplishments, and test scores. She introduces the concept of Levels of Giftedness and makes it very clear how many factors contribute to a person's intellectual levels and achievement.