EO Logo

TI logo whitespace Educational Options  
& TalentIgniter 
In This Issue
Notice to Subjects of Dr. Ruf's Book
Build Your Own Computer
Programming for Kids
Social Skills and Morals
Cornerstone Stories
Bedtime Math
What to Do Next

Keeping Up With Dr. Ruf
Join Our Mailing List!

New Year's Greetings to you! You probably have noted that much of the country has been in a cold spell! Here in Minnesota, it has been downright dangerous! So it has been a luxury to work from home. I saw a recent poster on Facebook that sums it up pretty well - Minnesota: Come for the culture. Stay because your car won't start.


I want to repeat from last month's newsletter that Dr. Ruf is looking forward to updating her book, 5 Levels of Gifted: School Issues and Educational Options (originally titled Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind). The book will actually be completely new, with a look at where the children from the first book are now, 10 years later. If your family participated in the first book, please read the article below, Notice to Subjects of Dr. Ruf's Book.


I would also like to repeat that, while I am retiring at the end of February and Dr. Ruf will no longer take new clients, Dr. Ruf will continue to be available to existing clients for the foreseeable future. The Educational Options email will still be functional.  Dr. Ruf will continue to give tests to other members of client families. By this summer, Dr. Ruf will totally discontinue using the Stanford-Binet 5 IQ test, and she will administer the following: the Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children, 5th Edition (WISC-V); the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scales of Intelligence, 4th Edition (WPPSI-IV); and the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, 3rd Edition (WIAT-III). As many of you know, she has participated in the norming standardization for the WPPSI-IV and the WISC-V, and so is very experienced with their use.


Best wishes,


Kathy Hara, Editor         



Notice to Subjects of Dr. Ruf's Book
5 Levels cover


As mentioned in the Greetings section of this newsletter, Dr. Ruf intends to do a follow-up to 5 Levels of Gifted: School Issues and Educational Options, with an update of where those children are now. She asks anyone whose family participated in that study to please contact her at dr.ruf@educationaloptions.com  to update your email information. After 10 years, most people have changed their email addresses, and Dr. Ruf will want to contact you.


As in the first book, participants will remain anonymous, using the same aliases as previously. And every precaution will be made to maintain the privacy of each family and individual. 

Build Your Own Computer

Leonardo's Basement has a couple of locations in Minnesota - namely, Minneapolis and St. Paul - where kids ages 6 to 16 are encouraged to build objects of their own design, mixing art, science and technology.  


This organization is now in the first stages of setting up a class for ages 14 and older to build their own computer. The class will first meet to discuss system requirements and to order parts, and then will set up a schedule for building.


This class will be offered in January. So if you live in the area and are interested, contact Steve by email with your questions and needs.

Programming for Kids
I was happy to see that Computer Programming for Kids also works for adults! This is a DVD (or download) made by Dr. Alex Davidovic, our friend in Australia who is also the founder of Helping Kids Excel Magazine (formerly Gifted Child Magazine.  

As Dr. Davidovic says, kids are going to spend lots of time in front of a screen, whether we like it or not. Computers are definitely here to stay, so knowing how to program will be an important skill to have. With Dr. Davidovic's system, kids as young as 12 can learn how to program in as little time as two weeks.

Social Skills and Morals

Are social skills and morals related?  That is a question to consider while reading these two separate blogs. One is Dr. Ruf's blog, Teaching Social Skills to Young Gifted Children: Why & How. The other is a blog posted on the Summer Nanny website, Right and Wrong:Teaching Your Child About Morals. Whatever your opinion on these subjects, we parents can always benefit from learning more.

Cornerstone Stories

I'm sure most of us grew up with learning the fables of Aesop. But thousands of fables and parables from around the world are disappearing from our collective memory. Because they have passed into the public domain, publishing companies don't invest in them.

A friend of ours has started Cornerstone Stories - which, by the way, won third place in the social division of this year's Minnesota Cup competition. This company provides a catalog of illustrated fables and parables from around the world. Families then can choose the stories most meaningful to them for inclusion in their own storybooks, select the language, and add dedications. Cornerstone then prints, binds and ships the custom book.

Bedtime Math

Do you read bedtime stories to your children before they go to sleep? Do you play bedtime math games? If you are like me, you never even thought about math at bedtime. Fortunately, Laura Bilodeau Overdeck did, and she has developed the Bedtime Math website that will help kids feel as comfortable with numbers as they with letters. The first thing to do is sign up for the free bedtime math problem. Then look around the site to see what else interests you. This is fun!

What to Do Next

Dr. Ruf has started a series of articles titled What to Do Next, which you will find on our TalentIgniter.com website. These are free to read online, and they are also free to download in PDF documents.


The first in the series, Guide #1, is "We Know Our Child's IQ, Now What Should We Do? Guide #2 is The Other Achievement Gap. Dr. Ruf will continue to add to this series, so watch for notices in this newsletter, or check back to the website.

Educational Options

EO LogoVisit www.EducationalOptions.com to learn about how Dr. Ruf's 4-Step Process will empower you to get your bright child's needs met. The website also includes many articles written by Dr. Ruf and others about gifted issues; categorized lists of books recommended for those seeking more information about their gifted children and themselves; Dr. Ruf's speaking schedule; an archive of this monthly newsletter, beginning in 2006; and more.                 
TI logo whitespace

TalentIgniter invites you to browse the many features offered on its website, including the following:

  • Dr. Ruf's TalentIgniter Blog.
  • The Parents' Picks section (with recommendations for parents of eager little learners, starting at infancy will have more age groups to be added as we find volunteers to send in their ideas to us! Please contact us at support@talentigniter.com if you have products and resources to recommend.) 
  • Book Recommendations for people wanting to learn more about gifts, talents, and how to develop both!
  • Detailed insider information about the Ruf Estimates Kids IQ Test Online Assessment, the inventory parents fill out to know how to help their own young children thrive. It's so much more than just a kid's IQ test!  
  • Self Esteem Test for Children and Self Esteem Test for Teens, filled out by the child with feedback for the parents.  
  • Milestone Tracker, a free online method to keep those precious memories and details of your child's growing years.   
  • A free resource, Ed Planner is your assistant and guide in planning and tracking your children's education for Grades 1 to 12. It will help you maximize your children's achievements as well as increase their chances of qualifying for highly selective colleges.  
5 Levels of Gifted: School Issues and Educational Options
5 Levels coverFormerly titled Losing Our Minds: Gifted Children Left Behind), 5 Levels of Gifted, published in 2005 by Great Potential Press, combines four years of data gathering from 50 families
78 children 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. 
Keys to Successfully Raising the Gifted Child
Keys ebook cover
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., Keys to Successfully Raising the Gifted Child is for parents who are new to the idea that their children might be intellectually advanced or gifted. This ebook 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 delivers lots of provocative information that will lead to hours of good discussion, debate, and further investigation and research by group or class participants studying the gifted and talented. 

Deborah Ruf

Changing your email address?
Please let us know, so we can continue to send you our newsletter.
Simply send us a note at kathy@educationaloptions.com. Thanks!