Often, when we experience something for which we are unprepared, challenged with, or otherwise do not know what to do, it helps to talk with others who have gone through, or are going through a similar experience. For parents of gifted children, those feelings are no different. Most parents wish for healthy children who can make friends, get through school, and have a happy and successful life. When we discover our child is a little different, isn’t understood in school, or has interests far beyond their years, we often do not know what to do. Most family and friends do not understand because of many reasons, but as parents we know we need help. We just need to find where to go.
One place to go is the annual WATG Conference coming up on November 16-17, 2017 at the Wilderness Glacier Canyon Lodge in Wisconsin Dells. The conference welcomes parents for both Thursday and Friday, but of note is that Friday is Parent Day where parents may connect with one another. There are special speakers, time for parents to talk with one another, and a parent networking room.
If you have a teen who is gifted and age 13 or older, you may want to consider bringing them to the Teen Conference, also on Friday running concurrently with Parent Day. As noted in the flyer for the Teen Conference: “ “The Art of Possibilities” is a workshop for students who are passionate about and excel in the visual arts and want to learn about advocating for themselves and their talents.” Teens will get to be with other gifted teens, which also benefits them, just like parents, and helps them to feel like they are not alone.
Meeting someone who has walked in your shoes, or is experiencing the same challenges can often help bring confidence and new ideas to parents and teens who do not know where to turn. For parents, talking with other parents of gifted children, and those with children older than your own, sometimes helps eliminate the wondering of what to do, or what will come next with your own child. For teens, meeting others like themselves often brings a new outlook knowing there are other teens like them, some with similar interests. Talking parent-to-parent, or teen-to-teen is important because it helps us to feel as though we are not alone.
Below are some websites with information about the conference and registration. There is a fee for both Parent Day and the Teen Conference which includes meals and activities. Teen Conference registration is due by November 10. There is special pricing for rooms at the Wilderness Glacier Canyon Lodge if you need to stay overnight. I encourage parents and teens to attend the WATG Conference to meet, learn, and network with others like yourselves.
See the following websites for more information.
WATG Conference Friday Parent Day Schedule and Registration
WATG Teen Conference
WATG Conference website
WATG Home Page
In this blog I have written about many topics but I have not spent much time talking about math. There may be many reasons for this, but one I’m sure is because math is not my favorite subject and I certainly do not want to think about it anymore than I have to, even though when doing research I use math a lot. You see, I once had a math teacher who instilled the fear of the universe in me. This teacher taught high school geometry. I still remember her name and can clearly see her and the classroom in my mind. On the other hand, I’ve been a musician since I was a child and I’ve been told that music and math go hand-in-hand because music is mathematical. Thank goodness no one told me that until I was in college, otherwise I probably would have quit music. I live with family members who are gifted in math. At least I have people to go to when I need to do math that is beyond my recollection, and I am very thankful for that. Because my family members are gifted in math, it has never been a difficult subject in my house, nor one that we have had to discuss much, other than the higher-level math topics they discuss…far beyond my understanding. I suppose that is why I do not write much about math. I lose them when I talk about the details of music composition and interpretation, so it evens out.
My point is that a teacher’s approach and words can change a child’s life forever. Teachers need to remember that every word they say means something to students whether students show it or not. Do I know, as an adult, that math isn’t a subject to fear, and that if I spent the time I might even come to enjoy the many practical uses for math? Yes, I know that in my practical brain; however, in my heart and emotional brain I know how painful it is to think about high school geometry and how my teacher made me feel so totally ignorant at the board in front of the whole class.
The parent of a gifted child has an enormous task raising their child. We often have to try to influence our children so they grow strong and can withstand teachers like my geometry teacher. Supporting each other and advocating for our child is one important way to impact our children.
Lest you think I am math-phobic, here are some great math websites your children may wish to explore. Enjoy!
Steve Miller’s Math Riddles
Nick’s Math Puzzles
Ask the Doctor