December brings the holidays and a busy time of year with time off from school. Gifted students often look forward to this time off from school to rest, rejuvenate, and be themselves. For many gifted students family gatherings and traditions are very important because they provide predictability and a time to do things that perhaps are not done at any other time of year. Whatever your family traditions are consider allowing your gifted student to take the lead this year. If you have a young child, one or two choices may be enough such as a making a choice of two out of three types of cookies to bake or dinner menu items to include in the family dinner. If you have elementary aged children this is a good time to let them experiment and try something on their own, perhaps for the first time, such as gathering and arranging the candles, cooking a recipe, or creating artful placemats or name tags. Older students may select an even more challenging task such as making plans for one aspect of a family gathering, cooking one of the entrees or side dishes for dinner (if they don’t already cook), or using graphic design to create the invitations.
Your gifted student may come up with his or her own ideas for how to be involved in family events during this time of year. Perhaps your student can create a media production about the family using old photos and homemade movies, or record your family event for the future and distribute it to everyone as a gift. Whatever your student’s gifts are allow some time for them to actively participate in however your family celebrates the holidays. Even if you do not celebrate the holidays there are days off from school that will enable you and your gifted student to do some different activities.
I know that often having children and youth help with things at a busy time of year makes more work for the adult but try to remain calm. Try to remember that their home is often the only place our gifted children have where they can be their true selves. Even extended family members often do not understand our children. Our patience, kindness, and willingness to let them explore and create makes memories for the child and the family, even if it is only one or two of you. These memories last a lifetime and may be just the thing that gets both of you through hard times at school and work.
Here is a start for some ideas to try with time off from school. Gifted students often love exploring on their own, too.
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Of course there is Pinterest. If you are not familiar with Pinterest now is a great time to explore. You may search for any type of activity, theme, holiday, or many other things and there is probably a board for it. Pinterest is a place where people share things they use and/or know on a given subject. The following link has ideas for the school holidays. If you want to search for Hannakah, Kwanzaa, cookies or zebras, there are pin boards for it. For some boards you may be asked to join pinterest. Membership is free and is your decision. There are many free resources.
One of my favorite websites is the website for author Jan Brett. Her website is filled with many activities, videos, coloring pages, even ecards to send, all with her beautiful artwork.
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