Sunday, October 23, 2011

Life With Gifted Children (New Series Idea)

One of the goals of Gifted Exchange is to cover parenting topics, as well as educational policy. To that end, I'd like to start a regular series called "Life With Gifted Children" to provide an outlet for parents to share stories about the unique challenges of raising gifted young people. I'd like to focus on parenting advice that could possibly help other people, but I also want to provide a place for people to talk about their kids (albeit anonymously if you'd like!) knowing many of the people reading it are also raising gifted kids. In other words, they won't think you're just bragging when you mention that your 8-year-old is way into Shakespeare.

Various topics come to mind:

* How do you stay calm after the 20th question related to the same arcane topic?
* What to do when your children don't like to sleep (and don't seem to need it)
* Discipline -- what is age appropriate behavior when a kid often acts older than her age?
* How to find books that are challenging but age appropriate
* How to prepare a child for an acceleration
* How to speak positively about your child without alienating friends/family/neighbors
* Teaching respectful behavior when a child is bored in school

And so forth. Please email me at lvanderkam at yahoo dot com if you'd like to share what you've learned along the way, or any particular challenges you'd like input from others about.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Davidson Fellows Media Round-Up

I missed the Davidson Fellows award ceremony last week due to Ruth's arrival that afternoon. So, in lieu of writing about the winners of this award (scholarships of $10,000-$50,000 for important original works in fields from math to the humanities), I thought I'd share some of the news clips from other places about the fellows.

Arjun Aggrawal, 17, of Lexington, SC, won a $25,000 scholarship for building a robot that tells jokes and gives hugs. He built the robot in his garage and spent about $2800 on the project, which sounds like a pretty good return on investment! You can read more about Gnut III here.

Lucy Wang, 17, who lives in my neck of the woods (PA), won $25,000 for a project that used the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (from the CDC) to try to predict adolescent depression. Her statistical model accurately predicted which young people would have symptoms of depression more than 80% of the time. You can read more about her here.

Caleb Kumar, 15, of Blaine, MN, won a $25,000 scholarship for his work developing an algorithm that automates the diagnosis of bladder cancer. You can read more about him here.

It's always fun to see high-achieving students in the news, and every year the Davidson Fellows remind me just how much young people are capable of... when they are challenged and given opportunities to develop their talents.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Say hello to Ruth!

I had to miss this year's Davidson Fellows awards in DC because I was otherwise occupied here in Philadelphia, giving birth. Please say hello to little Ruth, who arrived on October 5 at 3pm, weighing 7lbs 12 oz. She joins big brothers Jasper and Sam, and will no doubt provide lots of fodder for future Gifted Exchange posts.