Monthly Archives: October 2013

Helpful or Over-Involved?

By Lisa Hartwig

Lisa is the mother of 3 gifted children and lives outside of San Francisco.

My middle son is a junior in high school. It’s time for him to start thinking about college. To help the process along, his school invited a speaker from Colleges that Change Lives to speak to the parents and students. She reminded the parents that the search should be student-centered. To make her point she told stories about over-involved parents who push their children aside during college fairs in order to speak to the admissions officers and those who get their pronouns confused when talking about the application process, as in, “We are still in the process of writing our essays.”

I have never pushed my children, and I am very conscious of which pronoun I use. That said, I was very involved in my oldest son’s college search, and I plan to do the same for my middle son. My experience has given me sympathy for the parents she ridiculed. It’s a fine line between over-involved helicopter parent and helpful consultant. But whichever side of the line you fall, there will be consequences for your child and a corresponding label of their own.

Read more of Lisa’s story here!

2013-2014 Gifted Child Parent Support Groups

Gifted children have a variety of unique gifts as well as a variety of unique needs and challenges. Join the Institute for Educational Advancement as we explore ways to meet our gifted children’s particular needs and learn more about this extraordinary group of young people. These monthly meetings are intended for parents of gifted children to provide free support and community in the midst of the joys and challenges of raising a gifted child.

Next Meeting:

Personalized Learning for Gifted Students
Speaker: Louise Hindle
Thursday, May 1, 2014
6:30 pm—8:00 pm

Institute for Educational Advancement
569 South Marengo Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101

Educational discourse and pedagogy seems fascinated with personalized learning. We see it embedded in the Race to the Top Campaign, we see it interwoven in discussions about the effective use of technology in the classroom; what, however, does it mean in policy and practice for gifted students? This talk will conceptualize personalized learning and define some best fit teaching for learning strategies for gifted 2nd through 8th graders.

Louise Hindle is IEA’s Academy Coordinator. A British import, Louise graduated from the University of Manchester with a B.A. Honors Degree in English Literature and Language, completed her post-graduate teacher training at The University of Cambridge, and has recently completed her dissertation in Educational Leadership and Innovation with the University of Warwick. Louise has 20 years of experience in education as a high school literature teacher, lead teacher, administrator, adviser, and consultant. She is also the parent of three fun and active school-aged children.

Register for the May meeting!

See the full schedule!

IEA’s Moonlight & Stars Benefit Dinner 2013

A full moon and lovely, clear star-gazing weather at the beautiful home of Kate Duey and Bob Malchione created a stunning backdrop for IEA’s Moonlight & Stars Benefit Dinner on Friday, October 18. The evening celebrated IEA and gifted children and recognized two amazing individuals and longtime IEA Apprenticeship Mentors, Dr. Henri Ford and Mr. Stan Kong.


See highlights from the event!

Preparing for a Career that Doesn’t Exist Yet

By Jennifer Kennedy

Jennifer is IEA’s Marketing & Communications Coordinator. Her position includes more traditional communications media such as newsletters and brochures, but it also involves much more modern technology, including email newsletters, the IEA blog and website, and social networks.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 65% of today’s grade school students will end up in jobs that do not yet exist. I can tell you that my job, which includes a great deal of social media and online components, looks very different than what someone in a similar role would have done when I was in grade school. So, how can you prepare for a career field that doesn’t exist yet? I’m going to offer some advice that helped me get to where I am today.

Find a skill that you enjoy and go from there.

“Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.” – Carl Sagan

If you enjoy a skill that can translate into several career paths, hone it. I have always loved languages and writing. So, I took every opportunity I could throughout my education to develop a command of language (English and Spanish for now, but I’m working on Italian and French next, just for fun) and better my writing skills. I entered poetry contests. I kept a “journal” of my thoughts and ideas and often wrote pages of reflections solely for the purpose of writing. My job now may be working with a variety of media that were rare – if in existence at all – when I was young, but at the root of much of my work is writing. I write every single day. It might be as simple as a tweet of less than 140 characters, or it might be an eight-page newsletter. Regardless of the length, the medium, or the purpose, honing my language and writing skills has helped me do my job each and every day.

See more tips to help you prepare for a career that doesn’t exist yet!

The Many Faces of Gifted: Devyn

By Devyn R.

Every gifted person has a unique story. The following story is part of a series of posts depicting the many faces of gifted by highlighting gifted children and adults we have found through IEA programs. Devyn is a high school junior and a Caroline D. Bradley Scholar. The Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship program awards highly gifted students with a four-year scholarship to a high school that best fits their individual, intellectual and personal needs. Here, Devyn talks about the many factors that influenced her educational path.


Devyn R.
2010 Caroline D. Bradley Scholar

In my application for the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship, I described myself with the personal characteristic of “being extremely curious and having a thirst for knowledge.” My seventh grade self wasn’t too picky about the things I learned; I devoured it all. I was a historian, a scientist, a pianist, a flutist, an actress, a linguist, a tap dancer… The list went on and on.

As I moved into high school and my extra-curricular activities became more demanding, I realized that I had to narrow my focus. I still possessed a wild curiosity and an insatiable desire to learn, but I determined that my real interest lay in our ever-changing global society: diplomacy, politics, foreign languages, and world history. I have pursued these subjects to their fullest both in my high school and out in the world.

Learn more about Devyn’s educational path!

Emotionally Supporting Your Boarding School Student

By Bonnie Raskin

Bonnie is the Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship Program Coordinator at IEA. She has extensive experience working with gifted middle school students to find the high school that best fits their individual intellectual and personal needs and supporting them throughout that high school experience.

This time every year, I’m approached by parents of Caroline D. Bradley Scholars who have just dropped off their sons and daughters at boarding school for the first time and ask about how to support their students during the transition to life away from home.

It’s true that your child is stepping into a world that is like that of a college freshman in some respects: he or she faces issues of time management, from preparing for exams to doing laundry; issues of relationships, from accommodating a roommate with different sleep habits to learning to speak with instructors; and issues of personal development, from coping with homesickness to frustration over weekend curfews that differ from home. While college students are more or less viewed as adults, this is not appropriate for your 14 year old. This is why boarding schools have tiers of responsible adult faculty and upper level students on site in every dorm for immediate access to all of the students housed with them, regular group and individual chats, and strict rules students quickly adopt as their “new normal.”

Going off to boarding school is what professionals call a “planned separation.” Homesickness is bound to be something your new boarder is going to deal with. If this comes up, reassure your child that those feelings of missing familiar surroundings, routine, family and friends are perfectly normal. The experience of going away to school has a certain rhythm: initial excitement or positive intensity, usually lasting the first two to four weeks, then a drop to what might be labeled homesickness. It is a natural phenomenon; it is inevitable and does not last. So parents—DON’T ask about it, just know that if the communication turns a little sad or wistful in late September or mid-October, that’s probably the cause. It’s your part of the dialogue to steer the conversation to positive topics. CDB boarding school alums advise that parents should NEVER ask, “Are you homesick?” because “if I wasn’t homesick, that question would make me be and if I were, it wouldn’t make me feel any better.”

Read Bonnie’s tips for supporting your boarding student!