Tag Archives: Elizabeth Jones

IEA Summer Spotlight 2014

By Jennifer de la Haye

“I am happy to be in a room of too’s,” said Betsy Jones, IEA President, as we concluded IEA’s Summer Spotlight this year. “We are all too’s – too emotional, too smart, too intense….”

Tuesday, June 8, was a bright evening of community, learning, and friendship as IEA and its community gathered at the University of Southern California for dinner and a time of sharing. Eight IEA Apprentices, who studied Industrial Design under Stan Kong at Art Center College of Design, displayed their impressive concept design sketches – pieces of art that would later become final projects. Posters, books, and sculptures created by Academy students, Caroline D. Bradley Scholars, and Yunasa campers were also scattered about USC’s Vineyard Room, along with plenty of photos of Academy kids at The Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens; Yunasa West campers frolicking in Colorado; and CDB Scholars who convened for the Bradley Seminar in April.

IMG_0344IMG_4479IMG_4477 See some of the highlights from Summer Spotlight!

My Child is Gifted. Now What?

IEA hosts monthly Gifted Child Parent Support Group meetings throughout the school year. These meetings are intended to provide support and community in the midst of the joys and challenges of raising a gifted child. At the May 2013 meeting, IEA President Elizabeth D. Jones presented “My Child is Gifted. Now What?” This post offers a few of the many highlights from that talk.


As the parent of a gifted child, you are on the road to an extremely adventurous – and memorable – parenting journey.

You know that your child is different, and you may or may not know why or how. You search for answers and find out that your child is gifted. But what does that mean? How do you accommodate your child’s needs now that you know what they are?

Identifying and Acknowledging Your Child’s Gifts

Because you as a parent know your child best and see your child the most, you are the most likely person to notice your child’s gifts. Parents usually notice signs of giftedness in the first five years of their child’s life. 50%-90% of parents are proficient at recognizing early intellectual advancement in their children. As children near the age of 5, the accuracy improves.

Read more of this post here!

Coping with Tragedy: The Gifted Child’s “What Ifs”

By Elizabeth D. Jones

Elizabeth Jones is the President and Founder of The Institute for Educational Advancement. She has worked with gifted and special needs children and their families for more than 20 years. Her current work emphasizes advocacy and the development and administration of specialized programs for underserved youth. She also consults with gifted children and their families to help them find solutions to meet each child’s intellectual, physical, spiritual, social and emotional needs.

Tragedies make us feel helpless. As adults looking for answers, dealing with heartache and trying to process what has happened, it is vital that we honor the fears and concerns of our children, as well. This can be extremely difficult when we don’t understand the events ourselves. It is hard to grasp entering into a conversation with our children without knowing the answers to who, what, why and if it will happen again.

Children can be extremely affected by catastrophes, whether acts of nature or human infliction. They see adults as the gatekeepers to their safety; but when the adults in a child’s world have no control over a tragedy occurring, children often lose their sense of security. They just cannot understand why.

Read more about common fears and stresses surrounding many gifted youth here

2013 Bradley Seminar: Know Thyself

CDB Scholars spent the weekend learning about themselves, making connections, and exploring San Jose!

Caroline D. Bradley Scholars spent the weekend learning about themselves, making connections, and exploring San Jose!

On February 22-24, 2013, we hosted the 10th annual Bradley Seminar in San Jose, California. The event, funded by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, provides an amazing opportunity for the Caroline D. Bradley Scholars, their parents, and alumni to come together each year for a three-day conference to discuss issues of global importance and personal relevance.

Read more about what happened at the seminar here!

Gifted Child Parent Support Groups

Click here for 2013-2014 Parent Meetings.

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 support and community in the midst of the joys and challenges of raising a gifted child.

2012-2013 Parent Meetings:

Speaker: Elizabeth D. Jones
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
6:30 pm—8:00 pm

IEA Learning Center
625 Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 288
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Special Guest Speaker:
Dr. Patricia Gatto-Walden
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
6:30 pm—7:30 pm

South Pasadena Public Library – Community Room*
1115 El Centro Street
South Pasadena, CA 91030

College Admissions
Speaker: Kate Duey
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
6:30 pm—8:00 pm

IEA Learning Center
625 Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 288
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Summer Programs
Thursday, March 7, 2013
6:30 pm—8:00 pm

IEA Learning Center
625 Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 288
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Gifted Children at Home and in the Classroom
Speaker: Sharon Duncan

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
6:30 pm—8:00 pm

IEA Learning Center
625 Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 288
South Pasadena, CA 91030

My Child is Gifted. Now What?
Speaker: Elizabeth Jones, IEA President
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
6:30 pm—8:00 pm

IEA Learning Center
625 Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 288
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Please RSVP to reception@educationaladvancement.org. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. Please invite parents that you feel would be interested.

Dates and topics later in the season may change. Please contact IEA for an updated schedule.

*This activity is not sponsored by the City of South Pasadena or the South Pasadena Public Library.

Want to stay updated on future parent meetings in the Los Angeles area? Sign up for our email newsletters and be sure to fill in your zip code!

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Parents, Please Take a Seat at Our Table

By Elizabeth Jones, IEA President and Co-Founder

Parents of gifted children, please take a seat at our tableIn reading the article “Is There a Place at the Table for Parents” a few days ago, I began to reflect on and evaluate how we at IEA invite parents to take a seat at the table.

I decided to discuss the topic with our staff. Kate Duey, a parent of 3 gifted daughters and a consultant for IEA, was in the office and had a few compelling comments about how she felt as the mother of gifted children.

She said that she did not feel particularly “included” in most of the past gifted organizations in which her daughters participated. “At one large summer program for gifted kids, I dropped my daughter off at the dorms, and that was pretty much it,” Kate recalled. “No one who administered the program was available for me to talk to. I got to talk to her dorm advisor for a few minutes that day, but that was it. When the program was over, I was to just pick her up and take her home, nothing more. I had no opportunity to speak with anyone running the program nor a way to learn about what happened while she was in attendance. I was a means of transportation more than anything.” That was disconcerting for her, and this was not an isolated incident.

I wanted to see what she would say about us – after all, she is a consultant here to assist our organization. She said, “At IEA, the parents are included in everything from the Apprenticeship presentations, to the Bradley Seminar, to talking with the staff and Fellows at Yunasa, to parent support groups, and parents are even on the Board of Directors. I even have been here when you call a parent to see how class went on Saturday or to see how a child was doing in school that week.”

At IEA, we support the whole gifted child – intellectually, socially, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Parent input is crucial. The folks that live with these darling, amazing, and sometimes frustrating little guys have ideas and questions! We know that these children do not operate in a vacuum and that their parents are the life-line to their success.

We want parents to take a seat at the table. We want them to feel involved in our organization and the ways in which we serve their children.

We know that parenting a gifted child is not easy. Other parents, and often even teachers, don’t understand what you are going through. It is difficult to find information, resources, and support to help you raise your gifted child. Your child needs support, but so do you.

Because of this, every program at IEA has some parent component. For example:

  • On the first day of Yunasa, parents get to meet and learn from the Fellows, renowned professionals in the social and emotional development of gifted children.
  • Parents of high school Apprentices are invited to attend the Apprentices’ final presentations, in which all participants share what they have accomplished while working with their Mentor over the course of the program. A closing picnic for all hosted by IEA staff members follows.
  • Academy families are encouraged to speak with staff before or after classes. We are starting Academy Family Nights, where families have the opportunity to connect and build community. We are also using parent feedback to create new classes – parents asked for a young girls’ book club, so we are going to start one this winter.
  • Parents of Caroline D. Bradley Scholars attend the annual Bradley Seminar, a weekend of community and learning.
  • All of our programs solicit feedback from students and their parents. Information gleaned in these evaluations has assisted us in honing our services to better meet the changing needs of our constituency.
  • IEA staff members frequently speak with parents regarding their individual child, even if that family has not participated in one of our offerings.

But are we doing enough? Probably not.

We try to be an open resource for parents looking for support for their gifted child. We offer consulting services. We host several parent support groups throughout the year to provide support, community, and information on topics of interest to parents of gifted children. We have asked Stephanie Tolan, a Senior Fellow, to speak about her experience parenting a gifted child. We have an active social media presence – here on our blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook – all of which provide an open forum for discussion and questions.

Yet children and their parents still go unheard in the gifted community.

We want to learn, we want to help, we want each parent to feel heard and hopefully helped.

Parents of gifted children often contribute to this blog to offer parent perspectives on raising gifted children. A parent of one of our program participants is currently helping with our strategic planning. We ask for parent input, and we take it seriously.

At IEA, we do advocate for gifted children in a way similar to what Lisa describes in the article, but we do our best to bring parent feedback into it. We often provide educators and other organizations with tools to serve gifted children. We do involve parents in our organization, and we believe we are supporting their needs. Our table maybe small, but it is well built.

Please know that you can always come to IEA for support, guidance, information, and resources. We want you to have a seat at the table. We can always build a bigger table.

As an organization that dedicates itself to connecting bright minds and nurturing intellectual and personal growth, we know that parents of these bright minds are integral in this process. Please take a seat at our table.

Do you feel that parents have a seat at the table in the gifted community? Please share with us in the comment section below.

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The Gift of Gab

By Elizabeth Jones, IEA Co-Founder and President

I have had the privilege of learning from gifted and highly gifted students for over 20 years. During that time, we have worked with schools, trained teachers, supported students, provided fun, engaging learning experiences, guided parents and listened to kids.

The anecdotes that follow demonstrate some of the most common characteristics of intellectually precocious youth, such as advanced vocabulary, curiosity, deep empathy, rage to master, keen observation, humor and the articulation of apparently logical theories.

Although these incidents are all unique to different children, if you have had the benefit of spending time with these amazing young people, you will inevitably relate to similar comments or events.

“Who knew? School is not a place you go to learn; it is where you go to make macaroni necklaces.” – 5-year-old boy

“There are 532 dots in the ceiling tile over my desk. I know it is a weird number but it is the number. I know because I count them every day when we read together in class. I think they should make the tiles with 576 dots or 484 dots. Why? Because it is easier to do the square root.” – 7-year-old girl

“Can I be my 8-year-old self this afternoon? I had to be my 15-year-old self all day.” – 8-year-old girl

“I learned something new in school today: you get in trouble if you tell the teacher she is wrong—even if she is wrong. That is not right—it is wrong!” – 7-year-old boy

“In my school, we have gifted kids called ‘nerds,’ and we have good athletes we call ‘jocks.’ I think we need a word for gifted kids who are good athletes—like ‘jerds!’ Ha! I am a total jerd!” – 11-year-old boy

“I just feel better when I eat only white food. What is the problem?” – 6-year-old girl

“I remember, when I was young, I cried when I saw the leaves on the tree in the back yard fall off. I thought it must hurt the tree. So I went to hug the tree, and she told me it was okay, it didn’t hurt, and new leaves would grow back. It took such a long time, but it happened. I love that tree.” – 6-year-old girl

“Home is safe; I have my books, my computer, my snuggle bunny and mom. Why should I go to some strange house to ‘play’?” – 8-year-old boy

“You are right; if you do your math work sheet upside down, it is a lot more interesting.” – 10-year-old boy

Gifted children are not better than other kids, they are just different. They think differently, learn in unique ways and they have a wonderful sense of humor. Imagine a world that celebrated all these kids have to offer! What a wonderful world it would be!

What things have your kids said to you that demonstrated a characteristic of giftedness? Please share in the comment section below!

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