OOPs Journal

Hi families,

I hope this finds you in the swing of this whole on-line learning experience.  We are hitting a groove at the Earnshaw house – hoping that keeps up until the end.

I added a fun resource to my webpage for your perfectionist and really out-of-the-box thinkers. It’s an OOPs Journal and is meant to be IMperfect. I will add it to Schoology as well but wanted to be sure it made it in front of your eyes! I know my own perfectionist daughter AND free-spirit daughter will both love it (for different reasons!) – that doesn’t happen very often!

Enjoy! – Jen Earnshaw

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Circle of Control

Below is a great graphic reminder of what can (and cannot!) control. I found it to be great reminder.

circle of control



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Gifted Imposters!

Hello to all my fellow quarantined families! I hope that this blog post finds you healthy, happy, and filled with patience (or self-forgiveness for not being patient). Remember- we are all just humans doing the best we can.

On another note, this week’s blog goes out to the parents who have had to convince their child that no one made a mistake when they were identified as gifted- the psychologist didn’t give them only easy questions or accidently score the test incorrectly. They did not trick anyone or fake their way into the gifted program. If they had- they would have been mastermind prodigies, which would be very gifted in itself…

If this is a conversation you have had (or think you should have had), what your child may be experiencing is actually common among intellectual people who doubt themselves. It is a phenomenon called- “imposter syndrome”.

The American Psychological Association describes people with imposter syndrome as, “those who attribute their accomplishments to luck rather than ability, and fears others will eventually unmask them as a fraud.” Imposter syndrome typically goes hand in hand with perfectionism and is characterized by intellectual self-doubt, anxiety, and depression.

So- here we have our amazing gifted students, who despite meeting generally the same qualifications for gifted placement feel like they don’t belong with their peers. Why do they feel like imposters?

Well- there might be a few reasons. For one, a common characteristic of giftedness is feeling different from others, they tend to overanalyze their place in home, school, social situations, etc. Another culprit is the tendency for gifted kids to struggle with perfectionism and feeling inadequate if they are not doing everything “right”.

However, it seems that the biggest contributor to imposter syndrome in gifted kids are the common misconceptions of what giftedness looks like. When parents, teachers, and peers believe these misconceptions or myths of giftedness, it can make some students feel like frauds. The National Association of Gifted Children report that common misconceptions/myths about giftedness include the idea that gifted students do not need help-they are fine on their own (intrinsically driven), that they are generally well behaved and make good class tutors/mentors, they always get As, and they are gifted in all areas. Oftentimes, people assume that gifted students will be naturally talented in and love Math and Science or will read many levels above their same age peers or will thrive with extra projects and work.

Yes- there are some gifted students who meet the criteria of all these misconceptions, but so many others don’t. These could become the kids who stop enjoying school, question where they belong, and underestimate the unique talents they possess.

If your child is one of those who has expressed their concern over the validity of their gifted test- look up imposter syndrome together. Almost every student I have discussed this with has been flabbergasted that there is actually a name for how they have been feeling.

Some other tips that can help are:

  • Look up “famous failures” and read about people like Walt Disney and Albert Einstein who didn’t seem “gifted” to others.
  • Remind your child of interesting things they did when they were little that indicated their unique talents.
  • Discuss and work against perfectionism daily- make it a conscious effort.
  • Educate nay-sayers, help inform those who have drastic misconceptions of what giftedness looks like.

Most importantly, I want to wrap this post up with the reminder that your child is more than a label, they are more than an IQ/FSA/GPA/SAT score, they are valued more than their numbers of followers/likes/friends on social media, and they-above all else- need love, kindness, and forgiveness.

I wish you all the best!

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Feeling Frustrated???

Hello Families!

In order to be sure that my communications make their way to you, I will be posting here for those of you who have subscribed to my web-page and will be sending them via email. Once you read one, you can ignore the other – they are the same.

What a ride we’ve been on for the past couple of weeks… whew! I know I am mentally and emotionally exhausted! Be sure to take care of yourself – our little people are counting on us! Here is a great article from Real Simple on ideas for self-care: CLICK HERE.  One of the greatest sources of anxiety for me is sorting through the amount of RESOURCES coming my way – so many of them are amazing, but WOW – there are so many of them! Today I am going to share some of the best support that has come across my desk and hope it is as helpful to you as it was to me!

What to expect from me:
I am still learning the best way to do my job online – bear with me! My job (supporting your gifted child’s social/emotional growth) is so dependent on being with them, IN PERSON, that I find this virtual learning a little befuddling! For now, my plan is to update the “Enrichment with Mrs. Earnshaw” folder weekly and Schoology Conference soon. Each week I plan to add resources and activities to my Enrichment Folder. I may add building activities, games or activities that center around a theme… my goal is to find ways to reach every one of your sweet kiddos. They are really different and their interests are really different so some additions will be really fun and exciting for your child but some additions may not – that’s okay. Also, different homes have different supplies, so I am trying to find a variety of activities in the hopes that your child will be able to do some of them. DO NOT BUY ANYTHING for my activities… goodness knows you’ve got enough going on! These are not assignments to be graded, but if your child wants to share anything about any of our activities (comments, pictures, videos) – I would love to see/read them on Schoology! Once things calm down a little, I also hope to have Schoology Conferences so that we can get together as a group. Right now Schoology is so overloaded, it is crashing – I do not want to add to load, but I remain hopeful there is a time spot that may work to “meet” with your children without wreaking additional havoc!

Creativity Resources for Home:

  • LEGO 30 DAY CHALLENGE:  I will attach a calendar of awesome Lego creativity starter prompts in the Enrichment folder tomorrow.  Here are a few possibilities of how you can incorporate this daily building/creativity calendar with other learning experiences:

→ Have a LEGO Challenge race:  Who can complete their challenge the quickest?  Using the most LEGOS?  Using the least?  Using only one color?  The possibilities are endless!

→ Help your child take a picture of each day’s creation. Send them to me in our Gifted Resource group page!  Let the children compare their pictures and make comments!  J

→ After the challenge each day, encourage your child to WRITE a few sentences (or paragraphs, depending on ability) about their creation.

I’ll end with a blog one of my teammates wrote – I know I definitely identified with it!

Computer Smashers

Hi Everyone!

The above quote (cheesy kitten and all) goes out to all of you who have envisioned throwing a laptop across the room in the last two days. 

Take a deep breath.

The urge to smash the computers is a natural feeling due to the state of things. Self-control is a limited resource and many of us are tapped out right now.

That’s OK.

Many of you are not just my students’ parents but are also my friends or our kids are friends.  I know that you have stressors outside of the virtual learning conundrum. Some of you are financially dependent on the service and tourism industries in town.  Some of you may have been laid off or have had to lay off staff of your own.  There are some of you who have autoimmune diseases/underlying health conditions, kids with the same or asthma, and/or elderly parents that you are worried about.  All of you are in my thoughts. 

Don’t let the virtual school technical issues be another worry.

If you are approaching a breaking point and your self-control tank is below empty- take another deep breath. Make a short list of things that ARE going well.  Show gratitude for those things.  Now- make a list of the things that WILL go well- be grateful for them before they happen. Manifest it.

As far as our kids and virtual learning goes- here are my tried tips for the week:

  • Go through each course and group (some teachers have both) and make a weekly “To Do” list by class. Don’t forget to check BOTH materials and updates.
  • Make a list of each conference for each day and post it in a visible spot, help your child set reminders in their phones, AND have them write the dates/times in their planners (or one of the digital organizers provided by teachers- ask me if you need one!).
  • Remember- conferences won’t work with Edge or Explorer- you need Chrome or another browser.
  • If you can’t get in the conference- don’t panic! Have your child send the teacher a message to let them know that they are having issues. Most teachers are recording the conferences for later viewing.
  • Be passive aggressive with your child and let them know that if they can’t figure out how to use Office 365, they will probably be living on your couch as an adult- thus making you a failure as a parent. Just kidding. This didn’t help or motivate my kids at all.

Please let me know if I can help in ANY WAY.  If you need someone to talk you through a problem on Schoology or a pep talk to keep you from smashing everyone’s electronics- I am here.

Best of luck and try not to be one of the computer smashers!

As Erin said, please let me know how I can help support your child or you! It takes a village!

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Study Skills

I have heard from many of you regarding study strategies. Often our gifted children are successful through elementary school with limited effort. Then, sometimes between 5th and 7th grade, they find themselves needing to study for the first time.  This is a common issue for gifted children, and when it hits, they don’t know what to do.  Here is a link to a great YouTube video on the some of the best scientifically-proven study skills.  I’ve also included a printable resource page you can keep in a visible place at home to serve as a reminder.  If you don’t need this information right now, you may wish to bookmark it for later.  I hope you find it helpful.

Click here for video.

Printable: 6 Strategies for Effective Learning

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Duke TIP 11/15/19

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Great Learning Opportunity for Us parents

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October Newsletter

Gifted Minute Oct 2019

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Parents of 4th, 6th, and 7th graders especially, I encourage you to check out the Duke TIPS information and take advantage of these opportunities.  The test-taking experience, regardless of the outcome, is very valuable.

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Interesting Websites for your Gifted Child

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