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Chicago Gifted Community Center

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Welcome to our blog.   Please note that this page is open to the public, so any comments made by members will be visible to the general public also.  At this time, only members can make comments to the posts. 

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  • May 08, 2020 9:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A rollercoaster. That is the one word that describes my experience as a 2e parent. My “ride” started 12 years ago when I noticed my 15 month old starting to speak in whole sentence instead of just baby talk phrases. I was amazed at his capabilities at that age, as I am today.

    Being a parent of a gifted child, you embrace the highs of their achievements and endure the lows, which can be dramatic. One of the most important pieces of advice I received was from a retired special ed professional was to “find your people”. When my son started Kindergarten and I realized the uphill journey he was to endure, that is exactly what I did!

    I went to any meeting that involved gifted and accommodating learning disabilities. I attended seminars and workshops, created a parent support group with another parent called SOS for 2e (Supports, Options and Solutions) and finally landed at the door steps of the Chicago Gifted Community Center.

    I have the honor of being elected President of CGCC this coming year. I am proud of this organization and our mission to help all gifted families and students create a community, so no one is without support. To me, the most important part of the rollercoaster is to have “your people” who you can talk to when things are going great and a shoulder to cry on and figure out solutions when it seems the world is crashing down on you.

    Since COVID-19, the world is a much different place and never has there been a time that a community for supports was needed more than right now. As I start with my new responsibilities, I want to thank Newenka DuMont, the past president, still active Board Member and a founder of CGCC, for her past contributions which are numerous. Lastly, I want to honor the mothers for the strength and determination that you display day in and day out. You are an extraordinary group of moms determined to make a difference. Enjoy your special day and below is a quote:

    “Be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to listen to your heart and strong enough to live the life you’ve always imagined.” – Happy Mother’s Day!

  • April 28, 2020 4:23 PM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    I joined the board of the Chicago Gifted Community Center about 10 minutes after it was formed in 2011.  At that point my oldest had graduated from the Illinois Math and Science Academy and headed off to Harvey Mudd College and my youngest was taking a year away from public schools to learn exciting things before attending the local high school. 

    I have spent the last 5 years leading our organization. In this time I have learned a ton and I hope I have helped a few people understand their children just a little better. However, now the time has come for a change, and I am happy to announce that board member Carole Jones has assumed the presidency.  I will remain on the board and will continue as the West Suburban Coordinator.

    Please join me in welcoming Carole

  • April 18, 2020 9:58 AM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    The National Association for Gifted Children has an entire array of very useful tip sheets for parents raising gifted children.  Their newest offering may be very useful to parents today!

  • April 03, 2020 3:44 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    From the Talent Development Cooperative website . . .

    KidsTalk is an online meet-up promoting mutual support and the sharing of insights and experiences of kids for kids. KidsTalk is a program of the family-centered clinical practice of Melissa Sornik, LCSW PLLC and was created to provide children and adolescents an opportunity to make connections while they adjust to the isolating impact of COVID-19. (The practice specializes in support, guidance and a range of therapeutic programs for gifted (including 2e) children, adolescents and their families. )

    We’ve been talking with many of our young clients and are impressed with the resilience, creativity and coping strategies they’re developing as they adapt to the “new normal” they are now living every day. They have thoughts, ideas and experiences to share with each other and we have created a safe, welcoming and positive online space for them to connect.

    Three one-hour online KidsTalk meet-ups are offered several times weekly for children and adolescents ages 9-17. There is a KidsTalk meet-up for elementary schoolers in grades 4 and 5, a KidsTalk meet-up for middle schoolers in grades 6 through 8, and a KidsTalk meet up for high schoolers in grades 9 through 12. Each one hour meet-up session will host 4 - 5 participants.

    Meet-ups will be supervised and supported by teacher and therapist Jacob Greebel, MEd, LMSW, who will ensure that all meet-up members are given an opportunity to participate comfortably in discussions that are meaningful, productive and positive. Topics will be kid-centered and will include sharing experiences, advice, recommendations and perspectives about home schooling, ways to beat boredom, exercise, developing new hobbies and interests, navigating interactions and relationships with parents and siblings in shared spaces, and different ways to stay connected with friends and extended families while practicing social distancing. KidsTalk meet-ups will promote creative problem-solving, kid-driven topics, and skills for building and maintaining social connections and relationships.

    There is a $25/per participant/per KidsTalk meet-up session.

    All Kids Talk meet-ups require a designated link to join.

    Program will begin the week of April 12th.

    Click here for complete details and registration information.

  • April 01, 2020 10:00 PM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    My sister has been adventure homeschooling for three year. While homeschooling she, her husband and their three children (now 3, 6, and 10) have zigzagged on bikes across Europe, spend months skiing and  RVing across New Zealand. When the schools closed, many of her friends and acquaintances asked for guidance on how to handle their sudden homeschooling situation. I offer her advice to those looking for help.

    How to Minimalist Homeschool: You Can Do This! by Maneksha DuMont

  • March 29, 2020 1:20 PM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    I am not the editor of our Weekly Update - this would not play to my strengths. But we have two excellent editors - Linda and Pam - who have been hard at work this week assembling an amazing link of resources for you!  I am so impressed with it, that I have linked it to this blog post for anyone who is not currently on our distribution list, and for those who have lost it in their email boxes.  

    March 19 Weekly Update

    To join our mailing list press the subscribe on our home page!  (scroll to the very bottom!)   

  • March 28, 2020 4:25 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    Please enjoy this post from professional member, Katherine Peterson . . .

    As I sit quietly quarantined with a headache and temperature, unable to read or make time useful, I am alone in my room. I have much time to think about many fertile memories as the parent of my 2E children. I am left to my own devices, much like my son was earlier in his education. Dozing and recalling the years when well-meaning professionals were compelled by their frustration and mine to label him “lazy.” I’m aware of the time it took me to develop the courage to take the view that only a parent can have. It wasn’t until early middle school that I was able to see the situation for what it was, through his strengths rather than his weaknesses. A deeply discouraged, very bright young man, submitted to a process that discouraged his love of learning, and I later learned, disrupted his own personal process to learn.

    The idea of valuing personal process came from a kind and beloved expert who became a dear friend and support through a deeply disturbing and confusing time. “What if he has his own way of doing things? What if that is a process by which he proves to himself that he is learning something of value?” I paused at this powerful question, recalling the staying power of my son’s remarkable attention. He could manipulate and work with Lego pieces for hours, forgetting to come to lunch, not hearing the call to go to the park, so engrossed in his gleeful toddler pleasure that he almost forgot to use the bathroom. Those were days when I saw a shimmer of delightful engagement in his eyes. That happy look said, “I’m doing it myself! I’m trying it myself! I’m showing myself, proving to myself and to my own satisfaction!” He was not interested in the praise of an audience, or proving his own discoveries to anyone but himself. It took careful examination and skillful engagement to understand his process of learning. It was a fragile emerging tendril of growth, a personal process in process. I remember a system of discovery of which he needed fervently to be the architect. A consummate skeptic who was not much interested in the verbal exchange about his ideas, nor wanting to try the ideas of others. He wanted only to “do it my own way” balking vigorously when it was time to brush his teeth, dress for the day, or depart for preschool He was immersed fully, mindfully, bodily, in the depth of his spirit in an engaged personal quest for information about the form of things, the way they connected, how they worked together and so on. He slept satisfied and soundly through the night, emerging victorious in the mornings when he was able to reengage his curiosity and thirst for process.

    In reading “The Good Neighbor; The Life and Work of Fred Rogers,” I note a quote that resonated in deep truth, “There are many people in the world who want to make children into performing seals. And as long as children can perform well, those adults will applaud. But I would much rather help a child to be able to say who he or she is.” This wisdom was not available at the time, but could have been the guiding principal for how the education of this young man played out. A bright quirky adolescent labeled “lazy” and “underachieving” when the adults in his life wanted performance, he wanted something completely different. I could not see, at the time, what that thing was. Still, the pain of watching him lose that sparkle and engagement in learning gave me the energetic courage to try a new approach. “I don’t know what I’m doing buddy, but if you’re willing, I’m willing to try to see how we can learn how to learn happily again.”

    I’m still not sure how I dealt with the depth of discouragement. The principal of his school, the educational psychologist whom we hired at great expense, and even my husband were all wondering, doubting, and in some cases outright objecting. I pressed on, motivated by the memory of the shine in his eyes as the height of his Lego tower grew, and the bright pieces of building emerged quietly triumphant in the morning light, until at last, after dragging the heavy old step stool forth the tower fell, and the process began anew. In the solitude of my room I see that as the beginning of a wonderful journey of understanding, and later embracing the value of one gifted young persons personal process.

    Today, our son is not an engineer. or even a architect, but lives independently in Buenos Aires, Argentina, immersing himself fully into the exploration of life abroad, living with simple needs, and a depth of satisfaction. And, yes, doing it entirely his own way, with a gleam in his eye and energetic purpose in his outlook.

    Late in life parent, Katherine Peterson, found the courage to home school her son, and later her daughter, both 2E children. She learned through her own personal process how to be the intuitive guiding support to her children’s education. Katherine has a background as varied as her many interests including yoga instructor, Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner, and most recently Human Potential Coach, supporting the unique personal process of mothers guiding and facilitating the unfolding of their gifted children through the depth of personal process.

  • March 26, 2020 7:27 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator) presents:


    Suddenly — Technology has become our lifeline.

    We are delighted to present this FREE online event, a series of 18+ in-depth interviews featuring the most recognized global experts in Technology & Parenting. Their wisdom and guidance is immediately actionable -- and their timing is impeccable!

    Digital Sanity Summit 2020

    Months ago, when we started planning a Free VIRTUAL event on managing the challenges of technology and parenting in 2020, we had NO IDEA that parents across the world would be navigating a strange, new world of social distancing -- while working and schooling from home!

    But here we are, ready to serve the needs of parents in exactly the way you need it most. We are so glad you've found us.

    "The Digital Sanity Summit: Navigating Technology in the Modern World of Parenting" will go live on March 30 for five days — featuring in-depth interviews with 18+ leading experts on Technology and Parenting from all over the world, with an interactive online Exhibition Hall for additional resources and access to speakers and sponsors.

    We'll be discussing classic "tech & parenting" issues such as:

    • parent controls
    • cyber-safety
    • using technology to cultivate social relationships
    • how to talk with your kids about tech without conflict

    We'll also be talking about life in the pandemic era, such as:

    • how to create new, healthy tech habits
    • making the most of using tech together as a family
    • how to have conscious conversations about technology

    and so much more!

    Click here for complete details and to register.

  • March 26, 2020 12:07 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    From the Brave Writer website . . .

    Homebound 2020: Hosted by Julie Bogart and Susan Wise Bauer

    Presented by Brave Writer and The Well-Trained Mind

    We invite you to join us and our friends for a FREE Online Homeschool and "Suddenly-at-Home" School Conference. Since you are home, we want to fill that time with nourishment and growth, so when you burst forth into the world again, you are full of confidence and resources.

    During the entire week of March 23-27, we are offering free webinar events for your children and for you. 

    You will need to register for each webinar but there is NO FEE.

    Webinars can hold up to 3000 live attendees. 

    We will make all replays available TO EVERYONE (registration not necessary for replay) on this page as soon as possible, usually within 24 hours.

    We would love you to get the word out to your friends and family!

    Our hope is that you will gain renewed courage and energy for the challenging task at hand: educating your children during this unusual season in our global history.

    Fondly, Julie and Susan

    How to Attend

    • Register for each session you'd like to attend.
    • You will be notified by email twice: one day prior and then 15 minutes before the session starts.
    • 1000 live attendees will be welcomed in per session. If you are unable to get in, know that there will be replays posted on this website.
    • We use the Zoom Webinar Platform.
    EVERY DAYAny timeAmy Ludwig Vanderwater
    Daily share for writing notebooks for children
     1 PMJim Weiss
     4 PMMelissa Wiley
    Reading aloud from her book, The Prairie Thief
    March 23
    7 PMJosh MacNeill
    Brain Breaks: Relieving Stress, Preparing the Brain to Learn
     8:30 PMJulie Bogart
    Home, not School: Creating the Context for Learning and Life
    March 24
    7 PMCharnaie Gordon
    Same, Same, But Different: Diversity in Children’s Literature
     8:30 PMSusan Wise Bauer
    Homeschooling Real Children, Good Kids, and Odd Kids Out
    March 25
    7PMKate Snow
    How to Teach Math Facts That Stick
     8:30 PMJulie Bogart
    Word Play: Creating a Reading and Writing Rich Life!
    March 26
    7 PMRita Cevasco
    Foundations in Reading: Help Your Child Build Skills and Make Progress
     8:30 PMSusan Wise Bauer
    What Is History and Why Do We Study It?
    March 27
    7 PMAinsley Arment
    Reclaiming Wonder in our Children’s Education
     8:30 PMSusan Wise Bauer + Julie Bogart
    Conversation + Q&A

    See the Brave Write website for additional information and links to past sessions.

  • March 18, 2020 4:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    One of my favorite wordplay projects for primary students involves compound words.  If you think about it, the list of compound words is quite plentiful:






    Can't you envision sunshine enveloping a pigtailed child standing on her driveway watching the mailman deliver letters in her hometown?  Ask your child to draw the scene.  Could your child make up a different scene or story if she separated the compound words:  pig + tail or drive + way or home  + town?   Or, help you child come up with new words using an existing term, i.e., way: highway or beltway or skyway.  Rhyming adds to the fun.

    You can even make a competition out of finding any number of compound words.  Set a timer and see who can come up with the most compound words in a minute.

    Have fun and count +down!


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About cgcc

The Chicago Gifted Community Center (CGCC) is a member-driven 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by parents to support the intellectual and emotional growth of gifted children and their families. 

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