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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. 

  • 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!


  • March 17, 2020 12:20 PM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    Elaine Luther, artist, homeschooling mom and founding member of CGCC, has this lovely list of art projects to do at home!  

  • March 16, 2020 3:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hello everyone,

    This game is adapted from one of Joyce's books (Comprehensive curriculum for gifted learners, 2d ed); my former students loved it!  Your family can easily build a Krypto deck out of index cards.  If you want to see the entire Krypto challenge, email me, and I will send it.

    Read on and have fun!


     "The game of Krypto is a card game that uses a deck of cards numbered 1-25 (three each of cards l-10, two each of cards  1-17, and one each of cards 18-25), A hand of five cards is dealt, then a sixth card that serves as a target number is dealt. The object of the game is to use all five cards in any order combined with any of the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division to obtain a result that is given by the number on the target card. Solutions may not be unique. Some hands may be unsolvable (packaging indicates this is the case in about 1/3,000 hands).

    Card-1      Card-2 Card-3  Card-4   Card-5

    Example:  Hand dealt:   5    12            3                7                   20

    Target card:  2

    Possible solution: 12 divided by (3 x 7 -20 + 5).  See they way in which all of the numbers on the cards listed above (5,12, 3, 7, and 20) produced the number on the target card (2).

    Play Krypto with a partner or small group. Call "Krypto" when you think you have a solution; present it orally. Keep track of how many hands you win.  

    Bonus question:  How do you think the developers of the game concluded that about 1 in every 3,000 hands is unsolvable? "

  • March 13, 2020 6:19 PM | Newenka DuMont (Administrator)

    We are all adjusting to our new world of social distancing and hoping that we can flatten the curve enough that our healthcare infrastructure is not overwhelmed. In real terms this likely means that many of us are home with our kids unexpectedly. And we don't really know what tomorrow will bring so it is hard to plan things. This could be very stressful for our children. I am certain that someone will come up with some excellent guidance that is specific to the pandemic, but in the mean time, the CDC has the following advice for parents for Helping Kids Cope With Emergencies

    Remember to find ways to keep in contact with people while you are practicing social distancing, so that you don't experience social isolation. Schedule phone visits (my kids would say "like the olden days"), catch up with friends on Skype or FaceTime, load up on great books, games, toys, audiobooks and movies at the library, and have everyone in your home come up with a pandemic project - sew that quilt, learn to knit, take up beading or woodwork, something that gets you and them off the internet and off the computer and keeps you sane.  

    Stay safe. 

  • February 24, 2020 2:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Invaluable information will be dispensed at the Bright and Quirky Summit! From the lens of a teacher, I hope that you are open to strategies presented at the Summit on how to work with your child’s teachers and administrators.  My aim is to show you the positive results of collaboration between parents and staff.

    I believe that parents are the best source of information about their children and that is particularly important when it comes to bright and quirky or 2e children.  In my former District, gifted resource teachers viewed parents as our partners in instruction and that helped us understand unique student learning, create opportunities for deep engagement, and give students a sense of control over learning opportunities. 

    A few quick examples: 

    • 1.     Helping with a processing question:  Alec always got the correct answer in algebra, but the way he wrote out his work never made sense; Alec became irritated when asked to explain how he arrived at his answer.   So I brought in Alec’s dad who figured out that Alec was writing out solutions to algebraic problems vertically.   I thought Alec, a transfer student, had been too shy to report his unique method.  His father thought Alec might have been testing me.  Either way, nothing else interfered with Alec's mastery of algebra. 
    • 2.      Deepening engagement:  Jacob’s parents told me that he had an interest in international affairs.  When it came time to begin the second grade unit on Presidents, I convinced the second grade team to extend learning to the international realm:  Jacob studied Nelson Mandela while the rest of the second grade studied U.S. Presidents.  Jacob’s report was so excellent that it landed on television (McNeil-Lehrer).
    • 3.      Giving the student control and recognition:  Sam, a student with ADHD, shined as a resident expert. In class, Sam whizzed through reading material and loved going to the library to learn more about topics related to our unit.  During the last five minutes of every class, Sam presented as an expert.   Making students resident experts was one of the most valuable tools in my arsenal.  Similarly, a mother of a student on the spectrum, Mike, taught me how to set up a Lego robotics program, and that was the beginning of our decision to run special programs at lunch, like Lego Robotics, Creative Writing, and Music Composition.  Mike ran the Robotics team and was very respected by his peers. The Social-Emotional benefits arising from these opportunities were enormous.

    As these examples indicate, parent involvement can foster positive interaction between parents and teachers.  I am certain the Summit will give you more details on developing student strengths, and it will also cover other critical issues, notably how protect a student from being marginalized because of learning deficits.   Enjoy the Summit, and in the spirit of learning, I leave you with one of the best articles on 2e I’ve ever read (below):

    *  Winebrenner, S. (2003). Teaching strategies for teaching twice exceptional students, Intervention and School Clinic, 38 (3), pp. 131-137.

  • February 21, 2020 10:41 AM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    From the Museum of Science and Industry web site . . .

    Teen Advisory Committee

    Teens are invited to share their ideas on how MSI can better engage youth audiences in this new initiative.

    Applications are now open for the 2020 Teen Advisory Committee! Submit your application by the March 6, 2020 deadline.

    Join us this summer as we explore behind-the-scenes of the Museum’s exhibits, social media, special events, and more!

    Our Teen Advisory Committee (TAC) is seeking high school students who love science, to share their ideas on how MSI can better engage youth audiences. Members of TAC will have the opportunity to work side-by-side with senior Museum staff as they give feedback on a wide range of Museum content and discuss the museum’s future.

    MSI provides engaging and interactive experiences for youth, and people of all ages, in science and science-related disciplines. TAC is your opportunity to help make our vision to inspire and motivate visitors in the fields of science, technology, engineering and medicine come true.


    • Youth ages 14–17 by July 9, 2020
    • Have access to the internet for online assignments
    • Be able to attend ALL meetings at MSI as scheduled


    Teen Advisory Committee members are required to attend four meetings, complete short online tasks before each meeting, and provide feedback on a variety of content topics. Members should be comfortable speaking in front of a group of their peers and senior Museum management.

    MANDATORY meetings (from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.):

    • Thursday, July 9
    • Thursday, July 16
    • Thursday, July 23
    • Thursday, July 30


    All TAC members will receive:

    • 20 service learning hours
    • $50 Amazon or Target gift card
    • A voucher to visit MSI separately with friends and family (five people maximum)

    Also, participating in TAC will look great on resumes and college applications!


    • Applications open from January 13 – March 6, 2020 
    • Applications/essays reviewed from March 9 – March 27, 2020 
    • New committee members notified via email by Friday, April 3, 2020

    Click here for complete details.

  • February 06, 2020 3:54 PM | Linda Zanieski (Administrator)

    Institute for Education Advancement's (IEA) Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship offers one of the only merit-based, need-blind high school scholarships to highly gifted students across the United States.

    See the IEA web site for complete details. The following is a small portion of the complete information taken from the web site.

    Scholars receive a four-year high school scholarship to an optimally matched high school program intended to meet their unique intellectual and personal needs, as well as receiving individualized support, educational advocacy, and a network of like-minded peers.

    The Caroline D. Bradley Scholarship is a full four-year, merit-based high school scholarship. The Scholarship can be used nationally toward any high school or approved alternative educational program that best fits the Scholar’s individual intellectual, academic, and personal needs and goals. The Scholarship enables highly able middle school students to explore and access unlimited high school and early college opportunities that provide these young adults with the optimal educational match for their high school career.


    A Caroline D. Bradley Scholar is a young student who excels academically, displays a genuine quest for knowledge, thrives in the discovery process, is a leader among peers, and embraces the ideals of integrity, service, and honesty. CDB targets exceptionally gifted young people who seek a rigorous, diversified high school program but need assistance finding or attending the appropriate learning environment that will help them work towards and achieve their full potential. Through a highly selective, in-depth portfolio application and interview process, CDB annually identifies exceptional middle school students from across the country who best meet the following criteria:

    • Currently in 7th grade
    • Demonstrates exceptional academic ability and achievement
    • Has scored in the 97th percentile or above – or scored as “Advanced” – in one or more of the major academic areas of school-administered, nationally-normed standardized test for the past two years
    • Scores 20 or higher in either the Math or Reading component of the ACT or scores 500 or higher in either the Critical Reading or Math component of SAT Reasoning Test
    • Strives for excellence and continually seeks more rigorous academic challenges
    • Demonstrates leadership abilities
    • Exhibits creative thinking
    • Is extremely curious and has a thirst for knowledge
    • Exhibits a passion for learning
    • Is highly motivated
    • Embraces the merits of integrity and honesty
    • Demonstrates a high level of maturity and a strong sense of self
    • Seeks an accelerated, diversified high school program
    • Is a U.S. citizen who is going to attend a high school program based in the U.S.

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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We  are an all volunteer-based organization that relies on annual memberships from parents, professionals, and supporters to provide organizers with web site operations, a registration system, event insurance, background checks, etc. 

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