Raising Lifelong Learners

Colleen Kessler

Feature Speaker

Colleen Kessler believes that you are the absolute best teacher there is for your gifted, twice-exceptional, or otherwise “differently wired” kiddo. The author of more than a dozen books for parents, teachers, and children; award-winning educator; educational coach and consultant; and passionate advocate for the needs of kids who are wired differently, Colleen has a B.S. in elementary education, an M.Ed. in gifted studies, and is the founder of the popular podcast and website Raising Lifelong Learners, as well as The Learner’s Lab, a membership community of support, social and emotional education, and creative thinking lessons for differently-wired kids and their parents. Her brand-new book, Raising Resilient Sons: A Boy Mom’s Guide to Building a Strong, Confident, and Emotionally Intelligent Family is available now wherever books are sold. Other recent titles include 100 Backyard Activities That Are the Coolest, Dirtiest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever!, Raising Creative Kids: A Collection of Creativity Prompts for Children, and The Anxiety Toolkit: 96 Ways to Help Your Child Calm Their Worries. Colleen lives in Northeast Ohio with her reading specialist husband, four delightfully differently-wired kiddos, feisty border collie pup, lazy pug, bearded dragon, two red-eared sliders, and an ever-changing assortment of other small animals and insects. You can find her online at RaisingLifelongLearners.com.

Colleen’s Session Topics

Session 1 Giftedness: Misunderstood and Misdiagnosed

Often, gifted kiddos are misdiagnosed as having emotional issues. Let’s examine the characteristics of gifted children and discuss how those traits lend themselves to misunderstandings and incorrect diagnoses. We’ll figure out (as best we can) whether a child is showing gifted behaviors or struggles with a challenge like ADHD, SPD, or autism. Because some disabilities are often found in gifted children, we’ll chat about these dual diagnoses, too, and come up with practical strategies for you and your family to use to start turning around your challenges on Monday.

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Session 2 Raising Lifelong Learners

Are your kids fond of learning through workbooks and worksheets? No? Colleen’s aren’t either. In fact, as a gifted specialist working in the classroom for over a decade, she found that most of her students weren’t, either. While project-based learning takes a little more effort to implement, the prep IS worth it. Enjoy this example-loaded session and walk away empowered to bring more hands-on projects and explorations into your homeschool.

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Session 4 Rocking Parenthood and Raising Awesome Adults

It’s sometimes tough to walk the line between giving our kids an amazing childhood by doing “all the things” and being disciplined. Remembering that we’re raising adults—whom we want to help be world changers—reminds us that balance is needed. Colleen helps you find ways to restore balance, rock this parenting thing, and raise awesome adults.

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Session 6 When Worry Overwhelms: Helping Your Anxious Child

The strangest thing about anxiety in children—especially gifted children—is that it doesn’t usually look like what we think of when we think “anxiety.” It can look like anger, frustration, perfectionism, depression, introversion, and so much more. It’s also often BIG when it comes to our littlest ones. Big worries, coupled with a little’s life experiences, works out to kiddos who are overwhelmed and are in a constant battle between flight or fight. You’ll walk away from this session understanding why smart kids worry and how to help them through it.

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