#062 Part 2 of Navigating Education with Gifted Kids w/ Kintara Phillips

#062 Part 2 of Navigating Education with Gifted Kids w/ Kintara Phillips

We’re back with Part 2 of our episode talking to Kintara Phillips about navigating schools and education with gifted kids.

In these episodes we ask Kintara to answer all of those questions you have about how to talk to your child’s teacher, what questions to ask a new school, when is it time to move on, what kind of education is your child going to need and so much more… there was so much we have split it into two episodes!

Memorable Quote

Kintara Phillips – “Are they getting a hundred percent on all their tests?

Are they getting perfect marks on all of their English essays? Which on the surface parents would be like, well, that’s amazing. Like what are you complaining about?

I’m complaining because if my kid, with no effort, gets 100%, could they have gotten a hundred at the start of the unit? The conversations I have with teachers are like, I’m a happy parent when my kids test results are around 75, 80%. It means you’ve pitched it well. We’ve got that point where there’s stuff he doesn’t know.” 

Sophia Elliott – “Yeah. The sacred ground of the stuff they don’t know. Absolutely.”


  • Emergence Education Website
  • Emergence Education Facebook
  • Emergence Education Instagram
  • James & Susie Youtube Video
    • “An allegory about what happens to smart kids who skate through elementary school, and don’t get opportunities to develop persistence, grit, and the true self-confidence that comes from knowing how to tackle a genuine challenge.”
  • Heather’s Podcast – what happens when you don’t learn how to learn – #033 [GTN Awareness Week] #ActuallyGifted Adult with Heather Cox
  • State Gifted Associations – Australia (AAEGT) – USA


Kintara Phillips worked as a Secondary English teacher for 21 years across government, independent and catholic schools. After a principal suggested that her ‘gut feeling’ about extending the gifted students in her class needed to be backed by some evidence – always the overachiever, she completed a Masters in Gifted Education at UNSW in 2016 and presented said evidence at the International Gifted Conference later the same year (and yes, her gut feeling was right). Leaving the classroom in 2021, frustrated by the restrictive system and desperate to find a way to shake things up, she now finds herself almost halfway through a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and plans to complete honours then a Masters in Educational Psychology sometime before she turns 50.

Earlier this year, Kintara was formally diagnosed with ADHD, confirming her place in the2e community and further strengthening her passion for supporting young people and their families, but also educating teachers to be able to provide better inclusions and educational outcomes for gifted and 2e learners. Longer term she hopes to blend her years of classroom experience and psychology training to bridge the gap between schools, psychologists and gifted education and would love nothing more than to see her name mentioned when parents ask about for recommendations for a psychologist experienced with giftedness in the future.

Kintara currently teaches in the Masters of Teaching at two Victorian Universities, and hopes that by employing the butterfly effect and mentioning gifted learners frequently, even if it’s not in the course outline, to the future teacher’s she works with, that perhaps a little shake up may occur in schools sooner than later.

In all her spare time, Kintara and her teacher bestie, have started to build and nurture a small business specifically positioned to support gifted students navigate school, help families plan and advocate and work in schools with teachers providing professional learning opportunities that build understanding of gifted learning needs.

Hit play and let’s get started!


[00:00:00] Sophia Elliott: Hello, and welcome back to part two of navigating education with gifted kids with kin Tara Phillips. We started this conversation last week and. I had to make it part one part two, because we just kept talking and, but it’s such a great conversation. We cover all sorts of different topics. Lots of those, quite frankly, the frequently asked questions about education.

[00:00:29] It’s our privilege to have Conterra joining us in these podcasts to talk about. Just everything that you want to know. I, I did have a thought for a moment. I should really try Itemize this a bit more, but to be honest, if I did that, I would just never get these podcasts published. So my apologies, bear with me.

[00:00:51] Oh, trust me. It’s worth listening to the whole thing. Uh, can Tara Phillips our guests last week as well. A secondary English teacher for more than 21 years. Uh, with a master’s in gifted education. Uh, university of new south Wales. She now has emergence education, where she works with gifted kids in their families.

[00:01:15] She also does professional development in school. She also teaches at university prospective teachers. And drops in a lot about gifted kids during that process. It’s a delight to have Conterra. On the podcast again, this week in part two of navigating education with gifted kids, I’m super excited. There’s lots of great stuff in this episode.

[00:01:40] Drew office align on our Facebook page or on our gifted kids. Instagram, let us know what you think. Is there anything we haven’t covered in these two episodes? Because. I kept asking Conterra those questions and she kept So I would love to hear if there’s anything we’ve missed. You can subscribe with our gifted kids.

[00:02:00] Dot com. And never miss an episode and we’ll keep you up to date. Uh, but we do not spam. I have an inbox full of emails. So. I probably do the wrong thing and just send you

[00:02:15] Um, So join in the conversation we would love to hear from you. And if these episodes have been helpful, which I’m sure they will be. Thank you. Conterra so much for joining us. It’s been an absolute delight. Talking to you in these pod cars and being able to share this with everyone, because I know there’s so much here that I just would have loved to have known when I was studying out on this journey. And it’s a real privilege to be able to share that

[00:02:45] So that other parents out there, hopefully you listening. I hope this really helps. Um, and let me know. If there are any, is, is possibly anything that we haven’t covered. And I’m sure we I’m Russell Conterra and get it back on for another episode. So, thank you very much. Enjoy the episode and we’ll see you again soon. Bye.

[00:03:39] So question for you. And

[00:03:42] so, uh,

[00:03:44] so given for, for those parents who have gone out and gotten an assessment yeah. And assuming that that assessment is accurate, cuz we won’t go down that route, but you know, they’re, they’re not always, you know, there can be issues with them, but assuming the educational cognitive assessment or IQ test that you’ve done is a good reflection of your child talking about giftedness.

[00:04:07] So giftedness is, you know, you technically that top 10%. But then if you look at standard deviations, there’s a lot between, as you know, the 90th percentile and like the 99.9 or even the 95th. Yeah. You know, and so what I tried to get my head around for my kids was okay, given where my child is, you know, between that 90 and 99.9, can that provide some information for me as to what kind of educational, uh, environment they need or accommodations they might need because and, and some parents will say, look, my kids at this school, they’re pretty good.

[00:04:54] But you know, should I be X, Y, Z? And it’s kind of like, well, if they’re happy is a good indicator, but I also think if you’ve got that information and it’s accurate, it can give you a clue as to what they might need. And so what I’m kind of getting here is that the difference between what someone at who’s is very much around the, the 90th and low 90 percentiles might need versus someone at the 99.9 kind of thing.

[00:05:22] And is that something you have experienced?

[00:05:25] Kintara Phillips: It is, and that’s the thing like that, that 90th percentile, that top 10% class of 25 kids, theoretically, should. Between two and three kids in every class. Absolutely.

[00:05:37] Sophia Elliott: They’re there it’s like 10% of student population. Yeah. And I can’t

[00:05:40] Kintara Phillips: remember if it was MI who used the term or Susan Smith who is another beautiful standup, wonderful woman from U NS.

[00:05:49] W who, who referred to that 10%? That 90% of is just our garden variety, gifted gift. Right. And I just picture a garden home, like a really cute little right. And those garden variety gift they’re everywhere. And I say to teachers, if you are not aware of they’re in your class right now. Yeah. Just you they’re there, you haven’t they’re there.

[00:06:12] And we tend to they’re they’re the kids that often in terms of classwork and differentiation and stuff, you can treat like you’re high achievers. Yeah. And they’re, they, they tend to be okay. Yeah. Right. Yeah. But then yeah, you get to the, the 99th, 98, 90 ninth percenters. And you, you know, and a side of teachers, the reality is you may encounter one or two kids at that level across your entire teaching career.

[00:06:44] Yeah. They, they’re not as scattered. They’re not as frequent. They’re not as you know, so they, it it’s trickier, you know, to, to work with those kids. And I think a lot of, a lot of that in terms of, you know, other. All teachers having a masters of gifted ed level understanding of stuff that the best advice I can give to teachers in that situation is listen to the parents.

[00:07:12] Mm-hmm the parent knows their child better than you ever will. Yeah. Right. And admit, I don’t know what to do with this 99 percenter. Like, you know, what works at home? What do you think? What let’s work together? What do we need here? Yeah. What can we try? What do you find might help? Because, and you know, like you were saying that even that percentile, you know, you look at, you look at the bell curve and as much as you hate statistics and norm, it’s not

[00:07:44] Sophia Elliott: everything, but not everything, you know,

[00:07:47] Kintara Phillips: it’s helpful to conceptualize for teachers.

[00:07:52] So two standard deviations below the norm is an IQ of 70. Yeah. Now an IQ of 70 qualifies students to meet the needs for enrollment at a special education setting. Yeah. Now in order to teach in a special education setting. Yeah. You need additional qualifications as an educator. Yeah. I, I couldn’t go and teach.

[00:08:17] In a special school. I don’t have the additional qualifications to do that. Yeah. So if at one end of the scale, we’re saying two standard deviations from the norm means you need extra training to be allowed to be trusted professionally with these

[00:08:36] standard deviations. The other way from the norm is an IQ of one 30 mm-hmm , which is 10 percenters. Yeah. But there’s no equivalent there’s no, yeah. You need extra training to be trusted with these children. Yeah. So that’s problematic in itself. Inequity. Yeah. Inequity. And I think, you know, like you were saying about if, if the, if the data you’ve got’s right.

[00:09:05] If the testing’s right. Yeah. You know, you know, these things and you know, is your, is your kid happy at school? And you know, these are the kids who, they’re not our 99%, you know, we’re talking about our garden varieties and I happy being successful. Is it all kind of going okay, should I do anything? Like, do I need to do anything?

[00:09:25] The things that, that I kind of look for is looking at, and these are conversations I’ve had with my parent hat on cuz that’s where my kid sits. My kids, just a garden variety, gifty. Is he bringing hi? Are they bringing home a hundred percent on everything? Are they getting a hundred percent on all their tests?

[00:09:41] Mm-hmm are they getting perfect marks on all of their English essays? Are they, which on the surface parents would be like, well, that’s amazing. Like what complaining about I’m complaining because if my kid, yeah. With no, with no effort with, could they have gotten a hundred at the start of the unit, like, you know, the conversations I have with teachers are like, I I’m, I’m a happy parent when my kids test results around 75, 80% mm-hmm right.

[00:10:12] It means you’ve you’ve, you’ve pitched it. We’ve got that point where there’s stuff, he doesn’t know.

[00:10:19] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. The sacred ground of the stuff they don’t know. Absolutely.

[00:10:23] Kintara Phillips: Yep. Yes. And you know, so even those kids who, who are happy and are success, but if they’re bringing home perfect marks or you have the conversation where, you know, often, you know, my could get some car and what did you learn today?

[00:10:37] And he’d be like nothing, you know, and with the teacher hat on you, like, don’t be a pain in the ass. Like you’ve been, and he’s like, no, literally nothing. Everything we did today, I already knew. And for a lot of that’s the reality. Yeah. And, and they’re compliant. So we don’t.

[00:10:55] Sophia Elliott: Absolutely. And I mean, there’s research out there quite convincing research that will show that for a gifted kid for 80% or more of the year, they’re not actually learning anything new.

[00:11:07] Yeah. So finding that sweet spot of this is why we talk about acceleration and sometimes radical acceleration, cuz you’re trying to find that spot where they’re actually learning things that they don’t know. Yeah. So, so I, I love the norm idea because I do in my head visual, I’ve got this lovely little garden party of norms.

[00:11:28] And they’re they’re at school. They may, they may be somewhere near their sweet spot with a bit of, you know, a class here or, you know, something a bit harder there. But, but the, I like, I think if you’ve got one of those kids like fricking Bravo because there’s more options, right? Yeah. And you, there’s more likely gonna find a school that has the pullout program or a gifted program or there’s, you know, some mentoring slash tutoring that they can do or whatever their special area might be.

[00:12:00] You can do a bit of that and a bit of that and they’re happy. Yeah. You know, and it’s kind of meeting their needs and they’re getting a challenge. They’re learning how to learn, which I think is the big thing for a gifted kid. Ah,

[00:12:11] Kintara Phillips: do you know? That is

[00:12:11] Sophia Elliott: my number one, right.

[00:12:15] Kintara Phillips: If I ever Eve, if I ever. Decided to do a PhD.

[00:12:22] Huge. If the only, the only benefit I see at the moment of doing a PhD is that I get the, uh, I get to use doctor. If I, if I finish a PhD and I, if I was still teaching in classrooms, I would 100% insist that the children referred to me as Dr. Phil fill. nice. I don’t, I don’t think I’d get the joke. I just don’t.

[00:12:44] Yeah, but you’d to at the moment, yeah, it doesn’t weigh up, but yeah, if I was ever going to do a PhD yeah. It would 100% be I that idea of, I call it academic resilience yes. And give, and it’s that idea that when they’re not having to work hard or push beyond or problem solve. Yeah. Academically learning wise, mm-hmm they don’t realize that that’s just part of learning.

[00:13:18] Yes. That’s part of the process learning come up against hurdles and we all have to work out what we do with it. Mm-hmm and what happens a lot that I see, cuz I teach at that upper end. I see kids come in at year 10, 11 and 12 who have cruised through who have got straight A’s and a hundred percent on everything.

[00:13:39] Everything’s just been really easy with minimal effort and study and all of a sudden it get. A bit real. Yeah. Gets a little bit more complex. The pace picks up, you know, in, in VCN Victoria, you know, it’s jam packed. There is no time to review. There is no time to go over things again. And for lots of kids, that’s the first time they don’t get it straight away.

[00:14:07] Yeah. And they don’t know what to do with that feeling. They don’t know what to do with that experience. Yeah. And they will often throw their hands in the air. Yeah. Do it too hard. Not, I, I actually don’t like this anymore. This is not. And I’m the perfect example. First, first time I remember the first time I hit that and it was year 11 chemistry.

[00:14:27] Mm-hmm I did three weeks of year 11 chemistry withdrew from the subject. The only other subject I could transfer into was your 11 cake decorating. So I did,

[00:14:39] Sophia Elliott: I loves

[00:14:40] Kintara Phillips: that was the first time. Yeah. I had ever. Yeah, not, and I had no idea how to, how to push through

[00:14:48] Sophia Elliott: it. Yeah. So there’s two things that I will share in the show notes for this episode.

[00:14:52] One is a YouTube video called James and Susie, and I share it all the time. Cause it’s freaking good. And it it’s a little, it’s a little cute little video about why learning, how to learn is so important. Yeah. Like from primary, yes. And a link to the podcast I did with Heather who like yourself, it’s just about her experience of going to school and not having to learn how to learn.

[00:15:14] And then when she did, like everything fell apart. So two great kind of resources there on that note, because this is the thing we don’t realize that our neuro typical kids, when they go to school right. From our very first experiences, when they don’t get it, it’s a skill to learn how to ask for help. Yep.

[00:15:35] It’s a skill to learn how to find other ways of figuring stuff out. And if you don’t learn those skills, like every other kid is like, if you get to grade 11 and you haven’t learned that skill, every other kid in that school is 11 years ahead of you. Yes. So

[00:15:52] Kintara Phillips: learning those skills in

[00:15:53] Sophia Elliott: that, right? Yeah. So fundamental.

[00:15:56] So when we’re, so what we’re looking for for our gifted kids are not a hundred percent straight a plus it’s actually, we want them to be getting. You know, bees, we want them to be in that middle bit or CS, whatever, but we want them to be stretched, learning how to learn, being uncomfortable. So even at

[00:16:19] Kintara Phillips: those comfort sitting in the discomfort that comes before God, yeah.

[00:16:23] Sophia Elliott: Sitting in the discomfort. Yes, it is. Even as a grown up, I hate that place. Oh yeah. So when we, so that’s our, our garden variety giftee and like you say, there’s a lot out there and they, they need all of these things as well, but then we move up and those, uh, standard deviations increase. So then we’ve got, I kind of, I, in my head, I kind of have three zones and they’re a bit mushy, but it’s kind of like that lower end of the nineties.

[00:16:55] And there’s like, you’ve got more options and pull out programs and, and that’s like a freaking great place to be in. Cuz there’s more options there. Yeah.

[00:17:03] Kintara Phillips: There’s more of them then successful. They’re not behavioral issues. They’re not failing. You’re not having meetings at school every second day when you’ve got a garden variety gifty.

[00:17:16] Sophia Elliott: Yep. And then you’ve kind of got the highly gifted, which is a 95, 98 kind of thing. And then you’ve got the 90 nines to 99 point nines, which are the other two categories in my head. Yeah. Because I think that’s where. Like shit just gets real. lying. Like let’s just face it. Yeah. Because the accommodations they need are even more at the 95, 98 kind of thing, depending on the kid.

[00:17:45] But yes. Let’s not even depending on at that level. Yeah. But then again, it steps up again at the 99, 9 point nines, right? Yeah. Yeah. So, so if you’ve got a kid in those two kind of areas in your kind of opinion, what kind of things are parents going to need to look out for in terms of how do you meet those unicorn educational needs?

[00:18:06] Kintara Phillips: What was that? Sorry. Need to find unicorns. Unicorns. Yes. Because schools and teachers who understand that. Yeah. And who are open to what we all know these kids, these kids need to be accelerated. Oh yeah, they do. Yeah. The, the, you know, the studies and the research and the data that tells us those kids need to be accelerated.

[00:18:38] Yeah. They need to be with like-minded peers. There is no long term wellbeing, mental health, negative impact on like, you know what I’m like? Oh yeah. You can in schools are so resistant to the acceleration. I’ll tell you a story. Won’t somebody think of the children.

[00:19:02] Sophia Elliott: Oh my God. So this is my story of acceleration and I’ll, it’s kind of like, so one of my kids who is a 99.9 was in reception, did start six months earlier.

[00:19:16] Not because of any other reason, except for just birthday. Yeah. Right. No one had ever kind of suggested that he was anything other than bright, so he’d already done. So we’re into that kind of second year. So he had done three terms of reception already, but we’re at the beginning of, you know, the school year.

[00:19:35] Yeah. We’re in term two. I’ve got the report that says nine, 9.9. We’ve got the evidence showing that he is frustrated, unhappy, gifted burnout. Classic. Yeah. All is not well that school did midyear shifts. So there were kids in his class from reception going up to the grade 1, 2, 3 class. Cause it was a cluster class, but they would not accelerate him because they said his handwriting wasn’t quite good enough.

[00:20:04] And they were worried about his social emotional. And I just said to them, look, he turns six, like next week in his head. He has already transitioned to that class, cuz that’s a grade. That’s the six year old’s class, not to mention friends from this class are going to that one. Yeah. So he is there with friends, not to mention, you’ve got a psych report here saying he needs acceleration, not to mention it’s a 1, 2, 3 class.

[00:20:29] He could actually be accelerated with that same group of kids easily do grade three work or two work like they refused. And it blew my brain out. I could not get my head around it and we obviously ended up leaving because like what the and if it’s

[00:20:46] Kintara Phillips: those. Those little things that they hope like those handwriting’s not up to scratch.

[00:20:51] I know someone who was told well, we couldn’t accelerate because they can’t cut in a straight line. Yes. It’s the, well, we can’t possibly let them have the next level up readers because what will they read next year? All of those things that you just yeah. You’re like,

[00:21:07] Sophia Elliott: yeah. So, and on that gifted kids, handwriting sucks and it will suck until they get over older.

[00:21:14] So get over it and let them do something interesting. Yeah.

[00:21:18] Kintara Phillips: Cause when your brain works that quickly, your hand cannot possibly keep up.

[00:21:24] Sophia Elliott: It is not a reason to stop them doing anything else. No. So, so, so I think we’re in agreeance when you get to that highly profoundly gifted kind of the 95 90 eights and then the 90 nineties you need something very different.

[00:21:38] Yeah. Still, and it sucks to be the parent of that kid because it’s hard to find that.

[00:21:44] Kintara Phillips: Yes. And that’s what I’m saying. Those kinds of schools yeah. Are like finding a

[00:21:49] Sophia Elliott: unicorn. Yeah. And that’s why so many of those end up homeschooling, right? Yes. Like, because it’s just like, there’s, there’s so few options.

[00:21:56] Yeah.

[00:21:57] Kintara Phillips: You know, and, and I think, you know, I suppose one of the other things that connects back to what we were talking about earlier about things to look out for when you are on that kind of journey. If, if there’s an inflexibility, like from the beginning yeah. Red flag walk away, like, yeah. Yeah. And, and I, I use the example of, you know, talking to schools for looking for a part-time enrollment.

[00:22:22] Yeah. Which in Victoria government schools actually have to accommodate a part-time enrollment. Okay. That’s interesting. Yep. It’s there it’s, there are ways that you put it in the time to other educational, you know, like it’s a thing. Yep. And you know, but a school that from the outset was just like, no, we, we cannot accommodate a part-time enrollment.

[00:22:44] And it was like, I could have gone in all guns, blazing pulled out the, the documentation pulled all the, and just gone bang, bang, bang. Actually you do, you can, this is a thing. But if, if you have to convince a principal at something so foundational yeah. You like just walk away. Yeah. Because it’s just, if, if you are fighting little things like that already.

[00:23:13] Yeah. You’re just gonna keep fi like it’s not gonna change. Yeah. So, you know, finding those schools that yeah. That will accelerate that will, you know, is just so hard. Yeah. But you know, the 99 percentiles who, who need the radical acceleration even more so. And I think you’re right. I think that’s why there are so many at that level.

[00:23:38] Who homeschooling, because it’s the only way. And it’s, you know, it is, I don’t wanna use the word burden because burden feels like a really, you know, unfair word. Our children are not a burden. Yeah, totally.

[00:23:50] Sophia Elliott: But your only

[00:23:50] Kintara Phillips: option is to homeschool your kid for them to learn for their own mental health. For all of these reasons, one parent can’t work or two parents have to work.

[00:24:02] Part-time that’s, you know, that’s a financial burden on a family. Yeah. That is, you know, maybe like for some families it would be cheaper to send your kid to a fancy, expensive private boarding school than it would for you. Not like for me. Yeah. On a top teacher salary. Yeah. That’s, that’s a massive income loss.

[00:24:26] Yeah. You know, which means makes all of, so there are all of that. When you just go, just put the kid up, like, especially like your, when, when the next level up was already a 1, 2, 3, I know. Right. All rocket science people. It was

[00:24:44] Sophia Elliott: so obviously the right move. Do you know? And that’s the thing it’s kind of like when you, like you said, when you, when they’re so inflexible.

[00:24:53] Yes. You, when they’re so inflexible, you just know that that journey will be bashing your head against a brick wall, be, you know, and it’s, and it just. It just sucks to be

[00:25:07] Kintara Phillips: in that situation. It does. It’s

[00:25:08] Sophia Elliott: not, it’s not

[00:25:10] Kintara Phillips: fair. It’s not right. It’s not okay. Mm-hmm and it is it infuriates me and, you know, I often say and you know, if you talk to colleagues who have worked with me previously, you know, it’s, it’s a big thing.

[00:25:24] Cause it’s not that hard, you know? Oh, we’ve got a 1, 2, 3 concept, Chuck, the kid in there. It’s not that hard. Right? Yeah. You know, ah, we’re small. And we, we block, you know, 10, 11 and 12 together, Chuck, the kid in there. It’s not that hard. We work in a secondary school. We’re blocking and time tabling means that we have so much flexibility and where things fit.

[00:25:47] Yeah. It’s not that hard. Yeah. But it’s, for some reason it seems to be hard. And, and I, I know a unicorn and I knew I’d found the unicorn when I was, I was chatting to a principal. And I said, I said something, I made a comment, kind of remember what, what I said. Yeah. And she looked at me and she goes, well, yeah, it’s not that hard.

[00:26:08] And I was just like,

[00:26:09] Sophia Elliott: oh, all, if anyone says, it’s not that hard. We, yeah, we can do. That’s not, that’s like golden

[00:26:15] Kintara Phillips: words. Yes. Golden’s a green flag. Yeah, totally. And it’s a bit of a running joke between her and I. Now I see her quite a bit. Mm-hmm cause of the work I do with universities and pre-service teachers and, and it’s a running joke now that whenever we chat, she, before I leave, she’s like Quin.

[00:26:29] Yeah. She goes, how much my watch. She goes, initially what she goes, how much, how much would it cost to get you back in the classroom here? Full-time and I just, you can’t afford me. And now that’s the joke. That’s how we say goodbye to each other. So Cutera how much I’m like too much, too much, too much, too much.

[00:26:46] But yeah. So it, I wish I had an answer. Like I, I wish I wish that I had an answer for, for parents

[00:26:54] Sophia Elliott: and I think kids totally all you can do. I think at that point as a parent is talk to other parents. Yeah. So, you know, find your communities online. Obviously our gifted kids, that’s what we’re trying to do, bring people together.

[00:27:08] So you can get in, there you go. Right. I’m here. Anyone . Yeah. Can someone a school where it’s working because, and this is the thing and I, and. Look, you know, we’re obviously expressing our frustration at the educational system and these experiences. But like you said earlier, when I, when we had our child assess the psych said in 20 years, I’ve never seen a kid like this and you kind of go, oh, so when we’d kind of did the math, we’re like, okay, this school he’s at has probably never seen a kid like this.

[00:27:40] Yeah. And then you are okay. Right. Or I’ll cut you a little bit of slack but you’re still inflexible. So it is kind of like, and I, and it was when you said that it kind of reminded me because I personally am in a bubble because you know, my kids are at a unicorn school. I know so many kids in that bracket, it doesn’t feel like they’re rare to me, but I, I know that they are.

[00:28:05] But that’s the thing. You gotta find your people. I

[00:28:08] Kintara Phillips: remember. Yeah. One of the best teachers my son ever had was a graduate first year, graduate straight out of uni. Yeah. I was a little bit nervous. Cause you know, like I know there are great grades, but yeah. It can be a little bit nervewracking. And I, I knew I’d hit a unicorn with her when I went in couple of weeks into the year.

[00:28:29] It was just like, you get to know the teachers night. And we went in and he was in grade three. Yeah. And she said to me, you know, oh you so and so’s mom. And I said, yeah. And she said, he’s. She said, oh, I’ve never met a kid. Like, like he’s, he’s so clever. And I said, yeah, he’s alright. And she’s like, no, he’s really clever.

[00:28:50] Like, he’s so clever. And I said, yeah, yeah. And she, she was so beautiful. And she said, look, maybe, maybe it’s cuz you work with high school students. Like I know you’re a teacher and I know you work with high school. Like maybe you don’t realize how clever he is because you’re so used to and more, and I said, look, yeah.

[00:29:11] And I said, but I also have a masters in gifted education and spend quite a bit of time working with kids who are like profoundly gifted. My kids are a little bit gifted, like he’s clever. And he’s so yeah, that, even that like, yeah. I, I spend time with yeah. Lots of kids like that now as well. So like yeah.

[00:29:30] My kids, like, so Bo at average, that I’m, I’m surprised when people are surprised by

[00:29:40] that. Yeah. We do moving circles, I think where like, yes, the 99.9% is a rare, but then no, there’s plenty out there. There’s plenty out there’s out there. There’s still, when you find your tribe. Yeah, yeah,

[00:29:54] Sophia Elliott: yeah. You know, they’re there. And and we often will talk about on the podcast, how important it is to have your likeminded peers, because you need people in your life who reflect you back at

[00:30:07] Kintara Phillips: youth.

[00:30:07] Yes.

[00:30:08] Sophia Elliott: And kids need that from every age. The moment, they start crawling way too early. Do you know, like they need other kids around them who are quirky, like them yes. To reflect back to them who they are. Yeah. And who we are so that we feel that we’re not alone in the world. Yeah.

[00:30:27] Kintara Phillips: Everyone wants to see themselves represented yeah.

[00:30:30] In, in the world. Yeah. Regardless. So, yeah. It’s

[00:30:34] Sophia Elliott: so while finding the schools might be challenging unicorns, every state has a gifted association. You know, all of these, everything in the world can be hit and miss, and often, often depends on how much time the volunteers in that area have, but get in touch.

[00:30:50] Because ideally even if at school, it’s really challenging, try, find opportunities outside of school, where they can meet those like-minded peers. And there’s various things I know in new south Wales, there’s like jar and jar are doing online stuff now. So I will share that in the show notes as well. So the, there are places out there doing things, find them and yeah.

[00:31:15] And just try and provide that for your child. Yeah. So,

[00:31:19] Kintara Phillips: and you know, and I think it is, you know, Those schools are unicorns. They, you know, they really are. And if you can find teachers and schools who, who will say things like it. Yeah. It’s not that hard. Let’s, let’s try it. But, you know, I think what we, what we do find a lot is that carrot and stick as well, often, you know, often those kids who are really up there are not performing.

[00:31:47] Yes, that’s right. Because they’re not performing little monkeys that you click your fingers. Yep. And, and lots of schools will be like, you can take the data in and you can, and they’re like, well, that’s not what we are seeing here. Yes, yes, no. We’re not seeing that. Let’s about that. If they do this, mm-hmm then we can let them do that and trying to change the conditional acceleration.

[00:32:05] Yeah. Is, is just insane. From a like a teacher perspective and kind of, you know, I suppose linking back into that idea of teachers don’t know what they don’t know. Yeah. Part of the jargon around the testing as well is that like teachers might have some idea of percentiles. They might have some idea of what standard deviations are.

[00:32:27] They kind of understand a bell curve, but they ma you can understand what 90th percentile IQ you can understand, theoretically, that an IQ of 145 is, is high. But what does that look like? Yeah. Practice in my classroom. Yeah. Right. And even a lot of like the, the test, the other testing, academic testing that happens will come back to schools with a percentile ranking or with a stay nine.

[00:33:01] Right. And again, all right. Well, I know stay nine, six is, is average. I know stay nine nine’s high, but what is, what does that look like? Mm-hmm so what, one of the things I was working on before I left the classroom was converting that data. Mm-hmm into something a bit more concrete for teachers. Yeah.

[00:33:24] In this situation stay nine, nine looks like, and I, I was in a very English space cuz that’s, that’s where I sit, stay nine, nine at this looks like what you would expect to see from one of your high achieving year 10 students. So your, this year seven you’ve got yeah. Their, their potential, their, what they’ve got.

[00:33:52] Looks like, yeah. What you’d give you your tens. Yeah. And often when you give it to teachers like that, they go, I don’t know what state nine nine looks like, but if you say, and what does your 10 English look like? They go, oh, oh, well, I know what your 10 English looks like. Great. Give that. Can you give that kid you 10 English?

[00:34:07] Yeah. Can you give that kid you 10 maths? Yeah. That’s what it looks. So being able to, I think, convert some of that jargon data. Yeah. Into concrete. Yeah. Yeah. Something that teachers can grab and be like, oh, I know what that looks like. Yeah. Can also be helpful. And then once we start to see this pattern of what this looks like, yeah.

[00:34:35] Maybe then we can have the discussions around. So my kid who you are teaching who’s in year seven, who it’s so great. You’ve been offering this year 10 kind of level work. Mm-hmm cause that’s easy for teachers as well. I’m not asking you to reinvent the wheel. You’re already teaching 10 English, just like, you know, what are they doing?

[00:34:53] Year 10. Oh, don’t worry about that’s a future problem. We’ll we’ll, we’ll get there when we get there. But all of a sudden, you, you start collecting this evidence, oh look you, you’re giving this kid year 10 work or you’re giving this, you know, and they’re doing it. They’re achieving, they’re getting

[00:35:12] be pride. Popping them into the attend class. Could we maybe try. Skipping year nine, that’s at a separate campus anyway. And just going from year eight, straight into year 10, because once I, I think I hope for some most teachers, once we see the hard evidence, it’s hard in, in terms that we realize, and we recognize, and that are familiar to us.

[00:35:37] It’s it’s maybe a little bit harder to ignore it. Yeah. Cause it’s not this abstract IQ number that we don’t really know what it means or what it looks like. Yeah.

[00:35:50] Sophia Elliott: Question there for you. Yeah. So, actually two questions, if you could explain to everyone what the stay nine is, and also I wanna ask you about gaps in learning.

[00:36:02] Yeah. So do you wanna start with the St

[00:36:04] Kintara Phillips: nine? Yeah. So Stines are similar to percentiles and they’re, they’re kind of based around there’s a whole, I’m not a mass person. There’s a whole formula. There’s like questions have waitings on complexity and we see St nine a lot. The common kind of achievement testing we see in schools tends to be pat testing.

[00:36:24] Mm-hmm we see a lot of pat testing. So pat tends to spit out St nine, right. To parents. Yeah. Or to classroom teachers. Yeah. Pat testing is actually fantastic and super helpful. If you can get access to the absolute raw, raw, raw data they won’t let me have access to that anymore, cuz I’m not a school.

[00:36:45] I can have the real, oh, you can have this. And I’m like, I don’t want that. That’s superficial. That’s rubbish. I, that’s not what I want. So when I’m in schools and I get that raw, that can be really handy, but it’s all about it’s like this formula goes in and what you’re looking for is a student who comes out at stay 9, 4, 5 0 6 is performing cuz it’s it’s performance, right?

[00:37:09] It’s yeah. Academic testing. It’s not potential it’s current performance. So stay 9, 4, 5 or six suggests that at the expected standard for that year level. Yeah. Right. So you would give a year seven the year seven test. And if they came out at state 9, 4, 5, 6, you’d be like right. Where, where, right.

[00:37:28] You’re in the right spot. Yep. You’re in the right spot. Anything below suggests they’re below standard above suggests that they’re above standard. So you might get, I always use sevens cuz they’re easy. You might get year seven who who’s English testing comes out and they’re stay nine, nine. Right. So that’s significantly above where they should be.

[00:37:48] Yeah. Lots of schools would be like, ah, they’re clever. Great. Leave it at that. I see that. And go pretest level up. Let’s go. And I would never, if I saw a stay nine, nine, I would never administer a year eight test to the year seven. I’d go up to year levels. So if I had year sevens that were coming in in state I nine S I’d throw the N nine testing at.

[00:38:10] Because we don’t wanna over test them. Like, we don’t wanna then give them your eight and they get stay nine, nine again. So we giving them your nine, nine again, mm-hmm . And the idea with above level testing is that you are trying to find the, the point at which that kid hits stay 9, 4, 5 or six. Yeah, because then it’s that concrete can say to teachers, right.

[00:38:31] It took the year nine book. Yeah. To get the stay nine where it should be. Yeah. So this kid that’s where their current performance is. That’s where I need you to be pitching the content to them. Yeah. That’s where the complex, that’s the level the complexity needs to be at. Yeah. Right. And that’s without bringing in pacing, pacing’s the whole new kettle fish, which probably relates to the other question you asked about the gaps in learning.

[00:38:58] Cuz we hear that a lot. Right. Everyones gaps. And you know, I mean, part of the reason they’ve gaps is even for kids who, who sit through mainstream school, but they tune out when it’s stuff they already know. And the teacher’s just explaining it again and again, they tune out and then, but they actually then miss when new information can be dropped in cuz you know, they’ve checked out.

[00:39:18] And I think it’s really important to, and I do lots of work sharing with teachers, the number of exposures and repetitions and practices, different kinds of thinkers need. So pointing out that, you know, those kids who sit in that mid band, you know, the, the bulk of the, the bell curve. Yep. Anywhere between kind of 10 and 20 exposures repetitions to learn a new skill gifted kids need one to three.

[00:39:41] Yep. So that’s fine. We’ve got gaps. Cool. Sit with a kid. One to three repetitions, bang, bang, bang, like fill yeah. There’s gaps, but let’s fill them, but let’s not like, don’t pretend that it’s going to well, that was a six week unit that we did that they missed. So it’s gonna take me six weeks to fill the gap.

[00:40:00] It’s not, it’s probably gonna take you like 16 minutes to fill the gap for that kid. You know? So I think trying to help teachers understand that gaps are normal. Like we’ve all got gaps for whatever reason mm-hmm and, but understanding that gifted kids, the pace at which they learn is phenomenally quick.

[00:40:25] So the gaps are problematic because we can actually fill them fairly quickly. Mm-hmm , you know, that’s really

[00:40:33] Sophia Elliott: good to hear because I hear people getting very wound up about all gaps and gaps and it’s like, but what I read about. Is along the lines of what you’ve said there. And it’s kind of like, but it’s also the way the gifted learners brain works is that the gaps will get filled in.

[00:40:51] Yeah. We don’t need to panic about it. We don’t need to stop them learning where they’re at, because there is a gap somewhere along the way. It’s just kinda like, and also it

[00:41:00] Kintara Phillips: can be a really good way to get that. Like I was talking earlier the academic resilience. Good. Yes. Yeah. Throw something at them.

[00:41:07] Yeah. When you are not telling them where to let them find their gap. Yeah. Right. Let them find their gap and hit the wall and then come to you and be like yep. What I’m doing here. Yeah. You know, let them find the opportunity to let them problem solve. What do we do? Yeah. When we get to that point.

[00:41:25] Totally.

[00:41:25] Sophia Elliott: Now I just wanna wrap up on one last point. I think we’ve kind of covered, but maybe just be explicit about but you you’d sort of touched on there, uh, just before was. Uh, as parents we’re going into the classroom, we’re wanting to talk to the teacher or the school. We may have a student who is demonstrating what they know, which makes things very easy, but we may more likely have a student or a child who is disengaged, uh, has behavior issues or, uh, isn’t showing them what they’re at for various reasons.

[00:42:01] And so then that conversation to get the school, to believe the parent that no at home, they’re reading chapter books. Yeah. But here they’re refusing to read this cat set on the mat book and it’s kind of like, well, cause they’re bought out their brain. Cause, but at home they reading chapter books, it’s kinda like, but they’re not showing us where they’re at and we need them to jump through this hoop before we’re gonna give them something harder.

[00:42:23] Like if, if you’re at home listening to this going, oh my God, that’s me. That is a lot of people’s experience. unfortunately. So yeah. Any kind of words of advice about that?

[00:42:34] Kintara Phillips: Look, I think it’s, it’s all about how you go into those conversations. Right? So drop your armor. Right. And, and come from that. Oh, oh, it sounds hard.

[00:42:49] Play dumb a little bit. Can sometimes help. And by that, I mean, you know, in those kinds of situations. Yeah. That’s, that’s really interesting that, that you are not seeing these things at home. I’m really surprised about that, that you are, you know, like play play long. Is there, you know, and things like, you know, kids who, who they, oh, they’re fine here.

[00:43:13] We don’t have behavior. They’re not doing anything. Okay. Cause what we notice at home is when they’re really quite anxious or not coping, these are some things that they do. Have you noticed that in, in, in the classroom mm-hmm and the teachers might, that might treat and they might be like, oh, oh yeah, they do fidget.

[00:43:30] Or they do tap their knee or they do TWI their hair or whatever the case may be. Or you say, or they go, oh no, maybe like, I know you haven’t noticed it. Do you maybe keep an eye, like see if you notice anything in the next week and is it okay if I, if I give you a call or drop you, if I’ll, I’ll get in touch with you next week to see if, if you’ve noticed anything.

[00:43:53] Yeah. So I think that, you know, pointing out some of those things that teachers and asking them to, to kind of look for, and I do the same thing with kids, right. I, I treat adults the same way as I treat. I will say kids, what do you think you’re struggling with now? Like it, I, I, it seems like this is happening.

[00:44:11] What do you think is what do you think might help you? What do you think is going? And often they’re like, oh,

[00:44:15] Sophia Elliott: cause it,

[00:44:16] Kintara Phillips: and I say to them, alright, well Dre, and we could maybe just try and pay attention over the next week and I’m gonna check in with you and just see if anything stood out. So I think those kind of approaches yeah.

[00:44:28] Can be helpful. And you know, that’s where I, I made that. Should you have to do. Should you have to no, no. Yeah. Is that helpful? Yeah. Yeah. You know, and same as you know about, you know, the kids that’s being kids, that’s being labeled naughty, which yeah. Just at that. Yeah. But you know, and you know, the whole, you know, children, aren’t being a problem, they’re having a problem.

[00:44:49] Yes. And we need to work through that. But again, those teachers who are like, no, your kids naughty, and they’re just like inflexible and you can, you know, you can just see, I’m always like you wanna model the behavior you want from the teacher, right. Yeah. Helen with kindness. Yeah. But that same approach, you know, we don’t see those explosions at home.

[00:45:15] Mm-hmm could you, could you help me understand what, what, what might have been happening in the classroom maybe, you know, can you help what was happening before what actually happened? And then stepping through that, you know, you know, do you think they reacted that way? Cuz they were trying to like achieve something or access something or maybe they’ll try not avoid something that was happening mm-hmm teachers might be, oh yeah.

[00:45:38] They were, you know, they call out all the time and they’re just trying to be the center of attention. Yeah. No, I can see how That calling out, you know, is, is they’re excited to share what they know and they really wanna connect with you and, and let you know that, that they’re listening and learning what you’re saying.

[00:45:54] But I can also say that that’s really, I can see how that’s not helpful in a classroom. What, what might be more helpful? How could we come up with something that’s maybe more appropriate in the classroom? Could we try those strategies for the next week? Is there anything I can do from home to support? Is it okay if I check in with you a week from now to see if there’s been a change again, should, should parents have to do that?

[00:46:17] No. Yeah. Is it helpful? Maybe?

[00:46:21] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. Hopefully fingers cross, because as we know, gifted kids will mask. They will, like you said, code switch and they will hide. And they’re very clever, you know? And, and that can be really challenging. And because legitimately a teacher may not be seeing any giftedness, you know, if they don’t know what to look for, then that is gonna just look like that they’re fine.

[00:46:45] Uh, and so it can be really tricky to have those conversations, but I really love, like you said, we need to model the behavior that we wanna see from the teacher. Just like we model the behavior we wanna see from,

[00:46:58] Kintara Phillips: and you, like, you can walk out of those meetings and getting your car and like scream into a pillow and swear the swear, your head off.

[00:47:07] But yeah. In like in the moment in those moments, those people who are super inflexible, I always just kill ’em with kindness. Yeah, yeah. Kill ’em with kindness. Yeah. You know?

[00:47:20] Sophia Elliott: Yeah.

[00:47:22] Kintara Phillips: Absolutely. And look, it doesn’t always work. There. Are there, are there are teachers out there who that’s right. Yeah. Oh, should walk away from it.

[00:47:29] But there are also teachers out there who, who do, who wanna know more, who wanna do better? Who, who wanna work with you to learn how to support, you know, you and your child and your family. I’m, I’m not that much of a unicorn, you know, I’m not the only one. I know that there’s others cuz I’m friends with them.

[00:47:50] I, I talk to them. I work with those, you know, these teachers and that’s just in my little, like I know they’re there.

[00:47:57] Sophia Elliott: Yes, absolutely. And we started the podcast by acknowledging that as much as this is a very challenging situation and schools and teachers and education is incredibly challenging. We acknowledge that one.

[00:48:12] Teachers just aren’t trained in this area. And two, it’s not every teacher, it’s not every school and they’re out there and oh my God, they’re out there. Do you know, and trying to do the best they can to meet the needs of our gifted kids and we just gotta find them. Yeah. And I think it’s been a wonderful conversation today.

[00:48:31] Thank you so much. Thank you. There’s so much in that because I think parents, we just need that validation. We need to know. It’s not just us. We need to know. It’s okay to be that parent because you gotta advocate hard and I’m sorry. It’s BOLs. Yeah, we do. Because it’s yeah, because it’s not easy. No, but hopefully I think this is a wonderful episode for just kind of going, we see you.

[00:49:02] Yeah. You know, and for the teachers, like we see you too, we know it’s hard. And for those ones trying to do better. Thank you. My goodness. Thank you so much

[00:49:14] Kintara Phillips: cuz we need you . Yeah. And they, those teachers more than ever in the current climate need to hear it. Yeah.

[00:49:22] Sophia Elliott: Oh my God. Yeah. Totally need

[00:49:24] Kintara Phillips: to hear it. If you’ve got a good teacher.

[00:49:27] Yeah. Please let know. Yeah. They don’t need any, they just need you to see them and to say, thank you. Yeah, definitely now more than ever. Yeah.

[00:49:42] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, for sure. Well, thank you so much. So as we end yep. Let everyone know how do they get in touch with you and emergence education? Because, and I’ll share the link of course, in the show notes and stuff, but is it just kind of getting in touch by the website?

[00:49:59] Yeah. So

[00:50:00] Kintara Phillips: we’ve got a website that’s it’s there. I do learn how to build a website. I know the feeling anything that’s wrong with it’s hundred percent my fault. I’ve never built a website before. But it’s running. And we do have a Facebook page and Instagram. It’s all very quiet. It’s still a very, it’s a baby project.

[00:50:20] I

[00:50:20] Sophia Elliott: hear you. It’s okay. Sometimes I’ve got a lot on stuff, sometimes you can’t. Yep. Yeah.

[00:50:25] Kintara Phillips: But you know, it, it’s a baby project that we do wanna grow that, you know, we do have some real long-term goals for but yeah, like reach out, ask questions, you know, we will answer what we can let us know if the idea of online group stuff, appeals or face to face group stuff, or like what, what can I do?

[00:50:50] What do you, what are, what does the gifted community need from me? Yeah. What, what can I, where’s the gap that I need to. Yeah.

[00:51:01] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. So thank you so much. That’s all I look forward to you updating us anytime. And when you’re doing, you know, as your journey grows and emergence grows and you’re doing different things, keep us in touch so we can share it, uh, with everyone.

[00:51:21] It’s super exciting to have more people in this community, providing services, doing the work, like you said, we need it. Thank you for doing it.

[00:51:31] Kintara Phillips: Like it’s where out.

[00:51:34] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. And just what a privilege to nerd out in such an amazing community like kids and parents, like serious.

[00:51:41] Kintara Phillips: Oh, mate. So interesting. These kids are the best.

[00:51:44] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, totally. Yep. It’s so much fun. It’s so worth it. Excellent. Well, thank you so much. Th

#062 Part 2 of Navigating Education with Gifted Kids w/ Kintara Phillips

#061 Navigating Education with Gifted Kids w/ Kintara Phillips – Part 1

In this episode, we’re talking to Kintara Phillips about navigating schools and education with gifted kids.

We ask Kintara to answer all of those questions you have about how to talk to your child’s teacher, what questions to ask a new school, when is it time to move on, what kind of education is your child going to need and so much more… there was so much we have split it in two and released Part 1 this week and next week we’ll publish Part2!

Please leave a review on your podcast player and help parents find us!

Memorable Quote

“From a teacher perspective… I read posts and I read comments that parents are making about teachers and it hurts my heart. And I get it from both sides. I can see that these parents are tired and they don’t know what to do and at the same time it hurts my heart for my colleagues who I know if they knew better, they would do better. And I know they don’t know better and it’s not their fault [they are not trained in gifted].

But I also recognize there are teachers out there who don’t want to know better and they don’t care.  And that’s also the reality and I’m embarrassed for those people. I apologize to parents on behalf of people I don’t even know who have had to encounter that.

So I think, with my teacher head on, I do ask parents to consider when you are going into these kinds of meetings, go in without your armour, go in expecting that the teachers probably won’t know a lot and go in and give your teachers a bit of grace and that where the goal is this shared understanding.

This wanting to learn together, not us and them, not school and home. This team around our young people, we’re all part of it…. I always, anytime anything’s a bit awkward or uncomfortable or could potentially be that conflict kind of conversation, I always go in and remind myself that I need to understand the other person’s why.” – Kintara Phillips


  • Emergence Education Website
  • Emergence Education Facebook
  • Emergence Education Instagram
  • James & Susie Youtube Video
    • “An allegory about what happens to smart kids who skate through elementary school, and don’t get opportunities to develop persistence, grit, and the true self-confidence that comes from knowing how to tackle a genuine challenge.”
  • Heather’s Podcast – what happens when you don’t learn how to learn – #033 [GTN Awareness Week] #ActuallyGifted Adult with Heather Cox
  • State Gifted Associations – Australia (AAEGT) – USA



Kintara Phillips worked as a Secondary English teacher for 21 years across government, independent and catholic schools. After a principal suggested that her ‘gut feeling’ about extending the gifted students in her class needed to be backed by some evidence – always the overachiever, she completed a Masters in Gifted Education at UNSW in 2016 and presented said evidence at the International Gifted Conference later the same year (and yes, her gut feeling was right). Leaving the classroom in 2021, frustrated by the restrictive system and desperate to find a way to shake things up, she now finds herself almost halfway through a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and plans to complete honours then a Masters in Educational Psychology sometime before she turns 50.

Earlier this year, Kintara was formally diagnosed with ADHD, confirming her place in the2e community and further strengthening her passion for supporting young people and their families, but also educating teachers to be able to provide better inclusions and educational outcomes for gifted and 2e learners. Longer term she hopes to blend her years of classroom experience and psychology training to bridge the gap between schools, psychologists and gifted education and would love nothing more than to see her name mentioned when parents ask about for recommendations for a psychologist experienced with giftedness in the future.

Kintara currently teaches in the Masters of Teaching at two Victorian Universities, and hopes that by employing the butterfly effect and mentioning gifted learners frequently, even if it’s not in the course outline, to the future teacher’s she works with, that perhaps a little shake up may occur in schools sooner than later.

In all her spare time, Kintara and her teacher bestie, have started to build and nurture a small business specifically positioned to support gifted students navigate school, help families plan and advocate and work in schools with teachers providing professional learning opportunities that build understanding of gifted learning needs.

Hit play and let’s get started!


[00:00:00] Sophia Elliott: Hello, and welcome to this week’s episode of the, our gifted kids podcast. I’m super excited this week to be talking to. To Conterra Phillips. Now can Tara is. Was an English teacher in high school for over 20 years. She has a master’s in gifted education. And she has started her own little business called emergence education, which is all about supporting gifted kids and their parents, but also doing professional development for teachers and schools around giftedness.

[00:00:33] She also teaches at university prospective teachers and drops in a bit about giftedness here so she is a very busy woman on a mission to meet the needs of gifted kids in our education system. Uh, a little bit of a unicorn, but as we discuss not too much of a unicorn, there are also other teachers or. Pre. X teachers. I don’t know once a teacher, always a teacher, but she’s certainly one of those teachers out there.

[00:01:01] Trying to do their utmost best to meet the needs of this. Awesome cohort of kids who desperately need people out there. Championing for them in the education system. So. So it’s a delight to talk to her just because she is on that mission. But also, it gives me this wonderful opportunity to ask all those questions. About. School.

[00:01:29] And heavy kid and navigating school and education. And you know, those questions like every week in Facebook groups around the It’s like. It’s the same questions, right? It’s ah, I’m meaning like my teacher or the principal. What do I say? This is? I’ve got these results. What does it mean? Like. All of those questions.

[00:01:56] And so what it meant was we ended up talking for like an hour and a half. And now I know I do some log podcasts, but even for me, I was like, whoa. So this is a part one part two, because I could not cut anything out. All gold. So we’ve got part one this week. Navigating education with gifted kids with Kintara

[00:02:16] Part two. Next week, which is all. Different stuff that we talk about, um, navigating education. So you do not want to miss that either. I’m going to. Publish part two next week, give you a little bit of time to listen to this And. And I just want to say like, enjoy, like enjoy this episode. It’s it’s brilliant. It’s really nice too.

[00:02:41] Talk to Ken Tara about these questions that we’ve all had. And so let me know if it’s helpful or if you have any others, you can contact our gifted kids on Facebook. We also have a Facebook group that’s free. You can join. We’re on Instagram or you can subscribe@ourgiftedkids.com and then you’ll never miss an episode.

[00:03:02] And in the meantime, Enjoy the episode. Let me know if you have any other questions and thank you, Tara, for coming on and having a chat with us and sharing all of your knowledge and wisdom. And. Uh, just hugely appreciated. So enjoy talk to you all soon. Bye.

[00:03:55] I’m super excited today to be talking to Canara Phillips for many reasons. I’m excited about this conversation because I think today we’re gonna talk about a lot of the things that parents are always like, ah, I need help with this.

[00:04:09] So I think you’re gonna love it. But also Canara just has this wealth of experience and knowledge. She, her background is she’s a secondary teacher of a couple of decades. If you don’t mind me saying that Canara that’s wild. She currently also teaches would be teachers at university, but she’s also created emergence education with a good buddy and colleague, I believe.

[00:04:34] And in that you guys support gifted students, navigating school, a bit of tutoring, but more than tutoring, mentoring, helping families plan and advocate and work with schools. And you also provide PD for teachers and schools, just a wonderful service that’s desperately needed in our communities. So welcome.

[00:04:55] Canara absolutely delighted that you are here today. Thank

[00:04:58] Kintara Phillips: you. Thank you so much. I’m excited to be here. It’s it’s always fun being asked to talk about the area that you really nerd out on and, and this is where I nerd out much.

[00:05:11] Sophia Elliott: Definitely. I, I absolutely resonate with that. We could talk all day. So tell us a little bit about you and I mean, I’ve sort of given you a bit of an intro, but tell us about you and what you do and how you kind of got

[00:05:23] Kintara Phillips: into that.

[00:05:24] Yeah, so you’re right. I’ve been teaching for 2 21 years secondary English predominantly, and I left the classroom about a year ago. Now, uh, for a whole multitude of reasons, but I, I fell on my feet and I’ve fallen into, into a space that I, that makes me really happy. So I did complete a masters of gifted ed in finish that in 2016 at U N S Ws.

[00:05:51] So I had the pleasure of working under America gross for a little while, who is just a delight of a human, like she’s, she’s beautiful and wonderful. And it’s such a loss that she’s not with us anymore. Yes. Yeah. So, and that the gifted masters and gifted sort of sprung from a whole range of things, I guess, like parenting a gifted child.

[00:06:15] And, you know, when I mentioned it to my mom, she was like, oh yeah, it was just like you. And I was like, ah, okay. but no one, no one thought to tell me. Yeah. Uh, but I had kids in my class that even, even though I had experience teaching quite a few years ahead, I still, these kids were beyond and I, I didn’t really know what to do with them.

[00:06:34] And I chatted to my principal and had some, some gut feelings and he said, I, I don’t like your gut. Can you find me the, the evidence? So typical overachiever style, I did a whole master’s degree and, and delivered the evidence back to him a couple of years later. And my gut was. And after that, master’s I said I was never going back to study again.

[00:06:54] So of course I’m now, currently we all say it currently chipping away to graduate diploma in psychology with plans of continuing and doing honors and then masters mm-hmm . I would like to practice as an educational psychologist, specializing in assessments and working with gifted families and young people is the long term goal.

[00:07:17] So, you know, that’s how I kind of found myself in this place. You know, I, I love teaching. I will always be a teacher. I can’t imagine a time where I’m not involved in education in one way, shape or form. And I’ve luckily found myself working with pre-service teachers across two different universities, uh, and employ what I call the butterfly effect.

[00:07:40] So they may not have gifted it as a compulsory part of their, their teacher training. But it’s, it’s a, non-negotiable part of your teacher training when you are in my classroom. So I, I mention gift to kids. I drop them in, I use them as examples all the time. Yeah. So, and I’m hoping that that little butterfly effect ripple will, will spread.

[00:08:01] And, you know, I like to remind myself that each semester there are about 200 free service teachers who have direct contact with me and then they’ll be out in schools. So yeah. If, if we can spread things that way. Yeah,

[00:08:17] Sophia Elliott: absolutely. And those little things, at least now they’ve heard of gifted students.

[00:08:22] Yeah. They’ve heard some stories about them. It’s, it’s, it’s in their periphery, like, and it’s like you say that butterfly faith that will, there will be a story one day and it’s like a teacher will be saying there was this thing at uni and then I

[00:08:37] Kintara Phillips: met the student. Yeah. And I think I have the benefit because my name is so kind of weird and unusual.

[00:08:43] Yeah. If any of them at any point aren’t sure. And, and wanna try and find me to get in, I’m not hard to find and, and get in touch with then, you know, I, I sort of, I let them know that that’s an option. Mm-hmm yeah. And like you said, my, my teacher bestie and I both really have this interest in, in kids that don’t fit in the average bell curve.

[00:09:06] And yeah, we, we have a little side hustle with ed consulting. So working with at the moment, it’s a really small kind of number of young people because that’s what we can manage. Mm-hmm but also working with schools you know, providing some professional development for, for teachers I’ve done a couple of whole school sessions.

[00:09:23] I’ve then had some teachers from those kind of reach out and, and asked for one-on-one. Workshops and mentoring. So I’ve been doing some of that as well. And that’s something we, we are both really interested in, in kind of doing and building and working in that way. And I, because I’ve always got 5 million things on the go also kind of ticking away at a couple of units that I’m hoping to be able to release and work with some gifted young people in small groups.

[00:09:52] So probably in the online space initially, but you know, the dream is that at some point we will have a place that belongs to emergence and, and gifted children and young people and their parents will come in and feel like that’s exactly where they’re meant to be.

[00:10:12] Sophia Elliott: Uh, well, I look forward to keeping up to date with the journey as that all grows and develops and sharing that with everyone.

[00:10:19] So they’re kind of knowing what’s out there. There’s such a big gap in supporting gifted kids and families and, and, and doing great work there, providing PD for schools and teachers and mentoring like another, you know, really needed service. So Bravo for going, going out and filling that gap, you know, it’s not easy doing these things,

[00:10:42] Kintara Phillips: Right.

[00:10:42] It’s scary. It’s just, yeah. Hell yeah, definitely. But we are trying and, you know, working from a place of, you know, probably. I wish I knew sooner.

[00:10:54] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. Oh yeah. You like, oh yeah, I know

[00:10:57] Kintara Phillips: that. Space’s a wonderful thing. Yep.

[00:11:01] Sophia Elliott: So you’re in Melbourne. Yep. Yes, I, yeah. Good. Yep. So schools and teachers in that Melbourne area, you can do that kind of in person type stuff, but so the students you work with is that only in person or do you do also zoom stuff?

[00:11:21] No. So we

[00:11:21] Kintara Phillips: do a bit of zoom stuff. Yeah. Uh, one of my newest students is in Queensland. So working with a student in, in Queensland, who’s one of my newbies. I’ve got a student who is now in year 12 who quite literally lives 15 minutes away from me. I’ve been working with him online since he was in year 10.

[00:11:40] We’ve never met face to face and he’s halfway through year 12 now. Yeah. I’m tempted to just like turn up at his final year 12 assembly and just be like, Hey and then yeah, a couple of students working with online, one of my students is currently transitioning back to a mainstream school enrollment.

[00:11:59] So part-time enrollment, uh, radically accelerated. So we’ve, that’s been a process. And I was part of that process kind of negotiating that. So my sessions with him at the moment are at. Yeah. So I go, I go and work with him during his kind of downtime at school. But yeah, so it’s, it’s, it’s very flexible.

[00:12:20] Mm-hmm and that’s what I like about it. That’s, you know? Yeah. And all of those things, you know, I’ve got students who turn cameras on when we’re working online, I’ve got ones that, that don’t turn cameras on. Like whatever’s gonna work. And that’s, that’s why we, I suppose we, we like the term mentoring as opposed to tutoring, because tutoring for us just suggests that really straight academic improvement, almost perfection.

[00:12:46] We’re like, it’s so much more than that, you know, it’s, it’s meeting all of, all of these young people where they’re at and, and following the rabbit rabbit holes with them. Yep. You know, like following that lead, following the rabbit holes and, and helping guide and, and make those connections. And I don’t think it matters whether there’s a camera on or off for that.

[00:13:08] Sophia Elliott: Yep. Yeah. Yeah. It’s well, it’s whatever. Maintains the journey. Isn’t it. If that’s where they’re at, maybe it comes on later, doesn’t matter. No, that’s really great. Cause I know, you know, parents listening and you might be thinking, oh, is this someone who can help me? So it’s good to kind of know. Uh, so there’s that element of it’s more than just tutoring.

[00:13:30] It’s like this mental relationship, but also helping families in those conversations with schools and advocating, making sense of it all and and working with schools directly. So that gives everyone a good sense of, you know, where you fit in

[00:13:45] Kintara Phillips: the, in the puzzle, I guess really working on building, you know, in the, in the education jargon.

[00:13:52] Yeah. That team around learner. Yeah. And being part of that team and helping bridge some of the gaps. Yeah. That happen. There’s a lot of jargon in, in education and there’s a lot of jargon in, in the assessments and, and the terminology around giftedness mm-hmm and yeah. Helping families navigate that jargon.

[00:14:16] Yeah. You know, and, and really looking at how yeah. Bridging the gap, cuz I think there really is a gap. I think, you know, a lot of the suggestions that come from from psychologists and OK. Therapists and speeches and all of those wonderful people. Yeah. Come from their, their line of best practice in their profession.

[00:14:36] Yeah. And I think teachers often teaching’s very different kind of practice and it’s, it’s never one to one, you know, it best case scenario, it’s maybe one to 25 worst case scenario. It can be one to 30, 2 33. Uh, and I think just helping teachers decipher some of the suggestions that are being made and seeing with a small tweak, how they can work yeah.

[00:15:00] In your classroom, you know, how you can use this in, in, in the setting that you’ve got. Yeah,

[00:15:06] Sophia Elliott: definitely. Yeah, absolutely. And important such an important role because, oh man, those assessments and reports, they’re long, like you say, it’s the full of the, the jargon of that profession. And it’s kinda like, okay, what does this look like for me?

[00:15:22] You know, as a parent, as a teacher in real life, what does that equal? What does that mean? I need to do so definitely huge role there for people just in that, like you say, bridging the gap between things, how do we, how do we make this work for this particular child? So that’s really great. So which makes, , this a really exciting conversation today.

[00:15:43] So because, uh, and this was something, when I was thinking about this conversation, it was very much like. And I love that. You’ve already said it. It’s like building the team around the child. Yeah. Who’s also a student and it’s like, as parents we’re obviously well and truly in there, but as teachers, we’re like, we’re all on the same team.

[00:16:05] Yeah. And it’s kinda like, how do we work together with the other professionals that are there supporting our child to, , just meet the needs of that child, meet that child where they’re at. And that sounds so straightforward. and yet we know, and how incredibly hard that is like, oh my goodness. Yes.

[00:16:27] So, so when I was thinking about, oh, what are we gonna talk to Canara about is very much like, okay, how do we, you know, what is it that is helpful for parents to know in this, uh, bridging this gap between parents and teachers and schools. So let’s kind of get started with and, and my dog is here with me today.

[00:16:49] I don’t know if you can, she’s like look in the window a minute ago. Mine’s

[00:16:52] Kintara Phillips: somewhere. I don’t know. He’s always here in spirit. So this,

[00:16:56] Sophia Elliott: this is Dr. Watson. Oh, lovely.

[00:16:58] Kintara Phillips: Yes. Very good. Yeah. He, so he is always here, but he’s not in this here. He’s not in here at the moment. Cuz the sun has left. The window. So you’ll be wherever the sun is.

[00:17:09] Yes. Yeah.

[00:17:10] Sophia Elliott: She chases the sun as well. So if you hear licking, that’s not me. Can’t hear. I’m just paranoid. That’s the story. We’ll tell people. Yeah. Okay. So, okay. So this question, and, and when I sort of thought about this conversation, I’m like, uh, every parent here, who’s listening, who is in a Facebook group for gifted kids and different parenting has seen this question a million times and it’s kind of like parent says, oh my God, I’ve gotta talk to my kids’ teacher.

[00:17:43] Or like head of department or principal tomorrow, or having all these issues. I’ve got this rapport, like, what the hell? How do I have this conversation? Because they’re fine at school. Yeah. Or the, and all the other one is to often, it’s kind of like the kid is fine at school. So it’s, how does the parent convince them that actually all is not well.

[00:18:10] And, and the flip side of that is the child is not fine at school and there’s behavior issues or whatever is going on. How does the parent convince them that they’re just not naughty, there’s actually these big needs. So this is kind of what I want to talk about today. So, Where do we start with that? It’s kind like what info is helpful? What should parents expect? What should the approach should take? So over to you start talking magic will

[00:18:37] Kintara Phillips: hopefully, hopefully, and I think it is it, when you first find yourself in this space, it is overwhelming. Oh yeah. You know, and, and the other thing that, you know, I remember someone said at a, at a professional development or somewhere that I was that you know, gifted kids who are this, the, the successful gifted kids who are, you know, everything’s tubing, everything’s working, they’re successful.

[00:19:03] Like they’re not naughty. They’re not, you know, they don’t have this stuff going on. Typically don’t end up in psych’s office officers being assessed. Typically aren’t having meetings with, with schools about what’s happening because everything’s just working. Yeah. So for parents who, who have got to the point where they’ve, they’ve taken their kid to see a psych for, and they’ve gotten this gifted, you know, diagnosis, feedback back, it’s all overwhelming.

[00:19:33] Hmm. You know, it’s been overwhelming before you get to that point. The news is overwhelming. The interactions you’ve probably had with the school leading up to this point have been overwhelming. So I think just recognizing. And realizing that that’s normal. Yeah. Can be really a good place to start. Yeah. I think, you know, before you go in into these meetings, really like having that information, the IQ assessment staff, the, and, and maybe not having the whole report to give to schools, cuz like I said, they’re full of they’re full of jargon.

[00:20:10] They’re long they’re wordy, is there the opportunity, to to talk to the psychologist, can we get a, a one page summary? Can we get something that’s, that’s a bit more simplified because that, that might, that can be really helpful. I would, and most, hopefully most parents kind of know or have an inkling what’s the school’s policy around gifted, gifted kids, is there a program?

[00:20:36] Is it, does there seem to be an awareness? Is, are there staff in the school that know what they’re talking about? Like what, what’s the context that you’re going into with this meeting, you can chat to other parents from the school, see, see what experiences they might have had because it’s, it’s often helpful to, I suppose, just.

[00:20:56] No. Like, I, I don’t think it’s a good idea to assume that it’s gonna be confrontational. It’s gonna be hard all the time, because then I think you take that energy in with you. Yeah. Don’t go

[00:21:06] Sophia Elliott: in with your arm on no, no, don’t go in

[00:21:08] Kintara Phillips: with your arm arm on, but it is also good to, I suppose, just have a, a read of the room or the vibe of what, what you might be walking into.

[00:21:19] Yeah. And I think, unless, you know, for certain that there are teachers with additional gifted ed training, high levels of experience from through whatever pathway, unless you know that for certain, I think it is safe to assume that the teachers and the, the leadership that you’ll be meeting with when, you know, like you gave ’em the Al what should parents expect?

[00:21:46] Teachers would know. And my answer is nothing mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:21:50] Sophia Elliott: I didn’t wanna say

[00:21:50] Kintara Phillips: that to reality

[00:21:52] Sophia Elliott: is yeah. There, no, nothing. Yeah. And, and the, this is, like you said before, uh, in our intro, it’s like, you are, you’re in universities and you’re teaching teachers and it’s kind of like, there is usually, I think there might be a couple of unis now that I’m aware of that do have a compulsory subject in gifted, but the history is, and most now, yeah.

[00:22:14] Teachers don’t get taught about gifted. So the chances are very high. You’re talking to a school, like you say that just doesn’t know. Yeah. And it’s kinda like, it’s not their fault.

[00:22:26] Kintara Phillips: Yes, absolutely. Right. It’s it’s hundred percent not their fault because yeah. It, they, they have, like, I, you know, I did my teacher training 20 odd years ago.

[00:22:37] There was nothing like apps. I mean, there was nothing for D diverse learners at all. I don’t remember doing a unit on anything like that, you know? So at least now there are elements of individual differences and diversity and sometimes gifted, you know, might be one little section hidden away in there, which is better than nothing, but it’s still not prevalent enough.

[00:23:00] It’s still not there. Yeah. And I, and from a teacher perspective and I, this is what I do. Like teaching is what I do, it’s who I am. Yeah. And there are some, I, I, I’m in lots of those Facebook groups and social media stuff. And, and sometimes I, I read posts and I read comments that, that parents are making about teachers and it hurts my heart because.

[00:23:21] And I, I get it from both sides. I can see that these parents are tired and mm-hmm, , you know, they dunno what to do and you know, but at the same time, it hurts my heart for my colleagues who I know if they knew better, they would do better. Yeah. And I know they don’t know better and it’s not their fault.

[00:23:38] Yeah. So it, but I, but I also recognize there are teachers out there who don’t wanna know better and they don’t care. Yeah. And they, that’s also the reality and I, I I’m embarrassed for those people. And for, you know, I apologize to parents on behalf of people, I don’t even know who have had to have those, you know, encounter that.

[00:23:57] So I think, with my teacher head on, I do ask parents to consider when you are going into, into these kinds of meetings, go in without your armor, go in expecting that the teachers probably won’t know a lot mm-hmm and go in and give, give your teachers a bit of grace. Mm-hmm right. And going with that, that where the goal is this shared understanding mm-hmm right.

[00:24:33] This wanting to learn together, not us and them, not school and home, not, you know, this, this team around our, our young people. We’re all part of it. We all wanna work together and. You know, going, I always, you know, anytime anything’s a bit awkward or uncomfortable or could potentially be that, you know, conflict kind of conversation, I always go in and remind myself that I need to understand the other.

[00:25:02] Person’s why. Right. Yeah. I’m going in seeking to understand. Yeah. So, and, you know, I, I, I was kind of making some notes for myself last night and, and thinking some things out and, and I know lots of parents, you know, will, will hear some of my suggestions and be like, but is it my job to do that? Should I have to organize that for the teacher?

[00:25:24] Should I have to send links to reading? Should I ha no, no, 100%. You should not have to do that. Mm-hmm but could you, will it make it easier? Will it show some grace mm-hmm will it build a, a relationship and some trust and, and it, this working togetherness probably. Yeah. So is it worth it if it’s gonna help?

[00:25:53] I think it is. Yeah.

[00:25:55] Sophia Elliott: And I think, absolutely. I think it’s validating for parents at this point that, oh man. None of that’s easy. Because the chances are, you’re wanting to talk to this teacher because stuff at home stuff with your kid is not going great, which is stressful. It’s hurts to watch our kids in pain.

[00:26:16] Yeah. And it hurts when things are so hard and it’s kind of like, we get where the teaching profession is coming from. And even, you know, and I have been that person talking to that teacher and that deputy principal and that school who really did not get it. Yeah. And were not pleasant about it. Uh, that’s really freaking hard.

[00:26:41] Yeah. But they, they didn’t know better. So it’s not personal as personal as it feels because it’s like, hang on. My kid is hurting here. Yeah. And I’m feeling like you should be professionals and no better, but it’s like, we’re at this difficult period where they just don’t so we can get wound up and inside of ourselves with the unfairness and unjustness of that because it’s unfair.

[00:27:08] It’s yeah. It’s unjust. It just is. Yeah. But I can speak from experience. It doesn’t get you very far or maybe it does. I started a podcast. I don’t know. come talk to me if you wanna vent. It’s fine. We’ll do a podcast episode. Like. Yeah. So it’s just kind like, okay, this is the lay of the land. And it’s kind of like when you walk into that meeting, it’s kinda like, yeah, leave your armor behind.

[00:27:33] And I think the key there Canara were like, right. We really wanna approach this team working together. You know, we’re looking out for what is the best for this child, my child, your student. And it’s just kind of like the, to be honest, the shitty part of this for parents is you don’t know who you’re gonna get.

[00:27:56] No. And it’s like you say, you don’t know if you’re gonna get the teacher who isn’t interested. Doesn’t believe it’s a thing. I know one of them I’m related to one of them. I know lots of them believe it’s a thing. Right. I’ve I’ve worked under

[00:28:08] Kintara Phillips: them, like, yeah. And this is like a lot of that frustration.

[00:28:12] Yeah. That I know parents feel. Yeah. I feel as a teacher. Yeah. You know, because I know better and I wanna do better. Yeah. And, and while I can do better in parts for the 50 odd minutes, I have a child in my classroom for me that doesn’t feel like enough. Yeah. You know? So I, I have had those conversations with leadership.

[00:28:42] I’ve gone in with armor on and been like, ah, and I’ve left because. That principle. I can see doesn’t share my values. Yeah. Doesn’t believe what I believe. And isn’t going to change. Yeah. I don’t have the energy to fight that fight. Yeah. So, you know what I’m going. I’m gonna go and find somewhere else. Yeah.

[00:29:04] That maybe will. And

[00:29:06] Sophia Elliott: unfortunately, as a parent of a, a gifted and neuro divergent child, there is a point which you have to ask yourself, the question is this a school for us? And it’s kind of like, you know, and I know way too many people. And they’ve been at like 2, 3, 4 plus schools because they all have not been the school for them.

[00:29:28] And that is the hard reality of, and that is just traumatic for the child and the family and, and it, but that’s the world we’re living in.

[00:29:37] Kintara Phillips: Unfortunately, one of, one of my young people that I work with, we’re on, uh, educational setting number eight. Oh,

[00:29:46] Sophia Elliott: how old is that kid? 13. 13. Oh my God. 13. Yeah. Like have they even been at school for, what is that?

[00:29:57] That’s like

[00:29:57] Kintara Phillips: seven years at school. You’re you’re eight in Victoria. Oh my God. Eighth year of school. Eighth educational setting. Yeah.

[00:30:06] Sophia Elliott: Like that’s not cool. No. You know. Yeah. And, and recently one of our members was like talking to their school and they’d just changed to this school. They had all of these hopes and expectations, cuz they sort of said the right things, but it’s gone pear shaped and they’ve had a meeting with the leadership and the leadership’s kind of like, you know, how, when you first sort of came to, to see us and you were considering, you know, is it homeschooling or us, maybe it’s time to think about homeschooling cuz we are really not able to meet your child’s needs.

[00:30:40] And it’s kind like those conversations happen around the world all the time. Yeah. With parents of gifted kids and schools. And I’m so sorry for all of those kids and all those parents having to go through that trauma cuz it is trauma. It is. And it’s kind of like, but I need, I guess it’s kinda like, let’s be real because if you’re going and if you are having that experience and you’re like thinking, is it just me?

[00:31:06] And I’m really sorry to say, it’s not just you it’s no. So in some ways that sucks and in other ways, at least now, you know, it’s not just you.

[00:31:14] Kintara Phillips: Yeah. That’s it. Yeah. You know, and, and I think you know, yeah. Making the decision to, to leave a school or to try another school is, is a huge one. Yeah. And for lots of people, is another school, even an option, your family, you know, is there another option within a reasonable commute?

[00:31:35] Because for lots of people there’s not, is there is there an option that is financially viable to your family? Because some people are really limited by financial opportunity. You know, so, so there are lots of those kinds of things that, that happen. And then, like you said, you go and you do tours of schools and you meet with, with people and you ask questions and they seem to give all the right answers and tick the boxes, but then the reality’s very different.

[00:32:04] Yeah. So, you know, I suppose some things that are maybe for parents to think about that they might not have thought about before, you know, from, I suppose my teacher perspective. Yeah. And that side you know, I I’m all for want, like when you ask the questions and like I said, you can, the, the general expectation will probably be that teachers know nothing or very little, right.

[00:32:31] So a teacher who said, or a school that said, oh, yes, we’ve got all of this experience, gifted, gifted learners, and we know blah, blah, blah, blah. But there was no. You’re like, oh, well, where does that come from? Or I go and Google people’s names and they’re not showing up anywhere as having that extra training in gifted ed or, you know, like, it’s almost like for me, a little bit of a red flag of schools or teachers that are too keen.

[00:32:56] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, sure. You know,

[00:32:57] Kintara Phillips: like without, without the, the backup. Yeah. And, and, you know, using myself as an example, if, if I was asked, you know, well what’s, and it it’s happened, you know, when I’ve been in schools, I’ve, I’ve run faculties and open nights and all of those things. And, you know, I’ve had parents sort of say often it’s, they’ll ask someone else and, and someone else is like, see that, see that woman go and ask her.

[00:33:17] She, she knows, she knows about gifted stuff. And I will always, I don’t know whether it’s just a me thing, whether it’s being twice exceptional and feeling like I have to justify my existence all the time in the world, but I will always start with parents, you know, thanks for coming and having a chat with me, gifted kids and my jam.

[00:33:35] I have a master’s in gifted education. I have this experience. So I let them know. Yeah. I’m not just blowing smoke up there, but like, I, I do have some stuff. So I think, you know, schools that seem to offer the world, but can’t really provide some, a little bit of evidence or experience to back that up is maybe a little worrying.

[00:34:00] Yeah. I’m always pretty keen on. Teachers that you, you might ask them, you know, what, what’s your experience with gifted kids or what do you know about giftedness or twice exceptionality or, or whatever the case may be. And I think there’s a lot to be said for teachers who are secure enough in their own abilities that they go, you know, not a heap actually.

[00:34:20] Yeah. Not, not really. Like, I haven’t really had a lot. So, so keen to learn more. Yeah. But I just haven’t really, I think an openness and a willingness to admit that they don’t know, but they, they want to know can be a really good indicator.

[00:34:37] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. And I’ve had that experience. So one of my kids, it was their kindy and we were really upfront and they were like, actually not a lot, but they were just really keen and they, they learnt and they were open to it and they, yeah.

[00:34:58] And they took concrete moves to understand and, and meet their needs. And I think what you were saying, there is, so as a parent, if you’re going to a school and you’re kind of like, what do I ask? What do I look for these kinds of things? What you’ve said there is you should be able to say, you know, like ask a question like.

[00:35:23] Do you have a gifted program or how do you meet the needs of gifted kids and what you might expect is a yes or a no, first of all, like a gifted program is a gifted program. Like that means they’ve got a program it’s well, for out, they can go here. It is bam. Or you might have, sometimes they might say, well, we do pull out classes and accelerate provisions.

[00:35:45] Yes. Provisions that’s right. Principal program. It’s like you say, there should be concrete things that they can point to. Yes. So we have provisions or accommodations and we either accelerate or we have this class or we have that class, and this is how we meet the needs of those students. So there are concrete things and like you said, they should be run or managed by people who have concrete experience.

[00:36:10] And at the moment that is basically a masters of gifted ed. One would expect because you don’t do it in undergrad or someone who may be like, I’ve taught Dick gifted programs forever. Do you know? Or yeah, but there’s that concrete kind of, this is my expertise because it is a, it’s a skillset. Yes. And this is the concrete program that we have or at the very least.

[00:36:37] A willingness, because if your options are very limited, like ours were with the kindie. I mean, you just don’t get gifted programs in kindies here in essay anyway. And you know, I knew I wasn’t gonna get any kind of gifted program, but I had a willingness and you can only take people on face value and cross your fingers that they mean it and, and kind of hope that, you know, they’re being sincere about that.

[00:37:01] Cuz it doesn’t always work out that way, but there, there are the concrete things you can actually look for and it’s okay to ask that.

[00:37:09] Kintara Phillips: Yeah. And I, and I think it in, in a sense it’s I it’s important to ask it. Yeah. And it’s also, you know, I, I know there are lots of parents and I see lots of, kind of chat around social media about the word gifted and using gifted and people’s reactions to using the word gifted and And I get it.

[00:37:28] Like, I, I do get it, but I think from a parent perspective, if you’re going into a school and asking those questions, don’t sugar coat it. Yeah. What, what kind of things can you do for kids who need some extension or have some high potential, Laura, you know, high achievers or quick finishes? Don’t sugar coat it.

[00:37:46] Yeah, because actually go in and say, what can we do for my gifted child? Yeah. Because the way they react to The G Word may also give you some hints. Oh, that’s so true into what you’re getting when we sugar coat it, when we go, oh, you know, they’re a quick finisher or they, you know, they’re, they’re, they’re a little bit clever.

[00:38:06] It gives them, it gives, you know, just gives out of like, oh, well you didn’t say they were gifted, gifted, you know, like you just said, they were a little bit clever or whatever. So yeah, I think using the word can and then reading the reaction can actually, yeah.

[00:38:24] Sophia Elliott: Cause if someone, if you say, what do you do for gifted kids?

[00:38:27] And someone rolls their eyes. That’s a pretty good red flag right there. I asked a principal once and they were like, well, we have kids with many gifts and I was

[00:38:35] kind

[00:38:35] Kintara Phillips: yeah. And you were like, right. Red flags

[00:38:38] Sophia Elliott: moving on. And, but also the other thing is like, what you just said there, like high achieving kids.

[00:38:46] Quick finishes, all those kind of terminology. You just used their different kids. Mm-hmm like a high achieving kid is not a gifted kid. These are two different categories of kids. So if you go in talking about what do you do for high achieving kids, or they’re gonna talk about high achieving

[00:39:01] Kintara Phillips: kids, what they do for high

[00:39:02] Sophia Elliott: achieving kids.

[00:39:02] Yeah. Not gifted kids. So, and look, I realize that if you’re in say the UK, they often will use high learning potential HLP kids here in Australia. If it’s anything it’s gonna be gifted. And, and I think in the us, it can be different terminology as well, but go with what is used professionally in your area, because you wanna know what people’s reactions are to that,

[00:39:27] Kintara Phillips: right?

[00:39:27] Yeah. And if you use the word gifted and the answer you get is using the termin, you know, high potential, high achieving quick finishes, you know, bright kids. Yeah. If the teacher won’t use the terminology yeah. Back at you, they’re not comfortable with the terminology.

[00:39:45] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. Because when you did your master’s, it was a master’s in gifted, gifted education.

[00:39:52] This is the term we’re stuck. Like this is the, the word to use. Yeah. So, and it kind of makes me think of, and it, it reminds me of actually our experience that kind of set us on this journey was when I realized, you know, having my child identified as gifted, doing my own deep dive in research. In those conversations with the school, which were very unsuccessful.

[00:40:16] What I realized was they were trying to meet the needs of high achievers and they thought that was gifted. Yes. And, and they really didn’t get what gifted was. And when I realized that I was like, okay, cut and run. We need to find another school. Yeah. Aside from all the other issues we were having and it’s kinda like, so, so I think there’s some really good info there for parents about just be upfront, be that person ask that question, especially, oh my God.

[00:40:45] If you have an assessment that says your kid is gifted, you just, you you’ve got that information, use the word. So that’s, that’s I think, great tips in terms of red flags and what to ask and what to look for when you’re looking at schools. Yeah. How do you know when it’s time to leave? And I’ve just shared there, like when I knew it was time to leave, but how would you answer that

[00:41:08] Kintara Phillips: question?

[00:41:08] Yeah. Uh, and, and I think some, like some of the things for me are when those conversations and those meetings and those interactions with, with people within the school are hostile or more negative than, than positive. You know, I, that can be when you, and particularly if leadership, if senior leadership, if the principal.

[00:41:35] Is not on board. Yeah. It doesn’t, you can have a teacher like me yeah. In your responsible for your child. But if the principal is not supportive, it doesn’t matter. I mean, it matters what I do, but it’s never going to be enough or right. Or, you know what I mean, if, oh, a hundred

[00:41:59] Sophia Elliott: percent board experience that, and that is one, the truest thing you could ever say, if, if you are not getting what you need from, like, if leadership aren’t saying the right things, if they’re not on board, it doesn’t matter how good the teacher is.

[00:42:14] Yeah. You will. That teacher will always be bound yes. Beyond what they can make decisions for. And that you will only ever know that for that little year that you have that teacher, that teacher will do what they can, but there is a box around them and that’s

[00:42:30] Kintara Phillips: it. And I teach in secondary. Yeah. You know, I’ve your kid, four or five periods a week.

[00:42:35] I might get 200 minutes a week with them. Yeah. It’s not even like primary where I, I would have them most of every day. Yeah. And I know from experience, like I said, you know, I’ve left schools for that reason because I was, I was too tightly bound. My hands were tied and I knew I could do more and I knew I could do better.

[00:42:54] And, and, and that, that was probably the final straw of me leaving the classroom. Yeah. Because I, I tried on so many schools and so many principals and so many systems and they all just kept me bound. Yeah. You know, and like an example, I, when I did my masters, when I actually the principal that said he didn’t, he didn’t like my gut.

[00:43:19] And then I said, well, I’ve enrolled in this master of, of gift actually started as a grad in gifted education, over retriever masters degree. And I said to him, I’ve enrolled in, you know, master’s of gifted education. And he, he honestly looked at me and

[00:43:36] said, cause this is really important. Like, these kids are really important to me and, and I wanna do better for these kids. And he, he looked me in the eye and he said, but we don’t have gifted kids at the school. And I was like,

[00:43:55] Sophia Elliott: oh

[00:43:56] Kintara Phillips: yeah. And I, I said to, cause I I’m a boat, rocker people. Haven’t, haven’t

[00:44:02] Sophia Elliott: noticed.

[00:44:03] I think that’s what I like about you already.

[00:44:04] Kintara Phillips: Probably a little bit. Yeah. And I, I, I stood in his office and I looked him in the eye and I said two things at there’s an issue there. I said one, we do have gifted kids here. They are everywhere. And I said, I’m only here three days a week, only teach six. I only teach two classes.

[00:44:22] And I can tell you at least half a dozen kids that I interact with on a daily basis who are gifted at this school right now. So that’s one issue. And that I said, you know, I teach two classes at a whole school. And I said, the other issue is, and this is where I, I push. I said, I think it’s cute that you think I’m gonna work here with you forever.

[00:44:44] And he was like, and then he said, as I left, he said to me, you know, well, if you have, if you feel like you have to get a master’s degree to prove something, why don’t you do it in something useful, like educational leadership . And I was like, cause I don’t want to . So, you know, yeah. I, I get, and that’s it when doesn’t matter what I thought, what I believed, what I, you know, it wasn’t just wasn’t enough.

[00:45:13] You know, there was no way I had kids in my U 10 English class who needed to be radically acceler. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. Yeah. There was no way that conversation was happening with that principal in that, that wasn’t happening in that school ever. Yeah. Yeah. You know, so I did what I could in those 50 minutes, four or five times a week.

[00:45:33] I had that kid. Yeah. But that, you know what, it’s just, I don’t know. It’s not enough. And I’m just one of those it’s kinda like wanna

[00:45:40] Sophia Elliott: settle. Yeah. Why should we always settle? And it’s kinda like, and, and that’s my, I have an issue with like gifted pullout programs. It’s kind like, well, we’ll treat your child as gifted for that hour a week.

[00:45:53] Yeah. It’s kinda like there, sorry. It’s 24 7. Yeah. You know, and it’s kind like, I know that’s better than nothing, but oh my God. We should be able to do so much better than that. Yeah. .

[00:46:07] Wow. Well, that’s the end of part, one of navigating education with gifted kids with Conterra Phillips. You can stay tuned for part two of that conversation. Which will be published next week.

[00:46:19] And in the meantime, let us know what you thought. What do you think? And I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.

#060 How to Tell Your Child They are Gifted w/ Dr Gail Post

#060 How to Tell Your Child They are Gifted w/ Dr Gail Post

In this episode we’re talking to Dr Gail Post about how to tell your child they are gifted and do we need to modify our expectations for our gifted kids?

Memorable Quote

“If you don’t someone else will, and someone else will put information in their head that maybe you’re not thrilled with or will overinflate the importance of it or confuse them. So, it’s up to us to explain it to them and what I think is really important to consider…is, you need to take into account their age, their maturity, their developmental level, because what you say to a five-year-old is different from a 10-year-old or a 15 year old.

You have to think about what they can take in and really to talk to them about it as it’s no big deal, just be as matter of fact as possible because it’s just part of who they are.

It’s not an accomplishment, they didn’t accomplish anything. It’s just who they are.

And just letting them know it’s no different than your eye colour or your height. Or the fact that maybe you need glasses or the fact that you love peanut butter. I mean, these are all parts of who you are, and it’s really important just to be as matter of fact as possible.” – Dr Gail Post



Gail Post, Ph.D. is a Clinical Psychologist, parenting consultant, workshop leader, and writer. In practice for over 35 years, she provides psychotherapy with a focus on the needs of the intellectually and musically gifted, parenting consultation and workshops, and consultation with educators and psychotherapists.

She is also an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Dr. Post is the parent of two gifted young adults and served as co-chair of a gifted parents advocacy group when her children were in school. Her writing includes online articles, several book chapters, and a long-standing blog, Gifted Challenges.

Her upcoming book through Gifted Unlimited Press, “The Gifted Parenting Journey: A Guide to Self-discovery and Support for Families of Gifted Children” extends her advocacy efforts to address the needs of parents of gifted children.

Hit play and let’s get started!


[00:00:00] Sophia Elliott: Hello and welcome to this week’s podcast. I’m very excited today to be getting into the topic of how do we tell our children. They are gifted. It can seem incredibly. Big overwhelming, tricky to booboo. Like, how do we have that conversation? So it delights me to introduce Dr. Gale post.

[00:00:23] She’s a clinical psychologist, a parent consultant and writer she’s been in practice for over 35 years, providing psychotherapy with a focus on the needs of the intellectually and musically gifted. She’s a parenting consultant and does many workshops and consultations with educators and psychotherapists.

[00:00:45] She’s also an associate professor of psychiatry at the university of Pennsylvania school of medicine. And the parent of two gifted young adults herself.

[00:00:55] She served as co-chair of a gifted parents advocacy group. When her children were in school.

[00:01:02] And her writing includes online articles, book chapters, and a long-standing blog called gifted challenges. She also mentioned in this podcast, her upcoming book, but we will. Hopefully be getting her back to talk more about that when the book comes out. So that is super exciting.

[00:01:20] And it was an absolute delight to get into this topic of how do we have this conversation with our children? How do we tell them that they gifted?

[00:01:29] So let me know that. You think, let me know if it’s helpful, you can find us on Instagram. Facebook in our Facebook group, or you can subscribe at our gifted Dot com and not miss out.

[00:01:42] . So let’s get going. I’m I’m very excited today to be talking to Gail post. Now Gale’s a clinical psychologist and has been working with gifted children for many, many years and has an absolute wealth of information. She’s got a wonderful blog and lots of resources available for people. And so I’m really excited today to be getting into this conversation in Gale.

[00:02:41] But welcome. Thank you so much for joining us.

[00:02:44] Gail Post: Well, thanks for having me here. This is so exciting. I mean, it it’s so impressive. This podcast series that you’ve developed to support families because as we know, families who have gifted children often feel kind of left out on their own and don’t feel like they have connections and the more we can have opportunities like this, I think the better.

[00:03:05] So thank you.

[00:03:06] Sophia Elliott: Oh, absolutely. And thank you. And I, uh, love meeting people like yourself from all over the world who just have this absolute wealth of knowledge and experience. And so generously willing to share that because, you know, we have so much to learn and, uh, and so I’m really excited to be getting into a few things today, but first of all, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do and how you got into the whole gifted thing.

[00:03:36] Gail Post: Okay, good, good questions about how I got into this because people often wonder how do you get into that? But while I’m a clinical psychologist, I’ve been in practice for over 35 years, long time doings, uh, and now I also do parent consulting work with parents on helping support them. With ideas about raising their gifted kids, which is a little bit different than psychotherapy.

[00:04:00] And I write and how I got interested. I, you know, I noticed for a while, when, after I had my kids, I kind of went on the mommy track, you know, so I didn’t wanna continue working at agencies and hospitals and organizations wanted to have a private practice and consult, so I’d have more flexibility. So that was a while ago cuz my kids are well into their twenties, uh, late twenties now.

[00:04:21] But I, um, I noticed when I worked in private practice, a lot of my clients were really super bright, high achieving all of that. And their take on the world was really different than some other folks, just very, you know, driven and high achieving and sometimes impatient. Um, sometimes frustrated that they, you know, had 20 different directions they wanted to go in and they couldn’t figure it out.

[00:04:44] So there were all these things and at the same time, my kids ended up being gifted and. Got involved in the school system with an, an advocacy group that a bunch of parents had put together to advocate for better gifted education. And it wasn’t even so much about our own kids’ education, but how do we change how things are handled in the schools?

[00:05:06] And it actually was a great, very supportive, very, um, motivated group of, of parents. And we, at least at that point affected some changes, things like making sure there was universal screening that kids weren’t just nominated to get tested for gifted that, that there was at least some pre-screening tools, things like that.

[00:05:26] So it was a great, a great opportunity, great experience. And when my kids were, uh, approaching graduation, I wanted to continue to. And continue to do that in some way. And I really like to write, so I started this blog, it’s called gifted challenges and it’s not really personal experiences of my own or my kids, although some stuff about them seeps in undercover, but, uh, mostly it’s about social and emotional issues that gifted people face, both children and adults advocacy, how parents can advocate parenting issues and, uh, so on.

[00:06:01] So I’ve been doing that for a while now. I’m only posting maybe once a month, but I have been doing more in the past. So it’s about almost 10 years now. I’ve been doing it and started writing in other formats, medium other places, articles online, uh, that newsletters. Have a few book chapters and recently actually this fall, it should be coming out.

[00:06:24] Recently. I wrote a book about the parents’ experience, what parents need to know about themselves, so they can parent at their best how to take care of themselves. So they feel comfortable with what they’re doing and noticing things about their kids and their interactions with their kids. So it’s really about knowing yourself first so that you can then be there for your kids.

[00:06:44] It’s called the gifted parenting journey. It’s through gifted, unlimited press, and I’m excited about it. So anyway, that that’s kind of how I got into it. And, uh, even though my kids have grown and flown, I, uh, you know, you’re always a parent, even when you have older kids. And I, you know, it’s just an area of, of interest of mine that I just continue to really think is so important because so many parents struggle to get their needs met as, as parents.

[00:07:14] Absolutely.

[00:07:16] Sophia Elliott: Absolutely. That’s so true. And we’re very excited to get you back at a future date when the book is out to talk about the book, because thank you, the parent journey and what parents need to know,

[00:07:28] Gail Post: just

[00:07:29] Sophia Elliott: huge, you know, like I’m really excited to read that and, and have you back and have a chat about that.

[00:07:35] And thank you. I just love that like so many people working within the gifted community, you have come from that very parenting lived experience, um, place, because I think the reality is unless you’ve been touched by it personally, You don’t kind of know it’s out there. You don’t really know the true impacts of it.

[00:07:56] And I, you know, which is part of the struggle of parenting gifted kids and, and being gifted is just that kind of lack of general awareness. So it’s, uh, it’s always interesting to hear how people have come into this and it’s sort of, uh, fairly unsurprising now when, when people come and think, well, , you know, the, I was on this journey, um, which links us to the topic today.

[00:08:21] So one of the things that we’re gonna talk about today is, well, what is the best way for parents to explain giftedness to their child? Uh, because I know that you have, you know, you’ve done a lot of writing in this particular area as well. So, so what is your advice for parents on.

[00:08:43] Gail Post: Well, you know, I, I think, I think it’s a tough one for parents because most parents of gifted kids are very humble and they don’t want their kids to get a big head and think they’re like super, you know, smart and better than everyone else.

[00:08:56] And so, I mean, I’ve seen situations where some parents are like, I’m not telling my kid they’re gifted. You know, I don’t want them to think too highly of themselves. We’ll just keep it under wraps here. But even if they don’t have the label, they know, they know they’re different. They sense it, they see it, they notice their differences between themselves and their peers early on.

[00:09:19] You know, they get impatient, you know, some kids are accused of being bossy because they’re, you know, at four years old, they’re, they’re mad because their play partner doesn’t pick things up as quickly and they, and they get frustrated. They notice that they grasp information more quickly or with more intensity in depth, they, they seal that and they don’t know what to do with that information.

[00:09:38] You know, they wonder why am I so different? What what’s wrong with me? Uh, they, so if you, as a parent, if we, as parents, don’t explain it to our children, who will, I mean, who knows them better? Who knows what, how, how they respond to situations and what they’ll do with that information, because if you don’t someone else will, and someone else will put information in their head that maybe you’re not thrilled with, or will overinflate the importance of it or, uh, confuse them.

[00:10:09] So again, it’s, it’s up to us to explain, explain it to them. And, um, what I think is really important to consider if, if I might go into this a little bit, is. You need to take into account their age, their maturity, their developmental level, because what you say to a five year old is different from a 10 year old or a 15 year old, you have to think about what they can take in and really to talk to them about it as it’s no big deal, just be as matter of fact as possible because it’s, it’s just part of who they are.

[00:10:45] It’s not an accomplishment, they didn’t accomplish anything. It’s just who they are. And just letting them know it’s, it’s no different than your eye color or your height. I mean, this is, or, or the fact that maybe you need glasses or the fact that, uh, you love peanut butter. I mean, these are all parts of who you are, and it’s really important just to be as matter of fact as possible.

[00:11:11] So again, you wanna be there to explain to them what it’s about and to use words that they can understand and grasp and put it in context and. You don’t wanna wait until your child asks about it. So in a lot of situations, for example, they’re getting tested for a gifted program at school. And certainly, you know, you wanna talk to them about what that means, but overall you wanna first think about the fact that they’ve got questions going on in their heads, and they’re probably not gonna say those questions there.

[00:11:45] Those questions are there and it’s our job to anticipate what they might be thinking. So when you think about what a gifted kid might feel and think they might wonder, you know, will other kids think I’m weird or different or unlikeable or somehow better than them? Um, do others only like me because I’m smart, uh, will, uh, my parents and teachers expect more of me.

[00:12:09] Oh my gosh, I better not work too hard because they’re gonna expect too much from me. Uh, will I stop being gifted if I don’t do well in school? Does that mean I’m not gifted? If I come home with a bad grade, uh, can I stop being gifted if I want to. Maybe I don’t like all the gifted stuff and all that’s involved.

[00:12:24] Maybe I don’t wanna work so hard in school, so maybe I can just stop. Um, they may wonder, well, how can I be gifted if I don’t do well in a particular class? Like if I’m not good in math or I’m not good in art or something, does that mean I’m not gifted? So these are questions that are, are going through their heads.

[00:12:42] And our job is to anticipate those and bring them up. So to bring up things about, you know, you just found out, you’ve got labeled this word, what do you, what do you think about it? What does that mean to you? And let’s talk about it because I don’t think any differently of you because of this. It’s just a word that is a label that’s given that should help you get maybe some better, more interesting fun classes.

[00:13:10] Uh that’s the only reason we got you tested was you were complaining about being a little bit bored in school. So we thought, well, let’s see if we can. Get some way to get you involved in classes. That might be a little more fun. So again, to bring it to their level, to point out that it’s, it’s just a word it’s not the best word in the world because it’s, it’s kind of loaded with meaning and thought, but it doesn’t mean you are more of a gift to the world than any other child.

[00:13:39] All parents see their children as a gift. And it just is a word that says that you have different learning needs and they might be different than your friend next door, but it doesn’t make you any better than that. That it’s just about the learning needs. So it’s a part of you. You can’t pretend it’s not there.

[00:14:04] Um, it doesn’t go away. If you don’t work hard, it’s up to you to decide what you wanna do with, with these abilities that you have. But we wouldn’t care if you were label gifted or not, we would still love you no matter what. So again, to, to talk to kids with, with those kinds of words, just to really reassure them that it’s okay, they are who they are and we’ll work with it.

[00:14:31] Sophia Elliott: So a few things that you’ve said there, first of all, that question of, do I tell them don’t I tell them and the reality is they already know something’s going on. Like they’re gifted kids. They’ve figured out that something is different, right? Ironically. And so it’s an opportunity for us to help them create a narrative around that and, and, and have some new words and understanding for that, that difference.

[00:15:03] Um, Because a lot of our gifted kids who are gifted plus, you know, or twice exceptional, any, you know, all sorts of other things going on may very well feel like, like they’re not good enough or broken or not fitting in or behaving poorly or, or whatever, or can’t do it as well as others. So there might be all sorts of things loaded there.

[00:15:27] Uh, so I think what you said there was really great. And the other thing I love that you are addressing is this idea of accomplishment. So, you know, being gifted, it’s not something that you have accomplished. It’s just who you are. And it’s not about what you accomplish at school either or in life. It’s just who you are.

[00:15:53] It’s how your brain works. It’s how you learn how you experience the world and whether you get an a or a C. That doesn’t define who you are. And so I love that you’re talking about accomplishment just straight up there and those

[00:16:10] Gail Post: questions. Yeah. I really like what you said about the I’m sorry.

[00:16:13] I, I just wanna say, I really like what you just said. I think it’s really important that people hear that it’s about how your brain works and how you experience. Yeah.

[00:16:21] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, definitely. And I love that. You’ve kind of raised those questions around, you know, our kids much like adults, I know who have sort of recently discovered their gifted because they’ve recently discovered their kids are, are kind of like, well, if I don’t do well at school or in life or at work, does it mean I’m not gifted?

[00:16:43] Does it mean I’m not smart anymore? And it’s that kind of, um, inevitable, but incredibly unhelpful link between giftedness and accomplishment. Um, right, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Which can be. Uh, like the bane of so much mental health challenges. Right, right.

[00:17:06] Gail Post: Exactly. Exactly. Um, just exactly,

[00:17:10] Sophia Elliott: because that cycle is like, alright, I, I need to do better than everyone else because that’s the expectation because I’m gifted and if I’m not, what does that say about me?

[00:17:22] I’m failing everyone, myself, this identity, and it’s like cue perfectionism, cue, anxiety, cue, depression, cue dropping outta school. And just kind of, yeah,

[00:17:38] Gail Post: just lots of hard stuff. Yeah. I mean, it is so much pressure that a lot of kids feel and you know, one of the things in talking to them is, again, like what you said, it’s about how they experience the world, how their brain works.

[00:17:51] So even though some people link it to accomplishments, If your child can understand, okay, that’s totally separate. I have choices in that realm. I can choose to push myself or not. That’s my choice, but I can’t change the fact that I see the world with all this complexity and that’s that’s, you know, and some can say that’s truly, you know, a gift, but it’s also, it, it can also be really hard because it’s like turning the radio, dial up too high.

[00:18:20] Everything is so intense and overwhelming and powerful and emotional and, and overwhelming. It’s it it’s a lot. And so what comes with that is being able to manage those feelings and reactions. One of the things I just wanna say, one of the things that parents often struggle with is when they, they do have their child get tested IQ tested with a psychologist or neuropsychologist or school psychologist.

[00:18:46] That it, it, the testing in itself. And one thing, I mean, I don’t do IQ testing anymore. It’s been a long time, but one thing I loved about it was that it, isn’t just a number. People get fixated on a number it’s about looking at strengths and weaknesses and areas of struggle. And one of the great things with the one-on-one testing, which is different than the paper and pencil testing that some, some schools do.

[00:19:10] That’s really more of a pre-screening, but that the psychologists can really look at well, what’s their frustration tolerance. Are they rigid about things? Are they perfectionistic? Are they impulsive? Like looking at some of the behaviors that come out of it? And if you get your child tested, you’ll get a list of all this information about strengths and weaknesses.

[00:19:30] And just to be really clear with them, you know, like, yeah. You know, it seems like you love spatial skills. You love those Lego Legos. You’re, you know, that really comes naturally to you, but sometimes you struggle with, uh, I don’t know, you know, sometimes you struggle with remembering. Things go in and out in one ear and out the other.

[00:19:49] So that’s something we’re gonna work on, you know, you’re gonna work on this. So it’s really more of a, a template of, of strengths and weaknesses that for anyone who takes the testing. But I think it’s really important for them just to see, like it’s not a big deal that they got tested. It’s just because we needed a little more information to help you along.

[00:20:08] And that doesn’t mean you go around and tell other kids you’re gifted because that won’t when you were friends. Uh, but that is just, it’s just a word that it just means I learn differently. You know, I, I need some learning support essentially. And one last thing about that has a lot of controversy on, on a lot of forums online about whether you should tell your child, their IQ, and as a psychologist and, and parent, I, I have a lot of strong feelings about that and would really recommend not giving your child a number because it’s hard enough for us as adults to put all that in perspective.

[00:20:42] What does that mean? To expect a child to understand it. It’s almost like, would you tell your child every ins and out of your, of your financial portfolio or would you tell them, you know, detailed medical stuff? I mean, there’s things that you just don’t tell a young child and when they get that number, then it defines them in a way that is just very unhealthy.

[00:21:03] And again, that number is just a cutoff to get into a program. And it’s, what’s really important is they understand that they are who they are, the number doesn’t matter.

[00:21:14] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. I couldn’t agree more about the number. Uh, and it’s kind of like, uh, and I have never told my children, uh, any numbers in those terms, because I don’t want them to ever feel defined by a number or stuck with a number or, yeah, just that heavy weight of.

[00:21:39] Exactly. This is who I am in some way. Like it’s a part of identity because it’s really not. And in my experience with IQ tests, so I have three children and we’ve done four, um, for various reasons, uh, including my, my, I, I actually did one last year as a part of an ASD diagnosis to kind of better understand so five within the family.

[00:22:07] And I can honestly say that one of those I believe is probably, you know, the most accurate picture of that person. Uh, another one was probably fairly close, but there was illness and. The other three, all had challenges because of either illness or, uh, some sort of, um, challenges with the child in terms of that performance.

[00:22:47] So it’s, and it’s really important. I think to note that, you know, so much stress expectation, uh, goes into this kind of like, right. We’re here at the psychologist, we’re getting the assessment, we’ve been waiting for months. The, like how life’s been in crisis. This is going to give us answers. Like there’s so much, that’s so heavy, you know, and depending what’s been going on, it can be so heavy, but it’s kind of like, we really gotta do our best, just not, not to have that expectation because if they’re not feeling well, they don’t like the.

[00:23:27] You know, they just don’t wanna perform on the day. Like there’s so many reasons why that isn’t necessarily going to be the clearest picture. It might be clear enough and get you what you need to know. But I look at those and kind of go, that’s a, a good indication of what we’re dealing with, but it’s not everything, you know, it’s kind of like, that’s where we’re at or better.

[00:23:52] Um, and that’s kind of what we are dealing with because just acknowledging, and even the one that was a really good, probably the best picture of a person that we’ve done, the psychologist was like, yeah, in this subsection, I think actually they’re a lot stronger because of the way they approached it and this and that.

[00:24:10] So, yeah, I think it’s really important to know that when we’re talking to our kids about it, when we are taking that on ourselves, just remembering, it’s like a picture of where they were on the day. And I think that’s why I think that number is potentially dangerous territory to know. Um,

[00:24:34] Gail Post: I really appreciate your perspective when you said a picture.

[00:24:38] I mean, a lot of psychologists refer to it as just a snapshot in time. Yeah. Because it, it really is. And so much, like you said, can affect a child, just, um, you know, that a scratchy tag on the back of their shirt can, and like, there’s so many things we don’t even know that here. I know for myself years and years ago in high school, when I took the SATs, which I don’t know if they have that, something like that in Australia, but in the us, it’s basically, it has to take, to get into college and your scores matter.

[00:25:09] And it was a really hot day and I was next to this big window, you know, they place you wherever. And the sun was beating in really intensely. And I was so distracted because it was almost like an, a sauna or something. And I’m sure that. Affected my performance. Yeah. And it’s, it’s so anything really with these tests, but a good psychologist will, you know, like you said, explain more of that.

[00:25:34] And the other thing you brought up about ASD that twice exceptional issues. Oh my gosh, they have a huge impact on what’s going on. And ideally whoever does an evaluation can take that into account, but even if a child does not have a diagnosed twice exceptional issue, they still bring all the other gifted quirky stuff to the table.

[00:25:55] Right. You know, the asynchronous development and the intensity and the hyperfocus, all that stuff that goes on. So there’s a lot, a lot to work with.

[00:26:04] Sophia Elliott: Absolutely. And I think that’s why it’s really important. Like you said earlier, uh, it’s the strengths and weaknesses. And I think the problem with giftedness and its general understanding is that people focus on that strength being.

[00:26:23] You know, learning quickly and therefore high IQ and they don’t see actually there’s a lot of challenges, uh, with even just within a just gifted kind of profile without the twice exceptional stuff going on, that’s sensitivity and sensory. And like you say, all those different things going on. So if we can have these conversations with our kids, it helps them better understand themselves and why they are feeling different to those kids around them.

[00:26:52] Um, because if you’ve yeah, yeah, because if you’ve particularly, yeah, yeah. Like in, if you child is gifted or highly gifted or profoundly diff gifted, you know, the more extreme it gets, the more extreme they’re probably going to feel in terms of their difference between their peers. Um,

[00:27:13] Gail Post: exactly. Exactly. And it’s, it’s up to us to really help them navigate that and explain, you know, it’s hard for you sometimes fitting in with some of those kids at that birthday party, because I mean, you’re, you’re wanting to talk about, you know, the, you know, the, the geology of some rocks you found and they just wanna play, you know, you wanna talk about, uh, some novel, you read that’s five years ahead of their, where they are.

[00:27:38] And they they’re like what, you know, so it’s that it makes it hard. So you have to figure out how you wanna fit in and, and what you wanna do about that. Um, and, and the other thing is just, um, when they do ask, well, what’s my IQ score. So, and so said their score is blah, blah, blah, to explain to them why you won’t tell.

[00:28:00] You know that it’s basically just a number it’s only on that particular day. It could be different on another day. And we don’t want you defined by a number. We don’t want you to think, oh, well, I’m not that smart because so, and so has scored two points higher than me. And we certainly, if you have siblings, you don’t want your sister and your brother to, for both of you to compete with each other and, and define yourself differently.

[00:28:24] As a result, I, I never told, I never told my kids their IQ score. And when they asked, I explained to them, I said, look, you know, this, this is just a number and I don’t want you defining who you are and what you can do with your life based on this. And they stopped asking. They’ve never asked as adults. Yep.

[00:28:42] Sophia Elliott: I, yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And even as a parent, to be honest, I rarely ever think about the IQ number. I have found more helpful is that understanding around percentiles. Um, and in terms of helping me understand where they’re at and therefore, you know, the, in terms of those accommodations and particularly in education, helping me understand what they might need.

[00:29:15] Um, whereas I, I, I just felt like the number lacks that depth, um, right, exactly. Yeah. So a really important conversation for us to be having with our kids, helping them understand themselves and how they fit into the world, that experience of the world. So we’re definitely advocating for you to absolutely have a conversation with your kids.

[00:29:42] And I think what may feel uncomfortable is, uh, Research shows that if one, if you’ve tested one child in the family, there’s a very good chance that siblings are also gifted and within, I think it’s five or 10 points. Like it’s pretty generally pretty close. And, and I can certainly say within my kids, they are all very different people.

[00:30:07] So it wasn’t like, oh, you don’t look like that child. You mustn’t be gifted. They’re all very different. But also that it probably goes wider. And so many parents, I know, starting on this journey, like much like myself, and it’s kind of like, oh, I’ve got a gifted kid. Oh, I’ve got more than one. Oops. And that’s kind of like, actually, this really resonates for me.

[00:30:30] And that acknowledgement that, you know, it, it’s quite likely to be parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts. And I think there’s an opportunity for us to have that conversation with our children, because I know that, um, You know, so I had never, never, ever intended to do an IQ test when all this sort of stuff came up with my kids.

[00:30:56] I was like, I don’t need to be defined by a number , uh, you know, I, I probably don’t wanna know. Um, but I did end up doing it, uh, last year and I needed to have that understanding to kind of, as I said before, understand myself in terms of autism and it was, and I absolutely the right thing to do. And it really helped.

[00:31:21] Uh, but the interesting thing and with, or without that was that, um, because one of my kids in particular would say, well, mommy, are you gifted? And so previously I would say, look, mommy and daddy are quite likely gifted. Um, just like. N and grandpa are quite likely to be gifted as well. Uh, and when I did that, I was kind of like, yeah, look, I, I did the thing too.

[00:31:47] I did the test too. And yeah, it did show that I am and that actually I could really see in my child that kind of like, oh, I’m like my mom do, , it’s kind of like, oh, you know, and it’s just that reassurance that they’re not this kind of outlier within the family, but actually this is, , as a family, we’re kind of like our brains work a little bit different and, and we think a bit different.

[00:32:18] We experience the world a bit different and that’s just who we are. We’re not better than anyone else. Uh, we just have different strengths and weaknesses and, and that’s just who we are. And as a family we can kind of, because it’s that inherent sense of wanting to belong. Isn’t it.

[00:32:35] Gail Post: Right. Really good points.

[00:32:37] The points.

[00:32:39] Sophia Elliott: And so I think that leads onto what we’re also gonna talk about in terms of expectations. Uh, so having this conversation with our kids can help them to adjust their expectations of themselves and others, but also as parents, certainly in my experience, we need to adjust our expectations as well.

[00:33:00] So any advice on parents on how this sort of giftedness news might lead us to needing to adjust our expectations?

[00:33:12] Gail Post: It’s a really great point, getting the news that, that your child has gifted and, and what you need to do. So when, when you think about it, all parents have expectations. You know, you want your child to be happy.

[00:33:24] You want them to be successful. You want them to be, you know, reasonably polite with a company, you know? I mean, you just, you will have certain things for them. And most families have some basic expectations. There might be certain rules in the family of things that are okay. There, there might be this sense that we want you to be truthful.

[00:33:44] We want you to stay connected to family and be loyal. We want you to do your chores. We want you to be respectful of other adults, just some basic things. So we all come to the table with these and, you know, I don’t know how it was for you before you had your first child, but I think parents go into.

[00:34:01] Having a baby with expectations that are completely thrown by the wayside. Right. You know? Oh my goodness. When my child is, is quietly sleeping, I will, you know, take an online class. It’s like, no, no, no. So you I’ll never do this. I’ll

[00:34:16] Sophia Elliott: always do that. Yeah. Right. Whatever

[00:34:19] Gail Post: my kids or I can take them anywhere without them raising any fuss, you know?

[00:34:24] So yeah. So you have all parents have to learn to adjust their expectations, but giftedness creates this added pressure, this sense of this daunting responsibility that, oh my gosh, my child has all this potential. I have to nourish it. You know, like an orchid that has to just have the right amount of light and water.

[00:34:42] I have to really take care of it. And it’s precious. And that is overwhelming. It creates anxiety and it it’s, you know, one of the biggest questions parents have is like, how much do I push my child? Should I be like a tiger mom and really push them? Or should I hold back and just say, Hey, they’re, they’re their own person.

[00:34:59] They’re on their own. When I, when I was writing this book, for example, I, I did a, I put an online survey up on my website, my blog site on some of the parenting sites, gifted sites online. And I left it up for six weeks, this past winter, and got a lot of responses. People who completed it like 428 responses.

[00:35:19] So lots of responses. Yeah. It was about the parenting experience and what they experienced. And one of the questions was, uh, how much do they feel concerned or worried about how much to push their child. And over 50% indicated that either a lot or always they’re concerned about it. It was like, one of it was the huge dilemma for them.

[00:35:40] How much do we push our child? So it, it’s, it’s really quite, quite a concern that I think most parents feel, but the bottom one is most gifted kids want to Excel, you know, they wanna do. They, they grab onto what they’re interested in. They have all this intensity about it. They wanna explore it. A lot of it’s curiosity driven and energy driven.

[00:36:03] And then when they get into school, a lot of times they wanna do well at things that are important to them. What holds them back a lot of times are other things fear or perfectionism or wanting to fit in because of social pressure and not wanting to look like a nerdy kid or, um, just, you know, or it could be that they’re bored in school and they’ve given up hope of trial.

[00:36:26] Like what’s the point of doing this boring worksheet doesn’t mean anything. So there’s reasons that hold them back and aren’t challenges to figure out what those reasons are, but holding appropriately high expectations in a way that doesn’t put pressure on them, shows that we respect them. We, we respect their abilities.

[00:36:45] It’s kind of a groundwork that will help them develop a sense of responsibility for later achievement. So one of the keys is, and I can talk about various aspects of this, but one of the keys is remaining attuned to your child, again, age maturity, developmental level, and what, what their, you know, what, how they respond to encouragement.

[00:37:08] They may sometimes really need you to give ’em a little bit of a push or set some goals with them. And other times it’s important to back off because it’s too overwhelming. They, they just, you know, they feel anxious or they might rebel. So understanding their frustration, tolerance, understanding, uh, what drives them, what motivates them is, is really important.

[00:37:30] Sophia Elliott: I’m so glad that you mentioned the P word potential, uh, because I think I, you know, and there’s really interesting results from your survey and it certainly backs up my experience as a parent and also parents that I talk to. And in those, I remember vividly in those early days, feeling incredibly overwhelmed with this information that my child was very gifted.

[00:38:02] And it was like all of a sudden I had this weight of responsibility on me that I did not have before. And I was like, oh my God, I’m gonna mess this parent thing up. um, I’m like, oh, there’s this potential factor, which sometimes is explicitly kind of send, sometimes it’s not explicitly said, it’s just there lurking this kind of gifted and potential thing.

[00:38:31] And, and it took us a while as parents to kind of get our, find our groove, get our head around. What that meant. And I, I love that you’re talking about just being in tune with your child, because that was, that was definitely something that we, it’s almost like a, uh, a post gifted assessment and you have this shakeup as a parent and then you kind of have to go, okay, it’s still my kid.

[00:39:06] uh, let’s just tune back in there. okay. We have this extra info. Oh my goodness. Potential pressure, uh, responsibility, right? Yeah. And it’s really hard. And so what, let’s talk about academic achievement. What does it look like now that we have a gifted kid? How does that shift, you know, from that they’re not gifted to, oh my God.

[00:39:31] They’re gift.

[00:39:32] Gail Post: Right. Well, I think again, it’s, it’s that potential that you see these abilities and skills that you probably saw early on anyway, but now suddenly it’s like, well, how do I direct them? And what direction do they go in? And then how to take into account other twice exceptional issues or a synchronous development or emotional maturity issues or all of that.

[00:39:52] And the whole person, people, I mean, parents often struggle with that about, do I have my child skip a grade or do I have them, do I homeschool them? There’s a lot of pressure, I think on what, what is possible for me to do as a parent. In terms of helping them flourish, what can I afford financially? What am I willing to do?

[00:40:14] You know, you hear stories of parents who actually move, you know, they pick up the whole household and move somewhere to find a better school or child who has a special talent will hear about this. A lot of times with the Olympics every four years, right. Where parents have like picked up and moved to where the training center is and what a difficult choice that is.

[00:40:33] I, I talk about that in the book a lot. Like what, what a choice you have to make, and what does that say to your child? The pressure it puts on them, how the other siblings react, what, and, and also their, the child’s sense of, oh my gosh, my parents did this for me. I, and feeling guilty. And I have to always go in this direction because of this and.

[00:40:54] But then if you don’t do it, then what, you know, then what if your child is stuck in a situation that’s miserable for them. And it’s, it’s re these are the tough choices that parents face, that a lot of other parents don’t, they send their kids off to school unless they have a, a teacher who’s not working out with them.

[00:41:09] They just kind of stand back and, and let it happen. So it’s, it’s really challenging. But one thing I think so that these kids don’t feel overly pressured is to really create room for failure. That it’s okay. If they feel that we all grow from failure and disappointments, and as a parent, you can even share some of yours.

[00:41:29] Like, oh, look, I, you know, I was so disappointed that I didn’t do well in, I don’t know, in math, but then that opened the door for me for, uh, studying creative writing or art or something that it, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. And it also shows that you trust your child, that you believe they’ll rebound from failure.

[00:41:49] That they’re not so fragile. That they can’t take a bad grade or something that it’s, it’s all a learning process. And we need to encourage them to look at everything as a learning process. I think about, you know, some teachers who, especially in the younger grades where kids are not, grades are not as important in terms of getting into college will sometimes with these kids have them build a portfolio so they can see their progress over time rather than worry about a grade.

[00:42:20] Yeah. I can’t tell you how many kids I’ve seen who are like, I only got a 97 on the test and I was like, oh my gosh, you know, they’re, they’re upset about it. So yeah, it’s, you know, in terms of numbers, grades are really tough. So, you know, you wanna help them understand that failure’s okay. And that there are other ways of looking at success outside of academics.

[00:42:42] Success could be overcoming social anxiety and, you know, going to that party, even though it seems scary for them or calling a friend, even though it was scary or pushing themselves to do something that’s difficult for them, that’s not easy. That’s not an automatic skill or improving their organizational skills or staying focused when they’re bored or, or, um, being kind to, uh, the neighbor down the street.

[00:43:07] I mean, these are all things that are success. It’s not just academics. So you wanna encourage that. Well, roundedness that that’s so important. And the other thing is being aware of your own motivations. So when you have a gifted child, it brings up a lot of issues about what does this mean? And will I parent appropriately and be effective and.

[00:43:30] There’s not a lot of information out there. I mean, there certainly is a lot more out there now than there was like when my kids were young, but yeah. But there, you know, there’s all these influences, you know, there’s social media, there’s friends, there’s neighbors. There’s the community. There’s your, your family of origin.

[00:43:44] There’s your memories from your own childhood. And it’s really hard to separate out. Well, okay. There’s all these influences. How do I define, what are my values? What are my goals as a parent? And how do I stick to that? Which will include, how much do I push my child to succeed? Or how much do I give them space to.

[00:44:04] So really just being as ATTD as possible to yourself,

[00:44:09] Sophia Elliott: I love that you talking about like how hard it is for parents to make these decisions, because it really is. And I think it’s just kind of, I don’t know. I think I just wanna validate that for anyone listening. It’s like, you know, we have a school.

[00:44:26] That’s probably a five minute walk away. we drive past it every single day, twice a day, as we drive 30 minutes to the school. Wow. Where our kids go and, and it’s like, you know, so those options shrink and shrink and shrink, depending on how, you know, just, you know, each kid’s different. Right. And yeah, and I just kind of wanna acknowledge for parents.

[00:44:55] That’s really hard. And, and like you say, I, I also, I know parents who have moved into state to find a school that will better fit. And, and sometimes that works and sometimes that doesn’t, you know, and it’s kind of that pressure and expectation, and it’s just really damn hard and, um,

[00:45:17] Gail Post: And it’s especially hard when other people are like, what are you doing?

[00:45:20] You know, like, yeah. Why is your kids so special that you have to drive them 30 minutes as opposed to no, it’s not that they’re so special. It’s they need this to survive. Yeah. They’re not gonna thrive without

[00:45:31] Sophia Elliott: it. Yeah, absolutely. And the reality is we can’t just get that anywhere. You know, there are not enough options because it would be great not to have to drive that far, not to have to move, but that’s just those options just aren’t out there for parents and for kids, which it can only hope improve and continue to improve and yes, yes.

[00:45:57] So a really hard situation to be in and.

[00:46:01] There was something else that you’d said. And to, to be honest, I didn’t get much sleep last night talking about kids. I’ve got, oh gosh, yeah. Two sick kids and a kind of poorly, you know, so they’re all three at home today. And, uh, yeah. And so my talking about parenting, my brain is a bit like,

[00:46:20] Gail Post: uh, you’re doing great for lack of sleep.

[00:46:22] I’ll tell you, you must be used to it or something. So

[00:46:26] Sophia Elliott: yeah. No, thank you. Thank you for your patience. um, but certainly, uh, not clicking over as quickly as usual. Um, so we’re also gonna have a chat about what we might expect or how we might need to change our expectations in terms of what our child’s behavior looks like.

[00:46:49] Um, and I know, uh, like we, we stopped going out for a dinner for a very long time when we realized you did too. You

[00:47:00] Gail Post: did too,

[00:47:01] Sophia Elliott: you know, there are certain expectations, like you said earlier, when I be, you know, before I was a parent, even when I was pregnant, that first time, those kind of dreams of having family dinners and taking my kids wherever, you know, uh,

[00:47:19] Gail Post: yeah,

[00:47:20] Sophia Elliott: yeah.

[00:47:20] Throw out the window, reassess and skylight. Right. What can I expect? So how, how and why do you think it’s important that as parents now that we know we have this gifted child that we reassess those

[00:47:33] Gail Post: expectations? Well, you know, I think that in terms of behavior, certainly, and, and this is true for all children, right?

[00:47:43] I mean, some kids are just more, you know, are more energetic or more distractable or, or, uh, are more intense, but gifted kids often come with all of that, uh, in, in play. I mean, they’re, you know, they’re more, um, Intense about things. They, uh, may be rigid about things. They go by their own schedule. Their mind is distracted with what they’re most interested in.

[00:48:07] So you have to kinda work with that where you’re gonna be miserable. Right. I mean, I mean, yeah, there’s certain times when, you know, we have to go to that family dinner with your relatives, and I know you’re not looking forward to it, but you gotta just tough it out and find something to keep you occupied and get through it and, and, and deal with it because that’s what happens in life.

[00:48:28] But then there are other things that are more of an option. Like you said, going out to dinner where it’s like, well, if you know, if my kids are really young and intense and. Don’t like the color of the room, or, you know, if it’s too noisy, sensory issues, all that, like why put ourselves through that? It’s just not worth it.

[00:48:49] We’re just gonna be battling with them the whole time they’re gonna be miserable. We’re gonna be miserable. Like what can we do to make our lives easier? Cuz like when you said, you know, driving your children 30 minutes back and forth twice a day, that’s, that’s an imposition on your life. Those are two hours that you don’t have to do other things.

[00:49:09] So if that’s something that’s an additional burden, why not make other things easier. So you wanna try to make things a little bit easier and take into account there’s schedules, their distractibility, uh, Planning ahead for what’s gonna happen on, on a trip or going to an event, making sure, especially with young children, if they slept okay, if they, they have enough to eat, uh, you wanna be clear about your expectations.

[00:49:35] You wanna encourage them to, you know, if they need something to play with while they’re there or a book to read, or even if you wanna let them get on screens or something, you know, just something to keep them busy, uh, setting goals with them. And then also not forcing them to do something that’s really aversive.

[00:49:51] I think many people have had this experience and you go to some family gathering you’re expected to play with your cousin, which you can’t stand each other. Right. And your cousins mean to you. And it’s like, oh, why did you make me do that? So just being again, really attuned to your child and what they, what they might need.

[00:50:08] Yeah,

[00:50:09] Sophia Elliott: absolutely. And I, and I can certainly, you know, share. Like I said before, I always had these lovely visions of family dinners. And I think growing up, you know, my life wasn’t always, uh, you know, it was just somewhat dysfunctional at time. So I had this lovely vision of my kids and we would have these family dinners and we’d sit down and eat dinner and be awesome.

[00:50:33] and it was kinda, kinda like, okay, reality check, um, what is a realistic expectation? Right. And so what family dinners look like for us at this point in time with my kids at their various ages that they are now is we sit down, I kind of have a deconstructed dinner because everyone has different sensory kind of quirks and we’ll eat this or won’t eat that.

[00:51:00] So, and then I. One child who will sit for most of the, the meal, but the other two, like every five minutes, they’re running to the lounge to jump on the huge bean bag. It’s kinda like movement break, dive on the Bean’s back to the table, then they’re back to the table and they’ll last a little bit longer.

[00:51:23] And occasionally someone will just be sitting there and suddenly fall off their chair. I’m like happen. Are you OK? So is this moving kind

[00:51:39] Gail Post: beast?

[00:51:40] Sophia Elliott: We, the goal is actually to get through dinner calmly. So we get to the end of dinner and it’s not like. Ah, and, and, but it’s just that calm, consistent. Okay.

[00:51:55] You’ve, you’ve jumped or one more jump back to the table because it’s adjusting my expectation of what is reasonable. And it’s not reasonable for me to expect those two in particular, to sit there for 20 minutes and eat what’s in front of them, regardless of what I put down there. And yeah. And I just think that’s worth sharing because it’s like

[00:52:19] Gail Post: very, I’m sure most people listening can relate to what you’re talking about.

[00:52:22] It’s really appreciate. Cause I’m sure if you’re like, oh my gosh, that’s my household. Yeah,

[00:52:27] Sophia Elliott: absolutely. Um, and it’s like, no, don’t put that on my plate, so, oh yeah, we get it all. And yeah. And I think that’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned is. That work I have to do on myself to shift my mindset, my expectations.

[00:52:46] And I, I have to say all of my big parenting moments with my kids when things have gotten easier is not something that they’ve changed or done finally, or it’s always been when I’ve kind of shifted an expectation or a mindset, um, and approached something in a different way, uh, to, you know, in response to like you say, being attuned to my kids.

[00:53:19] And so I just wanna thank you very much for today because people are always asking, how do I have this conversation about being gifted with my child and as parents, I think we’re always doubting ourselves cuz you know that we can get judgment from other people. And I just kind of wanna give parents permission that if their child needs a movement break in the middle of dinner, that’s okay.

[00:53:48] You know, if we do go to a cafe when we don’t, we go to cafes, but we don’t tend to go out to dinner, but we will have a, we call them cafe manners or, and we’ll say, well, what’s a, what are our, we’re at a cafe? Or we’re driving to the, what are our cafe manners? And we’ll talk about what are reasonable expectations at a cafe or at a dinner or wherever we are going.

[00:54:11] We’ll just kind of name that and label it just to help set everyone’s expectations, including my own, you know? And, um, and then we know, so thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been a

[00:54:24] Gail Post: lovely, thank you for having me. I really appreciate

[00:54:26] Sophia Elliott: it. Yeah. And I look forward to. Reading your book and having you back on to talk about the book.

[00:54:33] that’s super exciting. Thank

[00:54:34] Gail Post: you. Thank you. I, I would love to, it’s very close to my heart. Uh, it’s not about my own experience, but it’s a lot of it certainly seeps in, but it’s, it’s a lot of it’s based on research. That’s out there and theories and parenting skills, but, uh, mostly about our, again, understanding ourselves so we can be there for our kids.

[00:54:56] Sophia Elliott: Absolutely. And so I, before you go, I just wanna say, how do people find you get in touch with you? You’ve got a website and I will put that in the show notes. And so I know you’ve got lots of blogs there, but I have to ask, do you work over zoom or is it just in person?

[00:55:15] Gail Post: Yes, I do. So I don’t do psychotherapy internationally at this point.

[00:55:20] Um, and I, but I can, uh, see people in the United States, uh, if they’re in certain states that we have authorization to, to do that. Yep. I do parent consulting though, which is like coaching, um, internationally as well. So that’s really just helping parents kind of pull things together to figure stuff out.

[00:55:40] Uh, so I have a, my, I have my own website, which is just my name, Gale post.com. Gifted challenges is my blog site. There’s information on both of them. I also have, uh, Facebook gifted challenges page. So if you wanted to look me up, I wouldn’t recommend looking me up under my name, but under just under gifted challenges.

[00:55:59] And what I post on there are all the interesting articles I stumble across, not just my own stuff, but things I’m parenting and psychology and education and gifted ed, and just put up whatever I think is sort of interesting. And, um, I have a Twitter account also. Um, that’s gifted challenges. It’s um, gifted and C H L, and GEs.

[00:56:20] So again, I post things there as well, so, uh, feel free to reach out. Uh, and I, you know, again, I wanna thank you so much. So Sophia for having me on, on this lovely podcast, it was great talking to you. I feel like I could chat with you all day, so thank you.

[00:56:35] Sophia Elliott: thank you. I really appreciate it. And I will put all those links in the show notes so everyone can find them easily.

[00:56:41] And I thank you so much. I just love finding more people that parents have out there to draw on in terms of, you know, getting help and, and knowledge. And thank you so much for sharing so much of your wisdom today. It’s been wonderful. Thanks.

#059 College level science for kids?! w/ Dr Daniel Fried

#059 College level science for kids?! w/ Dr Daniel Fried

In this episode, we’re talking to Dr Daniel Fried about his Biochemistry Literacy for Kids online classes.

As soon as I saw this, I knew my gifted kids would love it and I’m excited to share something made for kids that is high-level science – that is so hard to find! I  hope you love it too!

Memorable Quote

“Dr. Daniel Fried has been my son’s mentor for more than two years. When my then 5-year-old wanted to learn more about “real science”, Dr. Fried was the only one who believed and allowed a young child like my son to enter his classroom. Dr. Fried has a Ph.D. from Yale University and his life-long mission is to make college-level science accessible to younger students. He has taught many elementary students college-level biochemistry and organic chemistry.” – Hui, an Our Gifted Kids podcast listener


Upcoming entry-level Zoom classes begin the week of September 12th 2022.

See the website for details. Classes are Sundays, Mondays, or Tuesdays, depending on your location.

Class 1: 7PM Sundays California / 12PM Mondays Sydney

Class 2: 6:30PM Mondays New York / 8:30AM Tuesdays Sydney


Dr. Daniel Fried is the creator of Biochemistry Literacy for Kids, a unique digital learning system that brings college-level science to kids in K-12.

Dr. Fried grew up in Upstate New York, and earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Yale University. After a post doctoral fellowship at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Dr. Fried became an assistant professor of chemistry, first at Kean University, then at Saint Peter’s University.

After receiving tenure, he took a job as an upper school science teacher at The Pingry School. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, five-year-old son, and new baby daughter.

Hit play and let’s get started!


[00:00:00] Sophia Elliott: Hello, and welcome back to the podcast. Very excited to be starting L new season with this episode. But first of all, I need to say, thank you for your patience. There has been a bit of a break here in the Elliot household. We had COVID in June. We had COVID in July. And it’s just taken. So long to get kind of back on our feet and back into the swing of things.

[00:00:26] And I know that many of you out there know what I’m talking about because I’m certainly, you know, we are not alone in. In the sickness, first of all, in the canceling, everything in the, trying to prevent family from catching it in the taking forever to feel better. And then just the eventual catching up with the life stuff. Right. It’s just that added uncertainty and.

[00:00:52] Pressure and stress and. I hope that if you have been through this too, that you’re doing okay now, but I, I guess I’ve been shocked and then shocked again at how long it’s taken us to get back on track. So. I’m really excited to be back with the podcast. Um, getting things kind of under control. Again, I’ve got plans so that in the future, these disruptions, don’t kind of disrupt the podcast and this conversation that we’re happening. So that’s exciting. There’ll be more about that in the future.

[00:01:24] Uh, but I have been busy recording episodes for us to listen to. So I’m kind of like very excited to be bringing them to you. And today, actually, it’s really nice to start with this episode because. One of the listeners Huey emailed me and was like, you need to check out this guy. Uh, and I’m actually, I’m just going to read a little bit of that email.

[00:01:50] Uh, because it says it better than I can. So he says Dr. Daniel fried has been my son’s mentor for more than two years. When my, then five-year-old wanted to learn more about real science. Dr. Fred was the only one he believed and allowed a young child like mine to enter his classroom. Dr. Fred has a PhD from Yale university and his lifelong mission is to make college level science accessible to younger students.

[00:02:17] He’s taught many elementary students, college level biochemistry and organic chemistry. Now I have a science kid. So when I read that, I’m like, okay, who is this guy? I need to know now. And that is actually. Uh, A great intro. And I’ll just add a little bit to that bio. Um, so Dr. Fried is grew up in upstate New York.

[00:02:43] And a PhD in chemistry from Yale. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Weizmann Institute of science, he became an assistant professor of chemistry. So then he started teaching upper school science and he currently lives in New Jersey with his wife. Five-year-old son and a new baby daughter. Oh, how cool is that? So we’re talking to Dr. Daniel free today about his baby, his other baby. Biochemistry literacy for kids, which is an online learning system. Uh, and you also use like models. Um, for kids of any ages, but it’s like college level science and.

[00:03:23] This is like, this is what our family needs, and it may, will be what your family needs as well. And when I kind of had a look into it, what I loved about this was how accessible it is because it’s one thing to find something that would be totally awesome for your kid. But it’s another thing to find something that’s accessible financially and, and just accessible in terms of getting into it. And so being online.

[00:03:48] And doing zoom classes, it’s obviously very accessible.

[00:03:52] So I’m super excited to be bringing Dr. Daniel free to you today to talk more about his online science classes for kids. And so that you don’t miss out on any of our podcasts, feel free to subscribe to our gifted kids at ourgiftedkids.com. You can join our Facebook group where we’ve gotten a little extra video, Dr. Daniel freight. This week and also check us out on Instagram. And keep loving your quirky, awesome people. And that includes you.

[00:04:51] Hello and welcome. Super excited today to be introducing everyone to Dr. Daniel fried the creator of biochemistry literacy program. And now Daniel, I’m just going to get you to tell us all about that in just a second, but first of all, welcome, I’m really excited to have you on the show.

[00:05:11] Dr Daniel Fried: Thank you. I really love your podcast and I’m just a, an honor and a pleasure to be here. Thank you.

[00:05:16] Sophia Elliott: Yeah. When I saw your website, I’m like, oh my God, this gifted to screams gifted kids. Uh, and I was super excited because, uh, you know, I wish we’d had this a few years ago and, and we are still gonna investigate it as a family, but for one of my kids in particular would’ve and I think he’d still love it.

[00:05:36] But first of all right, tell us about what you do and how did you end up doing. Go

[00:05:43] Dr Daniel Fried: sure. Yeah. I I’ve been working on this for a really long time. When I was a graduate student at Yale, uh, towards the end of the, uh, program, I really started to think about you know, could the knowledge that I had gained as a graduate student, working in a protein folding lab.

[00:06:00] Could that knowledge have been. Given to me, you know, before I was 26 years old or whatever, you know, did I have to wait that long and go to a graduate school, uh, program to learn that stuff. So I, I basically started experimenting just kind of on a whim or just on a, on a dare maybe to see if we could get.

[00:06:18] Little kids to appreciate things like protein, folding and protein structure. And I had some really positive experiences with some of these experimental classes that I was doing. And I just thought, wow, there’s really something here. Like kids really like are turned onto this stuff and it’s so much easier to teach than I ever thought it would be.

[00:06:37] So that’s kind of the beginning of the program. And over the years, as I was a, I was a, a professor for six or seven years. During that time, I really was able to, become a good teacher and, really learn, learn the subject and, and be able to teach the subject and just basically converting.

[00:06:55] College level content into something that’s approachable for little kids, that’s really what this became. And then the pandemic really, uh, gave me the time. And, uh, there that, that there was that, need for homeschooling and it all kind of came together. And, so in the last three years or so this really became a homeschool, uh, gifted program.

[00:07:15] And, uh, there’s just, uh, a lot of people using it now. And, you know, we’re using, uh, physical models, computer models to. Things in biology that are normally, really intimidating to make those things just really, really easy for kids and for any, any kind of learner, but even, uh, very young kids.

[00:07:31] So that’s been the amazing like journey that this has been to just kind of try something like totally, that’s never been really done before and it’s, it’s really working at this point. So it’s just awesome to see it finally working out. that’s a little bit about me, I guess.

[00:07:47] Sophia Elliott: And it is really awesome because there’s such a need for it in this niche.

[00:07:52] So it’s offering that college level kind of knowledge and learning to kids of any age in a really accessible way. And this is totally your jam because like you’re currently teaching chemistry and biology at upper school, but you were an assistant , professor of chemistry at St. Peter’s university.

[00:08:12] But then. You have a bachelor of science in , biochemistry from Birmingham university and a PhD in chemistry from Yale. So like, This is your, this is your stuff. .

[00:08:24] Dr Daniel Fried: Yeah. And I, before that I was a music major also. Oh, wow. Education major. So yeah. So part, part of the interesting thing about the pedagogy is I’m not coming from, I’m not coming to this as a typical science person.

[00:08:38] I have an arts background and a strong music background. So a lot of the pedagogy is like very different from what you would’ve seen in your high school chemistry. So there’s a whole bunch of like weird things about me that come together to make this really unique. That’s also part of the story yeah,

[00:08:54] Sophia Elliott: definitely. I can, I can resonate with that myself. It’s funny. What parts of your life come together to yeah. You find yourself in this place. So over the last couple of years you’ve been, you’ve had these videos online and you are now working with people from all over the world. Really? I know there’s a bunch of folk in Australia because I was actually talking to someone in our community only recently, and they’ve just started homeschool.

[00:09:20] And I’m like, have you seen this thing? Like, yeah, we’re doing it already. So it’s, it’s obviously getting out there. Are you finding that? What, like, where are you finding people are popping up from.

[00:09:34] Dr Daniel Fried: Yeah, no, this was one of the coolest nights of my life. Honestly, I was driving to my cousin’s house and I got a phone call from Australia.

[00:09:41] And basically it was one of these homeschool groups, uh, wanting to kind of distribute the model kit in Australia and kind of help me promote it there. This was in the beginning. I didn’t really even have that many users at this point. And I was like, wow, this is like really cool. So there’s, so there was really a founder effect.

[00:09:59] There’s really quite a lot of Australians involved in, I’d say it’s a hundred, at least, it’s a good, good percentage of, of the program. So, yeah, it’s, it’s awesome. I mean, honestly, The I love teaching chemistry. Like that’s great. I love working with the kids, but the coolest thing for me is just seeing, oh, we have someone from Africa now, or someone from, you know, Northern Canada or something like that’s the coolest part for me is like being able to, you know, send, send this model kid all over the world and have kids.

[00:10:25] You know, begin to think like me, that, that I never would’ve met. You know, being able to think like think in a chem chemistry, like way a chemist, like way so that’s, that’s honestly the, the top thing for me, like the chemistry is also cool but yeah, just being able to affect and, change these kids lives because these kids.

[00:10:42] They wouldn’t have anything like this. They, they wouldn’t know to do this, like when I was a kid, I didn’t, I was kind of, I never thought I would do chemistry. I, I was like something harder. I, I was more of collecting insects and, a naturalist sort of person, uh, studying animals and I never.

[00:10:59] Would’ve been able to do chemistry, but it’s so cool that, that, this is now there. And so many of these kids wanna be chemists. They wanna be biochemists and researchers and doctors. So that’s just amazing to me to, to, be able to be at the ground floor of these kids, academic lives.

[00:11:16] It’s, it’s really amazing.

[00:11:17] Sophia Elliott: That is super exciting. And I, I totally get where you’re coming from. Cuz when I get like comments and messages from people, I’m like I’m in Mexico or Sweden and I’m like, oh my God. So I, yeah. That’s way cool that we’re the world is such a small place these days. And so on your online course, people access it obviously through the.

[00:11:41] There’s currently about a hundred or so lessons. And,

[00:11:45] Dr Daniel Fried: uh, okay. Is that yeah. Well, if they were normal size lessons, there’d be hundreds, but I make really long lessons that people sometimes want me to chop up into smaller lessons, which I understand. But yeah, it’s, it’s a lot of content right now there’s Published right now as of, you know, whatever, uh, August 20, 20, 20, 22, uh, there’s 24 units, but there’s gonna be a bunch more coming on that I have done.

[00:12:08] I’m gonna be, you know, I’m always adding to it. Mm-hmm and, and my goal this year is to make it more high school aligned. So the original vision of the program was 12 units. So in 12. Go from knowing absolutely nothing about chemistry to knowing protein, folding, how proteins fold and how hydrogen bonds and hydro hydro hydrophobic core governs protein folding a little bit.

[00:12:29] So that was the initial goal. And that’s what the, that’s what people bought in the beginning 12 units. But I’ve been adding to it over the, you know, couple years that that it’s been going. So. We cover all of basic college biochemistry. Now, a lot of general chemistry and even some astrophysics. I have a three.

[00:12:48] That’s gonna be coming on really soon. It’s already done. I’ve already piloted to get it on the website. It’s on how do stars make elements? Which I never was taught almost no one knows this stuff. I do a lot of research. Yeah. It’s so cool. I mean, how cool is it to know, like where does nitrogen come from in the universe?

[00:13:06] So that’s, so we cover like lots of different things and it’s gonna be more high school line cuz people can get high school credit, but yeah, it’s a lot of, it’s a lot of units, general chemistry, some organic. And biochemistry and other, other fun topics too. So it’s it’s like a, eventually it’ll be a one stop shop for anyone who wants to learn about you know, chemistry to, to biology, anywhere in that, in that, uh, spectrum there.

[00:13:28] Sophia Elliott: That’s super exciting. My eldest is into astrophysics. Oh, wow. I, so we’re definitely gonna have a look at this because it might just be something he doesn’t know and I would be super excited if that was the case. So, yeah. Cool. That sounds awesome. And. So on the website, I noticed that you’re obviously in the us, so folk, uh, listeners in the us can uh, get model kits developed there.

[00:13:53] So when you join, uh, you suggest that people get this model kit. And for those people watching the video, you’ve got a little D you’ve got some there and it’s like, uh, plastic balls. You’ve probably got more technical words. for what those, uh, you know, connections are called, but this allows kids to actually, I imagine make those, uh, molecules and stuff like that.

[00:14:18] Dr Daniel Fried: Yeah. Yeah. So I should talk a little about, I keep talking about this, uh, big scale. I should talk about the product also. So the so what I’m really doing is it’s a it’s like a flipped classroom model. It’s, uh, it’s like Khan academy, it’s video and I make videos, but they’re very, very highly produced videos.

[00:14:34] All custom visualizations, animations. It’s really beautiful. These things take me way too much time to make the months to make. So it’s not just me kind of droning away on a chalkboard. It’s like, just the colors have to be just right. The organization, the pattern, the learning sequence. It’s a whole psychology of, of chemistry learning.

[00:14:52] And that’s how I’m able to reach these young kids because I, I put so much work in, in the back end to making sure. It’s all like so easy to, to just take this in. So they watch the videos, they do worksheets obviously. And then the, the real secret to it is the model kit. So, you know, people have model kits like this, but I I’ve been able to put together a custom model kit and no one else has done this yet, but they, they, I was gonna

[00:15:13] Sophia Elliott: say, I’ve never seen one like that.

[00:15:15] There are different kind of phones and things there. Cause we’ve had those in the past, but they’re not that good.

[00:15:20] Dr Daniel Fried: Yeah. So the idea is that we can model hydrogen bonding, which is in intermolecular reactions. So, meaning, meaning interactions between molecules. So we can do like base pairing, like, like DNA based pairing like this.

[00:15:32] So that’s how you know, DNA comes together. This is how proteins fold together. We can do things like model, uh, the formation of ice. So each one of these if people know the color coating, they would know that a, a red, uh, Adam, uh, is an oxygen. There’s two hydrogens, but because we have these like extra little holes here and these lone pair pieces, we can, uh, put these together and then we get. Bigger structures and we can see, for example, the hexagonal structure. So if you can’t see it, I’m showing a, he a hexagonal alignment of, of water molecules. And this is where we get the ice crystal from, and we can also shake it and melt the ice and it falls apart. So, there’s so many different.

[00:16:08] Things that are, uh, a bonus for the special model kit, but just, just encouraging kids to model in general is, is really great. You don’t totally need the special kit, but it’s, you know, everything in the videos, everything I talk about, it can be modeled and that’s, that’s why it works. You know, when I did chemistry, we didn’t, I don’t remember really doing a lot of modeling and that’s what makes chemistry so intangible for people.

[00:16:29] I mean, a lot of people have memories of just being totally disoriented in chemistry class. And I I’d had a really great chemistry teacher, but I think just the way it was back then, we didn’t have the computer modeling and a lot of stuff. Also wasn’t known back then, you know, I’m, I’m teaching stuff in my lessons that is like published a couple years ago.

[00:16:47] You know, things about biology that are just being known. So. A lot of people ask, like, how do you teach chemistry to these little kids? It’s because the, the subject itself has matured and there’s answers to things that are so interesting and so clear now that we’re not like that a long time ago. So it’s just different.

[00:17:04] And I’m able to, to keep up with it, a lot of the traditional curriculum, it’s, it’s got other things to worry about and they, they’re not allowed to innovate so quickly. So they’re kind of stuck a little bit. So that’s what you’re getting is you’re getting cutting edge. That is just, you know, resonates really well with kids.

[00:17:20] Kids wanna know how the world works. So I, I, I just, and I do, so I try to, yeah. You know, for myself, I wanna do it. And then I, I, I try to share it.

[00:17:29] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, absolutely. And I have to say, uh, for the parents listening, what excited me about it was. It’s obviously great content. You can see that, but it’s also really accessible, cuz I don’t know how many times I’ve seen something.

[00:17:43] Awesome. But then it’s like, ah, I can’t afford that. And I’m really, you know, like how do we get that? Cause our gifted kids are so many extras that were forever kind of paying for and adding up. And I really loved how accessible this is for families. So if you’re listening, don’t feel. Uh, check it out. If you think this is going to excite your children because, uh, yeah, that was one of.

[00:18:07] Reasons. I was super excited to talk to you. And it was actually a parent who got in touch to say, who was doing your courses. Like you really need to check this out and interview Daniel. And so that was super exciting as well. So thank you. I really, I do read all those messages and get in touch. So what I.

[00:18:29] Dr Daniel Fried: Oh, sorry, go ahead. Sorry. No, I just say saying I have some really like fervent parents that are just really trying to make this, you know, help me out and make this work because you know, I, I didn’t start this as a business. I’m not, I’m not a guy who has a bunch of investors and we were scheming a way to make a bunch of money off. Off te off education. Uh, I literally made this because I, I wanted to see if kids could do this because I wish that I had this. Yeah. And you know, I’m still kind of approaching it sort of as an amateur business person, but it, it is, did have to become a business. One of the reasons is because it’s, so it, the way I see it, it’s so innovative that we sometimes have trouble with mainstream you know, uh, institutions, uh, they, they can’t really figure out what this is, so it’s never been funded properly. So I, so the parents are so, uh, precious to me because they, they support it financially, cuz it’s expensive to run this kind of thing. And also they, they help spread the word about it.

[00:19:25] So that’s just amazing to have parents that really, really take, take it under their wing and try to help with it. So yeah, I’m always grateful.

[00:19:33] Sophia Elliott: Yeah, absolutely. And I get that, cuz I’m the same. It’s just kind of like, I really wanna do this thing cause I think it’s awesome. It’s kind of like, okay, let’s make it work.

[00:19:41] Which is really exciting. So tell us a little bit about what kind of ages are popping up in terms of the kids that are accessing your program.

[00:19:51] Dr Daniel Fried: Yeah. So I Don. Have all the demographics of, of everybody. Yeah. I, I base it on what I see in the zoom classes and there’s a lot of, a lot of kids have done the zoom classes over the last couple years.

[00:20:03] I don’t know. The age might be, uh, averaging 8, 9, 10, and that eight, that, that, that, that range eight, nine and 10 11, when I’m writing the lessons. I think about what an average third grader or fourth grader would be able to do. And I have a very high, uh, opinion about what kids. Can do, which is also the, the under undercurrent of this whole thing.

[00:20:23] You know, I don’t think that kids should be given babies stuff, watered down stuff, which is great. Think that kids be given real stuff because they wanna be treated like adults. I have a five year old right now and he want, he desperately wants to be a grown up. And he, he like AB whores baby stuff. Mm-hmm so I’m not, you know, making a baby version of chemistry.

[00:20:44] It’s just a really clear version. And it, it treats the kids. It empowers them. It treats them like comp. I, I feel like they’re competent learners, which they are. And they, I think that’s part of the secret also is that they know that I believe in them and trust that they can do it. So, and when I’m working, you know, this, this also.

[00:21:02] Another part of the story is that this wasn’t designed to be a homeschool program. This was designed to be in public schools and it is in public schools. I piloted it in public schools, uh, you know, uh, rich schools, poor schools, all different kinds of schools and the schools, the, the kids in the schools can learn it.

[00:21:18] Also, it doesn’t doesn’t necessarily have to be gifted, uh, kids you know, gifted kids might learn it faster. They may have more background knowledge, but this is made for everybody and it’s made. And the other point you were saying before is that it’s accessible financially. It’s made to be cheap because the whole point of this was that it should be adopted by schools and schools don’t have millions of dollars to buy an Oculus headset for every kid usually.

[00:21:40] And they don’t have money for virtual reality room. So it’s plastic models, which don’t cost much and access to my site, which I. Accessible, I think for most people and if it’s not like I help them out. Cause it’s really about getting this out there and getting, getting everyone to experience this because I really believe this can change the world.

[00:21:59] If people know what their world is, then they can change it because then they have this power to make decisions and to, to know what things are, which is. Not easy for them to get, you know, a lot of people don’t know basic stuff, uh, like what stuff’s made out of how basic biology things work. So that’s what I’m trying to, trying to do.

[00:22:19] I rambled off your topic. A lot there in that.

[00:22:25] Sophia Elliott: No, that’s perfect because I think it’s, uh, important just to acknowledge that, uh, if you’re a parent listening, this could be something that your child just does. It’s an extra interest on the weekend. If you’re homeschooling, it’s brilliant. If you’re a teacher and this interests you and using it at the school, uh, it’s accessible and useful wherever you are coming from, which I think is really great.

[00:22:47] And. And I love that you kind of, you weren’t like thinking of the gift of community, but the gift of community’s just kind of going, oh my God, it’s awesome. Which is really fabulous. And I think

[00:22:57] Dr Daniel Fried: that’s think, I think I’m remembering what your question was. Your, your original question was the, oh great.

[00:23:02] Cause I, your question and I totally forgot the, the ages late, mid, mid, late elementary school, but. For the gifted kids. It’s a little different I’ve, I’ve have kids that have started this when they’re five years old. I have, I have a five year old right now. Uh, I mean, these are brilliant kids. It’s just amazing to see that these kids are so on point with it and talking about, you know, I’ll say, you know, why, why is it that, uh, an oxygen can, can uh, you know, what’s so special about an oxygen versus the carbon.

[00:23:29] Oh, the oxygens can hydrogen bond. And it’s just amazing to hear, you know, five year old, six year old saying that. So. It’s a lot, a lot of people it’s hard for them to sometimes tease the difference out here. We have kids that are very young doing this, but it’s not for young kids. It’s for really anybody.

[00:23:45] It just happens to resonate really well with young kids, it’s really a high school. Curriculum. It’s a prep. It’s a prep for in the United States. We have the advanced placement test. So this is advanced placement prep material for, you know, the higher level high school courses, but little kids wanna learn this.

[00:24:03] So I, I kind of have them in mind when I make the curriculum. And so

[00:24:07] Sophia Elliott: that note, what has surprised you most about this journey that you have been on?

[00:24:14] Dr Daniel Fried: Yeah. Okay. That’s surprise. Well, the surprise is that it finally started to work there was a long story. I never thought I, you know, I was doing it and it just like wasn’t working.

[00:24:23] I couldn’t know who the right audience was. And it took a really long time to figure out, oh, like getting stuff online for homeschool. Like that’s really gonna be my core audience. Like that’s that’s. So that worked, uh, I was going after schools for too long and now I love, I love when schools come to me, but it’s really hard as a.

[00:24:39] One person to like deal with marketing to schools. It’s just not really possible. Yeah. But homeschool parents, you know, they see it, they like it. They buy it and then I can help them. So, so that that’s been the, the success of it. Some of the surprise. I mean, unfortunately this, one of the big surprises was how difficult it was.

[00:24:56] To get people to believe that this was real. I, I got a PhD. I became a professor, you know, I, I felt like I was a real person, but I would tell people that I’m, designing a curriculum, I’m working with little kids and just the, the skepticism is still amazing that, that people can’t get past that this is possible that that kids, whether they’re gifted or not gifted, That kids can do this.

[00:25:19] There’s just so much skepticism still. And that’s been really disappointing and just a lot of people just trying everything they can to, to, to kind of wish it away. But unfortunately, you know, I, around a, I just, I just emailed everyone a message, like my monthly, I’ve almost a thousand accounts now.

[00:25:35] So it’s like, you know, it’s like this, this is this train. What’s the, the boat. The boat has sailed here. Like this really is a real thing. There are ways of organizing high level knowledge and science so that, you know, it’s accessible to everybody. They really are learning. They’re not memorizing or something.

[00:25:53] You know, I wouldn’t be wasting my time if I was doing some kind of memorizing course. So, but that that’s been unfortunate, surprising part that it’s, that I haven’t had a lot of support from people I thought would be supportive. In, you know, maybe you know, important educational positions. , let’s say

[00:26:10] Sophia Elliott: I get that completely, like, as a parent of three gifted kids, many years ago, I kind of had this moment and it was like, I never want my kids to be, to have barriers because of the lack of imagination of the adults around them.

[00:26:26] Do you know? Yeah. And, and it speaks to that very much. It’s like people really underestimate. What kids can learn and what they’re interested in and the fact that they want to learn it. It’s not like you’re being a pushy parent. It’s like, yeah. Uh, you know, Like I said, my eldest is a real science kid and he just consumed and absorbed, you know, like things that, you know, we were just trying to keep up.

[00:26:54] So yeah, I really, really get that. Uh, and it’s just, like I said, super exciting to have a resource like this out there. And. There’s not enough, and I, I love that. It’s also, you’re saying this is like recent research and, and it’s really kind of up to date my, yeah, my son, when he reads a book, now he’ll actually flick to the front and he’ll be like, if it’s not kind of published within the last five years, he’ll be like, oh, it’s a bit out of day.

[00:27:24] I’ll have to read it as a historical text. . Always made me laugh. But science moves. Right. And it’s, uh, it’s really great to be on top of all that stuff. So that’s, that’s super awesome. So how do people get in touch? Where do they find you? And the course.

[00:27:42] Dr Daniel Fried: Yes. If you just search for biochemistry, kids, bio, you know, it’s called biochemistry, literacy for kids, but anything to deal with kids in biochemistry, I, I will come up in some way, uh, whether it’s on social media or, uh, on my website.

[00:27:56] There’s really no one else doing this. There’s really no one else. That’s that’s working. With kids in chemistry and really biology, I guess, at this level. So it will just pop right up. If you forget even what it’s called biochemistry for kids.com is what it is. And yeah, so you can go there, you can see the website, I initially made a bunch of documentaries actually.

[00:28:16] So if you go to the website, you’ll see some professionally produced videos. Of some of the school programs that I did where you can hear, you know, what, how this was done in a school, just on a very short, uh, short term scale, even just after six or seven units, you can hear these kids talking and these are, these are, you know, kids in you know, Different schools around New York city.

[00:28:35] And you can just hear what it, what it’s done for them. And, but, but really what this does online for the homeschool community. This is a real deep dive. This is a long term. It can be a long term commitment. You can really do this for multiple years. Once, once you finish the normal curriculum, we have, uh, zoom classes where kids, uh, stay on and I just kind of.

[00:28:55] Go over different topics and teach them whatever their interests are. So kids, kids have been with me for three years now. So yeah, you can go to the website. You can look at the. The, the lesson registration, you can get yourself a model kit or two, and, uh, you can look at what the, what zoom classes are, are available at the time that I’m always teaching at least three or four zoom classes.

[00:29:14] I have an Australian friendly zoom class time that is starting in September. It’s it’s a. At this time, it’s 10 at night for me, but it’s at a good time for Australians. And it’s, that is appreciated.

[00:29:25] Sophia Elliott: Just thank you. On behalf of all the Australians,

[00:29:29] Dr Daniel Fried: very much from time to time. I do, I do try to make sure I start a class that’s, uh, at a good time for people in like Singapore and Australia.

[00:29:37] And, uh, yeah, and then those classes continue for months and, you know, we go through all the lessons and the kids learn everything. So, so that’s, that’s what it’s about. Yeah. And you can also look on, there’s a Facebook user group. If you wanna, like hear from the other parents, I have a nice Instagram page where you can kind of see all different kinds of stuff, what what’s gone on over the years.

[00:29:55] So, yeah, I’m, and I’m very accessible. Sometimes people, uh, message me and they say, oh, can. Talk to, you know, a customer service representative and I’m like, oh, I am the customer service representative. So if you ever need any help, like I’m always there to help the families and ask her and answer technical questions and, you know, fix the glitch or something.

[00:30:14] So I really want this to be a great experience for everybody.

[00:30:18] Sophia Elliott: Brilliant. I love it. And I’ll put all of those links in the show notes, so everyone can find that nice and easily. Uh, and I just wanna thank you for coming on today and chatting to us, uh, about this wonderful kind of opportunity for all of our gifted kids.

[00:30:34] Uh, super exciting. Thank you so much.

[00:30:37] Dr Daniel Fried: No, thank you so much. It’s uh, amazing to be on your podcast. Yeah.

[00:30:41] Sophia Elliott: And, and I always say to guests please keep us updated. Do you know if you’re doing various things in the future and like, right. Wanna tell everyone about it, like come on back and let’s tell everyone about it, cuz it’s very exciting.

[00:30:56] Dr Daniel Fried: Awesome. I will. awesome.

#058 Is My Child Gifted or Just Smart?

#058 Is My Child Gifted or Just Smart?

In this episode we’re talking to Anne, mum of three gifted kids, about figuring out her kids are gifted and finding the right school. All of Anne’s kids express their giftedness differently and have different challenges but they all ached to be seen for who they really are. A great episode if you’re wondering, ‘is my kid gifted?!’. Enjoyed the podcast? then subscribe or get your show notes, free eBook or course at ourgiftedkids.com If this episode inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it in our Facebook group or Instagram or feel connected & supported in our community, the Our Gifted Kids Hub. Please leave a review on your podcast player and help parents find us! Memorable Quote “It was only once we entered school that I noticed that it wasn’t quite right. There was something else going on. I just didn’t know what it was. There were some wonderful moments in their childhoods that they would just blow me away and I’d be like, that’s so awesome. And there were other moments that were quite frightening as well.” – Anne Resources Hit play and let’s get started!
#057 [Gifted Awareness Week] Our Kids talk about Being Gifted [& Minecraft]

#057 [Gifted Awareness Week] Our Kids talk about Being Gifted [& Minecraft]

It’s Gifted Awareness Week and we are raising awareness with four new episodes this week! In our final episode, we’re talking to two of our kids, Finley & Lilly, about what it is like to be gifted, giftedness and Minecraft. I hope you enjoy it! Enjoyed the podcast? then subscribe or get your show notes, free eBook or course at ourgiftedkids.com If this episode inspired you in some way, I’d love to hear about it in our Facebook group or Instagram or feel connected & supported in our community, the Our Gifted Kids Hub. Please leave a review on your podcast player and help parents find us! Resources Some great resources for learning more about giftedness… Hit play and let’s get started!