Parenting Your Gifted Child–Begins August 11

SENG Model Parent Group (SMPG) – A guided discussion group for parents/caregivers of gifted/highly capable or twice exceptional children.

You are invited to join a discussion group with other parents of gifted kids:

Join this weekly opportunity to share ideas, strategies and support in a relaxed setting, guided by SENG- trained facilitators. Through the valuable insights of the other parents and reading the book A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children, you will learn more about giftedness, discuss the challenges of parenting, and share strategies for supporting our gifted children while enhancing family relationships. SMPGs are not therapy sessions; however, participants often find the sessions to be therapeutic, empowering and comforting. Topics covered include:

  • Characteristics of gifted children
  • Communication
  • Motivation, enthusiasm & underachievement
  • Establishing discipline and teaching self management
  • Intensity, perfectionism & stress
  • Idealism, unhappiness & depression
  • Acquaintances, friends, & peers
  • Only children & siblings
  • Values, traditions & uniqueness
  • Complexities of successful parenting

When: Tuesdays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Aug. 11 to Sept. 29, 2015 (eight session series)

Where: 21500 Cypress Way, Lynnwood, WA 98036 (A Journey School)

Who: Sponsored by the Northwest Gifted Child Association ( Co-facilitated by Sue Wilson-Schmitz & Denise Anderson, Certified SMPG facilitators and parents of gifted children

Contact: Sue Wilson-Schmitz at

About SENG: SENG’s mission is to empower families and communities to guide gifted and talented individuals to reach their goals: intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually:

Cost: $140.00 – Covers the cost of the book A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children by James T. Webb, PhD; materials; and one or two parent/caregiver registrations for eight facilitated sessions. Needs-based scholarships available.

Registration: Register early: class size is limited to 20 participants (minimum eight). Register online at

What past participants have said:

“This has been a great life saving class. It has been great knowing that I am not alone in the difficulties we have.”

“Helpful to have ideas in hand to implement when needed! Great to know that we are not ‘the only ones.'” “Motivating my child to do homework and chores is now easier because of this group.”

“It has given me more tools to draw from in spur-of-the-moment decisions and interactions with the kids. I would recommend for any parent.”


Challenge Spot Newsletter: Thank you

Challenge and Hi-Cap Families,

The CPA Board wishes you a bright and fulfilling year exploring our world with your children.

Thank you for your generous contributions during our fall fund raiser. This fall, we raised over $14,000 in support of our school and state-funded instruction for highly capable students.

Our organization’s mission is to grow a strong community of connected families while providing additional support to our teachers and schools. We also take very seriously our role as one of the foremost parent organizations representing gifted children in the State of Washington.  This is a key year for education funding, and together we will make opportunities to voice support for our priorities with legislators in Olympia.  More on that soon.

We are excited to share with you these great opportunities to kick off 2015. Below, you will find upcoming parent networking, education, and discussion opportunities, followed by a few January enrichment activities that we think your kids will love.

This year, we encourage you to make stronger bonds with other parents.  In fostering an open, connected community, we create a strong support network for our children:  peers and adults to turn to in times of joy and need.

All the best,

Amy McCarthy & Valerie Rosman
Co-Presidents, Challenge Parents Association

Challenge Spot Coffee Hours at Caffe Ladro Lynnwood [map]
Gather with CPA Board & other parents of current and prospective Challenge / Hi-Cap students.
Saturday, February 7, 10:30am – 12:00pm
Sunday, February 22, 2:30pm – 4:00pm

Parent Discussion Groups at Terrace Park
Our own SENG-certified facilitators invite parents to an open group discussion regarding the social and emotional needs of gifted children, beginning with the topics of motivation and time management.  All are welcome to attend.
Thursday, February 12, 7:00pm – 8:30pm (topic: Motivation)
Thursday, March 12, 7:00pm – 8:30pm (topic: Time Management)
Contact Stephanie Bates or Valerie Rosman


P A R E N T   E D U C A T I O N
Andrew Keen: The Internet’s Unseen Consequences
Thursday, January 22, 2015, 6:00pm

Young Children and Anxiety at Bellevue Discovery Preschool
Monday, January 26, 6:00-7:00pm

Vision Therapy Workshop at Alderwood Vision Therapy
Tuesday, January 27, 6:45pm


S A V E    T H E   D A T E
CPA General Meeting followed by

Ordinary Magic for Extraordinary Kids:
Teaching Resilience to Gifted and Twice Exceptional Kids
with Marcia Jenson, Ph.D. and Leah Altemeier, Ph.D.

Wednesday, February 4, 6:00pm

These two Seattle-based psychologists will address cultivating resilience in children, drawing on research from the field of positive psychology and cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as their own clinical experience with gifted and twice exceptional children. CPA General Meeting at 6:00pm (all are welcome!); talk begins promptly at 6:30pm.


F U N    E N R I C H M E N T    A C T I V I T I E S
Future of Flight Maker Mondays
Mondays, 3:00pm – 8:00pm
Design, experiment, and create using the museum’s 3D-modeling stations. Ages 11+.

Skagit Eagle Festival in Concrete, Washington
Saturdays & Sundays in January, 9:00am-4:00pm
Free tours, walks, and educational programs about eagles and other wildlife on the Skagit River.

The Bushwick Book Club Seattle: A.A. Milne’s ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’
Saturday, January 24, 2015, 11:00am

Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas Lecture:  Egypt: Center of the Ancient World
Sunday, January 25, 2:00 pm

UW World Series  International Music Performance:  The Nile Project (listen)
Friday, January 30, 8:00pm in Meany Hall

Middle School Science Bowl
January 31, 7:00am at University of Portland


D O N ‘ T   M I S S   T H I S !

Fifth Graders Ski Free
At Stevens Pass and Mt Baker Resort


V O L U N T E E R   O P P O R T U N I T Y
Brier-Terrace Middle School Pollinator Garden,
created to nurture a population of the rare western bumble bee, which was discovered in Brier in 2013. In the last 18 months an area of bare grass along the south wall of the middle school has been mulched and planted with 85 individual  shrubs and perennials. The combination of native and garden plants has been densely planted to offer nectar and pollen from mid-winter through late autumn. Bumble bees, butterflies and birds have made immediate use of the new plants.

Needs: weeding, mulching parties, take part in the pollinator observation project
Contact: BTMS or Julie O’Donald,  Brier Habitat Project Coordinator

If you know of similar opportunities that may be of interest to other families, feel free to send information along to us at

Please note that we list these activities as a service to our group. Challenge Parents Association does not endorse or receive sponsorship from any of the programs or organizations mentioned here.

Cool Things to Do this Month!

November (and a few December) Events for Active Minds

We are so fortunate to live in a community that offers individuals and families so many opportunities to learn and grow. Find something interesting and get out there!

  1. TONIGHT! Wednesday, November 5, 6:00 at Terrace Park SchoolWhat Parents Need to Know About Smart Kids Austina DeBonte of Northwest Gifted Child Association
  2. Wednesday, November 5, 12,19 7:00pm–3-part Parenting Group at Seattle Psychology / Parenting Your Anxious (Sensitive) Child offered by Lynette Pullmann, PhD (206-569-5368) and Molly Reid, PhD, ABBP (206-368-8536)
  3. Thursday, November 6, 4:30pm–Online Seminar: Building Resilience in Gifted Children / Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)
  4. November 7-9–Life Sciences Research Weekend / Pacific Science Center
  5. November 8, 9:00am–Green Seattle Day: environmental restoration and an Ethiopian lunch buffet. / Rainier Beach Community Center
  6. November13- December 21–Dick Whittington and His Cat / Seattle Children’s Theater
  7. November 14, 5:00pm–Turn it Up Kids Poetry Slam / Town Hall Seattle
  8. November 14 deadline to submit–Middle School Science Bowl / Regional science bowl championship teams receive an expenses-paid trip to compete at the national event. Competition is in Oregon in January. Deadline! Intent to Compete form must be submitted by November 14.
  9. Monday, November 17, 7:00pm–Understanding and Mastering Self-Control / Walter Mischel, Ph.D.
  10. Wednesday, November 19, 7:30pm–Environmental Perspectives: The Nature-Health Connection / Town Hall Seattle
  11. Friday, November 21, 6:30pm–GambiaHelp presents West Aftrica Live! / Town Hall Seattle
  12. November 21 deadline to submit–Challenge Referral Forms due for new students grades K-7, to test for 2015-16 entry. Deadline! November 21 is the last day referral forms will be accepted.
  13. Saturdays in December (12/7, 13, 20, 27), 1:00pm & 3:00pm–Museum of History and Industry’s Living Voices Performances brings a combination of archival film and solo performance dramatizing a different historical event each week.

 If you know of similar opportunities that may be of interest to other families, feel free to send information along to us at

Please note that we list these activities as a service to our group. Challenge Parents Association does not endorse or receive sponsorship from any of the programs or organizations mentioned.

Wed. Nov. 5–Don’t miss your “What Parents Need to Know about Smart Kids”

Your Challenge Parents Association free fall lecture is this Wednesday, Nov. 5!

Austina De Bonte
President, NW Gifted Child Association
“What Parents Need to Know About Smart Kids”

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
6:00 pm
Terrace Park Elementary, Commons
5409 228th St SW | Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043

Note: This CPA lecture is a free preview of Austina’s upcoming half-day workshop where she will expand on many of these insightful understandings.

Past attendees say
“This presentation was a true eye opener”
greatly changed my perspective”
“amazed at how many things applied to my daughter”
“helped me to better understand not only my child, but myself”
“I learned so much – despite the reading I’d already done
Satisfaction Ratings 4.8/5.0, 100% would recommend to a friend

Many parents are surprised to learn that their child’s unique “quirks”are actually well-studied social & emotional behavior patterns that appear across large populations of highly intelligent children. Whether it’s refusing to wear shirts with buttons or tags, overreacting to the slightest criticism, gravitating towards adults and older children, anxiety about trying something new, or preferring a book to a party, these and many other perplexing behaviors are common in this population. Learn what’s normal, what to expect as they grow, and why HiCap school programs are optimal for kids’ social and emotional development, as well as developing their academic talents, from the elementary years all the way to high school.

Presented by Austina De Bonte, President, NW Gifted Child Association. (

Some Answers to “What’s so different about raising a gifted child?”-This Weekend!

What’s so different about raising a gifted child?

When: March 8, 2014, 9:45 AM – 3:30 PM (registration opens at 9:00 AM)

Seattle Public Schools
John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence

2445 3rd Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98134
Map and Directions
Nearby Food and Lodging
Free onsite parking

Keynote by Jann Leppien, Ph.D.

Attention parents of gifted kids! Join us for an opportunity to network with other parents of gifted children; learn from the experts about gifted characteristics and needs; gain parenting advice that is specific to the gifted population; collect resource information on where to get help; learn about the Washington State laws regarding gifted education; and walk away knowing that you are not alone. Click here for program details.

On March 8: What’s so different about raising a gifted child?

Calling all Washington State Gifted Families: Come make new friends while attending a conference designed JUST FOR YOU!

The Northwest Gifted Child Association (NWGCA) is the oldest and largest Washington State Gifted Parent Advocacy Group that exists to bring gifted families together for support and education. The NWGCA’s annual Connections Conference 2014 on March 8 in Seattle will answer some questions you have and some you may not even know you had. Gifted families are encouraged to attend and learn about what makes them different and allow them to meet other families like themselves who may face some of the same challenges.

  • Learn from experts about gifted characteristics & needs
  • Gain specific parenting advice for the gifted population
  • Collect resource information on where to get help
  • Learn the Washington State laws regarding gifted education
  • Facilitated discussions with other parents over lunch (bring your own bag lunch)

Keynote by Dr. Jann Leppien, Ph.D., Whitworth University, Center for Gifted Education

New this year! Spy Camp for Kids’ track for ages 5-12 will provide a full day of activities including code cracking, escape and stealth skills, and a chance to design and create gadgets.

March 8: 9am-4pm
John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence
2445 3rd Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98134

Discount registration by February 9, 2014
Adult: $60, Partner: $5, Family of 4: $105

After February 9
Adult: $65, Partner: $5, Family of 4: $130

More details in attached flyer and on the NWGCA website.

Giftedness is a family affair: you are not alone.

Family STEM Night

Boeing’s Paine Field Museum, Future of Flight, is having its annual “Family STEM Night” with lots of science, engineering, and educational exhibitors.

This is an open door event happening:Wednesday, Feb. 5th, 5:30 to 8:00 PM.

Attached is a brochure with further information. Admission is free, BUT families will need to pre-register.  The link to sign up for free tickets is   

Parenting the Gifted Blog Tour, 2013!

We come from different parts of the world, different school choices, and different social and economic backgrounds, but we all have one thing in common. We know that parenting a gifted child can sometimes be as challenging as it is rewarding.

If you have ever woken up at 3 AM in the morning wondering “What am I going to do with this child?” then this blog tour is for you!

Friday June 14th kicked off the Parenting the Gifted Blog Tour which will discuss some of the most pertinent issues facing gifted education today:

On June 14th Sceleratus Classical Academy began our tour with “Comparison is the Thief of Joy.”

On June 15th Only Passionate Curiosity shared “Maturity vs. Ability; It’s a Big Deal”Childhood Inspired wrote about “Nurturing Other Aspects of Giftedness Besides Academics”.

On June 16th Teaching My Baby to Read features “Harry Potter, Muggles, Squibs, and Giftedness in Family Trees”.

On June 17th Homeschooling: or Who’s Ever Home will write about “Nurturing Musical Talent in the Gifted Child”.

On June 18th Strader Spiel will discuss “Homeschooling a Gifted Child with Special Needs” and The Washington Collation of Gifted Education will share “I’m an Advocate and So Are You”.

On June 19th Northwoods Classical Academy will write about “The Making of a Mathlete”.

On June 20th Homeschooling Hatters will share “Just Let Him Be a Kid”, and Sceleratus Classical Academy will end our tour with a guest post titled “When a Flower Blooms”.

Thanks for being with us on this journey!

This international blog tour is organized by parents who met on The Well Trained Mind Message boards, including Jennifer Bardsley, the “I Brake for Moms” columnist for The Daily Herald.

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Click here to read the rest of the Parenting the Gifted Blog Tour

The Young Booksellers Guild Day Camp – at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park

Announcing a brand new summer camp program, The Young Booksellers Guild Day Camp, debuting this August!

The Young Booksellers Guild Day Camp is a summer program where kids ages 7-9 will explore the world of books and bookstores from every angle. They will see the inner workings of the store and experience brand new books and old favorites. They will draw, write, and see their work turned into a real book, printed and bound on our Espresso Book Machine, which they will take home and add to their libraries.

In order for this program to be a success, we need campers who are as excited as we are about reading and writing and are itching to dive into books this summer.

If you know any students that would be a good match for this camp, please drop by the store or check out our website for more information. Registration will be open through August 1st. More information as well as the registration form can be found at

From The Washington Coalition For Gifted Education – May 15th

NAGC and its advocacy partners are gearing up for some activity in the Congress in support of gifted students in the next month. Today they are asking for your help in advancing the TALENT Act in the Senate. The TALENT Act, which was introduced by Senators Grassley (IA), Casey (PA), and Mikulski (MD), amends ESEA to support high-ability and high-achieving students.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions is preparing to revisit the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in June. This is the chance to include the TALENT Act (S.512), and gifted students, in those discussions.

The best way to ensure success for the TALENT Act is to have more Senators cosponsor the bill, and it’s your calls and emails that will make the difference. Please contact your two Senators as soon as possible and urge them to support gifted students by becoming a cosponsor of S.512.

Contact information for Washington’s senators can be found at
You can send your emails from this page.

The TALENT Act focuses on four areas: 1) Requires that states report on students who have performed at advanced levels on state tests and to disaggregate the data by subpopulations. The data is already available; it is a matter of making it public and increasing awareness of how states educate their gifted students, including those from poverty, 2) Requires professional development in identifying and serving high-potential and high-achieving students to teachers and other school personnel through the Higher Education Act, 3) Allows Title I funds (provided to schools serving low-income populations) and funds from the Rural Education Achievement Program to be used for teacher training in gifted education pedagogy. This will help address the frightening gap between how different income and racial groups of students perform at advanced academic levels, and, 4) Continues research and dissemination of information on how high-ability children learn and how they are best taught.

For more on the TALENT Act, go to

If you are looking for summer enrichment activities for your gifted student, here are two opportunities from The Seabury School. Provision of this information does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation.