100 episodes

The Raising Lifelong Learners podcast helps parents -- especially homeschooling parents -- encourage their differently-wired kids to learn, explore passions, cultivate creativity, and become fascinated by the world around them. Join host Colleen Kessler -- educational consultant, gifted specialist, author, and speaker -- for interviews, audioblogs, tips, and encouragement to help your differently-wired kiddos become lifelong learners -- children who know that they can find the answers to anything they want to know if they can just view their world with play, passion, and fascination.

Raising Lifelong Learners Colleen Kessler

    • Kids & Family

The Raising Lifelong Learners podcast helps parents -- especially homeschooling parents -- encourage their differently-wired kids to learn, explore passions, cultivate creativity, and become fascinated by the world around them. Join host Colleen Kessler -- educational consultant, gifted specialist, author, and speaker -- for interviews, audioblogs, tips, and encouragement to help your differently-wired kiddos become lifelong learners -- children who know that they can find the answers to anything they want to know if they can just view their world with play, passion, and fascination.

    Building Strong Family Teams | Tips for Connection and Collaboration

    Building Strong Family Teams | Tips for Connection and Collaboration

    In today’s episode, Colleen dives into the art of building a family team. Discover the importance of setting boundaries, taking personal time, and forming deep, meaningful connections with your loved ones. Colleen shares her personal experiences and offers practical tips on how to balance family and personal time, foster open communication, and create an empathetic, supportive home environment.
     
    Key Takeaways: Personal Time & Boundaries: Importance of balancing personal time and family time to model self-care for children. Flexible and adaptable coping strategies are crucial, especially during busy times. Shared Responsibilities: Creating a team dynamic through defined roles, shared activities, and collaborative decision-making helps in fostering mutual support and accountability within the family. Building Connections: Engaging in activities that build strong bonds—such as family meals, open conversations, and expressing love and affirmation—contributes to a compassionate and empathetic home environment.  
    Tune in to gain insights and actions you can take to strengthen your family bonds and support system. Let's create a loving, united family team together!
     
    Our sponsor for today’s episode is CTC Math 
    Links and Resources from Today's Show Pre-Order - The Homeschool Advantage: A Child-Focused Approach to Raising Lifelong Learners Raising Lifelong Learners Membership Community - The Learners Lab Raising Resilient Sons by Colleen Kessler, M.Ed. Activities to Strengthen Your Family Team Homeschooling Success | The Role of Strong Family Connections Masterclass | Building Family Connections A Different Kind Of Family Togetherness: Ideas and Encouragement For Connecting With Our Kids Rock Your Family Life and Raise Awesome Gifted Kids Family Night Game Guide Fostering Teamwork | The Power of Collaborative Learning in Homeschooling Masterclass | Raising Resilient Families Self-Compassion for a Healthier Mindset | A Conversation with Michelle Brownell How a Return to Outside Play Will Help Our Kids Thrive with Ginny Yurich  
    Connect with Colleen
    You can find Colleen on  Twitter @ColleenKessler,  Facebook @RaisingLifelongLearners,  Instagram @ColleenKessler

    How does your child learn best?  Take the Quiz ==> https://raisinglifelonglearners.com/quiz/

    • 56 min
    Navigating Intensity and Giftedness | Insights from Christine Fonseca

    Navigating Intensity and Giftedness | Insights from Christine Fonseca

    In this week’s episode of the podcast, we’re talking with Christine Fonseca, licensed educational psychologist, critically acclaimed author, and nationally recognized speaker on topics related to educational psychology, mental health, giftedness, and using storytelling to heal past wounds. 
    Understanding the complex world of giftedness is crucial for providing the best support for your child. In this episode, we delve into key understandings that can make a significant difference in your homeschooling journey.
     
    Key Takeaways: Recognize Intensity: Gifted kids often exhibit intense emotions and behaviors due to their high sensitivity and cognitive abilities. Understanding this can prevent mislabeling their intensity as behavioral issues. Identify Needs: Differentiating between gifted traits and actual behavioral problems is crucial. Providing the right accommodations can help them thrive without pathologizing their uniqueness. Embrace Emotional Intelligence (EQ): Teaching EQ can have a profound effect on a child's success. Use everyday moments to instill skills like empathy, adaptability, and social awareness. Navigate Social Dynamics: Gifted children may find it hard to fit in due to their exceptional intellect. Helping them value and appreciate different perspectives can bridge social gaps. Knowledge & Resources: Books and websites can be transformative. Utilize practical resources to better understand and support your gifted child. Parental Reflection: Understanding and managing your own emotional triggers can help you respond more effectively to your child. Trust that they will be fine, and lead with patience and empathy. Community and Support: Engaging with communities offers valuable insights and shared experiences. Connecting with other parents can provide additional support and strategies. Links and Resources to Today's Episode Our sponsor for today’s episode is CTC Math 
    Pre-Order - The Homeschool Advantage: A Child-Focused Approach to Raising Lifelong Learners Raising Lifelong Learners Membership Community - The Learners Lab Raising Resilient Sons by Colleen Kessler, M.Ed. Christine Fonseca: https://www.christinefonseca.com New Edition! Emotional Intensity in Gifted Children The Caring Child: Raising Empathetic and Emotionally Intelligent Children RLL 24: Asynchrony, Intensity, and Motivation | A Listener Question Giftedness & Intensity Calm the Chaos with Dayna Abraham The Social Emotional Needs Of Gifted And Neurodiverse Children The Unique Challenges of Homeschooling Gifted Kids When Giftedness is Misdiagnosed as a Behavior Problem Knowledge is Power: Helping Our Gifted Children Cope Perfectionism And Gifted Children: What You Need To Know Homeschooling Our Gifted Children: The Power Of Artful Questions Anxiety vs. Stress vs. Perfectionism: Helping Our Children Cope Connect with Christine Fonseca
    You can find Christine on: Instagram @ChristineFonsecaAuthor, Facebook @AuthorChristineFonseca, or LinkedIn @Christine Fonseca
    Christine's group: The Intense Life Tribe on Facebook
    Christine’s website: https://www.christinefonseca.com
    Connect with Colleen
    You can find Colleen on Twitter @ColleenKessler, Facebook @RaisingLifelongLearners, Instagram @ColleenKessler
    How does your child learn best? Take the Quiz ==> https://raisinglifelonglearners.com/quiz/
     

    • 46 min
    Homeschooling Success | The Role of Strong Family Connections

    Homeschooling Success | The Role of Strong Family Connections

    In today's episode of the podcast, we dive into the power of building strong family connections, especially in homeschooling families.
    We'll chat practical tips like setting family goals, managing time with multiple calendars, and encouraging sibling collaboration. Then, I'll touch on how mindfulness, open communication, and family rituals can foster deep bonds and support your kids' emotional and academic growth.
    Tune in to embrace family time and create unforgettable memories together!
      Key Takeaways: Encourage Collaboration and Communication: Foster emotional connections and model respectful communication and empathy during conflicts. Simple actions like admitting mistakes and apologizing can nurture trust and respect. Promote Independence and Responsibility: Assign age-appropriate responsibilities and allow children to make their own choices. This builds accountability and helps them learn from consequences. Prioritize Quality Family Time: Focus on quality over quantity by engaging in one-on-one time and screen-free family outings. This can be achieved through creative solutions like car ride conversations or including kids in errands. We also discuss the resources available through The Learner's Lab community -- Join us if you haven't yet! 
     
    Our sponsor for today’s episode is CTC Math 
    Links and Resources from Today's Episode Pre-Order - The Homeschool Advantage: A Child-Focused Approach to Raising Lifelong Learners Raising Lifelong Learners Membership Community - The Learners Lab Raising Resilient Sons by Colleen Kessler, M.Ed. Activities to Strengthen Your Family Team The Importance Of Play For Your Entire Family Creating a Family Mission Statement RLL #76: Creating the Adventurous Family with Rachel Rainbolt Stick Figuring Through the Bible - NEED AMAZON LINK Host an Epic Family Movie Night Rock Your Family Life and Raise Awesome Gifted Kids Growing a Family of Character Find a Place of Belonging for Your Neurodiverse Kids RLL #102: A Conversation about Connection with Shawna Wingert RLL 10 Sarah MacKenzie: Building Connections Through Books A Thriving Homeschool | Strategies for Setting Boundaries Sibling Unifier: Peanut Butter Play dough Resiliency Resources Everything You Need To Homeschool A Child With ADHD Connect with Colleen
    You can find Colleen on  Twitter @ColleenKessler,  Facebook @RaisingLifelongLearners,  Instagram @ColleenKessler

    How does your child learn best?  Take the Quiz ==> https://raisinglifelonglearners.com/quiz/

    • 45 min
    Sparkschooling | Engaging Children in Music, Art, and STEM

    Sparkschooling | Engaging Children in Music, Art, and STEM

    In this week's episode of the podcast, we're talking with Rachel Figg, a trailblazer in the homeschooling world and the creator of Spark Schooling. As homeschooling parents, we recognize some challenges come with teaching children at home. This conversation focuses on sparkschooling, a novel approach to learning designed to ignite curiosity and engage students more deeply by integrating art, music, physical education, and STEM into daily learning activities.
    The heart of sparkschooling lies in its curiosity-driven approach, tailoring learning to align with a child’s natural interests. Rachel explains how Spark Schooling integrates non-traditional methods like using buckets and kitchen utensils to teach musical rhythms, or video classes for varied subjects to cater to diverse learning preferences and paces.
    This method not only respects each child’s learning journey but also fosters a supportive environment where learning is associated with joy and discovery rather than pressure and memorization.
    Key Takeaways: Curiosity-Driven Learning: Rachel Figg emphasizes the importance of fostering curiosity in children as a fundamental aspect of sparkschooling. This approach encourages students to pursue their own interests and questions, leading to deeper engagement and understanding.  
    Integrating Creative and Analytical Learning: Both Rachel and Colleen discuss the importance of combining left and right brain activities—such as art and STEM—into homeschooling to develop both creative and analytical skills in children, enhancing overall learning and problem-solving abilities.  
    Hands-On Experiences: The episode highlights the significance of hands-on learning experiences, like the real-life application of physics concepts in a homeschooling with horses class to understand inertia. This method helps cement knowledge through practical application.  
    Resource Accessibility: Sparkschooling is likened to a Netflix-like library where children can choose from a variety of activities based on their interests, all available in a simple, self-paced format. This accessibility makes learning adaptable and tailored to each child's pace and interests.  
    Higher-Level Thinking Skills: The discussion underlines the need to focus on developing higher-level thinking skills from an early age, moving beyond basic knowledge to analyzing, evaluating, and creating. This prepares children for complex problem-solving and independent thinking.  
    Low-Pressure Learning Environment: The sparkschooling program is designed to create a low-pressure, non-judgmental learning environment that encourages exploration and reduces the fear of failure, enabling children to explore new subjects and discover their passions.  
    Simple Integration of Diverse Subjects: Rachel suggests practical ways to integrate diverse subjects like music, art, physical education, and STEM into daily homeschool routines to ensure a holistic education that keeps children engaged and promotes well-rounded development.  
    Encouraging Physical Education: Physical activities are highlighted as crucial for children's education, not just for physical health but also for teaching persistence, coordination, and critical thinking through physical challenges.  
    Engaging and Fun Learning Activities: The episode emphasizes the importance of making learning fun and engaging through activities like using kitchen utensils as drumsticks to learn musical rhythm, which helps sustain children's interest and enthusiasm for learning.  
    Following Children's Natural Curiosities: Both host and guest stress the need for parents to pay attention to and nurture their children's natural curiosities, as this will lead to more meaningful and self-motivated learning, making education a joy rather than a chore.  
    Our sponsor for today’s episode is CTC Math
      Links and Resources from Today's Show Pre-Order - The Homeschool Advantage: A Child-Focused Approach to Raising

    • 44 min
    Embracing Play for Teens | Growth and Resilience

    Embracing Play for Teens | Growth and Resilience

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Fostering Creativity and Critical Thinking | A Conversation with Puzzlemaker Eric Berlin

    Fostering Creativity and Critical Thinking | A Conversation with Puzzlemaker Eric Berlin

    In the latest episode, we dive into the fascinating world of puzzles and their role in fostering lifelong learning. Eric Berlin, a renowned puzzle maker and author, shares his experiences with puzzles in educational settings and their impact on child development.
    Eric discusses the integration of puzzle-solving into educational curricula. He shares a time when his daughter, influenced by puzzle video games, designed video game levels herself, showcasing how such engagement can foster a practical understanding of complex concepts like coding and design.
    Key Takeaways: Foster Critical Thinking: Puzzles encourage critical thinking and creativity, essential skills in today’s rapidly changing world.   Tech-Savvy Learning: Incorporating puzzle video games can promote visual thinking and problem-solving skills among children.   Community Collaboration: Participating in community puzzle events can build teamwork and social skills. Find Eric and his engaging puzzle books at puzzlesnacks.com and ericberlin.com. Connect with him on social platforms for more puzzle fun!
    Whether you’re a parent, educator, or puzzle enthusiast, this episode offers valuable insights into making learning a playful and engaging journey. Tune in to discover more
    Links and Resources from Episode 242:
    Our sponsor for today’s episode is CTC Math


    Pre-Order - The Homeschool Advantage: A Child-Focused Approach to Raising Lifelong Learners Raising Lifelong Learners Membership Community - The Learners Lab Raising Resilient Sons by Colleen Kessler, M.Ed. The Puzzling World of Winston Breen by Eric Berlin Puzzlesnacks by Book by Eric Berlin Free Gift: Puzzlesnacks Sampler Ever So Logical | PuzzleNation.com Blog Creative Thinking Activities for Kids  How to Encourage Innovative Thinking in Your Kids  Raising Problem Solvers One Person Logic Games that Rock  The Learning Game | A Conversation with Ana Lorena Fabrega  Giving Your Child Life Skills | Metacognition Connect with Eric
    To try out Eric’s puzzles click over to Puzzle Snacks: http://www.puzzlesnacks.com
    You can find Eric  @puzzlesnacks Instagram or Facebook with the handle @puzzlesnacks

    • 36 min

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