Because the show must go on, even in a pandemic

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By Katy Bowman

One of the holiday traditions I cherish most is attending my kids’ school concerts. After months of hearing them practice their instruments alone in their rooms, seeing them perform with their classmates in the school auditorium is a joyous occasion I look forward to all year.

Unfortunately, Covid-19 has canceled many of the live arts events that help make the holidays merry and bright. The dance recitals, musicals, and concerts, church singalongs and Nutcracker performances, community theater and Broadway shows that usually lift our spirits are going to be sorely missed this winter. …


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By Maria Blackburn

“How do I find a group of friends ‘like’ my child, to do ‘their’ kind of ‘fun’ activities i.e. play chess, science projects, history buff, etc.” — Joan McGregor, member, CTY Parents Facebook Group

First, know that your child is not alone. Making friends isn’t easy for many children, and for academically advanced kids it can be complicated by the fact that your child’s same-age peers may not share their more academic or unique interests, says Michelle Muratori, a senior counselor at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.

Here’s her advice:

Start with their interests

“Always start with your child’s interest area,” Muratori says. School may be a good place to start, but you might have to broaden your search. If your child is interested in theater, find out if there’s a local theater company where they can volunteer. A history buff might find others who share their interests at a museum or historical society. Understand that your child might meet adults as well as children with similar interests in the community and while it’s normal to have friends of varying ages, parents will need to monitor these relationships. …


It’s the kind of guilt-free screen time we all need right now

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Malala Yousafzai in “He Named Me Malala”

By Katy Bowman

Those of us who are still spending much of our school, work, and down time at home may find ourselves pining for, to quote Princess Jasmine from Disney’s Aladdin, “something more beyond these palace walls.”

And as the nights get longer and weather gets colder, families will be searching for ways to pass the time indoors while keeping kids connected to the real world. Documentaries — nonfiction stories told through film — can be an enlightening solution for bright kids, who commonly exhibit traits like empathy, insatiable curiosity, and a heightened sense of morality and justice. …


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By Maria Blackburn

Maybe your kid would rather nap than do their homework. Perhaps your child’s room is a disaster and though they promise daily to clean up, they never do. Or, let’s say, your youngest is more interested in playing Super Smash Bros. than doing just about anything else.

We all struggle to find motivation sometimes. But for many kids, even when we’re not in the midst of a global pandemic, finding the drive to do what they’re supposed to do is no easy task. And for parents, this can be maddening.

“People have been worried about undermotivation in children long before Covid-19 — it’s not a new thing,” said Michelle Muratori, Ph.D., a senior counselor at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. Parents can help kids overcome their lack of drive to do certain tasks, but first “they need to dig deeper and understand what’s going on in their child that makes them appear to have a lack of motivation so they can respond appropriately.” …


Johns Hopkins admissions expert’s tips on searching for colleges right now.

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By Maria Blackburn

We plotted our youngest child’s college search three years ago during his first year of high school. “Take challenging classes and get good grades,” we said. “Junior year spring we’ll start visiting campuses and you can begin working on testing and thinking about applications.”

Then our plans — and those of so many other college-bound high schoolers and their families — went out the window this spring when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down college and university campuses, canceled SAT and ACT dates, and led many selective schools to announce they are going test- optional. …


Yep, it’s going to be a weird one. Here’s how to make it work for your family.

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By Katy Bowman

Anxiety is high among parents, teachers, and even kids, as many K-12 schools prepare to start the year virtually while others gear up for some combination of online and in-person instruction. The one thing we know is that nothing is going to be the same as it was last fall. It’s normal to be nervous about how this is will all pan out, but it’s important to approach this wholly unprecedented learning situation with a healthy mindset.

“A successful school year starts with the need to just acknowledge that school is going to be different for everyone this year,” said Amy Shelton, senior director of research at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and associate dean of research at the School of Education. “It is up to parents to set the tone.” …


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By Tracey Gaughran

While COVID-19 has grounded most family vacation plans this summer, it’s now possible to tour incredible natural wonders, historic sites, renowned museums, and cities around the world virtually through the magic of the internet. Here are our picks for the best no-cost educational trips your family can take today — all from the comfort of your couch.

EXPLORE HISTORICAL SITES


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By Katy Bowman

“How can our children connect with a community of readers who like off-the-beaten path children’s books (e.g. international comic book series)?”

–Ami Gadhia, member, CTY Parents Facebook Group

Consider joining a book club. They aren’t just for tea-sipping grandmas anymore, and thanks to the internet, kids around the world can easily connect with each other over the books they love — even during quarantine. Sometimes the most obscure tomes can have the most ardent fans, so an online search for fan clubs based on the books your kid loves the most is a good place to start. …


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By Katy Bowman

Books are powerful. And in recent months, for many of us, they have been lifelines, filling in as friends, teachers, and adventure guides — showing us other worlds while helping us understand our own.

However, for every person who has spent quarantine with their nose buried in a book, there are others who have found it impossible to focus for long enough to finish a page. For kids who have already spent months at home due to school closures, this can be especially worrisome. …

About

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth

The Center for Talented Youth is part of Johns Hopkins, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Since 1979, CTY has been the world leader in gifted education. http://cty.jhu.edu

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