Design Thinking & Project-Based Learning for Twice-Exceptional Learners

secular homeschool convention School Choice Week 2018: Design Thinking and PBL for Twice-Exceptional Learners

Design Thinking and Project-Based Learning for Twice-Exceptional Learners

Are you having a hard time meeting your creative gifted or twice-exceptional child’s need for depth and complexity in their learning? You may have heard of Design Thinking and project-based learning and wondered if it can meet those needs; but do you need help in figuring out exactly how it all works?

Join educator, author, and coach Jade Rivera to discuss authentic learning, how to scaffold a child as they learn new skills, and how giftedness and twice-exceptionality, design thinking and project-based learning go hand in hand. Jade will share her favorite resources and techniques for meeting the educational needs of these amazing and delightful children at this fun and engaging workshop.

secular homeschool conference School Choice Week 2018: Design Thinking and Project-Based Learning for Twice-Exceptional Learners

Jade’s Bio

For over ten years, Jade Rivera has made educating gifted and twice-exceptional children her mission. She is the founder and lead educator of Sunnyside Micro-School for gifted and twice-exceptional children in Oakland, CA. She is a proud Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Ambassador and author of Micro-Schools: Creating Personalized Learning on a Budget. In 2016 she was honored by the California Association for Gifted Children for her distinguished service on behalf of gifted families.

You can connect with me through my Website. Or follow me on Facebook at Jade Rivera Facebook or Sunnyside Micro School Facebook, or on Instagram.

Homeschooling the Twice-Exceptional Student – There Will Be Gaps and That’s OK


This young man is incredibly creative and he is twice-exceptional. He makes movies, writes stories, animates, composes, records original songs, and works on other creative endeavors all day long. He is never idle, never bored. My son works from the moment he wakes up, which is usually before 7:00, and stays busy until around 10:00 at night when he finally tires out and heads to bed. Sleep usually comes an hour later when his mind finally calms down.

Most days I am in awe of all he does. It really is amazing. But it is also incredibly frustrating, and at times, overwhelming and tiring to watch. Traditional school work falls to the way side often, and when he can settle long enough to work on academics, it usually doesn’t go the way I imagine. Math is an exercise in frustration, reading hurts his head, and handwriting practice is painful. Science can be fun, history is mostly boring, but analyzing literature is a favorite. He usually has the energy to concentrate on academics for no more than 2 to 3 hours a day, a few days a week.

This is what I am working with, and I can never forget it as I homeschool him. My son is not going to school in any sort of traditional matter, and I have to remind myself of that often. He is a twice-exceptional student, and things are different for twice-exceptional kids. Their paths look different from other students. Their days look different.


Parents who are homeschooling 2E children and teens need to remind themselves of this often otherwise they may end up feeling like they are failing their children. There will be areas where their student may be behind (for my son it is math) and other areas where they have no interest at all. There will be gaps along the way and as homeschool parents we have to learn to let these gaps go because there will be other areas where they are working so enthusiastically, so passionately, that they do not have time for it all.

I have to remind myself that what my son is doing is significant (even with the gaps) and that he will find his own way. His path may be different and atypical but it is also unique and meaningful. He is creative and productive and confident and happy. And in the end isn’t that all that matters?


Are you a homeschool parent of a twice-exceptional child and looking for a support group? SEA Homeschoolers is starting a shoot-off group on Facebook. We would love to have you join us for extra support and a sharing of ideas. If you are interested please find SEA 2E here.

Find links to the 8 SEA Homeschoolers Facebook Groups here.