PERSONALIZED GUIDANCE FOR GIFTED CHILDREN and their PARENTS
Private Teaching • Parent Coaching • Educational Consulting
Whole Child Education is an incubator for the leaders of tomorrow. We are dedicated to creating a better world by helping young people step into their full potential and set a path for becoming lifelong learners and change-makers.
Nicholas, 8 years old, in his own words:
Private Teaching • Parent Coaching • Educational Planning
DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE INTENSE EMOTIONAL REACTIONS?
• Think creatively?
• Show compassion?
• Have an unusually large vocabulary?
• Learn quickly?
• Have strong curiosity?
• Have an excellent memory?
• Feel bored in school?
• Hesitate to try new things?
• Question authority?
If you answer YES to many of these questions, then your child may be gifted. The word "gifted" carries a lot of elitist connotations. You may be hesitant to discuss these differences with friends or family for fear of coming across as pretentious or arrogant. The fact is that these differences are real and having an experienced mentor by your side may be exactly what you and your child need.
In 2014, after teaching in schools for over 25 years and working with hundreds of gifted children and their parents, Maya Sissoko founded Whole Child Education. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in education and worked in schools on the east coast before becoming a lead teacher and teacher-trainer for 15 years at The Nueva School, the Bay Area's preeminent school for gifted education. Her original curriculum design on ancient Egypt was highlighted by Pulitzer Prize–winning and New York Times author Thomas Friedman in his book, That Used to Be Us, in the chapter “Average Is Over.”
She is also the parent of a 24-year-old, her greatest achievement to date. Her son attended The Nueva School for 10 years and currently attends Harvard Law School.
Whole Child Education (WCE) is continually growing and evolving in order to respond in real-time to the ever-changing educational needs of children and parents. WCE has always promoted learning outside of the traditional framework and offers expertise to parents who are curious about child-centered, individualized educational options. Maya is available for private teaching, parent coaching & advising, as well as educational consulting.
Children are born with a sense of wonder and curiosity. With a push toward Common Core and "school readiness," all too often school becomes a place of requirements rather than possibilities. Over time, the enthusiastic inquiry that is intrinsic when children are young begins to fade. But it doesn't have to...Why wait until after school, summer camp, or graduate school for young people to dive into the areas of life that light them up? It's time to let children ask the deeper questions that live inside them every day.
THE NEW EDUCATIONAL PARADIGM
AREAS OF STUDY
Writing • Math • Reading • Social-Emotional Learning • Research • Social Justice • Passion Projects • History
Examples of some methods and content that may be used:
A scientific investigation of words: how word parts, structure, origin, and history over time come together to tell the story of what words mean, how words are connected, and how they are spelled.
Children learn best when they are actively engaged with materials, ideas, and people.
An explicit set of evidence-based strategies
for teaching writing.
Working in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements, and advance the human rights of all people.
Designing curriculum to develop and deepen understanding in meaningful ways
Transforms how math is taught and learned by inspiring a playful, artistic approach to mathematics.
A delightful script from the Renaissance that makes writing comfortable and enjoyable even for those who have resisted writing in the past.
A multimedia platform that explores cultural, social, and environmental issues through a humanistic lens.
A curriculum that aims to teach critical thinking skills through the use of real legal cases.
Introduces learners to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of United States history than is found in traditional textbooks and curricula.
WAYS WE CAN WORK TOGETHER
1 on 1 PRIVATE TEACHING
Whether the subject is math, poetry, literacy, or research, the magic happens in the authentic connection between your child and me. We are partners on this journey of inquiry, and they are the designers of the path. While the subject matter may vary, your child will have a sense of being seen and heard, which feeds every human being's need for belonging and significance. I listen deeply and thoughtfully, responding based on what is needed in the moment. Through this experiential learning, your child will not only gain subject matter knowledge but also the "hows" and "whys" of social-emotional intelligence. Most importantly, their individual needs will be met with gentle care, kindness, and humor.
PARENT ADVISING & COACHING
As parents, we need someone who can lend a non-judgmental ear and give us practical advice about the most important job of our lives. Parents come to me with all sorts of questions: How can I best support my child's intellectual curiosity? How do I handle sibling rivalry? How much should I discipline? How do I build a trusting relationship? Our job as parents is to raise independent and capable children, but the path is neither easy nor clear; with gifted children, the job can be even more challenging. With endless information and theories on how to do it best, it can be incredibly confusing and anxiety-provoking to feel that you better get it right or else...
EDUCATIONAL PLANNING &
What is the best educational setting for my child and how do I find it? How do I best talk to the teachers and administration about my child's needs? What else does my child need in order to thrive? It's questions like these that motivate parents to reach out and ask for guidance. We work together to discover your values around education and parenting. Using those values along with your child's specific profile, we design an educational plan that suits the individual needs of your child and family.
HOW IT WORKS
SET UP A FREE 20-MINUTE INFO CALL
This conversation is the time to let us know a bit about your child: strengths, challenges, and concerns. You will learn more about our approach and possible next steps, which may include an initial in-person student session if you live between Millbrae-Woodside on the peninsula in the Bay Area. Other possibilities for support include parent coaching by phone and live video student sessions.
SCHEDULE AN INITIAL CHILD SESSION OR PARENT COACHING CALL
The initial session takes place in your home or online and lasts 45 minutes and wraps up with a parent conversation. The purpose of the initial session is to determine if it is a fit between the guide and the young person. The guide will offer multiple choices of open-ended problem-solving activities from which your child can choose. There could be a focus on math, literacy, or an interest-area chosen by your child. Social-emotional learning is at the foundation of all of the work we do; however, it is not directly addressed until a safe, trusting relationship has been established.
SECURE A WEEKLY OR BI-WEEKLY SESSION
Most sessions are scheduled for an hour a week. Younger people (5-7 yr. olds) may prefer a shorter session.
Parent coaching is done by phone during the day or in the evenings. Sessions are usually an hour long. To learn more CLICK HERE.
"Maya brings so much richness to her coaching not only because of her personal experience raising a gifted child but also because she gets gifted children as a whole. She understands your child and takes the time whether she’s worked directly with them or gets to know them through you, to understand what they need. Through great care and non-judgment, Maya understands you and your parenting values and then creates this safe container that allows you to share where you are and how you are feeling so you can see what’s working and what’s not working."