GHF Ambassador Jen Merrill is an Illinois-based writer, blogger, flutist, and gifted family advocate. The mom of two boys, she homeschools her twice-exceptional teen while happily sending his brother off to middle school every morning. She is a music educator by trade, with degrees in music education and flute performance. Jen justifies those degrees with a large private flute studio and as principal flute of the North Suburban Wind Ensemble. Long before she picked up a flute as a child, however, Jen wanted to be a writer, something that didn’t happen until she opened a Blogger account in 2006 and never looked back. Since that time, her writing has focused more on gifted families and advocacy. Her book GHF Press, If This is a Gift, Can I Send It Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional, struck a nerve with families who then suspected Jen was living in their closet. Her second book, on the needs of gifted parents and self-care, is in progress. In addition to writing on her long-time blog, Laughing at Chaos, she can be found at An Intense Life, and has published articles in the Understanding Our Gifted Journal and Huffington Post.
Jen is a GHF Ambassador and has presented at the National Association for Gifted Children conference (2013), the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children conference (2013), the Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted conference (2016), the Illinois Association for Gifted Children Parents’ Day (2017), and was the keynote speaker for the Twice-Exceptional Children's Advocacy conference (2016). She is on the Board of Advisors for the Untapped Potential Project, as well as the board of a Chicago-area gifted homeschoolers parent group. Her goal is to support parents of gifted and twice-exceptional kids, because they are the ones doing the heavy lifting and are too often ignored, patronized, and discredited. It is her hope that her sons never have to deal with these issues when they raise their own likely gifted children.
is a Chicago-based writer and blogger. After years of jamming her twice-exceptional son into various school settings that didn’t quite fit, she’s now a homeschooling mom who couldn’t be happier. Well, she could, but that would involve a lengthy vacation with umbrella drinks and nightly turn-down service. A flutist by training and a writer by choice, when she has something to say, Jen says it on her blog,Laughing at Chaos. She is the author of If This is a Gift, Can I Send It Back?: Surviving in the Land of the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional. Her second book, on the needs of parents as they raise gifted kids, will be released as soon as she finishes writing it; her sons have figured out how to get out from under the duct tape.
Jen can be found at:
- Laughing at Chaos
- Huffington Post, where you can find her article Self-Care While Homeschooling
- An Intense Life
- Amazon Author Central
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