Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Different Doesn't Matter . . . Until it Matters

Picture: One black fig among a group of green figs. Text: Different Doesn't Matter ...Until It Matters | yellowreadis.blogspot.com.au
There's a well-meaning, but very ignorant article, by Farrah Alexander at Huffington Post floating around at the moment. And like most of these articles, it appears to be inclusive and kind. It's not. It hurts.

Tabitha over at Simply Precocious wrote a beautiful empathetic piece on why the original article was and is hurtful. Please go and read it.

Now, I could write about why dismissing the idea of giftedness is harmful. And I have previously here.
And this isn't the first or the last ignorant piece written by well-meaning but poorly informed people who think they're doing everyone a favour by dissing on gifted people. You can read my previous responses here and here and here.

Instead I want to talk about why the idea that difference 'doesn't matter' is harmful. I see it all the time - "Everyone is different", "Let you're unique self shine!". They're lovely memes. Lots of fist-pumps and "Yeah! That's awesome!"

But it's a rare person that actually means it. Instead, a more honest meme might be:

or
"Be Different! But Don't Make Me Feel Uncomfortable.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Living in Extracurricular Purgatory

Picture via Pixabay. Desc. Image "Sad women on bench in tiled room." Text "Living in Extracurricular Purgatory"


When, all those years ago, we decided that homeschooling was the right choice for our deeply asynchronous children, I kind of hoped that this would mean an escape from age-based norms and expectations. We would be free to craft the curriculum and activities that 'fit' our kids without the limitations that came with the age-grade lockstep that is the traditional way schools organise learning.

Gosh was I naive.

Because, whether I like it or not, almost anything to do with children is organised based on these traditional age-grade levels. Finding places that 'fit' my kids and their very different needs has been like ground-hog day. Reliving the same situations over and over again, with only the surface details changing.  And each time feels like another walk through extracurricular purgatory. . .


Monday, 18 July 2016

Gifted Education and 'Woo'

text: Gifted Education and 'woo' , yellowreadis.blogspot.com.au Picture: stethoscope and medical forms

In the last few weeks there have been 'shocking' headline articles [1] in my state of Victoria about a gifted education provider used by at least 30 schools. The 'shock' is due to the founder's unusual non-mainstream, non-scientific (and pretty out-there) ideas which were taught without either their parents or the school's knowledge. There were a lot of very upset people - both in the medical establishment, in the schools and in the general public - pulling their hair and wailing about standards, speculating about the 'reasons' [2] and generally lamenting about 'woo' being taught without reflecting on how this incident revealed and illustrated some of the deeper issues that currently plague gifted education in most Victorian schools [3].

Sadly, that this happened isn't really a surprise. It was almost inevitable. Because, when it comes to gifted education, almost all schools already deal in woo.

Friday, 1 July 2016

The Smartest Person in the Room

Stylised silhouette of people against clouds with function equation. Photo via Pixabay.

Whether I like it or not, I am making unconscious decisions everyday on the people I meet. Is a person listening? Are they engaged in our conversation? What are they thinking?

And I have come to realise that my answers to these questions - and the unconscious assumptions I make about people around me - have been driven more by cultural ideas about behaviour than the reality I face each day.

It's steep learning curve to to step away from my own ingrained ideas. Particularly when I am not always consciously aware I hold them. But I work at  it day by day, assumption by assumption. I'm not there yet.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Gifted / 2e Homeschooling : Where to Start?

Words: Gifted / 2e Homeschooling : Where to Start? Picture: Pile of Books

Starting home education can be quite daunting—doubly so if you are deciding to home educate special needs children, whether they are gifted, disabled, or both (called twice exceptional, 2e or GLD). But where to start? What's out there to help new homeschooling families find resources and information? And what are the challenges that families might face?

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Setting Up DIY Spaces for Homeschooling

Picture of tools -spanner, oil can on wooden bench

It can be hard to figure out how to fit all the bits and bobs into a small apartment when the house is full of makers. We do lots of drawing, and crafting, painting, sewing, woodwork, game creation and science experiments in our homeschool. And before we know it, it can quickly descend into chaos - it's beads everywhere, with the pencils and the card games scattered and the floor can regularly disappear. . . but I have learned a few tips and tricks to keep things roughly in order.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

I'm Looking For Your Stories on Giftedness and Twice-Exceptionality


I am in the process of gathering stories and experiences of gifted and twice-exceptional families for my upcoming book on giftedness and twice-exceptionality with GHF Press. This book will focus on the challenges and myths surrounding giftedness and twice-exceptionality. (Yes, I am super-excited and super-terrified to be writing a book!)

So, if you have a child who is gifted or twice-exceptional . . .

Or if you are gifted or twice-exceptional . . .

And you have a few spare moments . . .

I would love for you to answer a few questions in my survey.

Note: This is a non-scientific survey and though they may be printed (in whole or part) in my book, all responses will remain anonymous

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment, or you can contact me by email.



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