Review – Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional Children

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Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional* Children, by Kelly Hirt is a book for parents and teachers who want to find ways to communicate and teach kids who think differently.

In an easy to read format, it has concrete strategies to help by respecting all communication styles and putting the parent and teacher firmly in the learning seat.

By stressing the importance for adults to adapt and learn how neurodiverse kids think and communicate, I believe it will help create real and authentic learning, tailored to the needs of their children and students. 

*Twice-Exceptional (2e) children are gifted children with disabilities.
**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own! 

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Review: Making Child Prodigies

This is  a (rather rambling) review of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s new show, “Making Child Prodigies ” which aired this week.

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“Making Child Prodigies” follows a number of families and charts their struggles, triumphs and life. It is (thankfully) very different from the “Child Genius” series.  It also seems, at least from episode 1, to be more interested in understanding the lives of the families, rather than playing to stereotypes, which is nice.

NB. I am aware that this show may be hard to access for non-Australian viewers, but Gizmodo describes one option here. You can also see clips here, here, here and here.

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Executive Functioning isn’t Magically Fixed by ‘Higher’ Behaviour Standards

 

A while ago I had a conversation with a genuinely wonderful parent who was at their wits end. Their child wouldn’t listen, the teachers kept reprimanding them for ‘doodling’ on worksheets, they never followed directions, they could finish things in minutes once they started, they were always talking…

“The only thing that works is to yell at them.” They finally said, with a sigh.

I understood. You see I was that child. Bright, but scattered; gifted, with executive functioning issues (in my case, undiagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD).

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Homeschool Writing Problems and Solutions:

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Writing can be hard. Encouraging kids to write can some days feel like pulling teeth out with tweezers. But often in these situations, it’s good to remember that kids will do well if they can – and often the reason they can’t is that something is getting in the way of creating those awesome you-have-to-listen-to-this-mum stories that kids seem to always have  bubbling away in their heads. 

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So what could be stopping them? Here are a few common problems:

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The Twice-Exceptional Child: Hidden in Plain Sight I

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If there is one thing my life has hammered into me over and over again, it’s that with twice-exceptional children, their struggles and abilities can be hidden in plain sight. It has certainly been the case for us. Again, and again, and again. For us, hitting a developmental milestone on time has become not a sigh of relief, but a 10 metre high red flag.

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“But They Only Want to Play Games!”

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It’s the perennial question – are they really learning? This can be particularly acute when your kids seem to spend all day playing computer games (or horror – watching other people on YouTube play games).

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This is our reality at the moment. Of course, I have been knocked around with a lovely infection, so there has been a tad less guidance than usual ( and thank goodness for antibiotics!)

But despite this, there are a number of things that we have done to actually aide, encourage and help our kids learn the things we think they need to learn while immersed in their ‘everything is a game‘ world.

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Teaching a Child Who Won’t Be Taught

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How to educate a child who won’t be taught? It’s not a question I thought I’d ever need to answer, but life (and my daughter) decided this was the path we needed to follow.

Today, I’m going to talk about a few of the strategies I use to create a welcoming learning environment that steers my kids in the direction they need to go, without explicitly ‘teaching’ them.

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Unexpected Moments: Trusting the Process of Self-Directed Learning

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We have had our moments with homeschooling. Moments of doubt, moments of fear, and moments where it felt like disaster was just a step away. It was almost inevitable once we decided to do things in a very different way. Will it work? Were my kids learning? Will I stay sane? These were the questions that plagued me.

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Gifted vs Gifted

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Text"Gifted vs Gifted, yellowreadis.com", Image: 3 photos, a child writing at a table, a group of boys talking around a table, a girl staring out a window in a classroom"

What do we mean when we say gifted? It seems a simple question.

It’s not.

See, the first thing anyone notices about giftedness is the wildly different definitions. Is it medical? Psychological? Educational? Gifted changes from country to country, district to district and even school to school. It’s head-scratchingly confusing. It doesn’t make sense…and it’s easy to ask, “Is gifted even real? Is it all made up?” Continue reading “Gifted vs Gifted”