“But They Only Want to Play Games!”

But They Only Want to Play Games, yellowreadis.com | Picture: Minecraft character in black and red on wooden platform looking directly at camera

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).

But They Only Want to Play Games, yellowreadis.com | Picture: Minecraft character in black and red on wooden platform looking directly at camera

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

Text: "Teaching a Child Who Won't Be Taught" "yellowreadis.com" Pictures: Boy in blue shorts and top lying on wooden bridge, minecraft pig on a white rock, pea pod on vine, young child in striped top playing with a tablet

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.

Text: "Teaching a Child Who Won't Be Taught" "yellowreadis.com" Pictures: Boy in blue shorts and top lying on wooden bridge, minecraft pig on a white rock, pea pod on vine, young child in striped top playing with a tablet

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Unexpected Moments: Trusting the Process of Self-Directed Learning

Pictures: Hand drawing flow chart, Toy bear in hat on grass. Text: Unexpected Moments, Trusting the Process of Self-Directed Learning

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.

Pictures: Hand drawing flow chart, Toy bear in hat on grass. Text: Unexpected Moments, Trusting the Process of Self-Directed Learning

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Gifted vs Gifted

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"

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”

I’m at THE Conference!

Image of woman pointing to UNSW University sign and banner. Word "I'm at the Conference "

For the next few days, instead of doing my usual will-I-survive-the-day routine, I’m at the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children Conference in Sydney!

I have given up wandering around our typical haunts, and I’m getting lost on the University of NSW’s campus instead. Hopefully I’ll find the conference location. It’s going to be a lot of fun – and I’m a little excited (and nervous).

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A Matter of Perspective

I still remember the moment I realised my son was Autistic. We were walking down a leafy, tree-lined street and my son asked me,

“Mummy, how can you tell what people are feeling?”

As I explained how I knew based on how people’s faces and bodies moved, I watched my son’s expression – it was shocked surprise. The idea that most people could just tell by looking at each other came as utterly mind-bending. It was like Valentine Michael Smith from ‘Stranger in a Strange Land‘ learning about the alien customs of Earthlings that he resembled, but did not grok.

That conversation changed everything.

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Our Crazy Normal of Twice-Exceptionality


Outliers. Sometimes, I forget that may kids are way out there at the margins.

It’s so easy for me to forget what ‘normal’ looks like, or to forget the assumptions usually made about the innate range of abilities of most children.

In my friend-circles, I clap, cheer and cry when other families have their child engaging in conversation for the first time after months of therapy, or get excited when another family talk about the crazy conversation they had with their primary-schooler on infinity and prime numbers.

My crazy-normal has become very . . . skewed.
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Homeschooling Through Long-Term Illness

When trying to figure out what my kids can do for their homeschooling, it can be very easy for me to get carried away – grand plans, high expectations and all that, and when the unexpected happens, like a sudden illness, it can feel like everything is falling apart. Finding both the energy to keep going as well as the inspiration to keep planning when I’m house-bound has been a challenge, but there are things I have learned about how to manage and still make homeschooling a wonderful experience for everyone.

Here are some of the things I have done:

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What’s it Like to Be On ADHD Medication?

“What is it like to be on ADHD Medication?”, a friend asked me the day I started.

For me? It was a huge mental difference. Not a ‘high’, but a zen calm. It’s the feeling you would get after sitting down after a long hike up a mountain to visit a sub-tropical rainforest spring.But that’s only part of it. Because it’s hard to describe without also understanding what living without medication is like. Until I started, I had no idea either. I mean, I had read about the external symptoms and I’d ticked enough boxes to get myself to a specialist. But I didn’t really understand.

In fact, when I asked the specialist, in my usual worried way, “How will I know if it’s working?”, he’d smiled at me and said, “You will know.” I swear, I heard a Yoda-like cadence there, too.

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