‘As parents, we may really want to believe the common wisdom that if we place our children in a typical childhood setting, “They will be fine.” It can be difficult to separate what others say and what we believe to be true. As parents, we don’t always trust our own instinct. We should.’
Adapting our homeschooling environment to support our kids needs has been a work in progress that has taken years of trial and error. I personally love the idea of self-directed learning and unschooling, but I have had to adapt it to fit the needs of my children.
As much as I would love to be able to say ‘you can do whatever you want’ and let it happen (with me strewing and facilitating, but having the kids in charge), it hasn’t happened. Instead, we have taken a lot of slow, small steps in that direction, and have had to treat it as more of an end goal than a blueprint.
Over time, (and with an understanding of their neurological differences) I have come to understand why my children need support and why those supports need to be different for each child.
There was a conversation that I had quite some time ago that is still bugging me, and being a writer, inevitably that means I end up putting words on paper in order to figure it out in my own head. The conversation, for all its twists and turns could be boiled down to one question . . . ‘Is giftedness a bad thing?” You see, once you let go of the assumptions and myths that surround giftedness, and start to understand how many of the characteristics and behaviours of gifted people either resemble certain other conditions (like Autism, ADHD, OCD etc), inevitably, giftedness starts to lose some of the false-shine of being a ‘gift’ . . .
Continue reading “Is Giftedness a Bad Thing?”
Every now and again, more often than I am comfortable with, various memes pop up in my news feed. They’re usually positive, with a cute picture – a happy child, a beautiful baby, a rainbow over a lovely green field. Rinse and repeat.
And you know what? I love the pictures. They’re cute, they make me go ‘awww’. But it’s not the picture that’s the problem. It’s the words.
Continue reading “Gifted . . .You Know What That Means, Right?”
There’s a funny thing that happens with medical practitioners when labels change. A thing that took me by surprise, and not in a good way.
You see, in the last few weeks, I have had the very strange experience of being subjected to what I will call ‘shallow caring’. This is a strange phenomena where medical people metaphorically put their hand on my shoulder and imply that I am living a life that must be difficult, impossible and life destroying. It’s a strange and slightly humorous situation that always seems to end with the suggestion that my children would be far better off with professionals (read teachers) taking some of the ‘burden’ of raising my children.
But I think the part of this that I find most amusingly irritating, is that some of these are the same professionals with whom I have had to previously work hard at convincing that my children actually needed help. The difference? Labels, not behaviours. Continue reading “Life Changing … Not Life Destroying”