Top Posts of 2018

It’s been a long year here.

As with all years, there are good and bad things that happened; Some big and minor crises, and so many adventures and misadventures. 2018 has been a wild ride. 

One of the massive good things has been my fellowship with Writers Victoria. It’s been fantastic to work with the wonderful people there in the Write-Ability team, and I am thoroughly enjoying it – with the usual caveats for my own anxiety, imposter syndrome and general ADHD-ness which always adds interesting flavours to anything.

So, there has been, as usual, a lot of work happening behind the scenes, which I will hopefully I be able to share with you all soon.

In the meantime, here are the top posts at Yellow Readis for the year.

Top Posts of 2018 |
Image: Black and white picture of exercise book with pen, and jar with rosemary.

Top Posts for 2018

ADHD and Giftedness: It’s Complicated

For gifted ADHD kids, their hyperactivity is in their brain – not their body. So they may never get referred for testing.

This goes doubly for ADHD girls. I was in my late 30s before I was diagnosed. And that only happened after both of my kids were diagnosed first!

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

 For a gifted ADHD brain, the doing is the easy part – the starting is the mountain. And though the talking may pause, the inner monologue never, ever stops.

Twice-Exceptional in Plain Sight: We Missed it.

Eventually we realised the simple truth: Twice-exceptional parents have twice-exceptional kids. And quirky people like hanging out with other quirky people.

We are what we are.

We didn’t miss it because we were terrible parents. We missed it because our kids . . . are just like us.

ADHD and Giftedness: Strategies That Work

There are strategies that work for gifted kids. There are strategies that work for ADHD kids. But sometimes, it’s not an easy copy/paste to find learning strategies for gifted ADHD kids.

Best Books for Parents of Highly Gifted+ Kids

If you are a parent who has been plunged off the deep end, I think these books can really make a difference. I know many of them helped me a lot. And some I wish I had found a lot earlier.

Honourable Mentions from 2017

Honourable Mentions ( Top Posts ) from 2017 |
Image: Pink origami butterflies

And some honourable mentions from 2017 as well, as I didn’t do a best-of post last year! Yes, we have had more than a year of chaos and weirdness. Also: organising, it’s not my strength.

Gifted Vs. Gifted 

I think it is vitally important to understand exactly what we are talking about when we talk about gifted kids.

Before we can make decisions on what to do about helping gifted kids, 
we need to understand exactly which group of kids we are talking about. We’ll have the same circular arguments again, and again, if we don’t. We’ll fling facts, not listen and get nowhere.

Teaching a Child Who Won’t Be Taught 

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.

Advantages of Minimalism for Executive Functioning

Due to  ADHD, the kids and I all have trouble concentrating . Things are very distracting, whether it’s mirrors, paintings,  or seeing toys and clutter.

As we were homeschooling, finding a spot where I and the kids could concentrate was a high priority. Minimalism gave us a framework for figuring out how to do that.

And that’s a wrap!

Hoping everyone has a wonderful, peaceful and not-too-stressful holiday break. And then it is onward to 2019 . . . for better or worse. I’m crossing my fingers for better!

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

Text: Review - Boost 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional Children | Picture: Book Cover image - two stick figures climbing rainbow steps

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! 

Continue reading “Review – Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional Children”

The Twice-Exceptional Child: Hidden in Plain Sight I

Picture: Glasses and an eye test in background
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.

Continue reading “The Twice-Exceptional Child: Hidden in Plain Sight I”

“But They Only Want to Play Games!”

But They Only Want to Play Games, | 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).

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.

Continue reading ““But They Only Want to Play Games!””

Asynchronous Homeschool Central: Students

In Australia, it’s the start of a new year for school, so today I am participating in a ‘Not Back To School’ Blog hop extravaganza. Today’s theme is students, so let me introduce our wonderful scholars.

Our little homeschool has two students, my 7 year old boy, C (aka Canary) and my 3 year old girl,  J (aka Jubilee). 

Everyone’s homeschool looks different, that’s the beauty of it, but ours probably looks a bit more different to most. Some days it feels like my children are poster-kids for asynchronous development

For my son, C, saying he’s working at multiple grades is kind of an understatement (as much as I track ‘grades’ which I generally don’t). He’s done online courses on science that are designed for university students, does maths (formally) at a beginning highschool level with his tutor, and informally debates mathematical ideas with me and his dad (with two maths degrees between us, he’s thrown us a few curve balls that we weren’t able to easily answer!). 

But he struggles with handwriting and writes at a first grade level – he works on that with his occupational therapist (who is awesome). He loves reading non-fiction and has awesome comprehension with facts and figures, and is a real pattern-thinker with a strong visual-spatial focus

He loves walking and after years of therapy, is now finally able to walk without falling over, climb, jump and this month he learned how to ride a bike with his physiotherapist. We are so proud of him. 

Though a spread of abilities is typical with most homeschoolers, C’s difference is what lead us to homeschooling. Deeply asynchronous is a bit of an understatement. You see, C is twice exceptional – that means he is gifted (in his case profoundly gifted) and special needs. He has a string of diagnoses attached to his medical profile that is a mile long and is a sweet, lovely boy who is always enthusiastic.  

Little Jubilee loves exploring and outdoors. She’s also started to puzzle out letters, gets excited when read stories, and adores crafting of all kinds. But her main passion is numbers – she loves counting and has designated each family member with a special number: C is 1, J is 2, Mummy is 3 and Daddy is 4. Occasionally, her baby doll is number 5. She also loves playing in the dirt, where she draws shapes and numbers. Though she appears fearless, she has severe anxiety issues that mean she operates on a ‘high’ for most of the day, which we regulate with a sensory diet from her occupational therapist. 

Both children have sensory processing problems that make large crowds and noisy locations difficult for us to visit. But they love chatting to people they meet everyday – talking to the local grocer is a highlight for them (the grocer has a standing offer of a job for C when he’s old enough). J has a happy ‘hello’ for everyone she meets and loves playing with ‘babies’ she meets at the park. As a very tall 3 year old, often the babies are twice her age. 

Welcome to Asynchronous Homeschool Central.

This post is part of the All Aussie Not Back To School Blog Hop

Continue reading “Asynchronous Homeschool Central: Students”

A Typical Week

Raising a 2e child, like raising any child is both a joy and a struggle. I don’t often talk about the struggle, because I find myself focusing on the positive as much as possible – it makes for a happier me. But the struggle is there, it is real, and it is mixed in with all the rest in a crazy-quilt jumble. So I thought I might walk you through a typical week in our house. This week.
Continue reading “A Typical Week”

Homeschooling My Gifted Kid, Part 2: What the Bleep is PG!?

In this second part on our convoluted journey to homeschooling, I’d like to talk about the crazy slippery slope of figuring out what ‘gifted’ and ‘PG’ actually mean.

This is not meant to be a definitive guide for people trying to discover more about gifted kids, or IQ. This is just our personal journey, and a few of the curious signposts along the way.

What is high IQ?

This is actually pretty tricky to define. Is it ability? Talent? Potential? How do you define it? What does it mean? Is there more than one type of intelligence? Western society has been tying its metaphorical knickers about this for over a hundred years, and there’s still no end in sight.
Continue reading “Homeschooling My Gifted Kid, Part 2: What the Bleep is PG!?”