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.

Text: Review - Making Child Prodigies Image: Used paint brushes in a clay pot

“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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Homeschool Writing Problems and Solutions:

Image: Pencil and sharpener resting on white notebook. Text: Homeschool Writing: Problems and Solutions

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. 

Image: Pencil and sharpener resting on white notebook. Text: Homeschool Writing: Problems and Solutions

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

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“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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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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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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Homeschooling Maths Resources

One of the great joys about homeschooling is the ability to pull in different resources and the freedom to explore all the different rabbit holes of knowledge. For us, maths is not limited to what is prescribed in text-books, but is a fundamental way of seeing the world around us (hello two maths majors in the family – my kids don’t stand a chance).

Here are some of our favourite maths resources – that both teach and inspire kids to learn and understand maths. Continue reading “Homeschooling Maths Resources”