“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”

Homeschool; Life Update

It’s been a hard month. I’m not sure I’m ready to write about it, to be honest. Looking down the barrel of an unknown illness is not exactly the most fun thing in the world. There’s been a lot of doctors scratching their heads, and blood tests.

But there has been bright spots – I am now officially 2e myself, with a confirmed ADHD diagnosis. And that bit has been wonderful (apart from the mild hiccough of prescribed medicines with a high chance of pushing me beyond the veil – hello unusual allergies!) There is an amazing relief to be found in describing difficulties and events from the past and having doctors nod their head and say, “That’s typical“.

I am now more aware of my children’s difficulties, and how to help them avoid the problems I have faced. I also know of the pitfalls ahead, which I’d thought of as personal failings – nope! Instead, typical 2e is – me. And the fear I know every parent faces, “Am I raising them right?“, now comes with a few more signposts. There is real hope. Continue reading “Homeschool; Life Update”

The Smartest Person in the Room

Stylised silhouette of people against clouds with function equation. Photo via Pixabay.

Whether I like it or not, I am making unconscious decisions everyday on the people I meet. Is a person listening? Are they engaged in our conversation? What are they thinking?

And I have come to realise that my answers to these questions – and the unconscious assumptions I make about people around me – have been driven more by cultural ideas about behaviour than the reality I face each day.

It’s steep learning curve to to step away from my own ingrained ideas. Particularly when I am not always consciously aware I hold them. But I work at  it day by day, assumption by assumption. I’m not there yet.
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