Gifted Education and ‘Woo’

text: Gifted Education and 'woo' , yellowreadis.blogspot.com.au Picture: stethoscope and medical forms

In the last few weeks there have been ‘shocking’ headline articles [1] in my state of Victoria about a gifted education provider used by at least 30 schools. The ‘shock’ is due to the founder’s unusual non-mainstream, non-scientific (and pretty out-there) ideas which were taught without either their parents or the school’s knowledge. There were a lot of very upset people – both in the medical establishment, in the schools and in the general public – pulling their hair and wailing about standards, speculating about the ‘reasons’ [2] and generally lamenting about ‘woo’ being taught without reflecting on how this incident revealed and illustrated some of the deeper issues that currently plague gifted education in most Victorian schools [3].

Sadly, that this happened isn’t really a surprise. It was almost inevitable. Because, when it comes to gifted education, almost all schools already deal in woo.
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Is My Gifted Child Autistic?

Staring Child
 
I’ve done lots of reading, I’ve looked at the standard definitions, I listened to the niggles and ‘problems’ that different people  – my GP, a friend, my child’s teacher etc. have mentioned. I know my child’s quirky . . . But, is my gifted child autistic?
It’s a question almost every parent of gifted kids I have ever talked to has brought up at one time or another (particularly the parents of highly to profoundly gifted children). And though it seems there should be an easy answer to this question – a quick test, a definitive way of putting a yes or no to this question, the answer is actually much, much more complicated.
Having travelled down this rabbit-hole for a long while now, I’d like take you on a trip into the world of giftedness and autism.

Unschooling Ain’t The Boogie Man

Every now and then, usually when news is a little slow, prominent papers like to do little fluff pieces on the edges of the educational world. One week might be about lambasting ‘pushy parents,’ another week an angry remonstrance on the horrors of alternative education. Personally, I find it deeply amusing that, depending on the flavour of the month, our little family can be both academically pushing and overly restrictive tiger-parents, and laissez-faire, academically neglectful parents at the same time.

In July, it was Mamamia’s turn to have-a-go at the punch-the-alternative-education bandwagon.

The topic this time around? Unschooling.

So what is unschooling? And why does it raise so many hackles?
Continue reading “Unschooling Ain’t The Boogie Man”

Homeschooling My Gifted Kid, Part 3: The Twice Exceptional Wrinkle

In this third part on our convoluted journey to homeschooling, I’d like to talk about what twice exceptional means – and a bit about what it feels like to parent such kids!

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


What is Twice Exceptional?

Twice exceptional refers to kids who are gifted and disabled. It can be a physical disability, but more commonly refers to an ‘invisible’ disability, e.g. autism spectrum disorder (ASD), aspergersdyslexiadysgraphia, dyscalulia, dyspraxia, SPD, ADHD, bipolar disorder and many many others. In many ways, it’s like they’re going out to bat and can only score 0’s or 6’s. There’s no nice, safe middle ground. It’s a wild ride honey.

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Homeschooling My Gifted Kid Part 1: How Learning Happens

The path we have taken to get to homeschool the way we do has been rather convoluted. It is a path that has had some peculiar turns, as I have discovered more about the nature of the way children learn, and the differences between how most children learn and the way my two bundles of joy learn.
I thought I might, in the next few posts, take everyone on a journey to a few of the sign-posts along the way that have led us to our own personal homeschool experience.
This is not intended to be a guide for anyone interested in homeschooling. There are many upon many resources for that. This is just a personal journey. Continue reading “Homeschooling My Gifted Kid Part 1: How Learning Happens”