It can be hard to figure out how to fit all the bits and bobs into a small apartment when the house is full of makers. We do lots of drawing, and crafting, painting, sewing, woodwork, game creation and science experiments in our homeschool. And before we know it, it can quickly descend into chaos – it’s beads everywhere, with the pencils and the card games scattered and the floor can regularly disappear. . . but I have learned a few tips and tricks to keep things roughly in order. Continue reading “Setting Up DIY Spaces for Homeschooling”
“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.
It’s very easy to fall into the habit of only thinking about the negatives. I do it. In fact, it runs in my family – anxiety is a fact of life for more than one generation. But today, I want to talk about the positives. It’s easy to talk about the positives and negatives of my family’s special needs, and it is also easy to talk about the negatives of giftedness. It’s even marginally socially acceptable. But today I’m breaking the mould. I am going to talk about the positives of being a gifted family. Because without talking about those ‘oh wow!‘ moments, it’s hard to understand why being gifted is so different from the norm. Today I’m being brave. So here we go. Continue reading “Playing to the Positives”
It’s been a week since we returned from our holiday (which I plan to write about soon), and we’ve come down with the Something-My-Child-Caught-While-Exploring-Germ-Covered-Surfaces bug. As a result, we’ve not exactly gone swinging back into our usual routine, but kind of limped close enough to wave dispiritedly in its direction. Continue reading “What We Do When We’re Not Doing Anything”
There is a wonderful, probably reasonably obscure book by Rafael Sabatini called “Bellarion the Fortunate” where the intellectually gifted Bellarion is sent out into the world by his abbot because his reading and reason have lead him to believe – with the certainty of an intellectual who has read all the literature and thought hard about it in his convent – that evil and sin are a construct and do not exist. “But to all the weapons of his saintly rhetoric Bellarion continued to oppose the impenetrable shield of that syllogism of his which the abbot knew at heart to be fallacious, yet whose fallacy he laboured in vain to expose. ”  The book is not a treatise on the reality of good or evil, but an adventure book which ends with a very worldly Bellarion who is very much more aware of his fellow humans after leaving his ivory tower of thought. But I am not writing today to talk about Bellarion and the nature of his discussions on good and evil. I am instead going to write about the work, so far, of Dr Clementine Beauvais, and her blog entries on ‘The Giftedness Project’ .
Much like Bellarion’s abbot, I do not expect to be able to make much of an impression on Dr Beauvais as she has her armour of academic credentials, and the raft of knowledge collected from many thousands of academics discussing ideas among themselves with little reference to the outside world, and that armour is very strong. She has also made clear that she is not interested in the reality of giftedness, which she believes to be largely a construct of society.
A while ago I read this post, “8 Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Secular Homeschooler” by NotSuperMom. It caused a bit of a discussion with some fellow homeschoolers about whether it was inclusive or exclusive, offensive or not. I am a secular homeschooler, and I am a non-believer. I did not find the post offensive, but it did get me thinking.
Why did this post rub people up the wrong way? And was this similar to the feelings of NotSuperMom? What was it that jarred so badly? Was it, in fact, accidentally offensive? Continue reading “Accidentally Offensive”