Friday, October 24, 2014

Resource Review! VTech Innotab 3S


This post contains affiliate links to materials discussed. Purchases via these links help support our family at no additional cost to you. Thank you for choosing to support my little blog. Read my full disclosure statement here.

Okay, so this seems a little weird for a resource review, but hey. It's getting to be giftsy-buying season, and top of the list seems to be things like handheld quasi-educational games for kids.  VTech, and their major competitor LeapFrog, are generally top-of-the-line when it comes to these types of kiddie entertainment, so it seems a fitting subject for review, especially when thinking of younger gifted children and the durability versus usability of tablets and handhelds.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Weird Rise of Child-Free Events

I come from a large family. My nuclear family is only five, and my father's side was another eight (while I was growing up). My mother's side is now topping sixty people (it was closer to 45-50 when I was young), and the bulk of those are my cousins.  I'm used to events having a large number of children present, and wouldn't know what to do with myself if there weren't a whole herd of littles underfoot during pretty much every family event.

Recently, however, it's started becoming more and more popular for people to have events that come with the notation "adults-only," or "please leave your little ones at home." This is actually distressing, and for several reasons.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Living Authentically


As I get older, I've realized many things. Not least of them is how often I just went with the flow, changing my own likes and dislikes just to try to fit in. It didn't help, of course. I was different as a child, and no matter how hard you try to blend in, the bullies will almost always find you. Deciding to peg jeans, wear two pairs of socks, ditching Tiffany and Debbie Gibson for NKOTB, and doing my best to fly under the radar - none of it changed anything; I was still a target, and despite all my efforts, the bullying never really abated until I left compulsory education.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Resource Review: Math Mammoth

Mad Natter is, chronologically, a first grader. Our compulsory attendance laws state this is the first year he's required to actually have some kind of formal education. And yet, we're already on our second math program to date. I'm not sure whether or not we'll have a third (there's one I've heard wonderful things about, but still), but for right now, we like what we have. We started with Right Start A when Mad Natter was 4. He finished that, and half of B, in about a year.  Problem was, he spent so much time treating the manipulatives as toys that he didn't really retain the math.  Needless to say, this isn't exactly desirable in a math program. And so, after much hand-wringing, teeth-gnashing, and a little bit of panic, we moved on.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Common Core Madness!

Every now and then, my personal Facebook feed gets all up in arms about the direction of American education.  In general, I tend to believe that the Common Core is not everything we're led to believe it is, but inevitably, I wind up shaking my head in disbelief, watching the arguments go by and wondering when we hit the twilight zone, because I'm on the side of the common core.  How does that happen?


Monday, October 13, 2014

First Quarter Curriculum Update!


This post contains affiliate links to materials discussed. Purchases via these links help support our family at no additional cost to you. Thank you for choosing to support my little blog. Read my full disclosure statement here.

It's so strange to think that the first quarter of the year is already gone.  Okay, here at our house, it's been the first twelve weeks, but hey. A quarter is a quarter, however you choose to define it!  We've been through quite a bit of our curricula thus far (including running out of logic!), so it seemed like a logical time to take a step back and look at what's worked so far this year.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Resource Review: A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children


This post contains affiliate links to materials discussed. Purchases via these links help support our family at no additional cost to you. Thank you for choosing to support my little blog. Read my full disclosure statement here.

Most of my resource reviews, it seems, are books. This is because I am absolutely addicted to books - if I don't lose sight of it, I'll read it. Usually multiple times, and generally enough to justify buying both ebook and hardcopy.  Unsurprisingly, this is also the case with A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children, and the corollary (affiliate link) Grandparent's Guide to Gifted Children. I've put both together here as they cover very much the same things, just one with an eye toward the parents, the other the grandparents. Big duh there, I'm sure, but all the same worth noting.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Gifted Poor

It's often thought that giftedness is only found in specific places: wealthy families, white families, anomalous cases in middle to lower-middle class families. Generally, no thought is given to gifted people of color, nor to gifted people of lower socioeconomic status. I shudder to think of the plight of the people of color who are also of lower socioeconomic status. Invisibility, while sometimes desirable, also comes with entirely too many problems and blockades for appropriate supports.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Bravery: The boy who has it, and the mama who needs it.

I've made little to no secret of the fact that Mad Natter hates the dentist. I kind of don't blame him - he goes in, a stranger sticks their hands in his mouth, and he goes home feeling funky... and usually in pain. Who signs up for that on purpose? This week, though, Mad Natter needed to have some dental work done. He had a cavity, and wouldn't let anyone near him to clean it up - he would barely let us brush his teeth, which the dentist insisted we do, as he isn't doing a good enough job himself. But with his anxiety about the dentist, it's never as simple as a drill-and-fill.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Book Review! The Everything Parent's Guide to Raising a Gifted Child

I meant to get this review up ages ago, but then life happened, and NOPE. Nearly three years ago, when Mad Natter was already reading and doing basic math in preschool, and I was wondering why he was the only kid there who wasn't able to write at least a little bit of his own name, his cousin was tested and diagnosed as Gifted. WonderGirl (who is my cousin's daughter) was just like Mad Natter when she was his age, and I started to think maybe that was what was going on with my little monkey. We ran through a "Five Levels of Gifted" milestone assessment, and Mad Natter scored with an above-average IQ, even at just three years of age (the test is designed for 6+). Because this is me, I immediately hit the bookstore.  One of the first books I picked up was The Everything Parent's Guide to Raising a Gifted Child.