Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Winter Blahs

Oh, winter. It's beautiful... for the first month or so. It's a lovely change from the heat of summer, an entirely different feel from any other time of the year. There's anticipation, the old year is dying, the new one waiting to be born, it's a time of renewal.

Unfortunately for school, it's also a time of pent up energy and restlessness. All the things that were so fun and engaging in September are boring. And useless. And ugh. Getting our days underway was so easy at the beginning of the year. Everything went smoothly, easily, school was something fun.  Then the winter came, and the days look gloomy, and school isn't new anymore, and the things that were so much fun before are just dragging now.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Silent Reading

Spend a day in a public school, and I'm fairly sure that at least one thing hasn't changed - though what it's called might. When I was in, it was "SSR" - Sustained Silent Reading. In other places, it was "DEAR" - Drop Everything And Read. No matter what it's called, the intent is the same. Mad Natter, no matter how well he actually reads, has no real ability to do so without constant redirection. Some of this will be taken up with his doctor in six months (when people will finally stop condescending to us and help us!), but in the meantime, I'm trying to set the stage.

Friday, January 23, 2015

We are a Nintendo Family...

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My first game system was an Atari 2600. Sure, it's still my favorite, but after a few years on the Atari, we moved to Nintendo - just in time for Super Mario Bros. 3 to come out.  Complete with the Tanooki suit, we were SO excited. We stuck with that Nintendo for ages, got our own GameBoys, and I bought a Nintendo 64 to take to university with me. We got a Wii not long before Mad Natter was born, and a WiiU this past spring, starting the fine tradition of a childhood of Nintendo all over again for Mad Natter.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Notebooks and Independent Work

Wow, take a hiatus for the winter holidays, and suddenly it's like you've forgotten how to blog and how to get work done on a timetable.  Sheesh.

Anyway, today's late entry is one that surprised me. About a week and change ago, I was reading a post by Cait at My Little Poppies.  In it, she discusses the (not unusual) loss of every single pencil around, and also links over to Amongst Lovely Things with an interesting organizational idea.  The idea? Incredibly simple, but completely practical: spiral notebooks.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Gifted in "Reel" Life!

When I was small, before I knew - and long before I understood - words like "undiagnosed" and "gifted" and how they applied to me, I loved to read.  I still do.  Back then, I was reading Encyclopedia Brown, The Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, A Wrinkle in Time, and my favorite, so much so that I'm suddenly astounded I neither own, nor have read these books in ages, was a series called "The Great Brain." The first book of the series being published in 1967, there are the usual issues with stereotyping, but when you're looking back at something you loved, you don't really realize how awful it was - kind of like the Hunt For Tiger Lily scene from Peter Pan.

Friday, January 16, 2015

To Test, or Not to Test?

We hear, over and over, about how valuable a resource standardized tests are. We're to believe that they are the end all and be all of public education, that they are able to pinpoint how well the students are learning - as well as how well the teachers are teaching. But if you listen, even for a moment, to the people on the ground - the teachers, students, and parents - you hear quite another story.  And what seems far too prosaic to be considered is that perhaps the people who deal with education daily are the ones in the best position to determine the efficacy of that testing, and also the impact that testing makes in any given classroom.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Thinking Serious Thoughts

So, I've been missing for a while.  Kind of accidental, kind of on purpose.  There are so many things to do during the winter holidays that I just can't keep up with everything, and if I want to stay sane, sometimes things need to be let go.  Hopefully, I'll remember this for next year and plan accordingly.  

In the meantime, though, I've been prompted back into blogging by Mrs Warde at Sceleratus Classical Academy, who has called for some reflection after being tagged for the same reflection by Imp over at Not A Stepford Life, and I suddenly wonder just how wide my bloggy-world is... It'll be interesting to find out, particularly if everyone keeps tagging the person before/after them so we can follow the trail.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Parenting Reality in the Land of Willful Ignorance.

Every so often we run into folks who just don't get what life is like at our house. They have an image of what a "gifted child" is in their head, and when our life doesn't match that image, obviously it is because none of us are gifted. I wish, fairly frequently, that our lives matched that image, but they just don't.  However, the fact that we aren't all bookworms who enjoy studying, who raise their hands first, or who don't have parties, but instead have Socratic Conversations over weekends, while engaged in high-profile careers which allow us to have a housekeeper, and incredibly flexible hours so we're mostly paid to just think...  Well, people seem to not realize that no, that's not what gifted (much less 2E!) is. At least, not by and large (I can't speak for people I don't know!).

At our house, gifted means three computers running while the television plays a video, and Spotify plays music. Half the time, there is someone either running through the house, or falling over, and the rest of the time we're all sitting down. There is no "mildly emotional" area, it's either fine or end-of-the-world.

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Very Tinker-y Holiday!

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I hesitate to write this post now, largely because it's still daylight hours and Mad Natter is right behind me (playing a game)... and I'm about to start talking about his Christmas gifts.  But, he's pretty preoccupied, and as long as I save the actual photo-linking until last, we'll be cool.

For the last several months, Mad Natter has wanted one thing.  Just one.  He wants to make a boost button for the car.  He wants this in the worst way, and he is terribly upset I don't have wires just sitting around the house so he can wire up a button.  He wants to make and do in the worst way!  But, I don't really have a lot around the house that works for this.  I mean, he's got sets of Snap Circuits, but really, that's just not the same thing as wiring up a boost button for the car. I mean, come on. He can make the lights light, sure, or he can make the car go turbo. No contest. And so, I started the hunt for a tinkering kit.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Same Bat-Tropes, New Bat-Stations.

It's gotten to be almost an annual event. That someone has put their foot in their mouth and something needs to be said. Last year, it was a post about "All children are gifted, every single one." This year, it seems, there are some big names going on about how giftedness is a school-based construct, and doesn't exist. I'm rapidly reaching the point where I've run out of spoons to deal with people so catastrophically closed-minded as to not even acknowledge that not all people think the same way, and so now I feel an awful lot like the bitter old lady everyone knows in their childhood, bound and determined to just be grumpy. Kind of a shame, really.