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Blog Posts

Bal Bharati Public School, Delhi, India

By - 04/08/2010 - 15:08

Calling Delhi's road transportation 'traffic' is somewhat of a misnomer - it's more like a vehicle scramble for any available tarmac. Like everywhere else in India, drivers of taxis, cars, rickshaws and bikes are blind to the existence of lane markings and mostly, to the existence of pedestrians. An Indian friend described it to me like this "In your country you drive on the left, in India we drive on what is left!" Read full post

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Do Kids Need Facilitation or Direction? Homework and Baby Echidnas

By - 04/08/2010 - 15:32

Can’t spare much time to write today. I have four assignments due: a chapter of maths to complete, an essay on why skateboarding is not a waste of time and a novel to finish reading before Monday. Did I say I? I meant we (and not the royal one either). Read full post

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Sibling Rivalry - Brothers, Mothers and Manlets

By - 05/08/2010 - 14:37

Wow, isn't this potentially murky territory? The love/hate relationship we can have with our own flesh and blood...The relationship between my own two sons swings wildly from love to warfare. Sometimes I worry about it; I worry that one day they will only have each other and I desperately hope that nothing comes between them. At least nothing of a permanent nature. They're such different people, as all our kids are I guess. Read full post

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Parents' Time Out - The Absent (Minded) Parent

By - 09/08/2010 - 12:23

My mate Karen has a picture in her mind. She sees herself sitting on her best friend's back verandah, surrounded by good friends, drinking wine, listening to music, and talking the night away. Karen gets her energy from being with other people; she loves companionship and conversation, but with three kids under the age of six, she doesn't often get to just hang with her mates. Read full post

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Yadavindra Public School, Patiala, India

By - 09/08/2010 - 14:17

My last visit to a school in India was to Yadavindra Public School. It was with some surprise that when researching for this post, I realised that the impressively-sized stadium that is part of the school, was built for the proposed 1938 Commonwealth Games - which ultimately, were held in my home town - Sydney. I'm glad I didn't know that at the time; I might have felt the need to apologise! Read full post

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The World's Worst Mother

By - 11/08/2010 - 16:33

I'm sitting down to write with the tears of guilt still wet on my cheeks and the sinking stone of fear still filling my stomach. This afternoon the unimaginable happened. My husband and eldest son were out, so my two-year-old twins and I decided to pay our lovely neighbours a visit. We walked through the gate between our one-acre properties and hopped, skipped and jumped our way down to the house. The boys had a wonderful hour playing in the neighbour's yard while I chatted with my neighbour and her daughter. Read full post

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Emotional Intelligence and Gifted Children - Stop the Stereotypes

By - 11/08/2010 - 16:54

Yvette Vignando talks about research that indicates giftedness is not necessarily associated with low levels of Emotional Intelligence, or social problems. Is there a bigger issue? Do parents, teachers and peers of gifted children need to become more appreciative of intellectual diversity? Read full post

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Are Gifted Children More or Less Emotionally Intelligent?

By - 11/08/2010 - 22:40

Sorry, I can't answer the question posed in the title of this post. I'm fairly sure that the question can't really be answered at all. And the more research I read about this issue, the more convinced I am that it's important not to generalise and stereotype on the topic of giftedness and social skills. I do believe that often giftedness in children brings with it many social and emotional challenges but I do not believe that giftedness equals lower levels of emotional intelligence. Read full post

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My Opinion - Ethics Education in NSW Schools

By - 12/08/2010 - 09:12

In the New South Wales public school system, parents are asked to select an SRE (Special Religious Education) class for their child to attend for up to one hour each week. Each class focuses on one religion. Parents and children who are not religious or whose faith is not represented by the classes offered at their school can opt out of the classes. My view is that this presents a problem ... Read full post

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An Emotional Intelligence Test to Try

By - 12/08/2010 - 10:19

I wanted to share a link to an emotional intelligence test that I just tried online. It was a free test and I thought it was quite good. It took me about 10 or 15 minutes to complete it thoughtfully. See what you think. Read full post

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Outdoor Play and Playground Conflict

By - 17/08/2010 - 15:06

Several years ago I taught an inner city school in the UK. The sports teachers refused to allow the children to play on the field at recess or lunchtime in case they messed up the field. Instead, several hundred teenagers were crowded onto 4 tennis courts and one small concreted area about the size of two basketball courts. It was like a regulated version of Lord of the Flies Read full post

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Travelling With Children - Empathy for the Parent Please

By - 18/08/2010 - 14:51

By Sophie Lee: When parents discuss the relative horrors of long haul flights on which their young children accompany them, I can only murmur sympathetically. You see, my in-laws, bless ‘em, live on the other side of the world, which entails an annual commitment to twenty-four hours (or, as I prefer to think of it, 1440 very long minutes) of claustrophobic hell at high altitude, and there’s no amount of hot nuts that can make those minutes go by any faster Read full post

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Bedtime Rituals, Bedtime Toys, Sleeping Buddies

By - 23/08/2010 - 11:17

Just like your kids, my two sons are entirely different individuals in every possible way. One of them loves fish, the other doesn't. One likes jelly snakes, the other likes chocolate. OK, they both like chocolate. One of them loves every conceivable sporting activity, the other likes to read and draw. One of them had a dummy as baby, the other didn't. And likewise the bedtime companion. Read full post

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Family Rewards for Persistence with Music Practice

By - 24/08/2010 - 09:39

Music is a big part of life in our family. From when the children were tiny there was a often music playing in some form - either in the background, or big and loud on a Friday afternoon waiting for Dad to come home We would dance around the house to the beat of Sergio Mendes or ACDC. Eclectic tastes here, you see...They were singing “Get on down, I’m a sex machine” from a very early age. (Reading this, I find it a little disturbing.) So it’s not surprising that they now all play instruments and sing. Read full post

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Super Mum Multi-Tasks with Two Week Old Twins

By - 26/08/2010 - 20:30

We were going to Ipswich to see the much anticipated Play School concert. A 10am start would normally be a reasonable time of day for me. A forty-minute commute would be easy. The persistent rain would have been annoying but not unwelcome. The four block walk from the nearest car park to the venue would have been slightly tiresome but manageable. But there is one small detail – actually, two small details - I have neglected to mention. I gave birth to identical twins just over two weeks ago. And yes, vying for the role of Superwoman (look out Megan Gale) I decided to take all three of my boys to the concert. Read full post

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