Monday, 14 May 2012

The Gifted and The Talented (Plus Thank You Twilight Saga)

We are lucky to live where we do. Area has excellent local public primary school with excellent super involved school community. Not only that the school has special program for Gifted and Talented students. Just as well - Thirty Three per cent of students from area are gifted and talented. Which is super way above general population average of Five percent. Something in water supply to area I suspect. Am always encouraging own children to drink up. "Will cleanse out kidneys and purify other systems" tell them "Plus will make you gifted and talented". So far no luck. Though am told completing homework may also help.

Wish school was as interested in Dyslexia as is interested in giftedness and talentedness. Because own daughter is dyslexic and more support from school while she was there would have been awesome. The Dyslexia Association of Australia estimates Ten per cent of students have dyslexia and yet no teacher had any real understanding of it. Without knowing anything too much about Dyslexia myself I first suspected  daughter had it even before she begun school - smart, book loving, curious and quick to learn she would throw a tantrum when asked to look at an alphabet. Those colorful plastic letters which stick to the fridge? Thats $2.95 I'll never get back.

A full diagnosis of dyslexia didn't come until daughter was 10 - from outside the school, hundreds of dollars later in trying to discover why a smart girl was reading at a level lower than the ESL (English as a Second Language) kids, and much frustration, thwarting of confidence etc. A private dyslexia tutor followed (hundreds more dollars), hours on a saturday - her and I in the bedroom doing the attendent homework each week - and just plain determination for the next two years proved instrumental to move beyond this hurdle and make her the A student she is now. Oh, and also her determination to read age innapropriate Twilight Saga.

Actually forget all that - basically Twilight saga cured daughters dyslexia.  Educators take note.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Sex Life Of Bugs.

One of Louie's favourite things to do is collect bugs and study them. Each month my mother buys him Bugs And Insects - an expensive bug magazine which includes collectable real life insect or bug petrified in block of perspex. Bug magazine is of good quality though can't help but notice editors are obsessed with bug sex. Walk past Louies room at bed time as Murray reads him latest instalment of bug sex life in lurid detail. "Eeeeuw!" think to self.
"Don't be so immature Mia" Murray calls out from bedroom. Oh. Had not realised was thinking aloud again.
This has all inspired Louie to embark on DIY bug breeding program. Last week after school he catches a Cricket then studies reference material to determine cricket is female. He then sets outside again to find  cricket a  life partner to mate with. 
Jackpot. "My, that was quick!" I say, fixing fake smile. Louie introduces crickets to one another then sets about making their tupperware love den comfortable, complete with flower petals (preferred food) and some mood setting grass. Having read they lay their eggs on a dirt nest he constructs one in corner of tupperware love den.
Ambience must be spot on as by next afternoon Louie calls me in. Hurry, he says, Crickets are real life mating, I can't believe it, hurry mum.
Okay, I say. Here I am, yes Louie, that is certainly something. Teenage Daughter gives me  reproachful look suggesting Louie's innocence is inappropriate and is high time I furnish his young mind with the facts of life, presumably so he can adopt requisite amount of embaressment for these matters and not torture us all with bug sex ever, ever again.
The following afternoon Louie invites friend Nicholas over to see chirpy new family pets (actually it is only the male who chirps, a mating strategy) and together they clean out the tupperware love den, discussing the chirpy one.
"He's already mated with his wife, did you know Nic?"
Teenage daughter and I,  at work in next room, exchange looks "Have heard wrong" assure her.
"Nic, did you hear me? He's already mated with his wife"
Teenage daughter give's me I'm telling you look and shakes head at my parenting insufficiences. Honestly? Have no idea where Louie is getting these wife ideas from. His dad and I never bothered to marry. Neither of us chirps.
Louie and Nic decide tupperware love den would be further interesting with more crickets and quick search in backyard proves fruitful with three more crickets introduced to now crowded love den. They apply cling wrap then head out for the trampoline which will occupy the next hour before Nic's dad arrives. This will be invitation for both boys to run and hide forcing Nic's dad and I to yell threats into the neighborhood for the next twenty minutes before they show themselves and Nic can be taken home
The following day a grim discovery. One of the crickets has died and the others have pulled it's legs off in disturbing Lord Of Flies type scenario/Survivor re-run. Have reached limit "Louie! Get these Crickets outside and empty them back into the wild!" I shriek.
Whole thing has, understandably, been very upsetting. Will be some time before can tolerate any more pets in the house.