Gainful Emloyment

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The New Zealand government has a philosophy that all kids should be catered to in the school environment.  

“The New Zealand School Trustees Association describes school policy as a framework that integrates culture and practice, values and actions. Inclusive schools ensure that the principles of inclusion are embedded in their policies, plans, and actions. They develop specific policies for the inclusion of students with special education needs…”

Which is great, right?

So Squish’s school has approached me to ask if I might consider helping out as a teachers aide for a few weeks while they get a more permanent person in to work with a new kid.  I’ve started back at uni, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to juggle work and uni and family in the longer term.  

The new kid has a global developmental delay, and he needs an aide with him the whole time while he is at school.  I did my first shift today.  

And it was fine.  He’s a lovely kid, responsive and keen to try new things, and he has loads of energy and enthusiasm.  It was hard work, but I can see that working with him has the potential to be quite rewarding in the long term.

But yesterday, a teacher in the same school told me that there simply wasn’t enough resources to be able to give my kid the differentiation and attention that he needs in order to be integrated into exactly the same school.  That he would need to be home schooled if I wanted his learning to be tailored to his needs.

So much as I hate the whole “my kid is a precious snowflake” syndrome, it is rather a double standard to claim that the school can be all things to all kids – except the ones at the wrong end of the bell curve.

At the Mind Plus information session we went to last week, I asked about emerging research and best practice in the field of teaching gifted kids.  Internationally, more countries are starting to have classes just for gifted kids, and that these classes give kids the best opportunity to develop their strengths and work on their weaknesses.  

NZ policy is to cater to everyone, and giving extra support where it is required within the school setting – just not to kids like Squish, who struggle at the other end of the spectrum.

From the “only in New Zealand” file

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The Franklin A&P show

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Shearing competition. We’ve also had a Devonshire tea, I got to take an alpaca for a walk, we saw the jersey cow judging, ate junk food and Squish went on some rides.

Location:Pukekohe,New Zealand

Bikes in Schools

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Squish’s school has just become part of this awesome program.

Over the holidays they have built a bike track around the school play area, and hopefully he’l learn to ride at school. Check out the video on the linked page, it looks like a really positive intervention for the kids.

And I have re-enrolled in uni. It’s going to cost me about $200 to sit each exam, but other than that I can continue to study from New Zealand, and still earn my degree in Australia.

Pooh Sticks

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Incredible lace

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A friend just posted this on Facebook, and I wanted to save it for later reference. It includes so many links I want to check out later, video tutorials, and where to get supplies.

Is Squishy happy?

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You bet your life he is!

First day of school, 2015

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Archimedes and Aubrey should have started preschool yesterday.

Not looking for sympathy or a shoulder to cry on. I just miss them, and I like to talk about them, and if everything was different, this page would be plastered with pictures of two little boys with mini backpacks and new lunch boxes.

Instead, yesterday Squish and I went to the osteopath (I have injured my sacroiliac joint), then went to Mahadeo, the huge Indian spice shop here in Auckland. 

And tonight we’re making dal tadka.

Meal planning with Inigo

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VSR = Veggie Sausage Rolls
 BR = Beetroot Risotto

Best kid ever!


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Is it just me, or are these two starting to look really alike?

Location:PearPearl Beach,Australia


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Apologies for the finger in the frame, but OMG, how cute is that bunny!?

Location:Wyndell Close,,Australia

Indignant Cockatoo road trip

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Hello Sydney!

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We are up in the mountains till tonight, and off traveling after Christmas. It’s nice to be home.


Sydney Siege

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Squish Kitten
Here is a picture of my kitten with a Hello Kitty face. To distract from the awful crap I am about to talk about.

A lovely friend just asked me to sign a petition asking for bail laws to be toughened so people like Man Haron Monis won’t be able to put innocent lives at risk in future.

I chose not to sign, because I believe that we must choose between a justice system that is there purely to punish wrongdoers, and a justice system that rehabilitates. If we believe in a rehabilitation model, then we must allow bail. And that will always carry a risk that someone will reoffend. Or, as in this case, take his vendetta against “the system” out on innocents.

Far better, would be a justice system, and a family court system that treats violence against women as a real crime. If his history of sexual assault had been taken seriously in the first place, is it possible that incarceration could have prevented these other crimes that he has been convicted of, and therefore avoided this siege in the first place (ostensibly in protest at he “wrongful conviction” for said crimes).

How is it that he faced more legal trouble over sending offensive letters than for the sexual assault of multiple women while in the role of a mentor and spiritual advisor?

Frankly, the last two days have really rattled me, but I think we are asking ourselves the wrong questions about why this happened. Let’s throw more money at refugee support services, mental health initiatives, and change the way we think about violence towards women.

And now, I am going to spend some time with a gin bottle, and search the internet for cute bunny pictures.


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Brooke cut Squishy’s hair tonight. Short, asymmetrical, with some length on top. She’s a genius.

Thank you!

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To grandma & papa for the cool solar robot kit.

To Auntie Paula and Uncle Jason for the cool science book (so beautiful!).
 And to Aunty Kerry and Uncle Adam for the genuine Rubik’s cube. Mama and daddy have been reliving the eighties ;)

Stella Young, gone too soon

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In the past few years I’ve followed and read more feminist writers, and come to admire a few.  Stella Young has left an incredible legacy, not the least of which is chaning the dialogue about disability in Australia.

Click the picture above to read her letter to herself as a an 80 year old.  

The party went well

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This image sums it up pretty well.

More pictures when I’m not so tired!


Party eve – teaser

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The birthday meal request

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Mama made Palak Paneer.