Home and schooling — two words that don’t necessarily go together- so don’t worry if you are not that into it!

When talk of home-schooling first started to surface as part of the response to COVID-19 restrictions, no doubt more than a parent/carer or two broke out into a nervous sweat. Now don’t worry if this was you, or if it describes someone you know, because it’s perfectly okay — no-one is here to pass judgement- because being responsible for a child’s more formal learning is a whole new ball game.

Home schooling is such an interesting notion during these times- interesting because of the number of assumptions that underpin a successful home schooling experience for both the child and for the parent/carer facilitating the learning. …

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Photo by Andy Abelein on Unsplash

Did you ever have class meetings when you were back in school? The ones where the seeds for change, new ideas and student-driven initiatives were nurtured -where one student was responsible for chairing the meeting, one for taking minutes, and another for keeping time, and the rest of the class would sit in a circle- all very civilised, eagerly looking forward to discussing their agenda item- important matters such as equally sharing the sports equipment at lunch; longer lunch times, less homework - well it was always worth putting it forward, even though we knew not everything we suggested would be actioned — As school students, we were part of the [education] system, part of a wider community, and high level decisions were of course made for us, with the best of intentions. Even though it may not have been practical or appropriate for us to impact change at the wider system level, class meetings provided an opportunity to have our voices heard. We felt empowered, and even if the changes we requested weren’t life changing, they were important to us, and we loved having a forum where we could be heard by an adult — a teacher, who cared enough to give us a voice, who would act as a filter- ‘Sure, I think it would be worth discussing your idea with the principal’ or at the other end of the spectrum, ‘I’m not really sure changing the uniform is going to happen this year’ — it was an hour every week where we stepped up and felt grown up. Throughout the week we took it in turns writing our agenda item on the piece of paper stuck on the wall next to the blackboard. As a collective, and as students, we were enabled as agents of change. …

How often do you see a young person talking on their phone… not using, but specifically talking on their phone?

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Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

I grew up in the era where phones were pretty much attached to the wall, often in the kitchen, as far from a private space as you can get, and privacy only extended as far as the cord would stretch, and believe me even when it was really stretched beyond its physical limitations, it never reached as far as you wanted it to, and any hope of a private conversation required secret code.

But the phone was the communication life line- you wanted to talk to friends- you called them; you wanted to make an appointment — you called; you wanted to inquire about a job- you called, and sometimes you even cold called- God forbid! Imagine calling someone you didn’t even know! But growing up we had the attitude ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ I guess there was always the possibility of rejection- but I don’t recall that really bothering me too much. It was what we did in the 80’s, you connected with another voice at the other end of the line! Simple really. You didn’t overthink the phone call, you just did it. …

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Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Although our basic human needs continue to remain pretty much the same as they have always been, there is no denying things around us are changing. We are living differently and living longer. Yet at our core, we are still fully human. We progress, whether we want to or not, through the human life cycle.

We kind of now how it goes, but the human life cycle has been described in a number of different ways, some explain it in five stages: infant, child, juvenile, adolescent, and adult, others detail more specific stages: Birth Postnatal development; Neonatal period; Infancy; Childhood; Juvenile; Puberty; Adolescence; Adulthood; Prime and transition Old age and Senescence Death. …

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Photo by Roman Logov on Unsplash

We have all heard the spiel, technology is changing…well just about everything! The way we do things, the way we interact, the frequency of our interactions, our environments, our work and play spaces, our farming practices, our produce, our outputs and our processes. It is increasingly providing innovative options for enhancing our physical selves, our emotional selves, and our cognitive selves. We are improving medical treatment and care, the quality of education, our agricultural practices; and our responses to mental and emotional health challenges. We are predicting more accurately, responding more quickly and we are sharing our lives more freely and widely than ever before. …

Who would you choose to be on your team? Challenging notions of leadership

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Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

I would like you to consider the following scenario- you have been given a new project to work on and have the freedom to pick one young person to work with you — you have two candidates- one has topped the class, impressive grades all throughout their education- a real stand out academically. They have been in leadership roles, participated in community service, played music, succeeded at sport and are very confident — an all rounder and high achiever. …

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Photo by Myke Simon on Unsplash

My favourite movie used to be “I don’t know how she does it”, the one where Sarah Jessica Parker appears to impressively juggle motherhood with two young children and a full-time demanding job. I think I liked it so much because it kind of reflected my life at the time. It was the kind of existence which was exciting, crazy busy, exhausting but exhilarating all at the same time. I had the best of both worlds, my identity as a mother and wife all in check, I baked, cleaned my house, helped my children with school work, was the ‘on call’ taxi driver, but loved life, and I was balancing this with my other role as a lecturer, working full-time in a my dream job. …

If you dread the blank page….. then read on for some practical strategies to get you past writer’s block.

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Photo by Startaê Team on Unsplash

For both those who don’t like, or don’t want, to write but have to, and for keen writers alike, the seemingly innocent five letter word ‘blank’ can cause one to break out in a sweat, drive others to plead for an emergency appointment with their psychologist, all the while friends and colleagues nod sympathetically, fully appreciating the implications of the ‘blank page!’ But there is light at the end of the writer’s block tunnel, and it doesn’t involve drowning one’s sorrows at the local pub, or looking for an alternative career path. No one has to cope or deal with a blank page for very long. …


Carmel: CMT Accessible Research

PhD. Passionate about ethical use of technology to achieve meaningful change, progress & positive life outcomes. Books & writing are my escape.

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