We spoke to Lisa Carne about her experience of moving her two children from mainstream schooling to home education, and learning through the lens of nature and natural history. Lisa is the author of Natural Curiosity, a warm and contemplative book that touches upon important themes in education and environmentalism, including children’s rights in schooling, the use and place of technology in learning and the absence of the natural world in mainstream education. It gives a considered, balanced view of home schooling interspersed with entertaining tales, and offers an understanding of how this type of education works and what inspires the choice to pursue it. Continue reading
Formerly a pastor for the little parish of Djursland in Denmark, Isle Sand is now a psychotherapist and, more particularly, an author. Having written and published Highly Sensitive People in an Insensitive World, she has put into words the difficulties and blessings that come with being highly sensitive.
You don’t need to be a poet to write poetry, and you don’t need to write ‘good’ poetry to get a lot out of it. I’ve found that the very act of writing and reviewing poetry can be incredibly therapeutic regardless of what we might produce. Letting go of the idea that we need to be in some way talented with words to write poetry can open the door to a truly engaging, interesting and meaningful way to explore and express how we’re feeling.
In this blog post I’m exploring three key reasons why I’m an advocate of writing even the most terrible poetry – I hope it inspires you to give it a go (if so, you may find the fifty poetry writing prompts in my new book, Using Poetry to Promote Talking and Healing a good starting point). Continue reading
JKP authors Judith and Carson Graves, authors of Parents Have the Power to Make Special Education Work, sat down with Michael Brian Murphy to discuss the new edition of NLD from the Inside Out. Offering invaluable advice for teenagers and young adults with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities (NLD), this book explains what NLD is, how to understand your NLD brain, and how to thrive socially and academically. The book also includes guidance for parents, teachers and therapists on the issues that people with NLD want them to know. NLD from the Inside Out is the only book to offer first-hand teen perspectives on NLD, combined with useful, practical advice.
Natural Curiosity is a warm and contemplative insight into one family’s experience of moving from mainstream schooling to home education, and learning through the lens of nature and natural history.
Since becoming “unschooled”, the author’s two children have thrived on a diet of self-directed play and learning, amassing life skills, confidence, responsibility and a vast array of knowledge along the way. This thoughtful book touches upon important themes in education and environmentalism, including children’s rights in schooling, the use and place of technology in learning and the absence of the natural world in mainstream education. It gives a considered, balanced view of home schooling interspersed with entertaining tales, and offers an understanding of how this type of education works and what inspires the choice to pursue it.
Welcome to the second edition of The Busker’s Guide to Risk – and for those of you who are used to these little books by now, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that starting off with a few jokes is not at all out of keeping… so here goes…
Have you heard the one about the children who were banned from making daisy chains in case they ate them?
Or the school that stopped doing egg and spoon races in case a child dropped an egg and then turned out to be allergic to it?
Or what about the children who weren’t allowed to play with cardboard boxes because they were a fire risk? (The boxes, that is, not the children… although any day now…!)
Laugh out loud? Well, I would- if any of those were actually jokes- you know, like those urban myths that get passed around and exaggerated with every re-telling… But here’s the punchline- they’re not. All of those seemingly ludicrous things have really happened- to children whom you and I know, up down the UK, in a neighbourhood near you- all in the name of health and safety.
The Busker’s Guide to Risk is part of the Busker’s Guide series for adults who work where children play. Each Busker’s Guide provides succinct and down to earth introductions to key areas of theory and practice. Written in a light-hearted style and illustrated with witty cartoons, Busker’s Guides are accessible to practitioners working in a wide range of settings.
It has become increasingly evident that black children and young people are facing victimisation in a context where their identities and experiences are marginalised and devalued. In this blog post authors and academics Claudia Bernard and Perlita Harris call attention to the lived experiences of black children in the child protection arena.
There are five poems in this extract from Pooky Knightsmith’s new book Using Poetry to Promote Talking and Healing. Each poem, written by Pooky, is the subject of a common mental health issue borne of her own experiences in the field of mental health. They address panic attacks, anxiety, depression and anorexia and are accompanied by supporting questions and activities to help open up difficult discussions. They are an ideal resource for therapeutic, classroom and family settings.
“Unlike so many stereotypes about poetry, this book is practical, unpretentious and heartfelt, with applications for helping people- young and old- way beyond mental health settings.” -Nick Luxmoore, school counsellor and author of Horny and Hormonal
For Alison, life with her son Daniel sometimes seemed like an endless torrent of disobedience, backchat, rudeness, name-calling and aggression. Upon starting school, where his aggression and lack of concentration concerned teachers, Daniel was given a vague diagnosis of borderline Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which was later changed to ADHD with secondary Oppositional Defiant Disorder and autistic traits. In this unapologetically honest account of the first 18 years of Daniel’s life, Alison exposes her own worries, doubts, and exceptional courage at every pivotal turn in Daniel’s life. Interspersing the narrative with tips and advice on what she has found useful – or not – in bringing up Daniel, Alison also provides encouraging guidance for teachers and fellow parents. This book also raises serious questions about how the education system supports children with special needs, and if medication can be the answer to managing ADHD in children.
When writing the text for What are you staring at?, a graphic novel about restorative justice in a school setting, I couldn’t resist taking a side-swipe at the antiquated system of school detentions, as a repost to the endlessly repeated rhetoric calling for ‘discipline’ to be brought back into the nation’s schools. By pointing out that more often than not, slapping a detention on a young person for wrong-doing is actively counterproductive, I hope to illustrate how ineffective a punitive system is for resolving behavioural issues or engendering self-discipline within a school community. In one of Joseph Wilkins’ most evocative images, our protagonist, Jake, is seen sitting alone in a large classroom. He is serving a detention for punching Ryan, a pupil in the year below, and we see him simmering with anger and resentment at the injustice of it all. At this point in the book, no one has taken the trouble to tease out the story behind his violent behaviour, and because the punishment hurts (as it is designed to) he is minded to take revenge on the very person he harmed in the first place – namely the innocent Ryan – for being the ongoing cause of his pain. Precious little scope there for reflection, understanding, resolution or healing. Continue reading