Best of the Web: A gap year around Australia changed our family, and more…

What happens when a family takes time out and hits the road, in praise of teenagers, and a STEM story time video for early learners.

Our selection of thought-provoking and useful resources from around the web on educating and raising children, and supporting families.

A gap year around Australia changed our family

(Kate Cox, Sunday Life, The Age)

Life has officially become hectic again. The summer snooze is over, the kids are back at school, and it’s back to work, either still at the kitchen table or your workplace.

Perhaps you could hit the pause button, like the author did with her family. Mum, Dad and their two boys, 10 and 12, swapped their house for a tiny camper trailer, hit the wide open road, and explored Australia.

After a rocky start, the family gap year became a revelation: ‘In my old life, full of frenzied activity, I used to fantasise about enforced stoppage – a long-haul flight or hospital stint, perhaps. But busy-ness is a construct we create and control. It turns out very little in life is worth stressing about or rushing into, and life is so much better when you stop to smell the gorges.’

Read the full article

The biggest secret parents keep? The life-changing brilliance of teenagers

(Emma Beddington, The Guardian)

Teenagers consistently get a bad rap. But those who have teens in their lives know their brilliance.

The author is one of those. She is a mother of two teens experiencing the current COVID restrictions in the UK, and in this refreshing article, celebrates the teenager.

‘Teenagers – not mine specifically – are creative, compassionate and careful of others; they are stoic about their constrained lives,’ she writes. ‘Mine make me laugh and think constantly…’

Read the full article

STEM story time for younger kids

(Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador)

There’s been a big push over recent years to encourage girls and women to study and work in science, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Part of that encouragement has come from Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, the Australian Government’s Women in STEM Ambassador.

Underlining how important it is to get the STEM message across from an early age, the Professor’s office has produced a fun interactive space adventure for early learners (3-6). Kids and their parents and carers join an astronaut on a trip to the International Space Station, learning about space and problem solving.

There’s a STEM story time video, leading to a hands-on activity to design and construct a space helmet at home.

Watch the video