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New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education's Blog

What's the Story? 

Making the world a better place for gifted kids, one yarn at a time.


Jubilant Fresh Earth-Orbit

The link between when the stars align, like-minded peership and the ‘11 missing days’


Coming Alive!

2 432 902 800 176 640 000. My youngest son and I were reading Journey to the Centre of the Earth as he nestled into bed for the night, and we came upon this number; the total possible combinations for the cypher the Professor was trying to decode.  Well, I gave it my best shot. I got as far as nine hundred and two trillion, eight hundred billion, one hundred and seventy six million, six hundred and forty thousand - I had no idea what the next set of numbers was called, and frankly, whether what I had worked out was in fact actually accurate at all! Much to my relief my son had the great idea to key the digits into Google translate to see if it would read it out. fantastic!! It worked perfectly! What’s more, then we could hear how it sounded in a whole heap of languages, not just English. That was fun!

I cherish moments like these; watching my children come alight as we foster one another’s curiosity; exploring, testing out ideas, problem-solving and learning together. I love that with the holiday season I have more time, energy (and inclination) to spend with my kids, sharing in their summer-time zest for living. Whats more this fuels them. Enjoying both connection time and being stretched to develop their skills (thinking or otherwise) makes them content, and results in a holiday period more enjoyable for all. (That is not to say we avoid sibling rivalry and squabbles, or the grunts that emanate from our almost teenager with what seems like any “reasonable” request. I wish it did! lol). I love too, that I see this ‘coming alive’ happen when other family members come to visit, or their closest friends come to play.

Connected through like-minded family relationships

As I write about this, I can’t help but think about the like-minded study lead by Associate Professor Tracy Riley that the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education was involved with which raised the idea that for some gifted kids, some like-minded peers are within the family. I know for my kids that come the end of year school holidays, they are extremely fortunate to have opportunities to catch up with extended family members whose company they treasure (well most of the time anyway) . Often sharing in a similar way of thinking, experiencing and being in the world, and in many instances with mutual interests and values, together they stretch each other to think in new ways, develop skills, try new activities, and grow their appreciation for diverse perspectives, all within the bounds of safe family relationships. They look forward to this time and it brings them alive - until they are exhausted from all the social interaction anyway - which in the case of my extremely introverted family is generally not very long!

Of course the way in which people spend this holiday season varies considerably, and depends largely on the culture, beliefs, values and resources of families and the communities they are a part of. Whether you and your family are welcoming in the New Year at this time, preparing for a fresh start, new beginnings and a positive year ahead, or have alternative festivities planned for these holidays as we move forward into the summertime, why not take a few minutes to explore some of the many different times and ways in which the New Year is celebrated around the globe.

Riddle Resources

Now! Time for a riddle! Are you curious? Grab your kids (big, little and in-between) and enjoy some connection time exploring the following information together. When you are done, return to reread the blog title to see if you can solve the riddle within (that is if you haven’t figured it out already!)

In Aotearoa, the rising of Matariki signals the Māori new year, with iwi celebrating at different times around this period dependent upon the location of the Matariki constellation, and in some instances the phase of the moon. With the country as a whole utlising the Gregorian calendar, January 1st is also recognised in New Zealand as a mark of the New Year, with this particular period being accompanied by celebratory public holidays. Other cultural traditions see New Year celebrations occurring at other times of the year within specific communities.

Here are some interesting facts about New Year’s celebrations which occur around the world and some history behind why many celebrate the new year on January 1st.



Happy holidays!

On behalf of everyone working with the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education, we wish you a safe and enjoyable holiday period, and a Happy New Year to you and your family - whenever it might be that you celebrate during the year. May you too, have the opportunity for enjoyable like-minded peership with your whānau and friends over this time, and have a safe, prosperous and happy year ahead.



'What's the Story?' is a new blog section which is being written for the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education, with posts being added regularly. The purpose of this space is to share musings and anecdotes relating to giftedness and gifted education to provide a form of information and support for those living with and/or teaching gifted learners. Please do share them along.


We would love to hear from you.  Grab a virtual cuppa and share your story in the comments.

What's the Story? Making the world a better place for gifted kids, one yarn at a time.


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Please note that the views expressed in these blogs are those of the author and not necessarily representative of the views of the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education.


Jubilant Fresh Earth-Orbit

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