Gifted Under Achievers


Little Bully Black Dog was back chanting “Sprite is a GUA! Sprite is a GUA! GUA, GUA, GUA, GUA!”

“I AM NOT!” said Sprite. “Don’t be mean! What is a GUA anyway?”

The Dabrowski Dogs gathered round to defend Sprite – all except Psycho Motor who was chasing the bouncing Venn diagram which Little Bully Black Dog had been playing with previously.

“It means Gifted Under Achiever” said Intellectual

“It means she is smart enough to do better if she tried harder” said Little Bully Black Dog.

“But I always DO try hard” said Sprite.

“I know you do!” said Emotional “You are a 2E or GLD student (gifted with a learning disability or difference) and that makes it harder for you to achieve your full potential. But Jo is advocating for your needs to be met and we are all here supporting you. We will all try to make sure that you have the best possible opportunities and do not become an Under Achiever”

“And Under Achieving is not always about how hard a student tries” added Intellectual. “There are many reasons for underachievement.”

Intellectual called to Psycho Motor to bring the Venn diagram.

In the whole student population there are some gifted students, some students with learning difficulties and many students who are underachieving for a whole variety of reasons.

Some of the gifted students also have learning difficulties and many of the gifted and many of those with learning difficulties are underachieving. And some are unfortunate enough to be in that centre group who are gifted with learning difficulties and are underachieving.


When we take a closer look at the Underachieving group we see that there are many possible reasons a student can be underachieving.
There are articles about it at


The topic of Gifted Under Achievers was discussed on Twitter #gtchat recently.

“What happens if you fall into that white section in the centre? Where does it lead?” asked Sprite

“Underachievement can prevent students from reaching their destination on Gagne’s DMGT road from innate ability to fully developed talent” said Intellectual

“So,” said Imaginational “teachers, parents, psychologists, education consultants and therapists need to support and advocate for gifted, 2E and LD students in order to build a guard rail to try to prevent them falling into the Underachieving area.


A turquoise turtoise


I had visited the blog editorial dashboard last night to remedy some errors.
This morning I found an earnest discussion in progress about one of the changes I had made.

“Well should it be Turtle or Tortoise?” Sprite was asking.
“We have one of each here at Sprite’s Site” said Intellectual Dabrowski. “The one who dances with the Lobster Quadrille is Turtle and the one who participated in the experiment for Seth Godin and the Roman Riding demonstration is Tortoise”

“Jo called them both Turtle” said Sprite.

“I know!” said Intellectual “I had to get Sir Richard Attenborough to sort her out and then Parfait and I made her fix it last night. I wanted her to write a retraction and an apology to both of them but she wanted to just sneak in the change and hope we didn’t notice!”

“She shouldn’t just sneak the change in because we would keep on calling Tortoise Turtle and he wouldn’t like that!” said Sprite.

It’s fun calling people by the wrong name! I do it all the time!” said Little Bully Black Dog. “It is funny!”

“No, name calling is not funny – it is just mean!” said Sprite “I didn’t like being called Spit Spite and Ginger Pony didn’t like being called Peefa and Sensual Dabrowski doesn’t like being called Itchy”

“But I don’t think Jo would want to be mean” continued Sprite. “Maybe she doesn’t always recognise people’s faces.”

“Well she doesn’t need to recognise faces to tell the difference between Turtle and Tortoise” said Intellectual “It is easier to tell by looking at their feet. Tortoise has feet and Turtle has flippers.”

Intellectual launched into a lengthy discussion about Comparing and Contrasting Turtle and Tortoise until Little Bully Black Dog became bored and went away to dig a hole in the garden and chew up some cushions.

Imaginational Dabrowski stayed to listen but soon drifted off into his own thoughts.


And to Sprite I leave…

A belated addition to my Month of Maybe To Do List updating my will.


I realised that the most recent version of my will was written over twenty years ago when our children were all young. It mostly related to ensuring that the children would have guardians and would be given the best possible physical and spiritual nurture and educational opportunities. Our assets, (apart from our library of theology books which was bequeathed to Bible College of Victoria), were to be sold to provide for the children.
At that stage Gifted Resources did not exist.
I had not created any intellectual property
And I did not have an online presence.

The story is quite different now.
The children are all adults.
Most of our assets do not have much monetary value but could have sentimental value and I am confident that the children will be able to work out their distribution with the help of some specific directions in my new will.

I have several tubs of church school programs which I have written which I intend to make into online courses if time and energy permit. I am hoping I can give the physical versions of the programs with the books to the Bible College.

But what does concern me is what will become of Gifted Resources and Sprite’s Site, the resources relating to giftedness that I have gathered and the programs that I have created. I do have a couple of people in mind that may be prepared to take on some of the parts of Gifted Resources work. Who do I give the computer which houses the files? Or should I make up collections of files to be given to various people and bequeath them a disk or USB drive?

At the moment I am looking into how to manage the online aspects.
For example how long do blogs remain on the net? How can I will my website to ensure it will continue to be updated and remain useful? How can I authorise some accounts to be closed?
An article in The Economist discusses this and there were a few clues such in an article in The Telegraph relating to Google Inactive Accounts Manager
I will write a blog post about it and maybe share the information via Jo Hart’s Fine Focus webinars  when I have found out more.


SO For a starter
To Sprite I leave…


One bedroom with study area

One lobby area with window, tables, sofa, chocolate fountain, 21C water cooler, pizza oven, refrigerated cabinet, coffee machine, whiteboard and message board

Assorted chairs and desks, laptop computer, guitar, photo albums, charts, maps and mind maps

Garden with arch, outdoor furnishings, spotlight, telescope and Twitter Bird Bowers

One crossroads with signpost

Full set of shoes from De Bono’s Six Action Shoes collection plus assorted extra footwear


I confer on her responsibility for the care of

100+ Twitter Birds

50+ Taste Tester dogs

7 Black Dogs

5 Dabrowski Dogs


Unspecified numbers of Mice, Lobsters, Red Herrings, Meerkats, Monkeys and Soft Toys

One of each Giraffe, Kiwi, Echidna, Ibis

Caramel Cat

Pugnacious Loyola

Origami Secretary Bird

Columbus Cheetah

Memory Elephant

And an Octopus Topiarii in a Topiary Tessellation Bird Leaf Tree


Well, that was easy!

But to whom do I leave Sprite?

The Month of Maybe 3


Here is an update on the status of the Month of Maybe after two weeks as recorded by the Padlet sticky note wall

You can see that I have not gained any more green completion ticks since my last report.

However I have made substantial progress on the task of cataloguing Gifted Resources library. I have also updated a couple of pages on Gifted Resources website.

However I have also discovered a new diversion – the Chess Titans program on the computer and I am spending quite a bit of time endeavouring to improve my chess playing strategies. I think I qualify for a star for Procrastination!

The Month of Maybe 2


Here is an update on the status of the Month of Maybe after the first week as recorded by the Padlet sticky note wall

So far I have scored three green completion ticks.

The Gifted Resources newsletter was prepared and sent out. It can be read online at

The Blog Hop post was written and can be read at

I created two posters which can be used if suitable at the coming 20th Anniversary WCGTC World Conference 2013  and learned how to provide a creative commons license for them and post them on Flickr in the Gifted Education photo quotes group



In case explanation is needed:
Average riders would sit or maybe try standing on one horse
Bright ones at the top of the group could learn to Roman ride on two horses
Gifted ones, who are way beyond the top group, express the experience of their different rate and level of learning by Roman riding on two cheetahs
2E Twice Exceptional, who are both Gifted and have a learning difference or disability are trying to manage Roman riding on a cheetah and a tortoise at the same time


Last weekend I bought three bookcases for the bungalow. Two of them were already assembled and have been set up. I have been able to put the contents of three of the old small bookcases into the two new ones and also to shelve the contents of two cardboard boxes of books that were sitting on the floor.
I have also continued with the work of cataloguing the Gifted Resources library.
So both of these tasks on the To Do list, although they do not yet have a completion tick beside them, at least have some progress to show on their progress level meters.

All the other tasks are still waiting to be done!

Creative Help Requested

In a post titled Giftedness-Creativity, Community and Collaboration- Requesting your help… Lesley Graves, author of Innreach’s Blog – Leslinks Ireland- Gifted, Talented & Creative Support/Edu Page requested help in creating posters and photoquotes in many languages for use at the coming 20th Anniversary WCGTC World Conference 2013.

She provides a link Mary’s Gifted Education Photo Quotes and suggestions as to how we can use the images to add messages trying to promote understanding of issues around giftedness, talent, creativity, 2Eness and how these may affect the children and individuals
It was developed in the spirit of sharing, community and collaboration with the only charge being that when a photoquote image is used for advocacy, the creator of the image is acknowledged, in terms of the Creative Commons license chosen by the person who uploaded the image.

The posters must be created using original art or an original photograph or a CC licensed item that allows modification. The poster must contain some of the creator’s own work. If there is a CC Licensed image with a suitable quotation on it and a person produced no part of it, but simply “found it online” then that person cannot upload it, according to Flickr’s rules.
There is a discussion here  about how to CC license your images

I hope to be able to contribute to this project and have added it to my Creating Challenge Month of Maybe list at

Here is a possible contribution. I will look into how to provide CC attribution


Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Bloggers Group Blog Hop: Stealth Schooling


I found Sprite  making preparations for Sprite’s Site’s participation in the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Bloggers Group Blog Hop on the topic of Stealth Schooling.

“Retweet wants to come with us” Sprite said “She is having problems with getting Tweetil to learn the things she wants him to learn. She thought she might be able to get some NEST ED tips.”

You may remember that the Twitter Bird Tweet family had decided not to send their tweetlets to FLOCK Ed but to continue with NEST Ed. If this is your first visit to Sprite’s Site you can read the stories about the Tweet family here

“Can we go now?” pleaded Sprite “Do I have to hop all the way?”

Before I could reply there was a deep warning growl from Intellectual Dabrowski.
“No, you can’t go yet! The whole idea of a Blog Hop is that Jo has to write a post about the topic for people to read when they come here while we are off looking at what other people have posted on their blogs.
Jo needs to write about how she used Stealth Schooling when she was home schooling her children. I hope she can remember – it was a long time ago.”


I do remember our home schooling days well and I do remember some of the stealth methods I used and also the learning by stealth which just happened naturally.

When we started home schooling I was very formal. It was almost a case of school in the home. We had timetables (the children had helped to create the timetable; so they had some feeling of ownership and control). I had chosen the text books and other materials we would use. We had spent time with an education consultant who tested and determined the levels at which we should start and also where gaps in learning existed.


But as we progressed we became less regimented and less dependant on adherence to the timetables and the text books. This allowed the children to continue working if they were engrossed in a subject and me to schedule visits to the library, museum, art gallery, plant nursery, etc. when it suited us. I realised the value of reading for enjoyment and ceased needing to see a tangible product to illustrate each piece of learning.

However, as I did want to have a record of the learning which I could produce for the Education Department if necessary, I kept records of the activities and the learning.
For example on one occasion I found Christian watching TV. Instead of turning off the TV and telling him to get back to work I sat down to watch it with him. The program was Big Cat Diary. Later he put the information he had learned into practice by playing a computer simulation of a wildlife ranger caring for a pride of lions. I wrote up my journal for the afternoon as


The formal learning schedule suited our daughter very well but not our son. He liked to direct his own learning. Teachers aim for their students to become autonomous learners so that they will be well equipped for future tertiary studies and for whatever problems and dilemmas life will deal them. However when students are truly autonomous they are not really easy to teach! But they can be guided and encouraged by some stealth schooling!


Some of the stealth learning was completely serendipitous. For example when we found a possum which had been hit by a car and took it to the local vet the possum had to be euthanized; but the baby in her pouch was given to the “Possum Lady,’ a wildlife carer, to raise. She visited us and brought some possums and gave the children a wonderful lesson which incorporated Biology, English and Art.


Some of the stealth learning grew out of interests. Christian was interested in science fiction, fantasy fiction and Arthurian legend. This led to him corresponding by email with the secretary of the Society for Creative Anachronism at a local university. Thinking she was writing to a fellow university student she invited him to a meeting and later we were invited to a medieval feast event and learned a great deal about medieval arts and crafts, games, food, clothing and armour.


We sampled a number of languages with a course called L.O.T.E. Pot Pourri which I wrote for the children. We had a group of characters from various countries who shared their languages and customs with us. We learned how to be polite and basic things like counting, colours and days of the week and learned songs and carols in several languages. Christian decided he would like to learn Russian.


Other stealth learning came about through interactions with people, groups and courses on the Internet. There were opportunities such as email chess matches, learning MOO code, Visual Basic and HTML, participating in serial fan fiction writing and creating video clips.

Maths was a subject which involved a great deal of stealth learning such as investigating the current cost of giving the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas song and edible maths calculations of percentages and ratios and creation of graphs using M&M chocolate buttons.
Learning about complex 3D shapes was disguised as making Christmas decorations


And I was the instigator of some of the stealth learning simply by bringing home a stack of interesting books and videos and just leaving them on the coffee table or by arranging visits to interesting places with interesting people.


“That is really sneaky!” said Sprite “Would you do that to me?”
“No, I just set up the telescope for you in the garden” I replied


P.S. Just two days ago I received a book in the mail which I would have loved to have owned when I was homeschooling. I will be reviewing ‘Did you ever wonder?’ by Jon Barell more fully later but I could see that it could provide a rich source of stealth learning and so asked a few questions about that when I wrote to thank IB for sending the book


Allie McKay, Acquisitions Editor, IB Publishing
International Baccalaureate Organization replied
“Although John partnered with the IB to publish the book, he wrote it for a much wider audience than just IB teachers and students, and readers don’t need to be familiar with the IB to find it useful. We hope that all educators, parents, and anyone who has a hand in raising children can be inspired by the ideas for maximizing kids’ curiosity.

Your potential post on stealth learning sounds really great, and you might be particularly interested in the chapters on “playing with possibilities” and “playing the games of imagination” from Did You Ever Wonder, which include some very fun examples of learning through dramatic play, sports, and stories.”

The book is available from

This was a post in the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Bloggers Group May 2013 Blog Hop: Stealth Schooling.

Blogs in the series can be read at

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum

Wenda Sheard JD PhD

Building Wingspan

Cedar Life Academy

A voracious mind

Mommy bares all

Thea Sullivan

Chasing Hollyfeld

Little Stars Learning

How to work and homeschool

Buffalo Mama

Chance to Shine

Sprite’s Site