Finding tips, tricks, tools and toys for NEST Ed on the Blog Hop


While Retweet and her tweetlets stayed here to welcome visitors to their display of a geodesic dome nest cover created with Zometools, Sprite and I went on the GHF May Blog Hop

Special Tips, Toys, Tricks, & Tools for Parenting & Educating Gifted/2E

Retweet should be delighted with all the tips, tools and toys we brought back for her.

Here are the posts we visited and the comments we left or tried to leave.

5 Toys, Tools, or Things That Have NOT Worked for Me ~ Susanne Thomas, Building Wingspan
Not everything works, these are 5 things that didn’t work for me or my kids and why they didn’t (and don’t) work. The five things that did not work for her were flashcards, pom pom based crafts, workbooks, hourly schedules and classical picture expectations of excursions

Here is the comment we left
I agree about the hourly schedules. We began our home schooling with weekly and hourly timetables but realized as we progressed that the real beauty of home schooling was that there were no bells ringing to tell you to change subjects just as you became completely engrossed in the current one!

Apps for Working Homeschool Families Pamela Price, How to Work and Homeschool Looking for Educational App Ideas? How to Work and Homeschool  readers share some of their favorites

Apps for the iPad which Pamela’s readers had found useful include Dragon Box Algebra 5, Handwriting without tears, Algebra Touch and Long Division Touch. As well as these Pamela liked EpicWin, GoSkyWatch and StarWalk, Mystery Math, Marble Math Jr, and Math Drills, Vocab Ahead and Spell Tower

Here is the comment we left It is always good to find out what others have found useful. Thank you for these suggestions, Pamela

Beyond School: Tips for Life Appreciation ~ Wenda Sheard, J.D. Ph.D. Thoughts on Life & Learning
The more parents and educators give children time and opportunity to appreciate life, the better their lives will be. We owe children freedom to enjoy their senses, their curiosities, and their childhoods.
Wenda’s strategies included
Tip One Apply Sideways
Tip Two Slow down
Tip Three Follow New paths
Tip Four Plant seeds
Tip Five Embrace the Unknown
Tip Six Examine carefully
And the conclusion The more parents and educators give children time and opportunity to appreciate life, the better their lives will be. We owe children freedom to enjoy their senses, their curiosities, and their childhoods.

Here is the comment we left
Thank you very much for such a beautiful, deep, thought provoking post, Wenda!

Do Your Best ~ Sarah Wilson, Watch Out For Gifted People
“Now, my parents were loving, affectionate parents. And it is true that they didn’t do everything for us that I do for my boys (perhaps I do too much). But the difference between what I do and they did is a matter of things, not love, which is what really matters. My parents did what they could, with what they knew and what they had. They did their best.”

Here is the comment we left
Thank you, Sarah, for this message. We do the best we can with the resources we have at hand at the time! The Internet has magnified the resources, support and friendship opportunities available to global proportions.

Educational Tricks for Keeping Up With a Natural Learner ~ Kathleen Humble, Gluten Free Mum

Resources Kathleen shared
Chemistry shelf
Craft cupboard
Bookmarked Internet pages
Good library
Open ended toys
Link lists Google and You Tube

Here is the comment we left
What a great collection of resources! Thank you for sharing.

Herding Cats: Trying to Manage the Insanity ~ Care Martin, Homeschooling Hatters
“I’ve known this blog hop was coming, and I thought I maybe had some good ideas to share. Inevitably that’s where things take a definitive left-hand turn – which is exactly what happened. But, as I stopped to really think about it, I’ve realized there are a bunch of things we already do – things that might help other families. And so, here we are again, full circle, with a bunch of suggestions for things that will hopefully help other people.”

Care includes tips on the topics of
Physical activity
Scheduled breaks
Anticipation of needs

Here is the comment we would have left
Thank you for sharing these strategies, Care!

What is the one thing I wish I had known or done differently BEFORE I started on this journey of raising my gifted sons? Let Them Know They are Gifted ~ Celi Trepanier, Crushing Tall Poppies

Here is the comment we left
It was a huge relief to our youngest who always felt so different from his age peers to find out the reason at the age of 5. And the way he found out was by reading an academic article titled “Should you tell your child they are gifted?” over my shoulder and then asking me about it!

Maximalist Manifesto: Creating a Prepared Environment ~ Amy Harrington, A Voracious Mind
My desire for minimalism will never reach fruition because without our plethora of engaging resources abound, we would live a very sterile life.

Amy says “Strewing is the random placement of interesting materials spread around the house in the hopes of inspiring interest.” wonderful magnetic building collection of Magformers, Magnatiles, Tegu, and Y-Ball
My youngest collects traditional building toys like Lego, Citiblocs, and our new favorite Plus Plus
Fidget toys, manipulatives,
Emails and open web pages directing to educational apps
The library and free online resources

Here is the comment we left
I love this concept of Strewing, Amy! Spread the inspirational material about the house and car, stand back and let autonomous learning happen! Thank you for all the great suggestions!

Keeping Bright Minds Engaged: Our Favorite Toys and Games for Gifted Kids ~ Sheana Johnson, Empowering Parents to Teach

Sheana’s favourites include Snap Circuits Jnr Mad Science kit Human Body game Equate Pattern play Blokus Stratego Mancala Mastermind

Here is the comment we left
Thank you for a great selection of fun educational games!

The Quest for the Best: Finding Awesome Educational Resources ~ Gwyn Ridenhour, STEAM-Powered Classroom Vlogs, lists, and tips on finding the best in creative, educational resources that will leave kids begging for more.

Here is the comment we left
Gwyn, what a great collection of resources and ideas you have here! I love the appearance of the website too!

That Mom. ~ Jen McGarry, Modern Homeschooling I was concerned about how I looked to others, I didn’t want people to think I was bragging. I didn’t want to stand out and be noticed and be vocal and loud. I didn’t want to be ‘that’ mom.

Here is the comment we left
When we started home schooling I found that a whole area of stress was removed when I did not have to debate and advocate for necessary provisions.

Tips and Tricks to Help Motivate Twice-Exceptional and Gifted Kids ~ Colleen Kessler, Raising Lifelong Learners

Gifted & 2E can be tough to motivate as they often have their own agenda — and want nothing to do with yours. So, what do you do? Here are a few practical tips and tricks to help you get your bright kids motivated.

Colleen provided valuable advice about
Get them on board
Help them see their future
Make learning authentic
Value them

Here is the comment we left
Colleen, thank you for these wise considerations for keeping them motivated!

Using PLAY in helping kids from good habits and behavior ~ Carissa Leventis-Cox, The Cardinal House Disciplining an intense gifted child? Try using PLAY so that they can self-direct and independently form good habits and behavior.
A child’s greatest achievements are possible in play, achievements that tomorrow will become her basic level of real action.”  – Vygotsky –

Here is the comment we left
Great post, Carissa! I love your use of imaginative play in your learning and thank you for the Vygotsky links too.

The Search for Friends: Where do you find friends when you don’t fit in anywhere? ~ Anya Warde, Scleratus Academy

Here is the comment we left
I like your advice about determining your child’s actual needs. It is easy to fret when our idea of perfect playmates for our children does not happen.

You Must Be 21 to Read This Post ~ Jen Merrill, Laughing at Chaos I may have, once or twice, indicated that my roundtables on parenting twice-exceptional kids would include cocktail recipes. It is time to share those cocktail recipes.

Another great humorous post from Jen!

Here is the comment we left
Just LOL!

Zome Dome NEST Ed Home ~ Jo Freitag, Sprite’s Site
Learning about geometry, art, architecture, physics, chemistry and bubbleology is fun when investigating with Zometools.

Here is the comment we left
Well here we are – back from the Blog Hop and we have collected a great selection of tips and strategies! Nice job on the zome dome for the nest, Tweet family!

Please visit this month’s Blog Hop contributors and leave a comment. Be part of the conversation!


Gifted @ Play: Calculate your Leisure Profile


The Hoagies Gifted Education Blog Hop for June has the theme Gifted @ Play

“What does “play” mean to gifted kids?  What kinds of play are best? Indoors or outdoors?  Structured or free-play?  Creative play using tools such as Lego, Kapla or Zome?  Exploring nature through geocaching, or exploring gravity through old-fashioned playground equipment?  What kinds of play are favorites of gifted kids, teens and adults?  What kinds of play can gifted families do together? Play is important to us ALL!”

Sprite’s Site is participating in the blog hop and we invite you to have a consultation with the Psych-Owl-Ogist and take the Dabrowski Dogs’ survey in order to calculate your leisure profile.



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Visit all the posts in the Hoagies Gifted Education Page Gifted @ Play Blog Hop by following the links at


Zome Dome NEST Ed Home


“We are ready to greet all the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum May Blog Hop visitors” Retweet told me
“We will be displaying the use of Zometools for the Tips, Toys, Tricks and Tools for Gifted/2E Kids blog hop.”

“Welcome to our Zome Dome NEST Ed Home!” chorused Tweetil and Tweetelle.

Retweet has chosen not to let her two tweetlets fly with the local flock but has chosen to continue to teach them using  NEST Ed – Nest Education System of Training.

I am not surprised that Retweet has chosen to display Zome. I love Zome too!
It can be used to illustrate principles and concepts of maths, especially geometry from simple Platonic solids through to very complex 3D constructions; as well as architecture and engineering, physics and chemistry, art and many other disciplines.

Concepts such as proportion, fractals, symmetry, minimal surfaces, surface tensions, polyhedra, tessellations, trusses, lattices and space frames can be investigated while having great fun playing with Zome.


And then there is Bubbleology!
Blowing bubbles is always fun but it is even more fun when combined with weirdly shaped bubble frames made with Zome.

There are  many Zome teaching units freely available in PDF form on the Zome website at

Playing with zome can lead to learning about so many things!
Geodesic domes,
R Buckminster Fuller,
The Eden project

“We will stay here to greet all the visitors,” said Retweet “but please can you go on the blog hop and bring back news of all the tips, tricks, tools and toys that the others are discussing?”

So we are going on the Hop, collecting tips and leaving comments.
If you would like to come on the blog hop with us you can follow the links at


The G word


“Why is Columbus Cheetah sitting on the chair in the Naughty Corner?” I asked Sprite.  “Black Dog  put him there” she replied. “He said Columbus was using naughty words and needed to sit in the corner and think about it. But I don’t know what he said that was naughty. He didn’t say the F word, or the S word, or the B word!”

“What did he say?” I asked.

“Columbus was talking to Intellectual Dabrowski  about my education plan for next term.” Sprite said. “Columbus said that even though I have some learning difficulties I am gifted and should be given acceleration opportunities.

Then Leaping Attack Black Dog suddenly pounced on him and dragged him off to the Naughty Chair and now Guard on Duty Black Dog is sitting there and not letting him move out of the corner!”

I knew that Sprite often used stories about Columbus Cheetah and the overexcitable Dabrowski Dogs and the depression causing Black Dogs to express her concerns.
So I was anxious to find out more about the background to this particular story.

“Tell me what happened” I said.
“Columbus and the Dabrowski Dogs were talking about my education plan for next term (except Psycho Motor who was outside chasing butterflies and Sensual who was having a Lavender Lathers grooming parlour session).
Intellectual was discussing the definitions of giftedness and the levels of giftedness on different scales and whether ‘Gifted’ was really the best word to use and he and Columbus were talking about the Hoagies May Blog Hop about “Using the G word” and all the posts which can be read at


“I tuned out after a while and talked to Imaginational who was suggesting all sorts of great sounding programs and provisions.
Imaginational was saying it would be great if I could have either a De Bono Brown Brogues – Do the Most Sensible Thing program
Brown brogues
or a De Bono Grey Sneakers – PBL Investigations program
Grey sneakers
with contact with a mentor for astronomy
Purple riding boots
and help and support in the areas I need it.
Plaster cast
He said it even said in the Iowa Acceleration Scales manual that students should not be denied acceleration only on account of learning difficulties.”

“Intellectual snorted and said that would happen when the porcine aeronauts arrived and that my school was locked into their paper shoe covers system because they were saying all their students were gifted.”

Then the Pair O Noids arrived and said that it was not politically correct to say one student was gifted unless you said everyone was gifted.”

“So Columbus Cheetah got really upset and said that obviously people were not taking any notice of his myth busting efforts;
and that it was just not true that everybody was gifted; in the same way as it was not true that nobody was gifted!
Hadn’t anybody been listening when he presented ample evidence that although every student was precious and every student had areas of relative strength, every student was not academically gifted?
Hadn’t they been listening when he said that all students need excellent education but gifted students need an education which suits their needs?”


“Emotional Dabrowski started howling in sympathy and then Black Dog arrived!”

“Why do you think Black Dog attacked Columbus rather than you?” I asked.

“Well,” said Sprite. “I think it was because Imaginational and I were happy discussing possible programs that would be really great.
But I can only have a limited amount of influence into whether the good things can be made to happen. I need people to advocate for me as well.”

“ And when Intellectual was being cynical and the Pair O’Noids were being paranoid  it made Columbus wonder whether his myth busting was ever going to be completely successful.
And then Emotional started howling in sympathy and then the Black Dogs turned up.”

“Your have shown me a few things I can do to overcome the Black dogs.
(Read all about the Black dogs in the Youblisher booklet Sprite and Black Dog )
And anyway I was feeling happy because Imaginational said that I could hope for good programs.”

“But it must be very disheartening to keep advocating for gifted and 2E students and giving the same message for years on end and still finding that attitudes are not changing! “
“In a way I suppose the Black Dogs were also trying to get at me by attacking Columbus; because if he gets too disheartened he might stop advocating and then I certainly wouldn’t get good provisions and I would get depressed too!”