Gift giving without the Buy! Buy! Buy!


This year I am trying to avoid the Buy! Buy! Buy! hype that always surrounds the holiday season.

So I asked the folk at Sprite’s Site what I could give Sprite that she would love to receive, would be useful and would demonstrate care in creating or choosing but not be too expensive.

Here are the suggestions I received


“Very funny!” I said “That is not quite what I had in mind!”


You can print off a booklet about games here


Khan Academy


Directions for making bath bombs, soaps scents candles can be found at
Soap making
Candles, soaps, fragrances






Shape collage




This is a post for Hoagies Gifted December Blog hop : “Holiday Gifts without the Buy-Buy-Buy” To read all the posts in the blog hop visit



To progress to the next blog in the hop click on the button below

Donkey votes


“We are playing elections” Sprite told me.

“The main ones you can vote for are Intellectual Dabrowski or Guard on Duty Black Dog. They are both promising to do wonderful things but I know you can’t really believe them; because politicians break promises.”

“Psycho Motor Dabrowski is the campaign manager for Intellectual and he bounces up and down barking about how GREAT Intellectual is. And Little Bully Black Dog is the campaign manager for Guard on Duty and he runs around yapping about how BAD Intellectual is!
I am getting sick of hearing both of them!”

“If you don’t want to vote for either of them you can vote for Imaginational Dabrowski.
I like his ideas. He wants a kinder world where the environment is protected. But people say he does not have enough support to be elected or enough money to do the things he wants to do.”

“Oh and there are some really minor parties too. They are only interested in one issue. They are Caramel Cat’s Fat Cat party and the Lobsters’ Ban the Wicked Lemon Wedges party.”

“And what are all the others doing?” I asked.

“The pigs are here for the pork barrelling. The Origami Secretary Bird is a scrutineer and Beloved Snail is handling the postal votes” she said.

“So, do you want a voting paper and the how to vote cards?”
You might need to click on the picture to read the writing


“Oh and if you vote by numbering the boxes in the same order as the voting sheet Benjamin Donkey will get all your votes.”

“And who are you going to vote No 1?” I asked

“I can’t tell you that” said Sprite.




Sprite was quite offended by my post about her suffering from Realism Envy or Dimension Envy and she made sure I knew it!

“Is envy the same thing as covetousness?” Sprite asked me

After I had checked a thesaurus I said “Yes”

Envy: as a noun – jealousy, greed, as a verb – covet, desire, be jealous of

Covet: desire, want, long for, crave”
“And ‘Thou shalt not COVET’ is the tenth commandment, isn’t it?” she continued.
“I remember that because when we talked about mnemonics you showed me how the number ten looks like a fork and a plate and said it reminds you not to want what other people have on their plate.


So that means Jews and Christians think coveting is a sin. And I looked up other religions too and they also say it is a sin to covet.”

“But I just want to be REAL and I want to be able to be in the same dimension as you, my creator, like Persona Doll Sprite is!”
“It is the same as Pinocchio wanting to be a real boy or  you wanting to go to Heaven and be with your Creator. I don’t think that is a sin!”

“So I don’t want you to say I have envy. I want you to say I am YEARNING.”


On the GHF November Blog Hop


We have been on the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum November Blog hop  about Finding your community and celebrating GHF 10 year anniversary; and have returned with our goodie bags full of great posts, helpful links and assurance that we are part of a great community!

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

Both Normal and Extraordinary ~ Laughing at Chaos (Jen Merrill)
Isn’t that what we all want? To be both normal and extraordinary?
My comment
“There is an expectation for everyone to be extraordinary, but if you truly are, you’re marginalized for not being normal.” – Well said – that describes it exactly!
It is so important to find a community where it normal to be extraordinary.

Building Communities ~ The Learning Lab (Maggie McMahon)
Community is less of a tribe and more of a series of coinciding groups – often overlapping and frequently filling different needs.
My comment
I agree with you that “community is less of a tribe and more of a series of coinciding groups” and I loved your analogy for finding those people “its like an adventure ride combined with a Where’s Waldo picture book”

Community ~ Gluten-Free Mum (Kathleen Humble)
Finding other parents that understand our journey is particularly invaluable when no mainstream parenting book comes close to covering the variations in the journey. I must admit, I’m a bit of a reader and researcher (you might have noticed), so when I’m faced with a new situation, my instinct is to find the ‘right’ book. It should tell you a lot when I say I threw away all my parenting books. I threw away books.
My comment
Great post! I love the examples you give to demonstrate the numbers represented by the percentages of the population.

I am not sure whether this comment was received.

Finding Community ~ Homeschooling Hatters (Care Martin)
Sitting on the verge of pneumonia, it’s pretty easy to see where community would be really handy. But, you see, I get sick – really sick – probably once every two or three years. The last time was spring of 2012, and before that.. I don’t even remember. So having a physically present community isn’t an issue terribly often. It’d be nice, yes, but being able to connect, even if it’s just digitally, with other people who are there, have been there, or just get it, is so incredibly necessary. Let me give you an example.
My comment
I love this “having a large community of wonderful people living in my computer, helping me keep what remains of my sanity is, undoubtedly, a blessing.” Great post.

Finding Community: Building a Support System Online and In-Person ~ Raising Lifelong Learners (Colleen Kessler)
Community is important for every parent needing to bounce ideas off of others that have been where they are, but parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children often feel isolated and alone, despite their conversations with local friends and families. Online groups, blogs, and forums can help in complementary and different ways, making them as valuable as in-person groups. Have you found YOUR community?
My comment
Great post – it is so important to find others who really do understand.

Finding Your Community: Celebrating the 10 year anniversary of GHF ~ Sprite’s Site (Jo Freitag)
Gifted, 2E twice exceptional, and homeschooling families are all minority groups. It can be hard to find a community of like minds for people in any of those three groups and even harder if you are simultaneously in two or more of the groups. And if you also belong to an ethnic, racial, social or religious minority the search is even more difficult.

GHF: A Community for Asynchronous Learners ~ The Cardinal House (Carissa Leventis-Cox)

While one local homeschool support group leader laughed in my face at the preposterous thought that my 4 year old could read Magic Tree House Books on his own and had completed Kindergarten Maths, the GHF community embraced me and helped me understand that I was not alone.
My comment
Yes, extreme asynchrony is real! Thank goodness for GHF and their community who understand, inform, support and encourage!

The Gifted Community ~ Crushing Tall Poppies (Celi Trepanier)
Our gifted community is overflowing with people who have been there, done that, and they lend their support and knowledge freely and compassionately.
My comment
Such a beautifully expressed post, Celi!
All those links you give are great starting points for finding your gifted community. I am so glad you are part of my community and so thankful to GHF for their 10 years of service!

{Giveaway} A Little Community During the Holidays ~ (Jade Ann Rivera)
The holidays can be a lonely time for gifted and twice-exceptional families during the holidays. Thank goodness for the compassion and humor these families can find online at the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum!
My comment
Thank you for all you do for the gifted community, Jade!

Grad School: Finally Fitting In ~ Madeline’s Musing (Madeline Goodwin)
When I told my then-best-friend in Southern Oregon that I was going to take college classes at 13, her immediate response was “Why don’t you stay at your own level?” I replied, “I am staying at my own level.” That is a good example of the attitude I was met with at every turn for the next five years.
My comment
Thank you for a wonderful post Madeline!

Have you found your community? ~ Patchwork Poppies (Nicole Diatto)
When I finally found my community, my “tribe”, I felt liberated. It was like hitting the lottery. My heart fluttered with joy! Here were these people who walked a very similar path as me. Their children were much like mine, and it was as if a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.
My comment
Thank you for your helpful resources and discussion about how to find/create your community!

Kaleidoscope Eyes and the Quantum 2e Revolutions ~ A 2e Fox Revived (Carolyn Fox)
There have been quantum 2e revolutions in terms of educational, technological, and social networking opportunities and it’s been nothing short of astounding.
My comment
Thank you so much for taking on the journey of the development of online connections and education opportunities and your own family story!

Let’s Talk about Giftedness and Community ~ (Pamela Price)
One parent that Price reached out to about the topic said: “I would love to find a community for my gifted child. We live in a small, rural town. The reality is, there aren’t many- if any- kids like mine in town. I would love for him to feel a sense of community, to know others like him, to be able to express himself freely and without reservation.
My comment
What a great discussion and generator of community connections you have  made with this post, Pamela! Thank you for all you do for gifted, 2E and homeschoolers and so many, many others!

Over Thinking Things and Community ~ Christy’s Houseful of Chaos (Christy Knockleby)
Over thinking can make it hard to interact with other people. Over thinking can mean worrying that what you will say because you can see the many ways that it could be misinterpreted. It can also mean saying something thinking it is clear as can be only to discover no one listening can understand it because they haven’t thought about the three steps it took for you to get to that clear-as-day thought.
My comment
“I’m indecisive because I see eight sides to everything.”
“Over thinking things can be paralyzing. Over thinking things can be guilt inducing.”
Oh yes, I really do relate to these sentiments.Great post!

The Quest for His Community ~ My Little Poppies (Caitlin Curley)
I’ve found my community, but what about his?
My comment
Helping PG children to find their tribe is not easy but I like the advice your friend gave about having different groups for various interests and activities and maybe, just maybe, there will be someone in one of those groups who will become a close friend and be able to relate at a deeper level.

We Are So Unrelatable ~ Gifted Unschooling (Amy Harrington)
When you are a radical unschooling, freethinking atheist, unconditional parent to an agnostic atheist tech prodigy and an emotionally intense violence aficionado, weapon wielding brony, then your world becomes pretty small and seemingly unrelatable.
My comment
Thank you for an interesting and challenging post.

Why Professor X Needed a School for the Gifted ~ Key Destiny Academy (Doresa Jen)

Going back to my “mutant roots” let’s talk about why Professor X, of the X-Men, needed a school for the gifted – and why us mere humans need such a community as well.
My comment
I really love your video blog posts Doresa and this one was really great! You made it so clear just how important it is for the gifted to find their tribe.

You Are Not Alone ~ Bob Yamtich
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.
My comment
Well said, Bob! It is SO important to know you are not alone!

This post is a commentary on the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum November Blog Hop: Finding your community
Please join us on the hop to celebrate GHF 10 year anniversary and read and comment on the posts.
To find all the posts in the hop please follow the links at


Finding Your Community: Celebrating the 10 year anniversary of GHF


Gifted, 2E twice exceptional, and homeschooling families are all minority groups.

It can be hard to find a community of like minds for people in any of those three groups and even harder if you are simultaneously in two or more of the groups. And if you also belong to an ethnic, racial, social or religious minority the search is even more difficult.

So thanks go to Gifted Homeschoolers Forum who have been providing just a such a meeting place and source of information and support for these groups for the last ten years!

Thank you for the information about Homeschooling 

Thank you for the information about Giftedness

Thank you for the information about 2E Twice Exceptional students

Thank you for the publications

Thank you for the brochures

Thank you for the online classes…/ghf-online-spring-2015-se…/

Thank you for the Blog Hops

And most of all thank you for the COMMUNITY


From the community of characters here at Sprite’s Site, who recently posed for ink portraits during the month of INKtober, and myself –  many heartfelt thanks!

This is a post for the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum November Blog Hop: Finding your community
Please join us on the hop to celebrate GHF 10 year anniversary and read and comment on the posts.
To find all the posts in the hop please follow the links at


Realism Envy


Participating in the Sage Thyme Philosophy Group has been a great experience for Sprite so far but it has also caused some problems. She is now suffering from “Realism Envy”! I will explain in a moment.

I was interested to find when I searched for Sage Thyme online that there is a training program for health care workers in the UK called Sage & Thyme

From their homepage
The SAGE & THYME ® model was developed by clinical staff at the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM) and a patient in 2006.  It was designed to train all grades of staff how to listen and respond to patients/clients or carers who are distressed or concerned. It places published research evidence about effective communication skills within a memorable structure for clinical practice.

‘SAGE & THYME’ is a mnemonic which guides healthcare professional/care workers into and out of a conversation with someone who is distressed or concerned.  It provides structure to psychological support by encouraging the health worker to hold back with advice and prompting the concerned person to consider their own solutions.

SAGE & THYME is designed for foundation level communication, suitable for any member of staff (e.g. medical secretary, outpatient clerk, nurse, physiotherapist, doctor, social worker, student) and for any specialty.  It is suitable to be used with patients and carers, students, colleagues and children – anyone who is distressed or concerned – inside and outside of health and social care.


During the philosophy program Sprite has been thinking about and discussing the nature of existence and reality. It seemed very complex to me and I had to have a quick read of Wikipedia to get some idea of the concepts they were discussing
Existence entry on Wikipedia
Reality entry on Wikipedia

Like most gifted children Sprite thinks deeply and asks questions about abstract concepts.She often talks about reality and existence. She does not like anthropomorphism of animals in children’s picture books and wants me to depict her in a realistic manner rather than as a cartoon. She is very concerned about how REAL she is.


Sprite’s appearance has changed over the years; mainly due to variation in the drawing and in the tools I am using to create the images. She does appear to have become more realistic and less cartoon-like. All the images of Sprite are based on a single clip art picture.
Sprite’s age does not change. She has always been the same undisclosed age and she is always depicted as having an injured left ankle and needing to wear different shoes on each foot to illustrate the concept that she needs different educational provisions for both her giftedness and her learning difficulties and differences.


But the main cause of Sprite’s “Realism Envy” is the creation of the Sprite Persona Doll

“Is she more real than I am?” Sprite asked. “Do you think she looks more life like than me? How can a doll of a person be more life like than the person?”

“If you drew a doll for me, then the doll would be less real than I am; because it would just be a toy. But if you drew a doll for me it would be in my dimension.
But the Sprite Persona Doll is in your dimension. She is sitting on your couch and cuddling with your Columbus Cheetah and playing with your art and craft materials. And she has nice new shoes from Smartfit and new pink hippo slippers just like mine. And she has Felicity as a friend too”


So really Sprite’s problem was not just “realism envy”. It was also “dimension envy”.
That has always been an issue for Sprite and she has played April Fools Day tricks relating to Interdimensional travel.

One morning when I turned on my computer I found Sprite peering at me from behind the icons on my desktop and pushing on my screen.
“Let me out!” she was saying. “All you have to do is get one of those tiny screwdrivers and lift off the glass and then I can come and visit you in your dimension. I gave up on trying to get you to come here!”


New Shoes


I am happy to be able to relate that after our last meeting Sprite’s teacher has been enthusiastic about acting on Dr Ed Needs’ recommendations and has set up an Individual Education Plan for Sprite.

Using the Feetspeak and De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes method of planning the programs, it will include opportunities for her to be accelerated in some subjects (do the most sensible thing brown brogues), to undertake research projects in her areas of passionate interest (grey sneakers) to have time with a mentor (purple riding boots) and to participate in some formal gifted withdrawal programs (blue formal shoes) at the same time as she receives the support she needs for her areas of weakness (the plaster cast and other aids) and the social/emotional and pastoral care issues will be addressed (pink slippers)

This will mean using Combinations. The result of wearing shoes of varying type with a different style on each foot would lead to action plans which are a blend of both.

So now Sprite will be wearing combinations of De Bono’s 6 Action shoes. For example she can wear a  Blue Formal shoe or a Grey Sneaker on her right foot and a Pink Slipper or a plaster cast on her left foot.

“I realized during the PD session that Sprite is like a lame cheetah” the teacher said.
“And I could see that she should not be denied the opportunities to receive a challenging and engaging education.”

She is also employing the strategies of S.C.A.M.P.E.R. in order to modify her teaching methods for Sprite.


One of the programs in which Sprite is participating is a Philosophy group called Sage Thyme. She is very excited about it as she has always thought deeply and loves to discuss and debate. And she loves her glittery new Smartfit blue formal shoe.

The only concern is that these provisions are being made so late in the year.
Will they continue next year?