Back from the hop

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

When I set out for the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum April Blog Hop Giftedness at Different Ages and Stages I left Sprite doing her homework which was to write an essay titled Can a leopard change his spots? Intellectual Dabrowski was supervising her homework efforts.

Apparently the twice exceptional Sprite had been attempting to Plead the Pink Slipper  and do as little writing as possible.
Intellectual and P’est Pour Parfait, the Perfectionist Poodle had been very disappointed with Sprite’s effort when she first claimed to have finished her essay.

“Look at what she wrote!” growled Intellectual

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“But” continued Intellectual “you will be pleased to know that I encouraged her to put on at least one investigative Grey Sneaker and do some research about whether the size and shape of leopards’ spots do change. I brought her a stack of books and some scientific magazines.  And she found some interesting articles about it on the internet.”

“Psycho Motor suggested that she should phone her mentor, Paula the Physicist and Paula suggested that Sprite could make a Voicethread or PowerPoint presentation instead of writing an essay. Sprite was happy because that seemed easy enough to do and she had lots of information.
But then Psycho Motor wanted Sprite to ask Paula if there was anything interesting to see through the telescope and I had to growl at them to stop her from getting completely distracted!”

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“Imaginational Dabrowski was being really helpful for once” continued Intellectual.  “He suggested to Sprite that she should think about layers. (When he said that Psycho Motor wanted to stop doing homework and watch Shrek)”
“Imaginational explained that he meant Sprite should think about what parts of a person or animal would or would not change. What was it that made a person who they are? What was at the core or essence of their being? And did the core or essence develop and change?  Imaginational wanted Sprite to think about body, mind and spirit and about some very heavy philosophical, theological and existential matters.”

“And of course I was happy to bring her a stack of books!” boasted Intellectual.
“But then I became overexcited in my information gathering and made the mistake of bringing her some weighty volumes.
I brought her Strong’s Concordance to the Bible, Roget’s Thesaurus, a book about the soul in various religions, a book about existentialism and  Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration in the original Polish.
The stack toppled over onto her sore ankle and also landed on Sensual Dabrowski as well.”

“So Sprite and Sensual were yelping and Emotional started howling in sympathy and we did not get any more homework done.
But she has gathered a lot of information and good ideas. She could make a really good presentation if she just had some more time.”

“You will find Sprite on the couch with an ice pack and chocolate.
Now she really does need to Plead the Pink Slipper.
Could you write a letter asking for her to be given an extension?”

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

On the GHF April 2015 Blog Hop

afterghfapril15hop03 When I called in to Sprite’s Site during the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum April blog hop Gifted at Different Ages and Stages to check on the progress of Sprite’s homework essay I gained the impression that the twice exceptional Sprite had enjoyed thinking about the topic but was not keen to write an essay about it.
So I asked Intellectual Dabrowski to keep an eye on her and continued my visit to the other blogs.

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

A little insight. A little perspective ~ Gifted Unschooling (Amy Harrington)
No one ever told me there was a reason people thought I was different. I didn’t realize it as much as they noticed it. I thought everyone else was weird. Their desire to fit in and be like one another baffled me. I prefer going against the grain.
My comment
I loved this phrase ‘It is a different way of viewing and experiencing the world.’
Thank you for giving us your perspective, Amy.

Ages and Stages of Being Gifted ~ Homeschooling Hatters (Care Martin)
We see so much about giftedness through our own lenses. But for this hop, I wanted to branch out a little, and get some perspective from other people – even those who don’t necessarily feel connected or part of the Gifted Community. Since there are so many different ages and stages this could cover, I wanted to hit on as many as possible. As such, I took to interviewing, and today I get to share my results with you.
My comment
Congratulations Care! What a great post! It was so interesting to read the different understandings of giftedness and how it affects the life of all the people you interview.

Do you grow out of giftedness?  ~ Sprite’s Site (Jo Freitag)

People say ‘she is just going through a phase – she will grow out of it’. Is being gifted just a stage in life like being a teenager and do you grow out of it?”
My comment
Just checking in to see how Sprite’s homework essay is progressing.

Gifted Babies and Toddlers: Where are the Resources? ~ Scleratus Classical Academy (Mrs. Ward)

“…once again, I panicked a bit. Early Bird at least waited until he was 2 years old before throwing me for a loop. Lady Bug only waited one year. What I am supposed to do with this talking baby?”
My comment
I remember when our eldest was a baby our wonderful Baby & Maternal Health Nurse used to give the jigsaw puzzles which were intended for older siblings to play with to her. She then gave us a referral to the Noah’s Ark toy library so that we could borrow the puzzles and toys that we could not afford to purchase. The book library and toy library and the entire contents of the kitchen cupboards were great sources of fun and learning for her but the regular baby care books were no help to me at all.

Gifted Hindsight is 20/20 ~ My Little Poppies (Caitlin Curley)
They say hindsight is 20/20. As I sit here, seven years into this parenting gig, it’s easy for me to identify all of the characteristics and traits that have become such a part of our lives and our family story. Early on, we were new parents. We were too sleep deprived and too in it to recognize any of the signs.
My comment
Great post, Cait! It brings back a lot of very similar memories for me too! And you are right. In hindsight you can recognize that all those characteristics that made life interesting and challenging back then were actually the descriptors of giftedness.

Giftedness Across the Lifespan ~ Eclectic Homeschooling (Amy B.)

Giftedness isn’t about what you can do, but who you are. From the time a child is born until they are elderly, giftedness is present. Our society needs to stop thinking of giftedness as academic achievement, because it isn’t. It is different brain wiring.
My comment
Great examples of expressions of giftedness throughout the lifespan!

He’s Really Gifted In Math?!?  ~ The Cardinal House (Carissa Leventis-Cox)

My son’s Math teacher looked at me through a web cam and smiled, “He’s gifted in Math!”
“He is?” My jaw dropped. I simply did not believe it. “He’s really gifted in… MATH???”
“YES! YES! YES!” he beamed.
My comment
Great post! It is wonderful to see those moments of exponential acceleration happen when a subject clicks!

Know Your Gifted Child–Find Your Gifted Self ~ The Rainforest Mind (Paula Prober)

When you find a gifted child, a parent who is gifted isn’t far behind. Not always, of course. Sometimes it’s a grandparent or your wild Aunt Nellie. But I see this phenomenon again and again. The more you recognize and understand your rainforest mind, the more you will understand your child.
My comment
Such a great post, Paula! I became a bit tearful because it is so true and you told it so beautifully.

This has been a commentary post on the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum April blog hop Gifted at Different Ages and Stages


Do you grow out of giftedness?


Sprite was looking at the clothes in her wardrobe with a puzzled expression on her face.

As well as her dresses, skirts, shorts and tee shirts she has a full set of De Bono’s Six Action Shoes and several other pairs of shoes she hopes to be able to wear some day including Chindogu gift shoes and a pair of impractical high-heeled shoes which were a Christmas gift which demonstrated the giver’s lack of understanding of Sprite’s needs.

“For homework we have to write an essay titled Can a leopard change his spots?” she said.

“I asked Columbus Cheetah and he said no because a leopard’s spots are part of who he is. The leopard cannot change his spots like I change my clothes. But then I thought maybe a leopard’s spots might grow and change shape as the leopard grows.”

“Then I started to think about how people grow and change and whether you are a different person if you wear different clothes.
You know how some people say ‘Clothes maketh the man’.
And you know how some people say ‘It’s not really me’ when they look at themselves in the mirror when they are trying on clothes”

“I do like my new blue pinafore” she said. “But it is much more frilly and fancy than the shorts and skirts and tee shirts I used to wear.
So I wondered ‘Am I a different person if I wear different clothes’?”

“And Columbus Cheetah said I was not a different person. I was the same person inside with different clothes on the outside. It might make me feel different and even behave differently but I would still be the same person.”

“So then I started to think about growing and changing” she said “which is a bit hard to do when you always depict me as being the same age, whatever that is.
Columbus Cheetah said it did not matter that you always drew me the same age; because giftedness is asynchronous development and I am probably many ages at one time anyway. He said that, for example, I could be primary school age and think like a teenager and behave emotionally sometimes like a teenager and sometimes like a toddler.”



“And that made me think about when people say ‘she is just going through a phase – she will grow out of it’.
And then I wondered if being gifted  is just a stage in life – like being a teenager; and do you grow out of it?”

“Well,” I said “I believe that you do not grow out of being a gifted person.”

I reminded Sprite that I had talked about Gifted Grown Ups in a post on this blog at  as part of another GHF Blog Hop


And we were talking about this topic on #gtchat on Twitter recently.
“Giftedness Across the Lifespan: Do Gifted Children = Gifted Adults?”:

The questions that we discussed were,
1) How does the ‘achievement vs wiring’ debate impact this discussion?
2) Why is it important to recognize that giftedness exists throughout the lifespan?
3) How do unresolved childhood issues affect responses to social interactions for gifted adults?
4) What personality traits affect giftedness across the lifespan?
5) What changes in adolescence affect the nurturing of giftedness?
6) What can individuals do to cultivate their own giftedness as they grow older?
You can read the Storify transcript of the session at
and a blog post about it on the GT Chat blog at

This post is one stop on the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum April Blog Hop Gifted at Different Ages and Stages.
To continue hopping see



Pleading the Pink Slipper

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“You remember how Wistful Black Dog said I should blame forgetting to acknowledge the Psych Owl Ogist in the presentation on my learning difficulties” said Sprite
“He said that I should Plead the Pink Slipper. What did he mean by that?”

Dr Ed Needs, the Education Consultant, has given recommendations for Sprite’s education using the Feetspeak and De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes method of planning.

It includes 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 means sometimes using Combinations of the De Bono 6 Action Shoes and Sprite wearing a different type of shoe on each foot. Sometimes she wears a Blue Formal shoe or a Grey Sneaker on her right foot and a Pink Slipper on her left foot.

Pink Slipper action planning leads to programs which take into consideration doing what is caring and compassionate and paying attention to feelings and sensitivities.
The possible Pink Slipper programs for Sprite could include programs that focus on social / emotional needs, pastoral and spiritual care and coping strategies. They could also be service clubs, environmental concern groups and fundraising programs.
Some of the programs are very helpful and necessary as support programs but most of them do not actually offer curriculum content.
The pink slippers could also represent special provisions such as additional time to complete a task or dictating to a scribe.

Sprite loves her De Bono 6 Actions Shoes Pink Slippers and has several pairs of them. She keeps a pair at school and has some at home. But she is quite self conscious about wearing just one pink slipper.

Sprite’s Can Do Adjustable Velcro strap sandals are not part of the De Bono 6 Action Shoes set but they provide the necessary adaptability and flexibility. Sprite likes the Can Do Sandals because they allow her to fit in and hide her difficulties so that she appears to be an average student.


Image Jo Freitag


There are some times that Sprite cannot cope with wearing two Blue Formal Shoes, two Grey Sneakers or even two Can Do Adjustable Sandals and needs to wear a pink slipper on her left foot.

There are times when wearing one pink slipper is obviously the wisest and most suitable choice; for example when she needs the provisions and care of the Pink Slipper programs in order to be able to master the challenges of Blue Formal Shoes or Grey Sneaker Programs.
Sometimes one Pink Slipper is actually part of the modifications recommended by Dr Ed Needs using the S.C.A.M.P.E.R. method


Image Jo Freitag


Sometimes Sprite decides herself that she will ignore her embarrassment and wear one pink slipper.
At times it is because she rightly knows that she will not be able to manage without it.
She will often wear one pink slipper when going into a new program or class as an indication to the teacher that she may not be able to manage all the formal requirements and may need modifications

On other occasions it is her perfectionism and anxiety that prompt her to wear one pink slipper so that she has an ready-made excuse if her performance is not up to expectations..

At times she just wants to avoid taking risks, challenges, boring tasks or difficult situations and wears one pink slipper to garner sympathy and claim exemption. I call that Pleading the Pink Slipper.

Because Sprite’s intelligence allows her to compensate for her learning difficulties she does not appear to need any extra provisions or remediation.  It is sometimes difficult to tell whether Sprite is ‘Pleading the Pink Slipper’ and it can cause misunderstandings with her teachers. She has been accused of faking.
It is something that Sprite wrestles with too. Imposter syndrome can kick in and make her feel that maybe she is not really gifted. If she really were gifted maybe she should not need any extra provisions. She mistakenly feels that she should just put on the Can Do Adjustable sandals, blend in and manage as well as she can without any concessions.
Fortunately her Purple Riding Boots mentor, Paula the Physicist, has overcome similar difficulties and encourages Sprite to accept help when needed and not to be concerned about wearing one pink slipper.

People who know Sprite well would know that if she is wearing one pink slipper it is usually because she really does need it or feels that she needs it and has had to overcome her reservations and embarrassment to do so.

It is much easier to tell when she is Pleading the Pink Slipper at home.
A few days ago I overheard Sprite talking to Intellectual Dabrowski.
“I am just going to sit here and read a novel and eat chocolate.”
“What do you mean I am malingering?”
“It really does hurt!”
“It is just a coincidence that there is homework to do and I don’t want to do my chores.”

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag