Flocks and Socks

Image Jo freitag

Image Jo freitag

When we returned from the GHF January 2016 blog hop on the theme ‘Educating gifted children: The many ways we approach their learning’ a giggling Imaginational Dabrowski greeted us.

“It should not be Flocks and Shoes” he declared “It should be Flocks and Socks because that sounds better.”

Sprite often cannot get a shoe on her left foot so Imaginational had composed some guidelines to help her select appropriate socks.

Here is a game to help you choose
Which socks to wear with De Bono shoes
With shoes of a formal navy blue
Wear formal socks of a similar hue
With sneakers of investigator grey
Wear what colour you want and come out to play
With sensible shoes of a sensible brown
Wear  sensible socks that do not roll down
With gumboots the colour of safety orange
Wear  any colour – they all look strange
With caring slippers fluffy and pink
Wear fluffy pink socks (but not if they stink)
With riding boots of imperial purple
Whatever you wear you are sure to hirple!

“PURPLE rhymes with hirple, meaning “to limp” or “walk awkwardly”.  Intellectual told me that! “Imaginational added.
“So what did you learn on the blog hop?”


These are the posts we visited and the comments we left

Building Your Gifted Learner: Throw Your Plans Out the Window ~ Atlas Educational (Lisa Swaboda)

The adjectives we use to describe our lives as parents of gifted children are often polar opposites which can conflict with each other, often in the same day, within the same moment. The analogies and aphorisms describe some sort of sanity-stealing life surging us up and then sucking us down, way down. Often. Daily. Hourly.

My comment: I love this analogy to the architect and builder! So many gifted students are autonomous learners who just want the opportunity to learn at their own pace and in their own way!

Creating an Unschooling Environment for my 2e Kids ~ Gluten-Free Mum (Kathleen Humble)

As much as I would love to be able to say ‘you can do whatever you want’ and let it happen (with me strewing and facilitating, but having the kids in charge), it hasn’t happened. Instead, we have taken a lot of slow, small steps in that direction, and have had to treat it as more of an end goal than a blueprint.

My comment: I love these methods and strategies you have developed – especially the idea of New Day. Thank you for sharing them.

Educating Gifted Children ~ Homeschooling Hatters (Care Martin)

We already know about homeschooling and how we apply it here in our Mooselandia home, and other people will talk about public schooling and how it does or doesn’t work for them, but there’s another option – one we’d not taken before, and one that I wanted to share today.

My comment: Online webinars can be such a great way for gifted kids to learn and experience interacting with like minds from around the world, I am so glad Mad Natter enjoyed the class so much. Ms Madeline sounds like such a wonderful teacher/mentor!

Educating Gifted Children: Learning to Let Go ~ My Little Poppies (Caitlin Curley)

Sometimes gifted children and public education do not mix. The thought of educating a gifted child can be completely overwhelming. It gets easier when you learn to let it go and listen to your gut.

My comment: Thank you for sharing how you started your homeschooling journey. It has several points in common with our story.

It is hard to let go of the expectations you had for their education but so wonderful when you find freedom!

Five Minute Math ~ Empowering Parents to Teach (Sheana Johnson)

To supplement our children’s public school education, I began giving them Five Minute Math after school. This is a simple way to help a gifted learner maintain math skills without loading on too much extra work after school.

My comment: This sounds like a way to make maths seem like fun rather than a chore. Thank you for sharing it!

Flocks and Shoes ~ Sprite’s Site (Jo Freitag)
Choosing a school is always a big decision but it is even more complex when choosing an education method for gifted children.
Considerations include type of education- public school, private school, religion based school, alternative philosophies, Montessori style, Reggio Emilia, homeschooling
For the folk at Sprite’s Site the search for an ideal education can be expressed as Flocks and Shoes.

Homeschooling Gifted Children | Meeting Asynchronous Abilities~ Raising Lifelong Learners (Colleen Kessler)

Gifted kids are asynchronous. Their development is uneven and out-of-sync compared with age peers. This often makes them feel very different when it comes to age-based school expectations. This is also why boxed, or grade-level based, complete curriculums rarely work well for them. Instead, parents need to get creative…

My comment: Great post about ways to cater for the varied needs of asynchronous learners!

The Loneliness of Homeschooling a Gifted Child ~ Sallie Borrink Learning

Sometimes things seem so obvious in retrospect. The loneliness of homeschooling a gifted child is one of those truths that somehow escaped me until recently. I realized it feels a bit like I’m going down a never-ending rabbit hole of moving further and further out of the norm in terms of our homeschooling. And the further you move away from the mainstream, the lonelier it becomes.

My comment: This is a brilliant post Sallie!
I am sure it will encourage people who are feeling that they are all alone.

“Poke the Box”: Inviting Students to Wonder and Initiate~ The Fissure (Ben Koch)
If set expectations and the fear of failure are the gravity that keep us in an orbit of the familiar, than I like to think of curiosity as the one force strong enough to break us free from that orbit. The rocket fuel to leave the atmosphere of Planet Status Quo.

My comment: I love the idea of embracing creative play and encouraging students to be curious, to experiment, to investigate and to ‘poke the box’ Thank you for a great post!

This has been a review post for GHF January 2016 Blog Hop ‘Educating gifted children: The many ways we approach their learning’

Image Tara Hernandez

Image Tara Hernandez


Flocks and Shoes


Image Jo Freitag

The Gifted Homeschoolers Forum January 2016 blog hop has the theme ‘Educating gifted children: The many ways we approach their learning’

In about two weeks Victorian students will begin the 2016 school year.
Choosing a school is always a big decision; but it is even more complex when choosing an education method for gifted children.
Considerations include:
*type of education- public school, private school, religion based school, alternative philosophies, Montessori style, Reggio Emilia, homeschooling
*ease of travel to school
*what specific provisions are made for gifted students? Is early entry / acceleration an option? What enrichment opportunities do they offer? Are the provisions offered full time or a once a week extra?

A list from the Davidson Institute of suggested questions to ask prospective schools can be found at http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10403.aspx

Information about acceleration can be found at Acceleration Institute http://www.accelerationinstitute.org/

For the folk at Sprite’s Site the search for an ideal education can be expressed as Flocks and Shoes


Image Jo Freitag

The Tweet Family

The Tweet family worked through these questions with the help of the Psych-Owl-Ogist in 2012
They eventually decided to continue their NEST Ed (Nest Education System of Training) program despite the challenges associated with that choice


Image Jo Freitag

We have been on a quest with the help of Dr Ed Needs the (fictional) Education Consultant to find the ideal education for 2E Twice exceptional student Sprite within the school system, supplemented by extra activities and holiday programs.
We also found Paula, the Physicist to be a mentor for her.

We are using De Bono’s 6 Action shoes as the tool for planning and we road test them on Gagne’s DMGT (Differentiation Model of Giftedness and Talent) road from innate giftedness to fully developed talent.
This has been our experience with the various types of education represented by the shoes
Orange gumboots https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/orange-gumboots/

Pink slippers https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/pink-slippers/

Grey sneakers https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/grey-sneakers/

Blue formal shoes https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/blue-formal-shoes/

Purple riding boots https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/purple-riding-boots/

Brown brogues https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/brown-brogues/

More shoes https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/more-shoes/

One size shoe cover system https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/de-bonos-6-action-shoes-9-one-size-shoe-cover-system/

Plaster cast https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/casting-sprites-education-in-a-new-form-part-1/

It is also sometimes necessary to employ the strategies of S.C.A.M.P.E.R. in order to modify teaching methods for Sprite.

Every year we hope that the provisions which have been recommended and adopted in the previous year will continue but in the past we have often found that situations change and the measures had to be re-evaluated.

So until this year’s provisions for Sprite are settled she is wearing one orange gumboot representing stop gap measures to cater for her giftedness and a walker boot representing stop gap measures to cater for her difficulties.

This is a post for the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum January 2016 blog hop
Educating gifted children: The many ways we approach their learning
To read more posts please visit http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/educating-gifted-children-the-many-ways-we-approach-their-learning/ 


Image Tara Hernandez

Welcome back!


Image Jo Freitag

Welcome back to Sprite’s Site blog and wishes for a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful 2016!

Sprite was relieved and happy to welcome the Memory Elephant’s return after an absence for the Memory Elephant Day holiday on 30 December and taking Angus McTvitter to the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The Memory Elephant was somewhat bemused. “I am happy to see her too and I have a Memory Elephant Day sample bag full of rosemary and red ribbons and calendars and file folders to show her. But she usually just takes me for granted. What has changed?”

“Well” said Sprite. “Paula told me that Memory Elephants don’t always come home again. She went to visit her grandma, who she used to stay with every holiday, who is in an old folks’ home now and her grandma did not know who she was and was calling her that young lady.”

“I am so glad my Memory Elephant came back in time for 2016!”