Purple Sneakers and planning for the future 2

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Paula had promised to tell why us why she and Sprite were painting Sprite’s grey sneakers purple. See https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/purple-sneakers-and-planning-for-the-future/

Apparently Paula was showing Sprite another way of creating a combination of De Bono shoes.

When Sprite told Paula how confused she was feeling about her future career after attending the Careers Expo Night Paula said she would help her investigate some more possibilities.

Sprite 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 using De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes as the planning method. 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.

At the start of this year (See https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/flocks-and-shoes/ ) Sprite was 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.
She had recently had the plaster cast removed when the eligibility criteria for a support program changed. Because Sprite was working at above grade level she was not eligible for some of the supports.
But although she was not wearing the supporting plaster cast her problems were still present.

Sprite had worn her formal navy blue shoe which represents the formal gifted program she is enrolled in on her right foot and a soft pink slipper on her left when she attended the Careers Expo.

She found that most of the careers that flowed on naturally from the gifted program and the tertiary qualifications needed to pursue them seemed to be as formal as the formal navy blue gifted programs.
Sprite was left feeling that she had to make a decision right now and then follow a set course which would determine all her study subject choices. She was worried about making the wrong choice and not being able to change.
And she also told Paula that she felt as if the people manning the various career booths were looking at her pink slipper and judging her – thinking she would not be able to keep up with the fast paced advanced studies that were the hallmark of the formal blue shoe program studies if her disabilities meant she would need to wear a pink slipper. Paula had reassured her that they were probably not thinking anything like that at all! They were just there to give out information about the careers and courses – not to predetermine the suitability of the students.
“I don’t want to choose right now. I just want to find out all about lots of different careers without being judged for asking about them.” she said “I wish I could put on two blue formal shoes but I cannot do that.”
“You need the Investigative Grey Sneakers for your fact finding” Paul said “Are you able to wear both of those?”
“Yes – if I leave the Velcro straps on the left one open. But would you be able to come with me to the next Career Expo and help me sort through all the information, please?” Sprite asked.
“Yes. We are going to try a different approach to Combinations then” Paula had said.

Combinations

In De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes theory you can have subtle variation in the planning resulting from applying the 6 shoes by varying the colours
Combinations can be used to
1.Provide a balanced combination
2.
Provide alternatives in an uncertain situation
3.
Modify a situation

 Combinations Type 1
Combinations can be the result of changing the colour of the pair of shoes
In this way you have 36 possible types of action with six of them being the pure versions and the other 30 subtle variations.
Here is the chart of possibilities for the Blue Formal shoes.
Each of the other types has a similar set of variants.

combinations03

Image Jo Freitag

Combinations Type 2
Combinations could also be the result of wearing shoes of varying type with a different style on each foot and would lead to action plans which are a blend of both.

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Image Jo Freitag

Sprite is accustomed to wearing the Type 2 combinations of De Bono’s 6 Action shoes. For example sometimes she wears a Blue Formal shoe or a Grey Sneaker on her right foot and the Plaster Cast or a Pink Slipper on her left foot.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Paula thought that it would be good for Sprite to also experience Type 1 combinations so she proposed colouring Sprite’s grey sneakers purple so that they would represent investigations with the assistance of a mentor.
She was able to reassure Sprite that these days it is much easier to change courses or even change careers than it was in the past. Now you do not have to decide on one forever career.
Paula also pointed out that often when students have been accelerated they encounter the careers planning subject earlier and may not be legally old enough to participate in the practical job experience aspect which makes evaluating the different careers harder.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

This has been a belated post on the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum May Blog Hop Preparing for Their Future: Parenting Gifted Teens and Tweens

To follow the blog hop go to
http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/preparing-future-parenting-gifted-teens-tweens/

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Purple Sneakers and planning for the future

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“Why didn’t you write a post for the GHF Blog Hop?” demanded P’est Pour Parfait, the Perfectionist Poodle.

 “Well I was busy” I said “Sprite had Careers Expo Night and she came home more confused about her future than ever. She is quite a bit younger than most of the students who attended the Careers Expo Night.
So I went to talk to Retweet about the Careers Week at the Twitter Stream and whether she had found it useful for helping to plan the tweetlets’ future career paths which can be found at https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/the-twitter-stream/  and the following 4 posts.
Then Sprite’s mentor, Paula the Physicist, came for tea and they spent the evening painting Sprite’s grey sneakers purple. Paula said she would explain why they were doing it later.
And then it was too late to write a post so I went on the blog hop myself and left some comments.

asterisks 

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

Giftedness doesn’t end when adulthood hits. How do we prepare gifted teens and tweens for the unique challenges they’ll face as they move toward independence? Read the tips, tricks, and strategies used by our GHF Bloggers to strengthen gifted teens and tweens, giving them the boost they need to take adulthood head on.
http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/preparing-future-parenting-gifted-teens-tweens/

~~~~~~

7 Tips for Parenting Tweens and Teens  ~ Eclectic Homeschool (Amy B.)

Parenting teens and tweens is not for the feint of heart. Parenting in general is not easy, but the tween and teen years can be particularly challenging. I’m new to parenting teens and I’m attempting to figure it out as we go. My older kids are currently aged 12 and 14 and they are teaching me much about this stage of development. Here are a few lessons I’ve heard along the way.

My Comment: I love your tips. One extra one I needed to be aware of was that teens are often growing rapidly and it can take up a lot of their energy; meaning sometimes they are more tired and less focussed even without doing any extra activities.

Coming of Age ~Gifted Homeschooling (Amy Harrington)

In western culture children are granted full rights and responsibilities at the legal age of adulthood. Until 18 most children are dependent beings who are under the control of the adults around them both at home, in school and elsewhere. In an unschooling home these notions of attaining freedom based on age maturation are obsolete. Children of all ages are completely free in an unschooling lifestyle and their ability to self-govern is supported and nurtured. Teens and tweens who embrace their freedom and their authentic personalities should have less issues than their mainstream counterparts. Teenage rebellion and peer pressure are nonexistent as our entire lifestyle rebels against societal norms.

My Comment: An excellent post, Amy – challenging and inspiring!
Keepin’ It Real as a 2e Parent ~ Laughing at Chaos (Jen Merrill)

I’m going to share a little secret with you. Please don’t spread this around, it’ll totes ruin my rep:
OH MY GOD I HAVE NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT I AM DOING.
My Comment: I do think the world feels much less safe and much less predictable than it was! Even time seems to be spinning at a faster rate! Thank you for your humorous posts, Jen!

Preparing for College; Preparing for Crazy ~ Gluten-Free Mum (Kathleen Humble)But I did learn something from this crazy week. I learned that I and my family are really good at rolling with those punches. There might be a manic moment when I channel Jack Nicholson’s mirror-smashing laugh in Batman. But after the hilarity, there’s usually the realisation that confronting unusual and obscure (even unthinkable) conundrums is something that I’ve become very good at doing
Odds of this happening are one in five thousand? I’ll raise you a one in ten thousand! And, being me, there’s also a little Han Solo voice in the back of my brain yelling out, ‘Never tell me the odds!’
One thing I have learned? Preparing and dealing with the unexpected is pretty similar, whether we’re talking medical-crazy, or education-crazy.
My Comment: Great post, Kathleen! You are doing a great job of rolling with the punches and sharing what you have found helpful – thank you!

Preparing for Their Future: The Importance of Learning to Navigate Ambiguity ~ Teach Your Own (Lori Dunlap)
Decades ago, the ambiguity we were navigating was the lack of information – if it wasn’t available at the library, we just didn’t have access. Today, navigating ambiguity means wading through an excess of information, much of which is irrelevant, inaccurate, biased, or contradictory. We were trying to find any lighthouse in the fog; they are trying to figure out which light is actually the lighthouse.
My Comment: I really loved this nautical navigation analogy for finding and evaluating information!

Show And Tell: Preparing Gifted Teens and Tweens for the Future ~ Atlas Educational (Lisa Epler Swaboda)
There are a million articles out there touting the importance of education. They begin at birth with readying your life by preparing for a stress-free environment, go on to advise you in ways of finding the best preschools, and recommend the best ways to prepare for college applications all aimed at securing the best jobs for your child.
Whoa.
Slow down, people.
My Comment: Thank you Lisa for a very helpful article about putting together a portfolio which will be of great value for the student’s future!

This has been a commentary post on the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum May Blog Hop Preparing for Their Future: Parenting Gifted Teens and Tweens.

To find out why Sprite and Paula are painting Sprite’s grey sneakers purple read the next instalment of this post.

To follow the blog hop go to
http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/preparing-future-parenting-gifted-teens-tweens/

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Gogglebox 2

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

When I returned from the Hoagies’ Blog Hop: Gifted in Pop Culture
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/blog_hop_pop_culture.htm
I found Sprite and co were still playing the Gogglebox game and were watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory where Sheldon invents a formula for making friends
This is something which Sprite often finds difficult
Little Bully Black Dog was literally rolling around the floor laughing.
“It is funny because it is true!” he gasped between bursts of laughter.
“That is exactly what Sprite is like all the time!”

“She is not like that ALL the time” said the pedantic Intellectual Dabrowski. “I will admit that she is SOMETIMES like that. But these TV programs show exaggerations of the characters because they are trying to condense it into 30 minutes. So they have to magnify the characters’ mannerisms so that the audience notices them.

“Well I think it is hilarious!” said Little Bully Black Dog “In half an hour I get enough material to tease Sprite for a whole month!”

“See, that is what I wasconcerned about!” said Edward the Autonomous Learner “When I said what messages are being given about giftedness and gifted people?
Are the depictions accurate?  Do they make viewers like and feel empathy with gifted people? What are the consequences if they do not? I was thinking about situations like this where people would use what they saw on TV as fuel for teasing or bullying”

“I think that is why I don’t like cartoons” said Sprite “Usually they are drawn with exaggerated features so they do not look realistic. That is why I don’t like the way Jo draws me
She even drew this picture of me for the topic Exaggerated for her Art Challenge.”

“I am sure that is a good illustration of how it felt” said Sensual Dabrowski.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“Yes it was. But I know it was not how I looked because I have the other picture for comparison” Sprite replied.
“I believe it also depends on perspective” said Intellectual “Things can look very different when viewed from a different angle.
And that is true of the TV audiences too. How they understand and interpret what they see will depend on their background and viewpoint.
And how people act toward gifted people after viewing will also differ.”

“What did you see on the other blogs on the Hoagiesgifted’ May blog hop?” asked Edward

asterisks

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

Giftedness in the media by Adventures of Hahn Academy
https://adventuresofhahnacademy.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/giftedness-in-the-media/ 

Sadly, the portrayal of gifted individuals in popular media is not always correct or positive. Rather, the media tends to reinforce stereotypes and send the message that the highly gifted are not normal. Gifted individuals or geniuses in pop culture have an unbelievably high IQ, exaggerated behavior or personality traits, elicit conversation, interests in obscure topics, rattle off statistics and calculations, play chess, read thick books, seem blunt and insensitive, some level of arrogance, emotionally detached, logical-minded, etc… The media’s insistence on reinforcing stereotypes is not helping how the gifted are perceived by others. Instead, people are sometimes describing gifted children based on which TV character they think the child is more like…

My comment: What an excellent compilation of sources and resources! Many of them are new to me and I will enjoy investigating them.

Picture books for gifted children by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley, My Little Poppies
http://my-little-poppies.com/picture-books-for-gifted-children/

I love it when I stumble upon a book that speaks to me. It is a wonderful feeling when you step into a book that feels like home. These books feel like old friends, safe and comfortable. As a bibliophile and homeschooling mom, I want my children to experience this phenomenon.
Gifted children are outliers. They think outside of that proverbial box. They are unique and all too often misunderstood.
There is a safety in books that can be life-altering in the early years. The right book can make you feel whole, understood, valued

My Comment: Great selection of books! Thank you, Cait.

Einstein, the Big Bang, and Scorpion by Linda Wallin, Living with Geniuses

Just because a person has a high IQ, they do not necessarily lack social graces. There can be some difficulties adjusting to others, as a friend told me twenty years ago. Her son’s IQ approached 190, and he would complete assignments that did not fulfill the teacher’s requirements. She would patiently explain to him why he should change it, and he would patiently explain to her why it had to be done his way…

My Comment: I think often the media exaggerate characteristics which can make their portrayals of gifted people seem less realistic.

Everything I needed to know about being a smart kid, I learned from 80’s movies by Jen, repurposed genealogy
3. Get a mentor to guide you
Maybe your mentor can artfully sculpt a bonsai tree and catch flies with chopsticks like Mr. Miyagi. Maybe he invented a time machine like Doc Brown. Your mentor needs have the intellect and ability to guide you through challenges….

My comment: Thanks for a really enjoyable revisiting of these movies!

G” in Popular Culture ~ or ~ How to Be a Gifted Elder by Joy Navan, ongiftedelders

Now I am an elder.  I thought when I retired, I was supposed to quilt, and travel occasionally. I thought I would be leaving everything else that defined me behind – wife, mother, professional. What a surprise! I am still gifted as an elder and must find my way in this strange new world. Thankfully, there are role models like my mentor, Annemarie Roeper, and others who teach us how to be a gifted elder…

My comment: I love the idea of being an autonomous life long learner – there is always so much more to learn! And I like your words of wisdom especially numbers 3 and 4

Profiling the Gifted in Popular Culture by Gift-Ed Connections

From Sheldon to Rachel, Matilda to Ender, we are enthralled with gifted characters. We are fascinated by the complexity of their thoughts, their unique and amazing abilities, their unusual reactions to situations, their character flaws and how they overcome difficulties. Do they serve us well as we seek to understand more and educate about giftedness? As with any caricature as characters often tend to be, storylines can highlight some qualities of the gifted experience but ultimately fail in capturing the unique qualities…

My comment: I enjoyed this post and the examples of gifted individuals you gave.

Using Pop Culture References to Explain Giftedness by Lisa on Raising Wizards

Sometimes it’s hard to explain what giftedness really is, and how it makes children feel. Luckily, a good example can really pave the way for a great discussion. Here, we’ve compiled all of our favorite posts that use pop culture references to describe elements of giftedness. Feel free to steal some ideas next time you need to explain giftedness to someone!

My comment: A really great collection of articles about depictions of giftedness in popular films and books.

Gilmore Girls and Two Faces of Giftedness by Institute for Educational Advancement

…re-watching a favorite episode, it hit me that one thing I have never seen addressed is the giftedness of two of the characters and the contrasts in how it is manifested.
Rory is a teenager who would be considered “gifted” by most traditional definitions of the word. She craves knowledge and grasps concepts easily. As her grandfather put it, “This girl could name the state capitals at 3, recite the periodic table at 4, (and) discuss Schopenhauer’s influence on Nietzsche when she was 10.” Rory clearly has an advanced ability….

My comment: It is interesting to see possible causes of underachievement being addressed in a popular TV series.

Gifted in Pop Culture: Role Models Required by Carolyn K., Hoagies’ Nibbles and Bits

One thing our kids want and need to watch and read are stories where they find others “like them.” Other gifted kids, passionate about real-world issues. Other gifted kids, with strong interests and sometimes stronger fears. Other gifted kids who work hard and play hard. Gifted kids, as all kids, need books and movies with role models who they can identify with. They need to know they are Not Alone

My comment: A great selection of books and plays – some of them new to me. Thank you, Carolyn!

It’s Been a While… by Chocky’s Child

Chocky was a science fiction novel by John Wyndham, and it was adapted into a TV series in the mid 1980s, when I was a child. I like the book and the original series, but two subsequent follow up series – Chocky’s Children and Chocky’s Challenge spoke to me more, because of the presence of one character in particular. Her name was Albertine – and she’d named after Albert Einstein. Albertine was only a kid – a girl of about 13, I think – and she was a genius.

My comment: Great to hear from you again Shaun! I loved Chocky and Welcome to the Ark. And you were the one who introduced me to Top kid and Ender’s game which I appreciated too.

Gifted Characters In Korean And Japanese Dramas by Elgarmummy

The Korean Wave, known as Hallyu, has been sweeping Asia and the rest of the world in terms of entertainment for years, and there is no sign of abating. With East Asian countries placing strong emphasis on academics and other areas such as music, it is no wonder that some of the lead characters in dramas are gifted

My comment: Wow, Sarah! All these characters were new to me and I found the post really interesting!

Giftedness Magnified by Ann Grahl, Supporting Gifted Learners

Think of the pop stars we’ve witnessed go from America’s darlings to targets for trolls and critics alike.
As a gifted young adult friend recently observed, “You think it is tough growing up gifted. Just imagine growing up gifted under a magnifying glass.”
Popular gifted performers of all stripes face challenges similar to those that less-well-known gifted young people face…

My comment: Great post Ann. It is hard enough dealing with the asynchrony and intensities of giftedness without doing it in the public spotlight!

Post script: Gogglebox was awarded a Logie in the category of Best Factual Program

This has been a review post for Hoagies’ May Blog Hop: Gifted in Pop Culture.
Read more by going on the hop at
www.HoagiesGifted.org/blog_hop_pop_culture.htm

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Gogglebox

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“We are playing Gogglebox!” Sprite told me “Well, all except Psycho Motor Dabrowski – he’s bouncing.”

“Yes” agreed Psycho Motor “I was getting bored with playing Gogglebox and going Boing takes the AHR out of Boring. I will go back and watch when something exciting comes on.”

Gogglebox Australia is based on the U.K. program of the same name and is a weekly “reality” TV observational series which captures the reactions of “ordinary” Australians as they watch selected television programs. The chosen households are rigged with cameras to capture their reactions.

Sprite, the Dabrowski Dogs, Columbus Cheetah, the Persona Dolls, and Sprite’s soft toys were sitting in groups watching a television screen, a laptop or a cardboard box representing a TV.
“We all watch the same program and we talk about it – like a running commentary” Sprite said. “And I do the voice-over introductions.”

gogglebox04

Intellectual Dabrowski was conducting fact checks and then arguing loudly about any inconsistencies he found.
Sensual was appreciating the images and the background mood music and canned laughter in the shows and the taste of the snacks they were sharing while they watched.
Imaginational was imagining what it would be like to be the characters or to experience the situations they were viewing.
And Emotional Dabrowski was riding an emotional roller coaster – sad, happy, indignant, proud, happy, nostalgic, sad, confused….

Columbus Cheetah was checking the content for depictions of stereotypes of myths relating to giftedness.

“Tonight, in a special edition of Gogglebox, our families will be watching television programs which feature gifted characters” Sprite said in her announcer’s voice.

The first program was The Simpsons.

“I like Lisa” said Miranda, the Successful student “She is like me!”
“I think she is snooty” said Vincent, the At Risk student
“I like that Lisa has strong ethics and is concerned about the environment” said Imaginational.
“Are there any other gifted characters?” I asked.
“Bart might be” said Vincent
“And Maggie is very young but she does seem to be very clever, the dear little poppet” said Emotional.
“What about Marge?” I asked
“Ha!” said Sprite “You want me to say yes; because you think Marge is like you!”

“Do you think people who watch this show would like the gifted characters?
And do you think it gives an accurate picture of them?” I asked.

“Well you know what I think about cartoon characters!” Sprite snorted. I remembered that she had been cross with me when I created a Simpson character avatar for her
“They don’t even have the right number of fingers – so how accurate do you think it is?”

“This show does not reinforce any of the ten myths about giftedness that I endeavour to bust at http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/columbuscheetah.htm” said Columbus Cheetah. “And it does address a number of the social emotional issues that gifted people face so I score this show quite highly for depiction of gifted characters.”

“Do you think people would like the gifted characters?” I asked

Suddenly everyone was speaking at once.
“Yes”
“No”
“Maybe”
“If they felt empathy with them”
“Everyone here is gifted (except some of the soft toys) so what we say might not be what other people say”
“But we don’t even all agree so it is not a matter of whether the viewer is gifted or not”
The only group that remained silent was the soft toys.
“What do the soft toys think?” I asked
“They think what I tell them to think!” said Sprite.

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“Big Question Time!” said Edward, the Autonomous Learner “Are the people who write and produce these TV shows trying to tell us what to think? How many people watch TV critically and evaluate what they see? How many just sit in front of it and accept it all as true?
And, if so, what messages are being given to them about giftedness and gifted people?
Are the depictions accurate?  Do they make viewers like and feel empathy with gifted people?
What are the consequences if they do not?”

Dr. Wilma Vialle has written a paper titled Pink or Paris? Giftedness in popular culture about the depiction of giftedness in popular culture and how it impacts gifted girls in finding their role models. You can read it at http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2222&context=edupapers

As well as television another major influence on popular culture is films. Many films have featured gifted characters and Jo has developed a series of film discussions which can be found at http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/filmsrev15.htm

There are so many television series which feature gifted characters.
Some which come to mind are
Daria
Scorpion
The Big Bang Theory
Num3ers
Bones
Doogie Howser, MD
Star Trek: The next generation
Malcolm in the Middle
Sherlock
The Pretender
House
We would not be able to able to discuss them all in one Gogglebox sitting.

“Next our families will be viewing The Big Bang Theory” intoned Sprite in her voice-over announcer’s voice.

This is a post for Hoagies’ May Blog Hop: Gifted in Pop Culture.
Read more by going on the hop at www.HoagiesGifted.org/blog_hop_pop_culture.htm

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