Belonging – A place of sanctuary

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Sprite’s Site is a place of sanctuary for many:

  • Lobsters holding their Lobsterfest without fear of the Wicked Lemon Wedges
  • Pumpkins hiding from the Halloween carvers
  • Outfora Duck escaping the humiliation of cricket matches
  • Twitter Birds setting up bowers where they can gather to discuss topics of their own choosing
  • The Topiary Tessellation Bird Leaf Tree Octopus (Octopus Topiarii) because at least there are some at Sprite’s Site with sufficient imagination to acknowledge him
  • Thinks He’s Alien Black Dog because he can find others there (like Sprite  and Retweet)  who also feel at times as if they are an alien who has been abandoned on this planet or have sufficient imagination (like Imaginational Dabrowski) to guess how he might be feeling.

Everyone needs a place of sanctuary – a place where they feel as if they belong and are understood. It is a basic need.

Gifted people are no exception. They have the same need to ‘find their tribe’, find their peers, find their place of sanctuary. But it can be harder for them to do it.

Exceptionally and profoundly gifted students are unlikely to find another student like themselves in their own classroom unless it is a selected entry gifted class.

It is one of the most compelling reasons for acceleration https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-6/

http://www.accelerationinstitute.org/

It is a powerful reason for grouping gifted students together.

It is the reason Dr Karen Rogers says “Gifted and talented students should spend the majority of their school day with others of similar abilities and interests”
She has written articles about the grouping of gifted students which can be read at

http://nrcgt.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/953/2015/04/rbdm9102.pdf http://www.davidsongifted.org/Search-Database/entry/A10173

And Prof Miraca Gross emphasises the social emotional importance of finding a true friend who can be a sure shelter and share at a deep level and that the likeliness of this happening is greater if the student has been accelerated http://www.sengifted.org/archives/articles/play-partner-or-sure-shelter-what-gifted-children-look-for-in-friendship

Belonging is the theme for the 2016 New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week Blog Tour.

Every year folk from Sprite’s Site go down to the beach to wave ‘across the ditch’ to New Zealand and wish them well for Gifted Awareness Week.
To read about Sprite’s Site involvement in previous blog tours see https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/gifted-awareness-week-new-zealand/

To read all the posts on this year’s tour go to http://nzcge.co.nz/blogtour

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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.

combinations04

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.

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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/

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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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Gifted 2E Kids: What Makes Them Twice-Exceptional? Blog hop

2Echarstoursignreturn

I have been visiting the posts on the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum April blog hop ‘Gifted 2E kids: What makes them Twice Exceptional?
Sprite did not come with me as she was conducting guided tours to some of the places on Sprite’s Site but she was thrilled with the goodie bag I brought back for her.
Some kind person had also given her a blue teddy bear and balloon in recognition of April Autism Awareness Month 

These are the posts I visited on the blog hop and the comments I left or tried to leave
Gifted Homeschoolers Forum April blog hop ‘Gifted 2E kids: What makes them Twice Exceptional?
Being gifted can be its own challenge, but many gifted kids face additional hurdles which can mask or hamper their potential. Join these twice-exceptional kids and their families as they learn that the challenges that they face are what will help them soar.

Blessed by our Twice Exceptional Homeschooled Kid ~ BJ’s Homeschool (Betsy Sproger)

Our daughter has been a blessing to us, ever since we flew to China to adopt her, as an infant.  We decided to homeschool when she was 4, as she was ready for kindergarten, but her public school wasn’t.  She was considered too young.
My comment: Thank you for a wonderful post, Betsy! It really illustrates the advantages homeschooling can give our 2E kids!.

Gifted 2e: A Brilliant Mess ~ Hifalutin’ Homeschooler (Jennifer Smith Cabrera)

I don’t believe in ADHD, but I am pretty sure two of my kids have it, and we could add a few sensory hashtags. Recently, I learned the term twice exceptional or 2e. I like the all-encompassing value of the term, but still I hesitate. My son is a whole mess of personality quirks, brilliant and unique. Brilliance that could be missed, if it were prefaced with a cloud of labels buzzing around him like flies. I believe that the unique behavior of gifted children is just the exhaust of beautiful minds at work.
My comment: A very enjoyable post! Thank you.

Gifted and 2e: An Exceptionally Different Road ~ Gluten-Free Mum (Kathleen Humble)

It can be easy to think of exceptions as things that need to be fixed, to treat difference as something that needs to be shoved back into the box (even while we laud the idea of individuality). But living with my fantastic twice exceptional little tribe has taught me a very valuable lesson: there is no path. There is no right way to do anything, and the exception can be just as beautiful and amazing as the more familiar way.
My comment: I love this: I have, perforce discovered that there is no right way to anything, particularly in regards to children’s development – there is only the statistical average. There is no set developmental timeline, and these quirky kids will do things in their own time and their own way.

Gifted 2E Kids: The Most Underrepresented ~A 2e Fox Revived (Carolyn Fox)

Gifted 2e Kids are the most underrepresented and that’s why so many of us seek homeschooling as an alternative option for our kids. It’s based on my chance to blow off steam after reading NPR’s article on Gifted, But Still Learning English – not that I don’t think non-native English speakers aren’t underrepresented (because I think they are) but because the article says nothing about 2e kids and who probably represent a much larger piece of the portion of students underrepresented in gifted programs.
My comment: A great post, Carolyn. I love your descriptions of the simultaneous contradictions that can be found in 2E students.

How Distance Running Prepared Me for Parenting a Twice Exceptional Child ~ The Fissure (Nikki C.}

When you are raising a twice-exceptional child, hearing the word “can’t” comes with the territory.  You might be trying to help your child through another public meltdown, or trying to persuade the school into testing your child for the gifted program even though he has a disability…Removing the word “can’t” encourages perseverance, enhances endurance, and boosts confidence.  These things help when you need to take the road less traveled.
My comment: I love this analogy to long distance running, Nikki! I especially like “each runner needs to find his or her own best shoe” Very often for 2E, as my Sprite attests, this means a different best shoe for each foot!

If He’s REALLY So Smart… When Gifted Kids Struggle (Colleen Kessler)

“Boy is he an EXTREME thinker! If he actually took the time to sit and focus on his work, he could accomplish anything…” As helpful and positive as his preschool teacher thought she was being, words like this can set some of our most intelligent kiddos up for a lifetime of failure. So, why do some gifted children struggle so much? If they’re really as smart as we say they are, why can’t some of them just do their work?
My comment:  “if he’s so smart, why can’t he..?” This was always one of my least favourite comments too!

Misconceptions About Gifted & Twice-Exceptional Children ~Gifted Homeschooling (Amy Harrington)

Gifted is a fairly loaded term in mainstream society. The word doesn’t conjure up different neural wiring like autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder does. All of these brain based differences elicit various reactions from those who are unfamiliar with neurodiversity. If people understood what giftedness means and what twice-exceptional is, they would have a better appreciation and, perhaps, compassion for the whole spectrum of this type of divergent thinking and its impact on daily life.
My comment: I agree strongly with your comment ” If people understood what giftedness means and what twice-exceptional is, they would have a better appreciation and, perhaps, compassion for the whole spectrum of this type of divergent thinking and its impact on daily life.”

The Problem With Being Twice-Exceptional and British ~ Laugh, Love, Learn (Lucinda Leo)

Giftedness is misunderstood in many countries, but in Britain the very word is taboo. This is one mother’s story of how she had to get past cultural prejudice to find support for her twice-exceptional son.
My comment: Thank you for a very interesting post, Lucinda and also for the links to the valuable resources.

What Makes 2e? ~ Homeschooling Hatters (Care Martin)
Honestly, one of the best parts of having a twice-exceptional child is that everything is shiny and new – every day is different from the last, and while we do have our challenges, it actually makes life so much more interesting.
My comment: Yes I love “Double the cool” as well!
And you are right – problems usually arise from unrealistic expectations.

What Twice-Exceptional Looks Like in Our World (and 5 Things that Help) ~ My Little Poppies (Caitlin Curley)

They say if you’ve met one 2E kid, you’ve met one 2E kid. Today, I’m sharing with twice-exceptional looks like in our world.
My comment: I remember those night time worries so well! Thank you for a great post and so many useful links to resources!

This has been a review post for Gifted Homeschoolers Forum April blog hop ‘Gifted 2E kids: What makes them Twice Exceptional?

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Keeping the keepsakes

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Tweet and the tweetlets returned from their day of human watching to find that Retweet had not made much progress with her nest decluttering.

“We saw an orange crested puddle jumper!” cheeped Tweetelle. “And I made some sketches of it for you.”
“And I found more lucky acorns” chirped Tweetil, pouring them into the nest.

I had not had any more success than Retweet with my decluttering but I had been on the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum February blog hop ‘Loving the Unexpected Gifts of Giftedness!’ and these were the comments I left or tried to leave on the posts I visited.

6 Ways Having a Gifted Child Changed My Life ~ Sallie Borrink Learning

Caroline’s giftedness frankly drives much of our lives. Parents of gifted children (or children with significant health needs) will understand this. My entire life has morphed into something I never saw coming. I never thought I would be writing about children who are wired differently. I never thought I would be writing about giftedness and twice-exceptional children. This very website you are reading is what it is because I have a gifted child. So having a gifted child has changed my life. How? Here are six ways.

My comment: I loved this post Sallie! I loved your description of the spiritual blessings you receive and the place of imagination and decisions and verbal exchanges.

10 Things to Understand and (maybe even eventually) Love about Homeschooling a Gifted Kid ~ The Cardinal House (Carissa Leventis Cox)

I have been homeschooling for more than a handful of years now and have had many ups and downs. When there are downs, they are mostly because I have difficulty interacting with my son and prefer to control the flow of our homeschool day. When there are ups, they are because I have learned to understand the needs and wants of my child. Here are the 10 things that I have learned to understand and love even as they continue to challenge me.

My Comment: Thank you! These are all such important things to keep in mind and will decrease stress and increase contentment.

A Love Letter to Giftedness ~ Laughing at Chaos (Jen Merrill)

Dear Giftedness, You’ve been here so long that I can’t remember life without you. We’ve had a tumultuous relationship, haven’t we? I haven’t always appreciated your presence, and god knows I’ve wanted to send you back more than once. But it hasn’t all been challenge and chaos, and it’s time I let you know just what about you I enjoy and respect.

Oh, I love this Love Letter to Giftedness, Jen!

Asynchronous Beauty ~ Go School Yourself (Chavva Olander)

The obstacles of raising asynchronous learners are far outmatched by the rewards. Through our lifestyle of boundless and completely personalized learning, my daughters have the opportunity to grow and develop without the imposition of external forces reminding them how they measure up, whether they’re ahead or behind, and what they’re too old or too young for.

My comment: Great post, Chavva! I like the Columbus Group definition of giftedness too.

Comically Gifted ~ Crushing Tall Poppies (Celi Trepanier)

Gifted children are not gifted across the board and do not always excel in all areas—there’s intellectually gifted, musically gifted, artistically gifted, gifted in science or math or technology. And just in case you may not have thought about it before, I believe we also have comically gifted children and adults, too.

My comment: Thanks for a great post, Celi! Humour is such a wonderful way to point out unfairness and to defuse tense situations.

The Gift of Giftedness ~ Raising Lifelong Learners (Colleen Kessler)

There are a lot of things written about the challenges that come with raising gifted and intense children — in fact, I write about them regularly. But what about the gifts? The unexpected joys that come with parenting outliers? There are so many of those, too…

My comment: Great post, Colleen! I love the curiosity and intensity of gifted children and the unexpected connections they make and the usual ways they express themselves.

Grateful for All of It, No Exceptions: Loving the Unexpected Gifts of Giftedness ~ Teach Your Own (Lori Dunlap)

The Buddhists say that life is filled with 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows, and to those of us raising gifted children, this may seem a bit on the low side. I haven’t exactly kept count, but I’m pretty sure that during some of our more intense weeks we’ve hit at least 10,000 (maybe even 12,000 on a few occasions.)

My comment: Thank you Lori for your reminder to be grateful including gratitude for the unexpected.

Keepsakes ~ Sprite’s Site (Jo Freitag)

I am loving the unexpected gifts I am finding among the humorous greeting cards and thank you notes. They are much too precious to discard!

Not Returning This Gift: How the Gifted Label Unexpectedly Helped My Child…and Me ~ The Fissure (Nikki C.)

The gifted label validated what I already knew, and it gave me peace of mind. After so many professionals had treated me like one of “those moms,” I no longer had to question whether I had done the right thing by pulling my son out of our school.

My comment: Lovely post, Nikki! Thank you for sharing how the knowledge of giftedness has enriched your life as well as your child’s life.

Quick Wit and a Bone to Pick ~ Gifted Unschooling (Amy Harrington)

One of the most delightful perks of raising gifted children is their sparkling wit and offbeat sense of humor. Intellectual sarcasm and zany one liners are the social currency in this house of gifted outliers. The second most enjoyable and unnerving aspect of the gifted child is their love of argument. Sometimes I get into the joy of sparring with my child but other times I am left a mentally drained casualty victim of a drive-by diatribe on the pitfalls of the militant third wave feminists who are controlling Tumblr and Twitter. It is exhausting.

My comment: Thanks for an interesting post, Amy! I love it when families share a brilliant sense of humour.

The Unexpected Gift of Giftedness: Homeschooling ~ My Little Poppies (Caitlin Curley)

I expected homeschooling to be hard. I expected the first year of homeschooling to be scary at times. I expected to learn a lot about myself and about my son. What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with homeschooling.

My comment: ‘Sometimes we stumble into our calling.’ I love that phrase Cait and I love how you describe homeschooling as the unexpected gift of giftedness for you.

You Can’t Return Your Gift ~ Atlas Educational (Lisa Swaboda)

Being called gifted is ironic because giftedness holds many unexpected surprises. Who doesn’t like to receive a gift? Everyone does; but peeking inside is when the real adventure begins. There are no give backs with this one. For better or worse, your gifted child is stuck with all of the dreads and sorrows as well as the highs and exhilaration that come with giftedness. The trick is finding the good.

My comment: I really enjoyed this post, Lisa! Yes, those existential wonderings and discussions about infinity always seem to happen at or after lights out time!

This is review post for the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum February blog hop ‘Loving the Unexpected Gifts of Giftedness!’  http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/loving-unexpected-gifts-of-giftedness/

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Keepsakes

lovinggifts01

Keeping her New Year’s resolution and spurred into action by the imminent visit of Great Aunt Hashtag, Retweet was working on decluttering her nest. Tweet had taken the Tweetlets out human watching to make the task easier.

Retweet had designated places to stack items which should be discarded or could be passed on to friends or given to charity shops.
But as she considered each item she found a reason she should keep it.

  • The tweetlets cloth nappies – maybe she would have another clutch sometime or maybe she should keep them for future grand-tweets.
  • The pile of feathers and pebbles (the one which Great Aunt Hashtag had tried to throw out) – that was Tweetelle’s first diorama and showed how artist she was even as a tiny tweetlet.
  • The books and materials for their Nest Ed – she could pass some of that to another Nest Ed family but again, what happened if they needed to refer back to something or needed something amongst it to prove a competency?
  • The projects and paintings the tweetlets had created – they were so well done and showed so much ability! And some of Tweetil’s work showed his wacky sense of humour. What if he became a Leader of the Great Migrations and someone wanted to write his biography?
  • Tweetil’s designs for an acorn launcher – would he want to return to those to develop a new machine and need those as part of the patent application?
  • And all those little cards and notes with pictures of hearts and messages of Thank you and I love you. They were just much too precious to discard!

asterisks
I know just how Retweet feels! Coincidentally, I am also trying to declutter and facing very similar dilemmas.
I am finding it very hard to discard pictures, stories and poetry the children created when they were young.
And I am loving the unexpected gifts I am finding among the humorous greeting cards and thank you notes. They are much too precious to discard!

This is a post in the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum February blog hop ‘Loving the Unexpected Gifts of Giftedness!’
If you would like to read about other unexpected gifts join us on the hop starting at http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/loving-unexpected-gifts-of-giftedness/

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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?”

asterisks

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’
http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/educating-gifted-children-the-many-ways-we-approach-their-learning/

Image Tara Hernandez

Image Tara Hernandez