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!’




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!

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


Dandelion wishes answered! 2

A letter from Angela Esnouf

Sprite was thrilled. She received a note from Angela Esnouf of Creating Order from Chaos in the comments section which was the answer to her wish for help to get her room tidied.

Hello Sprite,

School holidays and weekends are a great time to get your room organised.
Here are some ideas to help you.

Try to keep your goal small. Instead of “tidy my room”, which has so many
steps, so many possibilities, it’s better to think of one thing in your room
that needs organising. Like “collect all the books”. Then you gather up all the
books. It’s quicker and you know exactly what to do. Once they are collected,
you can decide the next step. Have you finished with some? Could they be donated
to some other children? Are some books really special? Where will you keep them
so that you can read them again and again?

What’s next? Are there clothes on the floor or in other places they don’t
belong? Dirty clothes can go straight to the laundry or clothes hamper. Do you
have a hamper in your room to catch dirty clothes? If the clothes are clean, do
they still fit? And where will they go? So many decisions to make! Perhaps you
could ask for some help if you get stuck making decisions.

I think you have enough jobs to get on with for now. But can I give you one
last suggestion? You are so clever at figuring things out. Once you’ve decided
where the books and clothes (and other things) will go, would a list of “rules”
help you to remember next time?

Let me know how it works out for you, Sprite. Which bits worked and which

Sprucing up Sprite’s Site

As Sprite’s Site is a nominated blog for Sydney Writers’ Centre Best Australian Blogs 2011, I told Sprite that we needed to spruce up the blog so that it will be ready for the judges and the people who want to vote in the Peoples Choice section to view.

I suggested that she should start with her room  or maybe follow the guidelines in the Clean Up Australia Day booklet; but she thought we should just add some Spruce trees to the site and get all the characters to take a bath!
She said her contribution would be to groom Ginger Pony.
She arranged for the Paws for Poise Mobile Cyber Dog Grooming Parlour bus to come; so that the Dabrowski dogs could be spruced up. P’est Pour Parfait, the perfectionist poodle, arrived with the van. Apparently he has become the PR rep for Paws for Poise.
The Twitter birds enjoyed splashing in the bird bath while Arachnid set about repairing broken links on the website and talked earnestly about tags and widgets and other improvements that could be added.

Sprite organized the mice, Oliver MoreMouse and Hieronymouse Bosh,  to scrub and repaint The Memory Elephant. I told her that  she should be the one responsible for the maintenance of her Memory Elephant!

Posts that are particularly representative of the style and content of Sprite’s Site are

12 Days of Christmas gifts from Sprite’s Site 12

Beyond our Ken 2 Sprite tries to fathom the nature of creativity Part 2

Review of the March for the Tree Octopus

Sprite and I would love it if you could visit these posts and maybe even leave a comment.

Getting Organized – Step 1

Step 1 in getting organized was to sort out Sprite’s room.
We started modestly by just clearing a path to her bed!
Taking the protest march signs, the plant and the pogo stick out to the garden and garage helped.
The mobius bagel was well past its eat by date and had to be thrown out and we ate the chocolate as we worked.
Installing a physical bookshelf and an online Shelfari bookshelf from took care of the books, giving a place for the soft toys.
We found the base for the Tower of Hanoi puzzle but the loose jigsaw pieces remained a mystery and were put in the drawer.
We brought in a table for her to use for a homework station and pushed suitcases etc under the bed.
Fly Lady would be proud of us
Caramel Cat slept through the whole event.