Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

History homework always causes problems for Sprite.

Last night was no exception. The exercise was to mark certain important dates in Australian history on a timeline and write a paragraph about each one.
The Twitter Birds sporting their Movember moustaches were twittering encouragingly. White Poodle was perched on the desk.
And the Dabrowski Dogs were ready to help.
“Go on – just draw a timeline and write those dates on it and if Intellectual doesn’t find you too much information about each one we can be out of here in five minutes!” urged Psycho Motor. He had already brought out the Frisbee.

“She has to do it properly!” growled Intellectual. “I have provided a six volume account of the nation’s history and background readings to help determine whether the dates as stated in the books are accurate. I have also provided biographical details about the author to help determine his point of view and possible reasons for any inaccuracies.”

“But I don’t know how to draw the timeline” Sprite was saying “And I don’t know what date to put for the start.”

“I don’t see any problem” said Psycho Motor “Just draw a straight line with a ruler, put the dates you were given in order under the line and label each of the dates with the most important event that happened that year. Just do it and then we can go outside.”

“Sprite is obviously taking into account  the disputes surrounding the determination of the years according to various people groups and religions” conceded Intellectual.  “Let us assume for the purposes of this exercise that the dates are Western C.E. Common Era (we used to call it A.D. Anno Domini)”

“But what do I put for the starting date and how do I determine the scale for the timeline?” asked Sprite.”The history of the indigenous peoples goes back thousands and thousands of years before any of these dates.”

“And, anyway,” Sprite continued “I don’t even think time goes in one direction in a straight line. If it did we would measure it with a ruler not a clock.”

“What on Earth have you been suggesting to her now, Imaginational?” demanded Intellectual.

“I just said” replied Imaginational “that I thought time went out from a single point (but I don’t know where that point would be located) and that it goes out in all directions in a spiral pattern wave motion. That explains why we have déjà vu and serendipitous crossing of paths and it also explains why we have different places being at different stages at the same time. It explains why history repeats itself and people keep on making the same mistakes. And it could also explain how some inventions originate  and why some people have precognition”

Intellectual put his head on the floor and covered his nose with his paws.“No wonder she is confused, Imaginational!” he growled. “I wish you would only help Sprite with her homework when she has a creative writing exercise.”

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

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

That’s what it’s all about


Sprite was very pleased with herself. “I have done my Easter holiday homework already!” she said. “Now I can enjoy the holidays.”


“That’s very creative…” I said.

“I know” said Sprite. “Imaginational Dabrowski helped me.”

“You might need to write a bit more to explain it” I said.

“Isn’t it obvious?” asked Sprite. “In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 42 is the answer to everything and in the Hokey Pokey song it says ‘You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn around and that’s what it’s all about’. See, I even put the references in the footnotes.”

“I’m SO sorry!” said Intellectual Dabrowski. “I tried to help her! I really did!” “She was supposed to write an Easter essay titled ‘That’s what it’s all about’. I told her about what all the great thinkers, the philosophers and poets and scientists had said about the meaning of life and supplied all the references. And she said “Oh blah, blah, blah” and asked Imaginational to help her!”

Sprite’s Site has been nominated in the Australian Writers’ Centre Best Australian Blogs 2014 Competition http://www.writerscentre.com.au/community/best-australian-blogs-comp/
If you would like to vote for Sprite’s Site (and Gifted Resources blog and as many other great Australian blogs as you wish) in the People’s Choice section click on the badge in the sidebar of the blog and follow the link to the Survey monkey poll. Gifted Resources blog is on Page 2 and Sprite’s Site is on Page 4.

Sprite on the subject of Homework!


Sprite really dislikes homework and makes up elaborate excuses to avoid doing it!

“Misunderstanding” the set tasks https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/declining-the-table/

Hiding the homework work sheets https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/say-cheese-for-les-souris/

Hiding her computer mouse https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/gtstoogies-14-feast-for-les-souris/

Quibbling about the due date https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/the-ultimate-homework-excuse/

Claiming to not have suitable equipment or materials to complete the task https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/getting-organized-side-steps/

Being unable to find the things she needs. Where’s all my stuff gone? https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/wheres-all-my-stuff-gone/

Her excuses are so elaborate because Imaginational Dabrowski told her she was not allowed to say the dog ate her homework!

Strategies we have tried to help Sprite with her homework include

Homework strategies

Getting organized https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/getting-organized-step-1/

Having a homework place set up for her https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/getting-organized-homework-steps/

Having suitable stationery available https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/getting-organized-stationery-steps/

Trying to maintain a healthy life balance https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/08/12/getting-organized-step-2/

But we still have  problems like this!
Critical thinking  https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/critical-thinking/

Fortunately we discussed the topic of homework on #gtchat and the transcript which includes many links to helpful resources has been created on Storify at  http://sfy.co/iG6f

A write-up of the session will appear on the #gtchat blog soon and we can continue the discussion on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/gtchatmod?fref=ts


Declining the Table

“I don’t want to eat at the table tonight – I want to take a tray to my bedroom” said Sprite
“There- I have now finished my Latin homework!”
“I beg your pardon?”I said “I have not seen any sign of you working on Latin homework.”
“There, see – Decline table” said Sprite “DONE!”

“She makes me SO cross!” barked Intellectual Dabrowski “Sometimes I don’t know whether she is lazy or being smart aleck or if she is genuinely having problems doing her homework. I am sure she really does understand it. And if she does need extra help she could always visit these sites”

Trescolumnae Joyful Latin Learning


All about the Latin Language

“I thought that was a very creative response!” said Imaginational Dabrowski “But I guess the teacher would not be satisfied with it.”
I made a mental note that I need to discuss the pros and cons of ‘Pleading the Pink Slipper’ with Sprite and post about it in a blog post soon.

This discussion about Mensa and tables and invitations to a seat at the table was very timely for me.
I had just enjoyed a #gtchat session with guest expert Lisa Van Gemert


from American Mensa http://www.us.mensa.org/

The Storify transcript, overview and links will be posted soon on the #gtchat blog at http://globalgtchatpoweredbytagt.wordpress.com/

There was a theme of sharing together around the meal table in the
Cheetah Conservation Foundation News Fall Issue

Lisa Conrad asked on her Gifted Parenting Support blog ‘Is there a place at the table for parents?’

And the Institute for Educational Advancement replied with a warm invitation
Parents, please take a seat at our table.

I would love to see other organisations also expressing invitations like this as parents have a great deal of knowledge understanding and experience that they can bring to the table!

Critical Thinking

I had returned from a #gtchat session on Twitter about Critical Thinking and was looking forward to reading the transcript which will be posted soon at http://www.txgifted.org/gtchat-transcripts  Much helpful advice and many useful links were shared during the chat and also some light hearted joking like this

 I found Sprite trying to finish her homework with “help” from Intellectual and Imaginational Dabrowski.
As Serendipity would have it her homework involved reading the chapter about brain function, then writing an essay about it and drawing a picture or chart to illustrate it.
Intellectual had suggested that she should  stick some pictures on her whiteboard and make notes about the various areas to help her with writing the essay and creating a chart.
Much to Intellectual’s frustration, Imaginational had insisted on doing the fun bit first and was suggesting the form her illustration should take.
This is the diagram Sprite drew with the help of Imaginational.



“See” said Sprite “This is my Thinkatorium. Twitter Birds bring stuff in and I see stuff with my eyes and hear stuff with my ears and then it all gets put on conveyor belts which are on cogs that are turned by hamsters in hamster wheels and they get sent to the Language Garden to be sorted out into the subjects they are about and then the Memory Elephant files them somewhere in the filing cabinets and if I have told the Memory Elephant enough about them they can be found again. Otherwise I can’t find them when I need them later.”

Intellectual sighed! “Let’s apply some Critical Thinking to this” he barked “Bearing in mind that you are required to write a factual essay and provide an accurate factual illustration, can you see any inconsistencies between what you just read about how the brain functions and the picture that Imaginational helped you to draw?”

“Oh, incidentally, I do approve of your use of the word Thinkatorium” added Intellectual “ I checked your sources and I found that there is an excellent wiki of the same name at Thinkatorium http://thinkatorium.wikispaces.com/  and that Dr Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory also used the term http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1632246/quotes
I hope you are going to cite the sources of your quote properly!”

“I didn’t know I was quoting!” wailed Sprite “I thought Imaginational invented it!”


Say Cheese for Les Souris

Les Souris are delighted that the #gtstoogies are having another cheese tasting this week because they know Sprite will make up a mini platter and push it through the hole in the skirting board for them.
The vegemite is on the table because it was not put away after the Australia Day celebrations on 26th January.
Sprite’s backpack has been prepared for Back to School after the long Summer holiday which happens next week for most Australian schools.

In the Mouse House a Mouseterious Anonymouse is firing up the paper shredder in readiness for producing mouse bedding when Sprite’s homework papers start to be delivered through the hole in the skirting board. Imaginational Dabrowski will not let Sprite claim that ‘the dog ate her homework’ so  the mysterious Anonymouse gets the blame and the spoils!