Utopian Restoration

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“This is a task for Delta Dog!” declared the idealist Imaginational Dabrowski.
“Here comes Delta Dog swooping in with utopian ideals, creative ideas and humorous ideation to save the safety, sanity and sense of Sprite and her friends at Sprite’s Site!”

Imaginational was concerned about the less than ideal atmosphere at Sprite’s Site recently and was determined to do something to lighten the mood.

He tried standing on his head and making silly faces but nobody laughed and Intellectual said “Oh, do be sensible! Can’t you see we have serious worries?”

So Imaginational sat down with his trusty mind map to brainstorm the causes of the glum moods and anxiety.

He identified the problems as:

  • Anxiety caused by Little Bully Black Dog and the Pair O’Noids
  • Subject matter in the World History topic Sprite was studying
  • The books in Intellectual’s pile of suggested reading
  • The approaching elections
  • Issues surrounding the extent of personal responsibility for situations not within Sprite’s direct control

By drawing in the connecting lines Imaginational could see that all the causes of the gloom were inter-related.

So he started to think about which of the causes could be eliminated or changed


Imaginational was happy to find that there were several things which could be changed. One change was already imminent. Next term the Social Studies unit which Sprite will be studying will be concerned with Geography rather than grim World History.
Imaginational could foresee that Sprite would be very interested in studying landforms and places such as Antarctica and the Great Barrier Reef.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Next Imaginational asked Paula the Physicist, Sprite’s mentor, to come with him to visit Sprite and to bring some interesting books to lend to her to provide some alternative reading.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Paula brought some beautifully illustrated books about astronomy and biology for Sprite to borrow and a gift of an adult colouring book on the theme of art and mathematics and patterns found in nature.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

She also organised for Sprite to spend some time with her in the laboratory looking at ripple tank experiments into the properties of light.

Watching the circles of waves which went out from the sources and the way they interacted with each other and with differing water levels was not only fascinating.
It also led to an interesting discussion about the nature of light and then to a philosophical discussion about the influence a single small spark of goodness or a random act of kindness could have spreading effects in a seemingly dark and wicked world.


Flocks and Socks

Image Jo freitag

Image Jo freitag

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

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

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

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

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


These are the posts we visited and the comments we left

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

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

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

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

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

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

Educating Gifted Children ~ Homeschooling Hatters (Care Martin)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Loneliness of Homeschooling a Gifted Child ~ Sallie Borrink Learning

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

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

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

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

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

Image Tara Hernandez

Image Tara Hernandez