The Finishing Post

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

I have decided to accept Lisa Rivero’s challenge to write 30 blog posts for the month of September. I intend to try to add 10 posts to each of my 3 blogs during the month of September. Sprite’s Site will feature posts about posts!

And today we reach The Finishing Post.

A post-it note on the signpost declares that the challenge has been completed successfully.

Beloved Snail is bringing Sprite a postcard from Sprite Doll and the other Persona Dolls over at Personas, profiles and portraits blog  notifying her that they are celebrating the achievement of 10 posts on their blog with a tea party.
Retweet and Tweetelle are still enjoying the benefits of the GHF Blog Hop on the topic of parenting gifted and 2E children on a shoestring budget
And Postman Pedro Perez  is delivering a letter from Gifted Resources blog notifying of the completion of 10 posts and the announcement of the next challenge – InkTober.
He said that as Sprite had enjoyed making an International Dot Day poster she should attempt to create one drawing in Ink every day during the month of October.

Sprite has enjoyed participating in this challenge and would like to thank you so much for setting it up, Lisa.

This is the final post for Lisa Rivero’s challenge to write 30 blog posts for the month of September. To read all about her challenge see


Thirty Posts Hath September 1


I have decided to accept Lisa Rivero’s challenge to write 30 blog posts for the month of September. To read all about her challenge see

The Americans have just finished their long summer holiday and this is Lisa’s way of getting back into the swing of blogging.
In Australia we are approaching the three quarter mark in our school year and a spring holiday. I have not had time away from blogging but would like to accept the challenge anyway.

But I am going to approach it in a slightly different manner. I have three blogs – Gifted Resources Blog, Sprite’s Site and Personas, Profiles and Portraits.
So I intend to try to add 10 posts to each of them during the month of September.

Gifted Resources Blog posts may be flyers for coming events or programs.
The posts for Personas, Profiles and Portraits will probably relate to the creation and use of my persona dolls and their accessories.
And for Sprite’s Site I will endeavour to post about posts!


What Seth Godin Doesn’t Understand about Gifted People : Goes the other way? I think not!


When Seth Godin writes something people take notice. He is an entrepreneur, founder of ventures such as Yoyodyne and Squidoo and the author of bestsellers such as Linchpin and Purple cow. He has 184,000+ likes on his Facebook page and 246,500+ followers on Twitter.

So when he wrote this blog post at it caused consternation to many parents, teachers, service providers and advocates in the field of gifted education.

Here is the post in its entirety:

Actually, it goes the other way

Wouldn’t it be great to be gifted? In fact…
It turns out that choices lead to habits.
Habits become talents.
Talents are labeled gifts.
You’re not born this way, you get this way.

It also caused consternation among the characters at Sprite’s Site.

I found Intellectual Dabrowski setting up experiments to test Seth Godin’s assertion.
He had called in the Psych-owl-ogist  to provide background information and Myth Buster Columbus Cheetah to help sort facts from common misunderstandings.

“I have explained various aspects of giftedness” said the Psych-owl-ogist.


And here

I have discussed Prof Francoys Gagne’s DMGT model and how the various catalysts influence the development of innate giftedness into fully developed talent.
But you need to note that the talents are being developed from already existing giftedness.
Note that the arrow in the diagram points only in one direction!


There is much emphasis today on talent development and that is good.
But talent must not be confused with giftedness.
Giftedness as the Columbus Group definition says is ‘asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm’.
Yes, there is evidence of plasticity of the brain and renewing or changing of neural pathways but becoming proficient at something will not by itself create that initial state of asynchronous development and heightened intensity.
Making good choices, developing good habits, practice and persistence are great character attributes for mastering a talent and should be encouraged.

But the problem I have is with the linking of giftedness to achievement and also the assertion that everyone is/can be gifted. Yes, everyone has areas of ability. Yes, everyone has talents which should be developed and encouraged. Yes everyone is of equal worth as a human being!!!

But no, everyone is not naturally academically gifted. As the film The Incredibles points out “If everyone is special – then no-one is” And if nobody is gifted then we do not need to make any special provisions for their education.
And as Columbus Cheetah says “All cheetahs are animals but very few animals are cheetahs!”

“So Columbus Cheetah and I have designed an experiment” said Intellectual Dabrowski “We know cheetahs are perfectly designed to run fast. They have the long legs, flexible arched spine and enlarged chest, nostrils and lungs.
If Seth Godin is correct we can give Caramel Cat and the Tortoise all the attributes of a cheetah through choice, habits and talent development.
Choices lead to habits.
Habits become talents.
Talents are labeled gifts.
Columbus Cheetah has painted cheetah spots on Caramel Cat and the Tortoise and will be conducting a rigorous regime of training (including concentrated flash carding) and practice, practice, practice in an attempt to produce a cheetah performance and thereby cause an alteration in the very anatomy and physiology of Caramel Cat and the Tortoise.”

“And why are the Pair O’Noids  here?” I asked

“Probably because they recognise Seth Godin as someone with much power to influence public opinion and are concerned that he may add to the myths surrounding giftedness that advocates are already trying to counter.
Also the phrase ‘Talents are labeled gifts’ probably reminds them of the Newspeak of Orwell’s 1984 and the changing chants in Animal Farm
They probably wonder whether Seth was testing public reaction and the reactions of various groups or trying to change opinion when he posted” said Intellectual

Seth Godin’s post was discussed on the Twitter Irish gifted  #gtie chat The transcript can be read here

Other blog posts written in reply to Seth’s post can be read here

Pamela Price Red, White & GrewTM

Susanne Thomas Building Wing Span

Sara Wilson Watch Out for Gifted People

Mona Eby Chicks Life with intensity

Peter Lydon Gifted and Talented Ireland

Kate Arms-Roberts

Jen Torbeck Merrill Laughing at Chaos

Jeff Shoemaker Ramblings of a Gifted Teacher

Kim Modolfsky The Maker Mom 

Lisa Rivero writing a post for Psychology Today

This post has been nominated as one of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Rapid Responses to the topic “All children are gifted” To read more responses to this topic see


#gtstoogies return to the teen lounge

The #gtstoogies will be returning to the teen lounge this week as author Lisa Rivero will be the guest expert.
A few things have changed since the gtstoogies last visited the teen lounge – eg the books displayed on the bookshelf and Sprite’s campaign poster and voting instructions and the newspaper article about our time on Survivor –Gifted Island. But, to the consternation of Emotional Dabrowski, the room does not appear to be any tidier than last time!

As well as the excellent Creative Home Schooling for Gifted Children: a resource guide Lisa Rivero has also written books for intense and creative students and their parents.

A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Teens: Living with Intense and Creative Adolescents
(Great Potential Press, 2010)

You can read an excerpt from the book at

The Smart Teen’s Guide to Living with Intensity: How to Get More Out of Life and Learning
(Great Potential Press, 2010)

You can read an excerpt from the book at

I am really looking forward to the #gtchat discussions and to sharing pizza, hamburgers, potato chips, chocolate and milk shakes with the #gtstoogies and the teens afterwards.

Reading up on home education

  Recently I have been reading up on home education. As well as all the excellent websites and online resources relating to home schooling I have been rereading some of my favourite books on the subject.
Many years before I even considered home schooling for our family I read The Children on the Hill: the story of an extraordinary family by Michael Deakin and loved it.

First published in Great Britain by Andre Deutsch in 1972, it is the story of ‘Maria’ and ‘Martin’ bringing up their four exceptional children in a cottage in a remote corner of Wales and teaching them at home by ‘the process’ based largely on the philosophy and methods of Maria Montessori. 
Maria and Martin provided the necessary materials and complete undivided attention to the children which created the loving environment in which their talents and passions could flourish. This meant that Maria would complete her household chores at night while the children were asleep in order to be completely available to the children all day; so that no moment of readiness to learn a new concept would be missed. The learning was lead by the children and the children’s toys and learning materials were regarded in the same way.  They ‘played maths’ as happily as any other game.
The children all excelled in different areas. Christian, aged12, had already passed A Levels in science and mathematics. Adam, aged 9, had won a national piano competition for children under 18 years. Ruth, aged 7, painted brilliant pictures and Paul, aged 5, wrote his sums in the computer language FORTRAN.
When I first read the book it fascinated me and seemed somewhat extreme; but rereading it now it seems such a natural and beautiful way of living and learning.

The other book I am enjoying again is Creative Home Schooling for Gifted Children: a resource guide by Lisa Rivero.

Published by Great Potential Press in 2002, this book is a comprehensive guide to home based education of gifted and talented children which covers information such as

  • Getting started  with home  education
  • Different approaches and philosophies in home education
  • Traits of giftedness
  • Social and emotional needs
  • Intellectual needs and learning styles
  • Curriculum
  • Record keeping /college planning/legal aspects
  • Advice and experiences from home schooling parents
  • A huge collection of resources such as web sites,  books, publishers, manufacturers and suppliers and support groups

 This book is an essential how- to manual for parents who are homeschooling their gifted children or are contemplating embarking on the journey of home education.

Information about Lisa’s books and her thoughts about writing can be found on her website
and her Everyday Intensity blog

Lisa Rivero will be the guest expert on #gtchat this week.
For full details about how to participate in #gtchat see Deborah Mersino’s Ingeniosus website


The Big Questions 2

Gifted Online from New Zealand have put together some resources for helping children after the recent Christchurch Earthquakes at

They say:

This page has been written in case it is helpful to the parents and teachers of children who experienced the earthquakes in Christchurch, but may also be useful to other parents and teachers of gifted children.

Gifted children often sense their emotions more strongly than their age mates, and have an enormous awareness of social justice and the needs of others. They may empathise far more deeply with those affected badly by the quake than another child their age would, even if they have fared relatively well themselves. While caring for these children in similar ways that we would care for other children who are shocked or grieving will often be appropriate, it can also be useful to help gifted children identify ways in which strong emotions are a positive thing in their lives. Strong emotions can be energising, can help us to be caring, can enable us to create and appreciate beauty and humour, and make us interesting to know. 

ISTE International Society for Technology in Education has put together teaching resources about seismic activity at

Ready Ed has a teaching unit book Earthquakes volcanoes and tsunamis

Dr Michele Borba discusses Post Traumatic Stress Disorders in children in an article at

Lisa Rivero, author of Creative home schooling for gifted children, also has a helpful article on her blog
Helping children cope with disasters
which  includes a link to a PDF file from NAGC