Asking for Help – A Guest Expert Panel Q&A session

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

The Hoagies’ Gifted Blog Hop for October 2015 looks at How and When to Ask For Help

Who can help gifted and 2E students and how and when should we seek help?
From school administrators, teachers and coaches, mentors and leaders? From counsellors or therapists? From state &/or federal government? From humankind? From the Universe? From family and friends and other members of the gifted community? Who helps or has helped you and how? How did you seek them or reach them or find them? What difference did it make?

To address these questions we have assembled a panel of experts from Sprite’s Site.
Paula, the Physicist, will answer questions about the role of a mentor.
Dr. Ed Needs, the Education Consultant, will be joining the session via Skype.
Columbus Cheetah will speak about the myths surrounding gifted and 2E students.
The Psych-Owl-Ogist will address issues relating to identification and testing and social/emotional issues.
Twitter Bird Retweet, mother of gifted tweetlets, will speak about the support available from Parent Support Groups.
A representative from the government was invited but sent a note of apology and referred the audience to their website.
Intellectual Dabrowski was not one of the invited experts but offered to share his extensive knowledge.

The format will be Question and Answer to preselected questions.
At the end of the session the audience will have an opportunity to ask their questions in the Comments section at the end of this post.

Question 1: How can you identify gifted students and where can you go for testing?
Psych-Owl-Ogist: There are checklists which can be completed by teachers and parents and various other ways of recording observations which can help to identify gifted students.
However if you need an I.Q. test administered you need to find a psychologist or education consultant who is qualified and registered to administer the test. And it is important to choose a person who specialises in working with gifted people.
The main tests are the Stanford Binet and the WISC. For articles and discussions about the comparisons between these and other tests see

Dr Ed Needs: Some education consultants are also qualified and registered to administer these tests as well as academic achievement level testing. They can also give testing to show areas of strength/weakness and detect possible learning difficulties and give the necessary recommendations, therapy and support.

Intellectual Dabrowski: If you are looking for psychologists and education consultants in Australia who have a special interest in giftedness see Gifted Resources list at

Question 2 (To Retweet): Where have you found helpful advice for raising your gifted tweetlets?

Retweet: The Psych-Owl-Ogist tested the tweetlets and gave us helpful advice about social emotional issues. And he helped us work through decisions about our parenting.
I have also found that joining a parent support group for parents of gifted tweetlets has been helpful because I am able to discuss things with those parents which most of my friends and even some of the members of our extended family do not understand.
Since we decided to continue NEST Ed rather than sending the tweetlets to fly with the local flock we have found much helpful information from Gifted Homeschoolers Forum
and from the local NEST Ed group.

Intellectual Dabrowski: For more information about Parenting and Parent Groups see

Question 3: I have been told that acceleration is harmful for gifted students. What does the panel think about this?

Columbus Cheetah: I will answer that question. It is one of the myths about giftedness that acceleration is harmful for gifted students. I discuss this and other myths about giftedness on Gifted Resources website at

Intellectual Dabrowski: For more information about Acceleration and the Iowa Acceleration Scales see

Question 4 (To Paula): Paula, you are a Physicist and a Mentor for Sprite. How are you able to assist Sprite in your role as mentor?

Paula: Like Sprite I am twice exceptional. I have overcome the same learning difficulties that Sprite has and have earned tertiary degrees. I also share a love of astronomy with Sprite. So I am able to relate to her and understand her areas of interest and the struggles she has. Often I can offer advice from my own experience. Also I am a person who is not her parent or teacher so sometimes she finds it easier to confide in me.
As a 2E student Sprite sometimes needs special provisions, accommodations or concessions but is often embarrassed by the need to ask for help.
I know that Sprite finds it difficult to ask for help and I am encouraging her to ask for and accept the help she needs. I am also trying to help her overcome the negative effects of perfectionism while retaining the positive aspects of it

Intellectual Dabrowski: More information about mentors 

Question 5 (To all panel members): Do you have a role as an advocate to help the gifted?
Paula: Whenever you speak up to increase awareness or explain issues you are acting as an advocate. Sometimes I speak to groups such as this about the characteristics and social emotional issues associated with gifted and 2E students and my role as a mentor.

Dr Ed Needs: I advocate for gifted and 2E students by giving recommendations for the educational provisions they need. Sometimes this involves being present as an advocate for the student during parent/teacher meetings. I also speak at conferences and write articles which are widely distributed.
One of the most important ways I act as an advocate is by giving parents and guardians the information, support and encouragement they need to advocate for their children.
And I also encourage the students to advocate for themselves and request the provisions they need in a respectful manner.

Columbus Cheetah: I act as a Myth Buster and as an advocate for acceleration, appropriate education in terms of pace, level, depth and breadth and for time spent with true peers rather than age peers.

Psych-Owl-Ogist: My advocacy is very similar in form to that of my esteemed colleague Dr Ed Needs.

Retweet: I allow my story to be told in the hope that it will help others who are in the same situation as me.

Intellectual Dabrowski: For more information about advocacy read

This is a post for the Hoagies’ Gifted Blog Hop for October 2015 How and When to Ask For Help.

To read more about this topic please visit


Boredom Bingo

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Sprite’s mentor, Paula the Physicist was visiting again and was very pleased to learn that Sprite had taken her advice about talking to Prudence.

“You remember you said we would talk about boredom sometime?” Sprite said “Can we talk about that now? Prudence says she gets really bored in class and I did not know how to help her”
“I do not think it would be a good idea to tell her to do what I do” Sprite continued “because sometimes it gets me into trouble.”

“What do you do when you get bored?” asked Paula. “I cannot imagine you acting like the class clown or flicking paper balls around the room”

Sprite laughed. “No” she said “I play Boredom Bingo.”
“It is a game I invented to help me concentrate when the teacher is talking about stuff I have known for ages. You see teachers tend to repeat facts several times so that everyone will understand. And sometimes when the lesson is really boring Intellectual Dabrowski goes to sleep under the desk and I tune out and if the teacher does say something new I miss hearing it.”

“So I draw up a three by three or five by five grid and when the teacher says a fact I write it or draw a picture of it in a square. Then every time she says that same fact I put a tick in that square and when she has said it 7 times I cross out that square. When I have a whole row or column of crosses or I have crosses in all the squares on the diagonals I win and usually the lesson is nearly over.”

“Why does playing Boredom Bingo get you into trouble?” asked Paula.

“Well Intellectual suggested that I should put a few extra phrases in the boxes in the grid that would alert me if something new was going to be said or if there was something I could research later. For instance he suggested adding the word ‘like’ because it could mean a simile or analogy was coming which would interest me”

“But sometimes Intellectual still gets bored and goes to sleep and Imaginational Dabrowski steps up to help me play Boredom Bingo.”

“Imaginational suggested adding all the things the teacher says a lot like ‘literally’ and ‘actually’ and ‘Um’ and also putting in some words that I would like to hear so that I would not miss them if they were said. So I put in words like ‘astronomy’ and fractals’. It also makes it harder to complete a line or column”

“Today our regular teacher was away so we had a relieving teacher for maths. She did not want to go on to any new work so she reviewed basic arithmetic. She called the lesson ‘Amazing Arithmetic’ and she wanted the kids to chorus ‘THAT’S AMAZING’ after she said really basic facts. I did not think it was amazing at all and Intellectual Dabrowski said “Oh pleeeeeease!” and vanished under the desk.”

“So Imaginational stepped up to help and we added Amazing to one box on the grid.
Then it turned out that the word ‘like’ was the word that she used as a filler in the way some people say ‘Um’.”

“By the time the lesson was half way through ‘Amazing’ and ‘like’ and most of the facts had at least seven ticks and a cross out. I was thinking that if I swapped the position of the ‘like’ box with the position of the ‘astronomy’ box I would have a bingo! And I thought I could allow myself to do that because I do ‘like astronomy’.
And Intellectual Dabrowski woke up and said that Arithmetic was very useful for calculating stuff for Astronomy but the numbers were usually much bigger and followed by ten to the power of huge numbers. And, of course, the same could be said for Nanotechnology but the numbers were followed by ten to the power of minus numbers.”

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“And then I realised that I had yelled ‘BINGO!’ out loud and everyone was looking at me.”
“And the teacher said ‘It sounds as if Sprite has discovered an Amazing Arithmetic fact. Let’s go round the class and each say what Amazing Arithmetic Fact we have discovered today.”

“And one by one all the kids stated a basic arithmetic fact and everyone chorused ‘THAT’S AMAZING!’ and when it was my turn I could not think what I could say that related to the lesson. Intellectual Dabrowski mumbled that I should tell her it is about scale and plus and minus powers of ten. But that would show that I had been daydreaming.”

“Imaginational said I should tell her how many times she said the words like and amazing in half an hour and therefore what the rates of likes and amazings per second would be. But I knew if I said that I would get sent to the principal for being rude”

“Whatever I said would get me into trouble so I didn’t say anything. And she asked why I had said Bingo and I said it was not important now and everyone laughed at me.”

Making connections 3

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“Pincher’s real name is Prudence” Sprite said “I finally talked to her today.”
Ever since Sprite had decided that maybe she was supposed to act as a mentor for the little girl she thought of as Pincher Sprite had been rehearsing the introduction that Emotional Dabrowski had suggested to her.
“Hi! How are you today? My name is Sprite by the way; what is your name?”

“I am scared it will come out all wrong” said Sprite. “It would be so embarrassing if I ended up saying Hi Pincher. Who are you today? My name is Sprite by the way.”

She had also been taking a ball of wool so that she could ask Pincher if she wanted to play cat’s cradle.
She had become so anxious about it that she had even prayed that if she really was supposed to be a mentor that the introductory process would go smoothly.

But for several days she had not seen Pincher. One day it rained and they ate their lunch in their own classrooms. Another day Pincher’s class went on an excursion. Then Pincher was away from school for a few days with a cold and then Sprite was absent for a day for a doctor’s appointment.
Sprite had stopped taking the ball of wool to school and rehearsing her introduction.

“It turned out so much better than I could have possibly hoped” Sprite said. “Pincher’s teacher was on yard duty at lunch time and Pincher was walking around with her. I like to do that too. And they came over to where I was sitting to eat my lunch and read my book.
The teacher said “Hi Sprite! How are you feeling now? (And listened properly while I told her) And then she said “I would like you to meet Prudence. She has a present for you.”

“The day I was away our class visited her class because they have organised a buddy program.
And I have been paired with Prudence. Mostly the teachers chose who we were going to have as a buddy. But Prudence had specially asked if she could have me!”

“Prudence had drawn a picture of me and she wanted to give it to me but she felt a bit shy about doing it in case I didn’t like her picture. So the teacher helped her to introduce herself to me. I think it is a pretty good drawing for a little kid!”

Making connections

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“I think I have an Apprentice and I don’t know what to do about it!” Sprite told her mentor, Paula the Physicist.

“There is a little kid in a lower class who follows me round and copies what I do.  When I got my new pinafore she wore a pinafore just like it two days later.
She always wants to have a go on my crutches and if I sit down to eat lunch she will try to borrow them. Sometimes I do let her use them.
I noticed she has a bandage on her ankle so maybe she is like me.”

“Why do you think she is your Apprentice?” Paula asked.

“It was something Retweet said yesterday.” Sprite replied. “How did you know you were supposed to be my Mentor?”

“Well you asked Jo to invite a Physicist to your P Party back in 2010 and Jo chose to invite me. And because we arrived for the party a month late we had an opportunity to spend more time talking than we would have had at the party and we discovered the things we had in common. I was able to share the things I had found helpful to me and our mentor/apprentice relationship has developed from there.”

“If she really is supposed to be my Apprentice – what am I supposed to do about it?”

“You could spend time together doing something you both enjoy and, as you talk, you will work out how you can help. What do you both like to do?”
“I don’t know.”
“What is she interested in?”
“I don’t know.”
“What subjects does she enjoy?
“I don’t know.”
“What does she find difficult?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well you need to start by talking with her. What is her name?”

“I don’t know – I think of her as Pincher.”

Gifted relationships

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Retweet the Twitter Bird was back from the Hoagiesgifted’ July blog hop feeling very encouraged and bubbling over with ideas for future projects for her tweetlets.

She had been encouraged by Paula Prober’s post   If I’m so smart, why am I so lonely? at Your rainforest mind that there were other like minds to be found

And she had found tips about where to find like minds at Cait’s My little poppies post Finding and forging gifted relationships

She heard about the effort required maintain relationships at Adventures of Hahn Academy’s post Relationships require work /

And she had seen the value of relationships in Celi’s Crushing tall poppies post
Gifted relationships The silver lining in the gifted storm

She had found these helpful tips about building healthy friendships at Up Parenting Creek
7 Tips to help your kids build healthy friendships
Build Negotiation Skills
Foster Empathy
Teach How to Say, “I’m Sorry” (and Mean It!)
Role Play Through Tricky Situations
Encourage Hobbies (Find a Tribe)
Make Your Home Welcoming
Model Healthy Friendships

She had decided that she would incorporate these tips into their NEST Ed and also would investigate the Virtues program mentioned in GiftEd connections post
Gifted and Struggling with Relationships? The Virtues are a Good Place to Start

But it was the post from Braver than you believe which really made Retweet think!
Five relationships every gifted kid needs

She agreed that it is important to have people in our lives who have the relationship of role model, mentor, peer, apprentice and sergeant.

Her tweetlets had found true peers of all ages at the Bower Holiday Programs and the Psych-Owl-Ogist had arranged a mentor for them. She was not sure whether they had anyone filling the other roles.


She asked Sprite whether she had people who fitted those descriptions.

“My mentor Paula the Physicist is also my role model” Sprite told her “She has overcome the same problems I have and has earned tertiary degrees. And she loves astronomy like I do so we always have plenty to discuss”

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“The role of Sergeant is being filled by Intellectual Dabrowski and P’est Pour Parfait, the Perfectionist Poodle. I don’t need anyone else telling me what to do and how to do it!”

“I guess I do have an Apprentice” Sprite continued. “There is a little kid in a lower class who follows me round and copies what I do. Like when I got my new pinafore she wore a pinafore just like it two days later.
I do not know what her name is. I call her Pincher because she always wants to have a go on my crutches and if I sit down to eat lunch she will try to borrow them. Sometimes I let her use them and one time I took a photo of her. Then I noticed she has a bandage on her ankle so maybe she is like me and I should try to help her like Paula helps me.”

“There was a post on the hop about gifted/special needs relationships” Retweet said.
The Fissure – The Power of Special Connections: Gifted/Special Needs Friendships

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“What about peers? Do you have any special friends?” asked Retweet
“Can I count Paula and Columbus Cheetah and the Memory Elephant and the Dabrowski Dogs?” asked Sprite.

This is a follow up post to the Hoagiesgifted’ July blog hop 


White Poodle, Black Poodle

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Sprite is very fortunate to have Paula, the Physicist as a mentor.
Not only does Paula share Sprite’s passion for astronomy, but she has also overcome the same learning difficulties that Sprite has and gained tertiary degrees.

Paula has been encouraging Sprite to accept the accommodations and extra support she needs and not to feel embarrassed about wearing one pink slipper when necessary.

But Sprite is still often reluctant to wear the pink slipper.
“People might say if I am clever enough to be in the gifted group I should not need any extra help” Sprite told Paula. “And if I do put on the pink slipper they might say I am faking and just looking for attention and that I can do well enough without it.
And some of the programs I was in last year have not continued this year.”

“So I wear the Can Do sandals or the Investigative grey sneakers and just try to do my assignments perfectly without any extra help but Intellectual Dabrowski brings me SO MUCH information that I cannot deal with all of it and then P’est Pour Parfait, the Perfectionist Poodle says what I have done is not good enough. He says I should have written more and that I have made spelling mistakes.
And he says to hurry because it has to be finished and handed in at the end of the lesson but not to hurry so much that I make more mistakes. And I get so tired that I just want to stop work and go home.”

Paula identified two issues from this conversation with Sprite.
She suggested that it was time to visit Dr Ed Needs, the education consultant,
again for a review of Sprite’s progress and recommendations for further provisions.

And she asked Sprite an interesting question.
“What colour is P’est Pour Parfait, the Perfectionist Poodle?”

“He is black” Sprite told her. “His coat is always very shiny and perfectly groomed with not a hair out of place.”

The next time Paula visited was after Sprite’s appointment with Dr Ed Needs.
Sprite was convalescing at home after an operation (more about that in another post) and she was sporting a new cast. Dr Ed had organized more formal support measures for her.

“In a way it is a relief” Sprite told Paula “because now I don’t have to worry about the pink slipper. But all this testing and therapy seem to be taking so long!  How long will it be before everything is perfect?”

Sprite is very fortunate to have Paula as a mentor!
“I have found” Paula told her “that being 2E is not something that goes away or that I could outgrow. But there have been people to support me and programs to help and I have still managed to be quite successful in spite of my difficulties. I would like to share some of those things with you. One day you will be able to do the same for someone else.”
And Paula had brought a gift to cheer Sprite up. It was a white soft toy poodle wearing a purple coat and purple framed sun glasses.


“I thought it would remind you of our time we have together because of the purple coat which is like the Purple Riding Boots Mentor Program” she said.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“And also it will remind you about what I am going to share with you now.
Poodles can be white as well as black and, in the same way, perfectionism can be both positive and negative.
Dr. Linda Silverman says that perfectionism is the root of excellence and the driving force that propels toward the attainment of higher goals.


She also discusses perfectionism in an article Perfectionism: The Crucible of Giftedness which you can find at

Perfectionism can be a negative force when it causes you to procrastinate or prevents you from participating for fear of not excelling or if it causes you to never be satisfied with any effort and never feel that you have done well enough.

Some people say that no human can ever be perfect or create anything which is perfect because this is an attribute only of the Divine. In fact artists from Eastern traditions have been known to purposely include a slight flaw in their work.

That is why White Poodle is wearing sunglasses – so that he will not dazzle himself with his own brilliance!
White Poodle is here to remind you that it is great to strive for excellence and to attain the ecstasy of being totally in the state of Flow described by Csikszentmihalyi in 1990.
But White Poodle is also cautioning you to be gentle with yourself and not let the negative aspects of perfectionism rob you of your joy.



This is a post for the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum May Blog hop Perfectionism and Other Gifted/2E Quirks.
To read posts from others please go to


Staying motivated throughout the homeschool year


Sprite and her friends are joining in the first Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Blog Hop for 2014 which deals with the challenge of staying motivated throughout the homeschool year.

The Tweet family of Twitter Birds who live at Sprite’s Site are teaching their tweetlets at home using the NEST Ed method.
Retweet says that she has experienced difficulty with maintaining motivation for the whole year but that she has found a number of strategies that were helpful.

Intellectual Dabrowski had encouraged her to watch

RSA Animate Daniel Pink The surprising truth about what motivates us

It discussed Intrinsic /extrinsic rewards and interest and engagement as sources of motivation
Retweet had tried using the reward of digital badges as motivation

Get in the Flow
The Psych-Owl-Ogist advised Retweet to “Get in the Flow”
He told her that in order for students to be engaged in their learning it is important to pitch the teaching at what Dr Katherine Hoekman would call ‘the eyebrow wrinkle level’ of challenge – possible to attain with effort – but neither impossibly difficult nor far too easy.

He also referred her to the TED talk about Flow at
Professor Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi’s work, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, notes that people are happiest when they are in a state of flow when they are completely absorbed in the activity at hand and nothing else seems to matter. For the state of flow to occur the challenge of the task and the ability of the performer need to be matched. The task should be neither too easy nor much too difficult.

Columbus Cheetah agreed it was important for Retweet to start at the right level and work at a suitable pace in order to keep the tweetlets engaged in their studies and added that they should also be given opportunities to spend time with true peers.


PBL – Project/Problem/Passion Based Learning

Retweet had seen how disastrous it could be when the tweetlets were not interested in their studies

Intellectual Dabrowski had suggested the use of PBL – Project/Problem/Passion Based Learning and Retweet had incorporated project work in the areas that the tweetlets were passionately interested in to their studies.
Retweet had included some theme studies such as the study of luck  and arranged for the tweetlets to build kites. She had encouraged Tweetelle in her love of painting and suffered cracked ear wax as Tweetil mastered the drums.

She had incorporated some Online courses such as the ones offered by Gifted Homeschoolers Forum
Khan Academy etc. and various universities and programs and tutorials such as Scratch


Vocational guidance

Giving the tweetlets some insight into future careers by taking them to Work Experience Week at the Twitter Stream for Vocational Ed studies had also provided a sense of purpose for the tweetlets. It broadened their awareness of careers that are available and what subjects should be studied in order to prepare for them.


Participation in Global Projects
After I participated in the Global Education Conference I brought back to Sprite’s Site information about making connections with others by joining in global projects such as World Museum World Friends Project, Peace One Day, Dream flags, My Hero and Flat Stanley. Retweet was quick to see that collaborating with others around the world and sharing their work with a real audience would be great motivation for her tweetlets.

Find mentors or tutors

Imaginational Dabrowski had suggested to me the benefits of finding a mentor for Sprite

“I love the idea of a mentor for Sprite!” Imaginational said “She could go and listen to her mentor giving lectures and show her the things she has been working on and the mentor could suggest books for her to read and send her encouragement notes. And if the mentor has overcome difficulties too she could help Sprite overcome her difficulties and not feel embarrassed about wearing one pink slipper. And she could come and visit and we could all look at the stars together”
We found Paula the Physicist who shares Sprite’s love of astronomy and she has been a great source of encouragement and motivation for Sprite.


A recent gtchat discussed the value of mentoring for gifted learners

Retweet agreed that finding mentors was a great way to encourage motivation and engagement. The Psych-Owl-Ogist had advised her to engage mentors and tutors or take courses with specialists in specific subjects and had suggested that she could share the teaching of
Migration and Navigation with Arctic Tern
Business Studies with the Secretary Bird
Collecting and curating with Bower Bird
Humour with Kookaburra
Carolling with Magpie
Theatre with Lyrebird
Elocution with Parrot

Retweet said that her tweetlets loved the sessions they spent with their mentors and tutors.


This is a post in the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum February 2014 Blog Hop: Staying motivated throughout the homeschool year

To read all the posts from the blogs participating in this blog hop please see


Purple Riding Boots

“What Sprite needs is a mentor” declared Columbus Cheetah “She needs a mentor who shares her passion for science especially astronomy and it would be even better if you could find her a mentor who has overcome the same difficulties that Sprite is experiencing!”
“You should look into some of the Purple Riding Boots Programs.”

Sprite had proved, when given the opportunity in the Grey Sneakers Investigation Programs, that she had the ability to comprehend material several years beyond her age grade level; but because of her learning differences and difficulties had not been able to fit into the Blue Formal Shoes programs which included most of the formal programs for gifted students.
The work she had completed in the Orange Gumboot Emergency Plans program had demonstrated that she had leadership potential.
She had felt comforted and supported in the Pink Slipper Compassionate Care Programs but her intellect had not been challenged by them.

The De Bono 6 Action Shoes Purple Riding Boots lead to action plans emphasising leadership, command and authority.

The De Bono 6 Action Shoes Purple Riding Boots lead to action plans emphasising leadership, command and authority
The programs formed by purple riding boot action planning would be Leadership skills programs, Mentoring, Biographical studies.
They could also be creativity and artistically based programs.

Programs for gifted education which focus on Leadership skills programs, Mentoring and Biographical studies can prove very effective in helping the student to determine their path and find a role model.

The program can be undermined if the mentor proves unsuitable but if successful these programs can be a powerful influence in the development from giftedness to talent and great assistance in travelling the Gagne DMGT Road from Natural Abilities (Gifts) through to Competencies (Talents).

“I love the idea of a mentor for Sprite!” said Imaginational Dabrowski “She could go and listen to her giving lectures and show her the things she has been working on and the mentor could suggest books for her to read and send her encouragement notes. And if the mentor has overcome difficulties too she could help Sprite not feel embarrassed about wearing one pink slipper. And she could come and visit and we could all look at the stars together”

“And” said Imaginational “If Sprite takes part in some Purple Riding Boot Leadership programs she might even become a role model herself!”

Finding the Right Flock 3

The later and darker the evening grew the brighter and more wide awake the Psych Owl Ogist became. He was ready to continue the discussion about finding the right flock for the gifted Tweetlets
The Tweetlets, who usually resisted sleep, had nodded off and Tweet and Retweet were getting drowsy. But, being Twitter birds, they were used to being awake at varying times in order to chat with others from different time zones.

“I have a few more suggestions as regards finding a suitable flock for your gifted Tweetlets” said the Psych Owl Ogist.

“Remember I told you that you need to select a flock for the Tweetlets which will allow them to go far and give them the opportunity to soar.
Maybe you should look at a flock which uses the MONTE SOARY pedagogy.
This would offer a choice of activities from within a prescribed range of options with uninterrupted blocks of work time where they could discover and learn concepts by working with the materials provided rather than by being directly instructed by a teacher.”

“The humans have a similar pedagogy called MONTESSORI.”

“Or you could think about a flock which uses the EGRETIO EMILIA philosophy

The Tweetlets would be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing and hearing and be allowed to explore and express themselves. There would be an emphasis on their developmental stage and close relationships with others and their environment and respect for them as individuals. Their curiosity would be valued and respected. Parents are viewed as partners, collaborators and advocates for their children and are involved in every aspect of the curriculum. It is not uncommon to see parents volunteering to help with the Flock and practice the same philosophy at home in the Nest

“The humans have a similar pedagogy called REGGIO EMILIA”

“Or” continued the Psych Owl Ogist “you could continue with Nest Ed and engage mentors and tutors or take courses with specialists in specific subjects”

Migration and Navigation with Arctic Tern

Business Studies with the Secretary Bird

Collecting and curation with Bower Bird

Humour with Kookaburra

Carolling with Magpie

Theatre with Lyrebird

Elocution with Parrot

“You get the picture!”

The first SIP – S for Spiritual

The first step in our S.I.P. program for overcoming the negative influence of the Black Dog of depression on Spite, as I am a Christian, was to talk to our pastor and his wife and ask their advice.

I also asked several friends to pray that we would be led to solutions to Sprite’s depression and that we would all grow stronger and closer to the Lord. A couple of them are already mentors for her.

I was impressed with the degree of insight Sprite had already demonstrated about the possible causes and possible solutions
One of these was lack of self esteem and being awkward in social situations.
We looked for a vibrant church youth group which held social events and outings as well as Bible studies which would welcome and encourage her.