Image Jo Freitag

Put your hand up if you think things feel a bit strange and different at the moment!

Tweet and Retweet are feeling a bit disrupted and unsettled at the moment too.
For one thing the Great Migrations have been cancelled or maybe deferred till later this year. Most Twitter birds work for Twitter so they are working from home if possible. And because so many people want to use Twitter to stay connected the Tweet is busier than ever.

Retweet is also busier than ever. She has two extra occupants of the nest at the moment. One is little Pippin Tweet, Retweet’s nephew, who came for a holiday and then could not go home because his parents were feeling a bit seedy and did not know whether it was anything serious. So just to be safe Pippin stayed on with the Tweets.

And Great Aunt Hashtag came for a visit and then was not able to return to her home because at her advanced age she was considered a flight risk.

So Retweet is trying to keep everyone happy and maintain harmony in the nest at the same time as juggling different dietary requirements. And it seemed that Pippin was used to eating a lot more sugary foods than she liked her tweetlets to have.

Great Aunt Hashtag has been complaining because her Beetle Confectionery Cooking class has been cancelled. Also, because everyone was hoarding, supplies were so limited that she was not able to get any desiccated Christmas beetles.

Image Jo Freitag

This is a photo of Great Aunt Hashtag at her Beetle Confectionery Cooking class last year.
You can see that they would not be able to manage social distancing and that if they were cooking together they would be in danger of passing germs to each other. So it was a good thing that the class was cancelled but Great Aunt Hashtag was still disgruntled and grumbling.

Retweet has been trying to cheer up Great Aunt Hashtag and keep Tweetil, Tweetelle and Pippin occupied; so that they would not annoy her. But she has been missing the regular times she used to catch up with other families doing Nest Ed. This is how she has been talking to the family in the tree next door lately.

Image Jo Freitag

Then she had the bright idea to send messages by displaying flags in her tree

Image Jo Freitag

Retweet has been trying to ensure that their Nest Ed studies continued as usual. But at the same time as she was teaching her tweetlets about aerodynamics and meteorology she had to teach Pippin the very basic Flight 101 lesson Flap, Flap, Flap.

And everything felt so different!

On Wednesday Tweetelle said “I do not want to learn about avian anatomy today! It just does NOT feel like Wednesday!”

And Retweet knew exactly how she felt.

“What day do you think it is?” she asked.

“Wrens day!” Tweetelle answered “I want to paint wrens today.”

“What sort of day do you think it is, Tweetil?” she asked.

“Kite day!” said Tweetil. “I want to fly my kite”

She was very glad that doing Nest Ed allowed her to be flexible. She could see that she would be able to include avian anatomy teaching with Tweetelle’s wren painting and aerodynamics with Tweetil’s kite flying.

And then Pippin piped up “I want Lollipop day!”


Some things to ponder and some possible activities.


1. Are there any big words in the story you did not understand that you could investigate?


2. Great Aunt Hashtag is a glass half empty kind of old bird. She is fretting about what she does not have. How could you help her to notice all the things she does have and be grateful?


3. Would you like to rename one day this week and do an activity which you enjoy?
You could tell us about it next week!




Flocks and Shoes


Image Jo Freitag

The Gifted Homeschoolers Forum January 2016 blog hop has the theme ‘Educating gifted children: The many ways we approach their learning’

In about two weeks Victorian students will begin the 2016 school year.
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
*ease of travel to school
*what specific provisions are made for gifted students? Is early entry / acceleration an option? What enrichment opportunities do they offer? Are the provisions offered full time or a once a week extra?

A list from the Davidson Institute of suggested questions to ask prospective schools can be found at http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10403.aspx

Information about acceleration can be found at Acceleration Institute http://www.accelerationinstitute.org/

For the folk at Sprite’s Site the search for an ideal education can be expressed as Flocks and Shoes


Image Jo Freitag

The Tweet Family

The Tweet family worked through these questions with the help of the Psych-Owl-Ogist in 2012
They eventually decided to continue their NEST Ed (Nest Education System of Training) program despite the challenges associated with that choice


Image Jo Freitag

We have been on a quest with the help of Dr Ed Needs the (fictional) Education Consultant to find the ideal education for 2E Twice exceptional student Sprite within the school system, supplemented by extra activities and holiday programs.
We also found Paula, the Physicist to be a mentor for her.

We are using De Bono’s 6 Action shoes as the tool for planning and we road test them on Gagne’s DMGT (Differentiation Model of Giftedness and Talent) road from innate giftedness to fully developed talent.
This has been our experience with the various types of education represented by the shoes
Orange gumboots https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/orange-gumboots/

Pink slippers https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/pink-slippers/

Grey sneakers https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/grey-sneakers/

Blue formal shoes https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/blue-formal-shoes/

Purple riding boots https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/purple-riding-boots/

Brown brogues https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/brown-brogues/

More shoes https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/more-shoes/

One size shoe cover system https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/de-bonos-6-action-shoes-9-one-size-shoe-cover-system/

Plaster cast https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/casting-sprites-education-in-a-new-form-part-1/

It is also sometimes necessary to employ the strategies of S.C.A.M.P.E.R. in order to modify teaching methods for Sprite.

Every year we hope that the provisions which have been recommended and adopted in the previous year will continue but in the past we have often found that situations change and the measures had to be re-evaluated.

So until this year’s provisions for Sprite are settled she is wearing one orange gumboot representing stop gap measures to cater for her giftedness and a walker boot representing stop gap measures to cater for her difficulties.

This is a post for the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum January 2016 blog hop
Educating gifted children: The many ways we approach their learning
To read more posts please visit http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/educating-gifted-children-the-many-ways-we-approach-their-learning/ 


Image Tara Hernandez

The year in review 2015

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

“I still say Memory Elephants are overworked!” grumbled the Memory Elephant. “First you wanted me to help you write the Gifted Resources’ Activity Report for the year and now you want me to review the posts on Sprite’s Site blog for 2015. Well, here is the review.”


In 2015 Sprite’s Site participated in six of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum blog hops  
January: Gifted in reel life
We discussed some movies which depict gifted characters and the Gifted Resources Film Discussion series.

March: A Day in the Life of a Gifted Homeschooler
Twitter Bird Retweet shared a presentation about a typical NEST ed day.

April: Gifted at Different Ages and Stages

May: Perfectionism and other Gifted/2E quirks
We saw the value of Sprite’s mentor, Paula the Physicist and gained a new character on the blog – the White Poodle.

September: Parenting Gifted/2E kids on a shoestring

October: Discovering the depth and breadth of giftedness

In 2015 Sprite’s Site also participated in eight of the Hoagiesgifted’ blog hops


April: Anxiety https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/anxiety/
May: 2E kids https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/2e-is/
June: The gift of free time
July:Gifted relationships
August: Gifted 101
We collected the stories of the lives of the members of the Tweet family.
September: Over sensitivities (OEs)
We collected some of the stories about the over excitable Dabrowski Dogs.
Stories of the OEs https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/stories-of-the-oes/
October: How and When to Ask for Help
We assembled a panel of experts from Sprite’s Site to answer questions on the topic.
December: Surviving the holidays

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

In January several of the characters from Sprite’s Site became 3D when they were made into Persona Dolls and a whole new blog, Personas, profiles and portraits, was created for them at https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/

The Sprite’s Site posts about them in January were
Memory elephant in the room

The Sprite’s Site characters and the Persona Dolls appeared in webinars and these were discussed on Personas, profiles and portraits blog https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/  and Gifted Resources blog https://giftedresources.wordpress.com/

In February, having devoted much time to the new blog and activities associated with it Jo returned to Sprite’s Site
Back to base 

In March and April De Bono’s Six Action Shoes were mentioned
New blue boots
Pleading the pink slipper 

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

April Fools’ Day saw Sprite trying to trick the Persona Dolls by suggesting that she could cross into their dimension.
The digital divide
The digital divide 2
The digital divide 3
Easter was celebrated in April this year

Also in April we also encountered homework problems when the over excitable Dabrowski Dogs “helped” Sprite.

In June we celebrated the blog birthday and New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week blog hop
Happy Birthday Sprite’s Site
Changing the way you see us

In July we met another new character. Sprite has been partnered with Prudence in the school’s buddy system.
Making connections
Making connections 2
Making connections 3

In August the topic of boredom was discussed
Boredom Bingo
Boredom Bingo 2
Boredom Bingo 3

And in September Jo decided to accept Lisa Rivero’s Back to Blogging #30postshathsept challenge to write 30 blog posts for the month. She chose to write 10 posts for each of her three blogs. The posts written for Sprite’s Site were posts about Posts.
and following posts.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

In October Jo participated in INKtober and a new portrait of the Sprite’s Site folk was created. The Lobsters held their annual Lobby Lobster Fest and the Dabrowski Dogs dressed up for Halloween.
Hat tips

In November we tackled the topic of homework again with the Dabrowski Dogs helping Sprite to overthink the exercise of creating a timeline of events in Australian history.

And in December we thought about Christmas. The Persona Dolls held a Christmas party and sent their own greetings from their blog and the Twitter birds joined in a Bonus Advent series challenge with the Facebook 52 Illustrations Group.

Memories of Christmases past
Christmases present
Christmases future
Seasons’ greetings from all at Sprite’s Site


“There is the 2015 blog review” said the Memory Elephant. “I hope you are happy with it. I am really looking forward to my holiday on 30 December!”



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 http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/identification.htm 

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 http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/psychedcons.htm

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 http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/columbuscheetah.htm

Intellectual Dabrowski: For more information about Acceleration and the Iowa Acceleration Scales see http://www.accelerationinstitute.org/

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  http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/mentors.htm 

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


On a Shoestring


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!

Another type of Post often found on Sprite’s Site is the Blog Hop Post.
I enjoy participating in a few of the regular blog hops especially Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Blog Hops. See all my posts for these hops at  https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/gifted-homeschoolers-forum/

When I visited Sprite’s Site this morning I found the Twitter Bird, Retweet sitting on the signpost announcing the GHF September Blog Hop Parenting Gifted/2E Kids on a Shoestring with a shoelace in her beak.

“Hey! That’s the lace I lost from my sensible brown brogue shoe!” said Sprite.

“Well, you are not using it at the moment!” replied Retweet “And I have so many uses for it for nest interior design and material for my NEST Ed.”

It seems that Retweet and I have slightly different ideas of what NEST Ed/Homeschooling on a shoestring means.
For Retweet it was a fairly literal interpretation whereas for me it meant being able to provide opportunities for great education on a very limited budget.
But  we did agree about learning situations and resources that could be found for little or no cost.



Retweet: I discovered how useful shoestrings can be when Tweet brought home one by accident instead of a worm.
Tweetil squwarked “Yuk! Puh! Puh! Puh!” and spat it out but Tweetelle grabbed it and declared she could make a macrame hanger for her seed heart from it.

Jo: Some of our best learning was free or at very little cost and was completely serendipitous. For example when we found a possum which had been hit by a car and took it to the local vet the possum had to be euthanized; but the baby in her pouch was given to the “Possum Lady,’ a wildlife carer, to raise. She visited us and brought some possums and gave the children a wonderful lesson which incorporated Biology, English and Art.


Retweet: The library was the best place to find resources for us https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/tweetlets/


Jo: The library was the best place to find resources for us too
We also bought a lot of materials very cheaply from Op shops, markets, fetes and book  exchanges.


Recycling saves much material being consigned to landfill and provides materials for use in crafts etc.
Resource Rescue in Bayswater and other similar centres provide clean recycled materials very cheaply

Retweet: I recycle all the shoe laces I find by using them as craft materials and also for nest improvement. It is much cheaper than Le Nid Insta D.I.Y. flat pack nest materials for renovating the nest!

Jo: Our daughter Erica repaired and repainted a doll’s cradle which was being discarded and sewed the mini quilt and pillow for it. She also made the Peter Rabbit soft toy from a kit which she was given as a birthday present.



Multitasking means you can learn many subjects and accomplish many tasks simultaneously which is economical in terms of both time and money.

Retweet: See examples of how we managed to combine our learning with the daily tasks which had to be completed in the presentation One NEST Ed Day https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/one-nest-ed-day/

Jo: An example of being able to use Zome construction tools in many different ways is found at https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/zome-dome-nest-ed-home/

This is a post for the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum September Blog hop Parenting Gifted/2E Kids on a Shoestring.

To read posts from others please go to http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/parenting-gifted2e-kids-on-a-shoestring/ 


And, speaking of multitasking –

This is also a post for Lisa Rivero’s challenge to write 30 blog posts for the month of September. To read all about her challenge see http://www.lisarivero.com/30postshathsept/


Beginning the journey: Gifted 101

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Hoagies’ Gifted Blog Hop for August 2015 has the theme Gifted 101
‘For back to school, let’s share all we’ve learned with those who are just beginning the journey. Whether it’s your favorite resources, advocacy advice, parenting, schooling, homeschooling, acceleration… There are so many things we have to share!’

The stories about The Tweet family of Twitter Birds who live on Sprite’s Site Blog illustrate the beginnings of the gifted journey.

In February 2012 Retweet laid a blue egg and a pink egg and in March 2012 the tweetlets, Tweetil and Tweetelle, hatched.

By late March the tweetlets were demonstrating characteristics often
associated with giftedness in early childhood and their stories described parenting
issues and differences of opinion with Great Aunt Hashtag

Then came a series of tales about asynchronous development as the Tweet family commenced Flight School

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

The Psych-Owl-Ogist was consulted and we learned about characteristics of giftedness and social/emotional aspects

Next came the discussions involved in finding the right flock for the tweetlets
and the decision to continue with Nest Ed and the challenges associated with that choice

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

I hope that sharing these stories about the experiences of the Tweet family will be helpful.

To read more about the topic of Gifted 101 join the Hoagies’ Blog hop at http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/blog_hop_gifted_101.htm


Friends and relations

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Great Aunt Hashtag was visiting the Tweet family again.

Retweet was trying to make the visit a positive experience by declaring that as part of their NEST Ed activities for the week they would be researching their family tree as Great Aunt Hashtag was very knowledgeable about Tweet’s family history.
“I am glad to see you are doing that.” said Great Aunt Hashtag.
“In MY day we knew how to respect our ancestors and relatives!”

Retweet already knew that there were several illustrious ancestors who were Leaders of the Great Migrations in Tweet’s family tree. She attributed the giftedness of her tweetlets to the genes they had inherited from Tweet’s family. However she acknowledged that there were many brilliant musicians, poets and visionaries on her side of the family tree.
And of course she had discussed the nature versus nurture issue with the Psych-Owl-Ogist on several occasions. He had shown her a diagram of Professor Francoys Gagne’s DMGT model and pointed to the Environmental Catalysts section to demonstrate how the influence of the nest environment played its part in the development of the Tweetlets innate giftedness into fully developed talent.

Tweet had also told Retweet about an old uncle who was a brilliant thinker and was said to be rather peculiar. Retweet was really keen to know more about him.

“Oh he was a bad egg, a bad egg!” said Great Aunt Hashtag “He was the black sheep of the family!”

Tweetelle tugged at Retweet’s wingtip “You told us sheep and dogs do not come out of eggs” she whispered
“The black sheep of the family is just a saying. We will talk about it later.” Retweet whispered back.

“It is a good thing you can choose your friends because you cannot choose your relations” Retweet said.
She was trying to smooth the conversation but she was also remembering some of the awkward moments when Great Aunt Hashtag had caused upset to the tweetlets during her visits.
Relationships can become quite strained when the characteristics of giftedness are not understood.

“Talking about friends – do you still keep in touch with Trending and her family?” asked Great Aunt Hashtag.
“No. Trending and I have grown apart over the years and her tweetlets did not have any interests in common with my tweetlets.” Retweet replied.



Retweet had found that her tweetlets preferred the company of older tweetlets or adult Twitter birds. Finding same age friends had proved quite a challenge. She was glad that the tweetlets had found some like minded peers of all ages at the Bower Holiday Program.

“Is the Peculiar Bad Egg Bird my Uncle?” asked Tweetil.

“Let’s work it out” said Great Aunt Hashtag “If I am your great aunt and he was my third cousin once removed what relationship is he to you?

“I thought ‘In a Relationship’ was a polite way of saying the naughty word” said Tweetelle. “The baby sitter said she was In a Relationship and….”

Retweet went very pink in the face. “I think we may have to revisit the Birds and the Bees talk later” she said.

This is a post for Hoagiesgifted’ July Blog Hop: Gifted Relationships
To read more posts on the hop please visit