The PYHI Project

Image Jo Freitag

mage Jo Freitag

Now that Sprite’s Site has been declared a neutral sanctuary zone Sprite has realised that there needs to be a few rules to ensure that the residents and their visitors are all safe and being respectful to each other. She sees that Sprite’s Site is a microcosm of the larger world and that the problems that afflict the world at large could become problems in her world unless wise steps to prevent them are put in place

The Twitter Birds have experienced greeting alien arrivals to their world. They presented Sprite with a slide show about their encounters. There were three possibilities they said –
1. The aliens came with warlike intentions
2. The aliens came with peaceful intentions
3. The aliens came seeking a place of asylum

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

They reassured Sprite that, unlike some places in the real world, it was not very likely that the new arrivals at Sprite’s Site would have warlike intentions. So she should concentrate on how to make them feel welcome. They told her that they had shared feasts and music and art and exchanged gifts with the aliens who came in peace and that they had all been enriched by sharing their cultures.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Sprite herself does not have very good social skills. She finds relating to her age peers difficult and never knows quite how to start a conversation.  And when she manages to get a conversation started she cannot always interpret facial expressions and body language to know when she is boring or completely confusing the other person. So she discussed the matter with the Utopian thinker Imaginational Dabrowski and then announced that there would be a meeting to discuss the introduction of the PYHI project.

As they had only heard the word PYHI and not seen it in writing Intellectual Dabrowski made the assumption that the topic of conversation would be the constant number Pi. He set about gathering as much information as he could and learning the value of Pi to as many digits as he possibly could. He wanted to be well informed to provide information at the meeting.

Edward, the Autonomous Learner, who loves to teach himself computer programming languages, assumed that PYHI would be in some way related to PYTHON programming language.

Sensual and Psychomotor Dabrowski immediately jumped to the conclusion that a PYHI project would involve eating a large stack of pies! Tortoise and Beloved Snail thought that PYHI would be the acronym for Pull Your Head In because that was their chosen method of avoiding conflict and seeking safety.

They all brought their opinions to the meeting and Sprite could see merit in all the suggestions.

Sprite agreed with Intellectual and Edward that education must be a basis for building a respectful multicultural society and that seeking and then freely sharing information was important.

She agreed with Sensual and Psychomotor Dabrowski that sharing culture was very important and that eating together was a great way of getting to know each other. She recalled all the fun the International Feasts and visits of the Taste Tester Dogs  had brought. Also she remembered how Evelyn’s Grandma’s donation of cakes and gingerbread men for the cake stall at the Sprite’s Site Voting booth had created goodwill with the Persona Dolls who wished to vote at the elections.

And Sprite agreed with Tortoise and Beloved Snail that the acronym PYHI could remind everyone to Pull Your Head In rather than making a situation any worse by being physically or verbally abusive.

Imaginational Dabrowski’s version of PYHI turned out to be Put Your Heart In which he conceded was simple but at the same time challenging. It was a call to give respect, speak graciously and do to others as you would like them to do to you.

For helpful information and resources in relation to social issues for the gifted see SENG http://sengifted.org/  and Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page: Social/Emotional Aspects of Giftedness

This is a post for Hoagies’ August Blog Hop: Gifted Social Issues
Read more posts by going on the hop at www.HoagiesGifted.org/blog_hop_social_issues.htm

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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
 https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/tweetlets/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/in-my-day/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/the-tweetlets-meet-the-dabrowski-dogs/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/nappies-on-tweetlets/

Then came a series of tales about asynchronous development as the Tweet family commenced Flight School
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/flight-school/
 https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/flight-school-with-help-from-the-dabrowski-dogs/
 https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/flight-school-hits-the-asynchrony-speed-bump/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/marking-time-to-the-beat-of-their-own-drum/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/in-my-day-reprise/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/tweetelle-becomes-a-seedetarian/

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

The Psych-Owl-Ogist was consulted and we learned about characteristics of giftedness and social/emotional aspects
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/the-psych-owl-ogist-1/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/the-psych-owl-ogist-2/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/the-psych-owl-ogist-3/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/the-psych-owl-ogist-4/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/the-psych-owl-ogist-5/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/the-psych-owl-ogist-6/

Next came the discussions involved in finding the right flock for the tweetlets
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/finding-the-right-flock/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/finding-the-right-flock-2/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/finding-the-right-flock-3/
and the decision to continue with Nest Ed and the challenges associated with that choice
 https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/socialization/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/socialization-2/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/qualified-to-teach/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/cuckoos-in-the-nest/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/when-extended-family-dont-get-giftedness/

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

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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
http://www.braverthanyoubelieve.com/2015/07/01/leaving-on-a-jet-plain-um-plane-2/

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.

socialize02

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

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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.
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/the-psych-owl-ogist-2/

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.
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/when-extended-family-dont-get-giftedness/

“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.

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/socialization/

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/socialization-2/

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

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Socialization 2

The Psych-Owl-Ogist listened intently to Retweet’s concerns about the earworm Tweetil had contracted after the visit of Trending and her tweetlets, Promoted Jnr and Popular.

“It seems to me you have a bigger problem than just an earworm” he said. “You remember when I told you https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/the-psych-owl-ogist-2/ how the higher the IQ was the smaller the percentage of the population it represented;
and that this could make it difficult for Tweetil and Tweetelle to fit in and that it was very likely that they would choose older tweetlets and adult Twitter birds for their friends. The problem they have with socializing with age peers is not related to your decision to continue with NEST Ed!”

“What you need to do is try to find some true peers for the tweetlets. I suggest that you join a parent support group or take some courses at the community centre in the subjects they love. You might also find some like-minds at the library, museum or planetarium.”

“For example” said the Psych-Owl-Ogist “when Owls who are interested in folk music want to meet others like them they go to a hootenanny!”

Often you can find great programs being held during the holidays. Humans can find information about holiday programs suitable for gifted children in the Gifted Resources Extension and Holiday Programs Newsletter.
The Autumn 2013 issue can be read at http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/files/newsletter2013/grnewsholidayapril13.pdf

Retweet was delighted to find that the Un-Olympics Bower was offering many interesting courses during their holiday program and that many bright eyed tweetlets of all ages had enrolled.

socialize02

Socialization

socialize01

“But what about socialization?” Great Aunt Hashtag had demanded of Retweet “That is the main problem with NEST Ed. Your tweetlets don’t spend any time learning how to get along with tweetlets their own age. No wonder they are so strange!”

“That is not true!” Retweet had replied “They spend time with Twitter birds of all ages.”

But when she thought about it afterwards Retweet had to concede that her tweetlets preferred the company of older Tweetlets and adult Twitter Birds.
She decided to invite her friend Trending whose tweetlets Promoted Jnr and Popular were the same age as Tweetil and Tweetelle to visit.

Retweet had known Trending for a long time but since Trending’s marriage to the entrepreneur Promoted and the arrival of the tweetlets Retweet had lost touch with her.

Retweet found that Trending had not changed very much.
She still kept up a lifestyle of whirlwind social engagements with a very large circle of friends and acquaintances.
She still knew all about popular music and fashion and the lives of celebrities.
Of course she was very proud of her tweetlets
Promoted Jnr was building a powerful social network by attending Fine Feathers as his father had done and Popular was flying with the local flock and gathering quite a flock of followers according to Trending.
Promoted Jnr and Popular had all the latest  gadgets, devices, phone apps, music players and games and prattled on about them non-stop.

Promoted Jnr played one popular nesty rhyme over and over with the volume on the maximum setting. Tweetil listened to it while he bounced on the trampoline but Promoted Jnr did not want to take a turn at bouncing.
Popular did not want to pat Tweetelle’s caterpillar or paint on the easel. Popular was very engrossed in preening but it was a very different style of preening from the Preening 101 course which  Tweetelle had studied and she was not really keen to discuss the details with Tweetelle.

Retweet breathed a sigh of relief when Trending and her tweetlets went home.
Unfortunately the noisy nesty rhyme had lodged itself in Tweetil’s brain and he could not stop singing it.
“You have caught an earworm” Retweet said and contacted the Psych-Owl-Ogist for advice.

“Sometimes I think socializing with age peers is over-rated!” said Retweet.