Gifted Homeschoolers Forum celebrates 10th Anniversary


Gifted Homeschoolers Forum  turns 10 years old on 18 November 2014

GHF serves the parents, teachers and professionals caring for gifted and 2E students and homeschooling families.

They provide an online community,
Information and resources about giftedness

Information and resources about 2E twice exceptional
Information and resources about homeschooling
Monthly GHF Blog Hops
and online classes.…/ghf-online-spring-2015-se…/
Corin Barsily Goodwin discussed the work of GHF as the guest of honour on Twitter #gtchat on Sunday 9 November 2014.
A review of the session complete with links that were shared can be found at


Gifted Resources Activity Report 2014


During 2014 Jo Freitag /Gifted Resources has:

Continued to undertake project work with Borderlands

Developed and maintained the website for Gifted Resources

and Jo Freitag’s website

Written and distributed by email Gifted Resources Newsletter and Gifted Resources Newsletter Extension and Holiday programs

Maintained the Gifted Resources library, updated the catalogue and circulated library books by post.

Updated the Gifted Resources Information Packs.

Provided information and resources for teachers and parents during personal consultations, by phone, using Skype or Blackboard Collaborate webinars and by email

Provided information and resources for homeschooling families and those contemplating commencement of home schooling

Presented on Jo Hart’s Edublogs Fine Focus Columbus Cheetah Myth buster in January and February 2014

Presented at the first OZeLive online conference 22-23 February 2014

Was a guest expert on Twitter #gtchat 0n 1 March 2014

Presented at the Community Connect webinar 27 March 2014

Presented on a Q& A panel to a group of teachers and designed a page One Page to Tell to summarise important issues

Presented at Jo Hart’s Edublogs Fine Focus (14/15 May 2014) – “One page to tell about giftedness”

Participated in RSCON 5 in July 2014

Provided resources and prayer support for mentors from All Saints Rosebud with St. Katherine’s McCrae  serving in the Kids Hope Aus program

Was invited to exhibit at Gifted Networking Expo but was not able to attend

Developed a Persona Doll for Sprite

Participated in online conferences, webinars and weekly Twitter global #gtchat sessions

Participated in Jo Hart’s Edublogs Serendipity and Fine Focus webinars
Participated in Australia eSeries webinars

Updated the Gifted Resources blog  and Sprite’s Site blog  which were both nominated for the Sydney Writers’ Centre Best Australian Blogs competition
Participated in Gifted Homeschoolers Bloggers Forum Blog Hops
Participated in Hoagiesgifted Blog Hops

Participated in the Brilliant Chaos Group on Facebook monthly creating challenges!/groups/brilliantchaosonline/doc/253263591368971/

Participated in 52 Illustrations Challenge Group on Facebook

Participated in INKtober 31 Group on Facebook

Posted a daily My Sky Twitter Bird picture

Jo Freitag
Gifted Resources 



Persona Dolls

Recently I received a request from a teacher to answer some questions relating to giftedness to help her develop a persona doll for an assignment she was doing.

She supplied this information about persona dolls and the doll she intended to create.

A persona doll is a doll developed by a practitioner/educator to enable children to gain an awareness and understanding of the richness and diversity of different backgrounds and lifestyles as well as to help children learn strategies for dealing with unfairness against themselves and others.
The dolls are given personalities, family and cultural backgrounds, likes and dislikes and the stories that are created around them enable children to explore positive and negative emotions.
To be able to develop one, I need to research and consult with children and their families to develop the persona doll identity and story. This is to avoid stereotypes and to provide an authentic representation of the children and their challenges.
I believe that developing a persona doll about giftedness can also be a way to advocate because children, families and educators where it will be shared will be cognizant of the current realities and difficulties faced by children that are gifted.”

She then asked a large number of detailed questions about ethnic, socio-economic and cultural conditions and everyday life matters to help her build a unique and authentic persona for her doll.

She would have liked to ask the questions to my youngest child also, hoping to hear a child’s voice expressed. Our youngest is now in his late twenties; so was not able to provide the child voice.

After replying that gifted children can be found in every ethnic, socio-economic and religion group so she could choose whatever background she felt most comfortable to use; I answered the giftedness related questions and some of the everyday life issues questions using my twice exceptional blog character, Sprite, to personalise the answers.

I have written a separate blog post about my answers for a post on Sprite’s Site and will include the link here

I have enjoyed searching the Internet for information about Persona Dolls.

Here are some of the interesting and helpful sites I found.

I began to consider the idea of buying a persona doll here


or here

and dressing it as my Sprite (I already have all the mini versions of De Bono’s 6 Action shoes and a mini plaster cast); or of sewing one myself.

I found sewing instructions here

This is what I imagine a Sprite 2E twice exceptional persona doll would look like.



RSCON 5 July 2014


Last month I participated in RSCON 5 The future of education, an online symposium on the Blackboard Collaborate platform with presenters and attendees from around the world. The times of the sessions were not really Australia friendly and I was the only Australian in most of the sessions I joined. But it was certainly worthwhile to attend and it provides valuable PD for educators.

Website NING

Those who missed RSCON 5 can still listen to recordings of the sessions here


Peggy George has compiled a collection of the tools and programs that were shared in the Swapalooza in a Livebinder at

A participant’s badge was given for each session attended. Here is my collection of participant badges.


Here are some highlights, images, quotes and links from one of the keynote sessions I attended

Keynote Session Dean Shareski:  Whatever happened to joy?  

In a data driven, achievement focused system, does joy in learning matter anymore? Not that these are mutually exclusive but in our attempts to see results we often forget that joy should not be a means to an end but a worthy and important goal on its own. So how do we insure our students experience joy and wonder everyday? Let’s examine some practical ways that take advantage of new tools and affordances to be intentional and make our schools places of joy.

Moment 1 Why does Christina never smile?

Moment 2 Hearing a child singing when not in a formal music lesson – just for happiness

Link to trailer for The Happy Movie






How often do your students get to wonder?
What if each day your students left school with a great question?

All of Dean’s slides for the presentation are here

I am sorry that it has taken me so long to write this post but I do encourage you to visit the RSCON 5 NING and catch up with the excellent sessions that were presented on a wide range of education topics.

Details of future online conferences in the series can be found on the NING at


One Page to Tell


I needed to prepare a single page handout which could be used to provide a basic introduction to some of the important reference material and explain how Gifted Resources can help locate services and information relating to giftedness.

My first thought was to provide a page full of QR codes for all my favourite websites with the Sprite’s Site characters playing with the blocks and building with them. However, after experimenting with QR codes that were reduced in size and finding they were not clear enough to scan, I realised that I would not be able to fit all the QR codes of my favourite sites on a single page.

So I ended up creating the page pictured the top of this post. I am happy that almost all the topics I would most want to discuss are represented in some way in the picture.

I managed to include the signpost for information Gifted Resources can provide, all the methods of contacting me plus words or pictures relating to key issues such as

  • The specific educational and social/emotional needs of gifted people,
  • The Columbus Group definition of giftedness as asynchronous development
  • The Bell curve showing distribution of IQ levels in the population
  • Gagne’s DMGT model of development of innate giftedness into fully developed talent (emphasising the importance of internal and situation influences)
  • The diagram of underachievement (showing our role as teachers and parents in building a guard rail to prevent students falling into underachievement)
  • Myths surrounding giftedness
  • Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities represented by the Dabrowski Dogs

In order to include more topics and give links to my favourite web sites I would need a much bigger page. I am thinking that a board game format could be very effective.

If you had only one page on which to record as many things that were important to you about a particular topic as you could how would you choose to do it?

Gifted Resources Blog has been nominated in the Australian Writers’ Centre Best Australian Blogs 2014 Competition

If you would like to vote for Gifted Resources blog (and Sprite’s Site and as many other great Australian blogs as you wish) click on the badge in the sidebar of the blog and follow the link to the Survey monkey poll. Gifted Resources Blog is on Page 2 and Sprite’s Site is on Page 4.