Is My Child Gifted?

It is common for parents to wonder if their children are gifted. 

There’s this little boy, aged 4, from my girl’s school.  He can read books that are meant for Primary 4 student.  Is that little boy gifted? I think so.  However, does it mean that he is “gifted“ in everything? I don’t think so.

I believe that all kids are special in their own way.  Even children with learning disabilities such as dyslexia could be “gifted” in their own way.  I know of a little girl who is dyslexic.  She is academically slow but extremely talented in photography.  When she takes photographs, she took them in a very “special” way.  For example, she would take a close snap of the checkers on the handbag instead of the hand bag itself.  The snap was so sharp that you can see even the finest details of the checkers. Is she talented? Yes, I think so too.

Kids may have different talents.  Some children are gifted in music, some in arts and some in sports.  It is important for us, as parents, to encourage them and help them develop these talents. Parents must realize that not all gifted children have the ability to do well academically. One child may show his giftedness in his study while the other might show his in performing arts and music.  

By the way, do you know that Einstein was four years old before he could speak and seven before he could read?   So next time before you ponder if your child is gifted, remember not to limit yourself in the academic way, your child might have hidden talent you have yet discovered 😉

Reading on Dyslexia:

http://www.squidoo.com/davisdyslexia

Reading on Theory of Multiple Intelligences:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_multiple_intelligences,

http://www.thomasarmstrong.com/multiple_intelligences.php

Ants on an Apple

I like this phonics song.  It’s catchy and easy to remember.  You can even change the wordings to something that your child likes in order to catch their attention.  It goes like this

Ants on an Apple, “a” “a” “a”

Ants on an Apple, “a” “a” “a”

Ants on an Apple, “a” “a” “a”

“a” is the sound of “A”

Balls are bouncing, “b” “b” “b”

Balls are bouncing, “b” “b” “b”

Balls are bouncing, “b” “b” “b”

“b” is the sound of “B”

Caterpillar is  crawling, “c” “c” “c”

Caterpillar is crawling, “c” “c” “c”

Caterpillar is crawling, “c” “c” “c”

“c” is the sound of “C”

(in the video, it’s Caterpillar coughing, “c” “c” “c”)

Dogs are digging, “d” “d” “d”

Dogs are digging, “d” “d” “d”

Dogs are digging, “d” “d” “d”

“d” is the sound of “D”

(in the video, it’s Dolls are dancing, “d” “d” “d”)

See what I mean, it’s a fun and entertaining way for young children to learn their phonics.

Link to the Phonics Song – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFFyS3PrjZk

Andrew Matthews – Wisdom of Words

I enjoyed the talk by Andrew Matthews during the recent Singapore Education Summit 2010.  In case you wondered who he is.  He is the international cartoonist, speaker & best-selling author of motivational and personal development books such as “Happiness Now”, “Follow Your Heart”.

This is what I’ve shared with my Genz Kid:

You can choose to be happy or misery.  Misery is a choice.  

 I took the opportunity to teach my Genz Kid that life is never fair.  You can choice to happy with what you have or misery with what you don’t have.  MISERY is a choice!

You are happier when you accomplished something. 

I asked my Genz Kid whether he felt good after obtaining good results for his mid year results, knowing that he had tried his best and put in his best effort.  He said yes!

Life is a circle of continuous challenges.  

My Genz Kid was bothered that his friend was not finding time to do the project they were supposed to complete during the June school holiday.  I told him that a person grows up when they faces challenges in life.  It’s when you know how to overcome these challenges that you find yourself wiser.  When you thought you have overcome one challenge, before you could rest your feet, you find yourself facing another challenge and this will go on and on ….  AND again, you can choice to face these challenges positively with an open heart or miserably.

Ability + Attitude + Strategy = SUCCESS

I told my Genz Kid that a person could be very smart, but without the right attitude and strategy, he can never be successful.  He may not be the smartest person in his class but if he learn from the mistakes and take failure positively, and with the right strategy, he will be successful.

Fun is when you are involved and participated, not watch

I asked my Genz Kid which is more fun, to watch your friend playing a scoccer game or you participate in the game.  He told me “PARTICIPATE”.  Yes, participate even if you are not the best in the game or even you have lost the game.  The more important thing is you have fun and enjoyed the game!

That’s all I have to share today.  If you have not read his book, I would urge you to read one.  I believe you will feel as enlighten as I do! 

And guess what, I’m going to get his “Being a Happy Tenn” for my Genz Kid.  Although he is not a teenage yet, I believe he will benefit a lot from the book.

Official website : http://www.andrewmatthews.com/

Also on facebook http://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-Matthews-Author/108867285809877

And this is from Andrew’s “Happiness Now”…. ENJOY!

 

Free Test Papers

I am just sharing with you on an update of this website – http://www.test-paper.info/.  Some of you may be away of the free website providing primary school test papers.  Well, it has improved its portal.  Now, besides free test papers, there are articles, forum and many more.  Some of the forums are very interesting – parents posting questions on their children’s test papers questions.  Check it out!

 http://www.test-paper.info/

Learn to Ride a Bicycle

I have been wanting to teach my Genz Kid how to ride a bicycle but never succeed as he was too afraid to ride one without the training wheel. 

Last Sunday, we brought him a bicycle (with training wheels) as an early birthday present for him.  He was thrilled and was having fun with his new “toy” until yesterday, a few aunties laughed at him when they saw him riding the bicycle with training wheels.  He was embarrassed and felt a bit down.  I told him it was okay and the next time if someone makes fun of him because that, just tell them that you will remove the training wheel when you are ready. 

I recalled how I learnt to ride a bicycle when I was young.  In fact, my brothers & I were “trained” to ride a two-wheels bicycle when we were about 5 years old.  I remembered our parents just told us to get on the bikes, then they would push us for a short distance, let go their hands and off we go…  we fell down, cried a bit and then get up and try again ….  

Today, I done some research on the internet and found some useful information on “teaching your kids to ride a bicycle”.    I was surprised to note that our old way of learning to ride a bicycle is difficult and dangerous.  The more “friendly” way is to remove the paddle or put the paddle down a little so that your feet can touch the ground.   Let them go down a gentle slope….  Eventually, with practice, they will still learn how to ride a two-wheels bike but I think we should try to let the learning journey be as pleasant as possible.

Reading materials:

http://www.bikehash.freeservers.com/learn.html

http://www.ibike.org/education/teaching-kids.htm

http://www.articlesbase.com/travel-tips-articles/teach-your-child-to-ride-a-bicycle-the-safe-way-to-learn-to-ride-840173.html

Inter-Disciplinary Project Work (“IPW”)

What does it mean when your child told you that he is having IPW week in school instead of his usual class routine?

“IPW” stands for Inter-Disciplinary Project Work and it seems that our primary schools are putting in more effort in promoting inter-disciplinary learning today. IPW allows students to understand a subject or topic in depth not through individual learning but through team work. Through research, discussion and brainstorming, it hopes to allow students to see things from different viewpoints.

According to my son, this is how I think IPW works:

  • Grouping of members followed by appointment of leader by the team members.
  • The team brainstormed on the topic they want to research and write on. 
  • Once the topic is decided, roles are assigned to individuals (e.g. editor, reporter, researcher).
  • The team then works on the timeline & deliverables.
  • Team members start work on their respective areas. • When at home, team members continue to do research (e.g. surfing the web).
  • At next meeting, team members shared with one another on the information and materials they have collated. 
  • Team leader is to check and ensure timelines & deliverables are on track. 
  • Team to submit write up and do presentation on project on D-Day to teacher and class.

Sounds pretty similar to what we have done during our school days right? Yes indeed, just that the children today start to “work” earlier.

How to Hold a Pencil

How to Hold a PencilMy friend who is in the teaching profession sent me this picture when I told her that my girl’s teacher commented that my girl was not holding her pencil in a right way. This picture clearly indicates the way we should hold a pencil and what we should avoid to do when holding one. In case you are keen, here you go … the correct method of holding a pencil. Cheers!

Source: http://www.drawyourworld.com/index.html

Choosing a Preschool

What are the criteria you look out for when choosing a preschool for your children? Costs, distance, curriculum, teachers, environment? 

My 3 years old Genz Kid is now in attending preschool in my neighbourhood.   My 10 years old Genz Kid used to attend private preschool which required him to do some travelling.   Why the difference, you may asked?

Well, the 2 main reasons are (i) there’s no good preschool in my neighbourhood; and (ii) since my son was the one and only then, my domestic helper can help fetch him to and from school.   It’s a bit tricky now that my son is in primary school.  I need to take into consideration a number of issues when sorting out my daughter’s preschool arrangement.

The advantages of the neighbourhood preschool? It’s cheaper and within walking distance.  The disadvantages? They do not offer 2nd language for Nursery 1 so my girl is not exposed to her mother tongue (i.e. Mandarin) in school, they changes teachers too often and sad to say, their teachers do not speak proper English (my husband once thought he was talking to an admin clerk when in fact he was talking to a teacher).   To make matter worst, my girl does not enjoy going to that school.  If you asked her if she wants to go to the school opposite, it’s a firm “No” but if you ask her if she wants to go to her weekend Chinese enrichment class, it’s always a firm “Yes”. 

I recently asked my son what’s so great about his preschool, he said he liked the teachers (whom I am still in contact with) and the environment.   For myself, it’s the communication and professionalism of the teachers that impressed me.

I believe that in order for you to do / learn something, you need to have a liking in that thing first. Once you have the interest , you will naturally enjoy doing that thing.  Same philosophy applies to going to school, you need to enjoy going to school first before you enjoy attending the lessons and learn.

Now, I’m really contemplating whether I should put my girl in my son’s preschool even though it means more money and require her to take school bus (the journey is about 20 minutes one way).  On bright side, I can be assured that she would be in good hand with professional and experienced teachers. 

Which would you choose if you were me?

For reading, http://preschool.sg/ (a website where parents shared their views and experiences on preschools, childcares, kindergartens & early educations in Singapore)

Respect your Parents

My friend, who is  seldom in Singapore is facing some family problem – her brother and his wife are chasing their father out of the house.  They instigated their children not to call their grandfather and ignore his presence.  Worse of all, they scolded and shouted at him in front of their children.

I could not help but ask if this is the way we should behave and to teach our children to show their respect for the elderly? How do you expect your children to treat you with respect when you are treating your parents like “dirt”? 

Children learn through role modeling. In school, they role model their teachers.  At home, they role model their parents.  If you treat your parents with disrespect, I do not know how you could teach your children to respect you as their parents.  How can you justify that? Can you simply just tell them that they have to respect you because you are their parents and you brought them up, give them you best and you love them?  They would probably answer you that they are treating you like how you have treated your parents!” Indeed, they are not wrong … this is how you treat your parents, so don’t expect your children to treat you with respect when you do not know how to treat your parents with respect.

Of course, there are bound to be disagreement between adults.  You can disagree with your parents. You may, occasionally, argue with your parents.  BUT PLEASE, don’t do it in front of your children.  You might think there are too young to know what’s going on.  Believe me, they know what’s going on even if they do not understand what you are talking but the tone you used tell it all.  Children are sensitive creatures!

So parents, next time before you disagree with your parents, think twice.  Make sure you don’t do it in front of your kids. And please, don’t tell them to “disregard” their grandparents as if they are nobody.  You won’t want them to do that to you in future! 

Remember the golden rule – “Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you”.

Book Review – The Diary of Amos Lee

Have you read “The Diary of Amos Lee” written by Adeline Foo? I brought the 1st book “The Diary of Amos Lee: I Sit, I Write, I Flush! for my son during his December school holiday last year. He enjoyed the book so much that he finished reading the book within a day. He said he couldn’t stop reading it once he started reading the same. I suppose the book must be entertainingly as I could hear his laughter while he was reading it. He said it was one of the best books he had read.

Last Sunday, my son was expected to write a journal as homework and he used the book as a reference. I read his master piece and gees, it was pretty interesting and humorous that I can’t stop giggling while reading it. Even Genz Dad thinks that the journal was written very creatively. As a result, in a spur of moment yesterday evening, I got him the 2nd book – The Diary of Amos Lee: Girls, Guts & Glory! As expected, he finished ¾ of the book last night and I bet he would finish the whole book today.

Here’s the extracts of the book review from the official website of The Diary of Amos Lee (http://www.amoslee.com.sg/home.html):

The Diary of Amos Lee: I Sit, I Write, I Flush!

This diary began as Mum’s New Year resolution to get me to write. She told me to write when I am doing my big business. “Five to eight minutes max!” she said. “I don’t want you to develop piles!” And so my writing in the bathroom began. My entries started with the boring old stuff… then Mum got this new job as a writer and, following her around, I got to do fun stuff, like ogle at deformed frogs, see into the future with a fortune-telling parrot and wow at a life-sized F1 car made of chocolate! That’s how I got more interesting things to write about. Plus, I had to deal with an EVIL bully who was tormenting me at school… thank goodness for my best friends, Alvin and Anthony, we rallied against the bully and got through this year with lots of adventures and good fun!

The Diary of Amos Lee: Girls, Guts & Glory!

The story of Amos continues. He is still writing his diary in the toilet, but he has found a way to hide it from Mum’s prying eyes. Amos joins the school’s swim team and learns about hunger, not the sort to make you want to eat food, but the drive to excel and win medals in competitions! The themes in Book 2 touch on family, friendship and loyalty. Lessons are also drawn from Olympic legends like Michael Phelps, Carl Lewis and Sebastian Coe, in inspiring legions of young athletes to be the best in both studies and sports. Amos seeks his Olympic dream, in this second installation.

Parents, if you are trying to cultivate good reading habits of your children, try these books.