I found this PDF rather useful to determine giftedness of a child. However, I still believe you should believe your gut and not subscribe to everything researchers write…. ha ha, I’m one researcher (not in this field) myself.
From my experience, there are so many levels of giftedness and it is very difficult to find a group of children who will be compatible if your child is very bright. In fact, most of the time, they are very frustrated when mixing in a group because gifted children are all very different, especially at this age.
All 5 of my children have past pre-school, and yet, I do not know what is the best for them, let me share my experiences:
For the first child, I sourced for the best child care centre and sent him to the most expensive. He read at 9 months old and could draw very well at 4. He read before he entered any childcare so I’m no sure if any school helped him. He learnt reading through me reading to him.
For the second child, I let her tag along kor-kor. She started added and subtracting at 12 months. Again, for the most part of childcare, she was sitting in the corner as she refused to learn ABCs, because she was reading Chronicles of Narnia at 4 years old. At 4, she came home and repeated the whole reproductive process (R-rated!!!) which shocked us. She read it while the rest of the class was learning the alphabets. Again, not sure how pre-school helped her.
For the third child, she was always sitting in the corner playing by herself. Yet, very friendly and sociable when she is approached. She learnt a lot, but she was not an early reader nor an early mathematician. She benefited a lot from child care. She always felt that she is stupid. (Of course she is not by my standard!)
For the fourth, he tagged along with jie-jie and went to play nursery at 2 years old. He was accelerated to a class ahead. He walked around the class the whole day in childcare and play group, apparently not listening. When he returned to his seat to do his work, he regurgitated everything the teacher said, finished his work, and went around telling his friends (who were 1 year older) all the answers. I took him out of K2 because he was so bored. Again, pre-school did not help much, except taught him all the wonders of the world and all the star constellations, which he read from the books. He did not learn to play with friends or anything socially. I did not know how child care helped, his only recollection is the bullying he got from friends one year older. As I have no time to teach him, he learnt everything from books. He taught himself how to read at 3 through comics and he could do his sister’s PSLE math when he was P2. I found out one day when he refused to do his P2 homework saying it was too easy. So I gave him DD1’s PSLE book and he did the questions at ease?!
For the fifth, I took a different tack. I dropped him off the cheapest childcare I can find. This one could not read by the time he goes to P1 beginning of this year, learned to walk at 17 months and talk at 12 months. The rest walked and talked before 10 months. I had no time for him. He was fearful of school because teachers scold frequently. His handwriting, however, is beautiful from the constant drilling, but he cannot spell. So beginning this year, I decided to do something. I don’t believe he is stupid. I decided to read nightly to him, and teach him simple Maths. I enrolled him in some online classes. To my amazement, he now reads very well. His maths also improved tremendously. He can do the P4GEP maths my 4th boy is doing. He now can read a novel. Yesterday, when I was teaching DD1 about Sec 3 A. Maths sets theory, he helped explain what is union and intersection to her. What an improvement from just 10 months ago.
I’m not sure which kid is gifted, which is not. I only know that the best teacher is still us, the mothers and the fathers. Whether we sent the kids to the best or cheapest childcare/preschool did not matter. Who they learn with did not matter, too. My 4th child suffered much bullying from childcare and mainstream school to this day. The price of being accelerated? The price of being 2e? Not sure.
Hope this helps some of you with your decisions on how you want to groom your very bright children. For me, I’m still not sure what works and what does not. To be brutally honest, I’m not very sure if my children are gifted or not. I’m just like any other parent, hoping they’ll do well and blend into the society one day. I just play along and listen to other folks with experience and learn as I grow with my children.
And, I’ve never sent my children to any enrichment, tuition, Chinese classes either. Even if they have to fail, they’ll fail and learn. That’s what I told them.