Hi, my son is in GEP and enjoying the program. This week, the MOE folks are telling me that he is of a different level, and he will be going to join one level higher for certain subjects as recommended by the school. He will also be doing some advanced subjects at 3-4 years ahead.
Thing is, being #4, I had no time for him. He did not attend K2, just sat around the house, because he was so bored. No enrichment class, no flash cards, no nothing. But, he reads at 3, spoke at 6 months, and could do most things earlier. I believe he learnt to read through the comics at 3, and he learnt secondary school maths by reading his siblings text books. I still have not figured out how he learnt negative numbers and simultaneous equations when he was 7.
Now, a proud mother? No. There are just so many other issues a mother has to handle with such kids. Jealousy from his classmates, expectation of him since he has the brains, his immatured behavior due to his other disabilities and sensitivities.
I know many parents put in that extra effort to ensure their kids get to be in the ‘gifted’ rank. Honestly, giftedness is really what it is, from God. I look at some GEP kids and pity them – for their lack of ability to live with themselves. Being told they are gifted from young, being groomed from young to give smart answers, being always ahead of their peers, have given them an expectation for themselves they sometimes cannot meet.
Friends, if you are grooming a gifted child, or you have a naturally gifted child, do your child a favour, give him lifeskills to live with the world as one. Teach him to be just one of the guys. He will thank you for it. Don’t focus on having him branded ‘gifted’. It is not important, trust me.
For me, I did neither. I did not think he was special (1st mistake) and I did not groom him (not a mistake – he was natural), I did not help him integrate with the world (big mistake). I now have to reteach him what he should have learnt 5 years ago…
But, I’ll do a good job now. It’s late, but not too late.
A gifted child does not need more pushing and more enrichment class. He needs love and know how to co-exist with the world.