Possibly Gifted Child
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
My daughter is 5 years old this year. She could recognize
all the 26 letters and numbers 1 - 10 before she turned 18
months old. I actually did not spend much time teaching her,
only casually pointed out the letters on the book covers to
her (we have a few hundred books at home).
When she was 2 years old, she was able to memorize my mobile
phone number, and she can dial my number on her own without
any assistance. She can also count up to 20.
She was able to do additions and subtractions by 3 years
old, as well as count to 100. I did not drill her at all,
probably taught her only 2 or 3 times a week.
When she was 3 years old 8 months old, I started to let her
learn phonics. She attended a phonics class once a week. I
practiced with her only 3 times a week, less than 15 minutes
each time. When she completed the phonics course, she was
able to read Dr Seuss's "Green eggs and ham" and "Cat in the
hat". I started her on the Ladybird keyword series. She
finished book 12 (highest level) before she turned 5 years
old. She is now reading Charlotte's Web, she can read the
book easily, there are only about 2 or 3 new words which she
does not know on every page. She can remember new words
easily using phonics techniques. She can spell words like
"ambulance", "submarine" easily.
Besides learning English, she is also learning Chinese. She
is able to read and write in simple Chinese words.
She loves to draw, and she draws with intricate details.
Here's some of
I have lots of paper and color pencils around and she can
draw whenever she likes.
Every day I only make sure that she reads a page (about 200
words) which she can finish within 5 minutes. Then practice
writing a few words. Total less than 20 minutes. She spends
the rest of the day playing with her younger brother. She
attends kindergarten for 4 hours a day. They don't study
much, with lots of free time to play with her classmates.
I don't really know whether I am nurturing her in the right
way. I really don't want to be stressing her too much. But I
feel that I may not be developing her to her fullest
Any advise from you is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
A: Your child has most of the
distinct traits of a gifted child. Her drawings are very
impressive especially the intricate details. I am not sure
how much more you can do since you are definitely on the
right track in terms of sticking a balance between
challenging and stimulating versus difficult tasks. The fact
that she is doing very well even in school is a very
positive sign that you are doing very well as parent in
Go on with what you have been doing since it is working well
for your girl. Keep monitoring her interest levels and
introduce her to a variety of activities, perhaps increasing
the difficulty level gradually. However, the moment she
shows signs of boredom or frustration, hold back a little.
As long as she is enjoying herself, allow her to guide you
instead. However, learning becomes very much more structured
once she starts formal schooling, which may upset her.
Hence, my advise here is to slowly and gradually introduce
her to a little more structured learning to prepare her for
school (of course unless you plan to home school her).
Do also pay attention to her all round abilities, for e.g.,
sports, music, social skills, etc to ensure a wholesome
development. You may want to have a look at the previous
issues for more suggestions in nurturing a gifted child.
Congratulations for a job well done and here’s wishing you
and your child all the success.