An Accidental Gifted Child

On a spur of the moment, we signed Keane up for IQ Cognitive testing during the last week of Phase 1. My husband and I had been contemplating on sending him for a gifted test for at least a year. The books that he reads, the way he speaks and how he thinks is way above his age. We get this response all the time from his teachers and also from strangers. Yet on the other hand, there are times when he just can’t understand how it is to arrange numbers from the greatest to the smallest, or that he cannot control his emotions when he get very upset -he’ll wail, hyperventilate or become inconsolable.

Keane is a quiet child, and he only spoke at 2 years old. Keane started speaking single words to stringing sentences in a few months soon after. At about 3-years-old, he would finger point his books and read aloud. Quickly at 4-years-old, he started reading passages. We always thought this is the norm because his pre-school teachers never said he was gifted, just that he picked things up quickly. As clueless parents, we didn’t think much either.

He was extremely sensitive from a young age. My mother would always tell me how two-years-old Keane cried at the part where the grandma was eaten by the big bad wolf in The Little Red Riding Hood. He was fearful of any cartoons that had big monsters or robots. He also cried when the spider he caught died. Only stopped after we explained that spiders have a short life span and that’s exactly why they have so many eggs to ensure continuity of their kind. He needed that kind of assurance – peppered with facts that he can accept.

Overtime, the difference between him and other children became more apparent. We started to get a tiny bit concerned about his development. He would spurt out random facts about his animal obsession, and literally go on brain overdrive when he gets super excited. Also, he wasn’t as sociable as other children.

Dealing with his obsession got more difficult as he got older. There were many accidents where he would insist that he was right about the identity of a certain insect. When others tried to correct or challenge him, he would argue and bring out his books for cross reference. Finally if he could not get his point across, he would go into a major meltdown. And as my psychology grad husband would say “his brain is stuck in a loop where nothing can get in”.

In six months, he would be entering Primary School. As a former primary school teacher (for only a year), I knew he won’t be able to fit in and the teacher may have issues dealing with him, and it’s evident in his kindy class. He would complete his work no doubt, but he wouldn’t be a team player.

Getting him to do a gifted test is like purchasing an insurance. Making sure that we have an excuse for any misbehaviour in school. And at least we know there’s a reason behind his actions. People always told me that he’s just being a kid. Maybe it’s a mommy instinct. I just felt that there’s something we’re not doing enough.

I did a random google search for a clinic that offered gifted testing. I had no specific clinic in mind but I knew the type I want. It should not advocate preparing the child for GEP classes, and simply testing the child’s capabilities. And I particularly liked what the psychologist said during the consultation which is such a testing could also function as a parenting tool – knowing the learning gaps to plug.

Two weeks after the testing, he was found to be gifted. We finally have an answer to everything about Keane.

Why I Subscribed To KiwiCo

Keane is interesting in building and learning about how things work. As a dutiful mommy, I’m always on the lookout for something that’ll interest Keane. Coincidentally, Hubby came across KiwiCo in a FaceBook Ad – Yes all these ad targetting do work to a certain degree.

Picking KiwiCo

Finally, we decided to just buy it,  knowing full well that we might end up being the ones who build it while the boys just look on. It’s supposed to encourage them to follow instructions and work on it step by step. Not too sure how it would work with Keane because while he’s interested, he’s also impatient to follow instructions.

Some key reasons why we chose KiwiCo

  • Lesser TV time

Anything that gets the kids off the TV is good stuff. The theme in previous crates would be hits with the kids so we hoped future crates would continue to pique their interest.

  • Teaching Points & Activities

Lots of suggested teaching points and additional spinoff activities from the crate. I’ve gotten some science kits from the malls but there isn’t any teaching points or follow up activities we could do. So basically I spent about SGD$20 to occupy the kids for less than hour.

What I intend to do with these crates is that I plan to make it my learning theme for that month. For example since my first crate is about my body, I’ll teach Math, English, Science and even Mandarin all based on the human body. This way, it also solved my problem to find suitable themes.

  • Affordably priced and low delivery fee.

Reasonably priced at about SGD30. I was a little confused at the payment page, because I just didn’t understand their promotions very well. Another friend had the same issue as well. In the end I just picked the monthly subscription. It may cost more in the end, but I’d rather have the flexibility to stop the subscription I want.

  • Wide range of projects that’s designed to suit each age group.

Kiwico grouped their series for each group according to lines.

While they designed themes for different age groups, we could also choose the line we wanted which was great. Because Keane wouldn’t like the line, and would much prefer the which is mean for slightly older kids. Also, loved the flexibility to swap lines so that way we can try different projects.

  • Great customer support.

Big shout out to KiwiCo’s customer service team for dealing with my lost crates.

While I’m absolutely ecstatic that such an awesome product could ship to Singapore and at such a great price of USD$6.95, I soon realised that it’s due to the fact they are using USPS and locally in Singapore – SingPost. Both didn’t have great reputations. When I was still doing my online business, I’ve had countless lost parcels to US.

I made the first order on 11 Sep 2018. They estimated 7-14 business days transit time on international shipments with additional delays possible due to customs. But shortly after the crate left US, it was lost in transit in Japan. On 2 Oct, KiwiCo took the initiative to send a replacement crate together next with month’s edition since it’s been more than 14 business days after the first crate was sent out. I appreciate this action because not many companies react this fast to lost parcels. They even offered the flexibility to pause the subscription till I get my first crate.

 

 

 

 

{Lessons} B-I-N-G-O

Bought this a while back when I was shopping at Daiso because I was planning to use them to teach Keane numbers. He’s a smart boy but he tends to forget when he plays too much. So school holidays and holidays are a nightmare for me sometimes.

These Bingo cards are a great way to teach numbers to children. There are 60 cards in each pack, so you can play as many times as you want and the cards don’t repeat. It’s all serialised.

The numbers are actually perforated. You can tear them out. But I wanted the boy to practice holding and writing with his pencil so I made all the players use a pencil. After the game, I kept all the used Bingo cards and I’m planning to reuse them for another game. It’s such a waste to throw away such perfectly clean and new number cards, isn’t it! Wait for my update. I’ve a new game teach numbers to children with these used cards in mind.

How To Play Bingo? 

  • The aim of the game is to make a line by crossing out the numbers called.
  • You just need more than one player to take turns.
  • So Player A calls out a number and if Player B has it, he can cross it out on his card. If he doesn’t, he’ll just have to pass. Essentially he loses one chance to cancel out a number to make a line when he doesn’t have the number.
  • Once Player A has his turn, the next Player goes. And so forth.
  • Whoever makes a line by connecting five numbers wins the game!

I’m probably going Daiso to grab more packets of this. It’s the size of my palm which makes it small to pack into my bag and absolutely a joy to play when we’re travelling. Teaching numbers to children could be this easy 🙂

This is also a great bonding family activity for everyone including grandparents to little toddlers.