Friday, February 29, 2008

" I Love You, Dalawa!"

I came home a little late that day because I went out to coffee with Owie. I got home at around 8pm. Jea is extra sweet to me. She got smiles up to her ears when she saw me. I brought some trinkets for her, a bracelet, some hairclips and toothbrush. Mama said shes been asking for me since she got home. Its so nice to see Jea like that. She asked and asked where I have been. Once in a while she would go to my back and hug me from behind. She also kissed me a lot. We played for a little while then she asked for us to go to sleep. As we lay down, I toold her that I love her ans she replied "love you mommy!". Then I said "Goodnigt baby" and she replied "Goodnight mommy!" She would often glimpse at me and just smiled, somtimes waving her hands. Then again I said, "Love you baby!" she'll reply "love you mommy!" then I'll reply "love you too baby". Then she will close her eyes and try sleep.

At around 2am, she woke up asking me for milk. When I gave it to her I said, "good night baby! Love you! then she answered "love you, dalawa!" I said "love you too" she again said "love you , dalawa"

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Encouraging your Gifted Child

If you are a parent of a gifted child, the Educational Resources Information Center recommends that you:

Read aloud to your child. It is important that parents read to their gifted child often, even if the child is already capable of reading.

Help your child discover personal interests. Stimulation and support of interests are vital to the development of talents. Parents should expose their child to their own interests and encourage the child to learn about a wide variety of subjects, such as art, nature, music, and sports, in addition to traditional academic subjects such as math, reading, and science.

Encourage the support of extended family and friends. As an infant, a gifted child can exhaust new parents because he or she often sleeps less than other babies and requires extra stimulation when awake. It can be helpful to have extended family in the home, grandparents who live nearby, or close friends in the neighborhood who can spend some time with the child so the primary caretakers can get some rest and to give the infant added -- or different -- stimulation.

Speak and listen to your child with consideration and respect. From the time he or she can talk, a gifted child is constantly asking questions and will often challenge authority. "Do it because I said so" doesn't work. Generally, a gifted child will cooperate more with parents who take the time to explain requests than with more authoritarian parents.

If your child isn't in school yet, you might look for a preschool program for gifted children or make some effort to support your child at home. This might include frequent visits to a museum, zoo, bookstore, nature center and other field trips. Home use of educational programs, including books and computer programs, might also be helpful.

Once your child starts kindergarten, you might have to consider advanced placement vs. participation in a gifted and talented program. It doesn't make any sense for a child who already knows how to read to attend a regular kindergarten class and get bored as the other kids are just learning to read.

Your state or local gifted education association (see the Internet Links above) should also offer some help and additional resources for your child and school counselors/psychologists can offer advice on the best placement for your gifted child

gifted child as per

Many parents have indicated interest on how to pick on early signs of giftedness for very young children. Therefore, I believe that the rough estimation I came up with from various researches and my personal experiences may be of help to many parents. It must be noted that more and more children are showing signs of early advancement due to parental awareness that leads to the right coaching and nurturance. Hence, to be placed in gifted programs today, the criteria are much tougher than it has ever been in the past and competition is rather stiff. However, regardless on whether a child shows signs early or later, all children deserve an opportunity to develop themselves to the fullest and at a tender age, parents are the best teachers/educators.

There are two ranges of age groups that I am concentrating on; from birth to 2 years old and from 2 – 4 years of age.

Birth – 2 years
The following checklist is a rough indication of what you may want to look out for after your child is born up to 2 years of age.

Ability of recognize carers early (within a few months after birth)
Early expressions (e.g. smiling)
Unusual alertness
Interest in books (turning pages of books before 1 year of age and paying attention when read to within 6 months)
Interest in computers
Unusually active and high levels of energy (but not hyperactive)
Playing with shape sorters by about 11 months.
Ability to form two word phrases by 14 months
Ability to understand instructions by 18 months
Ability to say and understand many words before 18 months
Could stay still and enjoy a TV programs (e.g., Sesame Street) by the age of 1
Has favorite TV shows/VCD/DVDs by age 1
Appears to require less sleep (yet not sleepy or irritable due to lack of sleep)
Recognition of letters/alphabets by age 2
Recognition and rote counting of numbers 1 – 10 or higher by age 2
Recognition of colors by age 2
Recognition of first word by age 2
Interest in puzzles by age 2
Has long attention span in interest areas by age 2
Ability to form at least 3 word sentence by age 2
Interest in time by age 2

2 – 4 years

The following includes all/most skills in the checklist above.

Early and extensive language development and vocabulary, forms grammatically correct sentences as compared to peers
Interest in computers (not video games)
Ability to solve a 20-piece puzzle by age 3
Has a vivid imagination (includes having imaginary friends)
Extraordinary feats of memory
Extreme curiosity and asks many questions
Specific talent (if any), such as artistic ability or an unusual facility for numbers - becomes more apparent by age 4
Ability to memorize and recall facts easily
Early development of a sense of humor
Ability to do one-to-one counting for small quantities by age 3
Recognition of simple signs and own written name by age 3
Ability to write letters, numbers, words, and their names between 3 and 4 years
Ability to read easy readers by age 4
Rather independent on the computer by age 4
Demonstration of musical aptitude just after 2
Ability to do simple addition and subtraction by age 4
High degrees of mathematical understanding by age 4

The above checklist is at best regarded as a rough guide and bear in mind that not all of the skills and age guide mentioned is absolute. Some children may demonstrate these abilities at a younger age and some may be older and yet classified as advanced learners. However, this can be a good guide to look out for signs of early advanced development in children and provide the necessary platform for them to flourish.

In addition, bear in mind that a child can be both gifted and learning disabled. Unfortunately, more often than not, the disability is recognized while giftedness goes undetected. It is also a fact that giftedness in children from ethnic minorities, disadvantageous backgrounds (financially and educationally), and for those for whom English is a second language (almost all standardized tests are in English), is often overlooked as well. Be mindful if your child falls into any of these categories. If your child is in pre-school, make sure you ask your child's teacher to observe her/him and look for talents, skills and abilities that conventional tests fail to detect.

Finally yet importantly, you may want to check out the following website (The National Association for Gifted Children, UK) that provides an online questionnaire, which will give you an indicator about your child's level of development. Please bear in mind that this questionnaire is a rough indicator only is by no means an assessment.

How Do I Know if my Child is Gifted?

Elsewhere on this site I've explained that a gifted child is not a 3 year old who invents relativity; that that common myth of a gifted child is completely unrealistic. I explained that this myth does a lot of harm because it prevents so many parents & teachers from accepting "giftedness" in gifted children they do have.

So: if a gifted child isn't one who toddles about in nappies (diapers) composing symphonies and inventing hyperspace travel, what is it? This is rather like English spelling; it's a simple issue basically, but it does get complicated by exceptions, here & there... & there...

There's a widely-used checklist, along the lines "if your child does all or many of these, he or she may well be gifted". I'll number the checklist for easy reference for "exceptions".

A Gifted Child may:

1 pass developmental stages earlier than average (ie, sits early, crawls early, walks early; as a baby & toddler, he or she may need far less sleep than others, especially parents)

2 develop more advanced vocabulary than age peers

3 use fluent & expressive language

4 be very demanding, wanting constant interaction from adults; be very demanding in many ways, especially re 5,6,12,13,16,19 & 21

5 be alert & respond actively to visual stimulation (eg pictures) and stories

6 become easily bored with routine; seek out & enjoy new experiences

7 have a long concentration span for activities or projects which interest her or him

8 set her or himself high or perfectionist standards

9 be highly self-critical; (this goes in conjunction with 8)

10 teach him or her self to read without anyone really noticing how; or learn to read early

11 have a good memory - quick and detailed recall of information or events

12 enjoy amassing information, and develop detailed knowledge about topics of interest

13 have an intense joy & interest in learning (NOTE: not necessarily school, but learning)

14 develop high moral values and a strong sense of justice, early; this can begin around 3 or 4 years old regarding issues usually not understood by children of that age

15 (related to 14), understand implications re wider issues; this may show up particularly re environmental, world and social issues

16 show a high degree of genuine and deep curiosity

17 develop a sense of humour early, and of a type more adult-like than child-like

18 have a vivid and creative imagination, both re fantasising and re problem-solving

19 enjoy playing with older children; enjoy the company of adults

20 adapt readily to new situations and routines

21 tend to dominate or organise others; this may appear as showing leadership qualities

22 enjoy directing the activities of children around them, or taking on a teaching role

Some of the many exceptions and problems with this type of list are:

First problem: the main one, since this is being read by you, a parent who may have a gifted child, and may therefore be of above average intelligence yourself: you may need to make a major mental readjustment about all the above, because if you're gifted yourself, you also probably set your standards too high; you may accept early developmental milestones as the norm, not recognise advanced vocabulary as being advanced, not realise how short other children's concentrations spans are, etc etc.

Second problem: Many of the above (eg 4,5,6,16,18,21) are highly characteristic of all toddlers, and should remain characteristic of all children if not squashed out of them. These are the means by which nature has designed children to hurl themselves into the world around them, to achieve the immense amount of learning about it, that they need to get through. Dr Christopher Green, in his book "Toddler Taming" quotes his own experience, and many studies, to formulate an understanding of normal toddler behaviour, in an attempt to reassure parents who are convinced their toddler is the only 2 or 3 year old terrorist in the world. He emphasises the busyness of toddlers; their craving for attention, preferably more than 24 hours per day of it; their high curiosity; their creativeness at getting into anything and everything, especially if they shouldn't; and the high resistance of many of them to bedtime in any form, or at any hour.

Third Problem: People are individuals, humans are complex; gifted people especially so. Personality comes into all these things. Enjoying new experiences & routines (#6 &20) is something of a bipolar personality trait; some kids are just built so they hate them, including some gifted kids. Many kids pass physical developmental milestones early (#1); the normal range in this area is very wide. Very demanding, (#4); well, any kid can be this; spouses can be, family, pets, what's new? Numbers 5 & 6 are again part of the bipolar personality trait which has been characterised by the introvert/extrovert concept; so, many average kids can have these traits, and many gifted kids don't have them. Numbers 21 & 22 are easily confused with (and sometimes are) bossiness, a trait widely found in the whole population.

Major problem 1:

The little-understood neural glitches which show up as learning difficulties of some types, (the most common in our print-oriented society being dyslexia), are statistically as common among gifted children as they are in the normal population. Many gifted individuals through history are thought to have been dyslexic, (eg Leonardo da Vinci), or to have had broad-spectrum learning difficulties (eg Einstein).

So this fact naturally knocks out #10, which is the gifted trait which most easily impresses parents and school staff. In fact sadly, it's very hard to convince most people, including about 99% of education authorities, that a dyslexic child is gifted, no matter how high her or his IQ is. Learning difficulties can also affect #s 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, & 12. Many of these are affected not because the child can't do them, but because frustration & low self-esteem in the area affected by the learning difficulty, makes them avoid related activities (probably invoking setting high standards for themselves, #s 8 & 9).

Major problem 2:

Underachieving. All children want to feel accepted; most want to conform and seem like the others. Many gifted kids begin this process so early, they're already conforming and underachieving in play groups, before they start kindergarten. The earliest attempts at setting up special classes for gifted children, by asking their primary or secondary teachers to nominate the students they thought were gifted, failed badly partly because of this. By that time, many gifted kids were underachieving; others were just turned off due to boredom, so they were also well camouflaged. These are both very sad problems, because they can quickly become subconscious, meaning the child her or him self doesn't know he or she's doing them, and can't easily stop at will.

So: the indicators aren't always obvious. So: How do I really know if my child's gifted?

In my experience, there are 2 pretty fail-safe issues. First, I find the first 2 years of life, unless there's some factor like extreme ill health, usually give some very clear clues. The younger the child is, the less underachieving, or low esteem from frustration with learning difficulties, can muddy the picture. Very simple actions in the first 2 years can indicate giftedness. Highly intelligent behaviour very rarely happens by chance; it only has to be seen occasionally, & can be relied on fairly confidently. We've all heard the idea that given an infinite amount of time, a monkey could write Hamlet, and we understand that's an illustration of the concept of infinity. But to date, there are a lot of monkeys on the planet, quite a while's passed, and none of them have written Hamlet yet. Intelligent behaviour by sheer chance is not common.

Therefore something as simple as the time I saw an 8 month old child of a friend, draw a circle and mark in eyes, nose and a mouth, can tell you "This is a gifted child". (She's 8 now, and has been tested, and yes, she's gifted.) That's just not normal 8 month old behaviour; any of you who have access to an average 8 month old, try it. They scribble, some draw circle shapes; but the average child is around 18 months old, or more, before he or she fills in eyes & a mouth.

Parents usually notice the achievements of 1 & 2 year olds, because the wonder of it all is still so fresh, and because they make us interact with them so much. So if it seems to you that various activities of your child are unusual compared to children you see from the wider community, then your child's quite probably gifted. (Don't compare with children of your friends, or family members; they're likely to be to some extent a selected group. Because you're intelligent, your friends & family are likely to be of above average intelligence too.)

If your child is older, or as he or she grows, if you have that feeling "He or she seemed so bright as a baby & young toddler, but it seems to have faded as she or he's grown older", it's likely your child is gifted, but is underachieving and trying to conform. As already stated, this isn't always done consciously, so you can't simply ask him or her if that's what he or she's doing; in an older child not showing clear signs of giftedness, only a psychological assessment can now tell. But if you have that feeling "Where did all of what seemed such brightness in that baby, disappear along the way?", it's highly likely your child is gifted. I find the gut feeling parents get in those first 2 years is very reliable.

Second: Some of that checklist, I find, are very reliable if they do occur. The long concentration span on activities that interest the child, #7, is almost a decider on its own, because children within the normal intelligence range really do have short concentration spans. This can fail gifted kids with attention deficit disorder; but most of those do show long concentration span at times, or for a few special interests. The understanding of implications, #14, often leading to intense concern and worry re environmental and world issues, is another very reliable one. Humour is a surprisingly complex phenomenon, so #16 is reliable too, although the reverse, lack of humour, isn't; many people, including the gifted, don't have much sense of humour. The enthusiasm for learning, #13, is almost a definite on its own, too. The high curiousity,#15, is another good indicator, though not the common, endless, almost meaningless, "Why? Why? Why?" (This is often not real curiousity, but attention seeking.) When curiousity goes beyond "Why?" into detail and more detail, and really wanting to know all about this, then it's almost certainly giftedness.

Examples of these can illustrate the difference between a "the 2 year-old inventing calculus" myth, and a clearly gifted child - but examples are lengthy to set out. I'll give just one. A (just) 4 year old at our place, who wasn't reading at all (she turned out later to have profound dyslexia), saw a drink coaster, a tatty old souvenir from Bath, England; the well-known view from the Roman baths, looking up through the Georgian "pump rooms", to the Cathedral, showing 3 eras from English history, and asked "What's this?" "It's called a drink coaster; it's something you stand a drink on, to protect the table.' "No, I mean, what is this a picture of?" (I think: gosh, how do I make a simple answer of this): "It's a picture of a famous place in another country; it's called "Bath", because of that sort of swimming pool you can see there." "But why is this part all broken around the edges?" "Well, the people who built that big bath, lived a long time ago, so it's all got a bit broken because a long time's gone by." "What people were they?"

I was trying to avoid swamping this child with a lot of enthusiastic information I assumed would bore her stiff, about the Romans, their empire, and their fascinating relics in Europe, etc. But she wasn't bored by this, even though she was only just 4. By questions like those above, step by step over the next 2 hours, she drew out of me a (slightly expurgated) history of the Ancient Romans and their political methods, the organisation of their empire, the place of women & children in their society, their bathing, their architecture, and their mosaics. She sat among books and atlases, looking through postcards of Roman mosaics; she had waited patiently while I dug them out of cupboards. From that battered little drink coaster, she'd become so passionately interested in ancient Roman history that I let her borrow some of the books, & gave her some of the precious postcards of mosaics.

That order of curiosity, and that level of concentration span, indicates a very likely gifted child.

The checklist is good, if you remember all the differences between individuals, the special reasons why older gifted kids may not be openly doing the "gifted thing", and keep the learning difficulties issue in mind.

Most of all, remember the "gut feeling" you had when your child was young; research has shown that parents are the most reliable at detecting giftedness in their children - as long as they don't set their standards too high!

© 2000 Helen Dowland
This page was last updated on Sunday, 15 January 2006 02:10 PM

Comparison of Bright vs Gifted

Knows the answers. Asks the questions.

Interested. Extremely curious.

Pays attention. Gets involved physically
and mentally.

Works hard. Plays around, still gets
good test scores.

Answers questions. Questions the answers.

Enjoys same-age Prefers adults or older
peers. children.

Good at memorization. Good at guessing.

Learns easily. Bored. Already knew the

Listens well. Shows strong feelings
and opinions.

Self-satisfied. Highly critical of self
Source: Janice Szabos as quoted in "The Gifted and Talented Child," Maryland Council for Gifted & Talented Children, Inc. P.O. Box 12221, Silver Spring, MD 20908

Early Morning Routines

Jea was so used to having me at home with her since I few months ago I was a stay-at-home mom, trying to manage my own business with a devious partner (but that's another story, and I will not spend my time writting about a scum). Going back to Jea. When I got a job and I have to leave her every morning, it was devastating to her and more so to me. At first I tried to hide, and sneak so that she would not see me leaving. But then she would still cry as soon as she realized I left. After a while, and after several talks of explaining to her that Mommy has to work. She understood already. Then the Yakult Routine started.

When I our office moved to PAranaque, previously in Taguig, Mama rides with me going to the office. What I didnt know is that Jea walk with Mama to the street corner to send her off as she rides the vans going to the office. So since mama rides with me already, we take Jea along in the car with Yaya then drop her off at the bakery to buy yakult. She would be sit patiently in the car until we reach the bakery. Then she she goes down the car, she would say "Bye-bye mommy, bye-bye mama, Ingat!" I will then lower the car windows and stay there for a while. As she got on the steps to the bakery she will look back and say "Bye-bye mommy, bye-bye mama" while blowing kisses. And stand there looking at us as we leave.

Sometimes she will even bring "baon" for us. I remember one time, I brought home a pack of bicuits, the ones that are individually packed. When I gave it to her, her first instict was to get, 2 packs then she hurriendly went to get mama's bag. She put it inside. At first I thought she was just hiding it but I realized the next morning why she did that.

The next morning, after eating breakfast and we are all ready to go to work. She got mama's bag and handed it to her. She said so proudly "Mama, I gave you biscuits, may baon ka na!" eat mo un ha. That's when I realized that she is not only smart, but also very thoughtful and concerned of others. Sometimes its bisbuit, sometimes its fruit or sometimes it lunch, she even asked her yaya to prepare for my baon and she will carry that all the way 4 flights of stairs down, and hold on to it until we reach the bakery. She then hands it to me and say "Mommy baon mo!" Im so inlove with my daughter right now as I write this blog im can feel my tears go down.

Love You baby, I will never get tired of taking care of you and I hope you will never get tired of taking care of me.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Is my child gifted?

I googled "preschool+ manila" for my choices of preschool for Jea,then I got to this site mom exchange, its a blog of Filipino mom living in U.S. and as read her blog about the Kindergarden checklist. Sort of entrance exam for toddlers in U.S. at least in that State, for kids. Her son was 3yrs old when they took the test. Turns out its a lot more complicated there, kids, babies have to take test to be able to be accepted. It was even stressed there that it is a law for toddlers to be tested for kindergarden. Unfortunately for her, her kid failed the test and needs special education. She included a link for the checklist.To read about the blog please click the link. So when I checked it out this is my observation.


I read the Checklist and analyze my daughters skills. I was shocked that most of the comments are shocked about the scissors. I let my baby use scissors, with full adult supervision of course since she was about 1yr 8months. We are doing the gardening and she wanted to help so i gave her the small craft scissors, the one thats not pointed and she immediately learned to use them. I am proud to say that she can do all the skills in the list, actually i think even more. She also learned to walk at 7 months, she was already humming with the music at 6 months. She can sing the several nursery songs before she turned two. She also recognized the letters "O", "S" and "T" at 1 year old. She now knows all the letters and count up to 10. She knows the colors and shapes, whe also know to the corresponding Tagalog words against their English translation. When I gave her Lego Blocks to play with, she formed a Pyramid using all the yellow blocks for the inside triangle and used all the orange blocks for the outer triangle, and I didnt even teach her to do that. She also drew a house, a dragon, fish and "Barnie" when I gave her a drawing board. I didnt even teach her how to draw, I just gave it to her to play with and I expected to see only doodles and crazt lines, but that what she came up with.

She is now 2yrs old and 6months. My mom always thought that shes gifted, and kept on telling me that I have her tested if she are. I never thought that she is, I know that she's smart. That she is advanced againts most kids her age, but i never bother testing her. If I base my kid's ability with the checklist I could say that she really is. I'll should schedule her for testing soon.

Are You Ready for School?

Pearson’s Kindergarten Readiness Checklist
Our partners at Pearson have created a Kindergarten Readiness Checklist that will give you a glimpse of what skills most teachers expect when a child enters school. Print it out, and use it as a reference throughout your child’s preschool journey. We will also be giving you ideas on how to help your child develop these skills in our monthly e-mails, so save the link!

Key Kindergarten Readiness Skills include being able to...

Listen to stories without interrupting
Recognize rhyming sounds
Pay attention for short periods of time to adult-directed tasks
Understand actions have both causes and effects
Show understanding of general times of day
Cut with scissors
Trace basic shapes
Begin to share with others
Start to follow rules
Be able to recognize authority
Manage bathroom needs
Button shirts, pants, coats, and zip up zippers
Begin to control oneself
Separate from parents without being upset
Speak understandably
Talk in complete sentences of five to six words
Look at pictures and then tell stories
Identify rhyming words
Identify the beginning sound of some words
Identify some alphabet letters
Recognize some common sight words like "stop"
Sort similar objects by color, size, and shape
Recognize groups of one, two, three, four, and five objects
Count to ten
Bounce a ball
A second reminder: all children are unique! These are general guidelines for skills that most Kindergarten teachers would like to see children have when they start school. Keep in mind that your child will learn a lot in his first year of school, but if you are still concerned about whether or not your child is ready, talk to your child's pediatrician.

Friday, February 15, 2008

While you were sleeping

There is some serenity in watching you sleep. This is one of the habits that i've developed since you came in to my life. I remember the very first night that we are together. This was our first night home, I think you were about 3 days old then. Everybody was sleeping already, but I stared at you all night. I was overwhelmed with so much live for you, the first time I ever felt, that I cant even bare to sleep. I was too afraid to lose you. I stayed up all night to watch you sleep, holding your chest once in a while to check if your still breathing. Call me paranoid, but I have so much love overflowing that I dont even want to close my eyes for a second. Because that single second is one second now seeing you.

Years has passed and your turning three in a few months, but I still watch you sleep. Not so much because of paranoia, but I just love that feeling of security, of calmness, of blessings to have you with me. Even if sometimes I wasnt the one to put you to bed, just putting you beside me and looking at you so peacfully gives me warmth.

There is so much joy in watching you sleep. The sense of accomplishment that we just finished our day. Knowing that as you sleep by my side also simbolizes you being with me, by my side my whole life, that I will never be alone again. That eagerness for me to see you wake up the next morning, either waking me up, or simply smiling.
Those are the treasures I hold on to, everytime I look at you.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wednesday, February 6, 2008