Perfect Sense, recommended from the National Council for Gifted Children, is a riddle game to uncover a word using clues related to the five senses. (www.patchproducts.com)
Today, I am not going to talk about the game. Rather, I would like to talk about our teaching philosophy and our child-rearing theory.
I never thought that my son will be a gifted child. If he is, I will be really glad. If he is not, I am equally happy. I never thought of pushing my son to be above average. We only wish that he is not below average. We take a laid back parenting style. I don’t think that we are indulgent parents. We foster independence and support our children in whatever they do and provide guidance whenever they encounter problems. The only three after school activities that my son attends are swimming (for medical purpose), Spanish (for language purpose) and Lego building (for fun. Lego is his favorite pastime). He enjoys all three activities. I believe strongly that the kids will learn more when they enjoy what they learn.
I have read studies categorizing our parenting style as slow parenting. The opposite to our parenting style is concerted cultivation, which is adopted by a majority of Taiwanese parents where kids are driven to attend numerous number of lessons and organized activities, dictated by the parents, and deemed by the parents to be useful to the kids, in hope of accelerating the kids’ study and pushing the kids to be ahead of the class. I can never agree with this type of parenting approach but you don’t have to agree with me.
Anyway, what prompted me to write this is a letter I got from the school today. To give you some background, my son is currently in first grade. The letter stated that my son’s teacher had recommended that he began working on an Independent Investigation in High Potential Enrichment Room. Now I understand why my son kept talking about I I lately. According to the letter, Independent Investigation is designed to allow my son to choose a topic, find new and interesting facts about that topic, using written and non-written materials. This project is required to be completed at school, but we may be asked to assist him in gathering materials by finding pictures and research off the Internet. This program is designed for students to use his/her imagination in gathering new and interesting facts on his/her chosen topic. The students will be making a product to share in class or with some type of audience. It is an “enrichment” experience for those students who could benefit from an extra challenge. A teacher evaluation will be sent home after the students complete their investigation. Receiving this letter proves our parenting approach to be on track. Our school has a high potential enrichment program designed for gifted students 3rd grade and above. I was somewhat surprised that my son gets to attend a part of the program in first grade. We never dream of him as a gifted child. Maybe he is gifted for something that we have not discovered. Or maybe, we are just daydreaming.