...a new blog by my friend Monica. She writes, among other things, her experience as mum to a gifted child. I know a number of this blog's readers have gifted kids so her blog would be of interest to you guys. Monica and I were hostel-mates in uni; our husbands are Eusoffians too. We also live in the same condo development.
Her oldest child, Lesley-Anne, is in St Hilda's P5 Gifted Education Programme. Brian and Lesley-Anne took the same school bus to St Hilda's when they were in Primary 1 and got along really well, maybe cos of their similar temperaments; they were really sweet kids and very shy. Brian has since transferred to ACS (Barker) when he too was selected for GEP. Unlike Monica, I can't share very much about GEP as Brian is never in Singapore long enough for me to gauge how the programme has benefitted him.
In this post, Monica writes, "Before GEP, she (L-A) was a painfully shy, introverted child afraid of taking a wrong step" and later, "She has also opened up considerably because the programme encourages expression. Although she's still an introvert, she's much more confident and is better able to express her thoughts."
Coincidentally, I too have noticed that Brian has become a lot less shy this past year, and a lot more vocal, and this I had attributed to his being educated abroad. So maybe it's just part of their growing up process rather than any education system. His smart-aleckiness did become a lot more evident right after spending a month in ACS over the summer hols though, so who knows?
While I have heard horror stories about how stressful the GEP is, Monica's experience suggests otherwise. I have another friend, Slim (yes, that's her name), whose 2 boys (in P4 and P5) are thriving in Nanyang's GEP. Nanyang is said to be one of the more academically-demanding school but Slim leaves her boys pretty much to their own devices, and they are doing well, not at the top of their class but so what? Really, it all boils down to parental attitude, doesn't it? Monica and Slim are pretty erm, laid-back parents (as laid-back as a Singapore parent can be, that is) when it comes to their children's education (I'm definitely more kiasu than these two). Maybe that's why their children are thriving in the much-maligned GEP.
I know Brian enjoyed his one month in ACS. It helped that ACS is one of the more 'relaxed' GEP centres (hardly any homework) and that his classmates played chess with him during recess every day. Academically, he learnt more new things in a week in ACS than the entire year in AAS (his Moscow school), well, at least in Math he did. At the end of the one month, his verdict? He liked ACS more than AAS. But fickle fella that he is, once he got back here, he said he liked AAS more.
Well, go visit Monica's blog for her views on GEP and other parenting matters. I for one will be checking in regularly.