Growing Up Gifted

I am not expecting him to ace his subjects or be the President of a company. As long as Ewan is kind, loving and honest, I know we have given him the best gift as parents (and him to us). So what are we talking here about growing up gifted?

I was introduced to Growing Up Gifted by Jaylene. She sends her 5 year old to GUG and has started little Ella with the Gifted Babes programme today. It is tailor-made for 8 to 18 monthers, accompanied by a parent. To motivate exploration with their 5 senses, and to promote early speech and language skills, presentation of stimulating objects, prints, sounds, colours and textures were used. 

Class activities include observing the scientific changes that take place during popcorn-making, playing bongos to African beats, hand-painting with delicious ice-creams or discovering the aroma of exotic spices. They build upon children’s natural curiosity and sense of trust, which encourages them to respond openly and confidently to new challenges and socialisation. There is also music, puppetry, hands-on fun and a 15-minute Mandarin playtime.
We joined Jaylene and Ella for a fun day at GUG. Just a day because I never quite believed in school. Well, not any time before 4 years of age at least. That calls for my decision to be a SAHM no? To be his guide, tutor, playmate, mother and of course to ensure he has a childhood like I DID! But I do believe in once-a-week activities like speech & drama, music, gym, art & craft and the likes of it. Just not daily.

Mum & Baby in class

So yes! We were acquainted to 90 full minutes of eye-opener. I do not know what to expect because … what can you do with a 9 month old infant? Of course we had songs to start the class rolling. Music has a powerful effect on emotions and we need to cultivate HAPPY classmates! Teachers sang the Hello song in 8 languages. It’s only good manners to greet your classmates when you meet them.

Then, we did nursery rhymes in both english and mandarin. There will be a different rhyme at every lesson and today we did these two,

This little piggy went to the market
This little piggy stayed at home
This little piggy had roast beef
This little piggy had none
This little piggy went “Wee Wee Wee”
All the way home!
[Ewan loved this so much he kept laughing when we went “all the way home”]

抄萝卜,抄萝卜,切切切
包饺子,包饺子,捏捏捏
好孩子,好孩子,人人夸
乖宝宝,乖宝宝,我爱你

[the actions to this rhyme got him wide-eyed during the session]

We also had a phonics session with the babies. Yea, tell me about it. Phonics at 9 months. Letter of the day is “J”.

Jer Jer Jer for Jellyfish.
Jer Jer Jer for Jam.
Jer Jer Jer for Jar.

The teachers took out 3 Jars for the little cutsies to sniff from, to encourage exploration of the senses. One’s a marmalade, one’s an orange jam and the last one was kaya. Ewan enjoyed sniffing them all and guess what! He wants to eat them!!! He had his mouth wide open with every sniff and was really upset when he couldn’t taste those yummilicious scents. I love the interaction between babies and the letter “J”!

It’s art and craft time! I was told to bring an apron for Ewan in case it gets messy. Mummy was looking forward to this part of the session because I simply couldn’t phantom how a 9-month old can craft an art. So, we all sat in anticipation when the teachers prepared a bag of pastas. Like those letter tiles in Scrabble that we play, the babies were encouraged to put their hands in and feel what’s in the bag. Ewan was getting a little cranky but when his turn came, I dipped his tiny hands into the bag and he looked at me in surprise. He felt something! He felt something hard! He felt something pointy, round and curly! He felt a farfalle, macaroni and fusilli! Ewan enjoyed it. So did I *smiles*

Before we know it, he started crafting his first art piece. Ewan’s very own plate-o-pasta at GUG. I held his hand tightly onto the brush and coloured the paper plate. He dropped off bits of pasta onto the plate and wala!

Ewan’s first Masterpiece

Tools: Coloured Glue and Pasta
Choose your Pasta

The Abstract by Yang Ewan
Showing Off to Daddy

Thereafter, we proceeded to the music room for more music fun. By this time, mummy and Ewan were both worn out. All in all, I must admit Ewan enjoyed his time at GUG He was smiling widely and kept interacting with everyone around him. He even crawled onto the lap of some other mummy. Ya, crawled and played till he cannot recognise his own mum! *hahah*

He was exposed to many things today – colours, mandarin, songs, play, share, socialise, phonics, flash cards and many more. Unfortunately, I think we are not ready to commit ourselves to class just yet. I still cannot believe we are introducing our babies to phonics and flash cards. It is proven that they absorb the most at this age but hey … they will have to spend their whole lives learning about life. I think we do not need to start them now. I already feel sad for Ewan – for all the home works he needs to complete after school in time to come. Poor boy.

That said, I may change my mind about this whole school concept thing. For all you know, I could be sending Ewan to day school at 18 months so that I can get my manicure done! *hahah* Me-Time is precious for ALL mummies yet the sacrifices mummies make for their children are priceless.

Growing Up Gifted: http://www.gugifted.com/main.htm

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