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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


~ B R A I N Y - Z I N E ~

" Learn How to Nurture A Smarter Kid "

Volume #9   Issue #20

ISSN: 0219-7642    Apr 17, 2011

Andrew Loh, Publisher

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Gifted children are always at the centre of focus, be it in a school or in a community. Gifted children are also under constant attention in their classrooms and in society. In fact, parents of gifted children may exert too much pressure on them to achieve things that they find very difficult to deliver. This undue pressure often puts gifted children at tremendous risk.

Noted child education expert, Carol Fertig, believes that "most bright and gifted children enter their classroom thinking that they should know all the right answers." She also notes, "Both gifted children and their parents may not understand that answers do not drive their thinking process but the right type of answers will always do." As the old axiom goes... The more you think you know, the more you will understand that you know very little - that is what the author of the bestselling book Raising a Gifted Child: A Parenting Success Handbook, Carol Fertig, believes too!

Young children always learn when they know how to answer probing questions and queries. Parents and teachers should learn how to ask meaningful questions to their children. One thoughtful way to ask the right type of questions is to use Socratic Questioning. All the best to you.

Thought for today:
"Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you." - Maori proverb

Best Regards,
Andrew Loh
Andrew Loh
Publisher & Editor, BrainyZine


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An Inquiry Based Learning Approach
Curiosity and inquisitiveness are the two pillars of an inquiry-based learning process. This learning approach is a very thoughtful method of educating children.

Inquiry Based Learning - Parental Techniques
With an inquiry-based learning approach, children can easily imagine things and scenarios that eventually provide answers to any types of questions. However, teachers and parents should learn the art of asking the right type of questions before trying to teach the basics of inquiry based learning.


Q1: I have an 11 year old son in Year 7 who is struggling to cope in several areas of his education and in trying to help him develop strategies I have trawled the internet and am wondering whether he is either just being a 'naughty' bright boy or he is bordering on the gifted/ADHD, neither of which have been mentioned specifically before but there is so much literature that seems to point to this that I am hoping you can help me out please. He showed no particular gifted tendencies when very young, just obviously a bright boy. Infant school was a good experience and then he moved to Junior school....

A: Somehow I believe that he is a special child and may need that extra help and coaching to unleash his potential. It appears that he has been suspected of other conditions rather than being above average - probably due to the more prominent nature of his behavioural traits. It appears possible that he may be ADHD and gifted at the same time - and his attentional concern seems to mask his other abilities.... Continue to read Dr. Sandhu's answer on Possibly Twice Exceptional here.

Q2: My daughter is going to be 3 coming April 2011. And currently, we have been relocated to Goa, India for two years. I suspect my little one is very gifted, chances are high since I am also gifted. I was recommended to read Dr. Deborah Ruf book on 5 level of Gifted and was shaking in disbelief as I read along, noting that my girl shows similar characteristic of level 4 and mostly level 5, some even at an earlier stage comparing to the examples given. I'm very anxious to get her assess because we will be going back to Singapore early next year and Singapore does not allow home-schooling. 

A: It is very possible that your little girl is gifted especially as you have used Dr Ruf's levels of giftedness and she fitted in the category well. More importantly, you mentioned being gifted - and giftedness is in the genes! There are other general checklists that you can find to further gauge more specific behaviours and distinct traits of gifted children.

Assessing a child formally at 3 may not be a good idea as the results are not very stable at this stage. You may want to wait a little longer to get an assessment. In general, schools in Singapore may not take into account the reports of IQ tests for acceleration purposes. Teachers are also not trained to interpret results or IQ as such....Continue to read Dr. Sandhu's answer on Assessing Gifted Children here.

Q3: My husband and I have always known that our sons were early talkers and very bright, however recently we have realized that they would be classified as "gifted" children. To name a few things: 2 year old can count to 20, 4 1/2 year old has extraordinary spatial awareness and can do basic addition and subtraction in his head. Our question is, what now? We work to enrich them at home (reading/teaching with our 4 year old, taking them to museums, etc.) but what about school?

A: Looks like you are already ahead of other parents in terms of awareness that your kids may be gifted - hence, looking for suitable enrichment activities for them at home. So, home enrichment is fine - looks like school may be a problem. Unfortunately, schools in general usually have a “one size fits all” curriculum policy for everyone regardless of ability. However, some schools have options for advanced learners and a special curriculum for these children. Testing may be an option but perhaps for your younger son, it may be a little early .... Continue to read Dr. Sandhu's answer on Enrichment for Gifted Children here.


Inquiry-Based Learning Using Everyday Objects: Hands-On Instructional Strategies That Promote Active Learning in Grades 3-8
By Ms. Amy Edmonds Alvarado, Mrs. Patricia R. Herr

Object-based inquiry is a tested method that enhances the skills of the student, as well as the instructor, by engaging students in hands-on studies of everyday objects, raising their curiosity and enthusiasm for the learning process. Hands-on instructional strategies foster active learning, allowing students to investigate essential questions, while at the same time meeting curriculum standards and creating a profoundly new learning experience.

In this exciting new book, educators and authors Amy Edmonds Alvarado and Patricia R. Herr explore the concept of using everyday objects as a process initiated both by students and teachers, encouraging growth in student observation, inquisitiveness, and reflection in learning.


Nine Thousand Straws: Teaching Thinking Through Open-Inquiry Learning
By Jean Sausele Knodt

Based on nine years of design, research, and open-inquiry lab teaching experience with over 600 children annually, this resource contributes practical methods that make this instructional approach effective and purposeful.

Nine Thousand Straws also presents an inquiry instructional approach that engages the inquisitive energy children naturally bring to the learning table. It offers practical methods and concrete guidance that will enable you to open, employ, and guide this energy towards developing productive and globally applicable thinking skills and dispositions.



Memory works
The Star Apr 10, 2011

Getting preschoolers to place their books back on the correct shelf, put pencils into its case and sit on the floor before a teacher may seem like a simple request for a child to comprehend, but it is not.

Children who learn to play a musical instrument more likely to go to college
Vancouver Sun Apr 07, 2011

If you learned to play a musical instrument as a child, there's a better chance you went to college or university, according to results of a new survey.

8 Surprising Facts About Parenting, Genes and What Really Makes Us Who We Are
Huffington Post Mar 27, 2011

In 1990, Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr. and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota published a striking finding: About 70 percent of the variance in IQ found in their particular sample of identical twins was found to be associated with genetic variation.

Autistic boy,12, with higher IQ than Einstein develops his own theory of relativity
Daily Mail Mar 24, 2011

A 12-year-old child prodigy has astounded university professors after grappling with some of the most advanced concepts in mathematics. Jacob Barnett has an IQ of 170 - higher than Albert Einstein - and is now so far advanced in his Indiana university studies that professors are lining him up for a PHD research role.

The Burden of Raising a Gifted Kid
Wall Street Journal Mar 29, 2011

So many parents boast these days about having “gifted children” that the trend has become the target of satire. But inside the private lives of families of truly gifted kids - the less-than-1% whose extraordinary talents are so obvious that parents themselves are surprised - the juggle can get pretty crazy, as I report in today's “Work & Family” column.

Ask Dr. Lynne: Signs of a gifted child
ABC Apr 11, 2010

When it comes to education and our children, there's no doubt we want the very best. But is there a point at which a child's social life is sacrificed for educational gain and is it worth it in the long run? Dr. Lynne Kenney, author of The Family Coach Method, helps us understand when to know if your child is gifted and what to do.


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