Archives for posts with tag: giftedness

Today at dinner, Dai Bee shared with us his highlight for the day! One of the students he has been tutoring after school scored 84% on his recent math test. WE were all happy to hear this bit of news, especially knowing he was able to help. I hope this will motivate him to continue what to help other students.


Currently happening now: working a piece for string quartet. Though this is not his first composition, it’s his first for string instruments. He doesn’t know what a special gift he has!IMG_9100IMG_9101

Dai Bee’s SSAT scores came back. The good news is that he does’t need to retake it.

TOTAL: 2259 (Vocabulary-755, Math-761 and Reading-743)

Considering he skipped a grade and didn’t take any prep courses, these are pretty awesome scores. Now one more thing to cross off the list.

Today Dai Bee competed at the MathCounts competition. It was such a looong day for it. We brought him there around 9am to register with his school. At round 10am, there was an orientation (which parents couldn’t be a part of). We left as soon his group got together and went back at 1:45pm. Between 10-1pm, there was a written test and the top 16 students will go to the final countdown round. There were at least 100 students representing different middle schools, and a few who were homeschooled.

Parents were allowed to sit in and watch in the auditorium when they had their final countdown round. Dai Bee didn’t make the cut, but he sat there to the end. He even tried to solve a few problems on the final round (since problems were projected on the screen for everyone). Each and every one of these kids are so amazingly gifted. They are quick and accurate with the answers, impressed us all.

I hope Dai Bee will take this as a valuable learning experience in school and in life. We’ll come back again.

Many parents often ask me what level Dai Bee is playing (piano). I never knew what to tell them. Apparently students take music examinations to determine the level they are playing.  These exams are supposedly great as a measure of the student’s progress. More entrenched in Asia and other parts of the world, these music exams are not as popular here. Last week I finally got a chance to ask Dai Bee’s piano teacher about his current level. At first the teacher was worried I might ask her to prepare Dai Bee for this exam. She was relieved when I told her that wasn’t the reason why I asked. She also gave me her reservations of preparing her students for these music exams. Studying for these exams is rigorous. Different levels require different set of skills. Besides taking sight-reading and aural tests, he also has to pass the some sort of theory exam. It is under tremendous pressure for the kid to pass because it takes months and months of practice. Knowing Dai Bee, he wouldn’t thrive in that kind of condition.

If she must answer me, he’s now playing a piece at the 8th or 9th level. That’s already good enough for me.

MathCounts is a nationwide middle school mathematics competition. So happens that Dai Bee’s school offers this club after school. Recently, the students were given a test to qualify themselves in the upcoming competition (which I had no idea). Dai Bee just casually mentioned to me yesterday that he will represent his grade level because he scored the highest for his grade, 2 points short of 8th grade. He admitted he would have scored higher if he didn’t make some careless arithmetic mistakes.

This kid never ceases to amaze me.

Dai Bee’s English teacher will be on paternity leave soon. Before he leaves, I wanted to speak with him to see if there are any concerns. Dai Bee often expresses that he always needs to “put in work” in English compared to Math (where it always comes so natural to him). He feels his comprehension is not at par. Setting up a conference with his English teacher today might help answer some of his questions. I am super grateful he found the time for us to meet.

First he assured me that Dai Bee is doing excellent in his class. Always participates and fully engaged in discussions. He didn’t feel there was any way that Dai Bee has any issues with comprehending the materials they are studying. I was taken by surprise when his teacher pulled out test scores from last year. Dai Bee scored 99% and the top of his entire class. His SRI Index (independent reading assessment) showed he was way above reading level and his Lexile was over 1300.

The teacher further explained to us in reading, there are many layers – the literal comprehension and then the inferential comprehension. Does the reader understand the basic story line to answer who and what? Then they go deeper – how and why? The teacher also asked Dai Bee a questions about his concern. Dai Bee referred back to his SAT scores and said he didn’t so well (even I told him his score is phenomenal).

Dai Bee is doing fine all along. Nothing to worry about.

A couple weeks ago, I received this in the mail:


At that time, I didn’t think much of it. I didn’t even know what this was for because I had totally forgotten about his SAT. Until recently, I received his SAT score from the College Board with explanations of how he did. Apparently, he did superb on his SAT, scored at the top 5% of his peers who took the test. For math, he scored higher than 84% of last year’s group of college-bound seniors, 70% higher than last year’s group of college-bound seniors in reading, and 42% higher than last year’s group of college-bound seniors in writing.

Does this mean he is ready for college?

Today is one of those hectic days again. First off it’s Dai Bee’s big testing day. We dropped him off at the testing center (SI) at 7:45am in one of the more chilly mornings.


The three of us drove around to grab breakfast. We almost never go out for breakfast. I was surprised to find many places are still closed, except this dingy looking dim-sum to go place. We sat down and filled our tummies with hot watery porridge and some dim sum. Afterwards, I went for grocery shopping to get the items we need for the week.

The second or third stop we made was driving Ah Lo for his first basketball game. The team lost, but it was always fun to watch the little ones play. After his game, we rushed back to pick up Dai Bee. He was waiting for us by the time we got there. He didn’t complain much about taking the test, nor did he mention if it was too hard/easy for him. He finished the English portion, but didn’t have enough time for the Math part. The test included the essay part – “Originality is over rated.” He did the best he could, but wished for more time. That was the feedback I got.

We had lunch before we went shopping for the boys. Dai Bee has a piano recital next weekend and was asked to dress up in “nice clothes”. All they have are sweat pants and casual clothes. Glad that was taken care of today. His piano recital will be held in a piano gallery. Since he has a Yamaha at home, and he will be playing a Steinway during recital. His teacher suggested for him to try playing on the Steinway piano since the pianos have a different feel to it. We spent a good hour there, waiting for him to practice.


Great thing that Mr. Piggy found a prime spot near the piano gallery and we ended up having dinner in that area (which we almost never venture out to). This is one of those weird days where we ate out for the entire day – breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Call me crazy, but I’m registering for Dai Bee to take the SAT this winter. It is not uncommon for 7th graders take SAT. This was recommended by his 3rd grade teacher a couple of years ago. I didn’t pay too much attention to it at the time. Recently, this topic popped up again, so I contemplated and decided to go forward. First I asked Dai Bee if he’d be willing to give it a try. He shrugged and said, ‘yes, why not?’ We’ll see.