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View Full Version : Gifted Pre-schoolers?



libertychic
09-07-2012, 06:47 PM
I homeschooled my four older kids, and while they were very bright, I'm not sure they would fall in the "gifted" range.

My youngest will be turning 4 in a couple of weeks. He has known his letters since late 2, early 3 years old, as well as his numbers to 20. He knew all his colors well before he was 2. He's not only bright, but hubby and I look at each other and often say, "He's scary smart." He's very big for his age, and I'm confident that he would do well if placed in a kindergarten class. He's not quite ready with his writing ability, and the only other issue he might have is he stutters (both his dad and I stuttered at that age too, which we eventually outgrew).

Is there testing for kids this age? Do any of you have exceptionally bright or gifted little ones? What, if anything, do you do differently for them?

I'm just now starting on phonic sounds with him, since he has those letters down pat, as well as working on the fine motor skills needed to write (which I know will come with time). I used MUS with my other kids, and am seriously considering starting him on that this year. Is it too much? I'm feeling like the boy needs to be challenged a bit. I'm also going to put some Muzzy language (starting with Spanish) in front of him to see how he reacts to that.

Would love to hear any input you all might have. Thanks in advance!

lynne
09-07-2012, 07:35 PM
I never had my 7 year old tested, but I'm pretty certain he is gifted. He also was reading by age 3 and by age 4 he was actually researching subjects of interest on the computer. He gets very interested in things and wants to learn everything about them in great depth. At this point we are getting astronomy books from the adult section of the library and he isn't just looking at the pictures, he is reading the (very small) print. He loves the stuff. What I'm doing is trying to provide as many resources as I can to feed his current interests. I just ordered a middle school level astronomy unit for him from Elemental Science because he already knows so much more than the earlier level would cover. I'm not accelerating him in all areas, just the ones he is intensely interested in. He's still doing grade 2-3 spelling and language arts and doing MUS Gamma and that is working well for him. Maybe mid-year we will consider a computer programming course because I think he would enjoy that. That's about all I'm doing differently for now. We'll take things as they come:).

libertychic
09-07-2012, 08:42 PM
Thank you Lynne... I was reading by age 4 as was my husband. We were never considered "gifted" but he was offered the option to skip 2 grades (from 3rd to 5th) and I was reading at a 5th grade level in 1st grade. I'm thinking it must be genetic...just like the stuttering...lol

I trust my instincts enough to wing it, but was/am interested to hear from other parents who may have gifted students.

dbmamaz
09-07-2012, 08:53 PM
My kids werent that advanced, and i didnt homeschool any of my kids until 4 years ago, but i totally let them set the pace. if they want to go faster through a subject, we go faster, and if they want to go slower, we go slower. My youngest has just totally blown off using curriculum for the most part, checking out new math concepts with supplements and readers.

libertychic
09-07-2012, 08:56 PM
My kids werent that advanced, and i didnt homeschool any of my kids until 4 years ago, but i totally let them set the pace. if they want to go faster through a subject, we go faster, and if they want to go slower, we go slower. My youngest has just totally blown off using curriculum for the most part, checking out new math concepts with supplements and readers.

That's what I did with my others as well... and one of my favorite parts of homeschooling. When they did finally enter public school, they had a few "missing" pieces, but it was nothing half an hour of discussion couldn't fix. :)

Sherry
09-07-2012, 09:36 PM
My youngest was reading before he was four. He now reads as well as, if not better than his older brother. Brother is also an advanced reader but does not share his little brother's interest in language. His preferred reading is the Lego catalog. My little guy takes a stack of books to bed each night. I was a little sad today. He was carrying a book around and I asked if he'd like me to read it to him. His answer, "No thank you, I read it silently. I like reading silently better than reading aloud."

He sits in on his brother's lessons and participates as he wishes. With the exception of no OT, his preschool lessons are similar to what his brother did at the same age. He is moving more quickly through the materials, but I don't know how much of that is being bright and how much is previous exposure.

libertychic
09-07-2012, 10:05 PM
Awww.. I think I would have been equally proud and sad at the "No thank you" response.....

lynne
09-07-2012, 10:08 PM
Thank you Lynne... I was reading by age 4 as was my husband. We were never considered "gifted" but he was offered the option to skip 2 grades (from 3rd to 5th) and I was reading at a 5th grade level in 1st grade. I'm thinking it must be genetic...just like the stuttering...lol

I trust my instincts enough to wing it, but was/am interested to hear from other parents who may have gifted students.

Yes, it is probably hereditary to some extent. My biggest fear with my son is that in an attempt to provide enrichment, he will lose his love of learning so I'm trying to be careful to keep it limited to his interests. I think sometimes with gifted kids, people try to give them MORE work, when what they really need is to be given work that is at their knowledge level. Sometimes it's tough to know what to do though and I'm still trying to figure it out myself. I'm just grateful to be homeschooling so I can change things as needed. Keep us posted.

AmyButler
09-08-2012, 04:09 PM
My daughter was tested in K in the public school where we lived at the time. Many don't test until the end of 2nd or 3rd grade. Look for not just academic advances, but also asynchronys development and oversensitivities, as they are also marks of gifted.

Sammish
09-08-2012, 05:20 PM
My son is 5.5, and is probably somewhere on the gifted scale. He has a natural knack for math, and has been reading since he was 3.5. For him, we've just played lots of games, in part because that's something I love to do. :)

So for instance, instead of using the spinner for Chutes and Ladders, we used a single die. Got him used to counting the numbers on it, until he could recognize them right away. Then we started using two dice (bonus - the game goes faster!), and showed him how to add them up, starting with the larger number, etc. Then after he was good at that, then we started adding to figure out where his piece was going to land (for easier numbers, "You're on a five, and you rolled a five, where should you go?")

We've also played card games where he adds up his points - we just recently introduced Rummy 500, so he's gotten very good at skip counting by 5's. Five Crowns is also good for adding scores. Monopoly Jr used some subtraction ("If I owe $2, and I give you $5, how many do I get back?"). An obscure game called Alien Hot Shots introduced odds and evens.

We've given a few hints along the way, like grouping for mental addition/subtraction, and the rest he's figured out on his own. It's kept him interested, he's never felt pushed, and I've been glad to have a buddy to play games with. :)

libertychic
09-08-2012, 06:26 PM
Thank you everyone for the comments and suggestions... I really appreciate it!

hockeymom
09-10-2012, 07:00 AM
My son sounds similar; he knew all his letters (upper and lower case) and their sounds before he turned 2; colors by 19 months, was starting to read at early 3. But more than that, it was his deep, insatiable interest in subjects that probably should have been a clue that he was different than his friends. The librarians got used to sending us to the middle school section for information about cars, skyscrapers, trains and so forth when he was preschool age, because anything less just wasn't going to be deep enough for him. Still, I didn't know anything about "giftedness" or just how unusual his academic interest was until he was in preschool.

I don't know what I do differently with him than I would with another kid. I follow his interests and give him the resources he requests (and at times, demands). I follow up with him and make sure he has access to the things that really interest him. Sometimes it feels ridiculous (like writing out letters to a 20 month old at breakfast time, and having him recite them back to me) but mostly it really just feels like parenting him, kwim?

As he gets older, it's less of an issue. We have gone to lengths to make sure he develops "popular" interests so he can relate to a large range of kids (it's why I gave into the wii, for example, which paid off in spades when we lived in an isolated area and his opportunity for friendships was very slim). He's very enthusiastic about almost everything, but doesn't have much of an interest in most "kid" stuff so we try to introduce him to enough things he wouldn't naturally gravitate toward so he won't be clueless. He gets that most kids don't want to talk about anything heavy, so he has an arsenal of other subjects that he can pull out when playing (Mario, cars, sports etc).

Have fun with your enthusiastic learner! :)

Tamra
09-13-2012, 02:22 AM
My take: everyone is gifted.

And: everyone has special needs. And those gifts and needs are usually connected somehow.

One of the reasons that testing is limited in the early grades is because "gifted" is usually defined for only two areas of intelligence: verbal/linguistic, and mathematical/logic. These areas are able to be tested by paper-and-pencil methods, so you need to get the kid to the age of being tested.

Even then, the test could lie.

Here's a personal example. In 1st grade, my daughter was placed in special ed reading without my permission. By 3rd grade, she was reading at a college level. She started college at age 14.

So what the heck happened? I got wind that she was placed in SPED (yes, without notifying me first), and I had just been trained in reading methods that I just knew I could combine with my previous training in learning styles. I applied the ideas over winter break (2 weeks), and had them retest her. The result: they wanted to test her yet again, this time for GATE (gifted and talented)... a test on which she scored a 99%.

So is she gifted? Or was it a matter of teaching her to her learning styles? I'd like to think it was a bit of both. :cool:

modmom
10-02-2012, 03:31 PM
My ds was tested once at 4, and once at 4.5 (two prospective schools, both wanted different tests)

In our experience the testing was helpful, especially the achievement testing. It's not necessary, but it is helpful. It gave me a starting point for curricula at the very least.