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    #163910 - 08/08/13 03:13 PM Where to Start with my Gifted Preschooler??
    Kelly718 Offline
    New Member

    Registered: 08/08/13
    Posts: 1
    I am a first grade teacher yet I feel very confused on how to proceed with my gifted 3 year old. I am very curious to see exactly what is potential is. I am not sure where to start. My school district is of no help. He is fluently reading and I believe has a photographic memory. He AMAZES me with his abilities everyday! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Kelly

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    #163981 - 08/09/13 08:04 PM Re: Where to Start with my Gifted Preschooler?? [Re: Kelly718]
    Tallulah Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/25/10
    Posts: 480
    What do you need help with? What do you need to start?

    I'm afraid you'll need to let time show you his potential, as with all children. If you were interested in finding out his IQ you should wait as long as possible for accurate testing, at least until six.

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    #163988 - 08/09/13 11:11 PM Re: Where to Start with my Gifted Preschooler?? [Re: Kelly718]
    Chelle3131 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/02/12
    Posts: 6
    Hi,

    We were in the same boat 4 years ago, and we were lost! Teachers had been amazed by our son since he was 2, but didn't really offer anything for him. Schools aren't much help when they are that young.. they won't test three year olds and there's not much you can do to academically challenge a preschooler when you have 20 other kids running around like typical 3 year olds! We firmly believed that preschool was for building social skills, learning to listen to/respect authority, learning to follow directions, etc. so we didn't ask the school to do anything special. We tried to stimulate our son's cognitive abilities at home, though never pushed. If he was interested in something and wanted to delve deeply into it, we helped. He loved to read (still does) so we found him plenty of appropriate books, puzzles, musical instruments.. whatever he liked.

    So that's how we proceeded until he was 4.5 years old. At that point we needed to figure out if he should endure another year of preschool (he missed the birthday cutoff by a week) or if we should find a school that would accept him into kindergarten. We met with a psychologist who specializes in gifted children and she recommended we have him tested. This allowed us to more fully understand what we were dealing with, and if we would try to have him enter kindergarten that year, and potentially a school for gifted children for first grade. He tested very high and we knew he had to start kindergarten that year. When he was retested for the gifted school (different test, a year later) it was clear he belonged in that school. We now LOVE the school and are so happy that we tested him early so that he didn't have to be bored for an extra year. A lot of research points to boredom / lack of cognitive stimulation as potentially causing emotional and behavioral problems. We wanted to figure things out early before the problems began! So glad we did...

    I don't think IQ tests are accurate for 3 year old, so you'll need to hold off a little on testing. I'd recommend consulting any expert on gifted children in your area. This may be gifted educators, principals, psychologists, doctors, etc. Visit the directors and teachers at gifted programs in your area and have them meet with your son (if they will). See what they recommend for your individual situation, but once he is 4-5 years old, you should probably test so that you know what to do for schooling. Until you decide to test, continue stimulating his interests as much as he likes, without pushing of course. Good luck!!

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    #163990 - 08/09/13 11:18 PM Re: Where to Start with my Gifted Preschooler?? [Re: Chelle3131]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    I am not sure whether you are currently teaching? Here we wouldn't say we were a 3rd grade teacher unless we were but I think it can be different there. If you are working and you child is attending full time childcare you may find boredom setting in (or not depending on interests and if they can play with the older kids). If you are at home. Have fun, see stuff, go on adventures. You can't do much yet so unless it is broke don't try to fix it.

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    #164003 - 08/10/13 04:33 PM Re: Where to Start with my Gifted Preschooler?? [Re: Kelly718]
    Mana Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/17/12
    Posts: 882
    I went through a rather panicky stage with DD3.1 when she was about 2.5. I am in a much calmer place now and I think that has a lot to do with support I found on this forum as well as finding a variety of school options for DD. We have plan A (Montessori), plan B (gifted school), plan C (homeschooling), plan D (cyber schooling), and plan E (relocation). So finding appropriate educational placement options for your son might be a good place to start.

    As far as meeting their needs right now, I’m staying home and we do parent participation pre-school 2 x week for socialization and unschooling for the rest of the week. One of the advantages of having an early reader is that you can leave them with a stack of books and they’ll teach themselves. I think it’s the love of learning that we need to nurture throughout their childhood. As long as DD has that spark in her eyes when she is talking/reading/drawing about something she feels passionate about, I know we’re on the right track. smile

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    #167568 - 09/13/13 09:13 AM Re: Where to Start with my Gifted Preschooler?? [Re: Kelly718]
    Loy58 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/11/13
    Posts: 816
    What is he passionate about? Let him learn about what interests him at home - surround him with books and experiences that will feed what he is passionate about right now.

    Both of my DC were reading very well at 3. They "took off" when surrounded by what they loved: books, experiences, and letting them "research" topics of interest.

    I haven't worried about testing until there has been a specific need for it. DD was not given any tests until her school did them. For DS, he wanted to attend a special interest class this summer that happened to be for "gifted" that had a test score requirement. He took the WJ-III Ach. at 4.5 y.o. so he could attend classes at this center. He did extremely well, but I do wonder that even at 4.5 y.o., his scores might be inflated because of his age. I think that threads on this board have discussed potential unreliability of testing at a young age, but if you are very curious, you could turn to testing.

    I also completely agree with Mana about the advantages of having an early reader. My DC have taught themselves various things because they could read - it is a beautiful thing. I also agree that working at home, while adding in a "socialization component" (part-time preschool, classes, sports, etc.) gives a nice balance.

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