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    #246395 - 12/03/19 12:56 PM What did you do with your Pre-K/K child?
    bethanyc3 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 11/22/19
    Posts: 3
    Our districtís gifted program starts in Grade 3. My DS5 is in K and his very nice teacher placed him in a 1st grade class for reading/math after his initial assessment. She mentioned, however, that he works ahead in that class too. He is a young K student and smallest of his classmates, so grade skips are not recommended. We canít afford private school or testing. I feel badly for not challenging him enough. I want to offer him more enrichment (besides the library, piano and museum free days). What did you do with your young child(ren)? What fun (free) activities did they love to pursue?

    #246430 - 12/07/19 02:04 PM Re: What did you do with your Pre-K/K child? [Re: bethanyc3]
    aeh Online   content

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3613

    First of all, unless he is unhappy or stressed, there is no need for you to feel badly about his education. Very young children generally learn best through exploration, play, and picking up and putting down a variety of interests. You are already giving him a number of interesting and enjoyable venues for learning in an age-appropriate way. When you take him to the library, museums, zoos, aquaria, parks, community center, etc., observe what he chooses to do, or the books he selects, or the kinds of activities or topics he is drawn to, or likes to talk about before, during, and after. He will give you hints as to directions that are likely to engage his interest, appropriately feed his need to learn, and give him joy. If there are docents or librarians available, you may be able to ask them for some other activities related to his areas of interest, many of which may be free or low cost.

    At this age, mine enjoyed reading (some I could have done without, but I still let them take what pleasure they could from their choices--I think I'm not alone in being beyond satiety on Rainbow Fairies), building creations out of reclaimed materials (aka, trash), listening to and creating a wide range of music, making, authoring, and illustrating their own little books (out of plain paper and many markers), and lots of unstructured outdoor play, with and without actual toys or sports equipment.

    #246431 - 12/07/19 02:55 PM Re: What did you do with your Pre-K/K child? [Re: bethanyc3]
    Portia Offline

    Registered: 03/17/13
    Posts: 1783
    Aeh gave you wonderful advice above. Remember, physical activity promotes a lot of brain growth. We spent a lot of time at parks, playing neighborhood basketball, sports within our community which were cheap, etc. We also spent a lot of time playing board games. I know it doesn't sound like "learning", but so much is gained by board games. Mine enjoyed the games so much, there was a lot of free time spent developing/creating games. Lots of art - shaving cream on cookie sheets, food coloring in pancakes, finger paints, water paints, etc. Anything that allows for expression. Mine also enjoyed orchestra/symphonies/musicals, so we used our Netflix videos to explore the musical aspects.

    We created time and space called experiment time. Sometimes this was primary food colors in water/plastic cups and creating new colors (he had a dropper which helped promote hand/finger development). Sometimes this was Snap Circuits. Sometimes I would put a few dried spices on a plate with sliced apple so he could experiment with different flavors. This lead to him mixing his own spice combinations, which I then cooked on chicken.

    Basically, it boils down to lots of enjoyment time spent with the child (the relationship is still critical) following his/her interest, supporting creativity, and providing safe places to freely express themselves.

    #246436 - 12/07/19 07:36 PM Re: What did you do with your Pre-K/K child? [Re: bethanyc3]
    philly103 Offline

    Registered: 03/02/17
    Posts: 74
    As noted, AEH gave you great advice. I also agree with Portia about games and sports.

    We also did some home projects building stuff, you can buy small motors and battery packs pretty cheap off Amazon and get various small wood blocks from craft stores. My DS5 enjoys that stuff.

    Like they've said, as long as you're following their lead and they're happy, you're doing fine.

    #246438 - 12/08/19 05:06 AM Re: What did you do with your Pre-K/K child? [Re: bethanyc3]
    Alannc44 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/30/18
    Posts: 38
    There's a young boy (5) in my daughter's class of 2nd graders. I thought MY daughter was young for the class! (Just turned 7). There are actually a couple of kids whose parents redshirted them, for sports presumably, who are NINE. Guess what, the 5 year old shares the spot light with my daughter, despite both being very small. In our case, size had no bearing.

    #246463 - 12/12/19 09:46 PM Re: What did you do with your Pre-K/K child? [Re: bethanyc3]
    homeros2 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 05/25/19
    Posts: 4
    Our DS is also 5 and not accelerated at school. This is what he likes at the moment:
    - going to the zoo and asking questions about every animal
    - reading Click magazine
    - Lego. Building, improving, rebuilding... He's even happy just reading the instructions 😁
    - reading: current favourite in English (his second language) is Roald Dahl
    - going to the reading group at our local library (which is free and actually aimed at 7-year-olds, we have a wonderful librarian)
    - science museum
    - riding his bike
    - playing board games. One of our favourite is Magic Maze. We always prefer 'regular' versions above junior. If necessary, you can adapt the rules in the beginning (not often necessary in our family) and then you'll have a game you can play for years.
    - helping around the house and discussing how everything works

    I'm sure you're doing great just being there for your son and encouraging his interests!

    #246515 - 12/29/19 11:56 AM Re: What did you do with your Pre-K/K child? [Re: bethanyc3]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4225
    You've received GREAT responses above.

    Being young and/or having small stature are factors not typically given the greatest weight when making a decision about acceleration. Here is a link to prior far-ranging discussions on acceleration, including PROs and CONs on
    - Iowa Acceleration Scale (IAS-3, published by the Acceleration Institute),
    - single-subject-acceleration (SSA),
    - whole-grade acceleration (grade skipping),
    - radical acceleration (multiple grade skips),
    - social concerns for pre-teens, teens, and early college.

    Originally Posted By: bethanyc3
    ... I want to offer him more enrichment (besides the library, piano and museum free days). What did you do with your young child(ren)? What fun (free) activities did they love to pursue?
    I'm most familiar with gifted kiddos who needed to have a variety of new things to think about, in addition to their ever-changing special interests. To provide fresh new ideas to process, we had conversations about everyday life; each person, place, or thing we encountered was a potential conversation piece.

    For example, play money or coins in our pocket could launch many conversations and led to
    - collecting commemorative State quarters, a few foreign coins and historic coins, bible coins and replicas,
    - exploring treasure of sunken skips (online, books, museums),
    - budgeting,
    - understanding basic economics, US Treasury, the concept of bank savings accounts, checking accounts, credit, the stock market, and real estate,
    - emerging thoughts of future career and earning one's own money,
    - appreciation of the US Constitution and private property rights,
    - developing perspective on history and strength of nations,
    - budding interest in international trade.

    Trips to the grocery store, especially the fresh produce department, were a delight to the senses. A new restaurant opening, or the smell of a new food cooking could launch a cultural study including geography, history, food, clothing, holidays, religious beliefs. Baking or cooking in the kitchen included measuring and exercising the visualization of math skills.

    Picking up toys in the play area included sorting, matching, and organizing as each item was put away where we could easily find it again, later.

    Don't underestimate kite-flying, laying on your back and observing the changing shapes of clouds overhead, or watching fireflies glow and listening to crickets at night.

    Local hardware stores may have a weekly, monthly, or seasonal Saturday morning parent/child class, such as "make a birdhouse."

    Restaurants, theaters, or other buildings may offer behind-the-scenes tours by reservation, or annual "Doors Open" days.

    Day trips to local cultural events, festivals/fairs, craft shows, pet stores and pet adoption centers, parks, forests, lakes, caves, historic sites, monuments, tourist attractions, shrines/cathedrals/basilicas, visits with extended family, and volunteerism... all provided the entertainment of mini-vacation-escapes with the added benefit of personal educational value. This foundation formed the basis for stimulating curiosity and enthusiasm which fueled proactivity in studying, planning, and preparing to have the best observations and experiences on larger travel opportunities.

    Basically we aimed for a well-rounded sampling of experiences with exposure, understanding, and appreciation for our everyday life and all the local/regional area had to offer.


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