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How to cope financially with a gifted child? - Page 5

post #81 of 94
I'm curious as to how a child who didn't know her letter sounds six weeks ago is now going through 50 books a week. That's amazing!
post #82 of 94
It sounds like the OP is setting her daughter up for a lifetime of feeling entitled to whatever she wants. If she "requires" fifty new books a week (!) at age three, what is it going to be at age 7? Ten new science kits per week? Say she's crafty - 50 yards of fabric per week?

I would put a stop to this asap, introduce the concept of re-reading and tell her you don't have the money to keep buying books. And yeah, a few coloring books sound like the way to go.
post #83 of 94
I understand the impulse to want to provide more books... I love new books and have a stack of unread books waiting on me all the time, and DD, who is 3-almost-4, also loves books and bookstores and the library. However, I do think it's a bit much to be buying 50 books a week. Even if they're garage sale books that's a lot of money to shell out, a lot of books to store, and a heck of a lot of books to process when you're 3 years old. I can understand wanting to avoid library fees as well -- but is there any reason you can't physically go to the library a few times a week and read, but not check out, new books?

I tend to agree that your DD might benefit from having fewer new books. There is value in learning to entertain oneself without new things, and there is value in inventing your own stories & creative play. I love that my DD enjoys reading (she's currently reading at a 1st or 2nd grade level, I think) but I'm even more tickled some days when she takes out her dolls or cars or stuffed animals and starts to animate stories using them.

You also might consider a 2nd computer sooner rather than later. I've found that at 3, my DD can spell and enjoys "writing" but she does not have the fine motor skills to write much on her own. Having access to her "own" computer allows her to produce words and sentences and stories without having to write by hand. She has an old Dell laptop (like 8 years old) that's worth perhaps $100 at best with MS Word and a couple computer games (no internet access).
post #84 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post
I 've never thought about it costing any more than raising a non-gifted child. I use the library a ton, and that's free...As far as toys/activities, you can find almost anything used on ebay or at second-hand stores. DS does attend a private school which isn't cheap, but that is a choice I have made regardless of giftedness. In fact, a gifted child may do just as well (or better) academically in a public school's gifted program (or homeschooling, as you are doing).


I could see it being more expensive as they get older and need college level books/classes, but I would assume even most gifted 3 yo aren't at that point.
post #85 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post
I buy 50+ books a month for her, every month because once she reads it, she is done with it 95% of the time.
Ah, I assumed she was reading independently. Now I've put two and two together from other threads and it's clear she isn't. So by "once she reads it" I'm guessing frugalmama means listening to it read aloud, or looking through it at the pictures.

In the first case I'm guessing she needs longer more challenging fare -- chapter books suitable for 3-year-olds, like Stuart Little and My Father's Dragon and such. In the latter case, well, I can understand why looking at the pictures over and over isn't a thrill, but I don't think it's going to stunt her literacy development to have a (relatively) limited number of books to look at the pictures in.

I think the idea of colouring books is a good one, as is that of old magazines like National Geographics or whatever the thrift shop has. I'd combine those two with readalouds like Wind in the Willows and Winnie the Pooh and stuff of that ilk. If the OP is looking for frugal solutions I think that would about cover it -- for next to no cost.

Miranda
post #86 of 94
I would feel very uncomfortable encouraging an attitude that books are disposable. In our house, we try to instill the value that books are valuable and to be respected. If your child can't respect her books, then I would think she needs to be doing something else entirely. If you are reading that many books to her every week, how much time is left for creative play? Outside exploration? Building things? Participating in household routines?

We aren't homeschooling, but we probably spent close to $500 on books and materials for dd this year too--and we bought WAY less stuff than it sounds like you did. We carefully select quality books and art materials. DD spends a ton of time outside exploring at home and at preschool. Obviously our daughters are very different, but mine will sit with a familiar stack of books and "read" them to herself for hours at a time.

I also an curious what happens when you re-read a book and your daughter doesn't approve of the repitition. What does she do? How do you respond? Are you looking for suggestions to help your daughter react more positively to a familiar book? Maybe she, despite outward appearances, really isn't ready for so much reading.
post #87 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post
In the latter case, well, I can understand why looking at the pictures over and over isn't a thrill, but I don't think it's going to stunt her literacy development to have a (relatively) limited number of books to look at the pictures in.

I think the idea of colouring books is a good one, as is that of old magazines like National Geographics or whatever the thrift shop has. I'd combine those two with readalouds like Wind in the Willows and Winnie the Pooh and stuff of that ilk. If the OP is looking for frugal solutions I think that would about cover it -- for next to no cost.

Miranda
Actually, I'm fairly certain that the research shows having fewer books that the child memorizes helps in learning to read quite a bit. By already knowing what words are on the page, the child can start to put two and two together and realize what the words actually say.
post #88 of 94
I haven't read all the posts in this thread but have skimmed several. I'm with the posters who mentioned that perhaps it is time to move on to more challenging reading material. If your child is reading 50+ books a week it sounds like they are reading books that are perhaps too easy for them. I'd suggest it is time to move onto books that are a bit longer. I would try to intersperse books that are a bit of a stretch for you child's ability within those that they read easily. The more challenging stories won't be read as quickly and are more likely to be reread as your child attempts to master the more challenging reading.

This is true if you are reading to your child still or if they are reading themselves. If they have the attention span to have 50+ books read to them or to read 50+ books themselves they probably have the attention span for longer, more complicated books.
post #89 of 94
My older daughter would go through 100 picture books a week when she first learned to read. We checked them out from the library, and at some point I started limiting her to no more than she could fit into a tote bag, because she was loading me up like a pack mule and I could not handle the books plus her toddler sister and get in and out of the library without wanting to collapse.

If she had been coloring in the books, making me unable to use the library, I would have been furious, first of all, and I definitely would not have rewarded this behavior by buying cartloads of books. (1) We are not made of money. (2) We do not have unlimited shelf space. I might have allowed her to choose one book each week from a used book store, each time reminding her that when she learned to treat books respectfully, we would be able to go to the library again and she'd get to choose a whole bag.
post #90 of 94
Another suggestions would be to structure activities around stories. Getting to do something related to the stories they were reading made me kids so much more interested in reading and rereading stories and gave us things to discuss about the books as we read.

So for example we might read stories about visiting grandma before Christmas and a planned trip to grandma's house. We can then talk about how the grandma in the stories is different and the same from their grandma, how their trip will be different and the same, what they want to do with grandma. Make a card or homemade gift or treat to take to grandma's house, ect.

Books can be focused around an activity or activities for things big and small. Everything from getting a new sibling to a simple nature walk can be explored in books then expanded upon in real life. I'd suggest fewer books but a trip further and deeper into those books.

So I might try only 10 books from the library about things found in nature in your area (supervise reading of those 10 books), plan a daily nature walk, some other nature centered activities and several rereads of the books. You may find that your child enjoys the books a bit more when it has more context and is willing to reread the books with a new context after they've explored the subjects in the book a bit more.
post #91 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post
So I might try only 10 books from the library about things found in nature in your area (supervise reading of those 10 books), plan a daily nature walk, some other nature centered activities and several rereads of the books. You may find that your child enjoys the books a bit more when it has more context and is willing to reread the books with a new context after they've explored the subjects in the book a bit more.
Yes! Reading books is so much more meaningful when they connect to your life.
post #92 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebeccalizzie View Post
Actually, I'm fairly certain that the research shows having fewer books that the child memorizes helps in learning to read quite a bit. By already knowing what words are on the page, the child can start to put two and two together and realize what the words actually say.
The reading teacher at my kids' school was just talking about this. She said that hearing/reading books repeatedly does help the children with their reading and she was going to be adding more repetitive reading to her reading program. I can't remember where she said she heard this though so I don't have any sources to give anyone.
post #93 of 94
I don't know specifically that this is a gifted issue. If it's not an issue of what she's reading herself, it probably isn't, unless she has an unusual memory where she really doesn't gain by repetition. My kids definitely do.

In home schooling, some of the best values we have used for K-1 are:

Church choir
Church dance program
Recorder as an instrument for learning music
County rec classes
Curricula that last a long time -- like Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons; that lasted us probably 8 months for $15.
Printable math sheets

I know you're saying she's got a 3 year old's behavior so some classes and activities are not going to be appropriate for when she's doing K-1 work.

When my youngest was turning 4 I mostly switched to reading aloud chapter books and using audiobook novels. That was an executive decision that was good for me and I do not think hurt them though it was not their first choice.
post #94 of 94
I haven't read all the replies, so I do apologize if there is some repetition here.

First off, coloring in books at our house would be the first issue I'd address. You've said your dd knows not to do this but has difficulty controlling that impulse. I'd do one or both of these: Put all crayons/markers out of reach and/or put all books out of reach. I'd explain that we do NOT scribble on books and that I was putting things up until she was older and able to act respectfully.

Do you have a dry erase board? They are pretty cheap and you can buy one with magnets that attaches to your fridge. Very good investment. Also, if you want to leave art supplies out, what about putting easel paper on a large portion of your wall and having crayons underneath for coloring. We do this and it works well and saves on books of blank art paper. Chalkboards are also good since they are eraseable.

If you're going through 50 books a week, and you buy all of these books, then you should have a fairly large collection. I'm not the parent of your child but my child has an amazing memory and I would say that after 100-200 books, she would have forgotten the first set of books we read. When dd was about 2.5 she went through a novelty phase, but we had a large collection of children's books so we just rotated often. Beginning at age 3, I started reading less books to dd. We read one book with breakfast, one with lunch, maybe one with dinner, and 2 at bedtime. I try to get books that are seasonally appropriate or have some connection with our lives (like a pp mentioned). This makes them more fulfilling. We have a set of about 10 books per week that I rotate when reading, and the next week, I have a new set of 10. I like having set reading times because I believe that at age 3 a child needs to be doing many other things besides reading--not that reading is bad, but there are so many other things to explore. What about choosing 10 books per week and then after each, acting out the story or painting a picture about the story, or something creative to draw out the experience and make it more in-depth.

Do you have a used bookstore near you? We buy most of our books at Half Priced Books or ebay. Chapter books are great for this age, especially ones like Winnie the Pooh in which each "chapter" is a story in and of itself. I would visit a good used bookstore and get several story collections. They aren't hard to find and cost about $5 each for 100 or more stories. Also, www.mainlesson.com has some really great stories for free online. Can you make up your own stories together to tell or write down in book form (just fold paper and staple)?

Things like zoo memberships and museum memberships aren't really necessary at this age but just fun. If money is tight, just forgo these and get some good nature books from a used bookshop (National Geographic has a great children's set that I found at our used bookstore for $2 a piece). You could also take out a nature magazine subscription, like Your Big Backyard from the National Wildlife Federation. At a used bookshop you can get a fun science book with experiments to take the place of a children's museum, or just browse online preschool blogs. There are some really good things online. I've gotten great ideas from: http://www.perpetualpreschool.com/sensoryideas.html and http://filthwizardry.blogspot.com/ and http://www.besthomeschooling.org/art..._ps_kdgtn.html . Ask on the homeschooling board for good blog recommendations. Montessori blogs are really fun usually. Little Acorn Learning is also a good resource, and online you can get two free samples. We currently do Seasons of Joy, and that has lots of game/crafting/story ideas, and is only $15 per season.

To me, it sounds like your child is actually bored with reading. Maybe she is just enjoying "mama time" while reading but is not really enjoying the experience so much and doesn't know how to express it. I would definitely focus on doing other quality things together. My advice is to read less and play more. For when you do read, buy story collections or chapter books or get free stories online. Do things at home that are free: Go on nature walks (perhaps take a plant field guide), paint together, craft together (my dd loves cutting craft store felt while I make felt playmats for her), bake together, plant seeds. There is so many wonderful free things in this world--free concerts, free zoo days, free air, free snow. We recently had fun making our own ice skating rink in a pie plate for dd's plastic animals. Life doesn't have to be so expensive. It just sounds like you need some fresh ideas and your dd does too!

Best wishes!
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