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Toddler is freaking me out - worried he may be very gifted - Page 2

post #21 of 35

I have a planet-sized bias to disclose before I carry on: my children are completely free to choose their own interests as far as works within our except-in-unusual-or-insurmountable-circumstances consensually-living home. Op, you wrote:

 

 

Quote:
If you couldn't already tell, I really don't feel like I know what I'm doing.

 

I have to say that it really isn't you doing any of what you wrote above in your list of abilities and qualities of your son. This is the reality that many/mot of us face here; they do it themselves. You are self-employed, and willing to move to find a better equipped educational environment for your son. I think, from your post, clearly the environment he is in presently is the one within which he flourishes.

 

Obviously do whatever suits your family, but there is the option of simply continuing to live as you do, making adjustments as necessary, but carrying on living, like you would if you found out that your dp could speed-read and has a natural, phenomenal talent for tennis. You might move to accommodate his interests, but there would be no need to sign him up for all-day tennis lessons and tournaments for the next 12 years, or for planning for the mountain of books that he'd need to sate his ability to read quickly.

 

Again, I'm hugely biased. :) You can check out the unschooling board if you like. Some gifties will not be instructed- no matter what. I have two of those. :)

post #22 of 35

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post

Some gifties will not be instructed- no matter what. I have two of those. :)


I'll see you two and raise you one. ROTFLMAO.gif

 

This is the reason I never got myself worried over educational options: my kids (the three oldest, at least) made it clear from very early on that they were in charge of their own learning and I should just get the heck out of the way. I decided to not try to fix what wasn't broken. They were thriving, learning like crazy. I just kind of let them be. It has worked for our family and has saved me a lot of worry and fuss. 

 

Miranda

post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 


I'll see you two and raise you one. ROTFLMAO.gif

 

This is the reason I never got myself worried over educational options: my kids (the three oldest, at least) made it clear from very early on that they were in charge of their own learning and I should just get the heck out of the way. I decided to not try to fix what wasn't broken. They were thriving, learning like crazy. I just kind of let them be. It has worked for our family and has saved me a lot of worry and fuss. 

 

Miranda



I'll add a couple in here as well. I provide the environment- they provide the interest.  This has served me well with two kids so far.  Worrying about it didn't do any of us any good. 

 

Oh, and trying to shape a very gifted child's learning is a battle you don't want to fight early on.  These are kids who are internally driven to explore their world, they will find things to learn whether or not someone tries to teach them. 

 

 

OP- also be aware that hyperlexia  is something to watch in terms of developmental challenges down the road- giftedness is never quite as straightforward as one might expect. 

post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

 


I'll see you two and raise you one. ROTFLMAO.gif

 

This is the reason I never got myself worried over educational options: my kids (the three oldest, at least) made it clear from very early on that they were in charge of their own learning and I should just get the heck out of the way. I decided to not try to fix what wasn't broken. They were thriving, learning like crazy. I just kind of let them be. It has worked for our family and has saved me a lot of worry and fuss. 

 

Miranda


It was definitely the eldest that assured the free-learning environment for all of us. I have probably chronicled my freak-outs about it here throughout the years, but after putting together the "education plan" for the gov't this past September, I think I'm completely over it. I am one of those people who will seek and find, then clearly define exactly what I need from a knowledgeable person, so my eldest (who is my personality-duplicate, it seems) comes by this honestly.

 

I should have written that none of my children will accept unwanted instruction, but there is a qualitative difference in degrees between that and the unrelenting autonomic learning of the eldest and third-born. It's pretty amazing. I get it though, in first-person narrative. Sheepish.gif

 

post #25 of 35
Thread Starter 
This has been so refreshing for me to read. I can tell this board will be a valuable resource for us.

I ordered and started reading the book recommended above. It has been a real eye opener. It has reaffirmed my suspicious that my son is likely highly gifted. It has also helped me to understand that much of his behavior can be attributed to his giftedness. Thank you to the poster who gave the link to this book, it is really fantastic!

Like many of you here, I was labeled as gifted as a child and that came with a share of troubles. I won't go into details on this thread, but part of my fear in all of this is repeating some of the same (well intended) mistakes my parents made. Also it already seems that his level of giftedness far exceeds where I was at as a toddler... So that scares me too.

Many of you bring up excellent point when you say that I should go with the flow. He's gotten to this point on his own, why do I need to start intervening? I don't think my husband would ever be on board for unschooling, and I don't know if I could handle homeschooling. Just being honest, I hope that doesn't make me sound like a slacker of a mom...lol. he is very high energy and I am not confident that I could keep up. Another issue in our family life is my health. I am in the process of getting diagnosed with a rare pituitary disorder that has really drained my energy. I will likely have surgery later this year to correct it and maybe when I am on the other side foe this illness I will look at things differently in terms of what I believe I can accomplish.

Right now, though, with my health issues and also with respect to how my husband feels, we will most likely be putting him in school when he is of age. I found there are some private gifted schools about 2 hours away from us. So if it comes to that, we could move. I wish there was one closer.

My husband showed my son some math basics, and DS immediately loved it and now requests that we "give him math"... Which to him means asking him a very simple addition or subtraction problem. He uses his fingers for answers he doesn't have memorized. My husband said he came up with using his fingers on this own. So this on one hand impresses me, and I love that he is so enthusiastic to learn new things. On the other hand I feel uncomfortable even introducing such concepts to a 2 year old. I don't even know why I feel uncomfortable with it. Maybe I worry that we are pushing him? I wish I could articulate my worries about this better so that I could see if they were valid. I also need to respect my husbands POV. He sees it as offering our eager and energetic son something new and fun to do. Could there be harm in that?

Most of my son's learning is self directed and initiated. He very recently got vey interested in dinosaurs. Just this morning he told me his favorite dinosaur is a tyrannosaurus Rex. I didn't know he even knew that word. He must have remembered it from three days ago when we read a book at the library on dinosaurs together. So he picks things up easily, it seems.

Someone asked about my 10 month old. So far she seems bright, but I believe more typical. First, she sleeps much much better than her brother ever has. She has a few words ... Cat, hi, Mama, dada, uhoh. Waved and clapped and initiated peekaboo play pretty early, but other milestones have been right on time.

Thanks again, everyone. This is a great discussion!

Ps ... Sorry for any odd typos. This is written on an iPad with auto correction, and many distractions. Hope the above makes sense!
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by WisconsinMom View Post


Someone asked about my 10 month old. So far she seems bright, but I believe more typical. First, she sleeps much much better than her brother ever has. She has a few words ... Cat, hi, Mama, dada, uhoh. Waved and clapped and initiated peekaboo play pretty early, but other milestones have been right on time.
 

 

 

The word 'she' here is a very big thing.  Boys and girls tend to present very differently in terms of either giftedness or delay. 

post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by insidevoice View Post



 

 

The word 'she' here is a very big thing.  Boys and girls tend to present very differently in terms of either giftedness or delay. 


OK this is kind of veering off track but I just have to share... my 2yo DS has long hair & is frequently mistaken for a girl & I don't bother correcting strangers... So some woman in the store commented on how well "she" seemed to talk (don't ask me how she got this from him wailing "Put the vacuum back on the shelf!!!!" practically incomprehensibly, he was in the middle of one of his worst tantrums ever eyesroll.gif)... She asked how old "she" was & I said he just turned two (she didn't pick up on my subtle 'he' lol)... Then she said, "Oh well my grandson is 2 & doesn't talk nearly that much but I know boys talk much later than girls. That's probably why your daughter talks so well." lol.gif cracked me up

Sorry to interrupt, I've been following this thread but really didn't have anything useful to add, great info here!!
post #28 of 35

I know the feeling :) I am so glad I found this forum because I no longer feel alone.

 

He is a year older than your kiddo so maybe this will help a bit as to what to expect.

 

Honestly, I do not remember when he had his colors/shapes. He had letters/sounds by 18 months (we found out when his daycare started a "preschool" program - apparently the first day he showed everybody how to read their name and won in a letter game). The daycare provider said she just about peed her pants. There were three other kids in the program ages 3, 4, and 5. She said she included him because he showed interest (she had two other children his age, but he tended to socialize with the 3 and 4 year old), but she did not know he was that advanced. Neither did we...

 

Reading progressed very quickly. He was reading pretty much any book off the library shelf (children's book) by 2.5. Readers were progressively tougher to find. Many of them are "older" kid subjects. Not "older" like the human body (which we searched for after he started asking questions) - but things like how it feels to get on the bus and go to school. Red Rocket Readers are AWESOME! They go through 2nd or 3rd grade levels (I can't remember which now) and the subjects are still interesting for his 2/3 year olds. He just devours all the books at the library, but when he picks out chapter books he is usually disappointed because of the subjects. There is also a "Dear Dragon" chapter book series that he enjoyed a few months ago. That one has fairy tales too. If anybody has recommendations once they are beyond those levels I am all ears as he needs something to move to :)

 

Writing also came fast and was somewhat frustrating for him. I bought the "jumbo" crayons (they are a size up from the preschool size) and things were much better. Once he had those he was writing letters without a problem. Now he can write with anything, but those crayons really saved some frustration for him when he knew what he wanted to write, but couldn't quite get it done with the tiny crayons.

 

I got a fine motor skills activity book that was great. Lots of fun things to do and it did help. If he is anything like my son the frustration of thinking faster than your body's ability was a bit of a hurdle. The books were Everyday Play and Mighty Fun Motor Play. They repeat themselves so one or the other is probably fine.

post #29 of 35

I just read your post on the "pushing him" part and I thought I'd chime in on that too :)  I really really worried about that until finally I decided I wasn't going to worry about it anymore! There is a difference between pushing a child to do something they don't want and providing the tools they ask for. I tried not to "push" which I thought meant let him just pick up on things on his own, which he did, but he was always asking for more. If he doesn't want to do something then I don't ask him to, but there hasn't been a single day where he doesn't request to do "extra" stuff. The more I fought this idea of pushing him the more frustrated my child was. In fact, that is probably my biggest challenge - keeping him challenged! Just follow his lead and you'll be fine. Sometimes that lead might include puzzles, worksheets, and math :)

post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by WisconsinMom View Post

 I don't think my husband would ever be on board for unschooling, and I don't know if I could handle homeschooling. Just being honest, I hope that doesn't make me sound like a slacker of a mom...lol. he is very high energy and I am not confident that I could keep up. 

Just wanted to point out that homeschooling with a school age child is a whole different experience from keeping up with a toddler.  Many highly gifted kids find a great school fit and do well.  However, I think it is wise to keep in the back of your mind that homeschooling can be doable.  I always feel better when I'm choosing between a couple of workable options, rather than feeling like one thing is the only thing that would work.  Does that make any sense?  LOL  It's just that school fit is dependent on so many variables - the school options you have, your kid's personality, the particular teachers they end up with, and even the classmates they have.  You may not want to homeschool K-12, but if you need to for a time until a better school option is available don't let it scare you.  And don't think it will be anything like dealing with a couple of little guys full-time. :-)

post #31 of 35



This (below) sounds so much like my ds1.  He asked for so much input all the time as a toddler (and an infant, and a preschooler...) and there was really nothing we could do but give him the info he was asking for.  At 18 months or so, he'd wake up, come downstairs, and first thing go to the letter magnets demanding we "'pell words!!" He LOVED those letters.  Then it was numbers.  With a new baby in the house, what else could I do but give ds1 dot-to-dots to keep him happy when he loved them and it kept him busy!?  I really never thought twice about giving him what he really needed - there was no other way for us to be for him, and to be true to him. Sure, sometimes I'm tired of whatever activity he's asking for, so I tell him that, but teaching them what they're asking for is totally fine, in my opinion.  Now he's in K and all we can do is take it from here. There is some new stuff in school (lowercase letters, for one), and I've provided his math workbook from home to take to school to help the teacher challenge him there (she's agreeable to that).  We'll just have to take it year by year...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WisconsinMom View Post

My husband showed my son some math basics, and DS immediately loved it and now requests that we "give him math"... Which to him means asking him a very simple addition or subtraction problem. He uses his fingers for answers he doesn't have memorized. My husband said he came up with using his fingers on this own. So this on one hand impresses me, and I love that he is so enthusiastic to learn new things. On the other hand I feel uncomfortable even introducing such concepts to a 2 year old. I don't even know why I feel uncomfortable with it. Maybe I worry that we are pushing him? I wish I could articulate my worries about this better so that I could see if they were valid. I also need to respect my husbands POV. He sees it as offering our eager and energetic son something new and fun to do. Could there be harm in that?

 
post #32 of 35

lol.gif  Do we have the same child!  This is exactly what happens at my house every day!  He's still so groggy he's tripping on the way to the fridge, but it doesn't stop him from verbally spelling words all the way there. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by reezley View Post



 

 

 At 18 months or so, he'd wake up, come downstairs, and first thing go to the letter magnets demanding we "'pell words!!" He LOVED those letters. 

 

post #33 of 35
Thread Starter 

Hi, everyone -

I just wanted to share a few updates on our little family.  First, I have a meeting with the local school set up to discuss how they handle gifted kids. So we'll see where that leads us in terms of making decisions about DS's future schooling.  I thought the fact that they were even open to meeting with me was an excellent sign!  If they are open to parent involvement, maybe I can help in some way.

 

Second, DS is doing well and continuing to surprise us. He is very much into math right now - addition, subtraction, very very simple multiplication, and even fractions.  Anything with numbers, he loves - telling time, reading calendars, weather,  etc.   He has a great sense of humor and likes to tell jokes and make up some of his own.  He still loves puzzles, reading, art and doing art projects, and he is getting pretty good with letters.  The only area I'd say he is not advanced is gross motor skills.  There are definitely some kids his age that are more athletically gifted.   He is still operating on very little sleep, which means that we all are sleep deprived in this house (well...except for DS, who seems  to get plenty of sleep as far as he is concerned)

 

His baby sister is now just over one.  We cannot get over her speech abilities!  She can say almost 50 words. Holy crap!!  OK, maybe this isn't that unusual, especially in these parts.  But DS definitely wasn't talking that well at one.  I do know that girls talk earlier than boys.  And I should also note that she doesn't always use all 50 words correctly, so some of those are just repeating commonly heard words.  But the fact that she can say them still surprises me.  She is very good at simple puzzles.  She probably likes them because her big brother is so into them.  Hers are very simple, of course.  She has picked up on a joke her brother does where he puts something silly on his head and giggles saying "this is not a hat!"  (Ah, toddler humor.)  Now DD will hold things to her head and say "it not a hat!"  She thinks that is pretty funny.   (BTW... she usually only says one word at a time. Don't want you all to think she is putting together short sentences - in this case, she is just mimicking!)

 

So, it seems that DD could very well be bright too.  Who knows...

 

AFM... I mentioned health issues in an earlier post.  I will be  having surgery next week and will be gone for over a week.  I hate the thought of being away from the kids, but hopefully this will represent a step towards regaining my health.  I am going to need all the strength and energy I can get to keep up with these two!

 

Thanks for listening and for all the great advice.  I do come here and read often, even though I can't often post.  I love hearing about the wonderful and unique kiddos and how they keep us all on our toes (to say the least).  So I am a dedicated lurker.  Hopefully with better health I will have a bit more time to actively participate here.  This is an amazing community!

post #34 of 35

I hope everything medical goes super smoothly.

 

As a homeschooling mom of 6 and 7 year olds, I am not entirely sure that it takes more energy to home school them than to deal with the reality of full day school.  I think with gifties it can take a good bit less, because (1) you aren't trying to force them to do busy work, and (2) there's the obvious issue of not needing as much teaching and supervision to master the material.

 

I'm talking the whole morning routine, and then the homework routine (home schooling on top of full day school), the supplemental math because your district is using some crazy constructivist math, getting them to bed early and then dragging them out of bed to an alarm clock.  As opposed to:  everyone gets up when they've had enough sleep (except mom, but at least you don't have to get up before the kids and can catch an afternoon nap without worrying about school pickup); hour or two of academics (for a gifted kid in early elementary that would be plenty for most); structure the rest of the day however you want.

 

Also also I'll ditto, don't try to predict how much energy he'll require at 5, from how much energy he requires now.

 

There was a time when my kids were about 3 and 4 that I started to be able to get things done because they didn't need to be underfoot all the time.  Also in home schooling I am teaching them good habits of independent work. 

 

 

post #35 of 35
I hope you're recovering well from your surgery and that it provides the answers you need for your health!

Your kids sound wonderful and amazing! I am definitely in agreement with pigpokey on the requirements of homeschooling. We live in a very HS-friendly state so we have virtually no state requirements. Because of my chronic health needs, two littler ones (including, now, a 6 month old), and the boys' being gifted, we end up with a lot of unschooling or, shall we say, "self-directed learning." We do some "book work" together, as well, but we're not highly structured in school because we are not highly structured in life. (And, yes, it drives my DH crazy, but he also sees how well they're doing in general, so it works.)

With my own needs, it would absolutely be worse for me to be dragging everyone up and out at the crack of dawn, then trying to get things done until the olders were out of school, interrupting naps to go get them, etc. I know this because we did preschool for the olders, and finally stopped because it was interrupting homeschool too much! (And, in those days, my DH did the drop-offs. Mornings are bad for me, and when he'd be out of town, we'd often end up skipping preschool because it was just not worth it to have to take them.)

All the best on this journey! smile.gif
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