I have a 5.5 year old DS who I am uncertain if he is gifted, but am convinced he is a visual learner.
He has always had quite a visual memory: At almost 5 he could list stores in order for shopping complexes, i.e.: IHOP is next to barnes and noble, then bed bath and beyond, then party city then shoe carnival, etc... for multiple complexes in our town and a town near ours. Recently he developed a love for maps after our vacation to disney world, and this summer he has been in love with the michigan map. Each time we have went somewhere new he references it on his map. He has a fantastic sense of direction and quite often he is able to indicate what direction is north, without looking at a compass.
He is also a sight reader and after our travels this summer he has been able to pick out words like petoskey, charleviox, and mackinac in situations that are out of context. He'll even point out words that he doesn't know what the word is, but knows he has seen the word before, like the word entertainment. We realized that he knew how to read at 3 years old when he was able to pick out all 20 of his preschool classmates names, since then he has progressed to a 1st to 2nd grade level, all as sight words. Recently he has started to understand the concept of phonics, and this is causing a problem.
He is starting to regress in his reading skills and his confidence in words he knows. He's refusing to read books that I know he knows how to read. This is bothering me because he JUST started kindergarten, and I know that phonics will eventually be used for learning to read. I'm concerned his reading skills will regress more. Any help in this subject would be greatly appreciated.