Toddler is freaking me out - worried he may be very gifted - Mothering Forums
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Parenting the Gifted Child > Toddler is freaking me out - worried he may be very gifted
WisconsinMom's Avatar WisconsinMom 10:34 PM 02-17-2011

Hi, everyone -

My name is Stephanie and I have a 2 year old (almost 2.5) and a 10 month old.  We live in a smallish town and I don't know a lot of mom's with toddlers.  In an effort to introduce my son to some playmates, I just started taking him to a daycare a couple of mornings a week.  I've always known he was bright, but now that I've met other two year olds and talked a bit with the teacher, I'm worried he may be more than just bright.  The teacher was a bit freaked out and that sort of got us freaked out.

 

There are a lot of gifted people on either side of the family.  But I don't think any of us showed it this early.  I don't work with him to teach him things, but we've always read to him and talked to him a lot. My husband got him a game that teaches phonics, and I've overheard him showing him numbers.... but we aren't the type of parents that have been strongly pushing academics.  I do encourage a lot of art time, though.

 

You all seem like a very active and knowledgable community.  Could you please tell me if any of the following is unusual for a 2 year old?

 

Knows all shapes and colors (learned by around age 1)

Knows all his letters (learned these at around 1 too) and the alphabet (order)

Knows the phonic sound(s) for each letter

Knows hundreds of sight words and is able to sound out words he doesn't know

He's reading early reader books (maybe kindergarten or 1st grade level? Not sure.)

Loves art and can draw basics like houses, happy faces, trees, rainbows, etc.

He has a great sense of humor :)

He makes up simple songs that he sings for us

He can count to 100

He can read numbers up to 100

He's starting to "draw letters" - but they are pretty crude still

 

I know  this is certainly advanced for a 2 year old... but is it gifted? Highly gifted?

 

My husband is worried that there is no local gifted program here.  Does that matter? We are self employed and could easily move if needed.  I can't see how my son would deal with kindergarten at age 5 when they are learning stuff he knew since he was two. 

 

ACK.... we are sorta freaking out. (quietly... this isn't the type of "issue" we are comfortable discussing with anyone we know)  Do we have reason to be concerned? Any good books I can read for raising a gifted child? If you couldn't already tell, I really don't feel like I know what I'm doing.



whatsnextmom's Avatar whatsnextmom 12:11 AM 02-18-2011

He may be gifted but no reason to freak-out or worry. The label doesn't change what you know about him. It's too early to know where he lands on the gifted spectrum and too early to know what sort of learning environment he'll prefer and thrive in years down the road. I have two gifted kids who are now 10 and 14. I understand your fear but don't let it overwhelm you. There are lots of options even if it doesn't seem so at the moment. If you try something and it doesn't work, try something else. Gifted programs aren't the end-all to a happy gifted child. One year at a time... that's how we handle it and honestly, giftedness is an after-thought for us now.

 


KCMichigan's Avatar KCMichigan 06:47 AM 02-18-2011

I would not freak out too much. At 2.5 just keep doing what you are doing....

 

Consider daycare a 'social learning' time for the most part. He will learn new skills (non-academic) and be exposed to other kids.

 

Yes, most 2 yr olds dont know those skills (esp the reading basic readers and counting past 30 or so) a 2.5 yr old or young 3 knowing those skills is most likely gifted--- you will run into a WIDE variety of skills at that age. We've (as a family) known quite a few 2 turning 3 yr olds that knew colors, shapes, letters, letter sounds. You may run into some late 2y old that can write a bit (DD could write her name & draw people/animals/etc at 2y 3m in large readable print, knew all letter sounds/letters, etc- but was not reading until a year later- no interest in math at.all.) My preschool  has a young 3 y old  boy that could read just about any number (into the ten thousands) in my preschool class. Unusual- yes. Something the director has only seen once in 15+ years. She has had about 1-2 readers (late 1st grade and beyond at age old 3 to 4.5) a year  (each year 50 kids). But our little 3 yr old math-loving kid enjoys preschool (play based) and he has no interest in words, just numbers and science (knows everything about planets!!). 

 

You may also see a stall in 'known' skills as he explores new skills (social, physical, etc) or he may just keep taking off in skills, but both are normal in gifted kids.

 

Deal w/ K when you get closer. Until age 4ish - most school district will do little. Then you may or may not have early entry, acceleration, gifted progamming, etc depending on your area. Next year when he is 3.5 you could look for some PreK programs that may or may not work for your little guy.

 

Meanwhile, you could look at starfall.com , pbskids.com, or other basic website if you want to allow him access to the computer. Keep up the art exploration!

 

Meanwhile, enjoy the little guy- get involved in as much as you can (library time, zoo activities, etc) and have fun!


Roar's Avatar Roar 08:18 AM 02-18-2011

Yes, his development is atypical for his age. I think you have reason to conclude he is gifted. I would try to keep that separate from concluding that you will be facing big problems. It is really a great thing for kids to learn easily. It can place a kid out of step with educational options so planning is not a bad idea.  I would suggest two books:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Parents-Guide-Gifted-Children/dp/0910707529/ref=tmm_pap_title_0   This is the best overall book out there.

 

and, Deborah Ruf's book might be helpful particularly for the educational recommendations section.

 


addisongraham's Avatar addisongraham 08:58 AM 02-18-2011

He sounds AMAZING!  I watch a little girl named Morghan after school who is now 7.  I have cared for her since she was three.  When she was three, I noticed how brilliant she was in comparison to even the smartest children i have taught so far.  Instead of watching movies, she has always wanted to do art projects or worksheets, she has always made straight As and her artistiic abilities are beyond compare.  She excels at everything she tries.

 

Of course there are some tough things that she has to face...  Being so smart she is also quite emotional and has a lot of outburts, however when treated with love and acceptance, her emotions relax. 

 

 

Morghan will accomplish great things, and i am sure that your son will also.  No need to freak out, just read up and love every moment...  the good and the bad.


mom2ponygirl's Avatar mom2ponygirl 11:54 AM 02-18-2011

I think you would be safe to assume he is gifted, most likely quite highly gifted.  We are raising a highly gifted girl, now 12, and when she was 2 I remember a couple of freaked out adults as well.  I actually had one say, 2 year olds don't talk like that, I've raised several 2 year olds, they do NOT do that!  I guess I was supposed to fess up that she was really an older kid in disguise or something. LOL

 

Any time you have a child that falls outside the norm in some area, there are some difficulties.  I wouldn't trade it for the world though - she was a fun little kid, a fun big kid, and now a fun adolescent.  Keep your options open with regard to academics, but some profoundly kids do just fine in the school system.  Ours wouldn't (with the school options locally), but we've made homeschooling work pretty well so far.  

 

Sounds like you have a fun little guy there - enjoy yourselves!

 


WisconsinMom's Avatar WisconsinMom 03:03 PM 02-18-2011

Thank you all so much!!!  I already feel calmer.  :)  I ordered the book linked above, thank you for that!

 

I've been reading the archives here, which is also helpful.  There are issues that I never connected to his giftedness that I am now learning may be connected.  He is a terrible sleeper, for example, and has been since the day he was born.  Right now he sleeps 7-8 hours at night and doesn't nap.  He also wakes up 2-3 times every night and needs some comforting to get back down.  He never seems tired, though, he just requires very little sleep.  He is definitely a handful (I call him exuberant). 

 

Thank you again for the thoughtful responses, especially as a first time poster. 


runningmama80's Avatar runningmama80 05:21 PM 02-18-2011

He sounds like my DS was at that age. :)  Except I called him "spirited."  LOL! You may run into difficulties, you may not, but it certainly doesn't hurt to read as much as you can.  Enjoy the ride, we are lucky to be on it. ;)


kanga2roo's Avatar kanga2roo 06:03 AM 02-21-2011

   I remember when my son was younger he was just so aware of everything. He would participate in all conversations if he was present ( why wouldn't he- I guess- we never told him children should be seen and not heard and we were talking right there...). We needed to watch what we said around him, and what he was exposed to as far a s potentially upsetting things, because he was very sensitive. Looking back I think that had something to do with his difficulty falling asleep because things sort of "came out" at night that he was trying to process.

  We have decided to homeschool and it has been wonderful! We can meet him where he is and help him develop his interests. It has been great to not have to focus so much time to teach reading- and amazing to watch a child who makes connections quickly and never forgets a thing learn and grow.

  It helped me a lot to read of this http://giftedkids.about.com/od/gifted101/a/overexcite.htm. He definitely experiences the world differently and at times it is challenging, but parenting him is amazing!


Tigerle's Avatar Tigerle 08:25 AM 02-21-2011

Yes, enjoy the ride is what I like to say, too! They are so much fun and they are soo exhausting.

 

Correctly, at this age you'd only call what your DS is doing "developmentally advanced", but from what I recall, your DS' skills (particularly in their comprehensiveness!) at age 2.5 are somewhat unusual even in the context of this forum (correct me if I'm wrong winky.gif!). Yeah, I'd say stock up on books about giftedness, you won't be sorry down the road. it is a good idea to be cognizant of typical issues that come up in gifted families so you'll know how to react.

 

It is a sad fact that people (particularly people like DCP, preschool teachers and experienced parents who see lot of kids and have a good grasp on whats normal and what just isn't) may freak out at a kid like yours. it doesn't mean that you have to freak out, too. Yes, for a 2yo who has mastered K skills it is probably a good idea to research ahead what kind of educational options there are (for instance, some people swear by Montessori for gifted kids, others by play-based schools but not all Montessori schools and not all play-based schools work for everyone). But don't freak out until you have to! And people here will help.

 

It is another sad fact that people may freak out (or think you are lying) if you just talk about what your child can do, without their even having met him. There is a safe place here if you just want to share stuff you'd rather not share too much about IRL, the monthly "What are they doing now" thread. Enjoy!


serenbat's Avatar serenbat 10:32 AM 02-21-2011

 

 

Quote:
It is a sad fact that people (particularly people like DCP, preschool teachers and experienced parents who see lot of kids and have a good grasp on whats normal and what just isn't) may freak out at a kid like yours.

 

This has become our biggest issue!

 

Our three year old brings on attention and we have basically just shut up about it and try and keep him quiet as best as we can when we are out. We only mingle with a small select group of friends that DO understand.

 

So many misguided people have "issues" and the remarks we get are not always kind.

 

We DO NOT tell ANY anymore what our son can do, simply just seeing him causes major problems when we are out in public. We have even stopped saying how old he is.

We were assault (for use of a better word) by a "older" woman when we were out dinning and she had no problem coming up and making crude remarks and insinuations that we were the worst parents in the world for  "teaching" our child----------and really, she had only seen a little of what my son is like and just assumed we forced this "education" on him-a freak-en complete strange! 

 

Most of the really negative and down right rude remarks come from other parents. Playgroups, playgrounds and story hours for the most part- completely out of the question. It's such a pain to have to make small talk and get hit with crude remarks about our son.


spedteacher30's Avatar spedteacher30 11:32 AM 02-21-2011

For me, the hardest part of it has been knowing that my child's trajectory as a young one is no different than my own was, so if he is a freak to others, I must have been too. And, I was never made to feel like one, so it has been more difficult for my own sense of self than my child's. We still think our kid is pretty normal--despite the fact that the other parents at his birthday party this weekend were all slack-jawed when he read all the first three clues for his treasure hunt perfectly. We ended up wrestling the clues away from him--even as the other children handed them to him-- and giving the other kids the chance to open them and have their parents read them out loud to take the focus off DS's reading.

 

He's caused many people to do double takes in his short life, but this was the first time it was the parents of his peers--the teachers now expect it, as do his classmates. None of them think anything of it, but the parents definitely thought we had some deep secret we weren't willing to share that made him into such a precocious reader.


KCMichigan's Avatar KCMichigan 12:29 PM 02-21-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerle View Post

 

It is a sad fact that people (particularly people like DCP, preschool teachers and experienced parents who see lot of kids and have a good grasp on whats normal and what just isn't) may freak out at a kid like yours. it doesn't mean that you have to freak out, too. Yes, for a 2yo who has mastered K skills it is probably a good idea to research ahead what kind of educational options there are (for instance, some people swear by Montessori for gifted kids, others by play-based schools but not all Montessori schools and not all play-based schools work for everyone). But don't freak out until you have to! And people here will help.

 

It is another sad fact that people may freak out (or think you are lying) if you just talk about what your child can do, without their even having met him. There is a safe place here if you just want to share stuff you'd rather not share too much about IRL, the monthly "What are they doing now" thread. Enjoy!


We have been lucky and had wonderfully supportive preschool/ECI/community teachers. My girls were in a preschool class for 3s and they could read, write their names,etc. The teacher went with it.

 

The next year , again, we had a stellar teacher that did literacy activities with all the children and adapted them to suit our girls needs.

 

Our librarian knew my girls on sight and suggested books for them (ages 3 & 4) fro early reading.

 

The community ECI teachers were fantastic as well and never made negative remarks about their skills. Two years later we still communicate with them on a friendly terms. Even our old IEP team (one DD has gross motor delays and some social awkwardness) has been great about the wide variance between her academic and social/physical skills. 

 

Yes, we have had some comments (both on academics and on one DDs quirkiness behaviorwise) about our parenting---but people are like that. I tend to let it roll off my back. Usually, especially when they were younger--- I would state "yes, she can read." when asked or something else neutral w/ o elabortation.

 

As I said, we've been well supported and it is probably not the norm.

 

 

I am anxiously awaiting K next Fall- that will be the true test of how the schools see them and fit them in (we are doing a K/1 split class so that will have some advantages).

 


DaughterOfKali's Avatar DaughterOfKali 12:38 PM 02-21-2011

My son did all that at that age. The pediatrician was freaked out by my son reading.  My son had a complete evaluation (at 3 and at 7.5).  The second eval did show that he is highly gifted but 

it also shows that my son is on the autism spectrum.

 

I never use the term 'gifted' in real life.  I may use the term 'academically advanced' when trying to make the school understand his boredom.  Gifted children handle their abilities differently.

Some do fine, some have issues arise from it.  

 

In my area, neuropsychologists won't do a complete evaluation until the child is at least 3 yrs old (unless their are severe issues.)


EarthRootsStarSoul's Avatar EarthRootsStarSoul 03:10 AM 02-22-2011

WisconsinMom, PM me.  I'm in Wisconsin too, and I have a three year old who is quite advanced also.  Maybe we can set up a playdate if we are close enough. 


alexsam's Avatar alexsam 11:47 AM 02-23-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

He may be gifted but no reason to freak-out or worry. The label doesn't change what you know about him. It's too early to know where he lands on the gifted spectrum and too early to know what sort of learning environment he'll prefer and thrive in years down the road. I have two gifted kids who are now 10 and 14. I understand your fear but don't let it overwhelm you. There are lots of options even if it doesn't seem so at the moment. If you try something and it doesn't work, try something else. Gifted programs aren't the end-all to a happy gifted child. One year at a time... that's how we handle it and honestly, giftedness is an after-thought for us now.

 



This is good advice. By the time you prepare for kindergarten, you will know more. 

 

At 2, my son was doing those same things. But, as logical, true, and well intentioned all the "don't worry about it/go with the flow" advice is, I think it is not addressing what some of the inevitable reality is. And, I'm going to spill some more beans- it doesn't get easier in toddler-land for parents of kids like this. Not only do teachers/educators get a little weirded out, but you will run into all kinds of bizzare stuff. People will tell you giftedness doesn't exist. People who will try to "slow them down". People who are "jealous" (esp. because they are not privvy to all the host of other challenges of the "gifted-er" end of the spectrum). Some people flat out won't believe you. You will get to know that look of amazement with a little hostility just beneath the surface with strangers and other people who get a glimpse of these things. You will have conflicts in yourself, as you will want support, but others don't understand. On top of that, there is this idea of "bragging" when really you are being a regular mom and celebrating accomplishments, or in the worst case scenarios, with professionals who are inexperienced with this type of thing that immediately put you in the category of "THAT type of mom" because they really have no clue. Friends and family may see it as a competition with their kids and the relationship changes. This tends to get a bit easier as they hit 5 or 6, as they are still the same gifted, but it is not as obvious to random strangers as it is with toddlers. It is more that they "seem pretty regular" at playdates and summer camp and stuff but are reading or doing math or have a talent well beyond their years that is not quite as public anymore, so it is easier to manage socially.

 

So while, yes- the "best thing to do" is to take one step at a time (and I agree not to worry *too* much about school, but maybe sketch out a few options to casually think about in the next 2 years) and just keep DC interested and happy, I also think that we should recognize that it is not always easy and there is an emotional level for parents in particular that can be hard.

 

On a personal level, I really had a low point with it all. At about 4, I really came to see that this was not going to be the childhood that I had imagined. Of course, I love my son beyond the stars, but the idea of walking with his friends to the cute local school (2 blocks from us!) was not going to happen (we ended up with a private school). All the fun little sports teams, not gonna happen (he's very attached and does not like to "go" with people he does not know.... Change is hard for him). Lazy Saturday afternoons are not lazy, but times of passionate intensity with hobbies that end in huge messes and we balance on the emotional edge because he is intense about everything. At 6 he STILL wakes up at night and one of us ends up sleeping with him. I wasn't going to be chillin' with the other moms easily talking about the latest going on with the kids (I've learned that that information stays best with just a few close friends and relatives). I could go on, but that is the idea. He was not going to be easy. He was not going to walk the regular kid path. And, in all honesty, I had to allow myself a chance to let that go and accept it.

 

I totally get it. At 2.5 mine was finding our cars by their license plate numbers, directing us around town from his carseat, and reading upside down. For me, knowing that he was gifted, having other people who understood this stuff and that I wasn't the only one doing it was really important. We had some phone meetings with The Gifted Development Center in Denver and they were really helpful in providing some rough outlines and guidance. They are not cheap, but the piece of mind that I was not nuts seeing what I was seeing and that they could validate some of the other emotional and social things going on with him and connecting some of the dots was worth it.


excitedtobeamom's Avatar excitedtobeamom 01:31 PM 02-25-2011

My son used to "freak" people out all the time at 2.  It made going to a few playgroups hard as they would compare him to their kids and then talk negatively about their own kids in front of them!  They keep asking what I did and if I drilled him etc.  No, I didn't.  I would just follow his interests and read out loud tons.  Our biggest problem is competition between my two as they are only 22 months apart.  Also consider homeschooling-getting their academic "needs' meet in most school settings is very hard.


excitedtobeamom's Avatar excitedtobeamom 01:34 PM 02-25-2011

Alexsam-Can you elaborate on more of the emotional stuff that your kid struggles with?  We have some strange behavior over here and I am wondering how much of it is emotional.  Thanks!  My son is 5 and currently in a private school but we are thinking about homeschooling.


serenbat's Avatar serenbat 06:07 PM 02-25-2011

 

 

Quote:
This tends to get a bit easier as they hit 5 or 6, as they are still the same gifted, but it is not as obvious to random strangers as it is with toddlers. It is more that they "seem pretty regular" at playdates and summer camp and stuff but are reading or doing math or have a talent well beyond their years that is not quite as public anymore, so it is easier to manage socially.

 

NOT for us! For my DD that's when things started to get worse!

under 5 you can contain a lot of activities and avoid "freak-out" moments by selecting what you want to do socially but it really changed for us from five upward

 

The pressure from family and friends to "just fit-in" not to mention that educators and other professionals could see my DD and that caused her to be excepted into programs her peers were not part of (really made her stand  out and not in a "good" way to others)- trying to explain why others have such a problem was one of the biggest problems.

 

I had it with both of mine (rude comments made by others) from a very early age but as they grow up the comments from some people become more vocal and the child becomes more aware-since most people seem to feel children are deaf angry.gif and have no problem saying things right in front of them!

 

I felt the younger ages were far more easy to deal with "freak outs". A seven year melting down because an adult just flipped out is a whole other thing.

 

Adults in general were more of the problem, the peers are but not the same way. My DD mostly dealt with much older peers as a way of getting around that stuff.


kai28's Avatar kai28 06:46 PM 02-26-2011
I'm reading this with interest. My ds is 22 months and I know that freak out. I don't know if he'll be reading that well by 2.5 (can't see into the future), but he's certainly advanced. Shapes, colors, numbers, vocab, alphabet & sounds, some sight words. We can't spell certain words out near him anymore (toothbrush & ice cream come to mind) - he freaks out & wants in on it. At 18 months he started drawing airplanes that looked liked airplanes. His helicopters and space shuttles take a little more squinting to see.

My freak out came when I took him to the dr for an ear infection & I showed her the plane he drew the day before. She was beside herself & rambled on about all these gifted kids she had had in her practice, and none of them were doing what DS is doing at his age. Total freak out. As in up all night reading & searching.

Educate yourself about YOUR school system & how they deal with/support advanced kids. I live in MA & we have NO gifted programs. As in $0 for funding. Ranks 49th in the nation for gifted Ed. Our school system does what they call cluster grouping, and although I've heard some good things from parents in the district, I'm not optimistic. As we are in a semi-rural/ex-burb area, our choices for private school are limited by distance. I'm leaning toward homeschooling, but I'm not going to make up my mind yet. We have a strong homeschool community here, with lots of great opportunities - so I THINK I can put together something together that will fit him much better (he's very, very active - but if he changes as he grows, I'll take that into account. But he HAS to be outside to remain even keeled). One thing I'm eager to avoid is labeling and questions from school officials.

For socialization, I've got him playing with a few 3.5 - 4 year olds. He fits right in. The 7 year old neighbor kid loves playing with him too, but that's a different kind of play (but ds adores him). his 3.5 yr old cousin is a good interest fit for him - they both love space stuff, although DS knows & can verbalize the names of different rockets, the stages of separation, the process of the space shuttle going into orbit/separating from the boosters, etc as well as knowing his planets in order and if you mix up the order, by sight or from memory. Ive had to learn all this stuff just to keep up. It's nuts. But usually with other kids he just smashes cars and trucks and they race them around. Other kids the same age as DS aren't ready for that kind of play yet and they just look at DS with this blank stare. And many older kids don't want to play with a "baby". It's really hard to find appropriate playmates. And playmates with appropriate parents too. Some other parents have made a big deal out of DS's abilities, and it made me uncomfortable. Comments like "walking dictionary" and repeated questions about "photographic memories" are kind of creepy.

We also take a lot of field trips. Museums, science centers, botanical gardens, the butterfly place, and audobon farm, the library, etc. Lots of nature hikes where we stop, observe & talk about...everything. I catch frogs & bugs for him. We spend a lot of time in the yard & in the garden. We visit a lot of farms. We keep bird feeders full (he likes to watch & ID birds). If we don't go OUT somewhere fun a few times a week life gets really miserable.

How's your 10 month old? At this point I'm very hesitant to have another child. DS takes a lot of time & attention and I cannot fathom how I could handle 2 kids like DS. I'm exhausted as it is.


PreggieUBA2C's Avatar PreggieUBA2C 01:31 AM 02-28-2011

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. :)


moominmamma's Avatar moominmamma 02:00 PM 02-28-2011

 

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


insidevoice's Avatar insidevoice 02:10 PM 02-28-2011


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. 


PreggieUBA2C's Avatar PreggieUBA2C 01:32 AM 03-02-2011


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

 


WisconsinMom's Avatar WisconsinMom 01:38 PM 03-02-2011
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!
insidevoice's Avatar insidevoice 11:45 AM 03-03-2011


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. 


crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 12:21 PM 03-03-2011
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!!
heidisue's Avatar heidisue 12:57 AM 03-18-2011

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.


heidisue's Avatar heidisue 01:29 AM 03-18-2011

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 :)


mom2ponygirl's Avatar mom2ponygirl 07:43 AM 03-18-2011


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. :-)


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