My wife and I have two children, it my 3 year old I am wondering about.
My son just turned 3 in January, his classmates vocab are still childish, and his is very advanced. He memorizes the books I read and then recites the full book on the way to school, sometimes only after two readings(i cant).
He now has a lot of questions about death, and if one of his parents are sick he will ask if we are old, and if we are going to die. He knows all the scientific names of dinosaurs, and will correct me when I call a bird by the wrong name.
He seems to throw people off with the depth of his questioning.
His grandfather was mensa, but im not sure if that has any relation to this at all.
I really dont know if he is just advanced for his age, or gifted. I don't care either way, but is there something I should consider if he is gifted?
His preschool teachers believe he is gifted and his doctor suspects it. Is there anything I should be doing? Or just give him a few years?
Could be. I'm not qualified to diagnose and even if I were, I couldn't tell you anything online. The gifted range is quite vast as well. Some kids that later test gifted are only a couple points away from high-average. Some will score as far from average as an average child might score from a child with more severe mental disabilities. As a former preschool teacher, I can say he sounds bright and I'd keep your schooling options open and flexible as opposed to making assumptions now on where he will fit in a couple years.
Gifted preschoolers don't need anything more than average preschoolers need though.... a person to listen, to read with them, opportunity to explore the world, help finding answers to their questions. Their questions, what they want to discuss or learn about might be different from your typical 3-year-old but the drive to learn about the world and HOW they learn about it is pretty much the same. Preschoolers learn through hands-on experience and so make sure he's getting lots of opportunities to cook, create, be out in nature, go to museums, spend time at the zoo, hear music, make music, read, read and read some more. He'll lead you where he wants to go.
There is a webinar next Thursday that will really help you to answer these questions. They always do live feedback so you can get specific questions answered if the presentation doesn't give you everything you needed. http://ageofmontessori.org/resources/webinars/ Enjoy!
You do not mention whether the death conversations are upsetting to you and your DS, but just in case remember being totally thrown when my DS1, at the tender age of 2.75, discovered death. It is a very common experience with (presumably) gifted kids to start trying to deal intellectually with topics they are not ready to handle emotionally. I found my old thread for you, which includes some amazingly insightful posts:
Loraxc (in another thread, can't find it right now) came up with the advice that worked best for us:
Tell your child there is NO need to worry about this right now. It is not going to happen until the person he is worrying about - grandpa, mom, dad, himself - is frightfully old. about 90 years! (Hopefully, hat is an unimaginably long time for your kid). The stronger you make this, bordering on he isn't even allowed to worry, it is the job of grownups to make sure they and their kids keep healthy and don't die, the better it appears to work. And if your child is very upset, it is okay to lie about how sure you are that nothing is going to happen to anyone he loves in the foreseeable future. (As it was pointed out in this other thread about anxiety, if you or your child does die in spite of your promise that it isn't going to happen, you've got bigger things to worry about.)
This is very counterintuitive to someone like myself who believes that kids have a right to correct, if age-appropriately conveyed information and who hates lying about anything. But when a sensitive kid has got nightly meltdowns sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.