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#1 of 12 Old 11-21-2013, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter will be 2 1/2 next month. This fall we have started her in day care part-time (1 or 2 days a week) and the day care staffers consistently rave about how smart she is. We know she's smart--physically her development has been normal, not advanced or delayed, but she's always been quite verbally advanced for her age, learned the alphabet at about 18 months, knows numbers, colors, animals, etc. etc., talks in complete sentences with correct grammar. We haven't drilled any of this stuff--we provide the information and she soaks it up. My husband and I were both academically advanced, in enrichment/gifted programs, never had to work too hard in school, the whole nine yards, so we expected we would have a smart child as well.

 

I'm not sure about the distinction between "smart" and "gifted", so I'm not trying too hard to make that distinction right now. I'm more wondering right now what to do for her at this age. The day care is offering a pre-pre-school program to start in January for kids 2 1/2-3 who weren't old enough to start preschool at age 3 in the fall. We are probably going to enroll her just so she can get some variety in her day that we don't have to provide, and also I am expecting again in February so this program will get her out of the house when I can't. I'm sure she already knows the academic items on the curriculum, but they are doing a lot of social/emotional stuff that I think she will still benefit from. But how is it going to impact her at this age to be taught things in "school" that she already knows? Is it going to be a problem? And what about the day-care providers constantly talking about how smart she is? Is that going to give her a complex? What, if anything, else should I be doing for her at this age? We are kind of homebodies so most of our time we're at home doing chores, reading, or just goofing around, and we go out to the library/store/etc. But I don't have any formal enrichment for her right now apart from a gymnastics class. 


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#2 of 12 Old 11-21-2013, 10:14 PM
 
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At age 2-3, I'm assuming it's a play preschool where they learn about their letters and numbers doing some sort of craft or incorporating it in some song/movement? I don't think it's going to be a problem that she's learning the letter A whilst tracing with shaving cream or something. While the letter A may be old news to her, shaving cream might not be so she gets to learn from the experience as well. As long as it's not a sit down, do your worksheets type of preschool, I think she should be fine.
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#3 of 12 Old 11-21-2013, 10:20 PM
 
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Oh wow, I was *just* coming here to introduce myself and pretty much make this same post! :lol 

 

I've hesitated posting here at all, because my little one is still so, well, little! Only 2 next month, so I try not to overthink things and I despise labels, but it's clear that he is not the norm and his development, which I thought would probably end up rounding out, is only getting more accelerated as he gets older. I'm finding myself avoiding talking about him to others because I don't want to come off as braggy or obnoxious, but I'm also finding keeping up with him to be a challenge and would love the support and connection to those who have BTDT!

 

I'm also looking for ideas on what I can do with him! This is all new territory for me... My previous ideals (with my 11yo, and it worked well for him!) were just let kids be kids and play, play, play! I never wanted to "teach" him things at an early age and held off on anything academic and that worked great for him, but my little one is very cerebral and just seems to CRAVE new things to learn. He soaks everything right up. A time or 2 of exposure to something and he's got it down to a science! If he has a weak area of development, it hasn't come up yet, physical or mental. Ok, I'm feeling braggy now, but it is what it is and can be tiring to this go with the flow mama who has centered on free play being the most  important thing for 11 years of parenting! But he's a whole 'nother ball of wax and I'm trying to follow his lead, which happens to be a very knowledge hungry path!

 

I honestly hate the idea of early academics but it seems to be what he wants... he's already got his alphabet down, not the song, but rather being able to identify the letters... lots of numbers/counting items, all colors & shapes (he LOVES doing the tangram puzzles!) he's recognizing some sight words... (his name, family names, some animals, pizza! lol), writing some letters/drawing shapes, has all sorts of space stuff memorized (space and the moon have been his passion for aaaaages now)... His logic and problem solving skills are incredible... His large and fine motor skills are nutty... a year+ ahead of schedule for ages now... I do all these little motor skill activities with him and he masters them right away. His memory is awesome... so basically every time I introduce something in hopes of actually challenging him and keeping him busy for a bit trying to master a new skill, he does it no problem.

 

So yeah, WHAT on earth do I do with this child?! :rotflmaoHow do I challenge the child who never seems to be challenged?  Is it even necessary to challenge him at this age? I guess my fear is if I don't, he'll be bored and won't reach his potential... I was so bored as a kid intellectually, and I was not even as close to being as smart as he seems to be! haha.

 

We are also homebodies and spend most of our time at home reading together and doing little crafty activities and art (his favorite thing), or taking trips to the playground. Or bothering his big brother! :p 


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From the withered tree, a flower blooms~ He's here!!! So crazy in love with my  rainbow1284.gif  boy!!! 12/14/11 luxlove.gif fly-by-nursing1.gif

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#4 of 12 Old 11-21-2013, 10:24 PM
 
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I have even contemplated preschool to offer him something new, but as a homeschooler, it seems really odd for me... My husband doesn't love the idea, either :/

Eta: Oh, and I'm basically broke! lol If I had more $$$ I'd have ALL sorts of wonderfully enriching ideas! haha


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From the withered tree, a flower blooms~ He's here!!! So crazy in love with my  rainbow1284.gif  boy!!! 12/14/11 luxlove.gif fly-by-nursing1.gif

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#5 of 12 Old 11-22-2013, 09:23 AM
 
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How do I challenge the child who never seems to be challenged?  Is it even necessary to challenge him at this age? I guess my fear is if I don't, he'll be bored and won't reach his potential... I was so bored as a kid intellectually, and I was not even as close to being as smart as he seems to be! haha.

 

I think that in a loving, open-ended rich environment there's value in a kid occasionally being bored, in that he can learn to use his imagination and his problem-solving skills to motivate himself to solve his own boredom. Boredom in a tightly-controlled environment, eg. a school is not a good thing, because other than becoming disruptive or retreating into daydreams there's little a child can do to solve his own boredom. There's probably a strong element of temperament in that extraverts crave more social contact as they live and play and are more likely to fall into a pattern of engaging mommy by asking questions and wanting to do all those lovely educational things that she seems willing to do. At any rate, I think putting him in a more structured environment like preschool might "help" initially in that he could count on other to engage with him for those few hours a week, but it would leave him with less practice at solving his own boredom and would before long, if the program is at all oriented towards academic skills, simply provide its own unhealthy dose of boredom. A little bit of developmental (i.e. play-based) preschool might be fine if you need a break and if you don't seem able to satisfy his social needs otherwise, but I wouldn't look to preschool to "provide additional challenge." That will come from within him, supported and facilitated by what you can offer him according to his own unique interests and developmental trajectory.


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#6 of 12 Old 11-22-2013, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Vermillion, I don't want to do early academics either, but I think there's a difference between pushing them versus just providing information that the kid is interested in. How do you teach him about space? Do you read non-fiction books or watch TV programs aimed at older kids, or what? Most books aimed at this age group aren't very informative (I mean, not that we would expect them to be...) I'm trying to figure out what else I could get for her. 


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#7 of 12 Old 11-22-2013, 10:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by erigeron View Post
 

Vermillion, I don't want to do early academics either, but I think there's a difference between pushing them versus just providing information that the kid is interested in. How do you teach him about space? Do you read non-fiction books or watch TV programs aimed at older kids, or what? Most books aimed at this age group aren't very informative (I mean, not that we would expect them to be...) I'm trying to figure out what else I could get for her. 


Sure. When I am reading a book with my older child my 3 year old listens along. I think good advice is to just ignore the age recommendation on any toy or book and just do what your child is interested in... there are tons of threads with this theme with lots of advice... just search this forum :)

 

edit to add: I've found pulling from Montessori to be popular with my tots. a lot of the stuff for 3-6 year olds can be done with younger children. Montessori doesn't say "oh you are too little to know that" and has great resources for children learning biology, physics, geography, etc.

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#8 of 12 Old 11-22-2013, 10:43 AM
 
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Eta: Oh, and I'm basically broke! lol If I had more $$$ I'd have ALL sorts of wonderfully enriching ideas! haha

 

I was lucky to have models in my community who continually reminded me not to pine for what we were missing (due to our remoteness, lack of community resources, isolation, financial constraints or whatever) but to milk every drop of value out of what we did have at our disposal. Daily life may be mundane to you, but it's all new to a 2-year-old! Imagine the world through your child's eyes and you'll likely find an incredible wealth of opportunities. Folding laundry, pairing up socks, sweeping the kitchen floor, shaking rice and dried lentils in tupperware containers, banging on pots like they're drums, tapping everything in the house with a little wooden stick to see what each thing sounds like, talking, singing, dancing, listening to audio stories, building forts, digging in the dirt at the park, collecting leaves, picking up garbage on the way to the corner store, doing crayon-rubbings of braille on the elevator panel, helping mix up muffin batter, counting stop signs, measuring things, visiting an elderly friend or relative at the nursing home, helping pack up a box of Christmas gifts to put in the mail, playing in the kitchen sink with dish-soap bubbles, taking a picnic snack in the car and driving out to a construction site or railway yard to watch things happen, going to the library. It's all awesome stuff to a preschooler.

 

I had  one snow-bound winter I was without a vehicle most of the time with a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old in a small isolated house. I wanted to get the kids outside, but there seemed to be nowhere to go and little to do with them at those ages. Eventually we came up with a tradition of "Going Noticing." We'd just walk about a hundred yards from our house and sit down in a special little clear spot and drink warm milk out of a thermos and my 3-year-old and I would talk about what we noticed around us. Was the snow deeper or crustier? Were the branches weighed down with ice or snow? Were there any tracks on the ground? We'd notice all the cedar frond debris that fell since we were last there, or how the snow melted a little faster around the dark tree trunks. What did the clouds look like? What's that squeaky sound? Is your nose runny? Do your fingers feel hot or cold today? If we stop moving and talking, how quiet is it? If we lived in a city the equivalent probably would have been people-watching, imagining the stories of the people we saw, trying to guess things about them and their lives. Delightful stuff, easy to do daily, and completely free. 

 

A very wise friend of mine told me once that she believed the best playground for a child was "a hole and a hill." She had watched her child thrive for hours, day after day, year after year, with nothing more in the yard than a pile of dirt and the hole it had come out of. It was a magnet in the neighbourhood...  kids built civilizations, dams, ramps, lakes, rivers, tracks for matchbox cars, made mud, sculpted things, jumped, slid, ran, rolled, hid, scooped, dug, buried ... while in a neighbouring community parents were desperately trying to raise $15,000 to update play equipment at a park. My friend kept saying, "For fifty bucks they could get a bobcat to do half an our of excavation and they could have a Hill and a Hole, and those kids would all be happy for years." 

 

Happy but dirty, I suppose. :lol

 

Anyway, I think the point I'm trying to make is that you don't need money to give a child a rich life provided you're able to spend time with him where you're not weighed down by your own stresses and anxieties. You may not have a lot at your disposal, but try to figure out what you do have, dig up little-known possibilities in your community, think outside the box, and take full, creative advantage of them. Look at the world through your child's eyes and you'll probably find a lot of possibilities you hadn't imagined. 

 

Cheers!

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#9 of 12 Old 11-22-2013, 11:32 AM
 
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Vermillion, I don't want to do early academics either, but I think there's a difference between pushing them versus just providing information that the kid is interested in. How do you teach him about space? Do you read non-fiction books or watch TV programs aimed at older kids, or what? Most books aimed at this age group aren't very informative (I mean, not that we would expect them to be...) I'm trying to figure out what else I could get for her. 

 

I definitely agree about the difference between pushing and providing. It's just that it's sooo different from my previous experience that I'm kind of clueless about HOW much more should I be offering, beyond what I would normally be introducing. But then again, I haven't really introduced anything that he's picked up so far, so I guess that should be my answer? :lol

 

Space- Most of what he's learned has come from books. We read A LOT. My Oldest is 11 so we have a lot of books collected over the years that I've used for his homeschooling, and my little guy loves to have those read to him along with his picture books. We also watch a lot of space documentaries on netflix as a family, and He loves those. Not sure how much he actually picks up from those, but he definitely loves the visuals! & we're planning a planetarium trip next month for his birthday.

 

This is one book that he really, really enjoys. A pop up book. Extra appealing!  http://www.amazon.com/Pop-Up-Book-Facts-Studded-Discovery/dp/1435107799/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385148688&sr=8-1&keywords=pop+up+space+book


Liz om.gif Lovin' DH partners.gif DS (12) coolshine.gif and forever missing DD angel3.gif (12/02/07) ribbonpb.gif
From the withered tree, a flower blooms~ He's here!!! So crazy in love with my  rainbow1284.gif  boy!!! 12/14/11 luxlove.gif fly-by-nursing1.gif

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#10 of 12 Old 11-22-2013, 11:37 AM
 
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edit to add: I've found pulling from Montessori to be popular with my tots. a lot of the stuff for 3-6 year olds can be done with younger children. Montessori doesn't say "oh you are too little to know that" and has great resources for children learning biology, physics, geography, etc.

 

I've always been attracted to the Waldorf-y kind of stuff, but I am finding that the Montessori activities are definitely more engaging to my little one, so I've been checking out a lot of information about that. There are some good facebook groups that offer great activity ideas for the preschool age kids.


Liz om.gif Lovin' DH partners.gif DS (12) coolshine.gif and forever missing DD angel3.gif (12/02/07) ribbonpb.gif
From the withered tree, a flower blooms~ He's here!!! So crazy in love with my  rainbow1284.gif  boy!!! 12/14/11 luxlove.gif fly-by-nursing1.gif

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#11 of 12 Old 11-22-2013, 11:41 AM
 
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Moominmamma, you are absolutely right!!! I totally need to remember that everything is so new to him that it is ALL amazing and stimulating right now!! I guess I'm just  way too used to the "I'm booooored" moments from my 11year old! :lol


Liz om.gif Lovin' DH partners.gif DS (12) coolshine.gif and forever missing DD angel3.gif (12/02/07) ribbonpb.gif
From the withered tree, a flower blooms~ He's here!!! So crazy in love with my  rainbow1284.gif  boy!!! 12/14/11 luxlove.gif fly-by-nursing1.gif

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#12 of 12 Old 11-26-2013, 07:41 PM
 
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BTDT!

 

It's so hard when they are little little b/c there just aren't resources and they're really too young to test and even if you could test them, there are no formal programs for gifted toddlers.

 

My experience, these kids need lots of experiences. It doesn't have to be structured learning but make sure you're going to the zoo, the musuems, local events, library story time, music concerts etc... Lots of high quality input.

 

At home, find great books to read together. (If you are looking for a Tday read, I highly recommend Balloons Over Broadway.)  Talk, talk, talk, use vocabulary, explain words etc..

 

Art projects are good.

 

If they are ready for academics, I like Starfall.com. Most of it is free,but they have a 'more' package you can buy for $35 for the year that is awesome.Excellent value for the money.

 

Try to create an experience menu every week. 3-5 activities/events every week. I think you'll find that will help.

 

Hth

V

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