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Old 07-04-2002, 06:53 PM
 
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My daughter has had a lot of word recognition since 24 months. Meaning she sounds out printed words she's never seen before.

I'm personally so sensitive about assigning labels like "advanced" or "gifted," etc.--and I actually limit her exposure to academically-oriented things (like reading) on purpose. That is to say, we read books together, but it's not a competitive exercise where I do it for her to "be ahead" of her peers. I know people like this--it's hard for me to be around them. My opinion is that they (toddlers) will learn anything you teach them, but it may not be the best for their particular stage in development.
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Old 07-16-2002, 04:34 PM
 
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My oldest was an early reader by age 3 reading primers. Because I had been a ps reading teacher and he seemed to want to read I taught him his basic sight vocabulary right away. It worked to homeschool him at home through preschool years, we did montessorri later so he could be with kids in a wide range of abilitites so he was not looked at as a freak/unusual, he was in 6-12 year old room by age 6 and worked with the 12 year old materials and friends but interacted with his age peers as well. We tried public schools but he did not fit in very well with his age group and was not challenged at all even by advanced classes.
Something common among kids that are very gifted is a lack of social skills. A popular point of view among some public school teachers is that early readers do have some advantage, but that by 3rd grade most children are on equal footing as far as reading skills. There are some really wonderful books about gifted kids out there and how to meet their special needs.
Another consideration is my son is now extremely nearsighted- he reads HOURS each day for the last 9 years, I did not take care to ensure he was getting large enough print early on and adequate light at night reading in bed.
He also read things that caused him a great deal of grief and worry, like an AIDS poster above a water fountain at a public place when he was 5, way too young to have to worry about AIDS. Be on guard with your young reader to look carefully at his world, not just prereading his books, but like the other poster said, watching not to leave the newspaper around, my son would also check our quicken and worry about the checking account if he could see that while I was typing on the computer screen. He even found and read the mortgage papers on our home.
Now we are homeschooling him again, he is happy with that. He is 13 and started some college classes this year. Based on my experiences with my oldest, we have not taught or pushed our younger children into reading just let it come slowly. I do not see it as a big advantage in any way.
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Old 07-16-2002, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for you replies and discussion. It has been a few months and we are getting more used to the idea that dd has a different way of learning. We are also less concerned about the well rounded part when it comes to her other interests. She is falling into a pattern of having a topic to obsess over until she feels she's mastered it. We are just getting out of a water phase. lo. It was kind of ...well...wet!

Our main concern now is the social structure of most class rooms. Dh and I experienced the trouble of being the 'smart' kids in school. It sucked because we stuck out like sore thumbs in academics, but still had the same social and emotional needs as other children. We are not entirely happy with how our childhood educations were handled. So here we are reseaching the options early for dd in hopes of making entirely new and different mistakes than our parents and teachers made with us. :
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Old 07-18-2002, 08:40 PM
 
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I have some points from my childhood. I read really early too. I always loved books, and my parents did the 'Teach Your Baby To Read' with me (not diligently, but just for fun). When I was 4.5 I read all of the Little House on the Prairie series. It benefitted in some ways. I coslept with my folks and the whole reason I left their bed so early was because I wanted to stay up late with my reading light reading! I loved reading. However I got labeled "gifted" upon entering school. None of my teachers expected anything out of me because they just expected I knew it. I got wisked through school not having to so much as bring home a book, even from Advanced Placement classed, cause the teachers figured I knew it all and spent time with the kids that were having trouble. So I hit college not having a clue how to study and I sunk. It took me a year to realize that while I had great potential, but all that meant squat if I could study and use it. So I see the labeling on kids a certain way could be damaging. A little story on the other end: A kid a went to school with, Jeff, was labeled in grade school as ADHD and leanring disabled, etc. A few years later they realized the problems he had were because he had a hearing loss. The school system already had it engrained in their head that he was a trouble maker, and he got crap all through school. One teacher actually told him he should just plan on working construction instead of taking the time to apply to college. Well he did, graduated with 4.0 in audiology, got into the best masters program in the nation, and is just completing his doctorate. When we have our ten year reunion I cannot wait to see the look on that teachers face (that told him not to apply to college) when his name is on the card as Dr. Jeff XXXXXXX. Oh the dangers of labeling.

My godness what a long post!. Sorry!
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Old 07-28-2002, 04:35 PM
 
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I was one of those kids taught to read at 2, and, well, I guess that the best way to say how I feel about it is that I will never do that to my own child.

Long story short, it caused me many more problems than it was worth. Yes, I'm a good reader, but I'm not the "genius" my parents and teachers thought I was at 6 -- and then were dissapointed that I turned out just to be "above average." : I had a really hard time fitting in with the other kids, and my school years weren't happy ones.

So in our house, there are lots of books to look at, but no flashcards. Ds knows the letters that make up his name, and he knows what the word "thomas" looks like -- his train is his favorite toy. I'm far more interested in him learning how to get along with other kids than I am with his learning his ABCs and 123s. The preschool I want to send him to next year is a play-based program.
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