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Has anyone had a Kindergartener who was a very advanced reader?

I'm freaking out a little bit right now. This weekend I attended a birthday party with a mom who is a kindergarten teacher. I asked her how many students started the year reading, and she said that out of her class of 27, 4 are able to sound out simple words. She said that a few years ago she had one student who was reading on a 3rd grade level. My daughter is currently reading at an early 3rd grade level and she doesn't start school until Fall of 2010. I'm very worried that she is going to feel self-conscious around the other children and that she might be treated differently or possibly ostracized. My husband thinks I'm being ridiculous and that if anything she will probably feel proud and it will help her self-esteem. Has anyone had a child in a similiar situation? What was the experience like for your child?

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:26 PM on Sep. 14, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (11)
  • I was hyperlexic when I was younger. The teachers at her school will probably start out discouraging her from reading that far above grade level until she is tested. The concern is that she can "read" but may not be able to comprehend at that level. If she can comprehend at that level, you should take her to Sylvan or another learning center and have her tested. As with a child who has developmental delays, if she is gifted you want to make sure those gifts are fostered and the school is required to provide services that will do that. It may include her being pulled out during reading time to go to a higher class, or a small group session with the AG teacher. She still needs socialization with kids her age and it may boost her self esteem to be able to help out the others. My son is classified AG for math and reading and he likes that he can help his friends.

    Answer by missanc at 2:32 PM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • My oldest daughter was an advanced reader in Kindergarten. She went to a gifted school for second grade until we moved and I had the fears that my daughter was/is too smart for third grade and for a fleeting moment, I thought she should tone it down a little bit so the other kids are not intimidated by her. But then I snapped back to reality and decided that we as parents should never suppress our childrens' intelligence but should encourage them to succeed and make the most of school. Let your daughter shine and if the other kids are intimidated by it, too bad. Who ends up prospering in the end? The smart kids.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:35 PM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • My first experience was with myself. I was an advanced reader, but I also have Aspergers. I was reading the smaller chapter books in Kindergarten, and things like Ramona Quimby (anyone remember those), in first grade.

    I don't remember being ostracized, but I do remember boredom. I was also easily frustrated when we had to read aloud, and the other children struggled. I had not yet learned patience.

    I think the thing to do is continue to encourage your daughter's love of reading, but also do not let her turn into a little cerebral narcissist. I do believe that's often what causes peers to ostracize advanced children.

    My eldest was/is an advanced reader as well. I just keep a lot of books on hand, and taught him the love of helping others.

    Answer by Cymbeline at 2:35 PM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • I started kindergarten knowing how to read. I could read probably at a 1st or 2nd grade level. I was the only one in my class that started the year knowing how to read.

    I did not feel self concious and my peers didn't seem to care. I remember feeling special because my teachers sent new books home with me to help me learning to read.

    My daughter is in pre-k now and does not know how to read yet. She's just taken an interest in it and is beginning to learn.

    Answer by Cavalrybaby02 at 2:36 PM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • No, you are not being rediculous. Every mom wants what is best, right? Talk to the school before she starts, like the previous poster said and fid out what they have available, for advanced students. Let them know what level she is reading on and that way it will ensure she's not left doing work that is on a level that is lower that she is able to work at. So she won't be bored. And just keep reading with her. There are lots of online teaching things You can find until then as well, so that you can help her even more with comprehension and sounding out words and spelling and everything. I used things like that(online) when I homeschooled and it was fun for my DS- he learned so much.

    Answer by mom2BOYZnDad at 2:42 PM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • My oldest was sounding out words by the time he was 3. I wouldn't worry about your daughter - kids that age can be amazingly absent from what their neighbor is doing. How she handles it will determine a lot how the other children relate to her. Teach her to not expect everyone to read as well as she does and to not boast. All kids, regardless of age, don't take well to a show off. They can be very accepting of a child who knows a lot - but is humble in their presentation of their knowledge. Congratulations mom, you have worked well with your child - stop fretting and bask in the glory that you've help her with a leg up in her studies. In her future years watch for boredom - it can be the biggest discouragement for a smart child. Both my son and his aunt (exes sister) had very high IQs - both got bored in school. Remember to keep challenging her and she'll continue to grow in her intelligence. It's a wonderful thing.

    Answer by PaceMyself at 2:43 PM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • When I was in kindergarten I was reading at a 3rd grade level. My mom started teaching us how to read on her own before we even started school. I have a step-daughter in kindergarten and she can't even read simple words. I guess it just depends on whose teaching them idk.

    Answer by colesmommy2009 at 2:47 PM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • Please keep encouraging your daughter to read!! I was a very early reader, ALWAYS reading books well above my age level in school. At first my teachers would question me, ask if I was really reading those books and what not, but once my mom went in and talked with them there was never an issue. The other kids never said anything to me, they usually didn't even notice or care what I was reading. We had a hard time with the library though. They were funny about letting me check out older books, so I just started stealing my older sisters books. But we always had books in our house and my mom read with us every night. I still read all of the time.

    Answer by jedwards2009 at 1:37 AM on Sep. 15, 2009

  • Are there gifted programs in your local school system? If you are in the Chicago metro area, please contact me offlist.

    You can find resources and enrichment classes through the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University:



    Answer by rkoloms at 10:49 AM on Sep. 15, 2009

  • My son is in Kindergarten this year and he is one of 2 kids who are already reading. One at a late 1st grade level and mine at a mid-late 2nd grade level (this is w/comprehension I believe they can both truly read at a higher level with less understanding of course)

    No other kid in his class really even notices that they are reading and doing something different during phonics/reading group.

    I was reading at 3 and don't recall ever having any issues in school with me reading earlier/better than any other kids in my classes.

    Answer by cabyrum at 12:27 AM on Oct. 8, 2009

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