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What do you do and when for a child you feel is advanced?

My girl will be 3 in may. I'm reading up on what level of development she should be at this point in her life... and I don't want to be one of those "braggy" moms, but seriously, the stuff it's saying she should just now be doing, she was doing a year ago or more. For example - it says she should be saying 3 to 4 word sentences right now, and just being able to string a sentence together... I have video of my girl this time last year saying "Happy Birthday Grandpa! I wanna hold it!!" (the camera). She now says up to 25 word elaborate sentences- the other day she said something like, ""Mama, I want you to go in my room and get my blocks and come play with me by the window". I have her in the Parents as Teachers program here in Mo., and although it's a wonderful program, funds are low and they keep making cuts. It's a free program through the school districts of Mo. where a teacher comes to your home for an hour or so and plays with your child and assesses their development and gives you info on how to help them along. That's the whole reason I got her involved in the first place- I wanted to know what more I could do to stimulate her. I've had her in the program since she was about 9 mo old. Well because of the cuts, the visits went from 1ce/week to 1ce/month and this year it's 3 times a school year. :( The first visit with her this year was in September, when DD was 28 mo old,and I really wanted to show her how well she spoke and how it blows me away that she can play computer games by herself and navigate around the web. Unfortunately DD was kind of shy so she didn't show off her speaking abilities, and the PAT lady showed me she was impressed that she said "I see you, Mom". A 4 word sentence when she's saying so much more! She DID get to see her play games on & she was impressed. Finally we got our second visit last week and she really saw how well she speaks then. But still, I was kind of disheartened to get a normal packet of papers showing "where my child should be developmentally"... I KNOW that stuff... we're already there & beyond! What can I do to stimulate her NOW?? I'm not saying I have a genius on my hands, but I'm just worried she'll get into school and be so bored with everything and she'll be acting up out of boredom. I want to give her what she needs developmentally NOW - whether it is for her age group or not. She needs what she needs. I don't feel like I'm getting those answers from the PAT program. At least give me some paperwork from the next level up of development so I can see what I can be working on, and see if she's ready for it or not myself.
I guess my question is, what do you do, who do you go to, and when do you do it? Am I wrong for trying to show her future teachers my concerns of her being bored? Maybe have her start Kindergarten a year early?

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Asked by MamaLisa1976 at 12:02 PM on Mar. 15, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 16 (3,073 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • We went through the same thing with my 12 year old. When he was 3 he was doing addition, subtraction, and very basic spelling. We were fortunate because when he was 4 we were able to put him in Spanish kindergarten (we were stationed in Spain at the time and they can start school at 4 over there), so he went through a full year of spanish kindergarten, then went through a year of regular kindergarten the next year. By that time he was already doing 1st and 2nd grade work. Luckily we were in a DODDS school for the department of defense, and the classrooms were combined Kindergarten and first grade, then second and third grade. So he was usually able to work a grade level up. Now however, he is in the highly capable program in 6th grade and still finishing his work well before his classmates, and not being challenged at all but we are at the point now of deciding whether to skip him to 8th grade or let him go through 7th next

    Answer by AprilDJC at 12:10 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • I would not start her in kinder a full year early. And frankly, it's a little early to even think about it. Many kids going into kindergarten, at least around here, are turning 6 at the beginning of the year. If she doesn't turn 5 until May, that is a huge disadvantage.

    For now work with her shape, color, number and letter recognition. And if she is really good at the letter and number recognition, go on to sounds. My youngest was extremely verbal at a young age. Now that he is in kindergarten, he is on the younger side, having a January birthday! And his once "awesome and totally advanced" skills are average to slightly above.

    Look for a good preschool. One that will teach her as well as let her have fun. And continue to work at home with the letters and numbers.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 12:11 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • year. We don't feel like he is emotionally and mentally ready to be skipped to 8th grade, though he is physically larger than every other 8th grader in the school (at 12 he is 5'9" and 165lbs lol), the skip from 6th to 8th is a big jump. My suggestion to you would be to try to start her in kindergarten a year earlier and let her progress that way instead of having to skip a grade later on because that makes it really difficult. I think if we had skipped my son earlier he would have been much better off. Also search around your local school districts to find the very best one, especially if they have a gifted program because you can usually get a waiver for her to attend a different school if you feel it would challenge her more. My boys are both on waiver to a different jr high because they needed the highly capable program. Good luck

    Answer by AprilDJC at 12:14 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • My DD is 3 and the same way. she speaks in full blown sentences and has for over a year now. Knows colors and shapes and recognizes all letters capitol and lower case. She can tell a story, count to I don't even know how high in English and she also counts to 15 in Spanish and 5 in Chinese now. She is starting to do very simple addition like saying 'can I have 3 more grapes so I can have 5?' I also am wondering how we will handle pre-k. Worse yet she has a late birthday! I plan to just continue to encourage her at home and let her pre-k teachers know where she is. In my state is like pulling teeth to get a child 'skipped' so I will have to make very sure she gets the 'right' teachers for her. I'm not terribly worried about it yet though since she I know she is a little ahead now but she may end up being right on track by the time school starts. I will see where we are a few months before pre-k.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 12:24 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • What she needs right now isn't academics, let her explore nature, the parks, other children, crafts and socializing. She will have enough years training in academics. Sometimes we push them. She does sound talented, but that is only one part of her developement. Teach her to bake, sew, grow a garden, sing, dance and have fun being a child. :-)

    Answer by LeJane at 12:33 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • I would do some internet searches on development and activities to do with preschoolers. My son used to love those preschool workbooks you can get at most stores. He was a late talker, he hardly spoke at 2 years old but he had a good vocabulary by 3, but hard to understand. I started teaching him to read around 3 1/2 with the book Teach Your Child to Read in 100 easy lessons. He didn't get very far with reading from that book, but it gave him the basic idea of blending sounds together. I'm homeschooling him and started him in kindergarten a year early. He turned 4 in October and I started him in kindergarten in September. I remember being concerned about how I was going to teach him to read letters he couldn't even pronounce. But now at 5 1/2 he speaks very clearly and it isn't an issue. I don't think I would have put him ahead like this in a classroom setting, but homeschooling you can go at your own pace.

    Answer by mybella81 at 1:00 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • So even if you don't have any interest in homschooling long term, you can still give her a head start. I wouldn't push a child, but if they enjoy academic activities, why not? Now my daughter is almost 3 1/2 and I worry because she is no where near where my son was at this age. I think she knows 3 letters and can cound to the teens. She has been speaking in complete sentances since at least 2 years old, but that's about as advanced as she's ever been. She has no interest at all in sitting and doing workbooks or learning about letters and reading.

    Answer by mybella81 at 1:03 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • Just have lots of fun with her and let her learn in a natural way from you. If later she insists that she wants to start school, look for a great preschool that lets children progress at their own pace. In our state, you are not allowed to start Kindie early in the public school system. Not sure it would be a good idea anyway. They will allow a child to skip ahead if they test out of a grade. But, you can worry about that later. Have fun now!
    If you really want to work with her in an academic way, just buy some homeschool stuff at the appropriate level - never mind age ranges.

    Answer by Mom2Just1Kiddo at 1:16 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • I know what you mean. My 19 month old is using full sentences. She knows colors, shapes, numbers and letters. She can run, jump, stand on one leg. She can fully dress and undress herself. Swim,and ride her trike. People think she is really small for her age. We have a program here called Healthy families the lady comes once a month and they do the tests to see where she is at developmentally and she is on level with a three year old. The lady does bring three year old level things to play with. Now we are trying to teach her how to walk on a balance beam and skip.

    Answer by lady-J-Rock at 1:32 PM on Mar. 15, 2011

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