Toddler reading at 30 months

(27 Posts)
JoInScotland Sun 12-Aug-12 00:29:44

I'm not sure what to do with my DS. He could count to 100 before he was two and started doing simple addition and subtraction - all driven by his own curiousity. Then about 2 months ago, he started to take more interest in letters and the sounds they make, and he's just come on leaps and bounds.. sounding out words, and now he's reading story books to us.

I always wanted him to go to the school down the road, and he has a place there for nursery at 3 years old, but I'm wondering if they'll be able to cope with him - challenge him and keep him interested. I was always in the top group at school, but daydreamed a lot and looking back, was bored. I was used to help others with their work, but not challenged myself IYSWIM?

What do people do? We can't afford private education. Others have suggested we go to the private school in our town and have a look around and a chat. Do people start off in the state sector and then try for a scholarship at some point in primary? Try and switch at secondary?

Life would be easier and more straight forward if our DS was average, but I suspect he is not.

Iamnotminterested Sun 12-Aug-12 12:28:42

Why do assume bright kid = needs private school?

Don't want to sound flippant but there seems to be the idea that if a mn child shows an interest/aptitude for academics early on then a state school can't possibly cater for them.

My DC's local state primary has had year 6 children at level 6 all the way down to level 1 this year, including one child who is exceptional at maths - not my dd, unfortunately ! So what I am saying is relax, don't rush in to a big decision at his age and don't discount state schools.

Chundle Mon 13-Aug-12 15:46:07

My dd1 could read at 35 months fluently sounding words out in kids books. She had a diagnosis of ADHD at 6, now at 8 her reading ability is only slightly above average but she is g&t at sports.

What they start off loving and showing ability for doesn't always stick

cubscout Tue 14-Aug-12 07:33:39

I would wait and see. if you liked the school there is no reason to start looking at others. As Iam says, many state schools cope well (even better in some cases) with gifted children.

My ds is gifted mathematically and has an IQ of 160 and is at a state school. They have not always found it easy to accomodate him but they have tried admirably and he has really enjoyed some of the opportunities offered him (1:1 with secondary yeacher, special days out). FWIW there are several other very bright children in his year group as well as a broad spectrum amongst the otehr kids and mostly the class teachers have differentiated work well.

There is nothing to be lost in starting a school you like. wait and see how he likes school. Ds loves his school, fully participates in everything (!) and has also learned to get on with a range of peers, how to negotiate with teachers over the work he is given, how to stay engaged (mostly).

Machadaynu Thu 16-Aug-12 13:12:55

I have signed up as we are in the same position, albeit the kid won't be in school until September 2013.

We were both bored at school and both had to help other kids rather than learn ourselves, and partly as a result we both feel that we haven't achieved our potential.

I am all in favour of acceleration - all the research shows that it is better for the child academically and socially. If you think like a 10 year old, there isn't much fun to be had spending all your days with 5 year olds. I was accelerated for a while, but was then put back again because the secondary wouldn't take me early - that made it worse as I was expected to do the same work twice, so that is something to look out for. The research shows that it's best to put a child ahead to the stage where they are in the oldest group they can be and still be average. It is said that up to about IQ 155 is 'optimal' in that kids are then able to determine they are 'different' but they are clever enough to adapt to it. Above about IQ 155 the gulf between them is too great to bridge, so the kids tend to be withdrawn.

We're going down the state route as we have no choice either - but we will definitely be looking for a private school scholarship simply because the smaller classes will make it easier for the kid to be stretched.

LadySybildeChocolate Thu 16-Aug-12 13:28:08

Ds was reading at 3 and a half. He went from reading one word to being able to read Roald Dahl in a week. He did start off in a state school but he really struggled and I don't think they quite knew what to do with him. I moved him to a small prep school at the start of year 1 and he was a lot happier. Don't assume that your local school can't stretch your child though, I really do think that it depends on the teacher.

amidaiwish Thu 16-Aug-12 13:35:29

DD1 was reading well at this age, self taught. she is in a good state primary and has been identified as gifted in literacy. She isn't bored. They "cope" with her. I would look at your good state options first, don't exclude them. I haven't accelerated her but broadened her- chess, french, piano etc.. Focus on social skills, sports, areas where he doesn't show an aptitude.

Hairtodayandgonetomorrow Thu 16-Aug-12 13:37:41

Have you looked into the NAGC (National association for gifted children) they run saturday clubs that stretch bright kids outside school.

amidaiwish Thu 16-Aug-12 13:39:04

Also don't get too excited about the idea of a scholarship. In most cases it is only about a 10% fee reduction. If your household income is below £20k you might have more of a chance though. Are you/can you get into a grammar catchment?

Machadaynu Thu 16-Aug-12 13:39:20

I have to say I don't think a teacher can be expected to stretch a truly gifted child. A child who is a bit above average shouldn't be a problem to a teacher, but you cannot effectively teach the 1 child out of a class of 30 who is 2 'years' or more ahead of their peers - all you can do as a teacher is manage it - but there is little to no chance that the clever child will be stretched in the same way the rest will be. There is no funding to support it, and add to that the fact that there is no incentive to push the child if their SATs scores hold up and you have a recipe for coasting kids.

cubscout Fri 17-Aug-12 08:19:01

Interesting research about accelerating children into the oldest group in which they are average. From a personal point of view I just can't see this working - my Y5 son would have to be in a Year 11 group.He could cope academically but in no way socially. He has learned a lot from being with peers his own age and tbh has struggled socially as he is indeed very different. Could you link to that research?

Agree that teachers can't possibly stretch a truely gifted child in all areas - but they definately can in some. No child will be gifted all round, although many will have several areas of ability.The sad fact is that most bright children will not be stretched at any school until they hit A level and parents and children need to find other solutions. My ds stretches himself and has an enormous work ethic (even at age 10!) and is now at the point where he can find maths resources himself to keep himself occupied. Not all bright kids 'coast'. School do what they can, check that he knows what he should, give him a certain ammount of acceleration vis 1:1 with secondary teacher. It's enough at the moment for us.

cherrypieplum Fri 17-Aug-12 08:27:00

We see a few children who can read each year. No biggie smile

cherrypieplum Fri 17-Aug-12 08:44:18

And machadaynu, you can stretch the gifted and support the poorest. In any given class there is a huge range of ability.

Machadaynu Fri 17-Aug-12 08:54:42

cubscout - it was something I read on my phone - will see if it is still in the history (I'm on my laptop at the moment) I think it was a link from Hoagies.

I did miss out the keyword 'above' though I notice - I should have said that the recommendation from some it that they go up to the point where they are still above average.

I was accelerated one year, but being a late September baby I was only a few months younger than a lot of my new classmates, and I preferred their company. My brother is 3 academic years older and I could do his work perfectly easily, so I expect I could have coped academically with 3 or 4 years, but as you say you then run into other difficulties - more so for your son if you are looking at 6 years. The highly gifted so suffer from asynchronous development, and this is evident from early on. My own kid is 3, but is the height of a 5 year old and has the vocabulary of an 8 year old. She still has the voice and co-ordination of a three year-old though, so she has garnered some very odd looks from parents and other kids when she's been learning to use her scooter and giving a commentary on what she's doing wrong smile

As the asynchronicity is so large in your son's case, I guess you have to make decisions about what would be best for him. Perhaps a class somewhere in the middle with extension work for his areas of particualr expertise?

As an adult that learned a lot of bad habits at school (coasting, not putting in my full effort, not concentrating - but getting results anyway) that as an adult I am trying to un-learn, I'm perhaps more inclined to make sure that the kid is stretched at school: not pushed or hot-housed, but subject to the same requirements to put in some effort as the average kid. Your kid's intelligence will not count for much in the long term unless he goes in an area where it is valued (academia etc) - otherwise it's that ability to persevere that will be more important as he will be as clever as everyone else regardless - that is the thing you need to nurture as much as the 'clever'

Not sure that makes sense - typed hurriedly as I need to get a move on!

Machadaynu Fri 17-Aug-12 08:56:04

cherrypieplum - I hope your experience is more indicative of what we can expect in 13 months than my own is.

cubscout Fri 17-Aug-12 15:31:47

My advice based on personal experience is give the school s chance. My ds loves school and, no, he's not challenged every day, but mostly the school has coped admirably. Primary school is also about learning to socialise and grow up too. We are planning at the moment to send him to a state secondary.

Acceleration and private education might work for some but is ny no means the answer. My fb loved primary (state) got a 100% scholarship to a top public school and once there was accelerated one year. He wad utterly misetable. He was only happy once he got to Cambridge.

cubscout Fri 17-Aug-12 15:33:57

I mean my dh not fb! Damn auto correct.

JoInScotland Wed 22-Aug-12 20:40:55

Thank you for all your replies and thoughts and advice. I am going to look at a Montessori preschool in 2 weeks' time and I think it would be great for him - about 10 minutes walk from my house as well. Also, I rang the state school where he is allocated a place (to start in April) to see if they would take him in January - he would have started in January if he'd been born about 3 weeks earlier.... they said phone back in October and make an appointment to speak to the Preschool teacher then. We are going to the Open Day of the local private school in late September but we can't afford it and I have also heard that since there is just one class of each Year level, the teacher is keen to keep them all at the same level (warning bells). It may well transpire that the state school has more resources to help him than the private sector.

Where I am from, absolutely no one goes to private school, but my partner did, so it's all a bit of a mystery to me, and my partner's parents want us to investigate it..... all I want is for my son to go the school that is the best match for him

fuckwittery Wed 22-Aug-12 20:48:44

As an adult that learned a lot of bad habits at school (coasting, not putting in my full effort, not concentrating - but getting results anyway) that as an adult I am trying to un-learn, I'm perhaps more inclined to make sure that the kid is stretched at school: not pushed or hot-housed, but subject to the same requirements to put in some effort as the average kid. Your kid's intelligence will not count for much in the long term unless he goes in an area where it is valued (academia etc) - otherwise it's that ability to persevere that will be more important as he will be as clever as everyone else regardless - that is the thing you need to nurture as much as the 'clever'

This rung such a bell with me. I was a "clever" child, fluent reader at 3r, did only minimum work to get A-levels that got me to Oxbridge. Did literally no work in my second and third years at uni then crammed at the end for a 2:1. Now in my professional life I am shit at working hard but still coast through, doing things last minute. I can't seem to concentrate on a task, I get bored so easily. Thinking of CBT as my procrastination about important stuff that needs to get done is chronic. However I create a great impression of working hard and almost always deliver (occasional v late nights to get it done). I'm always busy, I just do the most interesting stuff because I think I can do the hard stuff at the last minute quickly, having learnt those coasting skills. Anyway, a lightbulb has just gone off in my head that I probably starting learning these "skills" at the age of 4 in reception when I wasn't allowed to read the top level books because I couldn't possibly have read all the other books hmm

RedHelenB Thu 23-Aug-12 21:14:43

Your life sounds great though FW, can't really see what the disadvantages are!!??

redhelen Can't speak for fuckwittery but her situation sounds V similar to mine. Procrastination is horrible - would love to be one of those people who can genuinely knuckle down and get everything done at a steady pace to hit the deadline, rather than take it to the wire every time and feel totally overwhelmed and stressed.

I have been reading The Procrastination Equation. Some interesting science including that the key link with being a procrastinator is being impulsive - not to do with being perfectionist.

RedHelenB Thu 23-Aug-12 21:24:01

FW didn't mention stress, just that she could appear to be working hard whilst doing very little!!

|Can understand the point you are making but even if you are a steady plodder you still can experience stress.

fuckwittery Fri 24-Aug-12 08:21:50

I am very stressed and I am usually the creator of my own stress Redhelen! Forgot to mention that bit!

onesandwichshort Fri 24-Aug-12 14:27:13

FW, are you me? Absolutely the same experience of school/Oxbridge, can't get anything done without a deadline, am the queen of wasting time followed by blind panic. I do hope I can teach DD perseverance and trying somehow.

It is a slight relief to realise there are a few of us!
The one thing I'm doing to try to do to ensure my DS doesn't end up the same way is to try to avoid labelling him as 'clever', telling him he's clever / intelligent / the smart one. The research I've seen suggests that this can make children less resilient, and less willing to risk failure.

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