Wow...nursery just told us they are pretty sure DS3 is gifted! So what now?

(70 Posts)
KirstyJC Wed 26-Feb-14 19:22:35

DS3 will be 3 at the end of March. Today nursery told us that they are fairly certain that he is gifted and they are moving him into the group that are preparing for school in terms of learning and activities. (With the 4 year olds).

He can: write his name using foam letters (9 letters long) with one letter back to front (p instead of b), he can count to 20 and read numbers to 10. He knows all his colours (except grey for some reason), is able to hold a pen properly, can tell the time, and is doing a bit of phonics. He can tell past, present and future, follows the timeline in a story and converses at an advanced level. Eg hurry up X it is nearly 4 o'clock and time for tea - said to nursery staff at 3.55 before they even mentioned or started preparing for the meal. He can draw figures and drew himself next to DH who was bigger, he understands more than, less than, bigger and smaller.

In fact he is currently negotiating bedtime with DH who has said it is in 3 minutes - DS has just said 'how about 5 minutes'. (DS wongrin)

We asked him how many colours he could think of and he named 5 or 6 in a row.

Apparently we need to ensure we stimulate him otherwise he could have behaviour issues due to boredom. They have given us lots of ideas, and with a 5 and 10 year old brothers that should be fine.

But is there anything else that people can suggest that we do with him? We had noticed that he seems very advanced for his age, but with older siblings we just put it down to that. We are planning to ask the school at parents' evening next week (for both other DSes) what their phonics system is so that we can get him started, which was one of nursery's suggestions. But what else?

swingofthings Tue 13-May-14 14:08:34

When my DD stated her new nursery at 3 I was told by the manager that she had special abilities much above children her age. I didn't think much of it I had just become a single mum working full time with another 18 months child so knowing she was happy at school was enough for me. When she started school she was I immediately put in all top groups and always had wonderful reports bur is nor until she was in year 4 that I heard for the first time the reference of G&T. It's when she received the award for Pupil of the Year at the end of year 6 amongst 115 children some clearly very bright that I started to think that maybe she was exceptionally bright.

She stated a new secondary school in a different town and this time it was mentioned almost immediately. She is now in y9 and is expected already all A* in her gcses in two years time. I never did anything to stimulate her, she never had additional tutoring, had never really been bored because she is quite confident and will ask the teachers for extra work and I have always find her teachers very willing to challenge her to her level.
My DS is doing is year 6 SAT right now and seating level 6 papers for both English and maths so expect he too is considered G&T but again nothing much had been mentioned however the nursery had also identified his ability early as he was moved to the to group at just a bit over 2 yo rather than after 3 yo as standard. It was the best decision as he had issues with his behaviour then which totally disappeared once he had moved.

I do think many nursery managers with a lot of experience are able to point out children with high abilities who are likely to become T&G but I think it is more their behaviour that needs watching to ensure their needs are met rather than just the fact they are more advanced.

JulieMichelleRobinson Wed 23-Apr-14 16:12:25

To the OP:

Whether or not your son is classed as "gifted" it's good that he's being given activities that stretch him a bit and encourage him to develop rather than stagnating.

As a piano teacher, can I suggest investigating Wunderkeys it if it may interest? You might find someone near you who runs Wunderkeys - it's a piano/music course for 3 and 4 year olds, which also works on numeracy and literacy skills. Because it's one-to-one, it's good preparation for school in terms of relationships with adults, concentration, sitting still, directed activities and so forth. Basically, it's vaguely educational but also lots of fun and might provide a useful distraction - usually teachers provide a free trial.

SATSmadness Wed 23-Apr-14 14:59:03

Please prepare yourself for the fact that your ds3's pre-school buddies will all go off to school a year ahead of him and you may experience a period of him being unsettled at pre-school as he may feel left behind and miss them.
He'll then have to settle back into being with his original cohort who will have matured a bit over the course of the year but they're not the group he's used to spending his days with.

This happened to us with ds2 sad

Once at primary, once the kids had all settled in nicely, he started spending various parts of the day with the year above.

I have to say though that all of my dc could do the same stuff at 3, in fact more... except telling the time, it took them aaaages to get the hang of that but as a parent that benefitted me in being able to bamboozle them over bed-times etc so I didn't push it grin wink

TheCunkOfPhilomena Sat 05-Apr-14 15:08:52

Kirsty I have a DS that is 3.2 who was moved up to be with the 4 year olds at nursery when he was 2.7 as he is extremely advanced. Please don't listen to the skeptics on here, it's why I never post on this board.

Be proud of your DS' achievements and do what you feel is best for him. If you have any doubt then talk to your HV or arrange to have a meeting with the head of the nursery, they can help guide you. I see the manager of the DS' nursery once a month now so we can discuss different things.

I shall slink off now before I'm told that DS is not gifted and how dare I presume otherwise.

KirstyJC Fri 07-Mar-14 18:17:14

Home ed is never going to happen - we both work 30 hours+ a week!

We have got him some wooden letters and he really likes those, tries to write words and asks what sounds some of the letters make. Nursery said today he was doing numbers on his fingers and telling them things like 5 and 5 is ten, 4 and 5 is nine so they have been playing counting games and other numeracy things like bigger/smaller, more/less etc.

He is pretty accurate at telling the time, although does get confused sometimes- he told us it was "2 past 10 past 6" the other evening. Cute!smile

We asked about phonics/reading at school parents evening this week (just in general as we have DS2 in reception, didn't mention DS3 at all) and they said they use a mix of phonics eg jolly phonics, Floppy Phonics (Oxford Reading Tree) and whatever else the individual children seem to take to which sounds like a fantastic approach, so we will just keep trying whatever DS3 seems to go for and see if he can sit in on DS2 reading as well.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 07-Mar-14 17:38:36

I'm not sure if anybody has suggested this yet, but have you considered H.ed

One of the advantages is that children can learn at their own pace and the subjects/topics they enjoy.

dippydaisy1 Fri 07-Mar-14 17:33:51

Our daughter was the same and I taught her to read straight away. She was reading to her class at three. She has never been bored at school. The teachers just gave her more advanced books as she advanced. (Maybe things are different in South Africa.)

anotherverydullusername Fri 07-Mar-14 17:25:10

Oh and I think it's very unusual for a still 2 yr old to be able to tell the time! Mine certainly couldn't til he was in reception and even that is 'advanced' compared to average I think.

anotherverydullusername Fri 07-Mar-14 17:23:51

About teaching reading making them bored in reception. From the sounds of him, he will teach himself to read even if you don't.
A good reception teacher will not allow him to be bored. The big benefit of him learning to read (as long as he wants to) early is he will be able to enjoy books more earlier which is a lovely thing.
Ds started reading simple words at 3 and was reading before he started reception and wasn't bored in phonics as it involved fun songs. KS1 was more boring at times as slightly less fun focused.

He sounds lovely op.

ZanyMobster Tue 04-Mar-14 14:54:08

Hi, you will always get snipey comments on here for some reason. As its a G&T board you would think this is the one place you can actually ask questions. I have asked for advice in the past and had some extremely nasty comments.

I do think it's odd for a nursery to use the word gifted at such a young age as children develop at uneven rates of course, particularly until the end of Y2 however it does not mean your DS is not gifted, the only reason I say this is because I have met parents who have been told this early on (specifically one of my best friends) and have felt disappointed when they have evened out fairly quickly, my friends DD was moved up a year in infant school but ended up pretty much average the following year and has continued that way. It has been stressful for them and worrying.

My DS1 was similar at nursery, he could read by 3 also, all self taught. I don't think he could tell the time though. He is still gifted academically at 8 but of course there is still the possiblity he will plateau at some point.

I don't think there is any danger of a child of 2 or 3 getting bored at all, there is no way nursery should be suggesting this, children of that age still need to do normal 3 YO stuff. Nursery should be mainly playing and when they do letters & sounds etc it should be fairly easy to give your DS some basic phonics work as an extension, I totally agree with legoplayingmumsunite. My DS was fine in YR in spite of having a high reading age and able to write well as lots of it was playing and socialising. He was more bored in Y1/2 as he wasn't stretched academically a lot of the time.

I was told by the SENCO from Early Years to stretch DS sideways, maybe languages, music, sports or anything not academic that he can't do yet. He started martial arts plus later learnt the guitar and a bit of french. We still try to avoid lots of extra academic stuff so he does him minimum amount of homework each night but does hours and hours of sports every week.

poorincashrichinlove Mon 03-Mar-14 12:56:20

DS(2.9) does all the above except tell the time (that's pretty wow!). DD was the same. She read music at 4 too. I've always been careful to not use the 'G' word. It does rub people up the wrong way and builds expectations that are unfair to a child.
It's important to recognise emotional needs in DCs as well as learning needs. They need to make connections with their peers and develop friendships. Hothousibg is therefore a no no in our family as a good balance is sought and happy, well adjusted children result (hopefully).

I have also always been careful to reward effort rather than success.Motivation is key so learning should always be fun and on DC terms. My DS currently loves matching the letters to the board on junior scrabble and we do phonics flashcards when he's in the mood.

Enjoy your child for ALL he is

KirstyJC Mon 03-Mar-14 12:33:14

No way we can do private sadly. But the primary the others go to is outstanding, both in terms of Ofsted and in terms of the parent/teacher realtionship. Small place, where the Head greets you by name if she walks past etc. They were really good at quickly sorting out minor bullying issue with DS1 as well and the teachers are excellent.

Secondary - we are in catchment for the best comprehensive in the area, good for science/maths. So I think we need to accept that whether he is ahead or not, these are the schools he will be going to.

We do read to him and DS2 (5) every night still. He loves books! He also went swimming again at the weekend and loves that too, and is pretty much fearless in the water.

We got him some colour by numbers things this weekend and he is really enjoying doing those, taking great care to use the right pens.

LauraBridges Mon 03-Mar-14 12:14:48

Good ideas above. I am not sure any of our 5 were gifted but all passed exams for selective academic primary schools in the private sector at age 4 or 5. Only one of those 5 was ahead in terms of reading compared to the others. She was reading at 3 although I suspect that was more like 3 and a half and that was probably because she liked to sit and think and concentrate whilst the older who is no less bright rang around all the time. They couldn't find a book in the reading scheme she couldn't read when she was nearly 5 at her entrance test. However over the last 10 years I don't think the fact she was an early reader has made too much difference if I compare her to her older sister who was a late reader.

Talk to him. Read to him every night.
Think about the best primary eg could you take on a second job and so afford school fees for the most academically selective private primary in your area?

givemeaclue Sat 01-Mar-14 14:43:18

Wow telling the time at two years old that is amazing!

Agree with other not to teach him things he will already learn in school in time, would extend him in other ways instead:

Learning musical instrument and how to read music
Chess
Tennis or golf are good to learn from young
Swimming
Foreign language
Games and puzzles

Good luck

chattychattyboomba Sat 01-Mar-14 14:34:00

smile Glad to helps

KirstyJC Sat 01-Mar-14 10:45:48

The imagination tree website looks awesome - thanks for the suggestion!

legoplayingmumsunite Sat 01-Mar-14 00:31:58

I'd be concerned about a nursery that was warning you about a 2 year old being bored because of being gifted. Just like schools they should be able to offer a child extension work to stretch their capabilities. I would have thought the brightest 3 year old could still learn something from most NT adults.

As PPs said I'd concentrate on some physical skills like swimming or mastering the scooter (PMM: DD2 could scooter at 20 months). With older siblings you must be going on days out that include some educational element that would be stretching for a young child. That's a wordy way of saying take him to the park and watch for signs of spring, or discuss the weather, or look at the birds. Do lots of drawing, reading stories (does he like chapter books yet?), puzzles and games with his older siblings. You'll have kid's reference books? Follow his lead and take things as far as he wants to. Don't make learning a chore, keep it fun and interesting and use all his senses to learn, don't just concentrate on reading unless that is something he is showing great enthusiasm for (in which case he probably won't need your help).

chattychattyboomba Fri 28-Feb-14 23:59:27

Hey Kirsty, I just thought of something, if you haven't already, check out the website 'the imagination tree'. Lots of fun creative ways to teach new skills to toddlers and preschoolers you might get some inspiration there to keep you little boy from getting bored

Chasdingle Fri 28-Feb-14 16:26:01

My DS is 3.9 and was at about the same level last year although he couldn't write/ draw (and still can't), he could count to about 300 or 400 also. When you say he can tell the time do you mean all times. My DS can tell the o'clocks, quarter past and to and half past but he couldn't tell you 25 past 2 for example (unless it was on a digital clock).

One thing i would say is that DS was really far ahead on stuff last year but his progress has probably slowed down somewhat this year. Also my DS was really far ahead of some things but perhaps behind on others, he didn't potty train till he was over 3 and it took him ages to get the hang of ride on toys. He is also very impractical in everyday things like getting shoes, clothes on etc.

The thing about stimulation is an interesting one to me. I had to change DS's nursery last year as his old playschool thought he might be autistic. HV thought he was not being stimulated enough and that was reason for his behaviour so we changed nurseries and he's getting on really well at this one.

MrsBucketxx Fri 28-Feb-14 11:45:56

My dd will be 3 in august and is the same, I asked ds's nursery for help and just keep doing what im doing.

I love telling both of my dc everything about everything how stuff works, why we do stuff and they love that.

Im worried about when they get to school and sail past me as im not really that academic sad

Booboostoo Fri 28-Feb-14 11:37:19

The problem you will face is that if he is truly bored academically you will be (rightly) tempted to help him progress beyond his peers, however at the same time his academic development won't be matched by emotional and psychological maturity which will cause problems. As far as I know the general rule of thumb is that children can adjust to skiping two grades (not consecutively) and still be emotionally/psychologically on a par with their classmates (so that they can form friendships, not feel left out when others mature sexualy, etc.) but no more than that.

I suppose what I mean to say is that if you have an academically talented child you need to walk a very tight rope between encouraging them and helping them academically but not pushing them too much out of their emotional developmental zone. Kids that end up at university at 15-16 do not have a good time of it!

Greythorne Fri 28-Feb-14 10:40:26

I agree that there's little point trying to teach him early what he will be taught in school in due course. It really isn't a competition to get him doing things (reading, maths etc.) early.

Why not try him with another language if you speak one? Puzzles, riddles, jigsaws, word games, word association etc etc. stimulating stuff that complements not duplicates nursery / school.

KirstyJC Fri 28-Feb-14 07:46:56

'There isn't' t one pot of clever for all kids' - LOVE that comment! grin

Nursery are very good at range of activities and do focus very much on what the child wants to learn. He really is showing interest in reading and trying to write too so that's why they've mentioned This. His conversation is excellent too which we've noticed for a while but put down to having older brothers, but in fact they think it is more than that. My sister says the same and as a SALT and qualified primary school teacher I suppose she knows what she's on about.

I will check out Starfall as well, thanks.

mercibucket Fri 28-Feb-14 06:36:23

i think mnetters are often clever and well educated, so often in the top 5 percent themselves, and so are their kids, so they dont get over excited by the idea of 'giftedness'. i would personally expect the nursery to mean top 5 percent, rather than 'genius' level. i just think too much emphasis on academic learning at nursery is a bit sad

I think that when the idea of G&T came into education it was defined as the top 5%. Your DS may well be in the top 5%. Most people think of gifted as being something much rarer than 1 in 20, which is probably why you are being told that he is within the "normal" range by other posters.

My DD is fairly capable, though isn't motivated to learn to read yet. She moved herself up a room at nursery earlier this year to be in the preschool room (luckily our nursery was flexible enough to let her do this). Her keyworker has said that they have good links with the primary school she will go to and, if they start to run out of ideas next year to keep her motivated and developing, they can ring the reception teachers and discuss what her next steps might be.

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