Advice about 4 year old please

(18 Posts)
PinotAndPlaydough Sun 07-Aug-16 15:14:33

My daughter is 4 (she will be 5 in October) and has always been early with her milestones e.g. Walked at 10 months, started talking early.
Her preschool mentioned a few times that she was ahead of her peers and today my mum has said that I'm not doing enough to enocorage/stretch her. The problem is I don't really know how to and I don't want to put her off learning. So far I've just gone with her interests, she likes reading and writing is able to read level 3/4 biff and chip books and will write letters to people and small stories but I don't make her do this every evening as my mum thinks I should.

She can count and recognise number to 100 and can do addition and subtraction using the hundreds, tens and units method (don't even know if this is how it's taught any more she just kept asking how to add big numbers!), she loves 3D shapes at the moment and can name even the most obscure ones but that interest only developed when her older cousin told her something was a cube not a square.
Her memory is very good so she can memorise things like planets

I want to help her be the best she can but I also feel that she's only 4 and should just be learning and playing for fun. So my question is what did you do with your children at this age, she enjoys maths so should I be introducing times tables etc or just leave it and focus on what she enjoys?
My mum and husband think I should be introducing her to more things and doing worksheets but I don't know if it's for the best.
Please help this clueless mum smile

FenellaMaxwell Sun 07-Aug-16 15:20:31

Please don't make her do things every night. Allow her to be curious, make sure she has lots of different learning materials available and encourage her, but don't push too hard as you really don't want to put her off learning.

noblegiraffe Sun 07-Aug-16 15:28:16

She is starting school in September? She may well be exhausted by that and not have the energy to do anything in the evenings.

I'd keep reading with her, a wide range of fiction and non-fiction and see how school goes. Make sure she can do all the practical stuff.

VashtaNerada Sun 07-Aug-16 15:29:11

I wouldn't worry too much about the academic stuff, it'll be ages before school catches up and you don't want her feeling completely out of the loop. I'd think about stretching her in other ways - catching a ball, visiting museums etc. As a bright child there's loads she can learn beyond reading, writing and maths.

PinotAndPlaydough Sun 07-Aug-16 16:01:20

Thank you, that was my thought too that pushing her would but her off. She's still so little that I feel she should just be having fun but comments from others made me question myself. We do lots of trips
Lout and we have hundreds of obooks and games which she loves. I thought it was enough. When you say learning materials what things do you mean? Is it things like games pop to the shops, snakes and ladders?

JustRichmal Sun 07-Aug-16 21:23:56

For children who like doing maths it s fun to learn.
Adding is done by partitioning; splitting numbers into hundreds, tens and units then adding each together separately before putting them together again.
Number bonds to 10 is good for them to learn.
Also senteacher has printable nets. If you print them on thin cardboard you can cut them out and make the 3d shapes.
Playing "what shape am I" helps with car journeys. One person thinks of a shape and the others have to ask yes/no questions until they guess.
Dd use to like the Letts Mythical Maths, but I don't know if they still do them.
As well there is Khan Academy.
I used to keep learning fun, used bright coloured pens if I was explaining something and as many pictures and diagrams as I could rather than just sums and numbers.
Dd was the not put off by learning at home, but rather the opposite and now loves learning, especially maths and science. The only downside is they can get very advanced very quickly learning 121 and schools will not then teach to the level they are at if it is above the rest of the class.

PinotAndPlaydough Sun 07-Aug-16 22:04:25

Thank you JustRichmal she doesn enjoy maths and does ask to do adding up on paper. I'll have a look at some of the things you suggested.

I'm shocked that the school won't teach them to the level they are at, does that mean she will have to reread book levels she know for example? I kind of presumed that being a bit ahead would be treated in a similar manner to children who have sen in that the work would be tailored to meet their needs. It's a bit of a worry as she tends to play up at home if she's bored.

LtGreggs Sun 07-Aug-16 22:13:23

I think you'll find that school will start her at the same level then, as they get to know her, will accelerate her to the 'right' level - but they will probably not want to skip stuff and will go through the whole curriculum path with her, but faster. This to make sure there are no gaps in the grounding - eg to make sure she's solid on place value understanding (not just adding up columns as as party trick), or to make sure that her understanding of say weights & measures is brought up to the same level as her number work.

I'd keep an eye to make sure school does that kind of thing - but also remember the first experiences at school are about much more than just academic progress.

(This advice not as a professional, just personal experience)

LtGreggs Sun 07-Aug-16 22:16:03

And I absolutely agree with pp about broad learning - definitely don't feel you need to keep fast tracking the three r's. Think 'topic' work, practical stuff etc.

VashtaNerada Mon 08-Aug-16 06:39:34

With mine I found they did have to go over old ground, learning phonics from scratch and starting on books without words hmm. But actually I was more bothered than they were! DD certainly enjoyed the phonics sessions at school where they learnt an action to go with each sound, even though she was a very fluent reader by then. It does eventually sort itself out - in year 2 particularly there seems to be enough of a stretch for her as most activities are streamed in some way.

PrincessHairyMclary Mon 08-Aug-16 06:53:14

I would leave of any paper/workbook stuff and buy or make some educational toys and extend learning through those. Practical things are far more important right now. Not least because the way we were taught maths and the way DC are taught maths are very very different.

Maths things can be measuring the heights of things in cm (extend on to mm and m) get a couple of different length rulers and tape measures, volume get some plastic measuring cylinders for liquids or cups for dry things. Let her work out how things work, Lego for building and poly drones for nets and 3D shapes are brilliant.

You can get snap circuits which are brilliant for Science, electricity, you can make PH indicator from red cabbage and see it change color when you add different household liquids. Density can be I vestigated by how things float or sink, life cycles by growing a plant etc. friction and forces can be taught rolling a toy car down a sloped surface and changing the surface.

If you do these sorts of things you can model the correct language and extend your DC as far as she understands. She will have 1:1 time with you and will learn more than you realize just by playing.

ChishandFips33 Mon 08-Aug-16 06:53:30

I'd look at it as you haven't 'pushed' her so far and she's learned all of this so just go at her pace and use her play situations/daily life experiences to introduce more variety/context in how she can use her existing ability.

timelytess Mon 08-Aug-16 06:59:59

So far I've just gone with her interests
Perfect. Follow her lead.

Give her access to new learning opportunities and experiences. This could be a session at a new playground, or making cakes with you, or visiting an art gallery - where she'll probably want to run about and shout so go at a quiet time - or going to the seaside. Going somewhere different to buy bread - or anything you can see made. Picking fruit. Look for things that are practical, give her something to do, and which explain something about the world without her needing to be told - things she can observe and talk about with you.

You are such a lucky person!

dogdrifts Mon 08-Aug-16 07:07:45

At some point during the first term they will do a complete assessment and work out where she is (they do usually focus on reading). If it is a through primary and not an infant school they will be able to accommodate her reading level quite easily - there will be a huge variation in reading ability in the class, from quite competent chapter book readers through to no letter or sound recognition at all. Most yr r teachers will do their own assessments rather than go by what parents say though - so you might have to be a little patient for it to be her turn for assessment. They are pretty good at re-assessing if it is obviously wrong. Once she is through the schemes she can just borrow reading material from other year groups. It's pretty common.
Math is another area that once they have a good grasp of where she is, they will move her around accordingly. I have one freaky maths dude that worked out number bonds and multiplication at 3, so once they got past the play based bits (volume, size, comparisons etc) in yr r they just bumped him into other yr groups for a bit.
Yr r is mostly fun and play based learning to give good basis in concepts, so it is reasonably easy for kids to do what they want. (As in any school there is always a massive amount of what looks like 'filler' but that can be attributed to fine and gross motor skills, as well as academic/ social skills.
Don't push her though - bright kids will continue learning as you answer their questions. They just suck it all up like sponges. Teaching is not necessary. Once she is reading competently you can just make sure she has access to a mountain of books and let her get on with it...

irvineoneohone Mon 08-Aug-16 09:35:49

I doubt that she will be exhausted after school. My ds certainly wasn't.
He loved reading, so read about 3 books a day, did some work books as well.
When my ds was 4, I didn't know MN, so we just went along with his interest. Books, games, toys etc, got anything which interest him.
For times table, he loved posters, so we hanged them up on the wall.
He learned it by just looking at it. He played a lot with abacus, which made him secure with place value. He loved fraction toys as well.
By the time he started school, he new all basic skills.

Since I found MN, I looked into lots of useful websites and found great ones. Now he can go forward all by himself without my/school input.

JustRichmal Mon 08-Aug-16 11:52:35

I think from reading these threads, it depends on the school as to what sort of teaching they get if they are ahead in maths. I often wonder if girls are treated differently because it always seems to be boys who are put up into the next year group. I also think girls like the interaction of being taught.

The reason they do not differentiate within a class is because teachers are not super human and cannot be teaching the class one thing while simultaneously teaching one child something else. There is no financial provision for teaching those of advanced ability like there is for SEN.

IME the primary school dealt with dd being advanced by trying to convince us she was not, while at the same time doing all they could to avoid testing her to a higher level. It was like being in the Monty Python cheese shop game. I would not have believed it until it happened.

However, you may find a better experience, so I would cross that bridge when you come to it.

irvineoneohone Mon 08-Aug-16 12:40:11

I lost faith in school as soon as my ds started school.
They keep giving him the target that he can already do easily every year.
That doesn't mean the teachers are not trying, but able children are more likely to put to coast while less able get lots of help at my ds's school.

But some posters here says their dc's school is good, so it maybe ok for your dc.

booellesmum Sat 10-Sep-16 22:42:43

Learning doesn't have to be formal. At that age read, read, read and lots of conversation.
We used to play games like one person says a word and then take it in turns to say synonyms. ie, big, huge, gigantic.
Also shared story telling. One person starts a story, then the next person takes over and keep swapping.
Things like this are fun and really improve vocabulary.

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