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Academically forward toddler :/ advice needed

(75 Posts)
storm4mozza Sat 07-Jun-14 08:01:04

Hi Guys.

Im new to this forum , have recently been on netmums and babyandbump though found myself needing extra support without judgment or being seen as 'showing off' which i find rather pathetic, since i am only speaking the truth.

I have two toddlers. a 3 year old boy and 1 and a half year old girl, both are academically forward, main issue right now is the 3 year old. He is counting to 380, writing his name and other names, he knows the whole alphabet and much more, the issue is i am finding it difficult to occupy him, the doctor and health visitor advised i try get a tuition for one to one support to occupy him, but i cannot afford it (they said no groups are available for his age group) and i cannot afford nursery and his space does not become available until September.

I go out at least 4/7 times a week, its when we are home im struggling i cannot seem to occupy them we do painting, cooking, baking, tone of toys, helping with housework, colouring and also work books (from home bargains) i need help when im in the house i have support off husband but kids get so bored i dont know what to do =(

The neighbour below us works nights and i feel we have to be quiet,, i know people are going to tell me to ignore him but he is a good man and it is easy to say ignore him but hard to actually do it since we are living in the situation sad I just want to cry right now plans got cancelled and i have no money there is a thunderstorm outside and i have no idea what to do

beccajoh Sat 07-Jun-14 08:06:04

Where in the country do you live? I think this weather is meant to clear off around lunchtime (I'm in south east). Do you have rain suits for them both? I would get them dressed up and go out any way. The thunderstorm won't last forever.

Buy your night a set of ear plugs grin

beccajoh Sat 07-Jun-14 08:06:31

Night = neighbour!

snoggle Sat 07-Jun-14 08:08:41

Well he sounds bright and able but from what you describe here not exactly exceptional? Most 3 yr olds can write their name and know the alphabet?

In terms of occupying him, maybe you could do some of the the things he might do in preschool? Get some books / print out stuff in phonics from the internet. Pick a topic (my body, dinosaurs, under the sea, space) and do reading, crafts and activities around that theme. The stuff you are already doing sounds good, when you say he's bored it might be that he has a short attention span. Which is quite normal at 3.

littlesupersparks Sat 07-Jun-14 08:09:04

My son was not that advanced but above average in those kinds of areas. I therefore knew he needed no help/pushing in that area so we concentrated on physical play stuff, the park, the woods, toddler groups. He needed support socially, he was quite a sensitive child, so toddler groups of his age not ability were best anyway.

Have you spoken to your children's centre? I've just volunteered to do a specific programme, but as a secondary school teacher I am also going to offer my support volunteering to help any mums wanting to take gcses etc. But if I was a primary school teacher I would offer to meet you for a few play dates!

To be honest in wouldn't push it at all though if it was me, I'd give him access to workbooks and otherwise live life as normal. We are usually out 2-3 times a day - only home for 2 hours in the afternoon. We often do a supermarket run 8-9 ish then groups are usually 9-10 until 11. Home for youngest one's nap and park 3-5 ish. Home for tea, bed.

Have you explored things like your local museum? Ours is fab!

PicardyThird Sat 07-Jun-14 08:10:15

I really feel for you - it's hard in a flat with no money (done flat living all my life myself but we have been fortunate in our neighbours - the last lot of downstairs ones were students and the current lot is another family with small dc and we have always had very happy mutual certain-level-of-noise-toleration agreements).

But - and I mean this in the nicest possible way - your problems stem from the fact that it just is hard to occupy toddlers rather than from unusual intellectual advancement, I think. Your boy certainly sounds bright but I don't think you will gain anything from feeling guilty that you can't provide him with one-to-one tuition (at 3? Odd suggestion from your GP/HV) or special kinds of enrichment.

You sound like a lovely engaged mum who gives your children lots of attention and experiences. Small judicious doses of appropriate TV now and again will do no harm to the 3yo and give you a break. Will he listen to audio CDs, music? Really simple fun science experiments (book from the library or instructions online)? And I would try and get out in every weather (ok, thunder and lightning not ideal!) every day. I established this when my two were small and they (and I tbh) really needed it. What kind of place do you live in? Could you get on the bus and just have a 'mystery tour' ride through the city/town, spotting things outside?

Hang in there. Sept is not that far away, and it sounds like nursery will be good for him.

littlesupersparks Sat 07-Jun-14 08:10:26

And yes to the rain suits! Wellies, waterproof trousers and park!

bronya Sat 07-Jun-14 08:11:15

What about some apps on your phone or tablet if you have one? Or websites if you have a PC? Phonics ones for your older child would be a good start - many children learn to read at 3, and it may be that he is simply ready. If you use an app/website, you'll be following the same progression they would in nursery. There's advice on this also here: and on many other websites.

You could also cut up magazines and do collages?

beccajoh Sat 07-Jun-14 08:11:32

Have you been to your local children's centre? I use ours loads and it's fab. Free activities and most of the other parents are lovely.

PicardyThird Sat 07-Jun-14 08:14:34

Oh dear - I have done flat living all my life with dc, not all my life to date! What does that say about how I view myself as a mum, I wonder hmm grin

EnglishRose1320 Sat 07-Jun-14 08:15:00

Seeing as he is bright for his age would he respond to you setting him challenges to do today, like an indoor alphabet- he has to find something beginning with each letter of the alphabet in your home, shouldn't be too noisy or asking him to teach his sister, use bricks or what have you and get him to help her with counting and the like- My Ds 1 loves to help Ds2 in this way. Um other things we do on a rainy day (we have neighbours who hate noise) making dens- even my bright Ds1 loves den building, starting a finding out project- solar systems, how plants grow etc- decide a question he wants to know and then hit the library/computer etc- this normally ends in a big project where we grow things/make things etc.

dashoflime Sat 07-Jun-14 08:18:37

Only on Mumsnet do most 3 year olds know the alphabet and write their names!
OP: on netmums you may have got shouted down for showing off. Here, you will get comments like that. Ignore, ignore, ignore.
What does your D's like doing? Perhaps we can suggest other things he might like?
E.g: does he like to be active or will he sit and do a jigsaw?
What are his interests? Shoggle raises a good point about his attention span- how long will he stick with one thing?

Smartiepants79 Sat 07-Jun-14 08:19:13

If left to himself what would your son like to be doing? Does the academic stuff interest him?
Does his know his phonic sounds, look at words and pictures or alphablocks.
He can count, but does he understand what the numbers mean? Basic addition/subtraction?
Learning about stuff he likes- animals/cars/dinosaurs? Small projects, go to library. Cutting and sticking, writing labels for pictures, drawing and model making.
I don't think that tuition at this age is appropriate unless your DS really wants it himself.
What are the things he's not so good at? Work on those?
Do you know the times in the day when your neighbour actually sleeps? It won't be ALL day.
Also, do they have down time? Stories or a bit of TV. That's important in my experience. Too muc stimulation can be counterproductive.

DoItTooJulia Sat 07-Jun-14 08:21:16

Try sparkle box an online resource bank for small children. Print the worksheets off and off you go!

What about getting him to weigh out some flour and make dough to play with? Science lesson!

TV programmes like 'come outside' are educational and fun.

Don't forget some quiet time too, lots of books and snuggles.

LairyPoppins Sat 07-Jun-14 08:21:42

Reading eggs and maths seeds ( online) really entertained my boys at the same age.

LittleLionMansMummy Sat 07-Jun-14 08:23:45

He sounds fairly exceptional to me snoggle. My ds can't write his name and doesn't know the alphabet and he's very bright, wide vocabulary etc. And I understand from things I've read that occupying dc who are gifted in some way is exceptionally hard work - more so than most dc because you have to work much harder to keep them occupied.

Op, is he advanced in every way or are there certain areas you can focus on? Lots of games involving letters and numbers? You need to ensure they're stretching enough for him, so maybe get him spelling out lots of words in a fun way (in the sand maybe?) or doing some number memory games with him. There's quite a few ideas on the internet if you google it. And as others have said, loads of outdoor activities.

storm4mozza Sat 07-Jun-14 08:29:28

England :/ the weather is one extreme to another, thankyou for the advice they do have rainsuits

Helpys Sat 07-Jun-14 08:30:18

Having lived in flats with normal children, I agree it's the flat living you're finding challenging! However advanced he is academically, I find it's the physical routine at that age that's important.
He certainly doesn't need 1:1 tuition, but at least daily outings, mine are teenagers now and I can count on the fingers of one hand the days we didn't go out- quarantine with CP , broken leg scenarios.

marmitelover Sat 07-Jun-14 08:30:28

Sounds to me like he is really ready for nursery and although obviously bright, I don't think he sounds like he is really off-the-scale and as someone said - one-to-one tuition at that age is a very odd suggestion.

Libraries are great sources of free entertainment. Adventures in the park (look for bugs, go on a Gruffalo hunt) and then help him do a scrap book/diary are good activities. Cooking also good activity. But also, don't forget it is also important for him to develop self-play and have a bit of downtime from activities. Attention span is always a bit of an issue at 3 I think!

Helpys Sat 07-Jun-14 08:32:24

Really, forget about the worksheets. He needs to be doing things.

storm4mozza Sat 07-Jun-14 08:34:19

Hi smartie pants.
He likes playing with cars, (we have him a car mat his grandad brought) and has lots of cars but it doesn't seem to occupy him long, he also likes playing on the wii fit games but wants us to play on it with him all the time which isnt always possible because of the 1 year old also needing attention. Thankyou so much for your reply, my neighbour doesn't have a set time to sleep so its hard he is again as i said a nice man but it gets frustrating since we dont even have a garden

storm4mozza Sat 07-Jun-14 08:37:03

Thankyou so much Helpys it is nice to know someone who has been in the same situation as i am right now. It is causing myself and husband to argue because we are not on the same 'level' on certain things, I will definatley try go out at least a little once a day smile x

LEMmingaround Sat 07-Jun-14 08:38:37

See heres a thing - most children need occupying, regardless of academic ability. He sounds like a normal, albeit bright, little boy to me. Are you sure your gp suggested a tutor? Of what use would that be? He needs to be building sand castles and charging around being a dragon slayer not doing workbooks!! Seriously - let him be a little boy it sounds like he has lots of energy to burn off. There's plenty of time for quantum physics when hes six. It really sounds like he is getting too much input and his ability to entertain himself is faltering.

BravePotato Sat 07-Jun-14 08:43:26

The secret with kids is: you don't need to entertain them non stop.

Go out for a walk, even if wet, and let them play how they like, then clear up.

I never entertained my kids that much, but did get friends over or take them outside.

Kids are great at making their own entertainment. At that age, a couple of empty boxes will do the job.

Or help them make a big box into a rocket/house/ garage fir cars.

The academically advanced bit is great, nurture it

BravePotato Sat 07-Jun-14 08:43:56

Or empty cardboard tubes are great too

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