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2yr6m old can spell cat, dog, cow - anyone else had experience of early spelling?

(21 Posts)
lottytheladybird Mon 10-Nov-14 19:54:51

My DS2 is just 2yrs 6 mths old. He knows the alphabet and all the letter names. You can ask him something like "what letter is for whale?" and he will say "w". He absolutely loves letters. He's always reading out letters and asking what the word says. Just a few days ago, he learnt to spell cat. Now he can spell dog and cow as well.

What do you think? Have you any experience of this? I love the fact that my DS2 has a passion for words. However, I'm scared that he'll be bored when he goes to school and knows it all already.

Lovelydiscusfish Mon 10-Nov-14 21:09:24

My dd is the same age and similarly knows all the letter sounds, and can sound out some c-v-c words. She can seemingly read a few words through word recognition as well, not exactly sure how many as I'm not always certain if she's reading the word or getting it from the visual context, iyswim (for example, she will "read" a word on a poster in the village but may be using the clip art on the poster to "guess" what the event is, that sort of thing).
She was quite interested in letters and reading from a young age, and also they do work on it at nursery, I think (they have certainly commented on how she is doing in this area). We've found she particularly enjoys the "Jolly Phonics" songs (you can get them on YouTube.) Conversely, I think her counting and number skills are not all that good - I guess every child develops different skills at different rates.

odyssey2001 Mon 10-Nov-14 21:20:27

First off, bravo for your stealth boast. Secondly, I wouldn't worry about your child being bored when they get to school. School is so much more than knowing the alphabet and being able to spell a few words. Quite often, early bloomers will be caught up, and often overtaken, by others who have taken their time getting there. Try not to apply pressure and overinflate his ego as he will find it difficult when he mixes with people as smart or smarter than him. Just let him enjoy whatever he enjoys and buy lots of games etc to encourage him to continue to move forward.

Floggingmolly Mon 10-Nov-14 21:23:38

knows it all already... Are you serious??

holeinmyheart Mon 10-Nov-14 21:25:31

Great you may have genius on your hands.
Try him on ' maths is fun' ( a superb internet interactive Maths site) and see how he gets on. I had one like yours who is now a Dr. I didn't find that he got bored at school as he liked being top of everything. He also helped others in the class. He was tall and athletic and won everything on Sports day as well. In fact my kids swept the board. It got embarrassing.

It is not enough being clever anyway. To learn kids need to be emotionally on an even keel. When my little genius got to the 'A' level stage he discovered girls and partying. So even though he had sailed through his GCSE's (10 A Stars) without us ever seeing a book or any evidence of homework his 'A ' levels got severely neglected.
One of his less academically gifted brothers ( also now a Dr ) then outstripped his A level achievement, as he was a dogged worker. So did one of his hardworking sisters.

Everyone says how clever my children are, but it was just luck. The important thing is not to worry too much about them and try and enjoy the moment and not be too concerned about the future. If you provide a good enough steady and stimulating environment they will be fine.

I think it is important not to boast about them and their achievements too much, even though it is soooo tempting. Boasting bores the pants off everyone and makes you look like a prat. I never say what my DC do unless someone asks.
There is always someone who has cleverer children than you, out out there, anyway.
They are happy, which is the main thing.
My little grandson can also do what your 2 1/2 yr old is doing. He is roughly the same age and can also hold a tune really well.
lucky you, as it does help to be clever. Surely life is easier ! But being happy, I think overall beats being clever.

DeWee Mon 10-Nov-14 21:27:57

Dd1 had a passion for letters and words. She learnt all her letters by about 22 months by typing words on the computer. She was writing stories by 2.6yo and even won a story competition which she read about in a magazine.
She's now year 9. She's still a very good reader, and she's top set English. But she is clearly better at maths, and doesn't show that early flare for English. She isn't as natural a speller as my younger one who had no interest in writing words at that age.
She isn't generally bored at school, particularly in English where they can generally do the lesson all at their own level, one child might do a one word answer, another child might do a paragraph.

To me the early interest was just that: an early interest. Letters interested her, so she played the game she thought was fun: writing and spelling. Children do that, if they like it, they do it, if they're not interested then they're not bothered and won't learn it without effort from parents. For example dd1 wasn't interested in colours, so she didn't know them until she was about 3.6yo.
It's fun as a party trick, and if they enjoy it, then let them. But don't let yourself get carried away with ideas of genius.

lottytheladybird Mon 10-Nov-14 22:31:08

Thanks for your replies. It was really interesting reading them.

I just wanted to add that I genuinely wanted to hear about other people's experience of this. It wasn't a boast - I was simply talking about my developing child. Surely, it's not wrong to talk about your child if they're doing well, is it?

I also think that the most important thing is happiness and that lots of other things are important in a child's wellbeing, but I was just asking if anyone else had experience of their child learning to read at an early age.

Goldmandra Tue 11-Nov-14 00:00:27

I had this experience when DD1 brought me a piece of paper at 2y5mths with a picture of a dog and 'bog' written underneath. At that stage I had no idea she even knew what a letter was TBH.

She has always been ahead in academic skills and is planning to study medicine. However, she had a lot to learn in reception in terms of play, communication and social skills, to say nothing of being quite small for her age and not great at PE type activities.

She was diagnosed with AS at the age of 12 and, at that point, her early reading/writing was identified as hyperlexia which is apparently more common in children with AS.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Tue 11-Nov-14 00:15:30

Don't get too worried about AS though.

I also did this and do not have AS and indeed was a gifted child (not a boast just a fact)

catkind Tue 11-Nov-14 01:54:29

DD is 2.8 at the moment, and another child who's very keen on letters/sound/words/books. I'm also v interested to know more about the trajectories early reading can take.

In our case DD learned a lot of phonics in parallel with her brother last year when he was in Reception, e.g. if I was playing i-spy in the car with him she'd want to join in. So from about 2.3 she could break words down into sounds and sound out simple 3-4 letter words. She likes to get baby board books from the library, the sort that match pictures to words, and sound out the words. No interest in reading actual stories yet, she'd rather look at the pictures and make it up. She hasn't obviously got any closer to reading between 2.3 and 2.8. Interested to see if there's another developmental leap coming soon, or that was just her party trick and she'll learn to read books at a more average age.

So far very different from DS who couldn't read at all till he started school, but started reading books as soon as school gave them to him. Do you have a younger sibling thing going on too if this is DS2?

I don't think there's a thing wrong with talking about it. It seems to me that MN can be quite suspicious of any hint of being proud of early-achieving children. Of course not all early readers turn out to be gifted. On the other hand many gifted children started reading early. There's certainly a correlation there. Anyway who cares, reading is fun and gives you access to a whole new world of stories and information. What's not to celebrate about learning it at whatever age they do that?

I don't think your worries about school are totally unfounded either. Read through a few threads on the "G&T" forum here and you will find plenty of tales of schools failing to work with children at an appropriate level. It varies wildly by school, judging by friends' experiences. How a school deals with high- (or indeed just early-) achieving children is certainly something to think about when choosing a school if you have a child who looks like they might be academic. In the case of DS school, I have some reservations to say the least. Do you have older kid(s) at school?

catkind Tue 11-Nov-14 01:56:07

PS DD can't spell cow though, she'd spell it c-a-oo.

Lovelydiscusfish Tue 11-Nov-14 06:33:19

I don't think the school thing is an unreasonable worry - I know a couple of families where the kids could read before they started school who have told me the "teacher didn't like it". Of course not all teachers would feel this way, I'm sure most wouldn't, but clearly there is a risk that a few teachers would not be happy because of the differentiation this difference in attainment from others on entry would naturally entail.
Interestingly, only yesterday one of the nursery managers at dd's nursery advised dh that we should if possible send her to one of the academically selective local private schools rather than the (good) local state school, because of (what she perceives to be) early signs of academic ability. Her argument was that dd would benefit from the more individualised teaching smaller class sizes can bring (I'm sure all children benefit from smaller classes myself!) and the manager believes (I'm not saying I agree with this) that these private schools support the development of more able children better than our local state schools. Which I know is controversial, and I'm not saying it to start an argument, but simply to illustrate that it is not uncommon to worry how a child who might be more able will fair at school, just as one might worry about a child who is less able, say, or has any particular individual need.

MassaAttack Tue 11-Nov-14 08:51:30

lotty I don't want to rain on your parade; you are justifiably proud and that's a good thing. My son was an early reader. He's now 14, has never read a novel and is a decidedly average (not Mumsnet average, which is generally hugely inflated) attainer when it comes to English.

School did nothing wrong, I don't think I did anything wrong - he just learnt that trick early.

He's bright enough and I'm not worried. I can't see him at Oxbridge but then he's surprised me (in good and not so good ways) in the past, so who knows?

stinkingbishop Tue 11-Nov-14 08:55:21


lottytheladybird Tue 11-Nov-14 10:28:39

It has been lovely to hear about other early readers. smile

So pleased that you also don't think there's anything wrong with talking about it. I do indeed have an older child who's just started school, so we do do a fair amount of literacy work at home. I would definitely say that DS2's interest is more than just because of DS1. DS2 is always saying things like "what letter is for pig?" or reading letters out loud.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Tue 11-Nov-14 10:48:55

I would just enjoy your wee DD and her new found love of letters

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Tue 11-Nov-14 10:49:06

Don't stress about the future

Normanpriceisnotarolemodel Tue 11-Nov-14 14:27:41

My DS was reading well before starting reception at just 4. I was a bit concerned that he might be bored as he knew his letters and could read, but that hasn't been the case at all. He has really enjoyed the first half term as they make the letters such fun, such as writing the shapes of the letters on their friends backs and in shaving foam and flour! And although he could read well his writing wasn't great and that has really come on.

catkind Tue 11-Nov-14 16:07:03

I think in a way Yr 1 is more of a worry than reception. When they're little they're often quite happy to be the one that "knows it all already" and it's good for their confidence. Reception is mostly free play, so if they want to write/read they have plenty of time in the day to do that. In Yr 1 they're doing a lot of work with the whole class or groups together, and even in the top groups DS is finding the pace frustrating. Given he's not an early-starter for english or maths (though doing well now), that leaves me a bit worried about DD who looks like she might be. I know they don't do more to stretch the most able as DS has a friend who is extremely able and he's working in the same groups as DS.

MiaowTheCat Wed 12-Nov-14 18:49:43

My 2 1/2 year old (I long since gave up counting in months because my brain is tired!) is academically very very bright - particularly in numerical work but reading's starting to click together for her pretty rapidly now as well. I'll be amazed if she hasn't figured out decoding CVC words in the next month or so to be honest (teacher hat on there).

She's just bright and has picked a lot of it up from the telly to be honest (I probably do more in terms of overtly counting items out and things for her than a lot of parents as I used to teach reception but I've definitely not put tonnes of effort into it) - it's really no biggie - preschool sussed her out within about a week and have obviously started gently challenging her in other areas she's not as good as from what I've seen her coming home talking about and doing, and school will just pick up and run with wherever she's at when she gets there as well... she's still a kid - she's still got the social skills and boundaries to learn to work within, and there's still a hell of a lot of benefit and fun she can learn from playing with the playdough and climbing up in the climbing frame and whatever else. I'll only be worried if she does become bored and it starts impacting upon her behaviour (it did for me when I was at school) - but these days schools can't get away with chucking a G+T kid a copy of the next maths textbook up in the scheme and telling them to rock up at the teacher's desk when they've done the next page in it like they did with me when I was at school!

Some kids like dinosaurs, or the details of every obscure character in Thomas the Tank Engine or whatever else... mine just likes numbers and letters (takes fucking ages to get any shopping done as she's reading all the bloody numbers on the price labels bless her)!

I don't tend to talk about it much, but DD1 is a bloody gobshite and people who know her age (she could physically pass for a 4/5 year old quite easily as she's tall and verbally articulate) do tend to look at me a bit open mouthed with a "she can't possibly have just..." type expression quite a lot. It's just how she is.

Her sister on the other hand seems more dedicated to the cause of being the first 1 1/2 year old to try to climb Everest... or the book case in the living room... or dance on the dining table... or see how many grey hairs she can cause me in her relentless pursuit of attempting to find new ways to try to injure herself!

catkind Wed 12-Nov-14 19:11:55

but these days schools can't get away with chucking a G+T kid a copy of the next maths textbook up in the scheme and telling them to rock up at the teacher's desk when they've done the next page in it like they did with me when I was at school!
Me too. Is it such a bad approach for gifted kids?

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