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Early reader? Gifted child or maybe not!

(30 Posts)
alexsmummy Tue 31-Mar-09 18:42:39

Can I preface this by saying please don't shoot me down in flames - I'm not a competative mum and have no illusions about my toddler!

However my 2.10 ds can identify all letters of alphabet, upper and lower case, can count to 17 and reads out letters and numbers whereever he sees them, eg read me the expiry date on his yoghurt today " 3, 0, A, P, R" and "H O V I S" on the loaf of bread etc. He's been talking for a long time (can't remember exactly - maybe a year now) and has got a pretty good vocabulary.

I've looked on the development calendar and there's no mention of knowing alphabet til 5! Is this really unusual? My friend thinks he's very advanced but I've nothing to compare it to. She says I should be teaching him how to read and have his IQ tested but I'm not sure whether this is good advice or not - and if I did what would be the benefit of doing it anyway?

Should I really be coaching him or doing anything special or is this in fact entirely normal for a child of his age? Any advice would be appreciated!

Nabster Tue 31-Mar-09 18:44:41

My DD started reading reception key words at 2 1/2. Knew all reception and year one words by the end of reception and was put in G&T for reading. She is 5.8 now and can read well ahead of her age. She loves books, just like I did.

I never tried to teach her anything. I bought her all the books she wanted and she could get the flash cards, etc out whenever she wanted.

FannyJoBanana Tue 31-Mar-09 18:44:47

If the child is a genius he'll have the rest of his life for acedemia. By all means encourage what he's interested in, but use the time before he goes to school to just play!

SadieSunshine Tue 31-Mar-09 18:48:34

I saw a child recently being able to read numbers at just 2.5 yo. I was very shock. Her dad home educates her and her older sibling.

I'm still completely amazed.

Emmanj Tue 31-Mar-09 18:50:09

I am an experienced recpetion teacher, and used to find those children who knew everything before we learnt it in class were really bored, and found it hard to interact with their peers as they were always being dragged out of class for some sort of booster session/G ant T group etc (yes! even in reception), when all they should have been doing, and wanted to do, is learn through play with their peers. i echo the above post - have fun while you can!

DanJARMouse Tue 31-Mar-09 18:52:40

My DD1 is very like Nabs.

She is in Reception (4.7yrs) and is reading KS1 (yr1 and 2) books, can spell a lot of key words if you ask her (without writing them down) and is starting to write in sentances.

We are just going with the flow really. I was well ahead of my peers when it came to reading, so DD1 is obviously taking after me.

DD1 starts school full time after Easter, and her teachers have already said they will be putting her in top set.

I think you should just let your DS guide you, and talk of IQ tests at 2yrs old is barking!!!

alexsmummy Tue 31-Mar-09 18:56:27

Sorry to be thick - G&T means only one thing to me and it's not educational - can you explain for me please!

roomforthree Tue 31-Mar-09 18:58:23

My ds was able to recognise all the letters before he was 2. However, he didn't start reading until he was 5 i.e. sounding out words rather than just naming letters. We let him set the pace.

mrsgboring Tue 31-Mar-09 19:00:26

I don't think it's that unusual for a child of this age to be able to read letters and numbers. It doesn't necessarily mean they are able to make the leap from that to reading properly (recognising brand names such as Hovis is not the same as reading). I really think you should let this develop in its own way. Which, IME, is rather slower from now on than you might expect. (DS could read letters and numbers from a very early age, and could also do some clever word recognition and blend first letter to the rest of the sound. I have had my moments of frustration that DS is so close to being able to read, but just won't do the next step because he's so close! In reality, he's probably not developmentally ready)

Just chill. He sounds like he's not going to struggle at school, and at this stage you really don't need to do anything else.

scrooged Tue 31-Mar-09 19:01:03

Ds was given a bus with the alphabet on the side with numbers and letters on top for his first birthday (was a birthday present from one of my friends), two weeks later (honestly) he knew them all by sight and out of sequence. He's always been very quick to pick things up and is very advanced. Just take it easy, don't worry, your child will have their own pace just go with that. Leave plenty of time for play, it is important.

duchesse Tue 31-Mar-09 19:06:30

It is unusual but I could read the Times as a party trick by the age of 3. I knew my alphabet and could read basic words by the age of 2. Was reading chapter books by 4. And I am not gifted. It's a skill that he has acquired early- he obviously has an ease with reading, which will be very helpful to him in school, but be very wary of labelling him gifted as all the other children will eventually learn how to read too. Trust me, I've been there.

LynetteScavo Tue 31-Mar-09 19:14:31

I wish I'd been on Mumsnet when DS1 was 2.10 - I could have amazed you all with reading and counting ability! grin

He's now 10, and quite bright (in the top few in his class) but certainly not genius.

There seems to be some thinking that you only coach and push bright children. I don't get that- but then I haven't bothereed to push any of mine.

Oh and chuck out the develpmental calender - it tells you what is average - and none of my children have ever been average. As they say, not all daffodils flower on the same day.

Just enjoy playing number and letter games with him smile

scrooged Tue 31-Mar-09 19:15:41

I see giftedness as a child being able to understand things that are above their chronological age and being able to apply them to everyday situations. Ds read a horrible science book about Newton when he was 5, as he walked down the road he watched the cars moving and related this to Newton's laws that he had read in the book. This isn't the same as reading and regurgitating, to understand and apply this makes him unique.

slowreadingprogress Tue 31-Mar-09 19:28:00

well, maybe not unique, scrooged smile

but yes, I agree that understanding is a different thing altogether to being able to recite numbers!

scrooged Tue 31-Mar-09 19:28:49

Unique/odd, all the same to me grin

scrooged Tue 31-Mar-09 19:30:52

That was a joke by the way

racmac Tue 31-Mar-09 19:31:58

I could read at 3 and started school reading chapter books - i still love reading now but i certainly wasnt a child genius.

I suppose im quite quick at picking things up but i would relax and continue to foster the love of reading and dont push it.

piscesmoon Tue 31-Mar-09 19:40:43

I should just foster the love of reading but not push in any way. Make it fun. It is a great advantage to be able to read before he goes to school. It doesn't mean that he is a child genius-my DH could read at 3yrs and I think I was about 6 yrs before I was fluent-however there is no way you can tell now!

Horton Tue 31-Mar-09 19:41:08

My daughter's 2.6 and does just the same with letters (is always especially pleased to see the first letter of her name in any word). I could read at 3, too. Neither of us is gifted, though I think I'm fairly bright and she is too, but I do have a great love of books and reading which DD seems to be inheriting. I would say, don't test his IQ (what a horrible thing to have to live up to) and don't push him, but encourage his desire to learn. I think that will pay more dividends in the end.

And at this age, it seems to me that some children forge ahead v quickly and slow down later in some areas, just as some are slightly behind their peers but catch up easily later. Your child may well be bright but expecting too much of him could be much more damaging than just letting him carry on at his own pace. Let him decide about how far and how fast he wants to take this.

choufleur Tue 31-Mar-09 19:46:00

just go with the flow. DS (2.11) knows his alphabet (sings it ALL the time), recognises letters and know the sounds of some letters as well. He also recognises some word, but only because we've read the same books so many times that he know what 'Munch', 'Ow' 'woof', 'moo' and 'quack' are. He enjoys reading so i encourage it but i wouldn't coach him (i don't want it to become a chore for him).

Emmanj Tue 31-Mar-09 20:03:28

alexsmummy - G&T - Gifted and Talented!

troutpout Tue 31-Mar-09 20:14:47

If he wants to do it...he will do it when he's ready...just carry on enjoying books with him. Both of mine taught themselves to read early.Doesn't mean much tbh...they all get there in the end. ds is bright but not a genius. dd is 6 and reading chapter books...but <<shrugs>> i'm sure by the time she is 10 it will all even out.
So dont need to do anything...apart from enjoy him smile
The only thing i would be coaching him with at some point before school is the practical stuff (lunch, getting dressed by himself and being able to put on his own coat) Ds could tell you all about particles and forces and read wonderfully but was not very good at this sort of stuff at all and suffered for it.

Horton Tue 31-Mar-09 20:33:34

That's what I worry about with DD, trout. I keep seeing all these developmental things about two and a half year olds being able to put on an item of clothing etc. Ha! Fat chance in this house. She looks at me like I'm a loon if I suggest she might want to try and put a shoe or vest on herself. 'No, you do it, mummy, I'm a baby'.

tiggerlovestobounce Tue 31-Mar-09 20:44:17

My DD (2.2) can do this. There is another little boy in her nursery room who can do letters and numbers too. I dont think it means anything much, or that coaching is needed. I would just help them to do things they enjoy, but at this age I wouldnt be attempting to do anything more than that.
There was a thread on this topic quite recently, if you can find it there were quite a few 2 year olds able to do this.

madwomanintheattic Tue 31-Mar-09 20:53:40

dh taught dd1 the alphabet and numbers to 10 at 18 mos when i went away for a girlie weekend. when i got back they performed their party trick lol. scrambled wooden letters all over the floor and he called out a random letter and she found it. she could say most of them lol. it was a bit freaky to be honest and he's been banned from teaching the others. i thought it might be the colours and stuff so wrote some down and she did know them. dh's ban hasn't worked. they all taught themselves to read very early. saved the teachers a job though. dd1 is 9 now and though has sailed all through the top groups at all the schools i suspect she isn't actually any brighter than most. all 3 have been labelled g&t (dd2 is yr r and read the lion the witch and the wardrobe last year lol - i thought grandma was joking when she told me as i had literally no idea she could read - i thought she had memorised stories), but a lot of it is to do with nurture and opportunity rather than nature i suspect.

ds1 still wets himself at 7. dd2 has cerebral palsy and statement of sen (despite being able to read way before she started lol). perfect they are not.

clever boy though. nice party trick wink but quite normal in this house lol. nursery wanted to get ds1 assessed, but the lea refused as they said there was no provision for g&t before school - i didn't know anything about it until the nursery told me they had tried and failed. it hasn't done him any harm - he's in his KS1 sats year and they are toying with the idea of getting external assessment for 4, but i have no idea whether they'll bother or not.

it all depends on what you want really - i wouldn't bother. mine have trundled along picking stuff up on the way with no special treatment. as long as there are plenty of books to look at and activities to explore, he'll do just fine. x

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