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3 yo DD: 'Advanced' at home, shy at preschool. Am I worrying unnecessarily here?

(23 Posts)
HiggsBoson Tue 16-Apr-13 22:25:19

Hello smile

So...3.2 yo DD isn't 'gifted' by any means, but she can write 30 or so words, more if I spell them phonetically to her; knows all the letter names and sounds; can count to 100 and beyond and do simple mathematics (1+3=4 etc.); write numbers to 10; do dot to dots to 30/40/50; accurately draw people, animals, trees and suchlike; and is starting to read. She is also comfortable with using a computer/keyboard/mouse.

Meh. I know this doesn't make her extraordinary BUT at preschool she is rather shy and doesn't do ANY of these things whilst there. At my last parent meeting she was graded at 24-36 months for writing shock

I'm worried she's going to get swallowed up in the system if she isn't showing her potential sad

I do realise that she isn't there to be 'educated' as such and that the emphasis will be on confidence and independence outside the home, but still, I'm quite worried.

Anyone else have experience of this? Am I being daft?

As I said I know she isn't gifted, but I do worry that she's going to pass under the radar iyswim.

Yellowtip Tue 16-Apr-13 22:27:38

Yes you're being very daft. Relax. I mean that nicely, really I do.

TreeLuLa Tue 16-Apr-13 22:29:28

Erm - I think maybe she is a bit gifted.

We're always being told our DTs (3.6) are advanced and they can barely write their names. They do know all the letter sounds and can read about 20 words each (mainly short ones!). They can count to 30ish. Have a very wide vocabulary.

Do you feel that the preschool staff really 'know' her?

Or do you feel that you are 'pushing' her a bit at home?

In summary, I shouldn't worry - but may be worth showing the preschool what she can do next time you get the chance so they can encourage her to do the same there.

HiggsBoson Tue 16-Apr-13 22:32:58

The parent meeting was a bit of a shock tbh - 2-3 years writing level fgs hmm

I took some examples of her writing etc. in this week so they can maybe give her a nudge, but I do realise I'm probably being a trifle silly. I'm a natural worrier and parenthood has sent me into overdrive grin

Backinthebox Tue 16-Apr-13 22:33:39

Pre-school aren't there to educate her, as you say they are there to develop her confidence and independence, so that when her education begins at school she will be able to make the most of it then. I wouldn't be worrying about her being neglected intellectually now.

HiggsBoson Tue 16-Apr-13 22:34:56

So I need to chill then.

...but why are they grading her in that case?

Yellowtip Tue 16-Apr-13 22:35:43

I don't think I'd set too much store on the number of words or numbers she can master at the moment. You'll risk labelling her and that may well not lead to happiness. It's only pre-school, I'd let things be.

Yellowtip Tue 16-Apr-13 22:37:19

If you're a worrier then parenthood was a bad call. But good luck smile

HiggsBoson Tue 16-Apr-13 22:38:05

Haha grin

simpson Tue 16-Apr-13 22:41:37

She is very young still and needs to grow in confidence.

She is confident in showing her abilities at home because she feels secure (not that she feels insecure at nursery but you are her primary carer iyswim).

I have been there, DD started the nursery attached to the school at 3 already reading but would not read with her teacher for a good few months (so they did not believe me) and once she felt more comfortable she did it in her own time.

Yellowtip Tue 16-Apr-13 22:42:27

Higgs I've got loads of kids and the ones who were most feted at pre-school are not necessarily the ones who've 'achieved' most. Honestly, she's a long way to go; you too. And academic achievement isn't a sure route to happiness anyhow, so what is it exactly you want?

HiggsBoson Tue 16-Apr-13 22:43:05

Thanks Simpson smile

HiggsBoson Tue 16-Apr-13 22:45:46

You do have a point there Yellowtip. I need to relax.

simpson Tue 16-Apr-13 22:50:29

DD is now in reception and for the most part loving it (except for "sound time" but that is a whole different story).

I would keep encouraging her at home and building her confidence ie "Wow daddy/granny/grandad will love to see this" and gradually get her to do it with people she knows and feels comfortable with but at the same time, not push her and go with the flow and most importantly, enjoy!!! It's lovely when they learn new things smile

ubik Tue 16-Apr-13 23:00:45

Just relax and let her progress at her own pace. Her intelligence isn't just going to disappear because the nursery don't know about her writing words etc.

She sounds lovely, just take it gently, she needs time to build confidence, have fun with the other children, negotiate with others and make friends. These are hard lessons so let her foxes on those for a bit. Reading and writing will happen soon enough.

Beamur Tue 16-Apr-13 23:08:11

Sounds like she is off to a flying start at home. If anything I'd be more worried that she'll be bored at school - which can sometimes come out as underachieving BUT - she is only 3!! I wouldn't worry, with the support and encouragement she is getting at home she is not going to fall behind - it's not as if pre-school grades will affect what Uni she goes to grin
Pre-school, like ubik says is really about play and getting children starting developing important social skills, more focused learning on academic stuff comes a bit later.
My DD was a proper plodder at pre-school and in Reception and has suddenly 'clicked' with reading and writing (not quite so spectacular progress with maths) and is now being assessed as having abilities beyond the year above her.

ReallyTired Tue 16-Apr-13 23:10:27

Your daughter sounds very bright, but I think you have a fairly narrow definition of what you deem as achievement. Pre school education is more about developing social skills, communication skills and independence than learning to read and write.

Unless a child can express themselves, have imagination, understand the world then they will not progress beyond simple sums or basic phonics. A child who can bark at print may well do well in reading in the early years, but struggle when comprehension skills are required in juniors.

Children learn maths through play in nursery. For example counting out the plates in the role play area and sharing out pretend food. They learn mathematical langauge ie. different words for describing plus,minus, divide or multiply. Understanding how every day language relates to mathematical language is vital for problem solving in maths later on.

You aren't alone in finding the Early years foundation stage total chaos and fairly imcomprensible. DD's nursery got really excited about the fact she drew a picture of her brother wearing glasses. She can't read or write or do maths at the age of four.

HiggsBoson Tue 16-Apr-13 23:24:00

All really helpful, thanks.

DD does have good imagination, cognition and understanding and does not just recite by rote, so I'm not concerned there, but yes - more confidence in the preschool environment is needed

I think I was just a little peeved that they graded her as behind in writing, reading, comprehension, shape recognition etc. Totally not the case and besides, why are they even starting to assess them academically at this age?

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I definitely need to just continue to enjoy what we do together and let preschool do their thing regarding developing social skills etc.

ReallyTired Tue 16-Apr-13 23:37:55

I expect that your daughter is just exceptionally shy. Learning to get over shyness is an important part of the pre school experience. With the best will in the world it is hard for a teacher to assess a shrinking violet.

I agree children are assessed too much and the results are ridicolous. I imagine your daughter has shown no interest whatsoever in writing as she has been too busy exploring her enviroment. Her key workers can't assess her pen control if she won't pick up a pencil. The rules of the EYFS mean that your daughter cannot be asked to write.

"I think I was just a little peeved that they graded her as behind in writing, reading, comprehension, shape recognition etc. Totally not the case and besides, why are they even starting to assess them academically at this age?"

She is not behind in writing. There is a huge range of development that is considered normal. These assessments are designed to pick up children with major special needs so that support is in place for when they start big school.

Thingiebob Wed 17-Apr-13 08:17:34

Exactly the same happened with my little girl. When she was three It was terribly frustrating to be told that 'she doesn't know her letters/colours or numbers' when in fact she has known them since just before the age of 2.

The problem was she was so shy and simply would not communicate with the keyworkers. If they don't talk then it is hard for the keyworkers to mark their development on their EYF paperwork. I had one keyworker as me if she could actually talk and if we 'talk to her at home'. I felt patronised and was steaming that day!

As it has happened as time went by she started to come out of her shell and surprised them one day when she wrote her name in a card she made for me. I was pulled to one side and asked 'Did you KNOW she can do this?'. smile

It took AGES and ages for her to relax enough to show the keyworkers what she was capable of and now it isn't a problem. I should imagine this will be the case with your daughter.

And my nursery were AMAZED that my DD can write her name before the age of three so writing 30 words spontaneously aged 3.2 is quite gifted in my book!

DeWe Wed 17-Apr-13 12:51:09

I used to find with dd1 that preschool would come excitedly to say to me "look, she wrote mummy all by herself!" at the end of a session, and I'd be confused

Actually she'd been writing sentences entirely on her own, stories even, before she started preschool, so writing "mummy" was not exactly a challenge for her.

However what was a challenge for her was to get the confidence to do writing which might be wrong in a different setting. She liked to be totally right, so she didn't write as well at preschool because she was not confident enough to get things wrong.

It didn't make any difference to her ability later.

TeenAndTween Wed 17-Apr-13 13:27:17

You asked why they 'assess them academically' at this age. I think they 'assess' across all areas not just things you think are 'academic'. It gives them an idea of where children are at, where they might need extra support, etc. e.g. They will also be looking at speech and language, motor skills, social confidence etc.

Maybe you could concentrate on doing things to build up her confidence with other adults. e.g. encouraging her to say good morning to people you meet when out shopping, and to have a short conversation 'eg tell the lady where you went this morning'. These skills are just as important as (or more important than) 'academic' skills in early years.

Also maybe take some drawings that she has done at home into nursery so they can see what she does out of school. BUT they can only observe/record/report on what they see her do at nursery.

Xenia Wed 17-Apr-13 15:45:26

Some of my children have been shy at various times. I remember doing an IQ test as a child and answer don't know to questions I could answer because I was embarrassed (and then got 158 or something ridiculous when older and not shy!). Don't worry about it.

Although some of us do try to get our children into selective fee paying schools at 5+ which can help them fulfil their potential and if those children say nothing at the interview that makes it hard fer the school to know if they are any good so developing some ability to speak answers back to teachers is wise if yo have selective education at 5+ in mind.

I remember one teacher saying one of my sons may well be very bright at school but as the son had not spoken once in a lesson it was as if he were doing the course by correspondence which was very funny and I am sure is likely to have been true.

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