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What is it that makes your 5/6 year old G+T

(70 Posts)
bubbles1112 Fri 15-Oct-10 19:43:01

As the title says. Just wondering what it is that makes your 5-6 year old G+T and at what point was this picked up?
Many thanks

topsy1 Sat 16-Oct-10 22:52:09

i am struggling with my ds1 at te moment. he started reading in reception and rushed ahead of his peers straight away - he started reading at the end of reception/summer hols michael morpurgo,roahl dahl, dick king smith. his comprehension is excellent, and can talk about the books he reads in details, even giving examples. his schools comments have been 'his reading is good for his age', and mainly that he wouldn't read every word out loud to the teacher when asked to read. They even commented that I was 'hounding' them the other day for extra reading books for him, and that he has 'exhausted' their supply of books. At no time has there been any mention of G & T. At school he produces very little written work. He won't do any emergent spelling at all, and if he doesn't think he can do it he has various advoidance tactics...very silly, rude, difficult, or just switches off. they put alot of emphasis of the fact he isn;t producing the written work, and his reading is really good luck, but not necessarly anything. I feel he is very bored. At home he will write, and he is happy to work out spellings of complicated words with me. It is not just his reading but is knowledge, questioning and language that sets him apart. my issue is am I seeing something in him thats not there, and I worrying for nothing, or is something there, and what do I do about it?

rabbitstew Sun 17-Oct-10 09:40:45

The school asked for my ds1 to be seen by a psychologist because they could see that his obvious intelligence was not matched by what he was producing in the classroom. He was absolutely fine in one-to-one sessions: chatting away, answering everything, writing stories, enjoying talking about maths problems etc, but in the classroom would seem incapable of doing anything unless constantly pushed and guided. He was also pretty silent in small groups for the more able children. Part of this appears to have been sheer anxiety, since once he got over his inability to express his needs to anyone, he became a lot more confident and proactive in class time.

The point of seeing a psychologist is to help work out what it is that is holding a child back - it could be a whole number of things, from sensory problems (they can't cope with the excessive stimulus of having lots of other children around them), an autistic spectrum disorder, anxiety, poor attention, boredom, physical problems etc, etc... If a school is not convinced it can overcome whatever is holding the child back in a school setting using the normal strategies it has in place (and this in itself may take time with some children, as they need to be seen by the SEN co-ordinator, have one-to-one time, have IEPs put in place, etc), but agrees that something is holding the child back, then the next step would be seeking outside help and advice. It is unlikely to be simple boredom that stops a child from reading all the words in a book properly or refusing to try something he is worried he might not be able to do properly. Sometimes children who behave in this way grow out of it with the right support and sometimes it turns out there is something going on in the background that they need a bit (or even a lot) of help with. So, if the school isn't willing to investigate what the problem is, then maybe you need to start pushing for them to take his behaviour a bit more seriously (and not in terms of saying you think he's just bored, but asking for help in finding out why your ds is not able to produce work in the classroom that he has no trouble in producing at home).

rabbitstew Sun 17-Oct-10 09:41:25

ps that was a message for topsy1...

rabbitstew Sun 17-Oct-10 10:10:24

pps reading and writing are two different skills. He may just need a bit more time to get confident at writing, particularly if he is the sort of personality that does not like to be seen to fail. Once he is a confident writer, he may find it easier to show his ability off at school. That may well be what the school is thinking, anyway (ie that there isn't a genuine problem there). You, as the parent, have to decide whether it is that or something else.

topsy1 Sun 17-Oct-10 19:27:17

thank you very much - you pretty much voiced what i was thinking. Just to clarify, when i said he didn't read very word outloud, he doesn't skip them, he mumbles or reads them in his read because he prefers reading to himself, and doesn't really see the point of reading his reading books to someone. if i give him a picture book to read to his younger brother, he will happily read it outloud!
to help with his spelling, he has (with my help) started to make a word bank of words he likes! hes called it his 'second dictionary' (because he has a biff and chip 'first dictionary') and today put words in it like ridiculous and extremely, because he 'likes them.'. he is in a tiny school with only 15 in KS1 class. I feel (coming from a teaching background myself) that even if they don't call it anything, they could do more for him and stop complaining that he doesn't fit in and he needs to learn to. (socially and emotionally as well as workwise)
how do i approach the subject of getting him help? i already feel that i'm being labelled a pushy mother.

rabbitstew Sun 17-Oct-10 21:03:47

I think you'll have to continue being pushy. Say you are worried that your ds isn't settling in socially or emotionally at school, he is not producing the sort of work at school that he will do for fun at home, and you feel that he needs some extra help and support to enable him to fit in and make progress, because you don't believe it is going to happen naturally over time without extra help. Maybe even bring in examples of the work he is doing at home. Decide for yourself before you approach the school what sort of help you are really hoping for - are you hoping for more social and emotional support to enable him then to demonstrate his intellectual abilities, so that you can subsequently push for more difficult work, or do you really feel that all his behavioural problems will be solved if they give him more difficult work?

If this doesn't work, you could maybe even ask if they can write up an IEP (Individual Education Plan) for him, setting out what goals they have for him and how they will try to achieve these, so that you can get an idea of what strategies they have in place and whether these are working.

We didn't need to be pushy with ds1's school, because they were quite proactive, once it became apparent that if he was going to grow out of his issues, it wasn't going to be in the near future. In a way, they seemed more concerned that they weren't tapping his true potential than we were, because we were so relieved they were making such a big difference with respect to his difficulties. And it is incredibly difficult for a school to stretch a child academically if there are other issues that need sorting out first (or simultaneously). I think part of our luck there was that ds1 is in a bigger school - they've seen all sorts of unusual children go through the school, at both ends of the ability spectrum, and have teachers specialising in helping the SEN children, rather than a full time classroom teacher also being the SEN co-ordinator.

tokengirl Mon 18-Oct-10 14:58:46

TBH - not convinced mine is gifted in the real sense. Let's wait till he's 25-30 and see how he's turned out.

He's academically (but only academically) very bright, but not hugely motivated, and is never going to be one of those kids who's working at double their chronological age unless I teach him myself.

I think he's fairly unusual in his ability to relate facts to each other and make new hypotheses. A=>B and B=>C therefore A=>C (at 2.5 years - subject matter was poo). Last week's theory was that the big bang killed the dinosaurs :-) He learns very fast, and applies new thoughts well but not that originally.

He was identified as numerate by his reception teacher, based on numbers but also he had an understanding of physical phenomena, cause and effect, etc.

Devexity Tue 19-Oct-10 06:23:11

Don't agree that maths ability is a reliable index of giftedness. Or, rather, I don't agree that lack of maths ability necessarily rules out giftedness. I did an English degree at Oxford with some breathtakingly gifted humanities and arts students, many of whom - predictably - couldn't calculate 15% without a pen & paper and some tears.

My 6 yo DS has been reading fluently since shortly before his fourth birthday. Obviously, early reading acquisition is not indexed to giftedness in any kind of straightfoward way. And yes - it had a lot to do with his phenomenal memory.

However, the combination of early reading, phenomenal memory and an innate desire to acquire information means that he has been accessing and synthesising stuff for years longer than his peer group. He has a breadth of knowledge about everything from Premiere League football to representations of sanits in Medieval art that most adults I know struggle to match. Including me. At what point do I stop saying, "He's not clever - he's just read a lot"?

These sorts of discussions always remind me of that lovely bit in Pride and Prejudice where Darcy and Miss Bingley try to pin down what is meant by 'accomplished.' As Lizzy replies: "I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women, I now wonder at your knowing any."

Devexity Tue 19-Oct-10 06:24:15

Er, saints. Not sanits.

horsemadmom Thu 21-Oct-10 02:41:11

DD spoke in full sentences at 13 months, taught herself to read at 2yrs 10 months. By 5/6 was reading at yr 6 level. Picks up concepts extremely quickly in all subjects and has a near photographic memory. By age 5/6, DD was writing stories that were not only imaginative but ironic with huge vocabulary.

No problems with school as we sent her to a school that only takes top 1-2% of ability.

NickOfTime Thu 21-Oct-10 02:54:56

dd2 - ed psych assessment at 5 which gave iq of 142 and working between 3 and 7 years above peers group across board. she only had the test because she has cp and we needed to be able to prove she didn't have a learning disability though. grin

dd1 wasn't identified officially until yr 1 or 2 i think. she just works hard.

ds1 was identified at 3 by the nursery as he could play shops and work out different way s of managing coin to pay for his tins of plastic beans and heinz tomato soup. and do change. they tested him a bit and found out he 'knew' how to do times tables, and work out very odd things with numbers. the lea told them to get stuffed, incidentally, g&t is apparently illegal until 5 grin

Sops Tue 16-Nov-10 23:22:05

Kammy: "He is currently in Y4 doing algebra and trigonometry" shock Is this still in primary school? I didn't even hear the word algebra until I was about 14- I must have lead a sheltered life!

PixieOnaLeaf Wed 17-Nov-10 09:51:57

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BennyB Wed 24-Nov-10 20:01:54

I was alerted to my DS being bright when he taught himself to read at the age of 3.

I don't think that being bright and being gifted is the same thing.

I think one of the most helpful guidelines I have seen is "a bright child knows a lot; a gifted child asks a lot of questions."


thecaptaincrocfamily Fri 03-Dec-10 23:45:14

I just wanted to ask what you do when comprehension is far more advanced than actual reading ability? I find that dd1 4yrs comes home but dislikes her reading books, not because she doesn't like books but she finds the story boring and without a plot hmm so she doesn't like reading. I have tried to explain that once she can read the words more interesting books will come home. However, she will listen and recount several stories that are read to her from i.e. disney set, Dahl, etc. She chose to buy 'Why are Lions Lazy?' when she had money to spend on a school book event smile.
It is interesting how much variation there is in schools. DD was described as 'already doing the next stage maths' last term but that means nothing to me, because I don't know if that refers to key stage or stage of the foundation iyswim

darleneconnor Sat 04-Dec-10 00:10:42

horsemadmum- can you name the school?

cory Sat 04-Dec-10 10:12:22

captaincroc, reading aloud has worked really well for us

When dd was 4, I read things like Noel Streatfield's Ballet Shoes and the Laura Ingalls Wilder books to her.

She didn't really get confident in her own reading until she was 6, but then she took off very quickly because her vocabulary and comprehension were already there iyswim.

thecaptaincrocfamily Sun 05-Dec-10 22:34:13

Thanks cory, will have a look at those smile

squidgy12 Mon 06-Dec-10 22:26:23

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rainbowinthesky Tue 07-Dec-10 18:23:54

How old is he squidgy? G and T is usually the top 3-5 % of a class and it depends on the cohort whether he come under this.

squidgy12 Tue 07-Dec-10 20:34:37

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squidgy12 Tue 07-Dec-10 21:38:38

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AnxiousElephant Thu 27-Sep-12 14:14:03

In mho no test will acurately show the ability of a gifted child. How do you assess perceptiveness, leadership, lateral thinking skills that require deeper understanding of concepts. When the child jumps to the right conclusion but can't explain why? Lots of children can struggle with eye co-ordination early on (reading and writing using hand eye co-ordination). So many gifted children are not good writers because they don't have the patience to write ideas down as they think to quickly. Taught maths skills are also unreliable. It requires learning methods to solve problems, it can be taught at home. I believe it is the whole picture of speed of learning, motivation and co-ordination that proves g and t in school. However, lots of gifted children shy away from coming forward in class, want to fit in, become unmotivated and lack physical co-ordination. Parents generally know their children best and it is the things that aren't tested which truely demonstrate gifts.
I asked my 6 year old :
Two australians get on a bus, one of the australians got on with his son, who was also the other australians son. How is this possible? Most 6 year olds don't know the answer. My dd answered correctly in seconds.
Try it!

madwomanintheattic Thu 27-Sep-12 14:20:00

Zombie thread.

AnxiousElephant Thu 27-Sep-12 14:23:25

and? Is it band to post on old threads hmm

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