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Advice please - 3 y/o... gifted? what to do?

(8 Posts)
Jinto Wed 08-May-13 09:54:08


My ds has just turned 3 and since he was under a year so many people comment on how gifted he is. We think he is smart, but as he is getting older I want to make sure that if he is gifted then we do the right things for him to ensure his development and most importantly his happiness.

Overall Jacob is fun, has a great sense of humour, gets on well with other children, is out going & adventurous. We don't tutor him at all, but these are some of the things that we notice and other people have commented on

Has known his alphabet since he was 20 months
Knows all his colours (since about 18 months) and has used descriptors for more than a year "light blue, dark grey" etc
Now he can recite the alphabet backwards on demand as fast as forwards
can count past 1000
Can write his name neatly
Can read quite a few words
Asks questions like "how come the coffee cup is still warm when all the coffee has gone?"
Performs basic addition and subtraction using his fingers

So, these are just some examples that come to mind, but I have no experience to know if this is in the range of normal or if he is gifted. As I mentioned, I just want to make sure we accommodate his skills & interests and am not sure the best route to take

Thanks for reading smile

FriendlyLadybird Wed 08-May-13 12:00:11

He's 3. He may or may not be "gifted" -- personally, I think it's a silly term and certainly silly for random "people" to be bandying about.

His level of knowledge seems good for a three year old, but, more importantly, you say he has a great sense of humour, gets on well with other children and is outgoing and adventurous. Hurrah! It seems that you have a bright, socially well-adjusted child.

I can't see that you have to do anything, frankly. I'd say it's all going pretty well.

Seeline Wed 08-May-13 12:06:35

He sounds quite bright, but not excessively so. Don't push him or he will be very bored when he starts school being able to do everything. Make sure he has a wide range of different experiences to learn from eg cooking (weighing and measuring), lego (following instructions, aiding concentration), lots of craft activities (aiding fine motor skills), music/singing group (helps with language development through rhyme and rhythm etc), perhaps a more active sport such as swimming of football, out and about experiencing the big wide world! Also things like being able to dress himself, do up buttons, zips and shoes will be useful when he starts school.

adeucalione Wed 08-May-13 14:19:50

He sounds lovely - just keep doing what you're doing, it will be many years before he knows more than yougrin

In the meantime - talk, read, play games and visit interesting places.

Would he benefit from attending a preschool, or enrolling for a class or two (mine did swimming lessons and a messy art session at that age)? You could look on the notice board of your library for activities that are available locally for 3yo children.

When he starts school you will get a better idea of how his abilities compare to his peers.

neverlateforwork Wed 08-May-13 16:34:50

He sounds great. grin no need for 'intervention' at all, he's doing fine. I'd steer clear of the 'tricks' stuff though, tbh. Nice party moment, but not really indicative of learning per se.

Ds1 was similar, and had self taught some maths stuff. He started pre-school slightly earlier than normal as one of his siblings was born with a disability and the lea accepted him just before his birthday to give us some respite. Pre-school were faintly alarmed and didn't know what to do with him - the lea refused to assess him as they don't recognise 'gifted' until stat school age (and even then don't bother to do anything, really). So he ran with the yr r kids for a bit, but was already in maths terms around 5 or 6 years ahead.

It's all fairly pointless really. He's still mr normal in normal school, doing normal things. We've never taught him anything.

Dd2 was freakier. She's the one with the disability, but had taught herself to read before she learned to talk (no idea how).

The other one did the alphabet thing at 18mos (she was a total sponge and dh taught her one weekend when I went away). I came back and she could recognise random letters, and go find stuff that began with them. Weirdo. (Dh not her). She's pretty normal. Clever, but not out of the box. And she works hard, which makes up for a lot.

Even if kids are 'gifted' there's no need to 'do' different things with them. Just expose them to as much life as possible, have fun, and make everything interesting. Just the same as you would for all kids, really.

Plenty of time to ponder education later. Some parents have gone to the trouble of tribunals to force schools to recognise more able kids. But you have loads of time to find out if this is going to be necessary.

In the meantime, he sounds great. Not necessarily gifted, but maybe bright enough to later need some differentiation. Not now, though.

Right now, he's three. It's nice if he sits down and reads himself a book (it used to give me a welcome break) but it isn't something you need to force. Or even slightly push. If he wants to read and do quadratic equations, he will. grin

HiggsBoson Wed 08-May-13 16:45:45

It's very common for children to know alphabet, colours, count to 100/1000 etc., from 18 months or earlier. Definitely not gifted and I'd avoid getting wrapped up in such labels anyway.

piprabbit Wed 08-May-13 16:51:13

You might find this factsheet from Potential Plus UK useful.

It sounds like you are already doing a great job supporting your child, whatever his potential, so I wouldn't necessarily plan to do things any differently at this stage just because you might be able to apply a label to him.

Jinto Wed 08-May-13 18:49:13

Great, thanks for the replies, it's good to understand some other views rather than from pushy Grandparents smile. I'll feel comfortable just doing what we're doing as long as he's happy and engaged in his lovely little world

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