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Programs/advice for toddlers? Please help.

(9 Posts)
Aefeth Tue 30-Jul-13 15:21:39

Hi There,

I am not sure if my toddler is "gifted" or if he's just very very smart. He turned two just a month ago, but his language ability is extremely advanced--he has an impressive vocabulary and is already speaking in full complex sentences (8+ words) in three different languages (English-me, Spanish-his dad, Mandarin-his nanny). He has an amazing ability to concentrate (for example, if I would indulge him, he would like to sit on my lap and read books for 3 hours at a time--this is what we do for the entirety of 5+ hour flights), he asks questions about EVERYTHING and seems to soak up detailed information about all around him. He's also very sensitive and emotionally aware--he interacts with other children in a meaningful/thoughtful way although he also does fine independently and takes direction very well. Additionally, he seems to have some strong musical inclinations, for example hearing a song for the first time and singing along with the chorus by the 2nd or 3rd time it happens in a song. He literally has a better memory than both me and my husband combined and the things that come out of his mouth shock me sometimes. People are constantly commenting on how advanced he is in comparison to other children in his peer group.

Anyway, I have tried my best to satisfy his natural inclination to learn and as a result, he knows all of the colors, shapes, letters, numbers (he counts objects all the way up to about 13)...and at this point I just don't know what to do with him.

Are there programs in London for kids who seem to be very bright? For children this young? Nursery schools, etc.?

I would obviously love to continue to provide an enriching environment for him to be stimulated and grow, but I just feel like I am beginning to exhaust what comes natural to me--this is definitely not my area of expertise! I also don't feel prepared to nurture some of the talents he seems to have that I don't (for example music). We've been making frequent trips to the library to get new books, and aside from that and having constant conversations about the things around us with trips to museums, etc. I just don't know what to do!

We were planning on enrolling him in a well known afternoon nursery school, but I honestly don't know if I feel that it will be good for his development given that he seems so far advanced beyond any other children his age that I have observed.

What should we do? I don't feel like I can ask these kind of questions among any of my friends because I don't want to come across as bragging or make them feel bad about their own children. Any advice/information, etc. would be very helpful and appreciated.

Thanks so much,

cornflakegirl Tue 30-Jul-13 16:28:27

That's great that he's taking so much in. It sounds like you're providing loads of stimulation for him, so I would keep doing what you're doing. But maybe relax a little. He's very young and there's plenty of time for him to develop whatever talents he has. Pretty much everything is a learning experience at that age, and it's also important that he has fun, so nursery school sounds like a good idea.

keepsmiling12345 Tue 30-Jul-13 20:49:05

I agree that it sounds like he would enjoy a nursery school. But i think you need to relax and possibly get some perspective, you surely can't be suggesting that your 2 year old is beyond " what comes natural to you"? With the best will in the world, even if he were a 2 year old able to do what a usual 11year old could do, this surely doesn't present any challenges as a parent? And, although I agree he sounds bright, your post doesn't suggest he is "so far advanced beyond any other children his age" but perhaps you have more evidence for this? I honestly wouldn't get too worried about quite how brilliant you think he may be; instead, let him attend nursery, play with other children, follow his own interests, develop some resilience by trying things which he might not naturally excel at, and have some fun.

Layl77 Tue 30-Jul-13 21:28:31

I agree. He's just two and bright as two year olds can be. Just continue to give him a loving fun environment he doesn't need or want to learn Mozart but might like to play a toy recorder or bash a drum and sing new songs. Read lots of books to him, answer questions and enjoy his company. It's not like a two year kids needs are beyond your remit, you're his mother and are able to have an intelligent conversation with an adult so just being with him every day you'll 'get' what he needs and is interested in. Take him to te nursery and see how he goes?

ChazDingle Thu 01-Aug-13 13:10:09

how is he socially with other kids? My DS is quite advanced academically but he's prob slightly behind socially so this is where preschool/ nursery school helps although we've had some issues with him acting up which HV has suggested cus he is bored

Aefeth Mon 12-Aug-13 14:07:44

He is actually very good socially with other children, he seems to crave more social interaction than we are currently providing, which is one reason that nursery seems like a good idea to me, even though I don't think there is anything he will get out of the more traditional things that they teach.

Alienattack--perhaps I didn't convey it well, but I actually am suggesting that my son is advanced to the point that I have exhausted what comes naturally for me to teach him--obviously I can always have a conversation with him, but in terms of a more structured educational path to follow --neither my husband nor I have any sort of speciality in education (i am a photographer, my husband works in computer science) and our son has already mastered almost all of the skills they teach in school to 4-5 year old children. Just as I personally wouldn't endeavour to homeschool my child (I prefer to outsource that task to someone who is an expert), I would like to find a program or outlet where they are experienced in guiding/teaching advanced children.

No, i didn't provide examples of all of the things he does because the purpose of my post was not to prove to anyone just how intelligent and possibly gifted he is (I already know that) it was to find out if anyone had any suggestions for programs that nurture bright minds. I could have elaborated in much greater detail but perhaps I should have just left out the first description all together since that seems to be what so many people got most caught up on. Anyway, if anyone knows of anything, please let me know! I would greatly appreciate it!!

While I do understand why someone might suggest we just need to relax, nothing we do with our son is pressured and very little is parent directed. We surround him with a rich environment, speak to him like an adult, read him a lot of books, and make a strong effort to engage him when he chooses different activities and asks questions about everything. That is mainly how he has learned everything up to this point. I am a strong believer that early year learning is the most critical for future development, and to be quite honest--to "relax" (or care less/make less of an effort to give him the absolute best environment for him to grow that we can manage) seems quite frankly like a waste!

keepsmiling12345 Mon 12-Aug-13 21:40:11

aefeth you obviously believe your child is amazingly gifted. That's great, but you'll see from,many other threads on here that other MNers believe the same about their DC. I have no desire to debate with you whether your child is gifted. But I have to take exception to your assertion that your DC has already mastered all the skills taught at school to 4-5 year olds. You said he speaks in sentences of 8 words and can count objects up to 13. Trust me, that does not exceed most 4year olds!! My point was that, whilst you might not know about a "structured educational path" to follow, you can surely manage the maths, money, time, measuring, reading, writing etc that he needs to develop in the next few years?

VegPatchLurker Mon 12-Aug-13 21:48:09

I'm with Alien. All mums think their DCs are amazing and your son does sound bright.

Our DTs were both speaking in complex sentences by 2 and said their first words at 7 months. They are now 3 and can count to 100 as well as up in tens, write their names an read quite a bit; they are extremely happy in their state-run preschool. I'm a teacher, and as a teacher I would advise keeping up the fun and not getting too hung up on how brilliant etc your boy is. All Alien's ideas are good ones.

Best of luck grin

richmal Mon 12-Aug-13 21:51:04

Have you thought of Suzuki violin lessons?

TBH I don't think that there's much around for structured teaching at this age. I remember looking round bookshops for books and ideas and ended up just making things up myself. If he has completed most of what is covered in reception year, then there are lots of books covering KS1 in maths for instance.

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