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G&T 5 yr old in science

(14 Posts)
Smoodle Tue 06-Aug-13 08:56:46

Hi, Have just joined Mumsnet so please be nice to me! I have a 5 year old DS who is obsessed with anything science related. The school have noticed that he's way ahead of his peers for this area (in the Understanding the World bit of the Early Years curriculum). The Head asked me to go in for a chat at the end of last term and they've put him on the G&T register. She said his scientific knowledge and understanding is far deeper than they'd expect for his age. I'm not at all surprised as he's been asking questions about how things work since he could learn to talk. Our walk to school in the morning is usually accompanied by an inquisition from him on evolution/electricity/space etc etc etc... I sometimes actually have to ask him to stop asking questions so I can get anything done.

This isn't a bragging post. DS is actually a bit behind in some other areas. I'm pleased he's been recognised in this way, but also now feel that there's a real expectation on him to succeed and for us as parents to make sure he succeeds. I'm aware that he's only just turned 5 so don't want there to be too much pressure on him or to hot-house him in one particular area, however I feel now that I have a responsibility to help him develop in this area where he clearly has a real talent.

I'm after some advice as to what we should expect from the school and what we can ask for. The Head suggested that I make an appointment with his new Y1 teacher a few weeks into the new term to talk it through with her. We are going to take him to some local science centres and I have a box of science stuff to do over the holidays (DH and I both have science backgrounds). We're putting together a scrapbook of all the stuff he's doing so he can tell his class about it. We're also doing plenty of non science, running round the garden getting messy stuff etc btw.

Does anyone have a similar experience & could share any tips of things to do?
Does anyone know of any good programmes for young scientists either online or actual get togethers (or is he too young?)
Do schools receive additional funding for G&T? Can I get the school to fund trips to science centres??
Should I make an appointment to talk to the school's science coordinator?
Any tips gratefully received!


wearingatinhat Tue 06-Aug-13 11:27:51

My DS was advanced in this area of the EYFS too. However, an interest in the world around them and wanting to explore things in considerable depth is also a feature of having a very bright child. A few years on, he is doing exceptionally well in many areas of the curriculum although obviously there are (relative) strengths and weaknesses.

You are clearly at a very good school envy and it is right to encourage your DS's interests - I do not see this as pressure or hot housing. He will be able to do this himself soon by reading non fiction, eg Usborne books, by watching nature and science programmes on TV, by subscribing to a magazine like, National Kids Geographic or How things work, by attending meetings organised by High Potential (he may be a tad too young for this yet) and I do not know if they have any in your area, there are also horrible science toys/kits and of course trips to museums etc.

However, I can't help thinking that your DS probably has natural ability in more areas than just science but you say he is a little behind in other areas. I think I would be interested in the reasons why a child with what seems to be high cognitive abilities is a little behind. I think I would therefore encourage broader interests and perhaps do some work in supporting literacy and maths in case it leads to frustrations later.

TeamSouthfields Tue 06-Aug-13 11:33:03

Why don't u instead work on the areas where he is behind?

PatriciaHolm Tue 06-Aug-13 22:02:10

As the others suggest, I would think more about bringing him on in the areas he is behind as well: if he can't communicate his ideas in writing, for example, he will be constrained in what he can achieve even in subjects he excels at.
School won't fund any trips for you I'm afraid, and I don't think they get any extra money anyway; they don't even need to have a G&T list any more. At 5, it's great he's doing so well, but I would be wary of pigeon-holing him as "sciency" at this age as so much can change.

chauffeurmummy Tue 06-Aug-13 22:19:42

Go with the flow - it's the summer holidays so a time to indulge their interests. Its fantastic he has just an interest in Science so go with it and enjoy the next few weeks before you have to worry about everything else!

FriendlyLadybird Tue 06-Aug-13 22:41:25

Good for him, but don't let anyone pigeonhole him too early. At 5, my DS was having hugely advanced conversations about geology and volcanoes and would preface sentences with 'as a scientist ...' (though that was actually a bit of a joke). At 11, history and literature are his subjects and I suspect that's the way it will stay. My brother, Classics scholar and theologist, also started with a big thing for science. Five is just too young to know exactly where their talents will lie.

Au79 Wed 07-Aug-13 08:18:56

I would focus on improving his reading through books about his interests- also things like museums or zoos where wanting to read the placard next to the display will provide the drive to read it himself. The library is your friend, join more than one if you can get to them or order books from them above his level as well as at. Things like catalogues of gadgets, kits, models for him to study help inspire reading. Osborne lift the flap books are v good.

My DD now almost 13 absorbed a huge amount of information from us (also science parents), the excellent tv available but she soon found reading around the subject provider much more in depth knowledge that she craves. Actually by secondary she has got a bit fed up with schools attempts to "make science fun", since she had already done those sorts of experiments at extra-curricular classes, shows and home. She sees it as a serious business! :-) I wish I had chosen a better secondary school for her, it's not to early to think about it, or sitting him for prep school. At the time we thought we couldn't afford it but now I think she should have gone to a selective school/grammar.

richmal Wed 07-Aug-13 08:19:26

We too have a dd who is interested in science. She is now 10. We find Aquila very good as it tends to cover topics in more detail. RI Christmas lectures are always worth a look at and you can buy past programmes on line.
As the others suggest, I would think more about bringing him on in the areas he is behind as well: if he can't communicate his ideas in writing, for example, he will be constrained in what he can achieve even in subjects he excels at.
I could not have put it better and this is a good argument to put to dd who currently cannot see the point of English.

Smoodle Wed 07-Aug-13 08:27:59

Thanks for all the info & advice. When I said he's behind in some areas, I meant that he's one of the youngest in his year and also the smallest (in a year of 60 kids) so physically he's a bit immature compared to some of his peers. With writing for example, his teachers have said that he has all the skills to be able to do it (phonics etc) apart from the actual physical dexterity so it will come with time and I'm not going to push him and put him off. We're doing things to help with that, i.e. yesterday he spent the afternoon colouring in the patio with chalk (now I'm hoping for some rain!) and lots of other physical and fun stuff.

I've already recorded loads of science programmes for him, in fact his favourite is a Horizon about the sun which is about the only thing that entertains him when I'm trying to cook his tea.

Thanks for the tip about kids science magazines. Will look into them.

Interesting to think that his interests may well change - wonder what he'll be in to in a few years time.

Thanks again

BeckAndCall Wed 07-Aug-13 08:33:18

Tbh OP I'd be encouraging him in areas apart from science. You need him to be rounded and not just have encouragement in the area he's good at.

For the holidays, I'd say look into activities that are either sport or music related - all fun stuff, nothing heavy.

JemimaMuddledUp Wed 07-Aug-13 08:43:02

DS2 is on the g&a register (we are in Wales so it is gifted and able) and has been for a couple of years, but he is one of the youngest in his year and small for his age too. Although he was very able in some areas, he lagged behind in others and the frustration that this caused led to some disruptive behaviour in Years 1&2. He was then diagnosed as being mildly dyspraxic and the OT worked with him to improve his motor skills, which helped enormously. Things seemed to click properly into place in Yr4.

DS2's big obsession interest is history, which like science is quite easy to indulge as there are lots of museums and exhibitions to take them to and they can read their way through all the interesting books in the library. Enjoy it - I have found myself learning all kinds of things myself from him!

Au79 Wed 07-Aug-13 18:25:46

Aquila is about everything not just science.

My DD found maths a struggle in early school but was persuaded to do extra in that area on the grounds that she can't get on in science without it-she came to enjoy it and is in top set at secondary.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 08-Aug-13 11:55:14

My DD (just about to go into year 5 ) is G&T in science and has been since a very early age. I answer her questions about science (I have two science degrees) and she is exposed to science through my work.
However, I do put my extra effort into her weaker subjects. Despite me almost pushing the science to the back in terms of what we do at home she has continued to grow in this area at a truely exponetial rate.

Retropear Tue 13-Aug-13 07:53:19

I would support the writing tbh.

My son has gone on G&T courses for science but only after he had a teacher this year who really got to know him.He is very timid,quiet(not putting his hand up),a daydreamer(usually about science) and his writing wasn't conveying his ability.

Said son comes from a line of scientists(medical,electrical,aeroplane) and dp and I didn't feel he was being stretched however tbf looking at his writing(or lack of it) I wasn't surprised.

If your son is very confident and vocal then maybe you don't need to worry but at some point he will need to record his science.

His twin who has lovely writing,produces loads and is more confident goes on G&T courses for all sorts of things and seems to be pushed more.

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