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How can I best encourage/support my very able 4 year old?

(26 Posts)
PeggyCarter Mon 10-Mar-14 14:46:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

isitsnowingyet Mon 10-Mar-14 14:53:31

I'd suggest you put a hard hat on and hide quickly behind something! Or perhaps move the post to gifted and talented section

ZanyMobster Mon 10-Mar-14 14:59:41

Definitely carry on as you are. There is absolutely no need for mini projects and such like. Let her be 4 but also if she wants to do more then let her.

I was always advised with DS to stretch him sideways so do clubs, music etc. He was very academic so there was no need to push him further with that. We did nothing extra with regards to school work, obviously he read at home but that was it.

Martorana Mon 10-Mar-14 15:02:56

If you want to do anything, then a language or a musical instrument. Otherwise just carry on as before.

pointythings Mon 10-Mar-14 15:03:28

It sounds as if your DD is doing fabulously well and is happy - I wouldn't do projects at home but instead focus on a range of interesting activities when you are with her - visit local landmarks/museums/art galleries, go to the beach and look for critters/build sandcastles and watch how the tide destroys them, go to nature reserves and birdwatch, just have lots of fun in places that will lead her to ask questions naturally. If you can maintain her joy in learning you will be doing everything right.

Seryph Mon 10-Mar-14 15:28:56

I second music and museums/galleries/general trips to places. Dance could be an idea too. Ask her if there are any activities she might like to do.

Doing "mini projects" don't actually have to be project shaped. But you could do various themes, like have a space wwwk, take her to the local science centre, buy a Dorling Kindersley style book on space, build a rocket out of old boxes, etc etc. Learning through play.

columngollum Mon 10-Mar-14 16:15:27

Children learn naturally. If both the parents and the school are supportive then you don't have a problem. Just keep going as you are. One thing I would suggest, though, is plenty of recreation. Learning facts doesn't take long. Learning an instrument, though, may take longer.

PeggyCarter Mon 10-Mar-14 17:22:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PeggyCarter Mon 10-Mar-14 17:24:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

columngollum Mon 10-Mar-14 17:27:47

I think isitnow was probably worried you'd get flamed. But it seems to have turned out OK.

Raxacoricofallapatorius Mon 10-Mar-14 17:30:48

Sounds very like my dd. Read fluently and voraciously at 4, good memory, v quick to learn in most areas. We went to the library a lot but otherwise we just talked, played, laughed and enjoyed the world together. The beauty of a generally able child like dd is her self-motivation and natural curiosity. I have never worried that I need to specifically support her, merely respond to who she is and what she enjoys.

Mintyy Mon 10-Mar-14 17:32:42

Aww she sounds fabulous! I'd be amazed if all that doesn't constitute gifted and talented. I don't know how you're supposed to encourage children who are that bright, tbh. I'm sure its appropriate for you to post in G&T if you want to.

pixiepotter Mon 10-Mar-14 17:52:17

Actually I would look at the areas of her development where perhaps she isn't excelling, and encourage her in these.How good are her social skills, her co-ordination, motor skills, balance, craetivity?

Galena Mon 10-Mar-14 17:52:20

Our DDs sound very similar. Again, school are meeting her needs and she loves going. At home I do her reading and homework with her (well, sit next to her while she does it herself) and we just look at stuff which interests her. If she asks 'why' questions we talk about why she thinks it happens, or we do little experiments to see if she can work out why...

I don't fret too much about doing extra - she's only 4 after all... and she has a disability so needs to do physio which takes up time too.

SapphireMoon Mon 10-Mar-14 17:53:17

I saw your Charlie and the choc factory post on another recent thread op.
She is doing very well and I think just be a parent that answers her questions and chats to her as you go out and about etc.

simpson Mon 10-Mar-14 18:11:44

Your DD sounds very similar to mine (now yr1) although her maths isn't so strong.

DD got a microscope for her birthday and is totally obsessed with it, constantly finding things to look at. So this has been a big hit.

I provide her with loads of books that she wants to read to herself as well as to me, answer all the "why" questions (use google if I don't know the answer!)

DD has also got very into history so we have been reading ( and talking about) The Great Plague, The Great Fire of London, The Tudors, The Titanic, Louis Braille, Helen Keller etc.

DD is very intense and wants to be reading/writing a lot however recently I have upped what she does out of school (gymnastics, beavers, tennis etc) and she has become much easier at home grin

MyNameIsKenAdams Mon 10-Mar-14 18:15:05

Apparently second/third hand pianos are cheap, if you have the room, and a relatively simple instrument to learn the basics.

My dm has one for her mindees and she has taped C-G on the keys and her very very basic music bools have hand written keys in so the kids can sprt of self learn.

columngollum Mon 10-Mar-14 18:21:57

mynameis, that's a clever idea. We have a junior piano set which has a similar sort of setup. But it's miniature.

givemeaclue Mon 10-Mar-14 18:33:51

Playing instrument and learning to read music
Google for local free galleries, museums, libraries, events etc
Encourage her writing as well as reading
Can she ride a bike?
Card games, logic games, chess?
Can she swim?

allyfe Tue 11-Mar-14 10:26:43

Not wishing to discourage, but just wanted to say that if she might want to learn piano later, it might be best not to let her try to self-learn. She will end up with lots of bad habits which might well hinder her progress if she does learn later.

She could perhaps self-learn the recorder? With a little bit of initial input? It takes up less space too smile

rabbitstew Tue 11-Mar-14 11:04:32

What are you particularly good at that you could teach her? She might enjoy learning to sew or knit? Making soft toys is a fun start. Or cook? I remember when I was a bit older really enjoying making things out of wood with my dad - eg a hinged and velvet-lined valuables box. Loads of fun with sharp implements... Do you have a garden? Learning the recorder would be a good start for musical instruments, to see if she's that way inclined, as it's cheap - unfortunately, music lessons and instruments are not generally cheap. Or possibly a plastic fife if she might one day like to play the flute? (Recorder's probably a safer bet, as easy to make a sound out of straight away). Learning a musical instrument is definitely worthwhile if she has an interest. Does her school offer any free or subsidised musical instrument tuition, eg, via the County music service? Gymnastics does sound like fun.

TantrumsAndBalloons Tue 11-Mar-14 11:13:13

It sounds as though both you and the school are doing everything you need to be doing right now.

It's great that she loves to read, and ask questions, I think in terms of structured learning at home, that's all you need to be doing, reading, looking up things that she is interested in, etc.

Tbh, I think you are exactly right that is is a long day for a 4 year old, at this age I wouldn't be worrying about extra activities unless its something she really wants to do, like school gymnastics.

But you sound like you have a good balance at the moment, time to play and time to read/learn/discuss.

BlueEyeshadow Tue 11-Mar-14 11:26:06

Sounds similar to DS2. With the school's encouragement, we're trying to stretch him in other areas - role play, art, motor skills etc - instead. Not specific learning stuff, but through play.

my2bundles Tue 11-Mar-14 11:26:14

Unstructured time/ playing with toys/ playing in the garden, these are more important than extra supervised activities at this age, just allow her to be a 4 year old.

LittleMissGreen Tue 11-Mar-14 11:32:25

DS3 is fairly able - although not as able as your DD. He is in reception and working at level 2a for numeracy, but only 1c for literacy. (Before anyone says about levels in reception being expected/exceeding etc - we are in Wales with our own outcomes, that match to NC levels as above).
At home I don't do any formal work with him other than homework, but we do do things that stretch his skills in other ways e.g. if we are doing baking he weighs out all the ingredients and I may ask him things like, you have put in 100g how many more do we need to get to 150g etc.
Or he follows instructions to make complicated Lego models.
Or we go out walking and build dams across rivers etc - what size sticks/stones will we need, what shape stones work best together to stop the water coming through...

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