This test measures the child’s linguistic intelligence. My child is generally more advanced than kids his age and sometimes kids 3-4 yrs older, and is most comfortable engaging in conversation with much older kids-to-adults. My concern is that I believe I can start introducing and preparing him for scholarships, but not sure how to keep him intellectually stimulated until he’s 5 and can be tested by the school district. Why can’t he be tested now? How would that serve him? Or me? How and who would do it? And since I didn’t major in education or child psychology, should I try to purchase the kit ref’d above or others, to help prepare him for his academic education? Btw, he’s a very happy child, confident, very friendly, and with impeccable manners.
Let him be a kid. He’ll have plenty of time to be freakishly intelligent.
Excellent questions. I’d like to hear YOUR answers. As I see it, you don’t need a test to talk to the kid. Use big words. Try to “talk over his head” and see what his limits are. And just enjoy him.
Such tests are usually used (at this age) to determine language delay, not…uh…exceptionalism (clunky word - maybe your son would have a better one. ) Delays are good to identify because then a speech therapist can do certain exercises to try and bring the kid up to speed. If the kid’s already up to speed and beyond, then what are you trying to accomplish that you need an exact age equivalence for? I mean, if you discovered he had the vocabulary skills of a 4 year old, then what? What would you do differently?
I do encourage him to just be a kid, happy, silly and playful… I don’t know what you’d call my way of teaching him anything…there’s zero pressure and I try to make it an enjoyable or interesting experience for him.
I guess I’m anticipating that by the time the school admins test him for kindergarten, he’ll qualify for the gifted program and if that’s the case, shouldn’t I be doing more for him until then? Additionally, I fear his academic experience will be inadequate for him (I’m in TX and the general consensus from other parents is that there’s tons of attention for “special needs” students, but the bright ones don’t receive much attention insofar as embracing and fostering their intellectual capacity).
At least in my school they don’t tag as gifted until after first grade. Don’t worry about it. Of course his academic experience will be inadequate if he is a gifted child - you’ll need to supplement. But AS IMPORTANT are his emotional and social development. There is many a bright miserable child who fails at life because they are emotionally and socially stilted. Now is the time to spend time there.
I would just “do more” for him anyway, until he gets bored and walks away. Like I said, talk over his head. Play “The Dictionary Game” with him - open a page a random, let him close his eyes and pick a word and then the two of you learn it together. (When they get older, this turns into a “stump the other guy” game - pick a word and see if the other person can tell you what it means. Won’t work until he can read, though.) Let him dictate stories to you, and write them down to send to Grandma in an email. Praise him for using descriptive words like “shouted”, “exclaimed” or “sobbed” instead of “said” in conversation and in storytelling.
I guess the reason I’m hesitant to recommend the test (which we’ve had done on my daughter, because she is delayed due to prematurity) is just that it’s not a whole lot of use to a parent that I can see. Knowing a number just isn’t important. In fact, it can actually be harmful, if A) he doesn’t test as high as you think he will or B) his advanced skills are only temporary, and he ends up “normal” or even “slow” in a year. Some kids are just ahead of the game for a short while, and then their peers catch up, just like some kids are slow and then they catch up.
My school IQ tested me when I was very young - not just the regular screening, but the full battery - and my mother says she wishes they hadn’t told her the score. It was difficult for her to know I wasn’t “living up to my potential”, but there was really little she could do about it. I was just a lazy little cuss with no respect for authority. I can see the same disappointment happening here. Chances are good he’s either higher or lower than you think, and either way you’re setting yourself up for grief.
Yes, he’s advanced. Great! Don’t worry about how much. Just enrich his life to the point where he’s sick of it (and then back off slightly), and you’ll have found his level in a practical way without paying for the testing materials or assigning a number to it.
Hey, you know what? I’m going to page **CalMeacham **to the thread. He’s got a brilliant little girl who’s almost 10, and I’d love to get his input here. Maybe his advice will totally contradict mine. If so, I’d listen to him, 'cause he’s doing something right over there.
CalMeacham, you out there? Got any advice?
I think it’s pretty pointless to test a kid at age 2. If you observe him at play and take note of what he is doing and what he would like to do more of, that’s just fine for now. Who knows him better than his parents?
I don’t know of a lot of schools that have gifted programs in kindergarten. Usually they start later than that. Have you looked into what is on offer at your local school district? It’s quite likely to be on their website, or you could call and ask in a few months after the back-to-school busyness has died down.
If your son craves more stuff to do, then give it to him. Feed his mind with what he wants. There is no need to go further than that for the next few years; all you need is a library card, some cardboard boxes and imaginative toys, and a lot of outdoor space to run around in. Even if he is a super-duper math genius, you can probably handle it for quite a while.
If you want to read about the subject, try Genius denied and similar books, that address the lack of gifted support in schools and how to support a smart kid. You might also like to look at the many books that have fun home science experiments, creative projects, and art for tots to use over the next few years–which applies to any parent. I’d be happy to give you a list if you want one.
You’ve said that you don’t exert pressure on him. Just to jump on the bandwagon, I’ll join the others in telling you not to. Just look at John Stuart Mill and Ruskin as a warning…
Yes, his emotional and social development is equally important to me. Right now, there are no concerns in that area, except when kids his age and up to 5yrs, lack the same linguistic comprehension… it’s as if they’re speaking different languages. Actually it’s a little scarey that most of the kids his age still talk like babies (baby talk) … it’s just that my little boy speaks very clearly, his first word wasn’t “mommy” or "daddy, " it was “oval” and by the time he was 1 1/2 he was already speaking 8-10 word sentences… now he has conversations with adults!
Thank you for putting out the APB for CalMeacham! I’d greatly appreciate any advice he can offer. Btw, I like everything you mentioned above; I’m even leaning towards not testing him.
They don’t offer much. I think there are a couple of prep schools, and will contact someone nxt week. I don’t pressure my son in the learning process. For example, potty training wasn’t too exciting for him, I tried multiple strategies and when it seemed as if he got it and was actually letting me know he needed to do this or that, I got him to his potty chair and he did it. Then last week, he told me “I’m taking a break for a while, I want to wear my training pants instead,” and guessing he could read the disappointment on my face and said, “don’t worry mommy, I 'll remember how to do it,” and I believe he will.
The list of science experiments would be wonderful!
Spoleto, my sister’s daughter was very much like your son - speaking in full sentences by the time she was 2, with a clear preference for conversing with adults cf. kids her own age, etc. etc. My sister and her husband just pushed the envelope in terms of the structured play and reading, to encourage Georgia to continue her lust for learning. She is now 7, and loves school, but is as scatty as hell and stubborn to a fault, with a knack for ignoring instructions and directions that she doesn’t like (partly because my sister is a little inconsistent with discipline).
Just love your son and leave the testing for later when it will mean something.
I’ll look up my favorite books of fun preschool stuff and post a list later. I warn you that I’m an awful bookworm and will probably give you 20 books to read…
FWIW my girls both talked very early rather like that. Though they are clearly bright girls (now 4 and 7) and I think they’re geniuses, I don’t know that they’re really incredibly brilliant; I’d call them gifted but moderately so. If your son is in fact profoundly gifted, you’ve got a wild ride ahead of you, but there are many resources out there.
Here is a fairly good list. I’ve had to reconstruct it from memory as all my stuff is loaned out just now. Now, I do not own all these books; what I did was get everything out of the library (on ILL if necessary), look through them, decide which few I wanted to actually buy–and then I went and photocopied pages out of all the others. A lot of them, of course, will have activities you don’t want to do or duplications. So I just copied the bits I wanted and organized them by topic into binders–I did that with art and science. We had a co-op preschool play group with some friends, which is why I have all this stuff.
I’m sure you’re reading lots of books together. I would recommend that you make an effort to include poetry in your reading on a regular basis (around 821) as well as, of course, non-fiction reading. You can start nightly chapter books like Elmer and the dragon around age 3 if his attention span will hold–it varies. I think I’m starting to lecture, sorry.
Slow and steady get me ready: weekly age-appriopriate activites. A preschool curriculum in a book.
The early childhood almanac: activities for every month of the year
The absolute best play days
Mudpies to magnets
More mudpies to magnets
Everybody has a body
Science arts: discovering science through art experiences (really fun projects)
Janice Vancleave’s “Let’s play and find out” series for young children. There are several of these for various topics, and there are other series for older kids.
For art projects, all you really have to do is check out the art section of the library (741 and thereabouts) for a zillion books of ideas for little kids.
I would also recommend The well-trained mind for supplementary learning later on; it’s actually a homeschooling book, but is also for “afterschooling.” You’ll note that they recommend very little for K, just reading and basic math and a lot of play, though it gets very academic later on.
Read to him, let him loose in a library or bookshop, teach him to read what he chooses. Get him safe but fun little science sets (as long as he doesn’t eat them, or put them near your credit cards, magnets are safe enough). Don’t test him, you already know he’s smart, just encourage him to fulfill his potential.
I could read at 3, and was choosing somewhat strange books to read (the works of Gerald Durrell, because I liked animals) by 6.
My mother came to anarrangement with my school- the other kids got to read a page a night of “See Spot Run. Run Spot Run”, I got to read a book, of my own choosing from the school library, at my own pace.
be prepared to do a lot of afterschool activites to stop him being bored.
Ditto times a thousand. I think the best thing you can ever do for a child is encourage them to read. Make it second nature to them…the best thing my mother ever did for me was to teach me to read before I started kindergarten. Now, reading is like breathing…I must do it.
Encourage him to read above his grade level. My daughter was still trying to pick up picture books at the age of 7, then I introduced her to the wonderful chapter book world of Beezus and Ramona, and she hasn’t looked back since.
I was measured as freakishly intellegent as a kid… I got placed in advanced/accelerated schooling until about grade 10… then my age caught up with my intellegence… Teachers expected nothing but “A”'s from me… A minor misspelling would cost me 10% 0n a test and be overlooked on an “average” student.
I wound up with three scholarships coming out of high school… never completed any of them, never got a degree, but did spend 6 yrs in University …
So now I work retail… I am amazingly good at it… I have also been a Musuem Curator (actually went back to school and got certification in that- long story), a graphic artsist, and a free lance artist…
LET YOUR KID BE A KID>>> Mudpies are more important than any "smart kids’ program…
If you love your child, you will follow their lead, not push them…
From what my father says, this is pretty much how I was at age two. I spoke dozens of words by a year, in complete sentences by 18 months, and could converse easily with adults by age two.
He felt a lot like you do, so he did his best to teach me. I think the biggest thing he did to that end was to always answer the questions “What does that mean?” and “Why/How?” He said it was difficult to put most answers in language a toddler can understand, but he always did. We also did a lot of vocabulary building with things like Richard Scarry’s books, and unsurprisingly he was the one to teach me to read by age four (I mean really read, as in understand every word in children’s books. The “comprehend a written word here and there” thing was earlier, of course.) And as others have said, reading to your child is invaluable, so please do it a lot.
If you’re worried about his babytalking age-mates are there some slightly older kids he can play with? At his age my first playmates were a year or two older, and past the babyishness of language you’re hearing.
Full Metal Lotus makes a valid point about pushing kids too, though. Of the four people I know who were pushed to skip grades because they were smart, only one of them got a degree by age 21. Advanced intellectually often isn’t paired with advanced emotionally.
Your science experients & book suggestions are wonderful! This thread has been the best resource for me, yet! Seriously, I’ve googled and read material adnauseum, but have yet to get feedback from people who had similar experiences as a child or raised/raising a child with similar traits.
Yes, I do read plenty to him and I let him run loose at bookstores and libraries. You raised my other concern–that he’ll become too bored if inadequately stimulated. I will definitely kep him involved in enjoyable activities for him. He lets me know verbally, if he’s lost interest in an activity, at that point I say, “Ok, we’ll try something else,” and we move on.
you’re right; I do WANT to enjoy my son and not worry too much about testing … I just want to make sure I do all I can to make sure he excels on his own.
I am starting to teach him to read. right now, I’m casually introducing him to easy-to-remember words as we do our grocery shopping. He has started, on his own, to open favorite books and through memorization–not reading comprehension-- he recites the entire story. He told me this morning, “mummy, how do my intestines work?” … I guess we better include The Human Body book as a purchase tomorrow!
Full Metal Lotus:
I truly truly do allow my little boy to just be a kid. But having realized that it’s HE who embraces enjoying and learning at the same time, well it simply compels me to continue providing him with both as much as I am capable of doing. Mind you, I’ll modify as we go along and when I’m not sure (such as now) if I’m proceeding appropriately (should I do less? shoudl I do more?), I seek advice from others, and I am very happy for having posted this thread.
very interesting! Thank you for sharing. I will continue reading to him, and let him read to me, too, even though he’s simply memorizing the story. He does have a couple of older friends, they enjoy him as much as he enjoys them, but it’s not a regularly arranged playtime… maybe I should work harder at having him play with older kids than kids his age? It’s a little awkward, given that several neighbors kids were born ± 1-3 months from his birthdate and when they come to play, they can’t keep up with my son, across the board (gross & fine motor skills, verbal, cognitive and emotional intelligence).
THANK YOU, EVERYONE! Your thoughtful posts of advice are greatly appreciated! Please keep them coming, as I’m copying them into a journal.
We spent our date night at the bookstore and I found a really interesting book: Hothouse kids. It’s about the problems that gifted kids run into when their parents exert pressure on them. I’m not aiming this book at you, Spoleto, but I think books like this are important for all of us, because our current social climate encourages us to put a huge importance on achievement and it’s so easy to get into that mindset and overschedule our kids with stuff they don’t need, pressure them into performance, and generally squish the fun right out of life. Our kids want so badly to please us that it’s sometimes hard to see when they’re doing something to make us happy instead of because they want to.
Also on practically the first page, there was a story of a child whose dad had her tested at 2, and since she performed like a 4-yo, the test skewed and showed her IQ at something like 190. Hers was a sad story, and I think a good example of why testing isn’t a good idea at a very young age. (But I’m weird and don’t approve of tests for young elementary kids either! I really disapprove of school testing for anybody under, say, 3rd or 4th grade, and that’s still pretty young.)
And one more thing: I recommended the Well-trained mind book. The writers also run a website, with discussion groups, and there is a group for accelerated learners; some of the parents on there have seriously profoundly gifted children, and there’s a nice variety. You might find them helpful too.
And and and, a little boredom is a good thing. On the whole, kids need to learn to entertain themselves, and when they’re allowed to be bored, their creativity can kick in and take them places you’d never go. Don’t underestimate the beneficial effect of a good dose of boredom. As a parent, it is not my job to entertain my kids and make them happy. It’s my job to help them learn to do that for themselves.