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What would you do for this child?


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#1 IvyInFlorida

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 01:58 PM

Hey!  I have been lurking on these boards a long time, and have recently read through a ton of posts on this board since discovering that my 7 year old son is 2e and suspecting my 2 1/2 year old son is gifted.  I'd love advice from y'all about my younger son, V.

 

V is one of those kids who cannot have enough "feeding" when it comes to mental stimulation.  I couldn't possibly read aloud to him as much as he would like, or do enough puzzles with him, or have enough conversations about the meanings of words.  I know he wants more because he's very verbal and tells me.  Loudly and clearly, lol. 

 

So I need some ideas about ways he can learn independently when I need to cook supper or take a shower, etc.  This is where he's at right now: he knows letters and letter sounds, numbers and 1-1 correspondence, can count objects to 10 and rote count to 20, shapes, colors, is obsessed with obscure construction vehicles, astronomy ("can we go find 'Rion's Belt, momma?"), and vocabulary ("this bathroom is malodorous").  He's is clearly trying very hard to read--he tries to sound out signs and labels all the time.  I don't sit him down to teach him these things--he absorbs them out of the air or something.  No interest in writing, drawing, or coloring. 

 

I'm thinking maybe something computer-based would work?  He loves and can navigate the computer very well, but is bored with Starfall.  Is Reading Eggs worth the money?  Any other appropriate suggestions, computer-based or not?  We have a great home library and live in the country, so he has a lot of free access to outdoor play and browsing picture books.

 

I appreciate any advice!  When he's clamoring for more, it makes me a little panicky thinking I'm not giving him what he needs...



#2 Jackie

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 02:31 PM

It's exhausting, isn't it?

I didn't find Reading Eggs worth it. DD learns in leaps, not small increments, so she would be frustrated for a bit and then jump so far ahead that we constantly had to redo the placement test for her not to be bored. And she leapt far enough, fast enough that she plain outpaced the program within the year-long subscription.

Some things I did find worth it:
- Lightbot Jr coding puzzles app
- any of the Dragonbox apps
- BrainPop
- various logic or problem-solving apps: Flow Free, Monster Physics, Where's My Water, Cut the Rope
- art supplies: playdoh, collage materials, paints
- Kumon First Steps workbooks

#3 okbud

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 04:24 PM

Science documentaries. Lots of them.

Audiobooks.

Colorful encyclopedias.

"Wordy" read alouds.
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#4 ananemone

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 05:21 PM

DD11 was similar at that age, very very verbal and constantly demanding to be read to, explained to, interacted with.  She was my first so I could do all of that and for whatever reason I thought I was obligated to - I used to count the hours until the end of the day, when I could sit quietly with a drink and watch Battlestar Galactica and not read (recite, really) Cat in the Hat for the millionth time.  What she would do by herself happily was actually things with no verbal component at all - dig in the dirt, line up her princess dolls (those little rubber ones), often with no heads as they would break off, roll a cart or tricycle around, dig in the dirt some more.



#5 IvyInFlorida

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 06:36 PM

Thanks for responding--this is helpful!


Edited by IvyInFlorida, 28 January 2017 - 06:36 PM.


#6 Rockhopper

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 06:49 PM

Geoboard (rubber band board)

Math U See manipulatives (or others) - give him a number of the day and let him make it in different ways (if he's safe with small objects)

balance scale w/ objects to compare

bambino Luk 

 

Kindle's Read to Me books available on Freetime (highlights spoken word)

 

Legos (again, if he's safe with small objects) or Magnatiles (lots of learning happens with building toys)

 

Check out Timberdoodle for different hands-on logic puzzles (like HABA's Day and Night or Brain Builder)

 

 



#7 Donna

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Posted 28 January 2017 - 07:17 PM

Besides the things already mentioned...

 

Magnetic letters for the refrigerator (or bathtub letters)- make a word like CAT...replace a letter...continue replacing any of the letters and "reading" the word.

Stringing beads

Building supplies

Scissors ("clipping coupons")

Math manipulatives

 

 



#8 Expat_Mama_Shelli

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 12:58 AM

My DS was similar, though not quite as verbally precocious.

At that age he really enjoyed open-ended sensory bins with various tool for grabbing, scooping, pouring, sifting, weighing & sorting.

I created weekly "themes" & we did all sorts of painting, sorting, counting, phonemic awareness games, patterning, etc around that theme then he had free access to the materials afterwards. Often he would repeat activities we had done together or would use the materials in novel ways.

Wooden trains & Hotwheels were a big hit then, as well & are still sanity savers for me!

#9 SRoss5

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 10:33 AM

I second the documentaries.  Although I was anti-screen time at that age, it was a life-saver.  Netflix became my best friend.  I just couldn't keep his mind fed. He learned so much, and then I listened to him "tell-back" everything he just learned. Volcanoes, Dinosaurs, Space, and geography were the big hits.  I still have a love hate relationship with screens, but you can only read aloud so much.  

 

Good luck!

 



#10 SRoss5

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 10:33 AM

I second the documentaries.  Although I was anti-screen time at that age, it was a life-saver.  Netflix became my best friend.  I just couldn't keep his mind fed. He learned so much, and then I listened to him "tell-back" everything he just learned. Volcanoes, Dinosaurs, Space, and geography were the big hits.  I still have a love hate relationship with screens, but you can only read aloud so much.  

 

Good luck!

 



#11 dmmetler

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 11:31 AM

What I would NOT do- listen to well meaning people who suggest that he needs to be around kids his age. Trust me, he doesn't. A 2 yr old with that level of verbal skills and cognitive reasoning simply cannot communicate with most 2 yr olds, and doesn't have the skills yet to adjust his level of discourse and play to other kids. That doesn't mean anything is wrong with him. We ended up having my DD assessed at age 2 because she was so non-interactive and frankly miserable at daycare. The result of the assessment was "we can't give you an IQ score due to age, but she is definitely at the high end of the GT range somewhere" and "find a different child care provider, because your kid is literally bored to tears". Kindergarten a year early was only slightly less miserable, and that was with an IEP and going up several grades for math and reading.

What worked here-preschool storytime at the library was a favorite until she got to preschool age, at which point it was too boring. Preschool music classes (she could do those for free since I taught in the ECED music ed program), again, going up a year or two. Lots of time outside. Lots of books in multiple languages, even ones I couldn't read or speak. All the community activities at the local Jewish Community Center and temples (we aren't Jewish, but DH's company included a membership to their amazing fitness center as a benefit at the time, and DD adored anything in Hebrew, so we went to everything that was open. The Orthodox community especially was very friendly to a gifted preschooler.) Finding the local homeschool group park days and starting to attend-enough parents had preschool age siblings that they welcomed mine, and DD could find her own level. Legos. Lots of notebooks for writing and drawing. HWOT K when she really, really wanted to learn to write and was frustrated her letters didn't look right. Tons and tons of craft supplies.
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#12 IvyInFlorida

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Posted 29 January 2017 - 01:25 PM

Loving this advice--I can tell its from folks who've BTDT!



#13 chocolate-chip chooky

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 04:53 PM

I second the idea of magnetic letters. My daughter was doing that at that age. She'd sit at the fridge and make words while I did what needed doing in the kitchen.

 

 

Other ideas:

 

- measuring tape

- magnifying glass

- scales (balancing ones and also a digital one)

- measuring cups/spoons

- kinetic sand

- language games eg I Spy, alliteration games, rhyming games (all great for phonological awareness)

 

A fun (and free) activity is to go to a hardware or paint store and get a range of paint sample cards. You know the sort with gradations of one colour?

You can cut the cards into individual colours and the child has to grade from darkest to lightest. It looks really beautiful.

If you really want to go all Montessori, you can get a small floor mat and that can be rolled out anywhere and defines his 'work area'. It values his 'work' and it minimises the spread of bits and pieces. 

 

Here's how lovely it looks:

http://www.montessor...olor_Box_3.jpg

 

It can also be used as a treasure hunt. Give your child one colour and he has to hunt the house for something that matches that shade exactly. He can be a 'colour detective'. 

 

 

 


Edited by chocolate-chip chooky, 30 January 2017 - 04:58 PM.


#14 Have kids -- will travel

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 07:54 PM

I second a vote to avoid Reading Eggs. Math Seeds was actually a much more enjoyable experience, but the trial period is more than enough. I never paid for it.

 

TeachYourMonsterToRead.com is excellent. I highly recommend it, and my boys loved it at that age. There are three levels, so you can pick the most appropriate. My older boy only did level 2, my younger did levels 1 and 2. Neither really liked level 3 as much.

 

For independent learning:

-- Mazes (Kumon has a great variety): my boys loved to sit and do maze after maze -- it's the only fine motor work they would do.

-- Building: started with wooden train track construction, moved to building with Duplos, then Legos, then Kapla. Anything that can be built and rebuilt.

-- Sticker books

-- Audio books or song books with CDs: the biggest problem was when I only had one physical book and both boys wanted to follow along

 



#15 EndOfOrdinary

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 12:24 AM

Ds really loved DK books on just about any topic. They have such wonderful pictures that reading was less necessary. He also greatly enjoyed identification books such as the Audobon ones. No reading required. Cross-sections books were a good fit as well.

If we could have afforded it, I would have placed him in music around 2.5. Simple sight reading, scales, learning the rhythm of notes. Nothing insane, but it is essentailly reading skills only no reading required.

We pulled out the a sight words list and explained that the words were really common words that people memorized for reading. Ds loved memorizing! He got to color the words. We found them in the newspaper and he could highlight them. Coloring and drawing might not be fun, but highlighting was a blast! If he knows his letters, seeing if he can spell them. Essentially, just playing with them like crazy for the sheer experience. Nothing formal. If a child can identify the, and then find it everywhere, often they feel like they are reading and it alliviates frustration. A, if, to, is, an, same deal.

If he has 1-1 correspondence down, simple adding of numbers 1-5 at first can be great fun. You can even write up worksheets. Use manipulatives. Adding just becomes lumping together. Use toys he already plays with. Cars can drive together. Animals can walk together. Pennies get earned. Nothing crazy. That might hold him for quite some time. If he wants to venture higher than ten, great. If he doesn't want to go higher, show his subtraction with numbers 5 and lower. Manipulatives again. Cars and animals move away, food gets eaten, pennies get spent.

He really liked hard puzzles. We got one of the U.S. We had another one of the continents. I do not know if you have tried puzzles or not.

Hopefully that helps some

#16 Ebunny

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 01:25 AM

Hey!  I have been lurking on these boards a long time, and have recently read through a ton of posts on this board since discovering that my 7 year old son is 2e and suspecting my 2 1/2 year old son is gifted.  I'd love advice from y'all about my younger son, V.

 

V is one of those kids who cannot have enough "feeding" when it comes to mental stimulation.  I couldn't possibly read aloud to him as much as he would like, or do enough puzzles with him, or have enough conversations about the meanings of words.  I know he wants more because he's very verbal and tells me.  Loudly and clearly, lol. 

 

So I need some ideas about ways he can learn independently when I need to cook supper or take a shower, etc.  This is where he's at right now: he knows letters and letter sounds, numbers and 1-1 correspondence, can count objects to 10 and rote count to 20, shapes, colors, is obsessed with obscure construction vehicles, astronomy ("can we go find 'Rion's Belt, momma?"), and vocabulary ("this bathroom is malodorous").  He's is clearly trying very hard to read--he tries to sound out signs and labels all the time.  I don't sit him down to teach him these things--he absorbs them out of the air or something.  No interest in writing, drawing, or coloring. 

 

I'm thinking maybe something computer-based would work?  He loves and can navigate the computer very well, but is bored with Starfall.  Is Reading Eggs worth the money?  Any other appropriate suggestions, computer-based or not?  We have a great home library and live in the country, so he has a lot of free access to outdoor play and browsing picture books.

 

I appreciate any advice!  When he's clamoring for more, it makes me a little panicky thinking I'm not giving him what he needs...

 

The PPs have offered great suggestions. Ditto to all of them.

YMMV, but If I had an opportunity to re-parent my DD's toddler years again; this is what I would do more of:

 

1- Free and unlimited access to outdoors- with maybe a cheap phone camera (to take pictures), a magnifying glass, binoculars, and a clear container to collect bits of nature. And an adult who loves the outdoors and doesn't mind the million questions of curious minds

2- Unlimited access to books

3- A telescope

4- Formal exposure to classical music.

5- Informal exposure to aesthetics- through museum trips, nature walks, fine art, abstract art etc.

6- Invest in and learn to guide Montessori material for ages 3-6, especially math manipulatives.

 

 

What I would do less of:

1- visual media.

2- writing, drawing, cutting, pasting or any fine motor related 'bench' activity. These have its place in the grand scheme of things but, in hindsight, not at 2 or 3.



#17 pinewarbler

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 09:25 AM

Wow! Been there done that. The unfillable void that is unstoppable.

 

Never had a minute to myself, but should never have sent him to preschool, instead continued to go to community activities with him. JK, SK and Grade 1 were also miserable. He could not relate to the other kids, and they spent the whole day saying to him, “What does that word mean?” BTW, still happens in Grade 5. 

 

I strongly recommend these activities (most mentioned previously) instead of computer time. When it came to this kid we realized that computers and TV would not fill the void, and make life harder for us in the long run. Best decision ever!

 

Art supplies: playdoh, collage materials, paints (kids who hate to colour will paint)

 

Audiobooks… if he is dying to read, then get the kits that come with the book. In our library system they are all still available. At first, I had to sit with them and remind them to turn the page. After a month or so they would sit by themselves sometimes. They learn to read earlier.

Years later I realize that this was one of the most important activities I ever gave my kids.

 

Math manipulatives, like geoboards, base ten blocks, puzzles

 

“Crafts” that help with fine motor skills. Bucket of buttons to sort into 2 groups, ask what the criterion were. Sorting, stringing, gluing… all good. Garage Sales Rock!

My son hated aimless colouring too. However, if it was for something useful, he would do it. So, I had him make his own money. Photocopied pages of “Bunny Money” from flyleaf of the book by Rosemary Wells. He coloured them all in, we glued one page to the other (fronts and backs), and he’d cut out around. Finished Bunny Money to play store with.

 

Science

Bowl of rice etc, measuring spoons, scale, different shape vessels. Use tongs to move each pompom to the scale (tricky). Sort each marble using a spoon into muffin tins. My son saw this as ‘serious’ work… some of these kids don’t want to think they are playing.

 

Outdoors

Hikes looking for animals and plants, collecting. He has the most incredible collection of fossils, skulls, insects (we only collected dead ones!). From experience, he can identify tons of wild plants, birds and butterflies now.

 

LEGO LEGO LEGO. And more lego. And more.

 

 

I’m just remembering an essential technique… rotation. We had a kid’s ‘workbench’ with kid’s tools etc which he used constantly. It was in the kitchen so he could be with me working and listening to classical music. Once a month while he was sleeping I would convert it from tool bench to a kitchen set or a shop with all the accessories. 

Just changing the context of the toys was sometimes enough to make it completely new.

 

 

Because of the unfillable void, we had boxes and boxes of craft/ math/‘science’ supplies. We’re “Marie Konding” our basement right now. I think I understand now why we had so much and why we kept it for so long. Those boxes of foam paper, origami supplies, tissue paper, puzzles, buttons and pompoms were a lifesaver!



#18 IvyInFlorida

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 12:36 PM

These ideas are wonderful.  I so appreciate every one.



#19 slackermom

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 02:22 PM

Reading all of these took me back! Dd is 12 now, but she has always been a knowledge sponge, and very adamant about needing to know even more. Montessori ideas were very helpful, and helped to make her more independent.

We used lots of the ideas above. One other thing we did was to make her own books using blank photo albums, and portfolios with clear sleeves. We did both fiction and non-fiction. For example, looking through magazines, we cut out pictures, and she would create a new story of her own. Or, she would pull images together for a collection.

#20 IvyInFlorida

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 04:41 AM

Just wanted to report back on the success of the few ideas I've been able to try this week.  On our weekly trip to the library, I happened across a DK Smithsonian encyclopedia of cars, trains, and planes and remembered this thread.  It's about 300 pages and weighs about as much as V does.  But I have never seen him so excited in my life.  He chattered endlessly to the librarian about the different vehicles using proper names.  He carried it into the grocery store and flagged down passersby to inform them about it.  He cried when I wouldn't let him lug it on our evening walk around the property.  He didn't ask me to do a puzzle with him at all today because he is so into that book! 

 

Also, I moved our math manipulatives, "safe" art supplies, stickers, and kumon books to the lowest shelf for him and am pretty pleased that so far the mess has been manageable and he is loving it.  Still working on other suggestions, but the last couple of days have definitely been an improvement, with fewer "feed my brain!" meltdowns. 


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#21 mom of 2 boys

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 04:35 PM

My 5 year old is 2e and at that age he spent hours on educational apps. He loved the endless alphabet series. They have a couple of similar ones (Endless reader, Endless numbers) which are also good. He liked the hooked on phonics app until he outgrew it. He was obsessed with http://iluvtrucks.com/  for awhile. Eventually he started using ABC Mouse, which isn't the greatest thing in the world, but I think it's worth the price. He also used to love sitting down and reading flash cards, when we had the time to go through them with him. 

 

I second the advice to ignore well meaning people's opinions. People who are not raising a child like this just don't get it. 



#22 IvyInFlorida

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 06:27 AM

Just another update in case anyone was looking at this thread for ideas...

 

He still doesn't want to do anything independently to give me a break to fold laundry or anything, but in terms of keeping his "feed my brain" anxiety down, these things are working well: magnifying glasses, DK encyclopedias, podcasts, a magnetic writing board, colored dice/pom poms of different sizes and colors/marbles to sort endlessly, and making an ally of the local librarian.  :)

 

I bought a nice set of magnatile-type block thingies that he'll get for his birthday in July. 

 

His newest obsession is, to my surprise, workbooks.  He loves the R&S and Kumon preschool ones I had on hand and burns through about 10 pages a day and will literally melt down if he doesn't get the opportunity to do them.  Despite having no previous interest in fine motor, it turns out he has a pretty decent "pencil" grip.

 

I think I expected that I could maybe find something to occupy him so I didn't have to talk through everything with him every waking moment...sounds like I'm a terrible momma I know, but that's introversion for you!  But today, after a long and very involved conversation about shadows, light, etc., I realized conversation is probably my best education tool and I just have to suck it up.  :)  Probably those who have BTDT can relate...


Edited by IvyInFlorida, 18 March 2017 - 06:27 AM.