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I keep stopping myself from posting on one of the kindergarten threads in the K-8 forum. I had thought we were within the range of normal, but it doesn't feel like it as much right now. I've been reading and posting in this forum because I've started working with my daughter who is not K age yet. I feel like my children are average bright kids, but maybe my own perception is skewed? None of my children are fluent in Ancient Greek, for what it's worth. ;)

 

Ok, so if this is completely normal and I'm just being ridiculous, feel free to slap me upside the head. Really.

 

My daughter is 4 years, 7 months. I did phonics instruction with her using Funnix, then just switched to having her read some things to me when it was clear she was past the program. (So she didn't just pick up reading completely on her own.) Books she has read to herself silently lately are all in the 4th to 5th grade level according to Bookwizard. For example, she has read Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (4.5), Pippi in the South Seas (5.5), and Because of Winn-Dixie (4.1) in the last few days. Right now she is reading Freddie the Detective (5.2) on the couch. Most of the reading she chooses is around this level, and she is definitely understanding the story and details. She is able to read up to around 7th and 8th grade material, but she doesn't have all of the vocabulary for that level yet.

 

I know that reading a few levels down for pleasure reading is normal, and I'm really not worried about helping her advance right now. (Meaning I think she will be able to read through high school material without the accompanying maturity with a little more vocabulary under her belt.) She just reads a couple lessons in McGuffey and I try to find read-alouds that are a still a stretch. Her stamina is really taking off lately, although I'd like her to spend a little less time reading for the sake of her little eyes.

 

I'm just trying to figure out if we are actually outside of the norm, or if I'm just overly sensitive for some strange reason. I don't think she's that advanced. She isn't a prodigy on an instrument or displaying unusual precocity in math (although I will freely admit I have been holding her back a bit there, and I'm not really sure why?) and I don't think her foreign language skills are that exceptional. I really feel like she is just an average bright kid who has been taught to read. Am I wrong?

 

And thank you for indulging me if you bothered to read this far. I feel absolutely ridiculous for even typing this out.

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I don't think you are off-base at all! Like you, I thought my dd (now 7) was bright, but pretty normal. However, when she was 4 she went from sounding out words to reading full-length books practically overnight, which seemed a little unusual. We had her tested (for unrelated reasons), and as it turns out, she is gifted. I think because she is not profoundly gifted I sort of missed it at first (like you said, she doesn't speak Greek or solve multiplication problems in her head). Looking back, I realize there were signs. For example, when she was 9 months old our babysitter told me that my dd recognized most of her letters (we had toy "candy" letters). I didn't really believe it at first, but it was true.

 

I can tell you that most 4 and half year olds are not reading books anywhere near the level you describe! So buckle your seat belt, you are likely to be in for quite a ride...have fun:001_smile:

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No, that's not just a 4yo who's been taught to read. She had a gift in that area and being taught to read was opening it.

 

So she's not a prodigy in every area. That doesn't mean she's not an extremely gifted advanced reader. You likely also have a natural speller on your hands. She will probably soak up all aspects of written language and pick up on things other kids have to be explicitly taught.

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If a 4 and a half year old isn't reading, it isn't necessarily because they haven't been taught to and vice versa, it's not just teaching (or teaching at all, in even rarer cases I imagine) that results in a child reading that well and that early. There are certain developmental "clicks" that have to take place that can't be forced and the rate they have happened for your little one is definitely outside of the norm.

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If it makes you feel any better, it's within this last year that I've realized my kids are "different" too. Part of my skewed perception was that I am gifted myself and it runs in my family. What seems typical to me, is not typical to everyone else.

 

Just be aware that it is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you can expect certain things from your child because they are capable and will perform. On the flip side, however, there will be asynchronous moments where you need to keep in perspective that she is "only 4." Sometimes I think I should tattoo such wording to my children's heads so I remember that when they do something so typically age appropriate. (Said from the woman today who had her four-year-old tell her a few sums correctly, but then completely skipped 15 when counting out spaces. :001_huh:)

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Huh. Well those weren't the responses I was expecting. I'm still feeling a little foolish for asking the question to begin with, but thank you for some outside perspective.

 

Be thankful you figured it out now! People kept telling me and I thought they were being nice. It wasn't until we tested in 3rd grade that I found out how far ahead I should have been teaching.

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I agree that it is way outside of the norm (and I say that as a former Kindergarten teacher.) HOWEVER, I still remain convinced that if parents of neurotypical kids were trained in ways to start helping their children learn to read, we would be seeing more kids enter Kindergarten already reading. Maria Montessori use to say that there was a window when it was easier to teach kids phonics, and I think that was around 3 and 4.

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She's outside the norm. Not really sure "how far," because at some point reading level becomes more of a stamina/interest issue than a native ability level. But typically, a 4yo is just starting to read even if she's been exposed to the tools and has no learning barriers.

 

I would say that my oldest 5yo is currently "typical" for a KG child who's been taught reading (but not rigorously). She can read a very easy storybook, with help on words that she hasn't learned and aren't easy to sound out. The P.D. Eastman books are about right for her.

 

My younger 5yo is able to read almost anything written for children, though she is kind of on strike from reading any quantity of challenging stuff. I'm about to have her tested for giftedness so that she can enter 1st at 5.5.

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For example, she has read Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (4.5), Pippi in the South Seas (5.5), and Because of Winn-Dixie (4.1) in the last few days. Right now she is reading Freddie the Detective (5.2) on the couch. Most of the reading she chooses is around this level, and she is definitely understanding the story and details. She is able to read up to around 7th and 8th grade material, but she doesn't have all of the vocabulary for that level yet.

 

Just to give you some perspective, my son was enrolled in a private school at 4 years 11 months. The teacher was writing alphabets on the whiteboard and numbers up to 10. It was a class for 4.5-5 year olds but here's the interesting fact: it is an accelerated school with a very low teacher to student ratio and a highly respected reputation for its advanced program. The kids have to take an entrance test. Now, how many of those kids were already reading at 4th-5th grade level is impossible to say but seeing that it was a low ratio, the teacher should have caught on if the majority of them were already reading right?

 

I agree that what your child is doing is not the norm. And I am happy for you that you are asking these questions now instead of waiting till she's 6 or 7 like I did with my son.

 

ETA: I know she's only 4 and I realize this is too soon but you might want to keep OnlineG3 in your horizon/ plans for when she turns 6 or so. :)

Edited by quark
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She sounds very similar to my dd7. I haven't had her tested, but she started reading completely fluently at age three. We went through the Hooked on Phonics program very quickly, and I thought "Wow, I am good at this teaching reading thing." :lol: Turns out it had nothing to do with me at all. :tongue_smilie: Now at 7, dd is a year ahead in grammar and writing, but in reading and spelling she is about 5 grade levels ahead.

 

Now that I am teaching dd5 how to read, I am realizing how outside the norm dd7 really is. Dd5 is reading at grade level. But her progress is much slower, and she has to work at it. Dd7 seemed to be almost pre-programmed for language. She picks up other languages very easily too (we are studying Latin and Mandarin).

 

Gifted? Not sure. Typical? Definitely not, I am discovering. :001_smile:

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My Dd could read that well at that age. She would read a stack of difficult picture books for hours, but she wouldn't read a chapter book. She had a short attention span. She would read for hours only if she got a new story every 5-10 minutes. Sometimes she would figure out a rule intuitively and sometimes I had to tell her a phonics rule - usually just once. She is somewhat advanced academically (reads well and is in Saxon 6/5) and has always been bright (she could do a 48 piece floor puzzle in less than 2 minutes when she was two), but I've never considered her to be gifted. I really don't think she is and that's okay.

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That sounds early and a natural reader, and I'd use the term precocious. ;) She sounds outside the norm and there's certainly no reason for you to feel silly!

 

....but I think it is important (esp at these young ages) to meet the child where they are. Keep in mind that most extremely gifted kids don't display abnormal brain development/skills until they are older (reading about this I think it was ~7yo) -- their brains just seem to develop longer. Some kids who do math or reading precociously will always excel at it, while others will "level out" around 3rd grade or so. They'll likely stay "ahead" but they won't be accelerating any longer.

 

In my case, my 2 dd's both showed phonetic awareness around 4yo. My oldest started 100EL right at 5yo and completed it in 4 months before K. I introduced addition at the same time. A year later she was reading novels and doing long division. At 4yo, she was clearly "bright" but not especially accelerated. By 7yo she was reading 8th grade material with perfect comprehension at over 450 wpm, reading 1,000 pages per week, and 3 grades ahead in math. By 8yo she was well ahead in math and LA, but now advancing more at a grade-per-year. Her sister is the same, except running about 5mo behind her sister. Ironically, she's probably more gifted and thinks more "outside the box" (which is probably why she's less interested in her lessons, lol). Their younger brother is a whole other kettle of fish -- he taught himself his letters and sounds months before his 2nd birthday and is reading CVC at 3yo. He counts to 10 forwards and backwards and can add in his head. I have to relearn how to teach everything since his maturity and attention span are so different than his sisters when they were learning these things! :lol: Down the line, will he excel more or less than his sisters? I have no idea. I just try to keep aware of where he is now, provide him learning opportunities without pushing, and follow where it leads.

 

I will say, having advanced readers can be a challenge -- it can be tough to keep a steady supply of good but age-content-appropriate books on hand. You probably don't' want a K'r reading most books written for an 8th grader! Reading early does make a lot of teaching easier, since they can read their own directions in math books and such.

 

So, a child that doesn't read until 6yo may still be gifted in reading. A child that excels at reading as early as yours may continue to accelerate, or may "hit a wall" and slow down later. My advice would be to acknowledge that dc's reading is unusual and advanced. You may be on the road of continuous acceleration, or dd may just be "early". Provide the enrichment, but just try to enjoy the ride wherever it leads. :)

 

[ETA: I guess I'm saying, don't get sucked into the trap of labeling and then expecting her to continue or grow in certain ways. She's on her own path, and that seems to be a significantly accelerated path, but it can be tricky to not let your expectations distract you. I think it is awesome that you just view her as normal bright. ;) ]

 

WHatever your dd's path, enjoy the wild ride! :D

Edited by ChandlerMom
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Some kids who do math or reading precociously will always excel at it, while others will "level out" around 3rd grade or so. They'll likely stay "ahead" but they won't be accelerating any longer.

By 8yo she was well ahead in math and LA, but now advancing more at a grade-per-year. Her sister is the same, except running about 5mo behind her sister.

 

My son has seemed to hit developmental walls at times and then slowed down, like when he hit 4th and 8th grade material. After about 6 months, he seems to adjust and quickly marches on again. But for some more persepective, I believe that being 2 grade levels ahead in curriculum puts your shild in the 99.5%tile. :001_smile: Even if they slow down their acceleration a bit, being that far ahead is still a sign of great giftedness. ;)

 

To the original poster, realize that it is not just the reading ability that is being displayed, but the advanced attention span, comprehension and IQ too. You could start with advanced history and science. You could get STOW on CD and have her follow along in the book. Kids that gifted are usually very interested in everything. I would consider exposing her to all sorts of subjects to see what interests her most. Mine was very interested in the economy at that age. You never know what will strike their fancy! ;)

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My suggestion, having had a similar child (who tested post high school on reading comprehension at age 5)-NONFICTION. You'll find that that 4th-5th grade level interest on fiction is likely to stay awhile, simply because after that point, you start getting into YA books that aren't interesting to little kids

(and shouldn't be). My daughter's current faves are books like Percy Jackson, How to Train Your Dragon, Emily Windsnap and the like-and they're all right around that 5th grade reading level. Even many adult books aren't much higher than that if you actually look at the AR levels. Non-fiction has been key to finding books that are a little more difficult that interest my DD and that are still "Safe" for her. Poetry and classics are also ways to stretch her a bit-but again, appropriateness is a concern.

 

You'll hear people saying "It's just reading, the others will catch up", and maybe that happens for some accelerated kids who are early readers, but for my DD, it was more that she mastered reading, and then jumped to other areas. At your DD's age, reading was the most noticible difference, but at 7, she's really starting to pull away in math, for example, and I've seen her general understanding and comprehension and synthesis of the world take great leaps in about the last year.

 

But yes, based on reactions I've gotten-including the developmental team that tested DD at age 2, and the group from the schools that tested her at age 4, high reading levels in a child who isn't even K age is quite unusual-and based on our experience, I wouldn't even BOTHER with traditional schools unless you've got one that's very unusual.

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Leveling out by third grade is an unfortunate concept, since it seems to be so often used to deny services to gifted children early on. However, it's probably got a grain of truth to it: some kids do slow down. I think what's going on in many of those non-gifted cases is a combination of good processing and memory driving an early above-average ability for memorization of facts, especially for children in a stimulus-rich environment (read as: full-on hothousing parents, or just exposure to phonics and basic math facts earlier due to PBS, software, etc.). Grades 1-3 are full of so much basic memorization, but new facts are simultaneously presented at such a slow pace, that some non-gifted children can seem gifted just because their fact acquisition makes them stand out.

 

ChandlerMom, I'm curious about your statement that "most extremely gifted kids don't display abnormal brain development/skills until they are older". I don't think that that's true, but I am curious where you got the idea. :bigear: I might agree that some don't.

 

OP, your daughter's reading achievement is certainly well outside the norm, so you're not being silly. It's hard to know exactly what sort of thinking ability your daughter may have just based on early reading, but I'd say that precocious reading with good comprehension is certainly a marker for giftedness.

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I could have written the original post. I'm not sure why I was so against the idea of dd being gifted when she was 4. I think I was resistant to people telling her all the time how smart she was because I was worried about her developing a good work ethic. I identified as gifted when I was in elementary school and was bored to death. I actually missed serious portions of the 2nd grade with an illness and the teacher told my parents it was probably a good thing because I was bored and too far ahead anyway. I wasn't pushed at home or school and therefore was an underachiever and lazy. I think that makes me hyper-senstive to the whole idea of giftedness.

 

 

As we move further down the homeschooling road (she is almost 7) it has become too obvious to deny. It is also apparent that I have no choice but to push her and accelerate her significantly or she will be just as lazy an unmotivated as I was. She has an incredible attention span which I first noticed before she was two. If she's interested in something she will spend hours on it. That doesn't mean she will school herself for hours. For example she is ahead in math but doesn't like it...I have to make her do it most days.

 

Also, I should add that this forum has been a great blessing for me. It helps me stay grounded. I can get feedback and do research about ways to challenge her without feeling like the people I'm talking to think I'm crazy. It's very helpful to hear from people who have btdt. It's also to read about people pushing their children academically. It's almost embarrassing to talk to people in homeschool groups around me about curriculum. I see nothing wrong with other methods or unschooling but it's just not what is best for my daughter.

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FWIW, my younger began reading at around 4, and by 5 he was reading similar books. He is now 6 years old, and reads a wide range of books, from Calvin & Hobbes to Magic Treehouse to Charlotte's Web to Grimm's Fairy Tales. He particularly enjoys non-fiction books in history and science. He is advanced in Math, but not ridiculously so, and very advanced in other language arts areas like spelling, vocabulary and grammar. His reading comprehension is excellent-we're reading Oliver Twist right now as a read-aloud and he can tell me what's happening very accurately.

 

I consider him exceptional in this regard, but by no means a prodigy. I suppose he is "gifted", but I don't really like that word. He is where he is, and I present material appropriate to his level. I am grateful to homeschool because his public schooled friends are learning addition of single digit numbers, and how to sound out basic words. A few are reading but not fluently. I think he would be bored there (but he'd love the social aspect ;))

 

I don't know what my point is, exactly, but I do know that this board is a God send, and that your best bet is to just listen to your child, and let her move at whatever pace works for her.

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I don't know what my point is, exactly, but I do know that this board is a God send, and that your best bet is to just listen to your child, and let her move at whatever pace works for her.

 

:iagree: I think it's helpful to get "validation" from us, so that you are confident in your curriculum choices. I completely understand why you posted, and agree with the others that your DD seems to be an exceptionally bright girl. :)

 

 

I will say that at some point it may not be easy to meet her where she is, and lots of questions will start to come up as to what will be the best, and at that point, I don't think it can hurt to get her tested. Just my 2 cents. ;)

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I was shocked when I read a statistic somewhere on the Federal Dept. of Education website several years ago that only 3% of entering K students could decode simple BOB books type sentences and only 1% were fluent readers. In my social circle, it's about 50% entering K decoding. OTOH, enrollment in Jr. Kumon from age 3 on is also the norm.

 

If you live in a similar environment, it's easy to get a skewed perception of "normal". I knew my DD was an early reader even by the norms of our social circle, but I didn't realize how unusual it was for a child to be fluently reading Magic Treehouse type books by 4 1/2.

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You've all given me a lot to think about. I'm coming to realize that my husband and I both have slightly skewed expectations. It isn't so much that we anticipate a certain level of performance, as much as that we take it for granted when it happens. I go back and forth on whether or not we should do testing at some point, but I'll probably find that information useful a few years down the road.

 

I'm also glad to hear where things have gone from others with similar experiences. I know where I ended up, but she isn't me. Having a few more real-life examples to consider has been very helpful.

 

Thank you all again for your input. It's nice to be able to ask these kinds of questions without people looking at you like you're crazy. (Or at least I can't see it if you're making funny faces at me from your own computers!)

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I was shocked when I read a statistic somewhere on the Federal Dept. of Education website several years ago that only 3% of entering K students could decode simple BOB books type sentences and only 1% were fluent readers. In my social circle, it's about 50% entering K decoding. OTOH, enrollment in Jr. Kumon from age 3 on is also the norm.

 

Hmm. It would be interesting to know what this statistic would be if you took out the kids who started KG a year after they met the date cutoff. I know some folks who kept their kids out a year and they were reading when they started KG around age 6.

 

My oldest is one of the higher achievers in her KG, and she knew exactly 1 sight word and could decode very little when she entered KG (at age 4.9).

 

Then again, my youngest was fluent, so I guess you could say it's 50% here, LOL.

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ChandlerMom, I'm curious about your statement that "most extremely gifted kids don't display abnormal brain development/skills until they are older". I don't think that that's true, but I am curious where you got the idea. :bigear: I might agree that some don't.

 

Two books I found interesting that address this are Nuture Shock (a book I like the science parts but often disagree with the opinion parts, LOL). I found this excerpt online from Chapter 5:

<<

According to the research, a child’s intellectual potential cannot be accurately gauged until they are in Grade 3. This is because brain development is variable – rather than falling into a bell curve, it follows sharp spikes in growth that are difficult to predict. It has also been shown that some children who later turned out to be gifted were below average in kindergarten – Einstein was one such child.

 

There are currently no tests available that can accurately predict how well a child will perform academically later in life. Any academic inclination demonstrated at such early ages merely suggest that the child has a good background.

 

There is a correlation between intelligence and the thickness of the cerebral cortex of the brain. Generally, the thicker the cerebral cortex, the better and the cerebral cortex peaks in thickness before the age of seven. In other words, the raw material for intelligence is already established by the age of seven.

 

However, research by Drs Giedd and Shaw from the National Institutes of Health found that while smart kids did have a bit thicker cortex at this age compared to the average child, the most intelligent kids had much thinner cortices early on. They did not reach their peak thickness until the age of 11 or 12 – the age at which IQ test authors claim that IQ tests become more reliable for testing a person’s IQ.

>>

 

and my favorite, Medina's Brain Rules and Brain Rules for Kids.

 

Mind you, it isn't so much that a child who is extraordinarily precocious early will become an average student later on, rather that what appears as the top 1% might end up being the top 10%, for example (can't remember the exact numbers). It is more that the profoundly gifted often do not "show up" until later. Plus like you said, early excelling can also just be a sign of hothousing or just a stimulating early environment.

 

Also, I suspect most early excelling is mostly a matter of the brain being innately wired to handle higher levels stuff. For example, my eldest dd could think abstractly by 4yo -- I recognized this since my brain is wired the same way. :p Because of this, early math is trivial and she was happily solving algebraic problems in 2 variables in Kindergarten. Most kids can't handle that kind of abstraction until late elementary. So does that make her smart or just better wired for higher level problem solving?

 

In comparison, my ds could identify letters from a puzzle even if they were upside down or flipped before he was 2yo. And he understood their symbolic relationship to sound. So his precociousness/giftedness seems to have to do with great spacial and pattern recognition abilities, and likely will also be good at abstraction. It could be the OP's dc has similar gifts that make reading seem easy to her.

 

Not taking anything away from the abilities of our dc or the fact they are outside of "normal". :D I think the OP's response said it well that the challenge exists between taking excellence for granted and expecting them. For me it's a constant battle of tweaking materials to engage and challenge my dc and yet not push or start expecting too much.

 

Around here the focus is definitely on focus, work ethic, and attitude. ;) I believe those things determine success in life more than anything (with a little luck thrown in, and being bright doesn't hurt :lol: ).

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ChandlerMom, again, I am interested in your statement that "most extremely gifted kids don't display abnormal brain development/skills until they are older". I don't believe that that's accurate-- do you have any support for the idea that most extremely gifted children don't present as such until older?

 

Any amount of references to exceptions such as Einstein don't translate to support for anything about most exceptionally gifted children. "Nurture Shock" is a popular book by a journalist which mentions in passing and glosses over a great deal of psychological research, but it's certainly not a primary reference on anything, and certainly not on giftedness or exceptional/profound giftedness.

 

The idea that very early IQ tests are not as reliable as those given to later children doesn't at all support the idea that "most extremely gifted kids don't display abnormal brain development/skills until they are older". In fact, due to the phenomenon known as regression to the mean, one would expect some early high scorers to score lower on later tests at any age. This doesn't in any way mean that most (more than half) of exceptionally gifted people would display the opposite behavior of scoring lower early and higher later; and in addition your statement was more broad-sweeping in claiming that exceptionally gifted people present as normally developing until later ages (instead of just testing normal or lower on IQ tests), which is inaccurate.

 

The work of Miraca Gross, Deborah Ruf, and others who do actually study exceptionally gifted people shows that the opposite is true-- they very often do show exceptional abilities early on, even if there are some high achieving chaff in with the wheat.

Edited by Iucounu
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No child should be labeled as having a LD without a diagnosis, but also in a perfect world red flag indicators of LDs (as opposed to competitive-mommy angst) would never be ignored. There's no harm in a doctor's visit. I agree totally that littles shouldn't be pushed-- especially with reading it's not only potentially harmful but can be highly counterproductive.

Edited by Iucounu
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ChandlerMom, again, I am interested in your statement that "most extremely gifted kids don't display abnormal brain development/skills until they are older". I don't believe that that's accurate-- do you have any support for the idea that most extremely gifted children don't present as such until older?

 

Well, the same book claimed 73% of the time screening tests in K are wrong, so that would be MOST. The biggest problem appears to be trying to distinguish between the top 10%, 1%, and 0.1% and missing the highly gifted altogether by screening too early. Similar conclusions were drawn in Medina's book, which I have more trust in (he is a professor of neurobiology and not a journalist, for one thing).

 

I also didn't say that MOST exceptionally gifted will score lower than the average, just that they may not get flagged as gifted in early tests. Also, regression to the mean is only relevant if you assume the high score was a result of luck or guessing and not an accurate measure. The term in statistics has to do with things that have a normal distribution and random variability.

 

As to MOST vs MANY vs SOME -- you're focussing on one word in a post. If I was trying to write a scientific paper I would have used numbers and citations and I would have defined "extremely", etc. My point was simply that you have to remain open to your child's developing abilities and not get caught in the label/expectations trap, either by expecting too much from a precocious child or by labeling a child as neurotypical before they've had a chance to excel.

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I also didn't say that MOST exceptionally gifted will score lower than the average

What you wrote was that "most extremely gifted kids don't display abnormal brain development/skills until they are older". All the evidence I've seen actually points in the other direction. Early high achievement is not usually sufficient to show giftedness (although it is always an indicator), but a lack of early higher-than-normal achievement is actually not found in most extremely gifted kids.

 

Why does this even matter? Because it can lead to a difference in attitude for parents and educators. If a child is scoring off the charts in math, teaching himself multiplication etc. at four, he's quite likely to be gifted, and it would do him an extreme disservice to merely note his advancement and take a wait-and-see approach to see whether he "levels out by third grade", based on the mistaken notion that that's more likely than not. That's been the approach of many educators in the past, and it's harmful.

 

Early IQ test scores are less accurate predictors of long-term achievement or giftedness than ones around age 7-9, but that doesn't mean that they're completely inaccurate either. They can definitely be heavily influenced by early environment, especially in reliance on vocabulary and other measures of crystallized intelligence. There are ways around this problem; decent assessments of giftedness rely on multiple factors, not just an isolated IQ score.

 

regression to the mean is only relevant if you assume the high score was a result of luck or guessing and not an accurate measure.

Not true. It would be due to variability, not necessarily due to luck or guessing.

 

As to MOST vs MANY vs SOME -- you're focussing on one word in a post. If I was trying to write a scientific paper I would have used numbers and citations and I would have defined "extremely", etc. My point was simply that you have to remain open to your child's developing abilities and not get caught in the label/expectations trap, either by expecting too much from a precocious child or by labeling a child as neurotypical before they've had a chance to excel.

It's definitely true that some gifted children are late bloomers, though as far as I know it's untrue that most are. I don't think that expectations should be forced on anyone who can't fulfill them, but on the other hand I don't think that expectations of normal development, in the face of contrary evidence, are helpful either.

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It definitely wouldn't hurt, but I am convinced that kids read when they are ready to read. I had one very early reader. My second was not an early reader. He started reading at about 6. However, he went from sounding out "cat" to reading chapter books in about a month. It's like a switch was flicked. At 3 or 4 he wasn't interested and wouldn't even tolerate me reading to him.

 

 

I used to be somewhat skeptical about this, in the context in which it's often used (i.e., if a 6-7yo isn't learning the basics, there probably isn't an issue, just give him/her time).

 

But my eldest has taught me a few things too. She was one who did not like to sit still to listen to stories and had zero interest in looking at the text. I figured this was due to her vision issues - and maybe it was, who knows? But recently she is the one who comes and looks at my book during read-alouds, trying to find words that she knows and figure out where I'm at in the text. She actually has more reading stamina now than her far advanced sister, some days. Basically she's like a different kid than she was just a month or two ago. So I guess that's what people mean by "clicked."

 

My other kid was always a book fiend. Even before she could walk you could usually find her nose in a book if she was doing her own thing. So with her, there wasn't a "click" other than the fact that she one day figured out that she had enough skills to really read. (It's actually a mystery to me how early she began "knowing what stuff said." Whereas with my other kid, given that she has to see a word many times before she can remember it, there is a fairly clear cutoff.)

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And it should not be assumed that if a child isn't reading upon entering K or shortly there after it was because the parent didn't work with them. That sentiment drives me crazy.

 

And the converse as well - if my kid is reading well, it does not mean I "worked with" her in the sense many people assume. And, I would not say parents have to "work with" kids before KG other than to prepare them behaviorally, provide experiences to talk about, and try to develop the language for such discussions. If they pick up reading or ask to be taught before KG, more power to them, but I don't see it as something to criticize if they don't.

 

I have a view of literacy and share reading with my kids accordingly. In fact, I had bought a lot of learning materials and practice readers before my kids were even born, thinking we'd go through them at a modest pace around age 4.5 (like I did with my kid sister). But before I ever dug the easy reader stuff out of the basement, my youngest was already beyond most of it. With the eldest, it hasn't been that dramatic (so far), but it's not linear either.

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So I think there is something to be said for letting kids develop certain skills in their own time. And it should not be assumed that if a child isn't reading upon entering K or shortly there after it was because the parent didn't work with them. That sentiment drives me crazy. Heck, if all a kid does is sit and watch TV as a toddler they are still being exposed to a lot of opportunities for learning things. I'm convinced the LeapFrog videos are magical. :D So unless a child was locked in a closet how are they no learning things prior to entering K?

 

Well, I wasn't already reading when I entered Kindergarten. My ACT score put me in the top .19% of test takers the year I took the test. (Which is more a measure of test-taking ability than anything, but I digress.) My husband has a matching score from a year without available national data. He says he was reading before school, but his mom's stories lead me to believe that he was too busy getting into mischief for anyone to notice. Neither of us would have been recommended for any kind of gifted program, if they had even been available, based on our appearance at 5.

 

My sister was nearly deaf until she was 4. I don't know if she also has any learning disabilities, but I do know that she never seemed to recover from that early deficit. I do think it is possible for a lack of stimulating environment to have a profound effect, but I think it goes far beyond not teaching phonics to toddlers.

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Going from my first reading well at 4 to my 6 year old not reading at all in the beginning I was sweating bullets. My worries turned out to be for nothing.

 

I know what you mean. Had we still been in this situation by the end of him being 6 or into 7 I would have probably sought outside help.

 

 

As a mom of a kid who very much needed vision therapy, I was already concerned* when she was 3. Whether this is appropriate for other parents or just mother's intuition proving itself right, I don't know. I do know that it is typical for boys to be ready a bit later than girls, and it's not really unusual for a 6yo boy to just be starting to read. My brother was just starting to read at that age, though he was already in 1st (they didn't push reading in KG then). By the end of the 1st grade, based on his reading scores, they earmarked him for the "advanced" 2nd grade (which threw him out over handwriting and disorganization, but that's another post for another day).

 

*(Obviously I wasn't expecting my kid to read at 3, but there were some factors that tipped me off to abnormal development. Vision problems are subtle at that age, but because of my background knowledge in the areas of dyslexia and vision problems, coupled with vague clues in her birth family, I noticed and luckily discovered vision therapy.)

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I don't know what my point is, exactly, but I do know that this board is a God send, and that your best bet is to just listen to your child, and let her move at whatever pace works for her.

 

:iagree:

 

I don't think that expectations should be forced on anyone who can't fulfill them, but on the other hand I don't think that expectations of normal development, in the face of contrary evidence, are helpful either.

 

By this last statement do you mean that if a child shows some giftedness that taking a wait-and-see approach would be harmful? Just seeking clarification.

 

If that is what you meant, then in the context of homeschooling, and taking into account what Halcyon stated, the 'he is where he is' attitude how would you avoid expectations of "normal development". Or would you consider following the child's ability level to be adhering to a gifted child's needs?

 

Just curious because homeschooling presents the problem of "not knowing" what is normal and thus posts like this one. And how to maintain a steady supply of appropriate work for a gifted child who is not profoundly so, which of course is a whole other ballgame, I would presume.

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My second was not an early reader. He started reading at about 6. However, he went from sounding out "cat" to reading chapter books in about a month. It's like a switch was flicked. At 3 or 4 he wasn't interested and wouldn't even tolerate me reading to him.

 

 

... so encouraged to see this! Button wouldn't let us read to him when he was a _baby_, and by toddlerhood only tolerated a few favorites; in K I had to bribe him with white chocolate to let me read new books; he was a non-reader halfway through K and at 6 still doesn't read nearly as far ahead as many/most accelerated children. In his case I think it was temperament, though.

 

-- the PPs mentioning a deaf child, and one with vision problems, make the excellent point that a child falling way off the curve in the non-performance direction may certainly have a disability. Hearing esp. is so critical. In Button's case (he also spoke late) we knew his hearing was good, his vision was fine, he was picking up grammatical constructions, his receptive vocab. was excellent and, once he spoke, his expressive vocab. was also excellent. But he still resists much reading.

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I feel like my children are average bright kids, but maybe my own perception is skewed?

 

I really feel like she is just an average bright kid who has been taught to read. Am I wrong?

 

So, in your opinion, average bright 4 year olds who are taught to read can be expected to be able to read on a 5-7th grade reading level?

 

:lol::lol::lol:

 

Sounds like your dd is right within your (friends? family?) measuring stick. No problem there. But...ummm... major outlier compared to most 4-5 year olds in school. Major.

 

BTW My oldest was reading just like that at 5. We looked at a bunch of Kindergartens (public schools in town were school choice plus private school options). And guess what? The teachers didn't even *believe* me. And we ended up homeschooling.

Edited by zaichiki
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We went through the Hooked on Phonics program very quickly, and I thought "Wow, I am good at this teaching reading thing." :lol: Turns out it had nothing to do with me at all.

 

Same *exact* thing happened to me with my oldest and I thought this reading thing was pretty easy: what were all these people getting their undies in a bunch about anyway... He was already reading when I started with the HOP... but I made sure we took the whole program page by page anyway b/c I was afraid of gaps! :lol: Amazingly the kid was patient with me. (He would go off and read chapter books to himself after I put down the lesson materials each day.)

 

My lesson came when child #2 was struggling to learn to read at 5/6 years old and I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Turns out it was dyslexia that was the trouble.

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So, a child that doesn't read until 6yo may still be gifted in reading. A child that excels at reading as early as yours may continue to accelerate, or may "hit a wall" and slow down later.

 

Agreed that a late reader can still turn out to be gifted.

 

BUT a child that is already reading at 5-7th grade level isn't going to hit a reading wall. Kids that *do* hit a wall with reading generally do it at about a 4th grade level.

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Just be aware that it is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you can expect certain things from your child because they are capable and will perform. On the flip side, however, there will be asynchronous moments where you need to keep in perspective that she is "only 4." Sometimes I think I should tattoo such wording to my children's heads so I remember that when they do something so typically age appropriate. (Said from the woman today who had her four-year-old tell her a few sums correctly, but then completely skipped 15 when counting out spaces. :001_huh:)

 

:iagree:

She is gifted...at least in reading. I agree with the post above though. It is a lot of fun to watch the gifted and advanced learners, it is hard at times to remember their actual age in regards to maturity level and development. Have fun teaching her on her level, and help her enjoy her desire to learn, but be careful to allow her to develop emotionally at her "real" age level. This is what I have trouble with when working with my two boys.

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So, in your opinion, average bright 4 year olds who are taught to read can be expected to be able to read on a 5-7th grade reading level?

 

:lol::lol::lol:

 

Haha, yeah it sounds pretty funny when you put it like that. :D

 

I guess I heard so many people talk about their older children click with reading and move into chapter books within 6 months, that I figured that was just what happened whenever kids began to read. Obviously it was a faulty assumption on my part! :lol:

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Haha, yeah it sounds pretty funny when you put it like that. :D

 

I guess I heard so many people talk about their older children click with reading and move into chapter books within 6 months, that I figured that was just what happened whenever kids began to read. Obviously it was a faulty assumption on my part! :lol:

 

When they say "Chapter books", they usually mean something like Magic Treehouse or Junie B. Jones. A big jump from Bob books, yes, but more like a high 2nd or low 3rd grade level at best, not 5th-7th.

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Is she your first? You'll notice her differences more as you teach more children. I used to get so frustrated with my second child because I had to explain things to her more than once or in different ways before it stuck. Poor girl. And I'm sure someone else already mentioned it, but you'll also notice, if you stick around these boards, that these kids can be gifted in one area and quite average in another.

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Is she your first? You'll notice her differences more as you teach more children. I used to get so frustrated with my second child because I had to explain things to her more than once or in different ways before it stuck. Poor girl. And I'm sure someone else already mentioned it, but you'll also notice, if you stick around these boards, that these kids can be gifted in one area and quite average in another.

 

She is my first. I'm a little surprised, but her younger sister is actually farther ahead in reading now than my older was at the same age. On the other hand, my second daughter requires far more maintenance than my older daughter. We will see what happens. I hope I'll be able to just go with what they are capable of without too much comparing between siblings, but they're very close in age so it is too easy to remember when they hit milestones.

 

My sister and I have very different abilities, so I won't be too surprised if there are large variations between my own children.

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BUT a child that is already reading at 5-7th grade level isn't going to hit a reading wall. Kids that *do* hit a wall with reading generally do it at about a 4th grade level.

 

:iagree: I don't see how there would be any wall that late. 4th grade is where you get the multisyllable words that cause the "4th grade slump" in a child that hasn't learned or intuited phonics. My son hit it in early 1st grade, but then we did a little bit of phonics for spelling, and his reading level jumped by several grades again - literally after just doing AAS level 1 and part of 2 (where syllabication is taught).

 

Agree with everyone else... reading that level at that age is definitely an outlier. :lol: When DS started K, I think only a couple other kids in the class were reading at all. DS was at the highest reading level in the class (around GL 2.5 when he started). The next year, some kids that hadn't been reading until halfway through K were now in the "advanced reading group" in first grade, though I don't know what their reading levels were at that point. DS was around a 4th grade level then, and there may have been one other kid in the class that was there too. This was a private school with a high number of engineers' kids, so the potential for having gifted students is probably higher in those classes too.

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