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Topic: 1yo gifted - start 3k now?

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Subject: 1yo gifted - start 3k now?
Date Posted: 9/2/2007 4:57 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2005
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My 1yo is gifted - highly. She says about 60 words, responds to questions, and reads some as well {thanks to her fav show on PBS}. So far we've been very low-key with anything schoolish - we just read books and talk a lot about everything we do. We've already gone thru the entire children's section that is board books or easy readers at are local library, and I'm at my wits end. We've gone to every single children's event {zoo, parks, playdays with the local homeschoolers, the library, and just around town in general} in town that she is able to get into to age-wise, and it's still not enough.

The problem is that she's bored, and I can't seem to find anything to mentally tire her! When she's bored she runs around like a maniac, which is not good for me since I'm in a wheelchair and sometimes have trouble catching her.

So --- would you start her into k3 or prek materials? I don't want to push her, but I don't want her held back as I was as a child either.

Right now we're reading the entire harry potter series  2 chapters a night, and that is helping slightly. it does mentally tire her a bit enough to sleep!

TheSampleLady avatar
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Date Posted: 9/2/2007 12:41 PM ET
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Sheesh...when my kids were one year old, they were still happy to nurse and cuddle, and explore their worlds. Yes, they spoke plenty, and answered questions, too. But I would never have started them in school then! They were babies!

Why do you want her mentally exhausted?

One year-olds need to run around. They need to jump, hop, flip, and flop. It's a very important part of development. A one year-old lacks the small muscle development to do kindergarten work. Being a one year-old is how they gain the skills they need to be a two year-old, being two prepares them for three, ad finitum. You want to skip all that and move on to six.

I'm not sure what you think will be gained by starting formal education at age one. I think she would be better served playing with blocks and fractiles, playdough and sand.

Does she know the days of the week, the months of the year, her full name, your full name, her address, her phone number, colors, shapes, letters of the alphabet, numbers to 100? How about how to dress herself, use the bathroom, and tie her shoes?

I am also a little concerned about your choice of literature for a baby. Harry Potter is a wonderful series, but for a baby? Murder, deceit, betrayal, magic, child abuse...That's what you're reading about. If she truly understands the words you're reading to her, why would you want her to understand those themes at her age? Why not try the real Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne, or Beatrix Potter, or Brer Rabbit? They are well-written and not dumbed-down like many of the children's books available.

Take her outside and discuss the butterflies. Callo them what they are...monarchs, painted ladies, etc. Talk about their life cycle. If she is truly gifted, it's not rote memorization that will prove it or sate her thirst for knowledge. It's real wolrd facts and occurances.

I understand that being in a wheelchair impedes you from keeping up with her, but you really need to adjust yourself to the situation, not hold her back.  My sister-in-law has a two year-old, and is in a wheelchair as well.

I disagree with your educational philosophy. I don't think one year-olds should be doing school work. I think one year-olds should be learning about their surroundings and important, growing up skills like self-care and how to play. Forcing her into a school mold will rob her of her babyhood and will not guarantee that she will be any more advanced than her peers five years from now. I hope that you will reconsider your philosphy of gifted and enjoy your baby while you have her. She will be grown soon enough.

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Date Posted: 9/2/2007 1:53 PM ET
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I want her mentally tired because otherwise nothing calms her down. She will not sleep, nurse, or pretty much anything else unless she's mentally tired. She has severe food allergies, so nursing is a huge priority for her since it is a main source of nutrition.

I understand kids need to play, and we encourage that. I'm however talking about a child who permanently tore off the fridge door {large side by side} and took her crib apart when she was bored. She's in the process of tearing one of the kitchen table legs off now, pulling on it every chance she gets. I worry she will hurt herself, and no amount of timeouts, or other forms of punishment can stop her from doing what she's made up her mind up do. 

I do not want to skip to 6 - merely start doing k3 type activites {songs, small unit studies} similar to what many of the daycares here do with 2-3yo children. I'm not wanting to do a formal education at this age either - that would be too much. I'm thinking of just more activites such as daycares do - http://www.funsteps.com/Themes/SeriesII/calendar%20II%20New.htm is an example of what I was thinking of.

Her peditrician actually told me that DD is gifted - at 4 months old she was already talking and pretending. She now at 12mo knows her colors, numbers to 10, days of the week, how to dress herself, vowel sounds, and we're working on the letters of the alphabet out loud. She can read a little {board books on her own, and words of a tvscreen}, but has some dexterity issues so writing will wait. I had the same as a child - could read at 2, but couldn't write until 6 {and then not well until college}. I was held back mentally for years, and it stunted my intelectual growth. I don't want the same to happen to her, and she is litterly begging to learn more.

We're already read the books you mentioned - after just one reading she was bored. We've also tried any decent books we could find from board books to young adult novels. There is a serious lack of good writing when it comes to childrens books now. Harry potter was a desperate trying to get her to sleep method, and it works so why not read it to her. I understand it's adult themes  {we're reading book 1} but LIFE is adult themes. I do omit the worser portions.

as far as nature goes - we've done it. Zoo lessons, nature walks, talking about the creatures, etc. She's actually asked for more info than I can give {I've been forced to use wikipedia to give that info to her}.

NewRuth avatar
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Date Posted: 9/2/2007 2:26 PM ET
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Wow!  Your dd is off the charts smart!

I suggest that you get in touch with a professional that could help you direct your brainy child in ways that are compatible with her physical and emotional age.

I'd also get connected with support for parents of profoundly gifted kids.

Your physical constraints would, to me, make learning to deal with dd's intelligence more important.



I googled "parents of profoundly gifted support" and found tons of links.

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Date Posted: 9/2/2007 7:55 PM ET
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Try the links section below in my signature.  Also, there may be some good books for you audio and digital format under the book links.  There are several places that offer audio recordings of children's books and old records so you might be able to give your voice a break.


My DS has lots of FA's as well.  He is very high energy, but older so he plays video games and builds with Legos.  He isn't reading but can look at any set of instructions and figure it out.  Do you think your DD might enjoy some building toys?  If you are concerned with choking issues, there are the larger sets of Lego style blocks and just plain wooden blocks, pattern blocks are great too.  These would occupy her mind and her hands. ;-) 

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Date Posted: 9/3/2007 9:40 AM ET
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As a mom of a gifted but special needs child - a big hug to you! Please feel free to PM anytime.

First, don't even consider public school. It was not a good experience and my son was very frustrated.

I can send you websites that having reading lists. I encourage you to continue reading aloud. Children can often comprehend books that are beyond their actual reading level. This was the case with my son. As a senior, he still enjoys read-alouds.

I would also teach AmericanSign Language. Some school districts and colleges consider this a foreign language credit. This help them express themselves. and it's fun!

My son also had some physical delays. For small motor skills, legos, K*Nex and Lego Mindstorm were helpful. He also could do complex puzzles at an early age.

Sociacare,  Nl interaction can be tricky. Gifted kids don't have alot in common with their age peers. So be prepared to do some role playing . My son has always preferred people older than himself, particularly elderly. He's just in a different place than his age peers. We don't allow him to neglect interacting with kids his age, but it does take some coaching,

Momn4boys avatar
Date Posted: 9/3/2007 10:02 AM ET
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I intended to second the notion of not starting anything formal.  However I'd clarify that to say that IF she wants it and IF she continues to enjoy it ,go ahead.  As long as you are not pushing anything on to her there is nothing wrong with kindergarden activities.  I would focus on her reading and don't worry about writing now. Does she enjoy coloring! Or cutting? Maybe provide  her with some educational coloring books like Dover.

I do have to second the idea of choosing more age appropriate books.....  What about LIttle house books, or some other historical fiction.  Science.  I'm diggin for ideas here...

Puzzles and building toys sounds appropriate.  What about a gymnnastics class to funnel some of that physical energy? (she really tore the doors off the fridge??)

I guess what I am thinking is keep doing what you are doing.  Encouraging her. Do the K type unit studies but don't make it "schooly"  if you know what I mean. 

I'd definately check the links to the support for gifted children.  As a mom of 4 average kids I could be totally off on my advise.  It just seems as if this is what I would do. 


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Date Posted: 9/3/2007 12:11 PM ET
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I gave this some thought, and if I were to choose read alouds I'd start with a book of Bible stories and either History for Children, Story of the World, or Mystery of History.  I have The Bible in 365 Stories that we really like, it's a nice thick book (some of the 365 stories are not as well written, so shop around).  Also, Christian Liberty Press does a set of Nature readers that make interesting stories that will still introduce nature concepts.  I've had great luck finding old books about science.  I have one called The Amazing Ant that I've read to DS when we found an ant colony.  I just heard him telling his sister last night how ants communicate- so I guess he was listening.  The Burgess sets might be nice as well, they are moral stories with animal characters.  Wind in the Willows is a nice read aloud as well.

Of course, if you take a look at my LibraryThing library http://www.librarything.com/catalog/momathwtk you'll get a pretty good idea of what I'd choose as a read aloud- I choose a lot. :-)


  In the children's non-fiction section of  your library you should be able to find interesting titles on subjects that would be interesting but also give her something to think about.  Also, the children's non-fiction is where the collections of poetry and folk tales are usually kept.  I really like the anthologies of tales from all over the world as they expose the child to different cultures while still telling a fun story.  Finally, keep an eye out for readers here and at used book stores.  I've found great collections of classic children's stories all in one volume by purchasing anthologies or student readers.  My favorite thus far is Stories in Our World by MacMillan/McGraw-Hill.  Some of the stories in this anthology are out of print so it was a great find.  This particular anthology doesn't have illustrations, but most of the student readers will. 

I'd also suggest that you play classical music and consider getting a small keyboard or other age-safe instruments for her.  You might consider some of the music cube toys that allow the child to place blocks in different sequences to create tunes, or maybe one of the beginning computers with the larger keyboard. 

It is possible to create a stimulating environment where learning happens without forcing learning.  It's just a matter of selecting quality materials and having them available to the child. I am a very relaxed homeschooler, but as you can probably tell- I try to have a learning rich environment for my kids. 

One last thought.  I know many of the books on the subject of giftedness are probably useless, but you may need to do some research or visit with a professional who has some knowledge of this situation.  Your DD may become frustrated or confused because her comprehension in some areas exceeds her comprehension in others. She may develop intellectually before she does socially or physically and this may be difficult for her and you.  Don't underestimate your need to learn how to "manage" her development.  That's true of any parent of course.   I know with the FA situation my son has had to mature must faster in some ways- like knowing he could actually die from touching something. But in other ways he is behind because his ability to experience things is limited.  (In addition to the food allergies, he's actually so allergic to dogs and cats that we can't take him into a home if the homeowners have an indoor pet. )





Last Edited on: 9/3/07 12:11 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
bookwormhouse avatar
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Date Posted: 9/3/2007 3:56 PM ET
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Another thought...

My son wasn't able to get his thoughts on paper as his writing skills were age level and thinking skills were way above. You may have to do what I did and be your child's scribe. I found he could dictate much more than he could actually write. Teaching him typing when he was elem age really helped.

Also, there are some really wonderful software choices out there. I minited the amount of time in front of a computer screen but it  is immensely better than some of the mindless TV viewing targeted and children.

bookwormhouse avatar
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Date Posted: 9/3/2007 4:07 PM ET
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Here's a few sites with nice reading lists:



http://www.welltrainedmind.com/greatbooks.html  and http://www.welltrainedmind.com/favorites.php

http://www.tapestryofgrace.com/usingTOG.htm  scroll down and look for links to books list on the left margin

Hope this is helpful!



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Date Posted: 9/3/2007 4:11 PM ET
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Momn4boys - yes she actually did. Permanently tore off all the trim within reach, and nearly the door itself. We had to call a repairman because she knocked it out of line so far that the fridge lost it's seal! We tried both gym classes available here, and they couldn't guantee that no food would be brought in - which made it an automatic NO for us since both she and I have food allergies. We're going to work on maybe trying some new parks though.

Bookwormhouse - Definatly no public school! I'm trying to find someone/somewhere to teach her sign language {I took it in college and it didn't go very since My weakest point is my hands}.Right now DD prefers about 6-8 yo kids to be around - anything before that age is annoying in her words.

momathwtk -  we're not really into bibical stories. Grampa is a retired pastor and I'm a religion major so religious discussion/debate is a daily event at the supper table. Our childrens section at our library is horrible - 6 story library and less than 25% of 1 floor is childrens - that includes both fiction and non-foction. We're definatly watching the used book sale though!

JCCrooks avatar
Date Posted: 9/3/2007 7:42 PM ET
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As the mom of a profoundly gifted child, I'm so "BTDT" :-).  I know all the comments about "hot housing", etc.  The thing is, with these kids, is that we, as parents, get *dragged along* on the knowledge thing and *only* parents of other PG kids can truly understand :-).

I recommend first that you join some e-lists for PG kids.  Also, www.hoagiesgifted.org is a GREAT resource!  There are several pages about HS'ing.

Here is a great 'net board:


Also, the TAG lists are great:


When your DD is older, you should really look into applying for the Davidson Young Scholars program, which my son participates in:


Now, on to your question... :-)

I would just continue to read, read, read.  Try Magic School Bus, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Amelia Bedelia, etc.  Ask your librarians for help.  Get science activity books, math literature, art books, anything with "edutainment".  She's probably ready for CD-roms on the pc.  Get her Leap Frog DVD's and other products (start with the regular Leap Pad, not the baby one...she'll outgrow it too quickly).  Just keep stimulating that mind of hers...I also know all too well what it's like when you don't feed their brains... :-)

My other child is severely autistic and has other issues like cerebral palsy.  While she cannot speak at age 7, she is also advanced cognitively.  It's so hard to find ways to keep her stimulated...and if I we don't - she's a holy terror - so I "get" that part of what you're saying also.

Again, I think you need to plug into IRL or online PG support groups.


bookwormhouse avatar
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Date Posted: 9/3/2007 10:17 PM ET
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I have always encouraged my son to educate himself. I realize yours is very young but it helps as they get older as their learning is not dependent on others.

I do second getting some online suppport. It's always nice to have someone that has been down that road. They totally understand.

My daughter is taking ASL and the curriculum they use is called Bravo! and I think it has VHS or DVDs that go with it. Maybe this is something your library can get on interlibrary loan. We live in a smaller town and the librarians like to recieve book suggestions (that way they are getting items they know will circulate).

Board games is a good avenue. I do think Candyland will bore your child, but think of the others that never age like checkers, chinese checker, chess -OK chime in here everyone and PM names of games.

As for software, ds loved KidPix (creative art play) and KidCAD (children's version of AutoCAD) Masterpiece Mansion (art history). I'm sure those with younger children can PM suggestions to you as I don't kow if these are available any longer. Her also liked  software that was intended for his sister, Earobics (for auditory processing problems)

Ds is now 17, planning on Engineering. You will survive this, I promise. He was very analytical and I could say, "honey I need you not to take the __ apart, but here is this broken telephone .... have fun! " He had his own tool set ;-)

ChristineMM avatar
Date Posted: 9/4/2007 6:41 AM ET
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Dear Darla,

Okay here are my (strong) opinions and ideas. You asked for advice, here you go. I hope at least something here helps you.

If you PM me your email address I will send you a Word file which was a handout I did for a presentation I gave on how to homeschool preschool and Kindergarten. I have more ideas in there than any one family could ever do and none of it is geared toward forcing schooling in the deskwork type of way.

I also blogged on the topic of preschool curriculum for gifted preschoolers and you can read that here.


My sons are now aged 7 and 10 and I have homeschooled my children since birth.

I read a lot about parenting and child development as I was interested in learning about it and felt I needed the information and guidance. Both of my children exhibited the same things you say which you say are ‘highly gifted’ for a one year old, but I thought it was just normal. I don’t want to get into a disagreement about whether your child is gifted or not but I’d like ask how much have you read? In other words, have you read a couple of good books about normal childhood development? There is also a difference with precocious children and gifted children. Early talkers are not necessarily gifted just as late talkers are not automatically low intelligence or stupid. Early readers have been shown to be no different academically by grade four, they just read earlier.

With that said I found that raising my children in a nurturing home that was rich in stimulation led them to be ‘advanced’ when compared to the lists of ‘what is normal’ at age 2, 3, and older. My theory on that is that the lists of ‘typical’ behaviors and skills are based on a child’s environment, and if they are based on children in daycare or who go to preschool and learn X, Y and Z they will have less skills than if they are in a rich, stimulating home learning more than X, Y, and Z. For example, some lists will say that children will emulate Super Heroes in pretend play at age three or four. Well my boys didn’t watch those shows so they didn’t do that, and there was nothing ‘wrong’ with them. Kids learn what they are exposed to.

On Dr. Phil once was a mom who said her 2 year old was gifted because she knew her states. Well the mother did a map of the USA puzzle over and over and over with the child, verbalizing the state name which the child memorized to the shape of the state. I would argue that the child has no intellectual concept of what a ‘state’ is or what the USA is or what the Earth is, she just had the shaped memorized with the name. On an Oprah show a father drilled his four year old daughter with names of people in American government (secretary of state etc.) and she memorized them. They used flash cards. He says she is gifted. That was their main activity to do together and they did it for months. I say she learned it as that is what she was exposed to and that is how the father spent time with her, and she wanted to be with him, so she went along to do the flash cards with him.

I would suggest reading, “The Discipline Book” by Dr. Sears which covers parenting from birth through age 10 which addresses normal stages of development as well as normal behaviors and how to address things you want to stop. Another great one with a bit of a different twist is “The Successful Child” also by Sears. And if you want more on nutrition, read his “The Family Nutrition Book”.

I see also that you said your daughter has food allergies.  I also have two children who had food sensitivities (or whatever you want to call them) that gave them behavior issues. I would point you to the book by Doris Rapp MD “Is this your child?”. Please read it. Also as a mom to another mom, I’d advise you (and every parent) to cut out all corn syrup from your child’s diet. I can’t tell you how many of my friends have also noticed that corn syrup makes their kids (who have no diagnosis of food allergies or food sensitivities) ---go nuts, especially if aged six and under. I have seen this as well at Scout events where parents bring corn syrup snacks and drinks, it is like turning on a hyper switch. Corn syrup is metabolized very differently than cane sugar and I feel that not enough has been studied about it and its effect on the human body, all the industry cares about is cheaper sweeteners, but I digress.

Children aged 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are highly active and that is NORMAL. I worry that if your child is so physically bored that she is seeking to remove a kitchen table leg and has already broken the fridge door that she is physically under-stimulated. Toddlers need to explore and put their hands on things. You can create environments to satisfy those curiosities that don’t involve taking apart the house or destroying property. I can imagine that keeping up with a toddler while in a wheelchair would be hard, but I am confident that you can find a way to have guided, channeled physical activity that will ‘get her ya-ya’s out’.

I am sorry, but I can’t understand your theory that giving heavy academic content and intellectual content to keep her mind busy would reduce the very normal need for physical activity and exploration of her environment. Can it be that you find it easier to read books to her, or have her watch TV, so that is what you are doing instead of doing other things with her? I mean other things like having safer ways to explore, to fulfill her need for curiosity, to make art, to play with dough’s, to play in sand and water. I have never seen a child that failed to be mesmerized by playing with cups and pitchers in the bathtub or sink, or stacking blocks up and knocking them down, over and over.

There are many books on the market for activities to do with toddlers and preschoolers. Circle games and that sort of thing, the books are all over the place! I bought ones written intended for preschool teachers to read.

Buying the books you need will be cheaper than replacing furniture. So although PBS is fantastic if you can’t get the books you need on PBS please consider your library or buying them at a discount online.

I also want to mention art. It is the process not the product. There are a ton of things you can do to keep her happy, playing with homemade doughs etc. I have those references in the document I can send you.

I would beg you to consider the WHOLE CHILD not to just think “she is gifted” and then load in the academic content.  Even gifted children need to develop their whole selves. Parents of gifted children need to develop the whole child not just over-focus on academics as that will only further stunt their development of the whole person.

Regarding reading aloud, you must have a very small library to have read through every single children’s book. I would suggest that you begin re-reading picture books or seek out better picture books and other picture books from other nearby libraries. My state allows me to borrow anything from any other library so long as I drive there to get it. I have less freedom with interlibrary loan. Do you have something like that in your state?

If you need book lists books to help you find quality titles, check out “Honey for a child’s heart” and “Books that build character”. Note if you read junky books, which there are a glut of on the market, she’ll be bored and it has nothing to do with giftedness.

I'd suggest also that you begin reading David Elkind's works, first, “Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk” and then after that, "The Hurried Child". I hope these make you realize that childhood is special and that children should not be rushed to be filled with academic content.

Everything I’ve ever read about giftedness says gifted children are sensitive. I need to say that I highly oppose the reading of Harry Potter to a one year old. The content is dark, especially as you get on past book one. They are published for children ages 9-12. Just because they are popular does not mean they are something you should be reading to a one year old.  I’d beg you to go back to picture books. You can also read the longer picture books which take about 30 minutes to read aloud, many of those are fables and folk tales which are age appropriate. Also you can find older books from the 70s and 60s which have much longer text in a picture book format. If you feel so compelled to read chapter books there are lots and lots with more innocent and age appropriate content than Harry Potter. (And believe me, my children and I are Harry Potter fans, but I waited until my oldest was eight to start them. The fact is there are tons of great books and we can’t get to them all so why rush to the ones that are not age appropriate?

I hope the books I mention here are helpful to you and that you enjoy your time with your daughter as you are blessed to be able to raise her yourself at home!


ChristineMM avatar
Date Posted: 9/4/2007 6:44 AM ET
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One paragraph did not come through on the paste, sorry, so here it is.

I would also recommend that you first read "Please Touch" by Susan Striker and then "Young at Art" by her as well. Striker is an art teacher and mother who feels that children need to touch and explore in order to develop properly. The art book covers how to 'do art' with children aged 12 months through the 6th birthday and it is a great reference.

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Date Posted: 9/4/2007 11:12 AM ET
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are you sure she is even retaining the information you have posed her.  my oldest is adhd and she would go and go and go and not sleep either.

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Date Posted: 9/4/2007 11:16 AM ET
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I can completely understand the need to 'tire her out mentally'....I was just talking with another hs mom last week that said the same thing in regard to one of her kids.  She could 'educate' him ALL day and he would still hav so much energy at night that he wouldn't go to sleep. She has started letting him listen to books on CD or tape when he goes to bed.  And due to the lack of choice at her library, she began recording them for him herself during his naptimes. 

I agree that she needs to have the time to do normal '1-yo activities' like flipping and running and such.  But it also sounds like what she's doing is beyond that even.  I agree completely that she needs more stimulation, whether formal or informal. 

There also is a way to formally teach a child without being formal.  They don't have to know it is 'school' .  Many times my boys are amazed when we finish an activity and I tell them that it was schol....they look at me and say, "but that was fun!"  LOL  The website you offered as a possibility looks really good and I think you would do well to use that to help her learn more.  It sounds as if she is craving more learning.  I think as the parent it would be wrong if you didn't do something to encourage that.    DH has a theory that kids are born with a huge amount of intelligence and becuase we as parents (and books and TV) dumb them down and restrict them due to age or size, we actually hinder their intelligence and cause them to lose some of it as they age.  I tend to agree with him to some extent...and can see this to be true with your daughter.  If you don't give her something productive to learn, she will continue to do things that are destructive and get her in trouble.  That's not responsible parenting either.  :)

If she is ready to do math at that age, help her with it.  IF she's ready for spelling, help her with it.  If she is truly ready and craving that sort of learning, you HAVE to give it to her.  Kudos to you on recognizing the need and trying to find a solution.  :)  I definitely think you need help from some sort of professional who is experienced in working with gifted children.  They could at least give you a place to start and you could run with it from there.

TheSampleLady avatar
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Date Posted: 9/4/2007 12:36 PM ET
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Thank goodness. I completely agree with Christine. I may have been too flabbergasted to say it as eloquently as she. I don't see physical destruction as proof of higher intellingence. I was one of those so-called gifted children, and if I had torn the door off the fridge at age one....well, I just wouldn't have, period. I am left picturing this over-sized baby weilding a binky and bulging biceps.

If she's bored, maybe it is partially because you make her sit through so many books? PLEASE believe that she really does need physical activity, not more books. (Wow, did I just say that?)

How else can I explain this? Let's see...

I am very good at many things. Let's take one of them: cooking. I am a phenominal cook (well it's true! lol). Because I am so good at cooking and creating delicious dishes, should I do it most of the day? Should I neglect all the other aspects of my personality and abilities? Sure, I'll participate in a few other things, but I'll have much less energy to devote to them, because all of my energy goes toward what someone else has defined as my strength. Someone else has decided I will be known for my delicious cakes. Should I focus only on that?

No. I wouldn't be very happy. I would soon begin to get easily bored by cooking and baking and cake making. I would soon do my best to avoid doing it at all.

Also, most one year-olds don't like other one year-olds. It's not evidence of intelligence. It's evidence of normalcy. And they are all fascinated by older children in the age group you have noticed. It has to do with their less-formidible size (not as big as mommy), and squeaky voices, along with the fascinating things those big kids do.

Being gifted cannot be measured by speaking 60 words at age one, or by tearing off a table leg (which is disturbing). I've no doubt your child is special and is an early talker. But I implore you not to pin her to that label and pidgeon-hole her abilities. Please address her need for physical exploration. If you are there with her, she cannot tear off a fridge door or a table leg, unless you let her.

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Date Posted: 9/4/2007 1:30 PM ET
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My 2 cents...amen amen Christine and Michelle!

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Date Posted: 9/4/2007 3:57 PM ET
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I have a daughter who is also very gifted. She spoke her first words at 4 months (even though she was born a month early), at 12mos spoke in complete sentences with over 100 word vocabulary plus signed in sentences as well knowing over 200 signs. She memorized books starting at 13 months (story books not one word per page books). Like your daughter she refused to be dressed unless did it herself, fed herself with a spoon at 8 months old. She did not take things apart though. She started reading at 2 but was difficult to tell whether was memorizing or actually reading. She could read long, novel books at 4 (chapter books though even now at 5, still desires me to read with her- no  problems decoding, simply gets tired saying all the words on a page).

Here is what we did when she was 1, none of it was actual schoolwork but more play when she was interested:

- I read to her a lot. I would not read Harry Potter to her but her brothers and I were reading it at the time so I am sure she did hear some. I tended to read her as many story books as we could get our hands on. I read them 2-3 times and she memorized them then was ready to move on to other books. We visited the library weekly and took piles of books home. There are so many wonderful children's books with wonderful childhood stories, myths, fairy tales, and also nonfiction books on any topic she picked up.

- She loved to write, could write her name at 14 months old. I gave her a magnadoodle and she drew letters, numbers, etc... She was a perfectionist who would not draw pictures because she was never satisfied with the results.  I would draw something and she would try to copy or we would take turns drawing parts of pictures.

- I homeschool her older brothers and had a huge bin of math manipulatives so we played games with those, practicing one-to-one correspondence, counting higher and higher, doing simply addition and subtraction type problems, even beginning multiplication. (like "I have two bears and two more come over to play. How many are playing now? etc....)

- We planted gardens, went to parks, explored dirt, plants, magnets, water, creatures (raised caterpillars and tadpoles, etc...) We talked about seasons, months, days, etc...

- We played a lot. Everyday was spent playing with her Little People creating stories and building with Legos, Lincoln Logs, blocks, etc...

- She loved to do puzzles and could put together 40+ piece puzzles at 18 months. Once she did one, she didn't show interest in doing them again so I bought a lot of puzzles that went unused later.

- She learned all her letter sounds (knew by 17 months) and more and more sign language from DVDs (Leapfrog for letters and Signing Time for signs). I spoke to her words in different languages , hoping the early exposure would make learning languages later a little easier.

- I never talked to her like a baby and involved her in the housework, cooking, cleaning, etc... so she was constantly stimluted.

- We listened to music all the time. All kinds of music from all over the world. She started Suzuki violin at 3 and is now very talented in music and can play almost anything she hears.


I understand your desire to do school like work but homeschooling is so much more than "doing school" and young children learn best through play. If you can get a hold of any of the writings on unschooling, I would encourage you to read them. I started homeschooling 8 years ago with a very "school at home" type approach but have learned through watching my own children learn and through doing tons of reading that there are so many better ways for them to learn. I now consider myself a "classical unschooler," sounds like an oxymoron but we cover all the topics I consider important doing them in a smorgasbord kind of way where I make everything available to them and they pick and chose what to learn and when to learn it.

I love the books Creative Homeschooling by Lisa Rivero and Gifted Children by Ellen Winner.

I moderate a gifted preschoolers group on Yahoo.com. It says for preschoolers but we have grown and many of the children who were preschoolers when we started are older and have younger siblings who are also gifted. You are welcome to join.





Last Edited on: 9/4/07 4:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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Date Posted: 9/4/2007 8:51 PM ET
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I've got a little one that just turned 2, and trust me- if his older siblings weren't watching him contantly I'm sure a few pieces of furniture would be missing their legs.  He once managed to bring an entire wooden CD case down and moves the couches and his own wooden crib around at will (we have wood laminate floors).  He seems much more clever at this type of mischief than his older siblings were at the same age.  Some kids like toys, some kids like furniture.  :-) 

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Date Posted: 9/7/2007 2:12 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2006
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You are in a very rare and unique position. My first piece of advice is to find someone who has been where you are. We have intelligent kids (who doesn't...haha) but I don't think we'd say our kids are quite as bright as yours.

That being said,

Carolhurst.com has GREAT suggestions of good books. I am disappointed to hear that you think there isn't much of a selection "out there". I have recently discovered Maragert Peterson Haddix and if you like Harry Potter, I would think you'd like Frank Pereti Nightmare Academy" and "Hangman's curse" are for the same age range as Harry Potter and without the negative themes.  My girls are 7, 11 and 13 and you have to work to stay abreast of the book market. Check out a book or two that are "lists" of good books.  There's one written by Frank and Valerie, I think. They have owned bookstores for years.  VALERIE AND WALTER.


Last Edited on: 9/14/07 8:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
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Date Posted: 9/18/2007 12:50 AM ET
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My # 2 daughter was gifted.  Although a child may be more than ready for the academic part of school at a very young age they are not ready for or mature enough for the social part.  I would delay sending her to school as she will be there 14 years if you start her at K-4 - she needs to be with you - don't give her up sonner than you have too!   My daugher too was very bored with public school and when we took her out in the 2nd grade to homeschool she had already finished all the 3rd grade work and they didn't know what to do other than have her help the other children having problems learning!

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