I was a “gifted” child. My mother says I could read at three and I was learning German at school by age six to stave off the boredom.
I’m pretty sure my daughter is too, although I don’t want to give her any IQ tests unless it becomes obvious that someone along the line isn’t going to help her get what she needs without it.
I’m not sure what “read at three” quite means. Ms H is four at the end of this month and certainly can’t read a whole book or sound out words, but she recognises many, like her name, Mama, Daddy, dog, hey. She’s been typing “HEY” over and over in the last few days, while she practices changing the colours with the colour wheel and mouse on the computer. The first day, the colours were random. The second day, they were carefully selected to be the colours of the rainbow, in order, approximately the same hue and saturation, and with one of them being the correct cyan, not just a representation of six dark colours.
She’s learning Spanish thanks to Dora the Explorer and thanks to a book I have called Mis Primeras Palabras en Español. Dora taught her to count to five. I taught her the next five numbers. So, when she’d finished the colouring, she informed me she had “siete HEYs”.
She also made something the three rods and three connectors and promptly informed me that, “Hey Ma, three and three are seis!”
I don’t know if this is giftedness. If she is gifted, it’s not that profound giftedness that is immediately and scarily obvious. She is smart, though, and we already know from my own experience that it’s important she learns that mastery comes with practice not innate skill. Telling her too often that she’s clever is counter-productive.
Today’s the first day back at pre-school. Her class is a group of three-to-five year olds. All of the big kids from last year have now gone on to “big school”. This year, we can’t rely on her hanging around the children who were a year older to help stimulate her (that’s how she managed last year, essentially). This year, she’s a big kid. I have to have a discussion with her teachers this morning. I have to be the pushy parent who thinks their child is gifted again. And perhaps she is.
Whatever she is, she’s fascinated with learning right now and she’s a sponge.
Why waste that?