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Old 01-30-2013, 09:40 PM   #1
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First of all, I'm not a homeschooler yet, so this is a newbie question. Secondly, most parents seem to think their kids are advanced and I'm not even sure if my daughter is, so please don't think I'm trying to brag.

Ok, so my daughter isn't 3 yet but already knows how to recite the alphabet, can pick the letters out in a book, write a bunch of the letters (including her name), the sounds the letters make, how to count to 20 (on a good day, but usually skips a couple of the teens), what most of the shapes are (not parallelogram, pentagon, etc), all her colors, weather, opposites, uses pronouns and parts of speech properly when she speaks, has proper writing utensil grip, has almost all of her books memorized and has an exceptional memory (or maybe it just looks that way compared to my memory!). I am planning on starting preschool in a couple of months. When I look at preschool activities, I think she's going to be bored to tears. So, letter of the week, color of the week, etc. look like they might not work for her. Should I just keep reading to her a lot, practicing letters on the chalkboard a few times a week, do math and explore other topics further? What math activities other than patterning would you recommend? Should I try to focus on more science and nature topics? She needs to learn self care and socialization so those are already on my to-teach/encourage list. I also would like to start a garden with her, have her cook with me once a week and do arts & crafts a few times a week. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 01-30-2013, 09:53 PM   #2
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Re: What to do if your kid is advanced?

My oldest was like that, especially in regards to the phonics and letter stuff. Well, she didn't know the alphabet song, but she recognized all the letters. We didn't really do preschool stuff with her. We hadn't deliberately taught her all of that stuff, either; just answered her questions. When she was 4 I finally broke down and bought a curriculum to teach her how to read. She was so close on her own, but I wanted to make sure she knew all the phonics rules.

My son is a bit advanced in math. Not crazy advanced, but if he stays on the track he's currently on, he will be doing pre-algebra in 6th grade.

We just follow where the kids are and what their desires and interests are. I could've taught my son to read at 4, as well, but he wasn't interested. I never pushed. When they were wanting to learn what I was unsure of how to teach, we'd look it up or buy a curriculum. This is a big reason why we don't use a box set, but pick and choose each subject.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:11 PM   #3
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Re: What to do if your kid is advanced?

I jut follow what they're interested in at this age. We do crafts, puzzles, mazes, games, play outside, stomp in puddles, swimming, etc, etc. We don't "do school" until they start trying to sound words out on their own. Then, I teach them to read. (But not until at least 4. If they're really advanced and want to read, they'll do it on their own before that.)

When they are K age, we add in math and do it at their level. For my oldest two, that meant easing into 1st grade math and going at their pace.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:28 AM   #4
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Re: What to do if your kid is advanced?

I was in a similar place as you last year. DD1 is going to be 5 in April. I opted to introduce as much as she wanted to learn. I picked up a few kindergarten things to do and we started very slowly. Maybe an hour or so a week. We are now up to about 2-3 hours 3-4 times a week. Little by little we do more. Generally what happens is we start working on something, she gets carried away and does 20 pages in her math book or 10 pages of science, etc. I don't "make" her do more than 10 minutes of anything.

Follow her lead. If you want to be prepared, but not over buy, pick up some cheap school workbooks from the dollar store. It will give you a starting point. If she loves it keep going. If she doesn't, then no worries!

I decided to pick out some kindergarten stuff with the intent that if we didn't use it this year, we could next year. We will likely finish the kindergarten stuff this summer, at the latest, the beginning of next school year. I 100% followed my daughter's interest/ability and there were no battles about school, except the, "Mommy can we do school today?" "No, we have to do groceries." "Ah man!"
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:07 PM   #5
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Re: What to do if your kid is advanced?

Sounds like my daughter. By the time she was 2 she knew all her letters upper and lower and their sounds, and started identifying some words. When she was 3 she started reading short books and doing simple addition/subtraction, and could recite all 50 states in alphabetical order. She is a little over 4 now, and too young for preschool in the public system because she doesn't make the "cut off".
She still has a fairly short attention span as most 3/4 year olds do so I keep the lessons by subject short, depends on how she's doing that day too.

Here is what we do each school day, usually done by lunch time: calandar time, reading time (I read to her and she reads to me), math time, writing time, activity time, and play time.
-Math time: activities differ...I may have her do a page or two of math in a $1 math books I picked up at Walmart back to school season, have her do some math on the chalk board on her easel, do flash cards, do activities with math cubes, do pattern puzzles, or do math iPad games.
- writing time...her favorite thing to do is write letters to family members and send them in the mail. Other times I just have her practice writing certain letters repetitively, writing the alphabet upper/lower, or say a word and have her write it.
- activity time...can be anything you want this to be, but I usually make it science or art related to mix it up. There are a lot of good kid science websites. The volcano is always a hit. Sometimes we just put together USA puzzle or other puzzles. I try to mix it up and keep it fun.
- play time...rest of day basically. Kids are meant to play, especially outside. It's important to emphasis health and excercise with kids so it carries with them into adulthood.
Does my daugher like school? She LOVES school, especially since I structured it. I thought she'd hate the structure but it is the thing that makes her thrive and remain attentive. She tends to loose her attention if I try to do other things like clean, so I try to make sure school time is her time. I have an infant too, so I usually feed him or play with him on the floor while I help her along in her subjects.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:10 PM   #6
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Re: What to do if your kid is advanced?

I forgot to add that we didn't start doing "school" until she turned 4. When she was 3 I would teach her math and reading, but not in an actual "school" like setting. She loved learning to read, the BOB books really helped her.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:38 PM   #7
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Re: What to do if your kid is advanced?

My youngest just turned 3 and seems similar in abilities. Older brother is homeschooled so of course he wants to do everything just like him. I let him start on the Handwriting Without Tears pre-k book. Mainly because it was cheap and it looked like what big brother was doing. Without any real instruction from me he has really developed his handwriting. I think we'll repeat it next year. He pretty much sits in on all of his brother's lessons and has memorized a lot of history and science. I'm really selective about library books that are fun but educational and based on what we are studying. To be honest I may spend 5 minutes a day of focused attention with him on phonics or numbers but he just picks things up because we try to find teaching opportunities in all that we do. We did a garden at one point and did a lot of baking/measuring. They are such sponges at that age. We also try to encourage a lot of music, we have several instruments that they can experiment with. I found my oldest was able to do math at a very early age. We just sorted things and did lots of columns and grouping. I don't think we started writing math problems until he turned 4 but he had a really good understanding of what the numbers represented. My kids LOVE learning about animals and you can even make your own unit studies based on animals. I think as long as they enjoy learning anything goes at that age.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:16 PM   #8
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Re: What to do if your kid is advanced?

She sounds like my older daughter (who could write with a pen correctly at 10 months old!). At that age, I don't like to do any formal schooling unless the child wants to. We just used everyday activities to build upon DD's knowledge and skills. Working with math manipulatives is a great activity (these can be anything...rocks, acorns, money, etc.).
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:49 AM   #9
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Re: What to do if your kid is advanced?

My son was reading the week he turned three. He has an amazing ability to pick things up quickly. By the time he was 4 I had tried to talk to the schools and they blew me off telling me everyone thinks their kid is smart. So after that I had an academic profile done on him at Ball State University. He was above the 99.9 percent mark in every area for his age. I enrolled him then in an online public school done from home. I teach him at his level which is challenging but very rewarding. He is 6 and is currently in 3rd grade math and 2nd grade everything else.
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:55 PM   #10
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Re: What to do if your kid is advanced?

OK, this made me feel a little better. I've been fearing telling her too much and then her being bored in school as I still don't know if we'll homeschool past pre-k or k. I like the idea of unit studies of animals. It won't involve real 'work' for her, but it'll give her the knowledge she's looking for and she LOVES animals.
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