Another asking for Perspective on 4 Year Old

(40 Posts)
AmericanExpress Fri 15-Feb-13 20:01:14

DD is in Reception and will be 5 in July.

She's bored at school and it seems to be that the work is too easy. She's on the Green book band, although reads Roald Dahl etc at home. She could read before she started school.

Her number work seems ok, although not particularly great. She can do basic stuff - addition, subtraction, simple multiplication, and a bit of division. She's in the 'top' group in her class, as are her two closest friends, neither of whom, according to their mums, are as "advanced" as DD.

Should we say something to the teacher? Is there a test available to see if indeed she is gifted or talented, rather than DH and I thinking wrongly? Or are we deluded?!

Thanks.

AmericanExpress Fri 15-Feb-13 20:02:09

Forgot to mention that her favourite hobby is writing short stories. All very imaginative and a bit 'crazy' in their content! :-D

Pendipidy Fri 15-Feb-13 20:02:42

Does it really matter?

AmericanExpress Fri 15-Feb-13 20:03:25

BTW, DH and I are no intellectuals. My mother is a Professor of Mathematics in a US university and seems impressed with DD, but she could be biased!

Empross76 Fri 15-Feb-13 20:05:07

Of course it matters!confused
You want your child to be challenged in school.
As a mother and teacher she sounds very advanced for her age. Worth a gentle word with the teacher to see if she sees this too.

AmericanExpress Fri 15-Feb-13 20:05:32

Pendipidy it matters to me because DD is bored and I really don't want her to lose interest in school.

Also, perhaps the teachers may be able to give her more appropriate work if they thought she was particularly good at some things.

AmericanExpress Fri 15-Feb-13 20:06:38

Thanks Empross, I'll see what the teacher thinks. I'm just afraid of making a fool of myself (and accidentally putting pressure on DD) by thinking DD's more able than she actually is.

AmericanExpress Fri 15-Feb-13 20:08:02

I'm fairly new to the UK (certainly to the education system), so apologies if this is general knowledge, but are there any official tests that DD could take that would highlight areas that she's able in? Perhaps gifted or talented in?

AmericanExpress Fri 15-Feb-13 20:09:39

The reason I've posted in this forum is because I appreciate that people here have gifted or talented children and so can give me a reality check. People in 'real life' tell me that she's advanced etc, but it's difficult to know a) if they really understand about these things and b) to progress the conversation without coming across as an obnoxious proud or pushy parent.

Comparing her to my 4 yo she seems advanced, and people comment that my DD is advanced for her age (though I dont think she is "advanced" enough to think about it iyswim).

I have no advice for you really, I just wanted to post to say that it absolutely does matter and please ignore pendipity as the point of this board isnt to say "does it matter?"

Sorry, just to clarify, I think your DD is advanced and mine isnt. It didnt really make sense when I read it back!

sausagesandwich34 Fri 15-Feb-13 20:21:54

Hi AmericanExpress

it is hard talking about a bright child in RL as people think you are boasting or think 'how wonderful, why would you possibly be concerned about your bright child as they are doing so well?'

I would talk to the school but the way in which you approach them is important

being on the G&T register is not important, I wouldn't even mention it

I would talk in terms of asking what you can do to support and extend her learning at home so that they recognise that as a family you are willing to support them

they should be providing extension work within the classroom but quite often in early years their emotional maturity lags behind their academic and so a lot of work is done on social skills etc

sittinginthesun Fri 15-Feb-13 20:27:30

My friend has a daughter who was similar to your daughter in Reception.

Child and mum found it a hard year, and she did get a test done privately, which she presented to the class teacher. Teacher did give her harder work for phonics etc, but I think it actually damaged the trust with the teacher.

In hindsight, my friend has realised that, whilst her daughter was an early reader and is good at maths, other areas were not so strong. Her imagination isn't great. She struggles with emotions. Very sensitive with things like noise and water. Reception was a very important year for her to learn some of
these skills.

I think you need to talk to the teacher, and deal with it as a joint venture, rather than looking for a G & T label tbh.

ZumbaZara Fri 15-Feb-13 20:30:14

It is important, have a word you could phrase it as a question.
'What else can I do to extend and support as they seem to be ready to take on more.'
As well as this do everything you can to find things your child likes and can florish at out of school. Music, gym cooking bird spotting....... At this age breadth is as important as forward academic progress.

lljkk Fri 15-Feb-13 20:34:50

Official tests: you could privately pay for an educational psychologist to undertake an IQ test.

Whether the school would heed that much I don't know. Most people with very gifted children seem happiest to put them into private schools.

It's outside my experience to deal with a child is extraordinarily gifted. What I see among the range of more normal ability children, they find school quite challenging and stimulating in a large number of areas, math+english are just a small part of it.

So I think if she's bored then she's actually bored with: Science, art, PE, social life, school rules & conventions, social life, listening to instructions, sitting still, lining up, annoying fellow classmates, being annoyed by fellow classmates, waiting their turn, play*, eating lunch, personal hygiene, lining up again, etc. As the avid Home-Edders will tell you, most of school is all of that stuff. Actual learning is a very small portion of the time.

*Most learning in reception is thru play (in most schools), I think it rather sad if a child is bored by play.

sittinginthesun Fri 15-Feb-13 20:43:46

Yes, I think that us what friend found- her daughter didn't like play.

But play IS important. My son, who is in the same class as my friend's daughter, spent a huge amount of time in nursery and Reception playing. He couldn't read when he started school, and enjoyed maths but wasn't obviously a genius. grin

Now both children are year 4. Very similar reading levels (although friend's daughter reads more fiction). Similar maths levels - both working around 3 years ahead, although again different strengths.

BUT DS is streets ahead at literacy. His literacy level is somewhere near his maths. Friend's daughter hates writing stories, plays etc. DS now plays with words etc, but friend's daughter simply cannot do that.

(Oh, and plenty of extremely bright children at state school toowink).

AmericanExpress Fri 15-Feb-13 20:43:46

Thanks all. I'll speak to the teacher at the next parents' evening, which is in three weeks' time.

DD's very interested in writing stories and, funny you mention it Zumba, bird watching. She could spend a long, long time identifying the birds she sees in our neighbour's garden (they have a great feeding station!). She's also loves to draw. She draws the birds she's seen and then writes a story about them, for example. The stories are short and silly - nothing sophisticated!

I don't think that socially she's unusual. She gets on well with the children at school, and enjoys their company. She has a good vocabulary compared with many, but doesn't seem any more mature than them.

I don't think she's bored of being at school, but she complains that the stories are babyish, that the number games are too simple and that there's too much waiting and repetition generally. She likes the teachers and they say she's well-behaved, but that she must be patient and not call out answers if the other children are thinking about them. Incidentally, this is the same criticism that the nursery staff had of her. I thought she was improving with this, but possibly not.

sittinginthesun Fri 15-Feb-13 20:46:27

You don't need to wait until parent's evening you know. Just ask the teacher if you can't make an appointment. You'll get more time that way.

AmericanExpress Fri 15-Feb-13 20:47:04

I think she does enjoy play though. She does at home and often goes to friends' houses to play, and they come here. She likes dressing-up games, hide and seek and dolls houses particularly. She's fairly physical and enjoys playing Power Rangers and "blasting with lasers" with the boys at school. She doesn't know what Power Rangers is though!

BTW, she's an only child. We had another baby, but unfortunately he died before DD was born. Not looking for sympathy - it's all fine - just explaining why I haven't mentioned other children.

AmericanExpress Fri 15-Feb-13 20:48:41

I'd be afraid of coming across as pushy though sittinginthesun. Do teachers have time to see parents individually about things like this? Thanks

AmericanExpress Fri 15-Feb-13 20:51:28

Oh re. private school, we couldn't afford it. DD's school is a reasonable state school though.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Fri 15-Feb-13 20:54:21

Parents evenings usually only offer short slots - ours are 10 minutes.

That may not be anywhere near long enough to talk through everything that you've mentioned here, so it probably would be worth making an appointment to speak to your dd's teacher at another time.

She does sound very advanced and very lovely!

AmericanExpress Fri 15-Feb-13 21:02:15

Thanks IwishIwas. "Very lovely"...hmmm, I wouldn't go that far! ;-)

AmericanExpress Fri 15-Feb-13 21:03:23

Thanks again, all for your replies. I'll make an appointment to speak to the teacher. She's very pleasant, so hopefully she won't mind spending a bit of time talking about this.

steppemum Fri 15-Feb-13 21:16:14

because most of reception is activities through play, she will/should be playing at her level.
I help out in dd2s class, the class do a short literacy or numeracy slot in groups of ability. Dd2s group is fine, but actually she can do much more than her group is doing (last week they were ordering numbers up to 30, I know she can do up to 100)
Then they go to play (they call it yellow spot learning) where there are targeted activities round the classroom. All those activities can be done at a wide range of levels. For example, they were doing a topic about the Gingerbread mad. One of the activities was a large tray on the floor where they could create a map of the gingerbread mans run through the village. Obviously this can be done at a very sophisticated level if the children can do it.

Every activity is like this. There is an opportunity to write a story, some do scribbles, some write a proper story, according to their ability.

Sorry if this is telling you what you already know, but most of reception activities can be done at her level, so she shouldn't be getting bored. She should be bringing home reading books at the right level though. Perhaps if you do go and talk to the teacher, take along books that she is reading at home to show her.

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