Pre-K » K5 Gifted

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Age & Stage of Development

K5 Gifted Pre-K elementary happy kid Millie

Preschool & Under

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What a time to be alive! These kiddos are enthusiastic, sweet, relatable, chatty, and full of energy! As parents and teachers, this is a time for detective work to determine their strengths and areas of exceptionality. The grand journey begins, and what an adventure that will be!
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Is my Preschooler gifted? How do I know?

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Click or hover over the boxes below to learn more!

Verbal

Highly expressive and effective in the use of their words, numbers, and symbols

Needs to Understand

Shows interest in how and why; asks questions and listens to answers unlike most age-mates

Problem-Solving

Uses inventive and effective strategies to solve day-to-day problems

Memory

Retains and retrieves information effortlessly

Reasoning

Active, intentional, and goal-oriented thoughts

Debate

Loves to debate, reason, and argue

Motivation

Expresses an interest in and enthusiasm for learning

Insight

Grasps new concepts easily, makes connections, and finds deeper meanings

Humor

Brings together unrelated ideas and makes unusual and witty connections

Computer Skills

Computer and tech savvy

Bossy

Perhaps a little pushy

Globally Aware

Interested in world problems, and can be frightened by their own lack of perspective, e.g. natural disasters, homelessness, and world peace

Rule Following

Interested in strategy and application of rules; annoyed at others who don’t “get it”

Interests

Develops passions, displays intentness, as well as feeling concern and curiosity

Inquiry

Questions and explores constantly

Emotional Intensity

May become fearful of what they don’t understand and tend to think ahead and worry

Clever

Cleverly manipulative to gain control

Linguistics

Huge vocabulary, huge memory for facts, events, and information

Reading

Many start reading simple books then chapter books almost spontaneously before they are five

Imagination & Creativity

Many highly unusual ideas; thinks of things that no one else would produce

Perfection

Has to get it exactly "right"

Movement

Creative in movement and self-expression

Peer-Seeking

Need for intellectual peers

Academics

Increased interest in books and reading and finding answers therein

Adapted from Mary Frasier’s TAB (Traits, Aptitudes, & Behaviors) scale.

Questions & Answers:
Preschoool Gifted Kids

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Click on each question below to find out more!
Pre-school gifted kids are often precocious and very verbal. The can easily carry on conversations with complete strangers on topics which interest them. More than likely they are talking someone’s ear off 24/7!
 
They can be very active and can go from sunrise to late in the evening because of their curiosity and many interests. They can be social with kids their age and older, both boys & girls. In one word, “busy”. 
 
Pre-school gifted kids can make something out of nothing. You might find your child going through the trash looking for materials to build something. They might be better on the computer than you are. This requires supervision to make sure they don’t venture to places they shouldn’t. In one word, “creative”.
 
Refer to the cards above to see many more traits and behaviors of gifted preschool kids.

You might have an idea by the time the child is 2 because of early language and problem solving ability. This is too young for accurate formal testing.

Check with your school system to see if they offer pre-school screening. It is less about the label at this age verse the service that may be available.

Your child might have trouble finding peers; children with common interests, activities, and desires. For example, your child might enjoy chess, but most 3 and 4 year old children don’t know or understand the rules. Additionally, your child may feel frustrated not finding intellectual peers and may not be able to find a friend who shares the same interests. Finding friends can be a challenge for gifted kids.
 
Early reading for gifted children is not unusual. However finding a friend to read and discuss books with may be impossible without an intellectual peer. Of course not every gifted child is reading at 3 or 4, but they might enjoy reading aloud with another child, doing a readers theater, or even having a book discussion. I have heard some really great book discussions from preschoolers and kindergartners. There are also opportunities for your child to do readers’ theater or have book chats with your family. 
 
It might be difficult for your child to find peers in a regular Gen-Ed preschool or Mother’s Day Out program. Finding out whether your child is gifted or not may help you find some services where other kids gifted kids have similar interests and the desire to do some of the same activities as your child. Whether identified or not, there are resources available.
Does someone argumentative, wanting to debate, discuss, or negotiate sound familiar? Your challenge as a parent is not getting into an argument or debating a 3 or 4 year old. You have to set limits. Listen and answer questions, but don’t argue or debate with a preschooler. Make sure your child is respectful to you as the adult parent.
 
Just finding schooling or daycare for your child may be difficult. Finding something that is rigorous enough for what your child is wanting to learn academically and having intellectual peers is not easy.
 
Consider all options for education outside the home. Look for a balance of a rigorous academic environment and a chance for your child to explore his/her own personal interests through play and activities. Consider daycare, Mother’s Day Out, public school, or a Montessori program. They need a balance of structure and freedom with limits. 
 
Also, you need to try to balance your child’s intellectual age with their actual age. Make sure they have time to be a kid. Don’t focus so much on the intellectual side that you forget they also have need to have some fun and be a kid.
I noticed my gifted son’s early language development. At 18 months he started putting words together and was forming sentences. It did not take him long to start making requests for things.
 
At age two, his problem solving skills were developing rapidly. Exploring, climbing, and creating things at this age can quickly turn dangerous if not supervised closely. Also, this even made it harder to find appropriate daycare.
 
During these early years, I had gone back to college. Fortunately the university had amazing daycare. It was extraordinary in every way: free play with supervision, flexibility in providing differentiation and rigor in academics, gymnastics, and no requirement for a nap. No napping was important for Aaron. At age 4 he was able to go to kindergarten there.
 
When I left the University, he could no longer attend there. Unfortunately, that meant searching for a daycare that did not require napping. He did not need or want to take a nap. He had things to do, places to go, and lots of things to learn.
 
Aaron was an early reader and an advanced reader. It kept me on my toes finding appropriate materials for his social and emotional level. 
 
Our public school did not do early testing. Once in school, he was tested, he initially went into a program that served students through the classroom with a limited amount of pull out. It was mostly teacher modification. 
 
The school district where I taught and Aaron attended, had a program for highly gifted learners called LEAP. Aaron was re-tested and got into LEAP. It was at at a regular elementary school, but the gifted kids had their own separate classrooms. He easily found peers with common interests at a young age. They also had an active Odyssey of the Mind program, Junior Great Books, and math competition opportunities. 
As a gifted educator, I am always trying to evolve, keeping up with the latest research, and the needs of the gifted parent community and children I serve. 
 
My husband, gifted adult son, and I started discussing opening a k5 gifted community to reach a larger gifted community. A community who share common interests of having a gifted child. We want to have a place where parents can feel safe talking to one another and sharing ideas and information. We want to provide courses and materials for you as well as for your children.
 
It is hard to find the right math, the right language arts activities, STEM materials, and other things to keep your child engaged in. We try to make sure our material and lessons are socially emotionally at the right level and that it is material that you can trust is effective.
 
You will see in our community that we focus on our cornerstones of Parenting, Academics, and Social & Emotional. You might be able to find material or resources in one of these areas, but we believe that it is a combination of these three cornerstones and our combined backgrounds and talents that make our community different.
 
We are want to share our knowledge and resources with others who are on the same journey. Our community will provide a safe environment to share and collaborate, find resources, courses, and materials for you and your child. Too many times the focus is just on the child. In reality, the parents also need resources, encouragement, and much more.
 
There are two phrases you will see in our community repeatedly. One is “Because Learning Begins At Home” and the other is “Education isn’t getting you ready for life… education is life!”. These are the bedrocks and reasons for this community and academy.
 
We want to will provide differentiated rigorous math, language arts tied to science and social studies and fiction, and STEM activities.  A place where your child can remain challenged and engaged at a “just right” social and emotional level with materials you can trust. This is not to replace what your child receives at school. It is to enhance the learning process and accelerate their understanding, skills, and mindsets.
 
Working with the public school gifted community, collaborating with teachers, and serving students and parents continues has been and continues to be a labor or love and a passion of mine. I have continued my education through the years. I have remained active in the counseling community, special education community, general education community, and, of course, the gifted community. This helps me respond to children and parents in an individualized way. 
 
We have an adult son with autism. He is not academically gifted but is certainly a gift to our family. Having a son who is gifted and a son with special needs makes it easy for me to connect with families and not judge whatever struggles they may have experienced. We have been there and continue to learn and grow. In addition to being a gifted teacher and counselor, I am a special education teacher. Some gifted kids are dual identified. Each individual child has their own special needs. We hope to help you know their needs of your child and be able to respond to them in a very individualized and specific way.
 
In 2019, I had the honor to speak at the World Gifted Conference and share my insight into developing a preschool through 5th grade gifted school environment with the right daily services individualized for each child. I am bringing the same experience, background, and insight to our K5 Gifted Community and Academy.
 
You are probably learning that all school systems are not created equally. Learn to advocate and be a team player in your child’s education. 
As a parent you can use teachable moments. There are so many times when you are out with your child or just walking in the neighborhood that you can answer questions that your child ask about the world around. 
 
At the same time, don’t to forget to use that time to think about the math in the world. Consider combining math and science learning on your outing. Look for specific activities on our site to target through your nature outings. 
 
For instance, if there is a nest in a tree and you could talk about eggs in the nest. With bird’s nest, you can teach multiplication. For example, if there are 3 nests with 4 eggs in each nest, how many eggs total are there? Answer. 4 + 4 + 4 = 12 or 3 X 4 = 12 eggs. Repeated addition is multiplication. I have taught kindergarten kids how to do this. 
 
The kitchen is another great place for more math by using measuring cups and spoons. It is a great time to introduce concepts of fractions. Simply cutting an apple into two equal shares you are teaching about halves.
 
Maybe you are thinking, it sounds so easy, but I don’t know where to start. You have come to the right place. We want to empower you to help your child. Help you understand how to work with your child so you don’t miss all these teachable moments. You don’t have to have a gifted degree to be able to teach your children these skills.
 
Don’t stop at math. Do a family reader’s theater where each member of the family takes turn reading a part. We have taken some of the classic stories and made them into reader’s theater units that the whole family can use.
 
There are so many things you can do as far as providing learning opportunities for your child. Additionally, you are your child’s advocate with the school system. 
 
Parenting is a journey. Hopefully we can help you along your path.
If you suspect your child is gifted, find out whether your public school provides screening for potentially gifted preschoolers? If so, take advantage of the service. Many schools do not and that is okay because you can help provide what your child needs at home.
 
If your child is successful through the screening, he/she may be able to complete the testing process for gifted identification. Find out what services they have available. It is less important to get the label than the services. Your child may be able to interact with other gifted children for academic and social/emotional development.
 
If not through the school, find the best preschool that you can for your child. You want them to have social opportunities whether or not if it is with other gifted kids or not. Then at home you can provide enrichment opportunities. Activities in books and things that your child needs. Also, the K5 Academy will have resources that you can use.
 
Often there are library programs for children. Through reading and being read to, your child can explore any topic of interest. Read classic literature to your children. You may find that you’re gifted child is very interested in informational topics and not just fiction. A lot of my gifted kids love information about sharks, the Middle Ages, and many other topics. In the Academy we plan to provide some of our materials that have interesting informational topics.
 
Encourage your child to learn more about topics that interests them. Let them learn by reading aloud. When my gifted son and son with autism were young, I read many of the classics aloud to them. It’s a good time to discuss things or issues that you encounter in these books. The topics might include a death of an animal, bullying, or many other things that they may encounter in life. Remember the social and emotional learning is as important as the academic learning. We have a counseling lessons that I have written that we plan to incorporate into our Academy.
 
Learn along with your children, listen, and answer questions. Take advantage of social and emotional opportunities that readily appear in stories. Consider these teachable moments. 
 
Cook with your children to teach about your culture and offer math moments. Walk through your neighborhood and teach about your community, and the many science and math opportunities you will encounter as teachable moments.
 
During these teachable moments, share your values in what your family believes. You may find that your child is more interested than math and reading that is okay. Some children gifted children have a passion for one subject over another. You want to provide those opportunities for your child to learn those skills and concepts that they are wanting. You might think that you don’t understand the how schools are teaching math now. We can certainly help in that area. I believe that preschoolers can learn addition repeated addition subtraction and division concepts at a very young age
 
Remember, “Learning Begins At Home”.
Remember that different states, school districts, and even schools have different definitions, requirements, and programs for what they consider gifted children. If you transfer school districts, especially between states, you might find things are distinctly different.
 
If you’re wondering if you’re gifted preschooler is gifted in all areas, he/she may very well be. The achievement testing may or may not show it at an early age. Part of achievement is based on experiences. What your preschool has taught your child may result in a very high cognitive IQ score, but may only show giftedness in a single area such as reading, writing, math, or creativity. However your child could very well be gifted in all areas.
 
Achievement testing will show if your child is gifted in all academic areas. However, without schooling, your child’s speaking/listening, reading, writing, and math scores may not show them exceptional in all areas (yet). However, your child’s skills may lean toward verbal and language arts and social studies or math and science. Not all gifted children are exceptional in all areas. Their passions often lead them one direction over another. 
 
Gifted screening often looks at your child’s creativity. Is your child able to work in a creative way fluently, with flexibility, thinking of things that no one else would think of, move in ways no one else would think to move?
 
Once your child starts to receive services in other gifted areas, the achievement may balance out and you may see them take off in a area that you did not realize they were gifted. Sometimes children can be gifted as a mathematician and not so much in the language arts. Other kids may be gifted in the language arts areas and not as gifted in math. That does not mean that you can’t nurture those areas to help them achieve and even excel, but it may not be a passion for them.

How You can help as a parent

Quick Takeaways

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  • Provide opportunities for your child to problem solve in every day situations.
  • Read to your child, and encourage them to read aloud if able.
  • Provide a surplus of opportunities for creative movement.
  • Provide common materials for your child to create and design. Things like: toilet paper tubes, paper towel tubes, masking tape, string, and other recyclable materials readily available around the house.
  • Set boundaries and be consistent.
  • Don’t expect your child’s giftedness to be consistent in all areas. The fine motor skills may not be in sync with their intellect, for example. Your child may have a preference for language arts or math activities... or could have a passion for both!
  • Provide time for free play, not necessarily related to learning.

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