Primary » K5 Gifted

Primary

Age & Stage of Development

K5 Gifted primary elementary kid Milton

Kindergarten - 2nd Grade

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These kids know how to have fun! They are hungry for learning and see new opportunities for math and reading everywhere they turn. Innovators through and through, they can use their imaginations to  create something from nothing, even with found materials (a.k.a. treasures). Exceptionality begins to shine through in their passions as gifted learners. For these kids, the world is awash in newness and possibility!
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How do I know my primary elementary school child is gifted?

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Click or hover over the boxes below to learn more!

Spongy

Absorbs/transfers information at a faster rate and processes it efficiently

Self-reliant

Values accomplishing things on their own

Bookworm

Difficulty in finding age appropriate content with a rigorous enough reading level

Muser

Needs regular opportunities for critical and creative thinking

Philosophic

May begin to enjoy abstract concepts

Cognizant

Heightened self-awareness

Astute

Able to comprehend information with great depth

Persistent

Doesn't let adversity slow them down

Lonely

May feel socially isolated if not exposed to intellectual peers on a regular basis

Passionate

May have an intense interest in a specific special interest area: gymnastics, art, theatre, dance, chess, etc

Finicky

Can be skeptical and self-critical

Sensitivity

Feelings easily hurt; may need moral support because of intensity of feelings

Deep

Shows great insight and understanding

unorthodox

Thinks and acts in ways that are distinctly unique

Restless

General education curriculum may bore them without sufficient challenge

Social Style

May be introverted or extroverted, finding strength and energy from within or from others. This may become more evident during the primary years

Trailblazer

May prefer to be independent and self-selective in work and study

Starry-eyed

Idealism and a sense of justice

Macro-awareness

Varied interests, which may include philosophical and world issues

Driven

Self-motivates to set and accomplish goals

Accelerated

May require acceleration in one or more subject areas

Puzzler

Needs opportunities to interact and play with words: rhymes, cross-word puzzles, etc

Creator

Enjoys inventiveness

Perceptive

Can read between the lines and determine the message beyond the obvious

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

Questions & Answers:
Primary Elementary Gifted Kids

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Click on each question below to find out more!

Primary elementary refers to kindergarten through second grade.

I absolutely love this stage and age! In my experience, kindergarten is the ideal time to test kids, as they are ready for some challenges in the school environment. That’s the best time to go ahead and get them started with some advancement, rather than waiting until third grade, which lots of schools prefer. By waiting that long, a lot of time unfortunately passes. This age group is incredibly sweet and generally kind to others, but they may already be realizing their differences already. They are potentially not making friends as easily as they would like. They are realizing that they may be a little more advanced than some of their peers. For example, in reading or math groups. Since the curriculum in their classes may not be challenging enough, they may be bored at school. This also leads to the realization that they don’t have to work too hard to get good grades. Obviously, this is a dangerous precedent to set so early, so it takes extra diligence to ensure they are facing the same level of struggle/challenge in their work. By doing this they learn that better effort will ultimately lead to better results.

Primary children are often not screened or considered as potentially gifted. What is your child supposed to do for advancement and learning in kindergarten, first, and second grade? That is three years your child could go without learning something knew at school. That is a travesty. By the time your child is evaluated, he/she may have learned some bad habits and finishing work quickly and then having to find something to do. What’s a child to do? It may or may not be something the teacher wants the children to do. Your child can’t spend the day with free reading. That also will become a dreaded activity. If behavior becomes a challenge, consider if challenging and rigorous work, makes a difference in how your child spends his/her time. 
 
Consider asking your child’s school if he/she can walk to another class for reading and/or math. For example, your kindergarten child could still spend time in the kindergarten classroom but go to first grade for reading and math. Your kindergarten child may still need the opportunity to learn social skills and writing skills. Fine motor skills are almost never in line with your child’s intellect. 
 
If your child is fortunate enough to have a teacher that differentiated well and provides the right materials and curricula, then your child might be fine until later testing. The only thing missing at that point would be the chance to interact with intellectual peers. That is equally important to academics at the right difficulty level. 

Children seem pretty well adjusted at this time. They often are friendly with all children on the playground. They may consider they have lots of friends because all the children on the playground play together. They may not have a single friend or small circle of friends at that time. They may play soccer, and run and climb together. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t still need time with intellectual peers to play chess and interact in logic games and board games that require advanced math skills. They may also enjoy reading an advanced book and participate in a book chat or study. These activities will energize them. It give them a chance to actually be themselves because others “get them.”

At home you may find that your child wold like to debate or argue because they may be more intellectually advanced that other children that they are usually around at school or the neighborhood.  This is the time to set limits with them. Let them know that you will listen, but you do not intend to debate or argue. If you allow them to argue with you at home, they get the message that is acceptable to argue with teachers and other adults at school. It may come across as very disrespectful.
 
As your child becomes an advanced reader and is learning from what they are reading rather than learning to read, they may experience reading material that let’s them become aware of critical world issues, such as homelessness and poverty. They may be concerned about issues that they have no control over. They can feel helpless and anxious. 
 
Perfectionism also becomes evident for some gifted children. They may have trouble getting started on a task or project, stuck if they can’t get it just right, or dissatisfied once finishes because it is not perfect. They may be so afraid of making a mistake, that they don’t start at all. If they spend so much time on the cover of the project, they may never get to the project itself. This can cause frustration for the child, for you, and for your child’s project partners, and the teacher. Perfectionism can cause underachievement.  You can help by setting goals and time constraints for each part. If the cover is not finished, and the time is up, the child moves to the next part, anyway. If time is available at the end, then he/she can go back to the cover. Time management must be learned early.
 
During this time period, you child may want to over-schedule. Your child has so many interests that it is hard to narrow them down: faith-based activities, swimming team, gymnastics, foreign language, Destination Imagination, scouts, etc. Soon there is not down-time. Your child become stressed and anxious because of lack of down-time and sleep, and you are exhausted from your mom or dad “taxi service.” Find a nice balance and set limits. I have had parents tell me that their children liked extra homework that would keep them up until 10:00 or after. They need their sleep!

We have a son with autism and a son who is highly gifted. Both are adults. Our special education son was self-contained except for specials, and that was what he needed and wanted.  Our gifted son was in general education with pull-out and differentiation during primary years.This was still not enough challenge for him, and I supplemented at home, especially in the reading/writing areas, which were and are his passions. I had to help him find the right level or rigor in reading materials that were appropriate for his social/emotional level. I remember him reading War of the Worlds. I read along with him, so that we could talk about it. He later tested into a self-contained program for highly gifted learners where he was with gifted children all day. Although he was a capable math learner, he never enjoyed it. We helped in math to keep him focused and moving forward so he would have what he needed when entering a university. 

We have a son with autism and a son who is highly gifted. Both are adults. Our special education son was self-contained except for specials, and that was what he needed and wanted.  Our gifted son was in general education with pull-out and differentiation during primary years. This was still not enough challenge for him, and I supplemented at home, especially in the reading/writing areas, which were and are his passions. I had to help him find the right level or rigor in reading materials that were appropriate for his social/emotional level. I remember him reading War of the Worlds. I read along with him, so that we could talk about it. He later tested into a self-contained program for highly gifted learners where he was with gifted children all day. Although he was a capable math learner, he never enjoyed it. We helped in math to keep him focused and moving forward so he would have what he needed when entering a university. For more about my background, visit our “About” page.

We opened the K5 gifted site to offer support to families. I wish I had an on-line support system when I realized I was raising a child with autism and then when I realized we were raising a highly gifted child. What a blessing it would have been to have others to reach out to that understood our valleys and mountain experiences. I kept returning to the university as a student going from elementary education, special education, counseling, gifted education, educational diagnostics, and school administration. Those experiences may not be on your bucket list, so an on-line community might be a better fit for you and your already busy schedule. I learned to navigate the school system to advocate for both my children and get their unique needs met. We want to provide support for you and your children along your journey. 

Continue to spend time with your child. Even though they can read to themselves, continue to read along to them and with them. Have them continue to read aloud to you. Build fluency, talk about vocabulary, and discuss the content. Consider readers’ theater, and get your whole family participating. What fun! Don’t forget about math. Your kindergarten child may be ready to learn to multiply and divide. It is not too early. If your child understands addition, and repeated addition, he/she can learn multiplication. Watch for the blogs about how to teach multiplication at this age. Don’t just have them memorize facts. Make sure your child understands math conceptually. Encourage division through separating things into fair shares. Just because most children learn multiplication in 3rd grade, there is not reason to make your child wait if ready. My kindergarten student wrote me a sweet thank you note this year thanking me for helping her become a mathematician. 

If you have a state that served gifted children under special education, it won’t be a problem to get your child’s advanced academics exactly right. Your child will have an individual educational plan that specifies exactly what subjects your child will receive service, a specific goal in each subject, and when, when, and how your child will be served. Sadly, only a handful of states serves gifted children in this way. Most states have programs. They may serve in one academic area, in creativity, or leadership or a combination. If it is not enough, feel free to serve and supplement at home. I had a first grader last year that had the prerequisite skills to learn circumference and area of a circle. I taught it to him, at his request. This level of advancement is unusual but not impossible with the right opportunities. I had a kindergarten student that wanted to study the United States Presidents. I provided the materials and activities he needed to learn what he was most passionate. Many of my gifted students love STEM activity and competition. I make sure they get those opportunities. If your child is not getting what he/she needs, talk to your child’s teacher. Don’t go in with angry steam coming from your ears. Go in an be willing to listen and share your concerns and ideas. Be kind!

How You can help as a parent

Quick Takeaways

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  • Provide opportunities for your child to socialize or learn with other gifted students.
  • Help your child find appropriate challenging reading material that is appropriate for his/her social and emotional readiness.
  • Help your child find a balance with activities and leisure.
  • Advocate for your child at school to find the right level of challenge academically. Work to be a partner with your child’s school and part of his/her support system.
  • Listen when your child’s intense feelings seem out of control; help your child find outlets for emotions: drawing, journaling, playing, exercising, etc.

Primary Blogs

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K5 Gifted blog: What do I do if I think my child is gifted?
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Achieving optimal results with your child’s school

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K5 Gifted blog: peer relationships of gifted elementary children
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Peer Relationships of Gifted Children

Navigating friendships can be tricky enough, but does that look different for gifted children?​

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K5 Gifted blog: perfectionism in gifted elementary children
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Perfectionism in Gifted Children

It’s the personal characteristic that can be a blessing and a curse. Check out our tips for keeping a healthy eye on your child’s perfectionism.​

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K5 Gifted blog: the value of daily journaling for gifted children
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The Power of Journaling

Should you encourage your gifted child to keep a daily journal? The benefits might surprise you!

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K5 Gifted blog: the value of pattern block us for gifted children
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Why Use Pattern Blocks?

Using simple pattern blocks your child can explore mathematical ideas, including: congruence, similarities, symmetry, perimeter, area, patterns, functions, ratios, and fractions!

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Science Trivia Challenge – Hawaii!

Join us in Hawaii for our a quick science adventure! See if you can guess the trivia question in the video before continuing to the rest of the article!

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