How do you parent a child with advanced intelligence?

United States
July 9, 2007 3:43pm CST
I have a grandchild who is just six and will begin first grade in the fall. She already reads comfortably at a third grade level and can work through reading at the fifth grade level by learning what new words mean. They gave all the kindergarten children placement tests at the end of the year and she AVERAGED third grade in all subjects. What will they do with her in first grade? In other respects she is a typical six-year-old frilly little girl. She likes ballet, ruffles, pink, and Disney princesses. But she is just too smart for her parents sometimes. It is hard to remember that she is only six, except that she still sometimes sucks her thumb when tired or upset. She has a younger sister who is bright but not as advanced and much more typical for a four-year-old. I just worry about how she will adjust in school. Any of you have experience with very advanced children and what challenges they face?
5 people like this
11 responses
@ESKARENA1 (18304)
9 Jul 07
this is extremely difficult to do all you can really do is keep levels of stimulation very high
3 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 07
Thank you. Fortunately she is going to a private church school that has smaller numbers of students per teacher. That should help. but private school is expensive and I'm not sure her parents will be able to afford that for twelve long years.
1 person likes this
@beauty_ph (2752)
• Philippines
9 Jul 07
My officemate's child also have an advances intelligence. She can read well like a grade 2 pupil when she's only 4years old. The problem was when they sent the child to preschool the child got board. She knows everything and hates the lessons which seems too easy for her. I think children with advance intellegence needs an important threatment. They have to be in another school not with those normal onese because the are special gifted children. In our city I have not known a school that offers something for the gifted children. That's also a problem now. God bless!
• Philippines
10 Jul 07
Children with advance intelligences do not have to be transferred to advance schools or whatever you call them. I think children should ought to study ahead of the others if they think that the lessons discussed by their teacher is way too easy. In that case, they can learn more. :)
• United States
10 Jul 07
Thank you. I guess we should start saving for tuition early!
1 person likes this
@pismeof (855)
• United States
10 Jul 07
I'm not sure if it's available in your area ,But there are private institutions called MONTESSORI Schools where I'm from and they work with the advanced kids .You need the funds of coarse but maybe you could check for similar programs in your area.
• United States
10 Jul 07
I know there is Montessori school in the metropolitan areas. I don't know about where they live. But it is a good idea. Thanks.
• United States
10 Jul 07
Your granddaughter actually sounds exactly like i was, by four i was reading shakespeare (my favorite being midsummer nights dream because my mom would buy me TONS of outfits and id recite the lines as a fearie) we have me at 3 on film reciting romeo and juliet. In 1st grade I did a book report on the novel, "A tree grows in brooklyn", yet i was in ballet, jazz, tap, baseball, and anything beauty and the beast. Shell be fine in school, but should be told that other kids are not as far along as her, no one told me that when i went to kindergarten so when the teacher was calling on kids to read and they were stumbling i turned to a girl and stated "Whats the matter? dont you know how to read?!" i didnt understand that no most kids at that age didnt know how to even write their name yet. My little brother though has never been like I was, hes the average kid, and even was behind in reading in his earlier years which worried/ frustrated my parents at times. Try to make sure she has things that will keep her mind engaged, i got lucky with having teachers i enjoyed more that a lot of my peers i felt like i had more to talk about with them. If shes not getting challenged enough her grades could slip simply out of boredom to it, if it comes to that try getting her a tutor to help her with advancing in subjects not to help her with the ones shes in.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 07
Thanks. A tutor sounds like an innovative idea. She could have two "schools" that way.
• Malaysia
10 Jul 07
These children have higher IQ's than most other children their age. This is good, but you have to remember IQ is not the only intelligence a human has. EQ is another intelligence that has to be balanced with IQ, if not a child would face difficulty growing up. Try noticing her EQ as well, or Emotional Intelligence. If she seems able to socialize alright, and able to manage herself without being told all the time, I guess she is in the right track and will face no difficulty in coping with older friends at her advanced classes at school. However if you notice that her EQ is a bit slow than others, you should seek medical advice on this and try to teach her new social and emotional skills. I hope this helps.
• United States
10 Jul 07
Thanks. I think her EQ is that of a normal six-year-old. That difference in IQ and EQ creates the situations I am concerned about, where expectations of performance socially are set too high because she comes across as older in her thoughts and verbal skills. It is easy to forget that she is only six years old.
@ivyoon (675)
• United States
10 Jul 07
I'm a homeschooler, and my daughter should be going into second grade, but is working on a fourth grade level over the summer along with my son (who is on grade level). It is sometimes frustrating for him because she is two years younger, but often does better academically than he does. (She even scored much higher than him on her third grade standardized test.) She is like a tiny adult. People are often amazed by her intelligence because she is small for her age, and advanced as well. I always talk to her like a person, and not like a child, and this stimulates her as well. The problem I face is my son being somewhat jealous of her at times, but she helps him to understand his lessons in a way that I cannot sometimes because she spends so much time with him "in his world". I feel very blessed to have an advanced child, and feel that when she gets older, she will learn how to adapt to her own intelligence level and fit in just fine.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 07
Thank you. It can be challenging for a child to be above average intelligence but socially and experiencially equivalent to age mates. It is easy to expect them to behave like they are older, more mature. Also, it is easy for them to get into situations that they are not yet mature enough to handle. It is a tight-rope they walk through childhood.
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8992)
• Canada
10 Jul 07
This is very interesting, and quite a challenge! Check out the First Grade Teacher. She should be familiar with the procedure followed for advanced Children. I understand that Bright Kids are usully bored with Public School Curriculum. The problem here is How to keep them interested? Would it be possible to enrol her in a Private School. Failing that, what about Homeschooling? It would be fascinating to teach such a Child (imagine what You would Learn?)Sorry, I have no experience with this. My 4 boys were good in school, but not exceptional! Good luck to you, And your Grandaughter!
• United States
10 Jul 07
Thanks. She is enrolled in a church-sponsored school. Hopefully the smaller classroom size will be helpful. I don't know how prepared they are for exceptional students. Her mother teaches math in that school, which makes it possible to cover the tuition. Home schooling is an option, I suppose. I hadn't thought of that.
1 person likes this
@athnam (20)
• United States
10 Jul 07
You granddaughter's best advocates will be her parents. They need to push the school to accommodate her needs. Schools are notorious for not meeting the needs of gifted students. Her first grade teacher will have limited access to materials to teach her. What I mean is, as a first grade teacher, she will have only first grade materials. One way to get beyond this limitation is to use Bloom's Taxonomy (www.coun.uvic.ca/learn/program/hndouts/bloom.html), which categorizes levels of thinking; the lowest being knowledge, and the highest being evaluation. In other words, your granddaughter can learn the same concepts as the other first graders at a much higher thinking level. The "No Child Left Behind" Act states that "No Child Left Behind holds schools and school districts accountable for results. Schools are responsible for making sure your child is learning." This is the key "push" her parents need to make. Also, her parents can consider home schooling. If they do their research, there are many good programs out there with with good support. Ultimately, there are two risks here. Your granddaughter will become so bored, she'll give up on school. Or, she'll become complacent and lazy, never trying to achieve anything significant, because she doesn't have to try any harder. I hope this was helpful, and good luck to you and you granddaughter in first grade!
• United States
10 Jul 07
Thank you. Very helpful information. I will certainly pass it along to her parents. I imagine the real challenge will come when she is a couple of years older and highly influenced by peer pressure to be like everyone else rather than to achieve at her best.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jul 07
I can only tell you an experience I had with my daughter when we came here from Germany and she was way ahead of her age group when they placed her in the Americam school but I figured the educators knew what they were doing. Wrong... she got so bored because she had learned all the things her class was being taught 2 years earlier. Finally I got the school to move her ahead as was not learning anything and the other kids though she was just showing off.
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 07
That is one of my concerns. The problem with advancing their grade is that they miss out on the age-appropriate socialization skills development. They are then the "baby" of the class of older children, which can be hard on them too. It is a dilemma.
1 person likes this
@creematee (2810)
• United States
9 Jul 07
Our elementary school has a program set aside for children like these. It's called TAG (Talented and Gifted.) Basically it's a resource room set aside for these TAG kids, where they receive extra or more challenging work outside the classroom. They still receive classroom work, but the TAG program just makes it more challenging for them. It's been in operation since I was in school (some 25 or so years ago) and still going strong. Check to see if a program like this exists at your grandchild's school. It would be marvelous if it did. Best wishes to you and your smart little ones. They are so lucky to have such caring, loving people in their lives. :)
2 people like this
• United States
10 Jul 07
Thank you. I think I've heard of TAG, that perhaps one of my older grandchildren was in some advanced classes. I don't know if this exists in their church school, but I will check with her parents about it.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jul 07
My older daughter is 7 years old and will be entering 3rd grade in the fall. She started kindergarten when she was only 4, and was able to get in kindergarten by passing the early placement tests. She is the youngest in her grade level. This past year, her 2nd grade teacher recommended her for some kind of exceptional program. She has also been in the school spelling bee, twice, and placed in the top 5 both times. This past year, she also won 2nd place for her grade level, for the whole state in the Young Writer's Competition, and won 1st place in her school and in the county. She does act more mature than a 7 year old, but there are times when she will act her age. She, too, has a younger sister, who is 14 months younger. She is going into 1st grade, and is right on target. We do encourage both of our girls, and praise them for every achievement. Yes, we do tend to praise the older child more often, but that is only because of her many achievements. We have agreed not to let her skip any grades, if the chance was given, until she is older and can deal with it better. As I said before, right now, she is the youngest in her grade, and she is dealing with that pretty well, but, she is also the smallest, and some of the older kids' attitudes are a bit more mature at times, so to advance her to a higher grade at this time, I feel would not be beneficial. At this time, she is not showing any signs of boredom in her studies, so as long as she is still finding the schoolwork interesting and challenging, I would prefer her to stay with kids who are closer to her in age.
• United States
10 Jul 07
I agree with your decisions for your daughter. I hope she continues to be challenged and to mature as is appropriate for her. It is a challenge for parents when one child is more advanced than another to temper their praise to mete it out equally. I'm sure the younger child is better at something, or will be at some point. Each of us has a talent. The secret is finding it. Thanks.