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Gifted Children K-6/Question about son's level



I'm not sure if I should do anything out of the ordinary with my son. I'm wondering if you think he is "gifted," and if so, how important it is to test him and such. If he is, we really don't want him feeling like he's special or different, but we do want him to be satisfied with his learning and connected with his peers. I am considering homeschooling as well.

He turned 5 two months ago and recently started a play-based preschool.

Here is his academic learning:
-- he's always talked a lot. I didn't keep track and don't remember when he started, but I know he spoke in mature sentences when he was two. I could speak with him like a normal adult.
-- when he was almost 4 he asked me to teach him to read. I bought "The Reading Lesson" which we did sporadically and he finished in a few months. With no further instruction, he now independently reads everything. His favorite books are a Ninjago encyclopedia, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a Minecraft handbook , and a. Star Wars kids cookbook.
-- he does not write yet and isn't into it, but his fine motor skills appear fine.
-- he does his own Google searches and has found videos he likes, like EvanTubeHD and stampylonghead. He'll listen to adult YouTube toy reviews for hours and then look up the cost of the toys and where to buy them and let me know.
-- he asks deep questions about God and death and good and evil and speed of light and sound, etc
-- he's listened to the Star Wars movie audiobook about 10 times now. He'll listen for hours.
-- he's not into kids rhymes or beginning readers.
-- he figured out a lot of basic spelling
-- he has a strong vocabulary like saying "the word that expelled from my mouth"

-- he learned basics young, just from speaking with people. Then when I considered homeschooling I got the Math U. See primer. We've had very sporadic math lessons, but he picks up quickly and always wants to do more.
-- now he knows all his addition and subtraction facts to 20 with complete understanding of what they mean and ability to do two-step story problems.
-- he knows place value into the thousands
-- he can skip count by many numbers
-- he likes money
-- he measures things with random objects on his own accord and likes to discuss weight and length, etc
-- he's known 2D and 3D shapes and colors for years
-- he's finished a book of logic puzzles and I just bought him pattern blocks n such
-- he really likes Lego and is excited to go to a Minecraft Lego camp
-- he's not into puzzles except on occasion
-- he loves board games

I'm not sure if he's gifted because I have taught him what he wants to know. But he picks up quickly and seems to have a mature understanding, though he's no genius. He's worked out a conceptual understandin of multiplication in his head but he doesn't know the word "times."  For example he knows that 6 tens makes 60.

Should we do anything special for him?  He plays well with his peers and really has no difficulties, emotional or otherwise.

Thank you

Dear Jo,

From your description, it certainly sounds like he may be gifted.  It's wonderful that he "plays well with his peers and really has no difficulties, emotional or otherwise."

There is a wonderful support organization for families of gifted children called SENG.  They have lists of publications that will probably be helpful to you.  If he's happy in his preschool, I would leave him there.

Continue talking to him about EVERYTHING.  Read to and with him.  The library should be one of the favorite places of all, with him having time to explore and just look at all sorts of different books that may interest him.

When my son was in kindergarten, he wanted to know how roads were made.  We went to a main library and couldn't find anything remotely on his level.  So we got one on a high school level with some photos and I paraphrased the captions of the pictures so we could get a general enough idea for him to be satisfied.

I'm not sure what you mean by "he's no genius".  Geniuses don't have to know EVERYTHING.  They are usually more inquisitive than most, pick up knowledge quickly, relate it to things they already know, etc.  

As far as labeling him gifted, if the label gets him additional services, then it's useful to be labeled.  If it's not going to do him any good, he doesn't need the label.

Since you have a happy, healthy, inquisitive, fast learning little boy who plays AND learns, I would say you are doing many things very right with him.  Keep it up!!

Let me know how things progress with him.  I'm interested.  If you have any other questions, please ask.  If you are pleased with my answer, please leave positive feedback for me.


Gifted Children K-6

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Ellen Jaffe


I can answer questions about gifted children in nearly any setting, at home, at school, in social settings. My main expertise is early childhood, and I can also answer questions throughout elementary school.


I teach child development on the university level - undergrad and graduate. I am a parent of four gifted children who have all earned college degrees, although not all being used at this time. My children have all either been in classes for the gifted and/or been in special programs for the gifted, including special high schools.

MS.Ed. City University of NY

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