Posted by: R.E | 2005/01/10

For CyberShrink- six year old needs stimulation

CyberShrink. My six year old starts grade one this week. She enjoys being constantly stimulated. Her reading is at grade three level and she loves filling in crosswords and activity books. I sometimes catch her trying to fill in adult crosswords as well. She has spent last year helping her pre-school teacher teach the younger kids as well as doing advanced work of her own. At her insistence, she did Kumon maths last year. When she started she was already ahead of her age level and has currently just completed the grade four level. My problem is this--should I let her continue with the Kumon? My husband feels that since she needs constant stimulation, we should let her continue. I am not so sure. I don't want her to get too advanced for her age as I know that she is going to be terribly bored in class.What do you think will be best for her both mentally and emotionally.Thanx.R.E.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Wouldn't this be a good thing to discuss, in some detail, in advance, with her teacher-to-be and head teacher ?
And school won't take up all her time, so she can also be stimulated by extra lessons, reading, and hobbies at home, after school.

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Our users say:
Posted by: lady nina | 2005/01/11

hi there

it's great your child is clever you are very lucky
my experience is that most people put a lot of importance on the academic side of things but what about emotional, sosial development and also character

you need to find a school who will treat your child as an individual and try and get her in balance - balance is very very important for any person -

there is a lot more to learn than just facts and figures and she needs to have a strong yet humble character or belive me she will not make it as an adult

take care and keep up the good work


Reply to lady nina
Posted by: Liza | 2005/01/11

Whatever you do - DONT STOP WITH KUMON. I'm not quite sure whether both you and your husband are working, or whether you are a stay-at-home mom. If you are, then home-schooling might be a much better option. In this way she can be stimulated much more than in a school. Schools weren't designed for 'gifted' kids. I know that I was labelled as 'gifted' in primary school - got some extra work to do, but not enough to truly stimulate me. I still remember that the teacher in Std 2 (now Grade 4) was caring enough to give me the extra stimulation that I needed. How well I remember the Matric textbook I had to use to do a project on pigeons. Nowadays the classes are too big for that extra from the teacher's side.

If you can't home-school her, another option is Montesseri (sp). They allow children to move at their own pace - so if she's learnt all she needs to learn for a certain subject in Grade 1, they move her to the Grade 2 class of that subject etc. The only problem is the price - around R1200 per month for school fees. Then there is the other stimulation that they offer - usually things like horse-riding lessons, ballet - all kinds of extra things you wouldn't as 'subjects' in a normal school. Its an option that I considered for my children, but it is very expensive and they currently go to a very small rural school where the teachers can still give that extra stimulation. My youngest son was ready for Grade 1 this year, but he is still only 4 - far too young to physically keep up with other Grade 1's. Although for extra stimulation, both my sons have horse-riding lessons, and the oldest is also doing piano lessons.

My youngest might not be quite as bright as your daughter, but his teacher has started teaching him to read and write. He can even write is own name, recognize all the different letters and write them. He very proudly came to me and showed me his writing on a piece of paper - no words, but some of the letters he can already write quite well. This is one of the reasons why I'm letting my ex-husband keep custody of them. I cannot offer them the same close to where I live.

Hope that you continue to stimulate your daughter - its never a bad thing, but extra things like ballet lessons could slow down her need to study without stifling her.

Good luck

Reply to Liza
Posted by: ... | 2005/01/11

If you know she's gonna be terribly bored in her classes would it not be sensible to allow her mind to carry on being stimulated like she seems to be so obviously enjoying right now. What would you have done if she wasn't interested in learning at all?
I think with the right professional guidance & your support she would go a long way. Give her what she seems to so obviously need.
She sounds very impressive, would you like to be the one to stifle that?

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