Teaching child too much too soon..

Melissa - posted on 11/05/2010 ( 31 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone, We have a daughhter who has just turned 21 months and just loves learning. Obviously like most children :) She recognises all of the letters of the alphabet and reads out each letter on signs whenever we are out or she is looking at a book or catalogue. She is counting and recognises numbers up to 14 and just loves doing puzzles. She has a love for learning and she enjoys being praised for it and claps when she has completed a puzzle etc even when she's on her own. Alice can say approx 200 words. We haven't pushed her, I am a fulltime stay at home mum and I spend lots of time with her (obviously that's what a stay at home mum does anyway). She will have a mini tantrum if I don't show her how to do something or sit and read with her. I love all the time I get to spend with her and feel very lucky that I am able to stay at home and enjoy her. I have been told by a number of people, that if Alice doesn't slow down then she will be bored when she goes to school!
This really irritates me when I hear it, I think this is ludicrous and besides if she wants to play with her numbers and letters etc, I am not going to deny her of it!
What are your thoughts on this?
Melissa :)

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Just keep doing what your doing! Anything you can introduce to her and get her interested in now is great! My son is doing many of the things you mentioned as well. And from what I've been told by a former teacher I know, he is ahead of the game for a boy for sure, as well as for most his age. But it's okay, they need to learn! The more they learn now the better I think! She will only be bored in school if you allow it. Which from the sounds of it, you wouldn't let that happen. You just need to stay involved and work with teachers when she reaches school age. If they know what she is capable of doing, they will offer challenges or even to skip a grade if needed! You are doing a great job, don't let others tell you differently!

Laurian - posted on 11/10/2010

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children are at the optimum learning age between 0 and 5yo. Anything we do to help them learn intellectually, emotionally physically all develops the right connections in their brains to cope with the world we live in. There is no such thing as too much too soon if it is at the pace your child is learning. If she wasn't coping or enjoying the learning then maybe yes it is too much too soon. However from what you are saying you are right on track for her natural learning curve. My baby is on the Your baby can read program and absolutely loves books as a result. Whatever I can do to help her is what I will do. Make sure that when she does get to school the teachers are aware of what she can do already, they are trained to assess and will promote a child if necessary! Good luck to you

Blu - posted on 11/08/2010

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Let her learn. Thats what skipping grades is for. If she is that advanced then she will be able to skip grades. I dont understand why you would slow someone's learning, esp if she loves it, in order to fit in with others. I did that in middle school (I was popular, then when to advanced classes and had no friends). One of my biggest regrets bc I never got back on track until college.

Jennifer - posted on 11/06/2010

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Hey Tracy, Well I just talk to her ALOT! We read lots of books, I also have some of those activity type books that teach numbers, letters etc .. she loves the ones with stickers, also, I'm not sure if you speak a second language but if you do and you haven't started her with it yet, maybe that's something you can try to stimulate her with now. We've just started french with dakotah so it's like strating back at square 1, know what I mean .... Other than that I'm out of ideas lol .. my daughter doesn't seem to be bored, she is like her father in the sense that she can entertain and stimulate herself. I pretty much just supply her with the tools when asked :) ... not very helpful I know, sorry

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Oana - posted on 12/19/2010

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Why don't you look into teaching her chess? If not now, later but it's something that will keep her continuously stimulated and it's not borring at all. The only thing is that she will need someone to play with at a level that can keep her interested. Good luck!

Julie - posted on 11/23/2010

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My oldest could do The USA puzzel by the time she was 2 and resight all the state names as she did it. She knew all the same as your daughter - Letters and numbers and by the time she was 4 she could read. Yes she was bored in Pre-school but you do not have to send her. We did for social reasons. Although she has moments when she is bored in school there is always something to keep her interested. She is doing fine. There is so much to learn in life and as long as she is all line with her age (to say - Not being subjected to things that she is just to young to handle...) and she can relate socially to her classmates, she will be fine. My youngest is 21 months and I teach toddlers. This is a great learning age. All kids learn at different pace and she maybe ahead of other kids her age in what they call book smarts - there may be something she is not. As long as she wants to learn keep up what you are doing. Kids this age are like sponges... And let her learn at her pace. Good luck and enjoy - before you know it they are off to middle school :)

Janelle - posted on 11/21/2010

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Hi Melissa.
My daughter Amber is 21 months also and just like your daughter she loves to learn!! Books are a favourite!! Cant sit down without having one or more thrust upon your lap to read to her! Like yourselves I havent pushed the learning issue but I work 20 hours a week and she goes to daycare with other children of varied ages up to 5 so I guess wanting to learn, in her case anyway could be explained by watching the other children develop and learn?? I have been told by many others that she speaks very well for her age and Im very proud of that fact! I dont personally believe that theres anything wrong with learning, no matter how much or how soon. As for the being bored when she gets to school... I also find that hard to believe as Im sure, being the professionals that they are, her teachers will find ways to continue her development.
Keep up the good work!!
Janelle :)

Stephanie - posted on 11/20/2010

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Sounds like my daughter! And don't worry about what people are telling you.

A large portion of Kindergarten is the social interaction - learning the rules of school, how to properly interact with the other children and authority figures, etc.

You'll find ways to continue her learning at home and in some schools, I've heard they've begun reading lessons in Kindergarten!

Melissa - posted on 11/19/2010

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Thanks for all replies :) We will never say "no" to learning. Alice is showing all the signs that she loves learning and loving to learn is very important, if you love learning then your opportunities are endless. We feel very blessed to have a beautiful healthy little girl regardless.

We attend on average 2 different playgroups each week, I take her to music and library once per week. Alice also spends 6 hours once per week in family day care (so I can do "me " things and Alice learns that mummy isn't the only one who can take care of her!) She plays with 3 other children in a home environment with "Aunty Jam" Jan is an aunty figure for Alice. She loves dancing and will dance whenever she hears any type of beat including mobile phones when we are out shopping! She likes climbing and playing outside. I have taken her to two terms of swimming lessons and will start up again next year, kindermusic (she didn't like it) she'd rather dance and play at her own pace with mummy at home :) so having said all that, she has a pretty good little life, very well balanced with lots of love and plenty of "good" attention.

We don't have any Montessori Schools in Bowral, we had a Steiner School which has now closed. We are very happy to place her in our local Public Primary School and plan on her going to a Private Girls High School but that is still a while away yet, thank goodness!

Now I need to concentrate on her "sleeping habits" lol

Thanks again everyone xo

Kerryn - posted on 11/19/2010

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I am a teacher. And it is ridiculous to say that she will be bored at school. School is so much more than letters and numbers. Go with your child's lead - if she wants to learn, then embrace and enhance it:)

Amber - posted on 11/19/2010

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To the mother who wrote about "dull" children. There is no such thing as a dull child.

Ericka - posted on 11/19/2010

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Mmmm as long as it is fun and you don't presure her to learn, I think is OK. Don't worry about people, they tend to say so much without knowing anything.

Diana - posted on 11/19/2010

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When you start her in school... do a montissori school.. they teach your child at her own levels, and most go to 2nd grade I believe ...

Paula - posted on 11/19/2010

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Hey, to the mom who wrote the comment about others having "dull" kids, get a grip - it isn't the kids who are dull, it's the parents who don't accept that all kids are different.

Katie - posted on 11/18/2010

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That sounds exactly like my daughter at that age!! She was talking in complete sentences, etc, around 18 months or so. She's 6.5 now and in the 1st grade. Let me start by saying, whatever you do DO NOT listen to others and slow down with the learning! Like your daughter, mine was born with a natural love of learning and she still loves to learn every opportunity she gets. After having a parent conference with her teacher the other day, we discovered that her reading and math is on the level of 3rd graders! If you teach your child to love learning from such an early age by making it fun, and nurturing them, they will NEVER want to stop learning! My daughter begs for new books instead of new toys...Some will argue and say that children this bright are not well rounded...DON'T listen to them. My daughter plays guitar, has taken ballet, softball, ice-skating, karate, and girl scouts, but she also loves learning. Keep doing what your doing, because it's obviously paying off! Good job!

Crystal - posted on 11/18/2010

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I think that if she wants it then you should give it to her, even in school. Why stop someone who wants to learn more! I think its wonderful she enjoysit so muc and run with mummy!!

Amber - posted on 11/17/2010

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Of COURSE she will be bored in school! But that's not a bad thing! I just took a course called "How to Multiply Your Baby's Intelligence" from the Institutes of Achievement for Human Potential. Here is there website: iahp.org I highly recommend this course. Children have the potential to be absolute geniuses, but most people spend their lives dumbing their kids down. How could teaching your children something when they want to learn it be a bad thing? My son just turned 21 months and I have been teaching him how to read, do math and learn music. He LOVES learning how to read and can read up to 30 words now and we've only been doing the program for 2 weeks! I'd love to talk to you about the program more, if you'd like :) My advice is, keep up the good work! You are obviously providing your daughter an environment that encourages a love of learning. Mother's know best and don't let anyone bully you out of doing what you know is best for your child.

Stephanie - posted on 11/16/2010

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If your child is bored in school they will find more work for her. A friend of mine was just going through that with her daughter. The principal and teacher called her into a meeting and asked her if she minded them giving her extra work or advanced work. If she wants to learn never deny her of it. With a good start like that she could be set for a great life.

Tanya - posted on 11/15/2010

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Our Liitle one is also quite smart .. although not so smart! well done. she started learning things early with the dayschool she was in. unfortunatley her school closed and we had to put her in a creche. the problem is although she was quite advanced they puit her in the baby class 0-24 and well we feel she is not being stimulated as now all she does is play at school. no more pictures & books & shapes , numbers & stuff like that. i think if you want to encourage eraly leraning , just make sure you continue when they go to school. find a school that suits their abilities. we will be moving her in the new year to a montesori school.

Lu - posted on 11/11/2010

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What a smart little girl you have! I don't believe she'll get bored in school because most schools have extra work for the more advanced kids. I didn't like the comment of people being jealous because they have dull kids though. Every kid is an amazing miracle from God, whether they are smarter than others or have difficulty learning. Keep doing what you are doing and enjoy your time with her because they do grow up way too fast! Let her do what she loves, as long as you're not pushing her, I don't see she getting bored. There is an infinite number of things to learn in the world! :-)

Hannah - posted on 11/11/2010

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your little girl is adorable. Please encouage her to do more, and you will be happy you did. My little girl is like that too. I'm a busy mother, but I make sure I provide her with all the stuff she needs to keep her busy with her books. You have to let her fall in love with her books etc, and she will be a good example to her siblings. Congrats

Amanda - posted on 11/11/2010

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I feel the way you feel my daughter is almost 21 months and does exactly what your daughter does. If they want to learn it now then let them.

CJ - posted on 11/09/2010

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I wouldn't listen to those people if I were you...kids learn more at this age (my daughter is also 21 months and loves reading books and counting and learning new words and what things are) than any other time in their life. She's not going to lose interest in learning later just because she learns alot now....some people have their kids starting music lessons and learning other languages at this age. It's better to let your daughter soak up as much as she can while she is at the age where kids learn the most and easiest. There are studies that show kids learn more (and have the potential to learn more) before the age of 3 than any other time in their lives. If your daughter enjoys learning, count it a blessing and indulge her :) I know I do!

Lisa - posted on 11/09/2010

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My son is no where near Alice. He counts up to 20 but doesn't recognise numbers. A is for apple and B up to E is for Dog, LOL. I'd say go with your kid's cues. ALWAYS encourage her interests. Aidan is a chatterbox so I introduce new words to him every day and he picks them up after hearing them the first time. He's not good with music or drawing or recognising words/letters/symbols but I don't want to force that onto him until he's ready because sometimes they just may not be interested. I just expose them to him and let him take his time.

As for what to do at home with her, well, how is her gross motor skills like climbing and running or working a tricycle? Maybe you can help her be good at those if she isn't already. Or her fine motor skills? Would she enjoy putting caps back onto those packs of 24 colour pens? Drawing? I do little "plays" with Aidan. I use his stuffed toys to enact stories out. Things like manners or staying safe when crossing the road...I teach him via these little plays. You might wanna try those if you're not already doing them. Lastly since she likes numbers and stuff, you an make these big numbers and hide them around the house and ask her to look for them!

Just my 2 cents! Anyway, good job with Alice. And don't ever feel daunted by negative comments. Take them with a pinch of salt, smile politely and just have a good giggle with your wonderful girl. :)

Jene - posted on 11/08/2010

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Your lucky Mellisa, my son speaks his own language and I have no idea what he is trying to tell me sometimes, he can only say a handful of words, unfortunately i am a single mum who has to work to get the food on the table etc, I am jealous that you get to spend so much time with your daughter, would be great if i could spend as much time with my son as you do with your daughter, because he is a very intellegent boy!
Good luck, and don;t worry, when your daughter goes to school, she will adjust to her surroundings, plus there will be other children around to distract her, It's always good to have a rant especially when your friends are sending negative vibes!

Bethany - posted on 11/07/2010

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Water finds it's own level. I think regardless of "nurture", that "nature" will find a way and if a kid is brilliant, they'll thrive regardless.



In your daughter's case, she's one of the lucky ones, whose Mum is running along beside her and being her ambassador. If she's bored in school, then you'll change schools, or home school, or what ever.



You've been blessed with a bright button, and those with dull kids will always have something negative to say, to make themselves feel better. Just roll with it.

Melissa - posted on 11/06/2010

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Thanks Jennifer and Tracy, I feel better after having a little rant! I guess that if Alice is bored once she reaches primary school then I will just deal with it then by giving her extra stimulation. I am a firm believer anyway that once the kiddies start school they all tend to catch up with each other. It's just that some children enjoy learning more than others.
Jennifer - can I ask if you have any tips on home activities? I feel that Alice is bored.
xo

Jennifer - posted on 11/06/2010

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You are doing great Melissa, my daughter sounds like she is the exact same way. The only downfall to it all in my opinion is they grow up to quickly :( ... People who criticize are probably just jealous cause their kids are behind yours intellectually. :)

Tracy - posted on 11/06/2010

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Wow Melissa, you have got a very intelligent little girl on your hands!!! You must be so proud!!! Ludicrous is an under estimation!!!! You need to nurture your child in what she loves to do.Praise her every effort and keep allowing her to do what she loves. You are doing a phenomenal job so far!! Well done! You have a genius on your hands...watch out world, we have a new Bill Gates on the way!!

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