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what to do with my gifted Kindergartener in Tucson, AZ


cwilbur November 21, 2011

My daughter will be entering Kindergarten in fall 2012. She has a September birthday so she is one of the older kids in her preschool class. Her age, combined with her academic and maturity levels is going to be a challenge when she starts Kindergarten next year. As a former school teacher, I have worked with her since she was an infant. She is showing clear and obvious signs of giftedness. At four years old she was already reading on a grade 1-2 level. She can now read grade 2 books with extreme ease. Her fluency and comprehension are very good as well. She is also doing very well in math and is able to do many math problems, including word problems that I dictate to her, in her head. I would estimate that she is likely on a second grade level overall and we still have almost an entire year to go before she starts Kindergarten. I live in Oro Valley in the Amphi School District. My husband and I are planning to move in the fall. This gives us the freedom to choose the best school for our daughter. We want her to be challenged and also have a fun experience in Kindergarten. Any suggestions for the best Kindergarten in Tucson or Oro Valley are appreciated along with any ideas to keep her interested and excelling. I am expecting a baby in May so I know that I will have less time to work with her. Please help.

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MagnetMom December 5, 2011

It sure sounds like you are doing the right things already. As a teacher, you know that children enter kindergarten at a variety of levels. The teacher will be able to assess all the children, and then cluster the students accordingly within the same class.

I'd encourage you to spend the rest of your pregnancy just having a great time with her--not necessarily pushing her ahead, but just enjoying the things you're not going to want to deal with when the baby arrives--whether that's finger paints (and creating all sorts of colors), or taking time to investigate the shapes of leaves at the park, or making huge towers with blocks (and discussing the science behind it).

Good luck!


hpastor December 19, 2011

My daughter is gifted, and while not as advanced as yours was in Kindergarten, she was still head and shoulders above the rest. We found that she had social skills problems and attention problems that having a strict K teacher helped. So, while she was reading at a 2nd grade level by the end of K, she was also, finally just beginning to "act" like a Kindergartener. (ie. sitting still in circle time, not making noises, staying on task, etc.) There's also fine and gross motor skills among other things that are learned in K. I'd talk to the administrators and then the teacher. The administrators can help place her with a teacher who works well with advanced children


hpastor December 19, 2011

...sorry long winded. You can then talk to the K teacher. Things like being a partner reader and teacher's helper are great enrichment projects for your daughter. It will be fine, and fun for your daughter. She'll be placed in gifted soon. And with the great work you're doing with her, she'll continue to advance. Good luck!


batgirl January 4, 2012

i'm impressed by the replies given. i was upset to learn that kindergarteners at my daughter's new school that read at a higher reading level are required to do a first grade amount of homework. beware the school that thinks that smart creative children should do more mind-numbing homework instead of whatever the family is already doing together which has obviously worked quite well so far. also keep in mind that most of the learning in kindergarten has little to do with academics and decide if you want the freakishly smart weird kid or the smart kid with friends her own age, etc.

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