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torri77
torri77 asks:
Q:

How do I help my daughter feel challenged enough in kindergarten?

My daughter started Kindergarten.  She can already read and do addition.  The things they are learning in her class she already knows.  I have talked with her teacher who told me that she would give her extra things to make sure she is being challenged, but I have not seen this yet.  What do I do?  She really is at a 1st grade, close to 2nd grade level.  I am worried she is going to be bored, and hate school.  She socially is fine too.  She hasn't got a shy bone in her body, and she is very good at listening and respecting teachers.  HELP??!!
In Topics: Helping my child with school work and home work, My gifted child
> 60 days ago

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Expert

lkauffman
Nov 2, 2007
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What the Expert Says:

Hi Torri,

It is understandable that you would be concerned about the way in which your daughter's intellectual and creative talents are being nurtured in the school classroom. It does appear that you will have to advocate for your daughter to ensure that she receives the most challenging and appropriate curriculum. First, you should research to determine whether your school has some type of supplementary curriculum. For instance, the state of California has a program, Gifted and Talented (GATE), in which bright students are evaluated in the early years to determine eligibility. Eligible students then receive enhanced curriculum services consistent with state standards. Thus, check with your school and school district to see if something like this is available.

Second, you might consider strategies for providing supplementary activities inside outside of your home. For instance, there are certainly ways in which you can provide learning opportunities for your daughter at home. See the following page for more information: http://www.education.com/reference/gifted/. Also, there may be programs in the community, such as learning camps. The local parks and recreation services might be a good place to look.

Hope that helps!

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Additional Answers (7)

Esther Horton
Esther Horton writes:
Hi Torri,<br />
<br />
My daughter went through the same thing. We ended up starting her in grade 1 early and even that wasn't a challenge because I started her education early at home. What I did was supplement her time in school with some challenges at home. Extra fun workbooks I picked up at a Scholastic store that kept her interested. At school she did act out a bit because she was getting board. We met with the teacher who agreed to give her some slightly different work assignments now and then. Overall, though, we had to find a school that had an advanced class. &nbsp;Over time, by the time she hit grade 6, the work began to at least hold her interest. &nbsp;Now she's a senior in highschool and while she still finds the work somewhat easy and her marks are terrific, just the fact that she is challenging herself with new things outside of school is enoug to create a balance. I dont know if this helps or not, but just the fact that you're paying attention helps. If the teacher doesn't come forward with extra thigns to do to keep her challenged, perhaps you can supplement with some extra things you give the teacher to give her or else speak to the principal? &nbsp;Just my experience. I hope it helps.<br />
> 60 days ago

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melindau
melindau writes:
Torri,<br />
Unfortunately with the way the school systems are today, we need to work with our children so they continue to love learning. &nbsp;Speak with the teacher again to see if something can't be done. If you still have no luck, speak with the principal. He or she may have ideas about what to do, including, moving her up a grade if she can pass the test for that level.<br />
The other option you may want to consider is homeschooling her. That way you control what she learns and when. If that isn't an option, consider supplementing her schooling with work at home. If possible, make it fun and not just workbooks and such. Good luck and keep up the good work. It sounds like your daughter already loves to learn and that is the best thing we can give them.<br />
> 60 days ago

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ronald
ronald writes:
Torri,

There are many great suggestions above. One way to supplement your child's education is to surround her with great books. Consider getting adivce from the school librairan or your local public library.
> 60 days ago

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melindau
melindau writes:
You have just described how we homeschool most of the time. Very seldom to we sit down at the table with "school" books and actually "work" at learning. I didn't with my kids more than 20 years ago when I started this and I won't with my granddaughter. Oh, we may sit on the couch to read or we draw letters in the sand. She loves to work on whiteboards or the wipe-off books so they are always available, but we don't make an issue out of it. On the other hand, we have the normal school room board of letters and numbers at her height and they are wipe of. She learned her letters by pointing to them on the cards and asking what they are. She may currently be behind her peers, but in a year or so, she will be far ahead of them because books are used as rewards, educational books are taken away as punishment. The beginning is a little slower this way, but it pays off in the end. She will always love learning and know how to learn the things she wants to know. I was surprised at how well this method works. If you have the time to teach her and want to know more, I am willing to help. I figure it is fair payback for the woman who gave me the secret

Melinda
> 60 days ago

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BruceDeitrickPrice
BruceDeitri... , Teacher writes:
Whatever happened to hobbies and piano lessons and museums and poetry and books and puzzles and games and learning chess and building models??? It's not reasonable to think a school can race along in perfect harmony with your kid's progress. Also, I somehow suspect it's not good for children to think their intellectual happiness will come always from school. School's just part of it. Also, whatever a child learns, there are always more subtle dimensions that adults would see, and you can ask little questions, like, well, why do you suppose the teacher said that or did that? So the mind becomes engaged at a some higher level.

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HOMEGIRL
HOMEGIRL writes:
HI FROM GARY INDIANA , MY LIL-GIRL WAS TOO SMART FOR KINDERGARTEN TOO, SO  I GAVE HER EXTRA WORK THAT CHALLENGED HER SO i WOULD PUT THE WORK SHE DID IN HER FOLDER SO THE TEACHER WOULD SEE WHAT SHE CAN DO, AND I ALSO ASKED IF SHE CAN GET HARDER WORK COUSE THE WORK SHE WAS DOING IN CLASS WAS WAY TOO EASY.SO NOTHING HAPPENED, I HAD TO GO TO THE PRINCABLE WITH MY CONCERNS AND SHE TALK TO THE TEACHER AND MY LIL GIRL GOT HARDER WORK AND SHE GOT TO BE THE TEACHERS HELPER WITH KIDS THAT NEEDED HELP WITH THERE WORK . AND IT MADE HER WANT TO LEARN MORE SO SHE CAN HELP THE TEACHER MORE.NOW SHE IS IN 2ND GRADE AND STILL DOING WELL ALL A'S AND ONE B
> 60 days ago

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TTorres1109
TTorres1109 writes:
I completely understand your concern. Sadly, sometimes it is very difficult for teachers to differentiate instruction...especially at the kindergarten level. Kindergarten teachers have to juggle many things in the classroom. This is why it is important for the parents to help as much as possible. If the teachers sends homework that is too easy for your child, you can create your own homework and send it in instead. If the school has an AR program, you can ask the teacher or principal if your child can have an AR account.
> 60 days ago

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