My son turned two in October. He's known all his letter since about fourteen-fifteen months. Also learned small numbers around then. He knew a bunch of sight words before he could speak. He used signs before then.

Now, at around 27 months he has started to sound out words. He can read a little bit, but most of his struggle is with telling where words end and begin. He can subtract one from any number under five, and add one or two to any number under ten. He can count by tens, and count up to 100 objects. He can count backwards from ten. He is obsessed with science. Particularly astronomy and physics. He listened to me read a hard fact book about Jupiter for a half hour today. He told me almost 100 times today that all 8 planets circle the sun, and that they are all very far away, very far distance. He knows them all, even a few of Jupiter's moon's. Yesterday I told him a moon was a body that revolved around a planet, asteroid, or a dwarf planet, and he yelled, "dwarf planets like Pluto, charon!"

He watches some dry lectures on space, and math and he freaks out while he watches them. Like he does flips and stands on his head and jumps around, like my friends two year old when she watches yo gabba gabba. He just can't hold still while he's learning, the kid is pure energy.

I try hard to get him to do stuff that isn't learning, like pretend play. He loves to make everything talk to each other, and tell stories. He pretty much talks non stop.

So going at this rate, what would preschool be like for him? I want him to go for the social skills it provides, but there are no play based preschools here. He doesn't see other kids much, but he does play well with others. Although he tends to get overexcited and can't contain himself. That usually leads to trouble without a break from the activity.

Should I keep him home for another year and just start him in kindergarten? Or try preschool? Do I tell them about him first? Has anyone had experienced with this? We are also considering homeschooling. Could he get enough from homeschooling? I'm just doing whatever he asks typically now. He picked out the Jupiter book from the library. He rarely reads fiction anymore.

  • Hi and welcome! There are a lot of questions here; though related, you'll probably get more detailed answers if you break them up, especially the homeschooling issue. Thanks. Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 0:20
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    Just a well-intentioned warning: being gifted is not the same as excelling in life. It's clear that you are very excited about his being gifted. But that often comes with its own unique set of problems (e.g. proportionally fewer gifted kids go on to college. Many are underachievers.) While Joe's answer addresses some of your questions, please, while you are providing your child with opportunities to learn and explore, do some reading on the problems gifted children face so you might form a plan (maybe with help) to try to head them off before they start. Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 0:34
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    Stumbled across this 4+ years on; I wonder how this panned out?
    – MrWhite
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 22:12

3 Answers 3


Sounds like you've got a bright child there, and it's good that you're thinking about these things early.

Starting school ahead (i.e., starting kindergarten at 4 instead of 5) is something that is controversial, and it's unclear on what the right answer is. If it's something you're thinking about, I encourage you to do your own research on the matter. There are benefits (avoiding 'boredom', catering more appropriately to the child's abilities) and drawbacks (being physically and emotionally immature). There is no clear-cut answer, and it's something you'll have to decide for yourself, in conjunction with the resources available to you - particularly the school administrators, counselors, and if extant the gifted program there.

As far as right now, it sounds like you're giving him a great education already. Preschool is certainly a good choice, and one thing you can consider there is one of the variants of self-paced preschools, like a Montessori school. At a Montessori, for example, children of several ages are mixed together (3-6 in ours), and do activities at their own pace - with little to no expectation of a particular age being appropriate for a particular activity. They also help each other learn the activities, which can be a great way to build leadership and social skills even while within a classroom environment. My oldest is probably gifted or close to it, and he's definitely benefiting from this model of schooling; we'll be sad to leave it when he starts public school next year.

Otherwise - I would encourage you to keep broadening his horizons. It's great that he's interested in planets, for example; keep pushing those boundaries and finding him more things to be interested in. Science, history, geography; or even things like cooking, crafts, art - all things his mind can be exposed to. He's young enough that exposing him to all of this will help not only develop important skills, but also help him figure out what he's interested in as he grows up.

  • I don't comment on homeschooling, as it's not something I have any knowledge or experience of; hopefully one of our homeschoolers will be able to address that in more detail.
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 20:45
  • Being in a similar position, only a few years ahead, I think you basically nailed it.
    – Stephie
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 21:09
  • I've found that Montessori is excellent for gifted kids. Our three daughters attended Montessori schools from six weeks old through the end of fifth grade. All are excellent students - eldest is at Harvard, next eldest is s straight-A high school junior, youngest is a straight-A eighth grader. I credit their academic success, in part, to Montessori schooling early on (and no TV in the house, and lots of outside activities such as music (piano and violin), sports (gymnastics and soccer), and a really smart mom who did (and still does) great things with/for them :-). Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 0:28
  • I would love for him to attend Montessori, but there's nothing like that here. We live in a heavily catholic area, so that's all the private schools and preschools are, catholic. We are atheist, so that's a no go. Our only option is public school.
    – user20493
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 1:24
  • And he loves cooking! I'm a big baker (bread, tortillas, muffins, ect) you name it, I can make it. He has a learning tower and loves to cook with me. He loves knowing where food comes from or what different plants grow on. Like apples on trees, and potatoes in the ground, ect. Cheese comes from Cows. Ect. That was his first intro to pyscics. That butter was a solid until I put it in the microwave and then it turned into a liquid. He loves that part and talks about it even when we're not cooking.
    – user20493
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 1:28

I will suggest what we do here in India for bright children.

1) put him in summer school for small kids

2) take him to zoo, museums, ancient places (like forts) , puppet show etc. Tell small stories around it.

3) importantly, tell him lots and lots of bedtime stories/tales from history, mythology, religion, scientists, mathematicians repackaged as small kids tales. One example of such book in india is "panchtantra". It is a ancient story book (3rd century BC) for small kids with small life lessons involved, for kids. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panchatantra you may get its english version or lots of similar books from your country.

Its important that you read the story yourself, and then tell later him as bedtime without the book around. Do not let him read the story book himself, for some time now (just my opinion)

Story, story, story - you need to repackage everything as story.

4) most important, is socializing of kid with other kids, real physical play (running around, playing with soft ball etc). Do not indulge in the board games etc for now. It is very important that his father needs to devout few hours regularly for physical play(like any ball game, mock kid-boxing) with him.

5) keep the TV(cartoon shows), tablets,smart phones away from him for now. If you can not then atleast allow it only on alternate days for limited hour. We need to protect the mental imagination of children, esp. bright children - from the onsalught of too much of cartoon shows.

6) Talk to him as much you can. Listen his made up stories with atention as much you can

7) Introduce kid level(easy level) "meditation" to him after six months or a year. there are lots of techniques for meditation. I will suggest "sudarshan kriya technique" from 'Art of Living', its a very easy breathing technique. This will slowly add up as self control and focus in later life, which is very important for bright kids, as many of them later get defocussed

All these small things will add up a lot.

  • My husband and I make up different stories for him before bed every night. It just depends on who rocks him. I would love to read him books on different mythologies, cultures, and religions. He is currently very interested in Egypt, particularly the spynxs. It is his first real interest in another culture and I am loving it.
    – user20493
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 1:45
  • yes, thats very good. Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 2:07
  • Actually, Here(in india) we normally introduce child to prenursery at 2 years and nursery(kindergarten) at 3 years. Other countries may have different kid age admission conventions. my suggestion was just that rather than putting him into school before that admission age, better to teach him through stories and visits to diverse cultures, environments.Like-if you people reside always in metropolitan city, then a full 15 day residing in a pure village-where cows/buffalos, goats and many other objects of curiosities are around - during a summer trip - will be better than putting in school Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 2:12

Might I suggest not placing a child into school early. Supplement his education with extra-curricular activities by all means, but in my experience, doing well at school depends on having a certain level of maturity rather than being purely dependant on intellectual ability.

In particular, in English classes in my final year at school, I had to write a series of essays at the end of the year. I thought that they were very good at the time, my best work in fact, but still received poor marks, only just passing, and was unable to understand why.

I had been placed in school as early as legally possible, since I was also a bright child and an early reader. When I re-read the essays one year later, I couldn't believe that I had submitted such juvenile tripe, and only then fully understood what my teacher had been looking for.

Obviously, my teacher had been expecting a certain level of maturity, and wasn't considering age differences across the year. Had my parents delayed enrolling me in school one year, I may have done much better.

I've heard that there are studies showing that the oldest children in a class tend to fare best, so delaying enrolling your child as long as possible might be wise.

As a side note - early reading can be an indicator of Asperger's syndrome, so finding some pre-school social activities for this child may be valuable.

  • We did have him checked for aspergers and autism. It was a fear of mine for a while, due to him reading and still not speaking. He didn't say a word until 18 months, and barely a babble before that. So we had our pedi do some tests and nothing. We've never had a problem with affection or eye contact. He's a cuddler and often asks if he can just sit and hold my hand. His first sentence was, I love you :)
    – user20493
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 1:18
  • Also I love the idea of starting him on time, my main issue is his birthdate. Oct first. He will be the oldest in his class. I suppose there's always skipping a grade if needed, much better than having to retake a grade
    – user20493
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 1:22
  • Being oldest in the class is good - that study I mentioned (but can't cite since I only heard it in passing) mentioned that the oldest child is more advantaged than their younger classmates. Resist the urge to allow skipping grades - that makes the child younger than their classmates and disadvantages them, particularly in classes with subjective grading such as English.
    – Monty Wild
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 4:15
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    Agreed with the idea of not starting early - I was a smart kid and skipped a grade in early elementary. Looking back, I wish I hadn't. A year age difference was a big deal in elementary school, and I didn't fit in at all with my classmates, which left me with really lagging social skills.
    – swilliams
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 13:40

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