My son seems advanced for his age.what's the best way to encourage him to use his brain?

Question:my son is 3 and a half, about to start full time nursery, his pre-school teacher and i both agree he is fairly advanced for his age, what is the best way to encourage him to keep on learning, and being interested in studies? obviously i'd like to give him the best possible start in life, i don't want to pressure him at all, but something fun to keep his mind stimulated would be brilliant?
any ideas would be great, thanks!

Answers:
My son just turned 3 in June, but he is very advanced in many areas already. So much so that we are starting to homeschool him starting on Monday (preschool and then if this year goes well, we will probably homeschool through elementary).

We took this summer off from "learning time" due to me having my daughter and then we bought a house. But I have found ways to make his everyday environment a learning one. Basically, anything you do with your son can be educational, and without them even knowing it. Here are just a few ideas:

No matter what, read, read, read - books, signs, letters from relatives, etc.

No matter what, talk, talk, talk - talk about things you see, what he did in preschool, where you are going this evening, his favorite food/color/animal, and let him ask you questions (believe they get SOOO repetitive but that is their way of processing new information).

Take him with you to the grocery store occasionally. I don't all the time because it just takes longer, but when I do, we talk about the different foods, the signs on the walls, count how many cans of beans, pounds of chicken, etc. At this age, mastering the concept of numbers and learning different units of measurement are huge.

Find places around town to take him - the zoo, different parks, a farm or petting zoo, tours of candy factories and pizza restaraunts, etc. It helps to find a Mommy & Me or MOPs group to do some of things with because, for example, Pizza Hut is more likely to give you a tour if you are a large group rather than just one child. Some places offer free days and some places are just free so visit your city's website and find things going on in your area. I like to visit the city's free art museum every now and again and talk about the different kinds of art (sculpture, painting, carvings, clay, etc.). When you do a tour, read books about it before and after, talk about it and consider taking pictures and letting him make a book about it.

Work with patterns with anything under the sun - food, blocks, toys, etc. Try simple every-other patterns and work up to more complex ones. I have bought a few preschool math worksheet books just to get ideas of things, not to do the paperwork, such as using a pencil to measure how tall the table is, or comparin his dinosaurs and sorting them by color or size.

It is hard not to pressure your kid or make them feel like they NEED to be cooperating with you, and that is definitely the biggest deterant to keeping him challenged. Whatever he is into in the moment, run with it. My son is into pirates and I found a pirate board game at the dollar store to help him learn more about taking turns. He also loves bugs so craft projects and imaginary play involving bugs have been a hit.

You can buy educational videos, computer programs or things like LeapPad and I think that they are all great things, as long as they are (1) used in moderation, and (2) you use them WITH him. They are not a substitute for your attention, which will always be the greatest encouragement of all!
At this age everything is a learning experience and stimulating conversation where he can ask questions and feel valued and listened to will encourage him to look at experiences positively. little projects you can do together are great fun and a good way to learn plant some seeds cress is good as he can watch it grow and eat it too. measure rainfall in the garden use rulers and tape measures. make a bird table hammers and nails are okay under supervision. enjoy!!
Read books to him, do maths and homework with him, give him educational pc/vedio games. Contact with people is brill, maybe get him intrested into musical insturments as learning one of those will keep his brain active too!
Jigsaws and simple puzzles.
Our daughter was the same as your son and these kept her stimulated, she went onto college and gained very good results and is now working for a top finance house in a senior position.
Oh for God's sake! The best thing you can do is to leave the child to enjoy his childhood. If he is as bright as you think, then he will find his own way without you directing him
We all think our children are advanced. My son by his second birthday, knew the alphabet by sight and his numbers to 20. He could do puzzles like nobody's business.

Why don't you get him into piano lessons. Teach him how to use the computer. Teach him how to add and subtract. If he is that advanced he should be ready for it. He should also know how to write his name and tie his shoes. He can learn to ride a bike, take swimming lessons. He could be reading in as little as six months. Teach him the sounds of the letters.

This may not be indicitive of how he will be later in life.
Not to burst your bubble but every parent thinks their child is advanced for their age.
The best recommendation is to keep your child interested in engaging activities. Take them to the zoo, museums, hiking, biking, swimming, concerts, plays, etc...
read to them, sing, do arts and crafts, teach them to play an instrument.
Don't plop them in front of a TV watching videos, or movies.
Branches of the Early Learning Centre have all sorts of toys and games that really do help every aspect of development.

You don't need to spend much money though - just giving him exposure to lots of different experiences, places, people, music, creativity. Watch out for him being particularly interested in something, eg numbers and then concentrate on that for a while. Learning nursery rhymes is important. Dressing up is also good. If it's not fun, then stop and perhaps try again in a few weeks.

Enjoy it with him!
my son went to full time nursery from the age of 12 weeks (all due respect to SATM's but I couldn't do it!) He had his SAT's last year and got top grades in everything. I think he's quite advanced. What do I do about it? talk to him like the child he is and let him go at his own pace. Encourage him in everything he tries (it's tennis at te moment, he's gone off swimming but he can swim a 1000m so that's ok) and don't ever put him down if something doesn't go according to plan. Books are good to encourage (he's on Harry Pooter 4 at the min) TV is ok in small doses.Do whatever HE wants to do and let it go at that!
reading books to him before he goes to bed, pointing to the words as you read them can help him. other than that, just educational games on the internet or that you can buy from places such as toy'r'us or agos, maybe even some educational computer games from a game shop. these are then fun so that you arent pushing him, but also education so he is actually using his brain.
Reading,writing and maths are the most important studies a child can learn aslong as it is done through play. if in doubt ask the pre-school teacher as she will know your sons strengths and weaknesses
Expose him to a variety of things; music, gardening, reading, drawing, etc and let him choose his own interest out of the lot. Make sure you adhere to your statement re: not wanting to rpessure him, because all too often parents get too excited and fall into the pressure trap in order to look good to their friends and family, (a big ego trip for the parents at the expense of the child) often at the risk of the child's well being. If he does get pushed too far too soon he will rebel and may get ill, so be very careful.
i think it would be best for him to be able to grow up just like an ordinary child and not start to put stress on him at such a young age.. let him enjoy and not deprive him of his childhood.. i'm sure he'll be a happy and cheerful kid..
play games but educational or let him play on teh cebeebies website
learning anew language
playing chess
learning tables and doing maths problems
reading

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