My young son is gifted. He learns early and quickly. He started reading at age 3. He is now in kindergarten, and after 10 weeks of school he is totally bored. I have talked to his teacher; however, our school district does not let children move up a grade level until third grade. I don't think he will be able to wait for three years. -- HELP
Answer: Your first move should be to talk to the teacher again. Find out if there are ways that the curriculum can be enriched to challenge your son. This would be a good solution to the boredom issue. Another possibility is to see if it would be possible for your son to take certain classes at the first- or second-grade level and then remain with his peers for most of the day. Since your school does not have any special enrichment programs for children who are gifted at the kindergarten level, it would be wise to see if the school district has any special programs. There could be charter schools with a more appropriate curriculum for him.
Be sure to surf the Web looking for challenging educational programs appropriate for your child's age. See if you can find one that he could possibly use in his regular classroom.
Too often parents of gifted children concentrate solely on academics. There is a big world out there filled with many other things that can expand your child's horizons. Have you thought of giving your child bridge or chess lessons? Also, don't overlook the arts, especially if your child might have interest or talent in this area.
It is definitely not unusual for young gifted children to be bored by routine classroom work that they have mastered. Investigate the local and state organizations for the gifted in your state. There will be people in these groups who have experienced your problem. They should have helpful suggestions. You can find out how to contact state organizations on the National Association for Gifted Children website (nagc.org) by searching for "Gifted by State." Plus, many colleges have programs for gifted children -- both in the summer and during the school year.