Can gifted kids be bad at math?

Gifted: Help for little number artists

Many gifted children - that is around two to three percent of a year - can already count to over 100 before starting school, every third of them can already add and subtract two-digit numbers. So what can parents do to prevent their child from being bored for two years? Dr. Aiga Stapf, qualified psychologist and expert for gifted preschoolers, provides the answers.

Why are math geniuses seldom noticed in elementary school?

After all, every second reader is recognized in the first class. Small math experts, on the other hand, almost always go undetected. Why? How are they supposed to attract attention when they can only calculate up to 20 for a whole year and nobody asks: "Do you also know what 3 x 15 is?" Or what is 1000 - 700? Such questions simply do not arise in the first two grades. Children who are particularly eloquent and can read very well, on the other hand, are often wrongly classified as gifted. Of course, gifted children can often read before they start school, but that doesn't mean they are intellectually gifted.

What is a more reliable indication of giftedness?

Intellectual giftedness shows itself in an unusually pronounced ability to abstract and crystal clear, logical thinking. In this regard, gifted kindergarten children are even superior to many adults.

If parents are considering starting school early, do they need to have their child tested?

No, you can also simply say: I have a smart child and I will go to school earlier. Often, however, teachers put the brakes on. In this case, a report can go a long way. Ideally, it should be issued by a qualified psychologist who is familiar with preschool children, giftedness and test procedures. Such a report gives security not only to the parents, but also to the school.

Does it have a disadvantageous effect on a five-year-old schoolchild if he or she is always the youngest in the class from now on?

First of all: there is a youngest child in every class, that's just the way it is. But being under-challenged is far worse! And just like the lessons in our first two classes, with plenty of space for handicrafts and painting, gifted children are in the right place at the age of five. Twelve months later, the leisurely pace would frustrate her.

For further reading:
"Gifted children", Aiga Stapf,
C. H. Beck Verlag, 16.90 euros.

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Smart games for little tinkerers

Preschoolers who enjoy tricky brain teasers will love the following games as "additional feed":

  • "PotzKlotz" (Friedrich Verlag, 12 euros) challenges and promotes spatial imagination.
  • "Ubongo" (Kosmos Verlag, approx. 20 euros) is a mixture of Tetris and Tangram - for a limited period of time. A certain shape has to be filled in with given geometric shapes.
    Tip: leave out the hourglass when playing with younger children!
  • "Matrici N 10" (Logo-Lernspiel-Verlag, approx. 38 euros) trains concentration and combination skills as well as logical thinking.
  • "Spiegel-Tangram" (Kallmeyer Verlag, 15.90 euros) playfully paves the way for the examination of symmetry and geometric shapes.
  • "Umspannwerk" (Kallmeyer Verlag, 16.90 euros) promotes figurative imagination and trains fine motor skills.
  • "Where children like to learn to do arithmetic" (Hannelore Bares, Gabriele Wunderlich, Der kleine Verlag, 14 euros, via is a book that encourages parents to accompany their child's first arithmetic experience, and also shows how many opportunities there are every day for children to gain practical insights into mathematics.