Here is an interesting concept. It's been around awhile, but I first learned it last year. It is called Hothousing.
Hothousing is basically something that parents do in early childhood to get their kids ahead. It is the strive to have a super baby. They buy flashcards. They play classical music. They get their kids early music lessons. They make sure their children are in the best academic preschools. These kids are usually overscheduled with activities that parents think their kids need later in life. So by the time these kids are in grade school, they are way ahead of other children.
If you ever hear anyone in an educator role say that a child's intelligence "evens out" by third or fourth grade ... this is what I think they are referring to. According to what I've read and the people I've talked to, some of these kids who are pushed ahead by parents at a young age do "even out" by third grade. Their early education does not have a lasting effect, other kids eventually catch up, and intelligence essentially "evens out" .
Unfortunately, kids who are truly cognitively ahead at a young age, fall into the same category of these hothoused kids. The high intelligence of kids who are truly gifted - because teachers assume their parents are also pushing them too much - is not addressed until at least third grade. Our smartest kids become lost in boredom.
All of this does make some sense to me. I was accused of doing this with my son: not necessarily by teachers, but by other parents. A friend of mine once told me that I should not be forcing my son to learn at such a young age. He needs to be playing and running around and having fun - not reading books. She felt his intelligence was because of me pushing my son - not because of his own intelligence. This was a frustrating accusation.
I was not forcing him to do anything he did not want to do. My friend failed to see that my son - laying inside on the floor, reading - was having fun.
Here are a couple of interesting, short articles on this subject of hothousing.