Penny finally dropped

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    When working out sums - 2 plus 7, for example - J always counts on his fingers. I have told him in the past, and again tonight, no you don't need to do that... Then suddenly I realised - he does need to do that. He needs to see something concrete, real. The abstract concept is not meaningful to him. This is also the problem he has with reading.
    This is telling me something important about how he needs to learn. I feel sure now he is like a fish out of water in the conventional system and, wouldn't you know it, I live in an area where there is absolutely no alternative school within daily travelling distance.
    Feel I should take him out of school now, having wild ideas about teaching him to read myself by alternative methods (not geared up at all for that and what about my work), know that would be best for him... but uprooting him from here. Not the best for him.
    Anyway, sorry about my agonisings, which may not seem significant. But there is something different about the learning styles of our different children.
     
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Why is moving out of the question? A lot of your concerns focus on how the current environment is not supportive...
     
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Goodness Gracious. They are teaching sums to five year old children? My sister has lots of degrees and about every certification in early childhood education that one can get. She swears that the schools do not understand normal skills development and push the kids so early that they end up feeling "stupid" and underachieving in academics. I have 0 degrees and certifications but I believe strongly that each child progresses at their own level and pushing them has negative effects. I hope J gets to stay an inquisitive little boy for awhile longer. Hugs DDD
     
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Lol, DDD. They are NOT teaching sums to 5 year olds... but J, who likes maths, does them by himself :)
    Moving... I'm just talking about from J's perspective. Longer we stay here, more rooted he is. Longer we stay here, more supportive people are. It's silly things, too, like the sports he does - rugby, tennis, tae kwondo, which he is just getting into. He so needs stability, I can see how attached he is to the safety and intimacy of the village. Of course he would adapt eventually somewhere else but that transition would be a BIG deal for him.
     
  5. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Malika, I found out in my late 50's while being given a TOVA test for my ADHD that I had a Math disability. I remember sitting there and having a good cry, not about the ADHD as it wouldn't take a rocket sciencist to figure that one out LOL) but all of the grief and numerous spankings that I was given over NOT being able to do times tables and anything other than very simple addition, subtraction and division. One Christmas I didn't receive anything for bringing home a bad report card - just had to sit there while everyone oohhh'd and ahhhh'd over their presents.

    I will be 62 and still...do...not...get...math. Thankfully I grew up in a time where they had already invented the adding machine, and my SO has the ability to add sums in his head while we are grocery shopping and my contribution is just to tell him how much I have to spend LOL

    Its wonderful they have the ability to test for these things now even though you have to beat the schools about their heads to get them to do it

    Marcie
     
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Malika~

    It's common place here for younger children to use manipulative while counting, adding or subtracting. An example would be buttons: 3 green buttons + 4 blue buttons = 7 buttons in all. It sounds like J is doing great!
     
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Phew/Whew! :) DDD
     
  8. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Oh, what J is doing (counting up on fingers) is so completely age appropriate! He's doing it the way 5 year olds should! Please do not discourage him from doing this and please do find items for him to manipulate to further his learning of maths. And please know, for "reading", the precursor to actually knowing words is to take clues from stories and also to memorize the stories that have been read to him. He sounds like he is doing well for his age. But I do hear you that his school might teach him differently, please know that it really sounds like he is learning the way specialists in early childhood say he should be!
     
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Kinesthetic learning is more typical for boys than girls, just so you know ...

    I would not take him out of school right now. I would try to work with the teachers there. Someone, somewhere, has got to "get it." Just saying ...
     
  10. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I have worked in the elementary math department here for 5 years, including kindergarteners (5-6 yr olds). As someone already said, we encourage manipulatives and using their fingers at this age. In our school system, we don't start discouraging fingers until 2nd grade and even then there is some tolerance, depending on the child. Once they hit third grade it is strongly discouraged. As for the connection to reading, I've never seen that kind of a correlation so I really can't comment.
     
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Yes the transition would be a big deal. In a lot of ways, the only transition that will work is one where there are big, immediate benefits for J... things HE cares about (not school!).
     
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, in this rather narrow educational system, J is not at all perceived as doing well for his age. He is perceived as being "behind". The teacher told me he is disturbing the other children sometimes by speaking to them during the class... when I asked him why, he said he cannot remember the letters and so has to ask the others. Poor little chap. His old teacher used to laugh at him for using his fingers as if it was something bizarre... It's fine for him to use them, I guess I just wanted him to understand that there was another way of doing it - what he'll do, for example, is see the number 3 and then count three on his fingers before saying what it is, and I say to him he can just look at the number and know what it is. But there you are, he learns differently. He'd collected loads of conkers in a bag so this morning I said we'd count them - took them all out and we put them in groups of 10, which we then counted and I explained (lightly, he won't remember it anyway at this stage :)) about just adding 0 to the number you have. This is the way he learns best, I imagine. With concrete, real life examples - ie not the way they learn in conventional school.

    In the next few weeks, I'm going to decide whether to take him out of school and home school him for the time being. He likes school and going to school but he is clearly swimming and lost with what they are doing. I want to ask if he might be able to go to school just in the afternoon (when they do sports and other activities) but I don't suppose they will agree. No harm in asking! This just isn't the right time for him to be learning to read. He is struggling so much, not understanding, not getting it, it's forcing a square peg into a round hole all the time.
     
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Okay. I'll say it. From what you've described, I don't like your school system. :)
    There. I've said it.
    Do what you think is best.
     
  14. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh, say away, Terry. It's not "my" school system :)
    We can't see things forwards, only backwards. With hindsight I would have put J in an alternative school from the start but I didn't know all the things I know now, about him and about the system.
    I saw the child psychiatrist this morning. About the most constructive discussion we've had, I don't know why. She seemed open to possibilities but said that she wouldn't recommend taking him out of school, simply because he is happy there, wants to go, and socialises there. It was where he was building his personality, she said, which I kind of agree with. She says she will ring the teacher on Friday to discuss J and try to get him to take any pressure off. Meanwhile she says we should be seeing a speech therapist but they are all booked up... Also they are going to start seeing J once a week in a group with three other children. For the first time, I feel as if someone is giving us some support and taking J's issues seriously. Is this because he is getting older, approaching 6?

    If they can take all pressure off him at school, and I can maybe do one of the fun computer learning to read programmes with him (which she receommended), maybe it is as well for him to stay. Oh, and she also said she reckons this so-called semi-global reading method is a disaster and she has loads of people complaining about it...
     
  15. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Malika, you can be the forerunner in teaching the school (or J's teacher) about differentiated instruction. But, wait, isn't his teacher already teaching children in multiple grade levels? He should already be differentiating instruction for each group, ask him to sub-differentiate for J specifically- that is what would be done (theoretically) in the US if J had an IEP (special education plan).
     
  16. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, I don't know... Am I worrying for nothing, or at least for not as much as I think?
    J had tennis this morning and then the play centre all day. When I picked him up in the evening, he seemed bright and sharp - reeling off sums in the car :) Then at home he didn't seem averse to the idea of doing his homework (reading over a page of words to "read" that he's done in school) so after supper we did it and to my surprise he reeled it all off at first go!! Didn't stumble over any of it, like he usually does.
    So.... maybe he can learn like everyone else, it just takes him longer?
     
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    So... no school today, but did homework in the evening?
    Then I'd be guessing that school is "draining" some brainpower during the day, and he's not up to homework.
    As in... struggle to focus, OR struggle to listen, OR something else...
     
  18. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Two things:

    Is J involved in music? It's very helpful for learning to read and math (gets that brain working!).

    Also, is there any chance J has sensory processing issues in addition (or instead of?) ADHD? He seems rather sensory seeking to me and it could be affecting his ability to learn. Just a thought.
     
  19. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh yes, totally he has sensory things. Constantly putting things in his mouth, constantly sucking a shirt or a sweater, I think part of his constant bouncing, jumping, etc, is because of the need for sensation.
    Of course I don't have any help with that :) No Occupational Therapist (OT) around here - nearest an hour and a half drive away and it's just too far for regular visits.
     
  20. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    But could you go that far for assessment?
    The Occupational Therapist (OT) could tell you what kinds of things would help, how to develop your own sensory toolkit and sensory diet.
     
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