Improving a Y1 boy's listening skills - ideas?

(33 Posts)
thatscottishbiscuit Fri 03-Jul-15 19:20:46

Just had DS's report. There are a handful of good/great areas (reading, science, art, design) but an issue with listening I don't know if/how I can help him with, and it's impacting all areas of his learning, especially writing and maths (and his reading until recently - his reading took off because of a lot of extra effort put in at home). He's falling behind and missing out on some of the basics.

'...frequently struggles to listen attentively in whole class or small group contexts...prevents him from being able to follow instructions or have a go at a task independently'.

Anyone have any ideas? At home he is a busy boy full of plans, ideas and designs. At school he sits and dreams. When something is his idea, his concentration on it is brilliant. His teacher has found him quite a frustration this year. Thank goodness he is also 'happy, sociable and well mannered'!

Any thoughts? A hobby that might promote listening? Something we can do differently at home? He is described as 'bright and observant' but 'regularly requires adult support and encouragement to achieve the learning outcome or even start it on his own'

thatscottishbiscuit Fri 03-Jul-15 19:21:33

Oh, he passed the phonics thing

Avidreader12 Fri 03-Jul-15 19:45:10

What about looking at sports group lessons, following instructions concentrating on what the instructor is saying combined with something fun that your Ds could enjoy, football, tennis etc may help to keep his attention.

thatscottishbiscuit Fri 03-Jul-15 20:30:10

I just talked to him about that before bed! He fancies trying a football club. I've found something he might be able to start on Sat mornings.

Anyone else have ideas?

Wolfiefan Fri 03-Jul-15 20:33:36

How do they get his attention before they start to speak?

noramum Fri 03-Jul-15 21:24:29

Board games, especially strategic ones where he has to remember what other players have?

Story tapes? There is a huge difference listening to a story than reading it or even having it read to you.

thatscottishbiscuit Fri 03-Jul-15 21:42:41

Wolfiefan I'm not sure. Parents evening is next week, I'll ask.

Board games is a good one, we don't do much of that. Thanks noramum. We've been listening to Roald Dahl story tapes in the car on long journeys over the past few weeks and he's loved that

WaltJunior Fri 03-Jul-15 21:49:47

We had exactly this problem with ds in yr2. I asked for a 'listening book' basically a little notebook, a page for every day of the week, he goes to ta at the end of the day who gives him a rating out of five for listening (in stickers). He then got a reward (marble in the jar) at the end of the week. We do it at my school & it works well. I had to ask the teacher to do it though which they were happy to & sorted it out (he's now a v conscientious yr 5 btw!)

Ferguson Fri 03-Jul-15 22:08:04

I assume you have had his hearing tested, and that it is OK?

Does he do any music activities, as learning to play an instrument develops concentration and listening? It doesn't have to be too expensive, and a bright child can start to teach them self Keyboard from tutor books.

(I have done other replies on music, which you can 'search' for, or if you want more information come back to me sometime.)

plutonimum Fri 03-Jul-15 22:19:45

I agree with noramum about the story tapes!

The CBeebies section of the BBC has got some audio podcasts (we went through a few about Sarah and Duck).

Our local library told us last year that audio CDs were acceptable for the Summer Reading Challenge.

I'm reading a classic chapter book to DS (7) at bedtime on my kindle (no pictures!!!) and he's listening very nicely, occasionally swapping the reading with me.

thatscottishbiscuit Sat 04-Jul-15 08:02:28

Thanks for the listening book idea, will definitely ask for that, Walt.

Ferguson I play the piano but DS has shown no interest and says he doesn't want lessons sad. Not sure whether to push it or not.

Pluto we will keep up with the story tapes. I read to him for about half an hour every night. We are reading Gillian Clarke's Odyssey at the moment. He loves it and is definitely listening and understanding.

Thanks everyone! Any more suggestions very welcome

thatscottishbiscuit Sat 04-Jul-15 08:03:05

Also hearing and eyesight are fine

thatscottishbiscuit Sat 04-Jul-15 17:35:29

I thought of something else - he's really enjoying learning Spanish so I've got him a kids audio cd for learning it which is very well reviewed

thatscottishbiscuit Sat 04-Jul-15 17:36:45

Sunday evening is also becoming board game night

boobybum Sat 04-Jul-15 17:42:11

How about making up a game where you read out a passage from a book (or make something up yourself) and then get him to answer questions based on what he has just heard? You might actually prefer to give him the questions beforehand so he is not being tested on his memory but just his listening. You could give him a reward for each question he gets correct.

pollyisnotputtingthekettleon Sat 04-Jul-15 17:48:39

Listening is so important. Give him two instructions at a time. Can you find x AND put it in Y .... Boars games are great. If they dont concentrate they `miss` whats happening. Do u do a lot for him at home? Say Can u find your socks and then he doesnt so you do it for him? So he takes no notice?

Leeds2 Sat 04-Jul-15 20:56:32

Take him shopping with you, and get him to collect things. Such as, "Can you get me four apples, a bunch of grapes and a punnet of strawberries?"

Play something like Simon Says.

When he has listened to an audio book, ask him lots of questions about it.

thatscottishbiscuit Sat 04-Jul-15 21:08:54

Booby he is fantastic at answering questions about stories. We do that quite a lot. He is a mystery.

Polly no, I don't do things like find his socks for him. I ask. Then I ask again. Then I ask again angry. Then he does it. Often after I have removed a toy from his hand and told him he can carry out X great plan after he has done what he was told to. His head seems full of his plans

thatscottishbiscuit Sat 04-Jul-15 21:14:23

You see, questions on books/stories etc he finds really easy - I suppose because he is interested and engaged. He seems to go into 'standby' mode when it's something that isn't his 'thing'. So I am gradually trying to make everything become his 'thing' which of course isn't possible confused. We managed it with reading though. He was on red book band in Feb and simply hadn't got it - he is now reading gold level books and Horrid Henry stories.

He really doesn't mean to be rude or to exasperate me or his teacher, in fact she says how polite he always is and never disruptive. But meanwhile, much of what is happening in class is passing him by and we don't have time to teach him all his maths, writing etc outside class sad

Sorry - I think I'm realising I didn't provide the full story. I am a bit confused about it all myself to be honest

thatscottishbiscuit Sat 04-Jul-15 21:17:44

Also it was Gillian Cross who did the great version of the Odyssey. I knew I had got that wrong! It's amazing. We read some Enid Blyton tonight too smile

thatscottishbiscuit Sat 04-Jul-15 21:23:55

polly yes that's it, he is missing loads of what's happening sad. Meanwhile he does seem to be busy inside his head. But that doesn't help you learn your maths...

We do make sure he has time to do the stuff he is interested in - he helps grow veg and discovers dried out dead frogs and takes them into class for show and tell shock. He loves Lego and his Snap Circuits electronics set, and baking and movies and collecting his chickens' eggs. And seeing his friends and family. But right now I feel as though I am failing him because he can't concentrate in class confused

SilasGreenback Sat 04-Jul-15 21:41:02

We played a lot of I went to the moon where you each add an item to the list and have to repeat what previous players have said. I did this to improve ds3 memory but it would also work for listening.

You could also try cooking and giving him verbal instructions maybe?

Ds1 used to listen but appeared not to be so we taught him to actively listen - making eye contact, nodding, asking the odd question. Maybe helping him to physically acknowledge instructions would improve the listening too?

thatscottishbiscuit Sat 04-Jul-15 21:47:07

Silas thanks - more great ideas to try!

elephantoverthehill Sat 04-Jul-15 21:56:47

It is unfortunate that 'Listen with Mother' has gone. Not the title but the concept. However selected R4 programmes really do seem to help. Gosh I am showing my age.

SilasGreenback Sat 04-Jul-15 22:15:21

Agree elephant R4 great for listening skills. Just a minute been a great favourite with mine since they were very small.

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