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Helping my child to think, how can I help.

(11 Posts)
BatteryOperatedBoyfriend Wed 18-Nov-15 17:52:02

I'm finding it quite hard to explain exactly what I am trying to ask so please bear with me.

My DD was 4 in May. She is quite bright in that she is eager to learn her letters, numbers reading etc. But her thinking is very poor. She says she struggles to remember, but I think its more that she can't be bothered to think about something. She gets talking homework from school once a week, but it is like getting blood out of a stone, regardless of what time of day or if she's tired etc.

She seems to constantly think in the moment and not be prepared to think about anything else. One day a week they go somewhere local with the school and have to come back and talk about it, she just pre tends she cant remember.

I'm beginning to worry about her school work, yes she is eager to learn some things and picks things up, but if she cant think about something in more depth its going to cause her some issues.

Any idea on how I can help her with this I was thinking to try and read longer books with her at bed time and maybe take it a chapter at a time, talking back on what happened and maybe what might happen in the next chapter. But i'm a little worried that as I have limited patience it might cause a fall out at bed time. Which would not be good timing.

CultureSucksDownWords Wed 18-Nov-15 19:17:57

What is she like when you talk about something you both did in the past, like visiting a particular place? Does she talk spontaneously about things she remembers? Do you talk to her about shared past experiences?

TattieHowkerz Wed 18-Nov-15 19:19:03

Try taking photos of an activity she enjoys, then look at them while talking through what happened.

CultureSucksDownWords Wed 18-Nov-15 19:24:02

A good idea from Tattie there. I often show my DS pictures and videos of him on my tablet and I talk about what we were doing. I don't ask him lots of questions, I just describe it and let him chip in if he has something to say.

Whaleshark Wed 18-Nov-15 19:30:49

I'm not sure this is a problem. My DS is very bright and doing well at school. They get "talk homework" once a week, where they are meant to discuss something they are going to write about. He flat out refuses to do it, and and TBH it doesn't seem to make any difference to him. He just comes up with ideas at the time, when it is needed.

Ferguson Wed 18-Nov-15 19:33:48

I worked as a TA / helper in primary schools for twenty-five years.

I assume she is in Reception, and at 4 you should NOT BE WORRYING about how she is performing in school. If she is reasonably happy most of the time, joins in with PE, drama, singing, and is keeping up with reading and numeracy, and is enjoying school that is all you can expect at her age.

If you start to 'worry' that may well transmit your feelings to DD, and she may think she is not as 'good' as you want her to be.

OF COURSE 'she thinks in the moment' - she is only four! Abstract, adult concepts of 'time' - yesterday, today, tomorrow, next week, next year - are not things a four year old brain can can understand. Any more than YOU can appreciate exactly how many 'light years' away the different galaxies are (unless you just happen to be an astrophysicist!)

Take her to the park, do lots of 'making' stuff with her, jigsaw puzzles, Lego, sand and water play, read TO and WITH her as much as possible. Starting to learn music is something I always recommend, and a Keyboard is ideal, if you can afford it: at least 61 full size keys, and a simple 'teach yourself' tutor book.

BatteryOperatedBoyfriend Wed 18-Nov-15 19:57:58

Thank you so much for your advice, I think I just need to talk to her more and give her more choices so that she has to think.

I realised recently that I got cross with her when she wouldn't tell me what she had for lunch at school, she kept saying that she couldn't remember. It turns out that because I never give her a choice at meal times she didn't really know the names of a lot of foods, so didn't know what to tell me.

Maybe I can start by giving her some more choices in things.

Thank you. I need to chill out. My business is quiet at the moment so its giving me too much time to think. I might have a find a hobby!

Jaffakake Wed 18-Nov-15 21:42:49

Sounds like a typical 4 year old to me and exactly like my son (August born) who's just started reception too.
If you ask him "how was school, did you have fun?" You get nothing back. If you ask "did you play outside?" You might get something. If you ask "who was naughty?" You definitely get something!
We often talk about what he had for lunch, but that's because at nursery he was just given what he was given and now he has a choice, so he knows what he's picking.
I'd truly love to get into a chapter at a time of an excellent book, but there's no chance at this age. A babysat for a friend on Friday and her kid is in year. 2 and they're starting to do that and it's slow,

StarfrightMcFangsie Thu 19-Nov-15 09:33:58

I would check her hearing so that you can be sure she is 'picking up' stuff. I would also consider a self-referral to a Speech and Language therapist to assess for an expressive language disorder.

Both are unlikely to show a problem but should be easy to do as a concerned parent.

LittleMilla Thu 19-Nov-15 21:10:05

My son is also 4.

I work FT and esp recently, am struggling to get much time with him.He doesn't get this 'talking homework' mind.

I remembered reading on here about when they start school and what to expect and second the poster who said the non-obvious route. I will often ask "who was the most ridiculous today?". And other such stupid questions. Usually gets some decent info out of him!

We also read a lot. My son also really enjoys making up stories (my husband is an author so books are a big deal in our house) and we'll often encourage him to make up stories! I am not as good as DH at this stuff though!

I love car journeys to have a good natter and on longer car travels, coming up with stories is fun. I will have a go myself - usually involving him and his brother - then ask DS1 to come up with one.

It's just timing IMO. And non-obvious routes to questioning...! Don't get it right that often, either

PrincessHairyMclary Thu 19-Nov-15 21:26:41

As PP said she has no concept of time. My DD has a very good memory for long term things but still at the end of a school day won't remember much.

I often ask "What made you happy today? What made you feel worried today?" and it has a brilliant effect and in turn she asks me.

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