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help! 6yr old struggling at school big time! say she's not the only 1?

(9 Posts)
mum20 Mon 12-Sep-11 18:05:57

Hi, first time written, but have been looking thru lots and lots of posts and its helped me wonders in other problems.....
im a young single mum and working ridiculous hours to make ends meet (night shifts so im almost always tired) while my daughter stays with my mum/sister depending who's available. My daughters now in year 1 and already we've been told she's struggling at reading, phonics, literacy - obviously it all co-incides when she was in reception. now she's in year 1 my biggest worry is she's never going to catch up and always be behind and its going to be an endless struggle! (i already feel guilty that she's coming from a one parent family and her dad has no interest but she thinks he's still amazing if she gets a £3 teddy at christmas) and i often think about packing in work completely to try to help her more at home but want her to have a ''work ethic'' - i cant expect her to go out and work hard when she's older if her mum doesnt.
sorry, im rambling smile
is anyone else's 6yr old struggling at school? what did you do? im hoping someone can give me some advice, she's struggling with the very basics like 'the' and just guessing from pictures. am considering private tutoring - but even then wouldnt know where to even start looking for a reputable one?! any advice would be so helpful. thanks in advance!

pjani Mon 12-Sep-11 18:11:17

Am no expert, but surely kids develop at different speeds and there's no need to panic at this stage?

Maybe start to visit a kid friendly library, and let her pick out picture books that look fun, and read to her regularly. It's a way of getting her interested in a non-stressful way...

TheProvincialLady Mon 12-Sep-11 18:12:08

What kind of help with her reading etc does she get from you/your family when she comes home? If you are very tired all the time does that make it hard for you to do the homework and reading stuff?

TBH her evenings sound a bit unsettling for one so young, which may have a knock on effect. That's not a criticism of you - obviously you have to earn a living and it's even harder if you are a lone parent with no support from your ex. But is there any chance you could change hours?

What do school say about her progress?

ggirl Mon 12-Sep-11 18:13:19

not an expert but if it was me I would approach the teacher with your worries.
Don't think private tuition is needed until you exhaust that avenue.
I am sure the teacher will have ideas of how you can help your dd.

BCBG Mon 12-Sep-11 18:15:49

Please don't panic! Private tutoring is not the answer: talk to the school again, in detail to see if they can identify why she is falling behind. My youngest DD is dyslexic and was very able but fell behind in literacy as she has NO phonic ability at all (she's' fine btw, just dyslexic which means she gets support to help her learn in other ways). It wasn't identified until the end of Yr 3. See if the school has even considered it as a possibility?

thisisyesterday Mon 12-Sep-11 18:16:45

i think there is a huge variation in ability at that age, and being "behind" certainly doesn't mean she will never catch up.

would agree that a more settled evening, and either getting her to read to you, or reading to her if she isn't willing each evening would be a big boost.
I think it's great that you want to give her that work ethic, but she is little still and if you feel you could offer her more support and stability by cutting down your hours then that's what I would do, personally.

what have the school suggested?

Limejelly Mon 12-Sep-11 18:19:32

Hello. Just wanted to say you sound like your doing an excellent job! Please don't beat yourself up about being a single parent, she may well be having the same difficulties even if you weren't.

I teach year one and if you were one of my patents I would probably say to read with her as often as you can (even 5 minutes at bed time will do) and encourage her to write ( eg draw a picture and write a sentence about her day). I'm sure someone more experience will be along soon with some other ideas.

What are the school doing to support her? Is she having any intervention?

virgiltracey Mon 12-Sep-11 18:25:22

Ok asuming your circumstances are not going to change then in your situation I would do the following.

Print off a list of the key stage 1 high frequency words and chop them up into little squares with one word per page. If you don't have access to a printer then write them out using big clear lower case letters. I did mine on the back of cereal packs.

Pick the five easist phonetic words and tackle those first. Each evening get your mum or sister or whoever is with her to spend five minutes sitting quietly and loking at the words and sounding them out (or if they are non phonetic just learning them). Then get them to spend five minutes reading her school book with her just a couple of pages with lots of praise. Then, before bed spend another ten minutes reading a story to her so that she gets used to the flow of the words and broadens her vocabulary.

bbboo Mon 12-Sep-11 18:50:56

Have to say well done to you for everything you do for your daughter. i have a sister in a very similar situation so understand totally about wanting your daughter to have a work ethic etc.
Don't worry too much at this stage - it is very early in the school year and the jump from reception to year one can take a bit of time to get used to.
My son found learning to read very hard, and sometimes I wondered if he would ever be able to do it (he is now 10, and a very good and enthusiastic reader).
One thing I found was he did not associate the words in his word box (high frequency words) with same words in his reading books - so every time he/we read the word in a book, I would dig out the same word from his word box and show him. This made him realise there was a purpose to learning these words!
Let her look at the pictures as these act as a clue to the words, when she points out a cat, find the word cat on the page (show her the word if she can't find it, sound it out for her so she learns how to do that etc), talk about the story, the chatacters etc so she gets interested in the books (sure you do this already). just take time to share books with her - if she doesn't know a word, give her 8 seconds to work it out, give her the word and carry on. Enjoyment is the key - don't stress - children vary a lot . She will get there in the end (and talk to your teacher if you can, then if the concerns continue you have sowed the seeds to continue monitering her, if it is needed) but you are doing the best that you can , and love her a lot - that goes a long way in a child's life - much better than a teddy at Christmas!

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