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What to do with DS who should be playing but wants to learn

(27 Posts)
chillikate Thu 28-Jul-11 13:52:49

What do you do??

How do you avoid the label of pushy parent?

DS is 4, starting school in September. I have been on here before with similar concerns, but a much younger child. He diverted his interests to football and life resumed as a normal 4 year old (still high ability, but spending most of his time playing)

This past fortnight he is suddenly back on his wanting to learn mission. Before now his nursery staff never really agreed with me on his abilities, mainly because he is selective in how he talks to people. He has a trainee teacher who he has formed quite a bond with. He read to her (how shocked we she when I picked him up that day!!), so she has started to bring in materials for him, like simple books and Numicon. Suddenly football is last week and reading is the only thing he wants to do.

Do I divert him back to football or support the activities he wants to do.

I have spent the past 2 years with no-one seeing his abilities and feeling like the bragging parent and I worry that I'm now pushing him the other way.

We're seeing my mum this weekend. He just wants to read to Granny but I can't handle another one of her lectures!!

iggly2 Thu 28-Jul-11 15:43:52

Ps, What's with the lectures from Granny?

Surely he can do what he likes (and you can support him)! Is his nursery linked to the school so the school will know his ability (especially if the trainee teacher passes on information)? I found that continuity really helps. My son also had teachers that brought in things from home for my Ds that he loved to help him learn. It's lovely to know that they are looking out for them to.

iggly2 Thu 28-Jul-11 15:44:30

I meant to move the Ps!

chillikate Thu 28-Jul-11 16:06:38

Hi. My mum is a right pain in the behind. Shes always said I push him. Seriously, can you actually force a toddler to learn to read / count / ask articulate questions??

Nursery is not attached to school and sadly, unlike a lot of the schools around here they will not be visiting DS at nursery, but they will visit him at home.

Its only been in the last 2 weeks that the nursery have seen his abilities - they've always been there. I'll never forget the time that DS decided to announce (and demonstrate) that he could read numbers up to 99 in the car on the way to nursery. I asked them if they realised he could read numbers up to 99, they just rolled their eyes as if to say "not again". I am not in the habit of getting him to show off things things, so it would only be from nursery activities.

So many people on here say about toddlers & reception kids to just let them play, but what if a child WANTS more??

Marne Thu 28-Jul-11 16:14:21

Don't take any notice of what others think, do what you think is best. If he wants to learn let him learn, you can make it fun so he learns through play, all my dd1 wanted to do at 4 was read, nursery were great and started her on ORT and she would read her own books at home (we also bought the ORT home reading pack which she loved), she's now 7 and still loves to read and learn. It is possible to do both (play and learn), i don't see why others have a problem with it?

chillikate Thu 28-Jul-11 16:18:53

Because its not "normal"

EdithWeston Thu 28-Jul-11 16:22:22

Let him do what he wants!

If reading is "play" to him, then let him play.

But it is in his long term interests to make sure he gets enough physical activity. Football may be "last week", but there's bound to be other things he's happy to do, especially if he knows he can bookworm too.

iggly2 Thu 28-Jul-11 16:22:49

Do what the child wants!

My son chooses his interests: currently swimming and French (we were on holiday there). At Christmas it was maths and at nursery reading. Occasionally it gets fustrating (I am poor at languages). At reception they should assess him for reading and they will have experience of other children reading, maths maybe harder. Does he like adding and subtracting as well as counting? Is he (more) verbal some of the time with maths (ie is he likely to tell them what he can do in any capacity). How big is the class (is there a TA). I know last year the TA worked with my Ds quite a bit.

As for your mother you are right you cannot force a child to read etc.

AMumInScotland Thu 28-Jul-11 16:24:48

4yo don't make a distinction between playing and learning - given the opportunity most will try out different things, and be learning all sorts of skills. Some days/weeks/months that will be about kicking a football or playing house, others it will be playing with letters or numbers.

So if he wants to do things with reading, then that's fine - so long as you still encourage him to play with friends and get exercise as well.

I'm not sure why the nursery or your mother are being odd about it, if you genuinely aren't either pushing him, or going on about his abilities to them.

iggly2 Thu 28-Jul-11 16:25:33

Oh... climbing is a great fun activity and trampolining to use up the excess energy!

kittens Thu 28-Jul-11 16:30:04

Your nursery sounds shocking.

Once he starts at school he will be assessed and the teachers should pick up on his abilities. G&T is part of the special needs dept and they should contact you to discuss his IEP (individual education plan) and how they plan to motivate him in class and ensure he is being challenged.

We have a child in our school who is seriously gifted (non-pushy parents), but he is working 2-3 years ahead of his age group. He goes to a different year group for some lessons and has other strategies in place to ensure he is challenged in class.

You could encourage him to learn to play an instrument to help him grow, or perhaps a martial art??

Speak to the head of special needs once he starts school and they can carry out nfer assessments to either prove he is gifted or just very bright.

Hope this helps

chillikate Thu 28-Jul-11 16:32:25

Yep, he can add & take away numbers up to 20. Recognise numbers up to 99. We have started giving him pocket money so he is starting to understand currency. The trainee teacher currently working at his nursery have given him some ORT level 1 books which he can mostly read with ease (he mixes up b,d & p and f & t). A child took in a game the other day with aged questions. They said he was answering the 8 year old questions. His understanding of language, vocabulary & how things work is probably his best asset. I have a degree and I frequently have to look up answers to his questions in an encylopeadia or dictionary.

But on the "other side" he is a good friend, considerate of others feelings and good at football and sports.

If only he could stop pooing in his pants he'd be the perfect child!! LOL.

chillikate Thu 28-Jul-11 16:34:11

What am I best to do in his home visit from school?? Tell them what I feel he can do, or let them learn for themselves??

Seriously I have ended up so petrified of this "pushy parent" label I struggle to know whats in his best interests.

chillikate Thu 28-Jul-11 16:35:32

PS - trust me, he gets loads of exercise!!!

iggly2 Thu 28-Jul-11 16:42:58

As for forcing child to read Ds taught himself (we do not know phonics). He would spend time at nursery "looking at the books" (teacher's statement in term reports/parents evenings). When he had the confidence and teacher said "What do you think it says..." he read the books aloud and later read to the class! we never thought to ask him to read! Though he does still read everything in his head by choice.

I think children can be very self-taught. My Ds will happily read French comics (he chose and asked for them as souvenirs when in France) for well over 50 minutes at a time. He notes down words the same in French and English. I cannot translate all of the comics but help him where I can. The dedication is amazing.

mistlethrush Thu 28-Jul-11 16:46:50

I know that I'd internalised reading by the time I got to school - which meant I could read things a lot quicker. Unfortunately, it also mean that my mouth couldn't keep up with my eyes and my brain - so I fell over words and stumbled in my reading - so would be told that I couldn't have read the book overnight and get started back on P2.

I also remember not wanting to do the 'free play' session in Reception year - I wanted to do the maths cards - I'm sure I was considered very strange by the teachers.

Ds is a battle - he loves finding things out and we encourage that - but his 'style' of learning etc doesn't seem to accord with the school's which is a bit of a problem. Currently he's banned from watching TV during the week (long story hmm)and is very happily doing maths and handwriting sheets instead grin

iggly2 Thu 28-Jul-11 16:48:51

Your brave with the TV ban, I swear by it wink

mistlethrush Thu 28-Jul-11 16:51:42

He's currently 'earning' the right to watch a little at the weekend wink

However, as behaviour has been significantly better we shall perseve and try to do more on the 'enjoyable learning at home' rather than TV....

What I want to know is why, if its at school its 'boring' and he can't be got to do it or simply doesn't concentrate enough to do a proper job of it, but he's just devouring the worksheets at home.

iggly2 Thu 28-Jul-11 16:52:44

Reading I would see how it goes. Maths is the hard one maybe say "He likes numbers" and see what happens with the hint!
Sorry, by suggesting trampolining and climbing I did not mean offence my ds just loves doing it and it was as an idea.

chillikate Thu 28-Jul-11 16:55:10

LOL - nont taken. Yours likes heights & bouncing, mine likes anything that involves balls.

I was mortified when I got his development book back and it relayed the occasion he had all the children lined up, and asigned a position ready to play football.

iggly2 Thu 28-Jul-11 16:56:59

Brilliant! get him playing dodgeball!

iggly2 Thu 28-Jul-11 16:58:13

Ds discovered rollercoasters at Disneyland! He thinks we should all move and live there!

chillikate Thu 28-Jul-11 17:00:22

Legoland is our big treat the week before he starts school. We'll see what he thinks to rollercoasters then!!

spiderpig8 Mon 01-Aug-11 22:14:03

Just follow his interests and you won't go far wrong.

rabbitstew Tue 02-Aug-11 12:54:28

I found it easy to avoid the pushy parent label by not pushing or telling my dss' pre-school things about my children they either ought to be able to work out for themselves through observation or which weren't relevant to the activities my children were doing at pre-school and therefore couldn't be observed. It wasn't exactly difficult for the teachers to notice my dss could read, count, add up, take away, etc. I didn't see the point of pre-school to be encouraging them to do that or directing them towards it - it's what they chose to do at home in their free time, not what they wanted shoved down their throats in a less fun, less genuine-choice way at pre-school, and it's not as if they needed the practice or to be taught anything they hadn't already worked out for themselves or could ask me about. As for your mother - ignore her and do fun things with your child that you both enjoy doing together, whatever they are. What's the problem with enjoying reading, provided you also get plenty of exercise and have a wide range of interests???

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