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Help me to help dd please

(15 Posts)
sweetestB Tue 08-Jan-13 13:37:04

I'm so frustated, I really need to come up with some strategies to help my dd. She is 5 at Y1 in a state primary. At the beginning of the school year, the SENCO approached me to give some tips on how could I help with phonics and reading because SENCO thought ddi wasn't reaching her full potential. Ì tried to push for a assessment for dyslexia since there are cases in my husband's family, but senco said it was too early. Anyway since than I have been doing what I can to help but it is hard for me too since English isn't my mother tongue. Dh understand he has to help but doesn't really do anything and blames his dyslexia. Anyway last night I discovered that dd also struggles hugely with numeracy too, she doesn't recognize any number above 10 and struggles with simple calculations like 2+2 or 5-3 even using. beads for helping counting...I know I have to increase the work we do at home even if dh doesn't help, but should I also hire tutor, pay kumon.? Change school?
I feel so disappointed in myself I'm letting her down and I couldn't help showing my disappointment.....it is a very sensitive issue since I was let down by school and parents education wise and so was dh and we always feel we wasted time and didn't reach our potential. I want dd to better.

sweetestB Tue 08-Jan-13 13:38:38

Oh and she is improving at reading and writing but still at the bottom of her class I suspect.

sweetestB Tue 08-Jan-13 14:04:07

sad

sittinginthesun Tue 08-Jan-13 14:17:46

Hi. I'm sure there will be someone along with more experience later, but my gut feeling would be that you should work with the school. They have raised their concerns, and I assume are still working with her in the classroom?

My youngest is in Year 1, (I have an older child in Year 4), and I would still be reluctant to hire tutors/Kumon/formal work at home for now. 5 years is still very young.

Honestly, in your position, I would make an appointment to discuss this with the class teacher, and ask if it possible to keep you informed (maybe half termly chat).

At home, I would play lots of games - Children's Monopoly, dice games (Shut the Box is simple and fun), snakes and ladders. That will encourage her number work without it being a chore.

Reading and writing - bedtime stories, spotting letters, simple Scrabble games. Keep a pot of pens and pencils, and loads of papers out and let her draw and colour whilst she chats to you.

I don't have experience of Dyslexia, so I'm not sure when it is diagnosed. I just think it must be best to keep her happy and enjoying learning whilst any other issues are sorted out.

sweetestB Tue 08-Jan-13 14:32:05

Last time I spoke to the teacher she spent 5 minutes only on parents conference saying that dd was were she was supposed to be with her learning...even tough I was sceptical I didn't know how question this and left happy she doesn't have any behavioural problems. We always read together but she gives up easily even tough she reads very basic books/words I read chapter books for her. She is very into drawing and colouring and she has access to a lot of different papers and writing/drawing material at home, she is always writing and although she can't spell properly I don't correct her all the time as I don't want to crush her self esteem or make her loose confidence/desire to try for her own. I like the games suggestion, I suspect dh will play games with her happily and I can push for it since he doesn't want to help with literacy/home work.

mummytime Tue 08-Jan-13 14:56:52

It is a pretty unusual child who has the attention span to read chapter books at 5.
What age did you start school? Because if it is older than 5 you may have an unrealistic idea of what to expect a few months after starting school.

Next: the big secret, parents lie about how well their children can read, do maths or write. So take what other parents say with a pinch of salt.

If your DD is at risk of dyslexia the crucial things are: talk to her a lot in English, recite nursery rhymes and read poems to her, enjoy books with her, don't expect her to concentrate too long, give her lots of praise for trying, find something else she is good at.
If she does have dyslexia she will be working extra hard in school, so don't expect her to do too much after school.

With Maths, go and talk to the teacher. How is she doing at Maths in school? How do they do Maths in school? Your DD might do much better with a number square or number line. If she is dyslexic she might find it hard to express herself when put "on the spot".

A great book on Dyslexia is The Dyslexic Advantage.

littlemiss06 Tue 08-Jan-13 15:07:39

Hi hun reading your post totally reminded me of my little one, shes currently in year 2 but is struggling, in year one my first parents evening told me pretty much what you have said, she doesnt recognise numbers above 10 and even now she finds sums both adding and subtracting really difficult. My daughter is also in the bottom groups for everything, her reading is also poor but we try so hard.
I dont think changing schools will make much difference if she has a possible underlying problem however I do feel that you need to make an appointment with the SENCO and express the concerns you have on here, she may be able to help in other ways. Let us know how you get on if you do speak to them, dont be afraid to ask them for help and advice.

sweetestB Tue 08-Jan-13 17:00:00

Thanks for the answers, just to clarify that I'm not expecting her to read chapter books at 5, I mentioned chapter books just to show that she is interested in books and can concentrate in long stories however struggles still with phonic sounds/writing/reading. The SENCO told me at the beginning of Y1 that she would talk to me again after Christmas to discuss my daughter progress, I shall wait one week or two maybe. Oh and I do speak to her in English a lot, specially when her dad/grandparents are at home or when with friends that don't understand my language but I'm afraid although I don't teach her to read/write my language I want her to be able to at least understand and speak it when necessary because she needs to interact with my side of the family and visit my home country too. So when is the 2 of us I don't speak in English and I won't.

sittinginthesun Tue 08-Jan-13 18:01:13

I think the follow up appointment with the SENCO will be key. If she enjoys books, and has a go at writing etc, then it may just be a question of the phonics side "clicking" into place. If she is bilingual, then it will be a huge advantage in the long run. smile

Anyway, as you can tell, I'm a fan of games, rather than formal learning at home. I just think, if you can get pleasure from learning, then you are far more likely to be self motivated.

sweetestB Tue 08-Jan-13 18:51:05

I have to admit that Dh and I don't have the habit to play games but never too late to start. Eg: right now she came to me and said mouse rhymes with house and I said: that is right: so I mentioned all the times that mouse rhymes with house in the gruffalo story. Than I ask her to tell me which words rhimes in the following sentence: 'it is very nice of you owl but NO. I'm having tea with a GRUFALO...' I make sure I put emphasis on the 'O' but she still doesn't get it...anyway, she likes poems and we read a good book last week, I will read again this week and see if I can get another one.

sittinginthesun Tue 08-Jan-13 19:05:22

Oh, don't get me started on rhyming words. grin my children are probably sick of me making up stupid rhymes for everything - house rhymes with mouse. The mouse had a house, which he shared with a louse....

There are some great Usborne Phonic Readers which my boys loved. Mouse moves House. Big Pig on a Dig.

Aaah, I'm supposed to be doing bedtime. grin

BackforGood Tue 08-Jan-13 19:19:00

sittinginthesun has given excellent advice.
She is only 5, and children begin to 'be ready' at different ages. Children of 5 who already have 2 languages are so fortunate, and will appreciate that skill later in life, but it does sometimes mean in the early stages of education, they find themselves a little slower than some of their peers in some areas, simply because some are still working out the fact there are two different languages going on.
It sounds to me like the school are on the ball and keeping an eye on things, so why not try to catch the SENCo one day this week and ask when you might be able to meet to have that chat ?

sweetestB Tue 08-Jan-13 21:48:24

I just can't help feeling that I'm to blame and I could have done more like for example playing the games that sittinginthesun plays and I never did. Even tough I do try to help, can't stop beating myself up for the times I was tired and wanted to relax/take easy instead of teach...maybe I just let her free play too much instead of trying to make everything educational at every opportunity. The only thing that makes me proud is that because we live in London I try and take advantage of all the wonderful things the city has to offer and dd does two extra curricula activities (swimming and drama) but I'm now questioning myself if everything I do is enough and I feel ashamed in talking to SENCO. Also I'm ashamed dd inherited mine and dh's bad genes...

learnandsay Tue 08-Jan-13 22:01:55

Don't go into a spiral of self doubt. That isn't going to do anyone any good. If you want to rhyme with your daughter keep the rhymes short.

Single words are best to start with: far, car, star, bar (and so on)

Then
My pet
You bet
I get
Too wet

(Then Dr Seuss)

Then rhymes of her own...

We went to tea
I sat on a bee
I love my pyjamas
But hate all bananas
(and so on...)

sittinginthesun Tue 08-Jan-13 22:02:39

Don't you dare feel bad!

We all offer suggestions here as to how we do things, but it's just our experiences.

Your child is going to grow up bilingual. That's fantastic. I have a mother who was born abroad, and I have never been able to speak with my relatives. I have made half hearted attempts to encourage my children to learn my mother's language, but no luck so far.

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