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Is anybody else using summers hols to help 5yr old catch up?

(32 Posts)
FluffyCubs Thu 30-Jul-15 11:09:44

Finding this very hard going. Would appreciate support or advice....
My son is struggling, unengaged and falling behind. I got him some workbooks and have managed to get him to Practise writing daily, but it's all bribery and coaxing as I don't want him to know that we're really worried....all bottom boxes for report. He got off to a bad start as he had to start school six months in, but I'm keen he goes back with more confidence than he had at the end of summer term.

DarylDixonsDarlin Thu 30-Jul-15 11:17:05

Have school suggested anything you can do over the hols to bring him up to speed? Did you speak to his teacher about the report, did she offer any insight about it? Is the reason for missing the first 6 months relevant, I.e. Is it still causing problems now? How is he outside school?

If he's keen id say yes keep at it, writing reading anything you can get him to do, but my DS when 5yo hated to do anything school-like at home, my DD on the other hand was totally different...obviously you don't want to put him off altogether. Tricky one confused

alteredimages Thu 30-Jul-15 11:22:34

I am in a slightly different situation because we live abroad and DD is being schooled in a third language, but having arrived a couple of weeks ago for a summer holiday I am very conscious of how far behind she seems in the basics in both languages, though her school report was good but not exceptional. In the UK I think she would have been flagged up as being behind. She still has a few letters she doesn't know, although she can write them. She also mixes up counting to 20 and has no clue about phonics, can only write her name and maman.

Partly this is a function of the school system she is in, which teaches reading later, but she needs to have a good grounding in English phonics too, which is the language I speak with her at home.

So far I am doing the following:
1. reading books at any opportunity, pointing out easy and common words and asking her to sound out the s a t c n i p letters.

2. Tracing lower case letters with a wipe clean writing book I got at the supermarket for about £3. DD has only been taught upper case so far.

3. Counting to twenty all the time, counting steps when we are out, fingers and toes, cars, toys, pushes on the swing, anything.

4. Taking her to parks, museums, swimming, anything to increase the range of experience and vocabulary she is using in English. This may be a specific need for bilingual children though.

I think 1 and 3 are best because she doesn't realise that it is work. I also need to work on days of the week, months and adverbs of time so am planning to get or make a calendar with seasons, days, months etc to help her visualise the passing of time.

I am really bad at this stuff so hopefully someone more knowledgeable will be along soon but thought I would get started with this.

flashbunny73 Thu 30-Jul-15 11:54:35

our YR report suggested getting them to write postcards or a diary over the holidays. DD is writing a diary which she seems to be enjoying. I guess anything you can make a game of?? Are there any more educational sticker books? Have you tried the Orchard Toys boardgames for helping with counting etc? The big challenge is to find fun things??

Cedar03 Thu 30-Jul-15 12:57:39

Try to sneak in the work without being formal about it. I got my daughter to spot the letters in the shop signs as we walked home. You can do the same thing with car number plates and letters or numbers. Helps practice their letter recognition, alphabet, number recognition.

Do imaginary games like having a cafe where you can make a menu and take orders. That helps with writing. Or schools and he can be the teacher.

Keep reading to him and then ask him to read a couple of words on the page.
Find topics that he's really interested in, then you learn about them together.

tethersend Thu 30-Jul-15 13:52:36

I would try and relax a little- many children struggle with writing at the end of YR and then make accelerated progress during Y1- DD1 is one of them. She could barely write her name at the end of reception; now, at the end of Y1 she is writing neatly in full sentences- and loves it. I did nothing.

The most important thing at this stage is to allow him to enjoy learning. If you make it a trial, you run the risk of putting him off the very skills he needs to acquire. Personally, I would ditch the books and go out and have fun. If you get to draw letters in the sand or read signposts, that's brilliant, but I wouldn't labour over it. He's still very little, and has a long learning journey ahead of him.

BertrandRussell Thu 30-Jul-15 13:57:22

Postcards to grandma if you have a grandma who'll reply. If not, to somebody who will. Do baking. Make things. Watch good children's telly. Read comics together. Make a comic together. DON'T DO WORKBOOKS!!!!!!!!! Write shopping lists and go and buy the stuff- let him find the things. Go on imaginary journeys.

tethersend Thu 30-Jul-15 13:58:53

Just read your OP again- he's only been at school since March! Please try not to worry. He just hasn't had time to develop skills yet. A reception report which puts him at the emerging stage for all areas of the curriculum is not in itself a red flag for a child who has only been at school for four months. LOTS can change- and very likely will.

Relaxing and letting him play is probably the best thing you could do for his development at this stage.

redskybynight Thu 30-Jul-15 17:24:41

I'm sorry OP because I know you are concerned but I just found your thread title very sad - your child has only started school - they are in no way shape or form "behind".

By all means read to him and encourage him to try to read words too, play games that involve counting and use of numbers, cook including weighing and measuring, go out to interesting places and talk about them ... but primarily because these are fun things to do!! My DS could scarcely write his own name by the end of Reception - his fine motor skills just weren't there yet. He's just finished Y6 and believe me you can't now pick out the children that were the Reception stars.

Inkymess Thu 30-Jul-15 17:48:45

Most people I know have used Aps such as Maths 4-6 and Pocket phonics etc My DS will not do any school type work av home. He will play on the tablet for hours. Mine spend loads of time playing eye spy in car !!!

Isoldeonetwo Thu 30-Jul-15 17:53:57

Teach your monster to read website ( osbourne publishers) it's free and fantastic . Much better than a workbook

CharlesRyder Thu 30-Jul-15 18:07:10

My DS is August born and has just finished YR. Writing just clicked for him in the last couple of months so I am trying to keep him going with that so he doesn't have to start again at square 1 (he has 10 weeks holiday).

He has 'holiday work' to write a diary so we are finding interesting things to put in that. Today he read the instructions for making a moth trap in his new bug book, we made it and then he wrote a set of instructions with our own photos to illustrate it.

He has a 'special' table with resources he can choose from (which does include workbooks, but also games etc.). We do something at the table every day. He likes it because it's 'his' place and he has some control over what he does there each day.

He also has a sticker chart to read every day and is working for a treat every 20 stickers. We are signed up to Reading Chest so we have a supply of the correct band books.

He goes to the beach and potters around the village every day too and watches a tonne of TV and has just discovered minecraft <weeps>.

Asleeponasunbeam Thu 30-Jul-15 18:14:47

My DD has an August birthday and will be going into year 2. Writing and reading only clicked for her around Easter of year 1. I'm a teacher and it was very hard to sit back and let the school do their amazing work, but they did.

Much better IMO to spend the summer playing, riding bikes, baking, listening to and making up stories as a game, having conversations, having fun.

HexU2 Thu 30-Jul-15 19:53:26

Is it just handwriting? If it is I would worry less - and just check letter formation grip and do some more fun exercises books out there or activities that strengthen and practise fine coordination skills - cutting with scissors, threading beads etc...

Otherwise - if it's reading as well - I'd go over phonics - there are lots of fun games about, things like jolly phonics songs or more formal programs - like dancing bears.

If it's maths as well- again lots of fun actives out the thing like ict or again if more structure is wanted many online maths sites maths whizz,mathsfactor, conquer maths,IXL maths or khan academy first maths bits.

I had a DS like this - not meeting targets at end of reception. Worked with him 10 -20 minutes most days over course of the year he made progress - start of year 2 he was in top sets much happier to do work as he wasn't struggling from the off. Little and often was the key - so don't expect huge progress over the summer.

But yes there was a huge amount of bribery - less as his confidence grew and he got used to doing a bit extra every day.

HexU2 Thu 30-Jul-15 19:55:16

Much better IMO to spend the summer playing, riding bikes, baking, listening to and making up stories as a game, having conversations, having fun.

If you do 10 -20 minutes daily or up to an hour if doing several things there is still plenty of time IME to do these things as well.

FluffyCubs Fri 31-Jul-15 07:00:31

I'm not being pushy, just doing half and hour am and the same pm......I might seem over zealous but he's also v shy, and to me the combination of both is going to wreck his experiences at school. In some regards, I just need to wait for him to grow up.....

He used to love being read he legs it. and that's me reading to him, no pressure. (And I could have wept about the riding bikes comments as he won't learn that either. Refuses. )

FluffyCubs Fri 31-Jul-15 07:05:52

He loves maths, maths isn't a struggle. But he's a leftie which is making writing a bit harder. We do something every week along the lines of writing a brief thank you letter, making and sending birthday card. He writes my shopping list for me and if he includes sweets he gets em.

I took him out to get him a new pencil case with all the pens n rubbers and he's really v proud of it.....I can see he's beginning to enjoy doodling Etc.

It's really just reading.

redskybynight Fri 31-Jul-15 07:31:25

It it's mainly just reading, little and often is probably better than half an hour at a time (which is a huge length of time for a 5 year old!!)

My DS didn't like cycling at age 5 either. He only developed an interest when it looked like his 2 years younger sister would have the stabilisers off her bike first smile

HexU2 Fri 31-Jul-15 09:09:27

And I could have wept about the riding bikes comments as he won't learn that either. Refuses. )

I got mine scooters to help develop balance - eldest still can't ride without stabilisers and is much older than your DS.

Found these helped with pencils:

Reading did.

Got there eventually with everything.

BertrandRussell Fri 31-Jul-15 09:48:28

When you say he refuses to learn to ride a bike, do you mean without stabilisers?

tethersend Fri 31-Jul-15 11:56:42

DD1 is also painfully shy, selectively mute (she now speaks to her teachers, but this took most of the reception year to happen) and left-handed.

Over the course of Y1 she made accelerated progress.

I stand by my advice not to worry smile

Please don't force him to sit and read books with you- I know it may seem as if there's no pressure on him, but he clearly feels differently. Making reading fun is far more important at this stage than making him listen to you read- you really don't want to make the idea of reading aversive to him.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Fri 31-Jul-15 12:06:23

Go to letters and sounds web site, print off the tricky words ..twice. play pairs snap, treasure hunt, flash the words for him to write down. Hide them around the house/garden. Have them on the walls. Choose two new phonics a week, and hunt them out in text, shops, newspaper. Makes sure he sees you reading for fun. (Go play, mom lives this its really exciting) make sounds in sands, chalk, stones, leaves, say the sounds, and let him find one. The more silly you are the more likely he will remember...

ZetaPu Fri 31-Jul-15 12:20:34

I don't think there's anything wrong in doing a bit of formal work a day in the holidays.
I've always done that with my kids and I think it helps them to enjoy learning when they're not struggling.
My dcs enjoy science, maths and reading.
We get whatever books they want from the library (a thousand books on dinosaurs gets a bit dull for me but that's what they want),
We do science experiments at home (make volcanoes and rockets), go on nature trails with magnifying glasses, baking and measuring and do maths workbooks, maths websites like BBC bitesize, multiplication game apps and write stories.
They also do lots of free play, Xbox and watch TV/films.

Carry on op. As long as he's not upset with it you'll be helping him in the long run to enjoy school.

ZetaPu Fri 31-Jul-15 12:27:45

Instead of reading to him, could you just find a book with lots of pics on things he likes (dinosaurs? Cars) and just talk through the book and marvel at the pictures.
Can you get any pop up books or puppet books?
It might help him to enjoy books again.

irvine101 Fri 31-Jul-15 14:48:04

My ds is a good reader, but also a reluctant reader.
He hate it when it feels like a chore.(eg.Homework.)
During holiday time, we have reading time together in the morning.
We snuggle up on bed and he reads his book and I read mine.
He seems to like the idea of doing same thing together.

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