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Best way to make a difference.

(16 Posts)
Mumramishmasher Tue 12-Jul-16 16:24:00

DS1 is 7, has ASD, SPD and his school reports that he's about a year behind. He's in Year2.
DS2 is 5.5 and is in Reception. He has grip and fine motor issues, and is also very behind. He's very verbose and articulate though. We were recommended to get a tutor but apart from the expense I think they are under enough pressure at school. Instead I've been attempting to do work with them at home. Fun stuff - tonight we are making volcanoes, doing a word chart about it and watching a couple of videos about it. Yesterday was sharks. We do little bits of comprehension, and I've been downloading activities from the Guardian teacher bit and Twinkl and Pinterest. We don't do something every night, maybe 3 times a week, for about 30 mins.

Is this likely to make any difference? I would rather they just played after school but I never expected them to be so far behind. I'm not a teacher and know nothing about teaching!

TeenAndTween Tue 12-Jul-16 16:38:41

I think anything you do will make a difference.

If you would rather they 'played' after school, can you incorporate the learning you want into their playing?

- play 'cafes' and write a menu
- make a cake, weighing out the ingredients
- draw and write a postcard to Grandparents (then send it)
- hamma beads good for fine motor pinching action

ie build core skills into fun activities, rather than picking a 'topic' and 'working' on it?

(That said, you may need to accept they will struggle in school - I don't mean give up, but as I have had to with mine, you may in time realise that they have limitations).

Mumramishmasher Tue 12-Jul-16 18:12:18

They're nice tips, Thankyou.

How do you know if they'll always struggle, and whether that's because there's a barrier to learning or they are actually performing at potential?

What's the best thing to do?

EarthboundMisfit Tue 12-Jul-16 18:16:45

Someone on here has a fantastic list of fine motor activities.

irvineoneohone Tue 12-Jul-16 18:20:26

I think that must be mrz. If she doesn't turn up, maybe pm her?

TeenAndTween Tue 12-Jul-16 18:30:48

OP - good questions!

DD1 has done GCSEs and was finally assessed with dyspraxia in year 11, so it is pretty clear where she is at smile.
DD2 the jury is still out. She has one more week of primary to go. I think she has more potential than she is currently showing - but if you could see the complete lack of punctuation in her work you might disagree. smile
It has been a fine line with both of them between encouraging/helping them, and over-pushing when they are not (yet) capable. I definitely don't always get it right.

jellyrolly Tue 12-Jul-16 18:37:00

It would be helpful to find out what kind of learners they are. I have one visual spatial learner and one linear so they process information very differently. Once you do that you can then identify areas which are strong and also where they need more support. I would then try and work with the school to support their learning, e.g. using buff paper, visual cues etc.

Mumramishmasher Tue 12-Jul-16 18:37:30

That's the trouble, it is a fine line!

I'm lucky enough to be able to dedicate some time each day to prepping activities for the evening but I don't know if I'm on the right track!

SisterViktorine Tue 12-Jul-16 19:03:52

I would consider doing something brief but more structured. You don't say where they particularly struggle but they could (for example) do a level of Apples and Pears, a session on Nessy and a session on Maths Whizz each day over the summer. This would be about an hour in total- not much out of a whole day playing.

Mumramishmasher Wed 13-Jul-16 09:15:59

Thanks, that's really helpful, I've ordered apples and pears and will subscribe to the others too. I hope I'm doing the right thing!

Rhaegal Wed 13-Jul-16 09:29:00

I do the same as SisterViktorine.

Though we use mathsfactor not math whizz.

Reading dancing bears, general reading - if reading and spelling spelfabet - just spelling apple and pears.

Handwritng - lots of play stuff to strength muscles - also write from the start then later on speed up do half an hour to an hour most days - over time has made a massive difference.

Mumramishmasher Wed 13-Jul-16 09:38:28

I'll look that up too, thanks!

What differences has it made? How soon did you see a difference? X

EarthboundMisfit Wed 13-Jul-16 10:51:31

I think the stuff you're doing sounds brilliant! I don't think I could even aspire to all that planning!

Over the last few months I've upped the ante on doing work outside school. I used to just do reading with my 6yos.

Now we do ten minutes of maths a few times a week. Mathletics (provided by the school), times tables snap or watching a Khan Academy video.

We read almost every day, and I still read to them but it's chapters books now.

Once a week I get them to write a story or poem.

It might be coincidence, but for the two years they've been at school they've been solid middle of the road pupils. Suddenly, they're doing really well in the areas we've focused on.

Now I just need to put in more effort with handwriting and PE!

QuiteQuietly Wed 13-Jul-16 11:59:07

DS has rubbish fine motor skills and what really worked for him was lots of fiddly lego and scissor practice. Twinkl have these mad 3D models to print and cut out and assemble, but there a probably some free ones on the internet. The 3D shark took several attempts but looked pretty cool. I was going to do Write from the Start, but with the lego and scissors his handwriting miraculously improved by itself.

DS and DD2 do maths with dice for about 5 minutes a day after breakfast. DS multiplies the numbers and DD2 adds them up. They are competetive so they enjoy it. We use 10 sided dice. This has helped get them a bit snappier, as has Math Zombies which is a free phone/tablet app. I am looking for some maths sheets to do over the holidays (like a page of sums a day straight after breakfast). I think what they both need to work on is basic calculations and speeding up without making silly mistakes.

DD2 has just started apples and pears and also does a few minutes with a 100 number square (finding a number, moving finger to 10 less/20 more, 3 more, 23 more etc. etc.). It's stuck on the fridge and she does it while I wash up. I like things that we can do here and there that don't take up a lot of time but which cumulatively make progress.

BackforGood Wed 13-Jul-16 12:23:53

To work on fine motor and grip :
undo duplo or preferable lego bricks that have been pressed together
get small items (buttons, paper clips etc) out of play dough
play dough generally
Use clothes pegs - can hang things on a line / string but can also put on and off cards or paper plates
Play games that have tweezers (like 'Operation' or 'Fleas from the dog')
Use ordinary kitchen tongs or tweezers from nail set or sugar cube tongs to pick things up and move on to a different place
Any game that involes picking up a card off the floor or a table - so lotto games, pairs, snap, or other card games, any box game that has cards you pick up and turn over
Fill a spray bottle with water and go round the garden 'watering' the plants (you need to be able to do that action to give you any hope of using scissors)
If using scissors, use the ones you can get 3 fingers into the grip, rather than the ones that look symmetrical
Get some sponge balls (or can use those washing up sponges or small childrens bath sponges) and have water fights - it's the squeezing that is good for fingers)
Fill an empty washing up liquid bottle with water and get them to 'write' letter or shapes on the patio / pavement by holding the bottle at arms length and squeezing whilst forming a circle / triangle / number / letter of their name

Co-ordination (for writing for example) is also determined by other things..... Encourage
swinging on monkey bars
anything that involves big arm actions - so cleaning a blackboard, or give them a painters big paintbrush and a bucket of water and get them to paint a fence or the wall of your house with the water
or stick some lining paper up (or a flattened big box) and get them to paint that

Rhaegal Wed 13-Jul-16 13:45:41

Speed up in conjunction with a teacher very focused on handwriting has meant going from start of the year it being an issue still (though had improvements every year and done a lot of support at home fun activities and write from the start gone all way through) to it being considered fine.

Haven't found it the easiest program to do at home - lots of stuff to buy for it - but the exercises do seem to have helped.

Write from the start might be better for a younger child - we did that first and did see improvements. Also done a lot of fun activities to help with co-ordination which has probably also improved with age anyway. Plus he started keeping a diary so he's writing every day at home on top of everything else which must help.

Most help we've given has been little and often - which over time is surprisingly effective.

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