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Such a hard slog with 5 year old!

(18 Posts)
Cherubneddy1 Mon 17-Apr-17 11:30:11

DD is 5 (Year 1.) She has always struggled with school work, so reading, writing, simple sums, etc. Shows no interest whatsoever. I know she is way behind Year 1 ( although she is summer born so not 6 until she finishes Year1.)

She has made progress this year in reading (has gone up by 3 or 4 book bands since the start of Year 1, but according to her teacher, isn't where she should be for her age. She struggles with simple maths, wouldn't know how to add 2 and 2, even though we have spent forever days teaching her using blocks/fingers etc. We haven't even taught 4 yr old DS and he can add things up in his head.

We have discussed with her teacher how she may be dyslexic, and they are going to do some simple screening with her.

My frustration though, is not that she struggles, it's that she doesn't seem to try! It's such a battle to get her to sit down to look at a book or any homework. When she does, she's just silly, messing around, laughing etc. We've tried to hook her interest through buying books about bloody Disney Princesses, etc, but she doesn't want to know. We try to bring simple sums and reading into shopping, being out and about, baking, etc. No joy. She's very physically active ( and naturally good at sports) and just wants to be running, climbing, cycling, swimming etc.

How can I deal with her lack of interest and my frustration?

Mary21 Mon 17-Apr-17 15:43:36

Maybe completely back off for a few months at home so it's not a battleground at home whilst getting the school and SENCO to pursue whether there is any problems.
Does she have or did she have any developmental delays. Do you have a family history of Spld?
It maybe she is just not ready and everything will suddenly click into place. If she is very active maybe this is what her brain needs at the moment

mrz Mon 17-Apr-17 16:00:14

She's not interested because she's finding it a struggle so acts the fool to avoid it ...a vicious circle.

You need an honest conversation with the school identifying what she can do not what she can't and work out a plan how they and you can build on this.
What books is she reading in school? Does she understand what she has read? Has she got an effective strategy to read new/unfamiliar words?
Does she understand numbers? Does she understand more and less? Can she accurately count objects to ....? Can she read numbers and does she know the value of the digits in a two digit number?
Personally I'd save the Disney books for you to read to her at bedtime as they are probably too difficult for her.

FixItUpChappie Mon 17-Apr-17 16:11:57

I get you, my son is in yr 1 (6yrs) and seems behind his classmates. He has so much trouble focusing, sitting still, hard to learn when your just in your own head all the time. We have considered holding him back - we are just not sure he's ready.

I've been frustrated at times I'm ashamed to say it, because I KNOW that at this age the number one most important thing is fostering a love of learning and making it a grumpy slog is not helpful. So I try to step back, make it fun, little rewards for trying, keep practice to small snippets etc.

Cherubneddy1 Mon 17-Apr-17 17:04:02

Thank you so much for your replies.

Mrz, that's so helpful, thank you. I will speak with the school about what she's good at.

She can count to 100+, definitely knows what is more or less, can count backwards from 20, can count in 2's.
She's currently reading Oxford Reading Tree dark blue books. ( been through pink, red, yellow). Yes, she's good at sounding out familiar words phonetically, and also cues from pictures, etc.

No developmental problems. Generally she seems bright, articulate and she is very good socially, according to teachers. Everyone assumes she's doing really well at school because of how she presents.

Cherubneddy1 Mon 17-Apr-17 17:05:39

Also meant to say, her comprehension is really good, she really understands what she reads as we talk about it afterwards. No problems there.

mrz Mon 17-Apr-17 18:00:48

"and also cues from pictures, etc." This rings loud alarm bells as a Y1 teacher. Has she been taught to use picture clues? Are the books fully decodable for her level of phonics or do they contain words she has to guess from pictures?

irvineoneohone Mon 17-Apr-17 18:14:03

She doesn't sound so behind, especially for late summer born. She sound quite bright to me, tbh.
But I just wondered, if she can count in 2's, why can't she do 2 + 2?

LiveLifeWithPassion Mon 17-Apr-17 18:18:50

How about some YouTube videos on simple addition and counting songs? There's loads on there and some simple cartoons or songs may seem like she's not doing any work.

CrazedZombie Mon 17-Apr-17 18:35:54

Have you taken her to an opticians to get her eyes tested? Has she had her hearing tested recently?

mrz Mon 17-Apr-17 18:38:35

", if she can count in 2's, why can't she do 2 + 2?" It's making the association ...lots of children can recite (count) but don't make the link with actual numbers

catkind Mon 17-Apr-17 18:38:39

Normally I'd want to say just drop doing schoolwork at home, but sounds like for your DD the boost from actually being able to do it could be worth more than the rest.

Could you schedule doing a little schoolwork in short blocks and just before something she wants to do? So "5 minutes concentrating on maths then we can go and play football/bike in the park/swimming". Then messing around is just delaying what she wants to do.

Reading she is by no means behind the year 1 class I volunteer in. They also have a "picture clues" thing going on unfortunately, so I guess they're probably not where they could/should be.

With maths, how solid is her link between counting as in reciting numbers and counting things? For example you say she can count in 2s, but it sounds like that is just reciting by rote if she can't actually add 2 to something? You say you taught her to add with blocks/fingers, did she get the hang of it then later forget, or what went wrong?

Justalittlebitfurther Mon 17-Apr-17 18:40:49

In the U.K. our children are some of the youngest to have formal education internationally. If you keep really pushing the issue you are likely to make her very unhappy. Let her play and raise your concerns if she still is 'behind' in the middle of year 2.

She's so little still, you are going to steal the joy of learning if you keep forcing her to 'try'.

Justalittlebitfurther Mon 17-Apr-17 18:42:29

And I mean that in the kindest possible way, as I have one very academic daughter and one who is not as interested. But she had many different gifts so I focus on those smile

Cherubneddy1 Mon 17-Apr-17 20:33:26

Thanks all.

Mrz, from nursery, we've always been told to use a combination of phonics but also looking for cues from pictures. I ordered a set of ladybird " little readers" but as they clearly worked on recognising patterns in the story rather than phonics I wasn't sure I should use them. So I asked the teacher who said it was fine, they need to utilise various different approaches to reading😳. Which I was worried would be confusing.

And yes, she has definitely learned by rote, 2,4,6,8 etc rather than realising 2 + 2 = 4. She was at a different school for reception, but by the end of reception she was easily doing simple maths such as above, and had even stopped using the blocks. However, when she started at her new school she had completely 'forgotten' how to do it and has struggled ever since. To be fair though, we have been concentrating on her reading this year at home, and not so much maths.

I do agree with a PP that she is only little though, I must remember that. 😊

irvineoneohone Mon 17-Apr-17 20:50:18

TBH, you don't have to concentrate on doing maths, just include it in everyday life. Give her 2 candies. Ask her if you give her 2 more, how many does she have? etc.
Count the stairs when going up or down. Count the number of the cars on the way. How many are white, how many are other colours, how many in total, etc.
She does sound confused, rather than behind. Maybe exposed to different methods at different school when basics aren't secure caused this?
She will get there, I am sure, she sounds capable and bright.

I am not sure about leaving it until mid yr2. It maybe too late to catch up by then.
People say other countries don't start education until later, it's not totally true. At least in my country, they do basic numeracy and literacy in kindergarten. So by the time they start school, they are ready for proper formal education.

Good luck anyway, I would listen to mrz's suggestion if I were you.

Andcake Mon 17-Apr-17 20:51:14

The change in school thing is interesting...has she been positive about the crane...my dc definately went backwards for a bit when we moved

mrz Mon 17-Apr-17 20:51:32

If she's "learnt" to guess from pictures and this is being reinforced with books containing words she's unable to decode independently I'm not surprised she's losing interest.

If she could do the maths at her previous school something's changed to cause her current difficulties. Does her school expect her to complete the calculations without using counters/blocks or other practical equipment?

Yes she's one of the younger children in Y1 but these are all things that are expected in reception and the school should be offering support to help her catch up.

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