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Had a teacher/parent meeting with ds (in reception) teacher.... got a couple of questions regarding how we can help him

(14 Posts)
jofeb04 Wed 22-Oct-08 16:00:22


Ds is 4 (5 in feb), and overall his teacher said he was a very polite boy, sensible and caring. His teacher said he loves reading through the books (picture books at present - Oxford Reading style), and she thinks he will be fine reading. He also loves any playing!

But, there are two concerns which she had and we want to help him out.

First thing is that he holds his pencil with three fingers and thumb, not the two fingers iyswim, so his control is not always good. But, at home he holds is probably. Also, when he was asked to do colouring he scribbles rather than colour. When I asked him, ds said he didn't like colouring and wants to go out to play. (Informed ds's teacher who said boys often don't like colouring).

Second thing is that he is easily distracted by other pupils when they are on the carpet. He then distracts other children. At home, he seems to concentrate quite well (for a 4year old anyway).

Are either of these a concern? How can we help him with colouring (he won't colour at home as he just doesn't enjoy it and would prefer to do craft things - very good with sissors etc).

Also, what about the distraction thing?

Any help appreciated

Tigerschick Wed 22-Oct-08 16:12:56

Hope these thoughts help ...

The pencil thing might be helped if you can get him a grip to slide onto his pencil. (The school may have these.) It's not only a matter of his writing being legible; the 'correct' way to hold a pencil puts the least amount of strain on your hand so that, when he is older and writing more, he is less likely to get a sore hand.

With the concentration issue, talk to him about it and see if there is a reason he becomes distracted. Maybe he can't see or hear properly, or maybe there is a particular child who he likes to talk to, or who deliberately distracts him. If not then try suggesting to him that he sits next to the teacher/TA and makes sure that he is always looking towards the front.

He's only been going to school for a few weeks so give him time to settle in smile

jofeb04 Wed 22-Oct-08 16:19:48

I thought the same as you (with only being in school for a few weeks).

His teacher said that if there is any distraction then ds notices it!

Going to look at your link, so hopefully they may help him. Could the colouring (and not liking it) be connected to the way ds holds the pencil?

Thanks, got some ideas now anyway!

MarsLady Wed 22-Oct-08 16:20:17

Hey Jo. Can you believe our wee ones have started school? lol

Personally, I wouldn't worry. He's only 4 and of course he'll be distracted by others and it's not that many children (or certainly not my boys) who are able to hold a pencil and colour well. DT1 (girl) can write her name and colour within lines. DT2 (boy) does a lovely version of scribble with the occasional stick man type drawing. If your boy doesn't enjoy the colour then go gently with it so that he doesn't develop an aversion. smile

<<thinks back nostalgically to the Feb '04 thread that vanished quicker than quick>>

jofeb04 Wed 22-Oct-08 16:22:56

Lol Mars, he seems so young to be in school!

His teacher did mention it was more of a boys thng to get distracted as well.

Ds also said that he scribbles really quick so he can go and play with the cars and trains

<<Don't think many dc were born in Feb 2004!>>

gladbag Wed 22-Oct-08 17:28:11

Another feb 04 mum here - with a another boy!

As a Reception teacher in a former life I have to say that I wouldn't be too concerned about either of those 'problems'. Without wanting to gender stereotype they are classic four year old boy traits.

Good advice already from Tigerschick and Mars. I would imagine as well that his class teacher will have a few tricks up her sleeve to help with pencil control and concentration, and infact both those issues would normally have an on-going focus for everyone in a Reception class. So I don't doubt that both will improve with time.

Carry on doing the crafty stuff at home, especially if he enjoys it. Often poor control is simply down to muscle and co-ordination development not being up to it yet, and any activities that help manipulation and finger strength will help (cutting, sticking, small construction stuff like lego, plasticine etc)... HTH

jofeb04 Wed 22-Oct-08 18:20:30


Thanks for the advce. It's good to know that I shouldn't be too concerned.

HowlingattheFullMOONMother Wed 22-Oct-08 18:28:44

I've just been to my Ds, also 4, first parents meeting.

He's settling in well, like yours, and she has asked me to help with the 'pencil control' at home. She told me just to draw different lines, squiggles, letters and simple pictures on paper in a light bright felt tip (yellow/orange) and get him to 'go over' them in pencil.

We've already had a go tonight and he really enjoyed it.

Hope that helpssmile

Peachy Wed 22-Oct-08 18:30:05

ELC do the pencil grip things; ds2 had them for a while, he was exactly like your LO at 4.

I wouldn't worry either about colourng- how often do you colour things? I don't, not often anyway.

If he is being distracted the teacher needs to include that in her lesson planning- maybe its the sessions are too long (DS3's teacher ahs a not over 5 minutes without a shake down rule), or he needs occupying sometimes- even if its with a dustpan in the corner clrearing up.

Almost guaranteed he will grow out of it; does sound pretty normal. Ad I KNOW about boys wink

jofeb04 Wed 22-Oct-08 18:48:36

Thanks Peachy and Fullmoon (didn't want to call you Howling!).

Ds's teacher said that they only concentrate for 20minutes at a time (only!).

Good to know he is normal

DontKillMeBaby Wed 22-Oct-08 21:23:32

20 minutes' concentration is fab!

I held a pen/pencil like that as a child, and still do. My dad tore his hair out trying to get me to hold it properly, but it never worked, and I can write perfectly well. I think Tigerschick is right however, it is an uncomfortable way to write, I suffer after exams for instance, but it's not the end of the world.

chatee Thu 23-Oct-08 10:27:30

hiya jofeb04 and marsy,
another feb 04 mum of a boy here, and funny enough we have just had parents evening too, with pretty similar results
i'm just so glad ds has his teacher as she is lovely and supportive and i feel that parenting this boy through school is going to be so different to that of dd

MarsLady Thu 23-Oct-08 18:44:24

hey all!

Well I went to the DTs' parents evening today.

DT1(girl) Very happy esp now she's stopped lying on the carpet bemoaning her fate lol!

DT2 (boy) Very happy esp when looking at, talking about, playing with numbers and letters. Kind of intense but a boy who lights up your day (awwwww........)

For both... concentration... well let's just say its making a late arrival in their school world! grin

jofeb04 Thu 23-Oct-08 20:24:17

Lol Chatee and Mars,

Seems like it is a common thing then for 4 year old boys!

At least they enjoy it!

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