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Can anyone help me to help ds READ THE QUESTION!!

(22 Posts)
verygreenlawn Sat 18-Jul-09 17:14:57

Ds1 is 6 and has just finished year 1. So far so good, he's bright and interested and really enjoys school and learning.

There's just one thing I've noticed - and I'm sure he's not the only 6 year old who finds this hard - it's the little matter of actually reading the question! We've been asked by school to get the dcs to finish the worksheets they were working on at the end of term. An example:

Q: Using four coins (pictured) make up the sum of £2.50.

Ds uses a £2 and a 50p coin. So I'll say to him, read the question and check how many coins you were meant to use - at which point he'll say "oh yes I was meant to use four" .... and will use four. No problem adding together £2 + 20p + 20p + 10p, he just didn't read it properly.

Apart from reminding him constantly, is there any way of reinforcing this? I just worry that it's boring for him and me to keep saying it the whole time. Is it something they just grow out of [add hopeful emoticon ....]. Any advice? Thanks.

BeastQuest Sat 18-Jul-09 17:15:36

reminding him constantly

cornsillk Sat 18-Jul-09 17:17:12

Buy him some highlighters and help him to highlight the important parts of the question.

ilovetochat Sat 18-Jul-09 17:22:12

i remember a teacher teaching us this very important lesson never to be forgotten but we were older than 6.
he gave us a worksheet with tons of questions on and told us to read it first.
i worked my way slowly through the questions, seeing others put their pencils down as they had finished very quickly, i was worried as i was struggling, till i got to question 20 which said, to pass this worksheet you only need to do questions 10 and 19.
i always read the sheet first after that grin
can you do a 6 year old version of this?

verygreenlawn Sat 18-Jul-09 17:22:43

Thank you, BeastQuest am loving the name .... highlighters would definitely work I think, great idea. Trouble is I admit I'm not a hugely patient person and so I tend to get sick of the sound of my own voice really quickly. Ah maybe that's it - he's inherited my lack of patience?!

verygreenlawn Sat 18-Jul-09 17:24:07

ilovetochat, I remember being told a similar story by my mum, in her case it was please read to the end of the paper, and the last sentence was asking them to draw a picture!

BeastQuest Sat 18-Jul-09 17:24:11

I had it with ds and I know 'tis also my issue, I think that they can have a laugh adn say " oh well thats my real weakness!" is as forewarned as they can get tbh.

verygreenlawn Sat 18-Jul-09 17:30:00

cornsilk, ds is sitting there excitedly clasping a green highlighter pen .... this could be interesting ....

cornsillk Sat 18-Jul-09 18:45:12

typed groin there - good job I read before posting!

zeke Sat 18-Jul-09 19:02:18

I have had some very bright Yr 12 students who still struggle with this at times! One girl in particular got a D in her mock (went on to score perfect marks/95% + in the real exams!) simply because of incorrectly reading questions!

I agree - get them to use a highlighter or underline parts of the question as they read it. It really seems to help train the brain!

verygreenlawn Sat 18-Jul-09 23:55:21

Thanks all, just got in from a night out - we'll try again next week with some of the work he's meant to look at and give the highlighter a go. I think he'll respond to some colour!

blinder Sun 19-Jul-09 00:01:47

my DS has just completed his Year 7 exams.

I am afraid to say he frequently didn't read the question either blush, and neither did many of his friends grin.

snorkle Sun 19-Jul-09 00:08:16

university lecturer friend of mine was telling me just last week that he constantly has to remind his students to:
"answer the question on the paper, not the one you think/wish was there or the similar one you remember from the practice paper"

So, don't expect an immediate cure - plenty of 19/20 yos still have the same issues.

verygreenlawn Sun 19-Jul-09 00:11:26

Ah thanks blinder, I was nurturing this tiny hope that everyone would say "oh of COURSE they all grow out of that ...." - but I think not. DH has just told me "don't worry I was rubbish at that too, not sure I'm even that good at it now" (not quite the vote of confidence I was looking for considering he's 40-something ...).

verygreenlawn Sun 19-Jul-09 00:12:59

Yes! Exactly - not the one you think/hope was there. Ds is so excited sometimes by "knowing" the answer he gets stuck in without there necessarily being a match between question and answer.

blinder Sun 19-Jul-09 00:13:36

This may be incredibly sexist, but I wonder if girls 'get it' better than boys?

verygreenlawn Sun 19-Jul-09 00:14:52

... or as I remember a lecturer saying to me once, that's a fabulous answer - but not to the question I actually asked.

Oh dear I'm sensing a pattern here ... me and DH have passed on some kind of don't read the question gene to our poor dcs ...

verygreenlawn Sun 19-Jul-09 00:15:40

I've wondered that too blinder, I mean the whole attention to detail thing - maybe boys are a bit more "big picture"?

blinder Sun 19-Jul-09 00:17:58

and a bit more 'enthusiastic' wink like a bull at a gate very clever boy.

verygreenlawn Sun 19-Jul-09 00:20:20

Yep, you may be right. With three boys I've no girls to compare them too, so if the theory is right we may be in for a lot of this in the years to come .....

lazymumofteenagesons Sun 19-Jul-09 16:25:12

I think it is a bit of a boy thing.

DH always suffered from this and 2 sons who are teenagers plough into the question without reading it properly.

I think it is connected to the male problem of not reading instructions before using something, or never adking for directions.

verygreenlawn Sun 19-Jul-09 19:34:37

Apologies for my spelling last night - I may have had a drink or two. blushI truly wonder if it is a boy thing, I don't think it's sexist to say that they may have a tendency to read things a certain way?

Just an update, ds1 has been wielding the green highlighter pen with vigour today. I told him it was really important job and have given him the title of Highlighter Boy!

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