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4yo resistant to learning
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Izzymay · 03/08/2022 11:35

Hi fellow mums/mums to be

I’m looking for parenting advice on what to do about a 4 year old (almost 5) who is very resistant to learning. I’m trying to teach her how to read, and she’s doing ok, but it’s really hard getting her to focus for 3-5 minutes. She either zones out, or zones in so much that she asks numerous random questions.

she also tries to get my attention by pretending not to know things. I often have to level with her and say something like ‘look mummy is really tired today, can you just stop this and read it, she will read the page without an issue.

The Oxford reading books for her age group are very shorty. It could take us 3-5min to read the book but her lack of concentration means it can take 15-20minutes. If I were to follow her guide and stop when she stops showing interest, we would not get past the title. She has zero interest in learning anything.

Any advice on how to deal with this would be much appreciated.

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magaluf1999 · 03/08/2022 11:48

What is the background? Is there a reason you are putting yourself through this?

If its on the pre text of getting her ahead for starting school I honestly wouldn't bother. Id leave it to the professionals. There is no need. The school will teach them really effectively usually. And have no expectations. There is no benefit to have being taught the basics via a different methods. Perhaps DC isnt ready?

Or is Dc already at school and struggling?

Or are you/planning to home school?

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LunaAndHerMoonDragons · 03/08/2022 11:48

I'd take a step back and try a different learn to read strategy. My son's teaches gave us a few options to try, the one that worked was using my finger to point as you read the words in the sentence then he'd repeat the sentence. Most children start to read at school here post 5 years of age. She may simply need more time to develop the skills necessary like being able to concentrate and stay focused on the task. My DC have all had speech therapy from the time they were around 4/4.5 and I found they all concentrated for a lot longer from around 5.5 years old.

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grey12 · 03/08/2022 11:51

DD1 is the same..... regarding books tbh we didn't have lots of issues because she loves books anyways. She didn't like the books from school at first and did the same. But, after a year, she got more confident with reading (she had some speech delay and took a little longer to read) she started getting more excited with it.

Maths is a little trickier......

My best advice, (do you homeschool?) is to get your child to like things. Not focusing on doing well at academic stuff. I mean, enjoying reading, having fun with numbers (counting with MandMs, games.... phone apps!! Wtv). The academic part will come in time. They're young! They need to play and be kids! But if they start hating school... game over! that feeling will stay with them for the rest of their lives (experience with MIL)

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grey12 · 03/08/2022 11:53

Btw DD1 is an august baby and struggled with reading during reception and clicked half way through year 1

There are character letters and numbers books. So whatever they prefer. I got some Peppa pig books for DD2

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Thesearmsofmine · 03/08/2022 11:55

It sounds like she either isn’t ready or the way you are choosing to do it isn’t of any interest. Are you planning on home educating? Or is she going to school?

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Jackiebrambles · 03/08/2022 11:59

I'd stop and leave it. You want to foster a love of reading not make it an issue between the two of you!

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swedex · 03/08/2022 12:08

Go to the library and let her choose books she' likes the look of and every evening read to her. Foster a love of books and let her develop at her own pace. She doesn't need to learn to read at 4, once she starts school they will teach her to read. Spend time with her enjoying books not trying to make her read which clearly she doesn't enjoy.

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Xoxoxoxoxoxox · 03/08/2022 12:11

My son struggled to learn and at seven it was obvious that he was behind.
He was reluctant to learn and so I just had to make more of a game of it, write new words and stick them up around the house, we had a game where I would read one sentence and he would read three words, it was difficult as he had a low attention span and thought he wasn't very good at it.
Eventually we came across something that he enjoyed reading (for him it was Captain Underpants) and he wanted to read and he caught up and did really well academically after that.

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Treabrea · 03/08/2022 12:44

Does it matter? Either she's going into year 1 in which case it's her summer holiday so let her chill/read to her/play or she's going into reception and school is for learning so just go and have some fun instead.

Sounds like neither of you are enjoying it so do something you do enjoy instead!

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BertieBotts · 03/08/2022 12:47

She sounds completely normal. Children of this age don't want to be hothoused. Actually probably no child wants to be hothoused.

Let the school get on with reading or if you're home educating, step back and give it a break. She'll get there when she's ready.

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HOTHotPeppers · 03/08/2022 12:49

My DS is the same at 5. I have books dotted around and if he chooses to have a try then fine bit it's the summer holidays. We play Orchard word games and use reading eggs on my phone which he does enjoy and will do.

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Staynow · 03/08/2022 12:55

Why don't you try taking it turns reading a page. Read it slowly while running your finger under the words and really over emphasise the words or use a silly voice if she'll find that fun. If she's asking numerous random questions and they're related to the book then go with it is my advice. Or ask your own questions to make it more interesting - open ended questions to get her thinking about what might happen next for example. My son wasn't keen on reading at this age as lets face it the books are generally completely dull, he loved reading once he got into ks2 and was a free reader.

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Izzymay · 03/08/2022 15:27

Hi everyone thank you for all your advice.

She’s not home schooled, she’s enrolled at local primary school. But schools in our area are not very good, so parent participation is always required.

A lot of you mentioned she might be too young to learn. But she’s already learned a fair amount. I don’t feel like it’s an ability issue, because she will act as if she can’t read - then I will tell her ‘please don’t annoy mummy today I’m tired’ … then magically she will read fine. If it was a lack of ability to read, she wouldn’t be able to do it no matter how much I ‘level’ with her. So that’s what makes me think it’s an attitude/behaviour issue. I feel like she’s trying to get my attention by being difficult.

Ive tried lots of different ways to teach all same result. I’ve tried apps too - it over excites her.

Someone suggested going with the flow regarding her questions if it’s about the story. I’ve tried this too. And honestly it’s a lot, because she’s using the questions to distract from reading. So there’s no end to the questions. She will just keep generating new ones. One night I tried this we spent 8 minutes talking about Chip and Biffs shoes 😆

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Cornettoninja · 03/08/2022 16:09

You need to find something that grabs her attention. The beano worked absolute wonders for DD’s reading at about 5ish. It was the first thing she would actually pick up and read completely independently. It’s full of jokes, tricks and kids being a bit naughty - I can see the appeal! Going into year 2 and she still loves it.

Maybe take the summer to read to her a bit more than her reading to you, foster a love of the stories and information that books contain. You can still challenge her skills just out and about and get her trying to read signs and menus together.

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Thesearmsofmine · 03/08/2022 16:19

You are going to turn her off reading by making it into a chore. Sign up to the summer reading challenge at the library, get her to help read recipes while you bake together, or instructions while you craft. Stop pressuring her and link what should be enjoyable learning into something that mummy gets annoyed about.

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Hexahop · 03/08/2022 16:24

My advice as a Reception teacher is to leave her for a bit, if she can recognise her name and is mostly independent in her self care she’s ready!

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GreenManalishi · 03/08/2022 16:29

Why are you doing this to yourself and to her? It's absolutely unneccesary and the idea that a four year old is resistant to learning is nuts. Kids are sponges, they are built for learning. What you mean is that she won't perform for you, and I can't blame her!

it’s an attitude/behaviour issue. I feel like she’s trying to get my attention by being difficult.

This is probably what your DD is thinking 😂Stop flogging this dead horse and let her be 4, stop panicking, they'll all get where they're going eventually and you'll have the opposite effect by persisting with this. Read to her every night at bed time. Sit down and pick up a book and read yourself. She can't be what she can't see.

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Suedomin · 03/08/2022 16:30

She is very young and I think you can put her off reading by making it such a chore. Her behaviour sounds very normal for her age.
There is no need for her to learn to read yet. Just give her a love of books and stories . If you want to do anything okay games with her so she recognised letters and letter sounds and sound blening. The rest will come.

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MissMaple82 · 03/08/2022 16:31

I think your tacking the reading in the complete wrong way
Let her ask questions, let her mind wonder, that's what learning is abouts. Stop being so rigid with it, she'll start to hate reading

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Carrieonmywaywardsun · 03/08/2022 16:34

Don't tell her she's annoying you and research age appropriate methods of teaching. She's 4, not 14. Your focus should be unstructured lessons and play

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NCquickly · 03/08/2022 16:40

Crikey, she’s 4!! Most important thing you can do for her is foster a love of reading by reading to her. Let her choose books she enjoys, not ones you feel are appropriate. Do all the voices, chat about what’s in the story and pictures in a natural way. It’s fine to keep reading favourite books over and over, and picture books are still completely appropriate at this age. If she feels like having a go and she initiates this then give her praise for effort and stop pushing her. Let her see you reading and enjoying books. You really don’t need to do more at this age.

Reading should be enjoyable for you both. Please take the pressure off and focus on having fun.

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FatBettyintheCoop · 03/08/2022 16:44

then I will tell her ‘please don’t annoy mummy today I’m tired’ … then magically she will read fine.”

Sorry OP, but that sounds very passive aggressive to me and I don’t think that’s the way to encourage reading for fun, at all. At 4, she’s not sitting her Leaving Cert exam!

If she’s not interested, let her play with her other toys for a bit and as another poster mentioned, maybe try some comics such as Beano or other fun materials with writing.

My DS largely taught himself to read from playing computer games on his iPad at that age and I remember his Infants teacher telling me at pick-up one day that another teacher had watched him reading out posters on the school notice board to some other children in the infants class. It was a small village Primary school with children aged from 4 -13yrs.

We ran an after school homework club for a few of the boys in his class in Primary and within about 4 years, all the boys had caught up with their reading, even the dyslexic one who really struggled initially. He was a special favourite of mine as his parents had completely written him off as he hadn’t picked up reading or basic Maths skills as quickly as his older siblings. 🥰

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Sally872 · 03/08/2022 16:50

The early books are boring, they have to be so they are easy enough.

I would read books with a better story to her, put your finger along the words and ask her the wordS she might know. Show her you sounding out the bigger words, ask her questions about the story, what she thinks might happen based on the picture or the first couple of pages. Playing eye spy is a good way to practice phonics, use the sound rather than the letters though eg chair starts with ch not C

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OnlyFoolsnMothers · 03/08/2022 17:06

Stop sitting and trying to get her to read books, instead have her read things when out and about, signs etc- less pressure.

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Izzymay · 03/08/2022 19:36

@Cornettoninja and @Suedomin

I think trying to read things around us in everyday life is a good idea. I haven’t tried it before. Usually when we are out and about we play I spy, and spell out the things we spy. She is (on her own) trying to read signs etc so I think she might enjoy that.

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