Nov 13, 2009

I think I need a Little Help

Musings of A Beautiful Mess
The children were out of school almost all week due to conferences, it's been a crazy, rainy, few days. Nae didn't need us to talk to her teachers, she's doing great and none of her teachers have any concerns with her or her work. Zilla on the other hand *sigh* he is STILL struggling. He reads really well when someone is there with him MAKING him stay focused, independent reading, not so much. He is having a really hard time staying focused in school. Not just in reading, but in everything. His teacher says he tends to space off, he does the same at home. I told his teacher, we're willing to do anything to get him over this hurdle. She did give me some tips and I think we will have a meeting with the literacy program at his school, but in the mean time, what do I do?! He doesn't get frustrated to the point that he'll check out and stop reading or give up, but I'm afraid that's coming. He really wants to learn and enjoys school, I'd like to keep it that way. He loves books and always has loved books. It's just hard to keep him focused. I don't know if it's because he's a "younger 6" or it's just him. I see why boys tend to start kindergarten later, now. There's nothing I can do about starting him at 5, rather then 6 and I doubt we'll (teacher included) hold him back this year, so that's good. His teacher feels pretty confident that if we can get him over this hurdle, he'll picks things up a lot faster. She feels that he'll be at reading level by then end of the year. Right now he is at a 4, almost a 5 and should be at a 5. He's really close, so I know we're making progress. He needs to be at a 14 by the end of the year and that goal just seems so far off. He does have a lot going for him, so it wasn't ALL bad news yesterday.

He is a great student, despite driving his teacher crazy with his spacing off, so she says. Does ANYONE have any tips, ideas, advice, ANYTHING to give me? I'm willing to try anything, well almost. We're going to give him more chores at home in the hopes that he'll learn to stay focused on something and get it done. It may be a long shot, but it's worth a try. I want him to do well in school, obviously, but I really want him to have confidence in his reading and writing. It seems that this has been a struggle since day one and every time I think we have a handle on it, I find out we don't. I honestly have no idea what the hell I'm doing here. I'm really trying to help him, but I don't think I'm doing it right. I don't have any tools to help him because I've never experienced this. So I'm turning to all of you. Help please! Thank you!

8 friends have commented:

The Muser (aka Beautiful Mama) on November 13, 2009 at 11:37 AM said... experience in this area, but I do know of a parent who helped his child to read by letting her choose a new and exciting location to do her homework in each time--in a tree, under the covers, etc. That satisfied her need for excitement and variety so she could focus on her work. Perhaps something similar would work?

Meredith on November 13, 2009 at 11:42 AM said...

Have you or the school had him tested for learning style/learning disabilities (I hate that term as usually the diagnosis simply means that something about the learning atmosphere needs to be changed)? My friends that have been part of educational programs say that often some of the problem is a disparity between teaching style and learning style. From the way you describe your son, it sounds like he might be a tactile/kinesthetic learner:

My name is Andy. on November 13, 2009 at 1:32 PM said...

Liam struggles with staying focused because he's always on the go. so we got him a yoga cusion!(cause I was too cheap to buy the real theraputic one since I didn't know if it would work).

But it has helped him! when he sits on it it throws him off balance so he has to use his core muscles to sit up and the bumps give him some sensory stim so that he can focus on the task and not fidget.

this is the link to the therapeutic one but we got ours at Canadian tire in the yoga section (ours is a round one not a wedge)

Like you we are willing to try anything!

Good luck

Sunny on November 13, 2009 at 1:50 PM said...

I'm sorry for the frustration. :( It's tough to see our kiddos struggle. You've gotten some good advice already! I love the idea of designing a special place at home for him to read, one without distractions. He can help design it himself so it's personal... a little reading nook.

Good luck!

Jaymee on November 13, 2009 at 9:29 PM said...

i had the exact same problem when i was young. the thing that helped me the most was setting an egg timer. it started in small increments, 5 minutes, and moved up from there each week. also, make sure that what he is reading is interesting to him.

Kristin on November 13, 2009 at 10:17 PM said...

My kids would space out because of boredom which is a different issue so I don't have any great advice. Just wanted to say good luck.

Phoebe on November 15, 2009 at 10:57 AM said...

How old is Zilla? I never did well in school until I got to middle school. My stepson is doing great in high school, and he never got stellar grades in elementary school.

Has he been tested for ADD? Both my stepsons have it, but not as bad as DH!! DH found out he was ADD when he had his sons tested. DH read to his sons every night. I think this helps them get into reading.

For interesting reading, I loved the whole Captain Underpants series. Total potty humor, but that's what kids love! What's my age again?

Gerardine Baugh on December 3, 2009 at 7:04 PM said...

Comic books! Take him to a comic store or you go alone, talk to the guy running the place and he/ she will help you pick out some comics for your child’s age group. Don’t over look comic’s they make reading fun.

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