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Old 02-07-2012, 08:41 PM   #1
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HOW to do lessons?

DS is struggling in preschool. His teacher wants us to "work on" the stuff they are doing in school. OK - no problem.

I got a Horizons K Workbook and tried to do some of the activities with DS tonight. They are on "T" so we turned to the "T" lesson. I tried to show him what to do in the activities but he didn't listen. And when he did try to do the activities, he did the wrong. I tried to gently correct him but it was still a negative response from me which negates a negative response from him. He cried. Then I cried...its only our first day. Not good.

When you start a lesson - how do you do it? Should I get a white board, stand up while he's sitting down and do all the activities as a "class"?

If I can get this to click, I'd like to try a homeschool coop next year for kindergarten.

I should add we suspect DS has ADD and have an appointment to get an expert opinion. It is ovious he does not focus well and has trouble concentrating so his lessons will have to be very slow and repetative (i think).

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Old 02-07-2012, 08:50 PM   #2
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

Don't fret. Your son is in preschool. If he's doing preschool outside of the home, and then coming home and doing more, he is likely uninterested and I feel is causing more stress than needed. When my son was "preschool" age, he wanted to do "school work" some days, but not others.

We did most learning through play.

Now that my son is in Kindergarten, he's way ahead. Mind you, he's very good at workbook based curriculum and no I don't do all the work with him, much of it he knows how to do and he can come to me with questions. Others of it, like writing or social studies, I work with him!

Just tell the teacher that he will learn with time. It could change over night, let him be little and play. Maybe sing the ABC's or point to letters in words on signs and spell the words. He'll catch on faster than you know it!!!
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:13 PM   #3
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

Most preschoolers aren't interested in doing "lessons" Preschoolers usually learn through playing. So unless he wants to do "lessons" then I wouldn't push it. My 4 yr old DD wants to do school, but it's completely on her own terms and when she starts walking away and tells me she is done then we stop. What other factors make you think he could be ADD? Preschool seems like awfully young for that kind of diagnosis...
Slow and repetitious sounds awfully boring (unless he likes that)...why not hands on?
IDK mama...he sounds like a pretty normal preschooler...
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:56 PM   #4
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

Most likely he needs a different way to do things, or he just isn't ready to learn it. My oldest is quite hands-on. She HATES workbooks and things that are repetitive like that.

As for him not being ready, keep in mind that it has nothing to do with intelligence or anything like that. Kids are ready to learn things at different times, and when they are ready, things go quick.

Unless his ADD is severe, preschool age is too early to accurately diagnose. I would be very leary of a doctor saying he has it. Most likely, he just simply isn't interested, or he needs things presented in another way.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:36 AM   #5
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

I agree with everyone else. We do a lot of hands on activities, learning through play, learning online - maybe starfall? My kids are enjoying reading eggs too right now. But I take a pretty relaxed approach. They'll grasp it when they're ready and not a moment before so there is NO point IMO to pushing so I don't.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:49 AM   #6
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

if your pre-ker is crying over doing a workbook page on the letter T then something is wrong. Not with him but with the way he is being presented with that information. I personally do not agree with preschools who push academics on children. At this age learning needs to fun. Children need to spend time in nature and outside learning about sand and water and bugs. They need time in the kitchen learning about simple kitchen science (baking and stirring). They need to be active and use their bodies to play and sing and move. As far as letters and math subjects, they need to learn them in an environment of play. Reading and talking about stories, playing games and counting and sorting toys. Learning to write the letters needs to be presented in a sensory rich environment. Instead of worksheets, play in a container of sand, flour, rice, use play doh, paint, etc to "draw" in and with---see if he can form a letter in those mediums.

Look at Handwriting Without Tears (super awesome gentle book for learning letter formation) and use sandpaper letters and the wooden letter forms that Handwriting Without tears uses. Check into some Montessori materials/ideas for math. Play Starfall or watch Letter Factory. Read some books by David Elkind.

But don't pressure or force because at this age there is a wide (several years) window for mastering literacy skills.

As far as ADD---all preschoolers are ADD imo---they aren't set up to focus for long on academics. Check into the book Out Of Sync Child Has Fun for some great ideas that will help any child.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:20 AM   #7
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

He is struggling with writing his name and letter formation. I guess I assumed the only way to learn that was workbook style repetition. What would be a good example of hands on learning for that? I'm totally interested!

I've also thought perhaps he isnt "ready" but dont know what to do about it. We really hadn't considered homeschooling full time and I don't want him to be left behind at school.

He is in preschool 3 days a week for 4 hours at a time. They have a kindergarten program that he is enrolled in to start in the fall. He turned 5 a few weeks ago.

He knows all the letters and can recognize them, no problem. he can evern text if we tell him how to spell the words. Its the writing he can't do. Its really hard for him.

His teacher also said to work on his social skills, keeping up with his belongings and following directions. Hes OK socially in small groups - doesnt like large ones.

I know this may sound bad but I REALLY don't want to keep him out of school another year. He is a really big kid and i'm afraid if he doesnt start school now he will be made fun of a LOT. He's 70 lbs and atleast 6 inches taller than 95% of this class.

His school (its a big curch) also has a homeschool COOP that we are considering if he needs a little more special attention.

anyway, thanks for all the advise. Any specific hands-on activities that you think would help him???
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:39 AM   #8
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

It sounds like he isn't ready to write letters yet. Some kids just aren't and trying to force it isn't going to improve things for him or for you. He knows his letters, that is great, the writing will come. He does not sound the least bit behind.

In K and 1st grade many children are still struggling with writing including writing letters backwards, capitalizing letters that shouldn't be capitalized ect. As for keeping up with their own possessions, most teenagers still have trouble with that (ask my SIL about my 14yr old niece some time LOL). He sounds like he is doing great and it is the school that has the problem.

More hands on ways to teach letters include allowing him to paint the letters with a large brush on paper. Writing them with sidewalk chalk on your driveway, sidewalk, back porch ect. Smearing shaving cream all over a table and drawing them with your finger in the foam (bonus points because this feels messy but cleans up easy, it is also super tactile). Painting them with finger paints, big and little. I also recommend the game Bananagrams or one of the similar fruit shaped letter games (I believe it comes in an apple and perhaps a pear) to help him really get friendly with letters.

Is there a concern other than letters or is it just that he isn't writing yet? Some kids just don't like social groups and there isn't much to be done about it, but at his age it could just be a developmental thing. You could always try an extra curricular activity (perhaps a sport or something else he is interested in) to get him around a different group of kids and see if it is just this group he isn't interacting well with. I would not be concerned about him being picked on because he is bigger than the other kids, typically it is the smaller kids that are targeted and "red shirting" is extremely common so you may find that there are older and therefore larger kids in class with him. Or you always have the option of the homeschool co-op.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:46 AM   #9
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

Horizons is a tough program....i definately would not start it in preK.....for letter formation he could write using chaulk outside on the sidewalk.....he could use paint with a brush, or finger paint with his fingers.....put shaving cream on a cookie sheet and let him make shapes/letters with his fingers in it....you could get a zip lock bag and put some hair gel in it, zip it up, then let him practice writing some letters by squishing the gel....just some ideas
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:33 AM   #10
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Re: HOW to do lessons?

Put rice on a cookie sheet and let him use his finger to "write" in the rice.
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