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Old 12-15-2007, 02:39 PM   #1
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Unhappy Help, my kids are below average in language/vocab skills

I'm so upset. Both my kid's teachers are talking about holding them back because they cannot recognize/write/sound out the full alphabet (connor) or some of it (riley) and neither can write their name without help. Connor's in kindergarten and Riley's in preschool. The teachers are siting their November birthdays as the reason but I feel like I need to try some home-work to give them a fighting chance. Ideas? I'm getting some flashcards tonight and my bff suggested a leapfrog movie on the letters and sounding them out but I'm clueless otherwise.

Riley is also having issues with concentration when he's at circle time. *sigh*

HELP! I don't want my babies to be held back just b/c of their late b-days! Am I fighting a losing battle here? Advice?

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Old 12-15-2007, 03:23 PM   #2
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Re: Help, my kids are below average in language/vocab skills

Well, remember that your kids wouldn't be held back because of when their birthdays are, but how they're performing. I wouldn't say that they are "below average" at all. Some kids just develop at different rates. My own twins were born in July of 2002, and we decided to keep them in a young 5's program rather than enroll them in kindergarten--so that they have another year to mature.

Of course, it's never going to hurt to sit with your kids and give them some extra practice. But I personally think that if your child(ren) is struggling now, what about next year, and the years after that? Will they always struggle? That's the bigger question. Easier to "hold them back" now, than wait until they're discouraged with school, and then you have two battles to wage: one to get them interested in school, and another to get them caught up.

Just my 2 cents. It's easier to put a positive spin on it now, than later.....Ultimately, it's your decision, and you know your child.
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:27 PM   #3
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Re: Help, my kids are below average in language/vocab skills

It's only my opinion but...I would urge you to consider holding them back; and to let go of it being a 'negative' thing. Lots of kids repeat kindergarten (or do any extra year of preschool). Their peers don't really notice at this age, if that's a concern. It sounds like your lo's just might need more time before they're ready for 1st grade/kindergarten.
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:35 PM   #4
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Re: Help, my kids are below average in language/vocab skills

I think they may be using their birthdays as an excuse. That seems normal for their age to me. I have a 4 year old (5 in Feb.) who only knows a few letters and can only write the first letter of his name right now. His preschool teachers said it's perfectly normal for his age and most kids end up at about the level around the second grade. None of my kids knew all of the letters and the sounds by the middle of Kindergarten, but they could write their name by then. Just practice with both of them at home as much as you can and as much as they'll let you. Other than the things you already have planned, I would suggest work sheets if they like them. You can either get workbooks from the store or print them off the internet. Do a search for free preschool/kindergarten worksheets and/or printouts. I came up with tons of options when I did that. I think that with your help at home there should be plenty of time to get them caught up enough by the end of the year and you can do more over the summer. Oh and about the circle time concentration....what the heck? It should be fun enough in preschool to keep their attention for circle time. Good grief!!!
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Old 12-15-2007, 03:46 PM   #5
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Re: Help, my kids are below average in language/vocab skills

*sigh* thanks mammas. I don't want them to struggle through school, that's for sure. I WILL hold them back if their teachers think it's necessary still at the last semester. I should have clarified the b-days, what I and the teachers meant by that is that they are a good 6+mos younger than the majority of their classmates and as Connor's teacher put it, the school is "very academically agressive" for such young kids. Both are wonderful teachers that are taking extra strides with both boys. They were both so excited to attend school and they seemed ready.... I just feel like I've made a terrible mistake. I know, it seems so ridiculous that they have such high expectations of such little kids and I worry about that a little. I don't want them to struggle all the way through but I also don't want to hold them back unnecesarily. Part of connor's struggles is that he only got 4mos of preschool. Thanks for the suggestions, I guess all I can do is give them a little extra help and see what comes of it.
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Old 12-15-2007, 04:22 PM   #6
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Re: Help, my kids are below average in language/vocab skills

the 2wk break you can help them out for sure. op gave you great advice
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Old 12-15-2007, 04:28 PM   #7
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Re: Help, my kids are below average in language/vocab skills

How are they doing in other areas besides the language? I ask because I'm in a similar dilemma except I'm the teacher. I haven't approached the parents yet because I'm still documenting everything.
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Old 12-15-2007, 04:48 PM   #8
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Re: Help, my kids are below average in language/vocab skills

I was having the same issues, only mine was do I send him to preschool or not, with my 4yo ds. We ended up sending him for one reason, the school does a reading program called magic penny. It focuses on phonemic awareness and language skills. We tried HoP at home, and it didn't do much of anything for him. Now he's almost caught up with the other children in his class! We fully expect that by the start of kindergarten next fall he will be exactly where he should be. Here's a link to the site http://www.magicpennyreading.com/main.html It really is a great program. Our oldest ds started it in kindergarten last year. He went into kindergarten knowing what the letters were and some of the sounds, he came out of kindergarten reading chapter books. Now he reads on a high 3rd grade level, almost 4th grade. He really wasn't ahead of the others when he started, but he caught on really quickly. I help at school 4-5 days a week with this program and it really works for all kids. You have to rethink the way you learned to read though, because it doesn't teach a apple, b ball. First the kids have to be able to pick out individual sounds, and after they can do that they match the sounds to letters. It's much easier though, because you learn all of the sounds for the letters before learning which letter represents them all! It sounds confusing, but it's great!
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Old 12-15-2007, 05:25 PM   #9
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Re: Help, my kids are below average in language/vocab skills

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiterabbit View Post
How are they doing in other areas besides the language? I ask because I'm in a similar dilemma except I'm the teacher. I haven't approached the parents yet because I'm still documenting everything.

Ironically, their math is at the expected level for age(both) they do well in the class setting on a regular basis except for Riley's inability to sit still during carpet activities and he still occasionaly will refuse to do his worksheet. They both participate in the art projects and in class group activites. Riley socializes well, but Connor is less confident and struggles a bit. Connor will very ocassionally become overwhelmed when asked to write/draw. He is struggling with the teacher's assistant's technique primarily and we know this an issue and have discussed it at length. They are trying other techniques for teaching this to him. Riley will draw legibly, pictures and letters. Connor struggles with drawing. The common phrase I hear in stereo is "it's simple immaturity". Riley has already improved tenfold since beginning school and Connor is making slow steady progress. The question really, is IF they will catch up. In a nutshell, it's not marked delay in ALL areas, just a few with a tendancy to be a little behind overall. I know, it's just as confusing to me. LOL
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Old 12-15-2007, 05:26 PM   #10
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Re: Help, my kids are below average in language/vocab skills

thanks for the link jackie! : )
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