Toddler not interested in Rote memorization - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 11-20-2013, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

 

My son will be 4 very soon. He is a verbally gifted kid. Good socializing. Always asking questions. Loves to read books though he can't read yet. I read them to him. He also explains stuff very nicely.

 

My fix is he is more of a holistic learner. Always wants the big picture. Not into rote memorization. But unfortunately it is rote memorization which actually counts. Either in tests or academically. My Nephew at 4 and a half is far ahead than my son. My nephew also knows his times tables, while my son is not even willing to sit and learn the single digit addition. Also I have to be at the back of him for tracing/writing.

 

How I wish he was  more like my nephew. Though clearly my nephew seems to be a genius(he is high functioning autistic).  I wouldn't aim for his level genius for my son, but it would be great if my son atleast makes an effort. It makes him look like he is not a hardworker.

 

Please advice on how i can help my son with Memorization.

Thank you!

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#2 of 20 Old 11-20-2013, 03:21 PM
 
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I think you're overestimating the necessity of memorisation; for example, some of the most mathematically gifted (and academically successful) people I've known did not have the times tables memorised.  Yes, memorisation can be handy, but it's not the only way to master material.  Also, it sounds like your three year old is developing a very positive attitude about learning, which will make a much bigger difference in the long run than whether or not he learns to do math early.

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#3 of 20 Old 11-20-2013, 03:35 PM
 
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Oh Nebula, I think you would be so much happier if you could stop comparing your son to your nephew. I think all your posts to MDC so far have been about academics which are more advanced than your son needs to be worried about. He's only 4, Mama, he does not need to be rote learning times tables yet. He doesn't need to be doing that for years! There is plenty of research to show that pushing kids into early academics does nothing to improve long term outcomes and may be detrimental in terms of other important things such as gross motor activity.

Reading to him is fantastic but you can let the rest go. He will be able to read and write and do sums all his adult life. For now, let him play! Play is learning. It is so good for his mind and his body.

Rote learning may be useful for some people but only for a very small number of things in reality. And some people don't use it at all. Google how people memorise whole packs of cards. Much more useful is critical, analytical thinking and the ability to understand a concept which can be applied to a variety of situations. Your son will learn this by playing.

If you absolutely must compare your nephew and your son then be aware that your nephew is going to struggle with many things which your son breezes through without even thinking about it. Have a browse through the special needs section on here if you want to see some of the challenge he and his family may face.

Hugs to you Nebula, I can see that you just want the best for your son, I just don't think pushing the academics is the happiest route for either of you.
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#4 of 20 Old 11-21-2013, 08:13 AM
 
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I used to teach preschool (A three year old class and a pre-k class).  Even though it was a relatively academic preschool, we never ever pushed rote memorization.  I don't think it is developmentally appropriate for the majority of preschoolers.  I think it is much more important to gently expose your son to the underlying concepts behind reading and math.  Some things that I do with my almost three year old that you may want to try are: Read more complex stories.  We talk about what happens in the book and he likes to act out his favorite stories.  We do counting and number recognition mixed into our daily activities.  For example, count the pieces of chicken on his plate or ask him to press the 2 button in an elevator.  I point out letters that I see and spell out his name as I'm writing.  I don't push any of these things; I simply slip them into what my son is already interested in doing.  If your son isn't interested in something at this stage in his life, that's fine.  At his age you will be doing a lot of exposure and modeling for him, but shouldn't expect him to repeat something back to you or completely understand a concept.  Ex: you say "Look, you have two grapes and one blueberry on your plate!  That's 1, 2, 3, pieces of fruit for lunch!", then move on without asking him to say anything back to you.  He's already learning so much each day just by living his life.  Most of the memorization he does as a 3-4 year old will be gradual and natural (there are no flash cards or quizzes in preschool).   

 

Try not to compare him to other children, especially if they are very advanced for their age.  You may want to do some research into typical child development and developmentally appropriate activities.  Your description of your son makes him seem like a very bright and inquisitive boy who is ahead of the curve for his age in a lot of ways.  It makes me a little sad to hear you say that he's not a hard worker because at three years old he doesn't want to memorize single digit addition.   


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#5 of 20 Old 11-21-2013, 08:47 AM
 
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There really isn't any reason to worry. Most schools simply don't use rote memorization anymore. (That sort of went out with the 1940s.) For most children it is not a good way to learn, and most teachers and schools use more rounded ways of teaching children.


I have three children, two are adults, one a young teenager. They are all academically gifted, with my youngest being profoundly gifted, and none of them have to learn anything by rote. We never "memorized" times tables, they either learned them or.... used their calculators. My middle daughter is in Graduate School and is virtually incapable of learning by rote. She's in Graduate School due to earn her Master's Degree in Library Science in May and has never learned anything by rote.

 

It's not really important and not something to worry about with any child, especially a four year old. Enjoy him at this age. :)

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#6 of 20 Old 11-21-2013, 12:05 PM
 
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I used to teach preschool (A three year old class and a pre-k class).  Even though it was a relatively academic preschool, we never ever pushed rote memorization.  I don't think it is developmentally appropriate for the majority of preschoolers.  I think it is much more important to gently expose your son to the underlying concepts behind reading and math.  Some things that I do with my almost three year old that you may want to try are: Read more complex stories.  We talk about what happens in the book and he likes to act out his favorite stories.  We do counting and number recognition mixed into our daily activities.  For example, count the pieces of chicken on his plate or ask him to press the 2 button in an elevator.  I point out letters that I see and spell out his name as I'm writing.  I don't push any of these things; I simply slip them into what my son is already interested in doing.  If your son isn't interested in something at this stage in his life, that's fine.  At his age you will be doing a lot of exposure and modeling for him, but shouldn't expect him to repeat something back to you or completely understand a concept.  Ex: you say "Look, you have two grapes and one blueberry on your plate!  That's 1, 2, 3, pieces of fruit for lunch!", then move on without asking him to say anything back to you.  He's already learning so much each day just by living his life.  Most of the memorization he does as a 3-4 year old will be gradual and natural (there are no flash cards or quizzes in preschool).

 

Try not to compare him to other children, especially if they are very advanced for their age.  You may want to do some research into typical child development and developmentally appropriate activities.  Your description of your son makes him seem like a very bright and inquisitive boy who is ahead of the curve for his age in a lot of ways.  It makes me a little sad to hear you say that he's not a hard worker because at three years old he doesn't want to memorize single digit addition.

This is exactly how we teach in our home.  Lots of play and real life experience interspersed with random tidbits of info. At the grocery store we learn about colors, and veggies, and what foods mix well together, and how many of this and that we need, and different sizes and shapes, heavy vs light, how many coins to give the lady at the register....it's endless! Memorization isn't actually learning, FWIW.  All it means is under a set of circumstances your son will be able to spout off the names of presidents, or as you like to refer to, recite his times tables.  Listen, I'm 30 and I would have a hard time remembering my times tables!  But ask me to add up a few numbers or multiply in my head and I can handle that just fine.

 

Hopefully you don't truly believe that standardized testing is the only way to measure academics or is even remotely accurate.  I FAILED our state testing for English in 10th grade, was required to retake in 11th grade, FAILED again.  It was a completely subjective essay - I was given a failing grade (mind you I taught myself to read at 4 and by 5 I was reading at a 2nd grade level).  Yet I scored in the 98th percentile for science, and 80 something for math.  Do you want to know where that got me?  Well in college I struggled in science (this was filled with memorization and far too little application), absolutely bombed math (actually changed my degree from pre-vet to animal behavior because I couldn't pass algebra never mind the calculus requirements for vet school) and my only ever A's - English.  I probably should have double majored or at least minored in English I did that well in those classes, my professors loved my work.  But every standardized test ever took, from 3rd grade on, told me I was horrible in English.

 

My daughter is 2 and many times she loves to sing her abc's or count to 20 (or to 10 in French) but sometimes she will look at me and say "no mommy, I not want sing abc's now".  And I'm fine with that.  Be happy that your child is inquisitive, and has a desire to question things.  All you have to do I let him lead the way and he will learn far more than anyone can "teach" him.  Does he have a favorite topic, maybe dinosaurs?  So you say great, let him ask questions, if you don't know the answers, head to the library, check out some new books, don't look at how advanced they are, just find things he's interested in and read away.  You could check out youtube or Netflix for documentaries or scientific videos on those topics and then maybe he moves from what are dinosaurs to seeing them go extinct - maybe that will cause him to question what is climate or weather.....see where this is going?  There's plenty of math and science and every other subject all around us.  You don't need to pick up flash cards for him to learn these things. He sound like an absolutely brilliant little boy and I hope his thirst for knowledge doesn't go away because of school and a tendency to push for standardized learning....as though children are robots and have no input and should all learn the same things, the same way, at the same rate.  Because of this I'm doing everything possible to get my child into a Montessori or Magnet program which places more emphasis on the individual.

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#7 of 20 Old 11-21-2013, 01:40 PM
 
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I think very very few normalized functioning preschoolers arE interested in rote memorization. Which is why preschool, at least good preschools do not teach this way. And also why they don't teach writing this way or addition. Comparing your child to an autistic child is really unwise. Actually comparing your child to any child is probably going to cause problems. The scholastic websit has a a good list of skills a preschooler needs to achieve.

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#8 of 20 Old 11-21-2013, 03:04 PM
 
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Make him look like "not a hard worker" to whom?  And what three year old has a work ethic?  Let it go.  He will have plenty of time, PLENTY, to "memorize" facts he doesn't understand. 

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#9 of 20 Old 12-02-2013, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

 

Thank you for your responses. But you have no idea how its like living in a combined family and the talk is all about academics and competetion. My in-laws are here and we stay in a schooling district which has some very good schools but also very competitive. 

 

They have told me me that my son will lag behind if i don't do academics with him and will not be able to handle the competition. And since we are a joint family and share a house, my son will be going to those schools. And i really hope that those schools work out for him without any issues. 

 

Since my nephew is very advanced they are now talking about teaching him the kindergarten syllabus way before he is even in Kinder. And they expect the same thing for my son. But how am i to force him when he is not interested. I do set a half an hour slot after he comes from preschool to work on his tracing and reading skills, but with a 9 month old to take care of its difficult and I let him play. As it is he goes to preschool in the morning at 8 and comes back at 6 in the eve. I don't want to overload him further in the house with worksheets.

 

Its fine with my Nephew because he doesn't do any imaginative play and is only interested in alphabets and numbers. So they work him a lot in this area, but my son is least interested. He is more happy go lucky. 

 

So now i am torn into two. Not sure what to follow. Follow my philosophy and let him play or do academics with him. It sure is scary when a family member comments that their respective 4 year old won't do well in competitive schools if they are not made to sit and do worksheets in the home.

 

Sorry for this mindless banter but this forum was the only place I could speak my heart out.

 

Thank for listening.

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#10 of 20 Old 12-02-2013, 03:24 PM
 
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Have you tried making things into songs? My son will remember almost anything I put into a silly song and sing over and over.

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#11 of 20 Old 12-02-2013, 04:10 PM
 
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You obviously know your son well and how he learns best!! Don't let others in the family sway you from letting him play. Perhaps you could send them some research about how important play is at this age or print some articles out and leave them out for them to read. Gently remind others that your son & nephew are VERY different people w/different needs and interests so there's no sense in comparing the 2 children, or your son against any other child. Hugs Mama! I can only imagine how tricky a situation that must be. 

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#12 of 20 Old 12-02-2013, 05:44 PM
 
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Oh, I want to tell you to play.  Play, play, play!  It's better for all of you.

 

My four year-old is in full-day daycare too, Nebula, and I absolutely would NOT try to put academic work on top of that day.  It's already a very long day for her.  When we pick her up, we ask if she had a good day.  We look at the projects she's proud of (she made a fan today!), and ask what her favorite thing was.  Dinner and baths and stories and playing are important too.  I would rather that DD lug a stool to the sink to "help" with dishes, sing me a song she likes, or show me her new favorite way of dancing.  I'd rather snuggle both kids through an episode of a cartoon show.  I'd rather read them something that makes them giggle.  I'd rather agree that this time at the end of the day, before we all fall down exhausted, is time in which we can enjoy each other's company.  It is way more important to me that the kids know that I am physically and emotionally available then it is that they know their five times.  DD just learned to write her name, and my first thought, based on the experience of DS being really excited about writing his name, was "lock up the nail varnish."

 

What does it mean that the schools where you are are "competitive"?  I live in the U.S. - every child is guaranteed a public school seat.  Where I live, there are some very good schools, and kindergartners are assigned to schools on a combination of neighborhood and lottery.  Your best bet for determining where your kid goes to school in much of the U.S. is to live in a specific neighborhood.  In most districts that don't go strictly by location, there's a large element of chance.  There are many, many schools that would rather have a social and adaptive kid like your son then a very bright, high-functioning autistic one like his cousin (many private schools have limited ability to meet the needs of special-needs students).

 

Living with really competitive family is hard.  There are some points I'd try to make with them:

- Your parenting time at the end of the day is best invested in your child's emotional connection and well-being.  Not worksheets or drilling multiplication.

- The key to good parenting is responding to the actual needs of each individual child.  Your son is very different from his cousin, and the family can best nurture both boys by acknowledging their individual strengths and their differences.  Your nephew is good at memorization (which is actually a feature of autism).  Your son is good at concepts and communication.

- Ability to memorize math facts at age four is not a predictor of any kind of success.

- The most important thing for a four year-old to learn is resilience - how to try something, fail, and try again.

- How much work is a four year-old supposed to be doing?  If they want to make sure your four year-old learns to work, maybe it would be best to agree on and assign some age-appropriate chores (like picking up sticks in the yard, or tearing lettuce for salad, or keeping the playroom tidy).

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#13 of 20 Old 12-03-2013, 06:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nebula228 View Post
 

Hi all,

 

Thank you for your responses. But you have no idea how its like living in a combined family and the talk is all about academics and competetion. My in-laws are here and we stay in a schooling district which has some very good schools but also very competitive. 

 

They have told me me that my son will lag behind if i don't do academics with him and will not be able to handle the competition. And since we are a joint family and share a house, my son will be going to those schools. And i really hope that those schools work out for him without any issues. 

 

Since my nephew is very advanced they are now talking about teaching him the kindergarten syllabus way before he is even in Kinder. And they expect the same thing for my son. But how am i to force him when he is not interested. I do set a half an hour slot after he comes from preschool to work on his tracing and reading skills, but with a 9 month old to take care of its difficult and I let him play. As it is he goes to preschool in the morning at 8 and comes back at 6 in the eve. I don't want to overload him further in the house with worksheets.

 

Its fine with my Nephew because he doesn't do any imaginative play and is only interested in alphabets and numbers. So they work him a lot in this area, but my son is least interested. He is more happy go lucky. 

 

So now i am torn into two. Not sure what to follow. Follow my philosophy and let him play or do academics with him. It sure is scary when a family member comments that their respective 4 year old won't do well in competitive schools if they are not made to sit and do worksheets in the home.

 

Sorry for this mindless banter but this forum was the only place I could speak my heart out.

 

Thank for listening.


I'm sorry you feel pressured by this situation.

 

I found when I became a mother than my first job was to make it well known that I was not only an adult but the best person to know what my children needed in every area of their lives.

 

It can be hard to assert that you are your child's best advocate, but you are. If you won't stand up for his personality and advocate his way of learning WHO will? I am sure you don't want your son to be a slave to family members' expectations who know little about his personality and only want him to act like a different child! I'm sure you don't want to give your child the idea that you aren't on his side (as if you aren't who is?) and that these other people (who seem to have a warped view of child development) are a better judge of who he is than either he or you are. It's your JOB to advocate for your child and his way of learning and playing.

 

You said you were feeling pressure from your family because you live with ALL of them? This doesn't sound like a healthy way of living, especially if the other people you are house sharing with don't respect your son for who HE is.

 

As good Mamas we have to be our child's most fierce and strongest advocate. I learned early in my first child's life to let most of what my family said about what they expected from my child to go in one ear and out the other.

 

It sounds like you are working full time, as your son is in day care 10 hours a day. I assume your partner works outside the home as well. Perhaps, for many reasons, one of which is to create a healthy atmosphere for your children's development and self esteem, you and your partner look for an other living arrangement. I know this can be difficult, but in the long run do you think it will be healthy for either of your children to continue to LIVE with people who continually compare them to someone else and give them the idea that they just aren't good enough?

 

Four year olds PLAY. That is their work. If the people you live with can't accept that, make the subject OFF LIMITS!  I had to make many things off limits with our families: Attachment Parenting, Extended Breastfeeding, what I fed my children and their allergies and food preferences (my in-laws are believers in the "Clean Plate Club" which only causes children to ignore their inner ability to know when they are full and can cause obesity. My oldest had some food allergies, and my partner's family "didn't believe in allergies." )  So, I simply made it clear: These are subjects I will not discuss with you people. If they insisted on bringing the subject up, I would take my children and leave the room (a few times leaving the house.) You have limited time with your son as it is with him in day care 10 hours a day, why not make the time you do spend with him enjoyable for both of you instead of fraught with anxiety and doing what other people "expect" you to do?

 

Exerting your right to be your child's mother and your right to say what is good for him is essential. Children who grow up with comparison and being made to feel the are never good enough often give up and stop even trying. He's TOO YOUNG to be learning this rote stuff, in fact most schools don't even use rote learning and haven't in well over 50 years and really no one should be taught in this manner! It's counter productive and possibly harmful to a child who has normal learning skills.  Find articles on the internet about learning and how different children learn and how important PLAY is to preschool children to print out and show to your family and then make the subject off limits.

 

Tell your in-laws (or whoever is giving you grief) that how you son is learning is OFF LIMITS and then refuse to discuss it. Plain and simple. You are his mother, not them. WHY do you care so much what they think? You job is to protect your son from this kind of misguided thinking, not allow him to possibly be damaged by it.

 

Both you and your partner have incomes, the best solution would be to do what many do and obtain your own private living space, away from people who try to make your son feel inferior to others. In the meantime, make the subject of "learning" off limits and stick to it. I had a strict policy with family "My kids, my choices." My family, if they didn't agree with my choices could either learn to appreciate what I was doing, or simmer in their own time and place. I refused to make THEIR ridiculous and unrealistic agendas mine.

 

As for your nephew, not only is he NOT your son, (they are different people) but I didn't even know Kindergarten had syllabuses.

 

Good luck.

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#14 of 20 Old 12-03-2013, 07:59 AM
 
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I'm also curious about these competitive schools.  I'm in CT and we have the guaranteed seat in public schools as well.  We also can go the route of private non-denominational, private religious, private Montessori, or magnet schools.  Now the magnet schools are funded just as the public schools - by the towns - but there is a lottery to get in and the curriculum tends to be better than the standard public school (unless, like meepy cat pointed out, you live in a particularly good neighborhood).  We chose to live where we are because of the Montessori in town....but now that's not feasible with our current income and budget so we'll be applying for the magnet lottery - they are considered I suppose "competitive" in terms of the learning that goes on there.  But I can assure you, having been in the classroom to observe and having a friend who works for one of them, there is no hard curriculum done in the lower levels, especially not pre-k or kinder.  It's almost entirely play, self exploration and learning through interactions and socialization.  There's a huge social window that occurs at these ages that must be met to create a functioning adult and schools are aware of this.  I would never chose a school for my child that put a focus on testing and memorization over actual learning and life experiences.  Your family has to realize that your nephew is not "most kids".  He is essentially disabled in the social realm and that is why his brain is so fixated on what they see as learning.  So to compare the two and say that he will get further in life because of it is far fetched to say the least.  Sure he (nephew) might go on to do well working alone in a lab somewhere, but there is also need for people who can interact and work in a social setting and share their knowledge with others, something your son is obviously very capable of doing.

 

Comparing kids to one another is apples to oranges, no two are the same.  It's why standardized testing sucks and can't determine anything in regards to "future abilities".  Somehow you need to explain this to your family and get through to them that it can be incredibly damaging to a child's self esteem to constantly tell them they aren't good enough, not to mention it destroys their ability to learn new things if they are always fearful of rejection because they might fail sometimes.

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#15 of 20 Old 12-03-2013, 12:45 PM
 
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I think what you REALLY need help with is developing confidence in your parenting abilities, and standing up to other adults in your household. Your son gets enough pressure from the others (grandparents? aunts and uncles?) He needs Mom in his corner.

 

Your child is only 4. His life will not be "ruined" if he doesn't learn specific things by a certain age. I know a great many young adults who even messed up high school, but then went to community college and pulled their lives together. One of them is in law school now. Nobody cares what they learned in kindergarten, and they certainly don't care what facts he'd memorized at age 4!

 

Maybe he'll do well in a "competitive" kindergarten when he's sitting and doing worksheets along with the rest of the kids in his class. Maybe he won't. But I honestly can't see how it would benefit him long-term to make him miserable doing worksheets now. If anything, it will probably make him LESS likely to sit nicely in school next year if he's learned to associate worksheets with boredom when he wants to play.

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#16 of 20 Old 12-03-2013, 05:49 PM
 
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To be perfectly blunt, your in-laws are wrong.  Completely, 100% wrong about what is appropriate or even helpful for a 4 year old.  If you are worried, look at the research out there on just about any measure of adult success and you will find absolutely zero correlation between success (academic or otherwise) and how well that person recited multiplication tables as a toddler. 

 

I know it is difficult not to compare, and it is terrible dealing with pressure from family, but -- I'll say it again -- they are wrong.

 

Wrong.  Keep repeating it to yourself, because pressuring your son into rote memorization when he is neither ready, nor really gaining anything form it, will 1) turn him off of learning, and 2) damage your relationship with him as he increasingly sees that you think he isn't "smart enough" or whatever tripe it is that your in-laws seem to believe.  

 

Sorry to be so direct, and I know it is really terrible to feel like you are standing up to in-laws, but I think you need to push back.  Ask them for research that supports their beliefs and stand up for your son. 

 

I'll add that rote memorization is only one of many, many skills important in school.  I'm terrible at rote work, and I now have a Ph.D. so lacking that one skill didn't hurt me. 

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#17 of 20 Old 12-03-2013, 06:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fizgig View Post

To be perfectly blunt, your in-laws are wrong.  Completely, 100% wrong about what is appropriate or even helpful for a 4 year old.  If you are worried, look at the research out there on just about any measure of adult success and you will find absolutely zero correlation between success (academic or otherwise) and how well that person recited multiplication tables as a toddler. 

I know it is difficult not to compare, and it is terrible dealing with pressure from family, but -- I'll say it again -- they are wrong.

Wrong.  Keep repeating it to yourself, because pressuring your son into rote memorization when he is neither ready, nor really gaining anything form it, will 1) turn him off of learning, and 2) damage your relationship with him as he increasingly sees that you think he isn't "smart enough" or whatever tripe it is that your in-laws seem to believe.  

Sorry to be so direct, and I know it is really terrible to feel like you are standing up to in-laws, but I think you need to push back.  Ask them for research that supports their beliefs and stand up for your son. 

I'll add that rote memorization is only one of many, many skills important in school.  I'm terrible at rote work, and I now have a Ph.D. so lacking that one skill didn't hurt me. 

I agree with this. And I will also add that I am pretty good at rote memorising and it was often a disadvantage. I would memorise terms and definitions without understanding the concepts. So I would get top marks in the first section of the exams which was all about content but not nearly as well in the second part (the important bit) where I needed to apply the concepts.

Once I learned that I needed to focus on learning concepts rather than straight content I started to get much better marks and I didn't need to do as much work.

Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012  mdcblog5.gif

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#18 of 20 Old 12-05-2013, 02:51 AM
 
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Nebula, Please stop worrying about your boy. Please stop comparing him to his cousin. Please stop trying to teach him things that are inappropriate for hi sage.

Firstly, let's deal with the autistic issue. A person with ASD will face challenges. As a teacher, I encountered many ASD children and almost all of them had learning disorders. One of my sisters had ASD and had a high IQ  but gradually her IQ lessened as social stresses and depression took over her life. Children today have a better chance with early intervention but it is never easy.

 

My daughter had a high IQ too but I just let her follow her interests, and they were many, but otherwise play and be a kid. I am sure it helped her as she is now a strong, independent adult with a good career and she enjoys learning still. As a teacher I am very suspicious of the benefits of making children swat in order to get good marks. There are a lot of other qualities that are needed to achieve success and happiness in life and they are not learnt by rote but by playing, making friends and learning to be resilient and independent.

 

Your son needs to be loved. He needs to have a warm loving relationship with you that does not depend on him performing tricks so that he can meet the standards you set, standards that are unrealistic so he will not be able to achieve them. If you persist in this behaviour your son will give up and will not achieve his potential at all and will never be truly happy either. Think carefully about what you are doing. Reread your posts and try to see it from your son's point of view. You have a lovely, very bright little boy. Be happy and enjoy him.

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#19 of 20 Old 12-10-2013, 10:31 AM
 
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Its fine with my Nephew because he doesn't do any imaginative play and is only interested in alphabets and numbers. So they work him a lot in this area, but my son is least interested. He is more happy go lucky. 

 

 

I think it would serve you well to talk with a kindergarten teacher or principal in your district (or private school system). Kinder readiness is probably not what you or your extended family think it is. Unless the goal is to advance past kinder (which I highly doubt is even possible or advisable) teaching the curriculum early will do nothing but create a situation where the child is bored and perhaps unprepared for the other prerequisite skills like the ability to free-play, socialize, participate in the class culture and expectations and etc. 

 

If you meet your child's needs and interests NOW he will be best prepared for school. Bypassing his interests now will create a situation where he may waste valuable energy and time learning something he's not ready or interested in at the expense of other equally valuable lessons entirely necessary for school readiness.  

 

My guess is that a child with a variety of age-appropriate interests will get much, MUCH more out of kindergarten than a child who (for whatever reason) is only interested in letters and numbers. I also suspect that the well-rounded child will be easier to teach and get more of the type of accolades your extended family is pressuring your child about. 


Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#20 of 20 Old 12-10-2013, 10:44 AM
 
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I only have a minute, but I wanted to chime in here. I've taught kindergarten through third grade and have worked as an early childhood specialist. I agree with all of the above posters. Rote memorization at four isn't a good predictor of anything. My third grader isn't even learning multiplication by rote methods. And there are way better activities for practicing a skill than worksheets.

Honestly, I couldn't live with that pressure from family.
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