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#31 of 50 Old 11-14-2009, 03:02 PM
 
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Wanted to add that I see no reason at all to abstain from educational activities for young children - but there's a whole world of things that are educational for a young child. My child attended what was considered the best preschool in an affluent community near San Francisco. It was not in the least bit Waldorfy, but they didn't teach reading skills - they were kept busy with lots of other wonderful things to learn about. The pre-kindergarten for 4 yr. olds did introduce some pre-reading skills, but reading itself was gently begun in that community in kindergarten. Those were mostly children expected to be headed into a strong educational path - and that's exactly where they went. But no one in our circle had the idea that learning to read early was part of being in that track. We moved, and my own child had gone into Waldorf kindergarten, so he didn't start any reading skills till he was almost 7 - but we've kept in touch with some of those families, and never felt at any disadvantage where education was concerned. And when you go back a generation, many of us didn't even learn the alphabet, quickly followed by learning to read, until we were 6 in 1st grade! It was like that for generations. I've seen a whole lot of children from different educational paths grow up and go on to colleges and jobs, and I can't imagine any sort of advantage in getting a child reading early, which is a whole different thing from learning early - the important thing I've seen is to have a good foundation for curiosity and a growing sense of confidence as an independent learner. If a child is eager to learn to read, that's just fine - but it isn't a sign he'll be a better learner or more successful in later education or the rest of life. - Lillian
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#32 of 50 Old 11-14-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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Our 6.5 yo seems to struggle with some things and perhaps be a bit "behind" in some ways.

It has helped me a lot to decide that I am not going to compare him to anyone else. I have decided instead to meet him where he is today, every day; to start with - what can he do, and what does he like to do, today ? What does he do well, and what does he really have to work at but can still achieve ? What skills can be reinforced with practice ? Is there something new he is interested in, and ready to start exploring with no pressure ? And is there an area he has been exploring, that he is now ready to start working on mastering ? He has made progress, in baby steps, by always starting with where he is now, more practice with something that is a bit of a challenge but not too frustrating, and being allowed to just explore something new until he's ready to take the next step with it. Because there is really no point in getting into something until he is ready.

We also have a 4-yo son. Some of the ways he currently explores are games on the computer (PBS kids and Starfall), magnets on the refrigerator, a Leap Frog toy (the magnet letter thing), the Leap Frog videos, paper, pencils, crayons, shape punches, glue, stickers, ink stamps, various blocks, a small Judy clock, a small abacus, a bucket balance, rulers, inexpensive calculators, a toy cash register (that calculates), a dry erase board, play dough, dice, a "shut the box" game, a globe, etc. We also have stuff on our walls - a placemat with the upper and lower case alphabet, numbers 1-30 on apples, a hundred chart, days of the week, months, and a telling time placemat. He just looks at them. He doesn't do anything that looks academic. I don't try to get him to do anything that looks academic yet either. I know that he is practicing important skills that he will use later - he is getting his brain ready - and he is exploring ideas, symbols, tools, etc - that he will use later. I know that when he is ready to take the next step with these things, he will start trying to do more with them and then I can offer help when he wants it.

With your 4 yo, if it was me, I would not sweat it. I would provide him with lots of stuff to explore, tools to pretend with, and things on the walls for him to look at. I would meet him where he is and give him lots of stuff to use to get himself ready for his next steps.

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Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post
Theodore is only 4.

he is also SN and "behind" .. immature and senstitive

........

I find it hard to rein myself in, and espcially not to worry ...

help

DS1 March 2003DS2 Sept 2005,
and 3 , in our happy secular
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#33 of 50 Old 11-14-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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i totally agree that reading "matters" much more-so than coloring...just not at age 4. neither is more important than the other or even necessary that young & i think that was the only point kgianforti was stressing.
Yes.

I was definitely not comparing coloring to reading in terms of importance...I was just using an example of how kids' abilities are different at a close age range. I think the one gal mistook my post by thinking I was putting coloring ability above reading in importance. Which is what happens when you post on forums...no harm done.
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#34 of 50 Old 11-14-2009, 05:40 PM
 
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[QUOTE=jessicaSAR;14672278]
Your Theo is four, right. So it is a perfectly appropriate time to be thinking about phonemic awareness, especially is he has some speech delays. I would definitely get a good book on dyslexia, and see if he has any of the early warning signs. QUOTE]


I really don't think worrying about dyslexia is appropriate at this point. He just sounds like a completely normal 4 year old boy. Don't buy the book, it will just stress you out! JMHO

ETA apparently I don't know how to work the quote section correctly

Learning that crunchy is a whole different ball of wax with my big kids, Trace 11, Zane 10, and Saxton 7
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#35 of 50 Old 11-14-2009, 08:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mum2boys View Post
ETA apparently I don't know how to work the quote section correctly
I think you probably just accidentally deleted the left bracket and slash in front of "QUOTE" at the end - it would have been "[/QUOTE]" with those and would have worked fine. I do that every once in awhile too:

[QUOTE=jessicaSAR;14672278]
Your Theo is four, right. So it is a perfectly appropriate time to be thinking about phonemic awareness, especially is he has some speech delays. I would definitely get a good book on dyslexia, and see if he has any of the early warning signs. QUOTE]
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#36 of 50 Old 11-14-2009, 08:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post
I find myself (internally, personally) anxious ... i want to jump into all the cool stuff i find, i want to see him read, i want to _______. it is all me, i know that.
I'm not anxious, but I am excited about traditional academic things. I have to hold myself back from formal "lessons" in a variety of subjects with my just-turned-5-year-old.

I am teaching her to read, but only at her request. Because she asked to learn to read, I acquired some relevant materials. We usually practice reading before bedtime, but only if she brings me the book or other materials. Occasionally, if she's obviously wanting to spend time with me but can't figure out what she'd like to do, I offer reading, but only as one of several alternatives (play a game, practice reading, draw together, etc.)

I am chomping at the bit to do some math lessons, but I have promised myself not to talk about math beyond what comes up in daily life until she's officially in "Kindergarten" next school year.

So yes, I get it. My solution is to establish rules about what I will not do.

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add to that we have one family we are dear with that homeschool, and the peer to Theo in that family is #7 and a girl, and at 6 months older is much more advanced.
This is one of those times when you just have to take a deep breath and remember that all kids are different. There are always going to be kids who are better at something than your kid. It's quite likely that he's not ready for whatever it is that she's better at, so trying to teach it to him would likely frustrate both of you.

I try to avoid comparing my kids to other people's children. If it's helpful to you to monitor his development, compare him to himself six months ago, not to another child or to some hypothetical average child.

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add to that that all the other peers he encounters (church, the children of DH's co-workers) are all in pre-school, even the ones a year younger than him.
My daughter goes to preschool. At her preschool, they paint, draw, do crafts, play inside, play outside, play in the gym, go swimming, read stories, sing songs, cook, etc. They do not learn about letters, numbers, sounds of letters, etc.

I can think of only three things she learns at this preschool that she would not learn at home:

1) She is immersed in another language (I also speak this language with her at home, but additional exposure is the reason we send her to preschool).
2) She gets lots of practice interacting with other children.
3) She learns how to deal with the school environment/rules.

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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#37 of 50 Old 11-14-2009, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by dantesmama View Post
I know what you mean. My ds1 is the same age as yours (actually our younger ones are very close in age too!) and it can be hard to make myself step back and remind myself, "He's 4", when I see all this cool stuff for older kids... and really, I know I'm just attracted to it because it looks fun for *me*!

We occasionally "do school" - he loves doing workbooks, so I picked up a bunch for him and we sit at the kitchen table and do letters, numbers, shapes, whatever. He likes playing the "what letter does it start with" game, and we also do tons of reading. We do storyhour at the library every week.

We're starting with Sonlight p3/4 in a few months, which I think will be a very good fit for us - the boys and I are bookworms, we already do tons of reading, and I'm thinking that will satisfy my urge to "do stuff". Maybe starting a gentle preschool "curriculum" like that would help you?

It sounds like our boys would get along very well - my 4yo seems young for his age in many ways, too. He seems to have one foot on either side of that imaginary line between neurotypical and ASD.
I am planning to focus MYSELF more in 2010 (jan) mainly to work on phonices, and letter ID and number ID (he actually GET basic addition and subtraction up to 5 -- daddy is an accountant, must be gentic) .. we need to work phonice due to speech, i have been lazy.

BTW Ben is the middle name for boy number 3 IF that ever happnes, at least on my list and DGH is "ok with it, we;ll talk if that happnes"

LOL

South of Snaity would not happen to be MO ir IA would be (please)

kgianforti -- SN = special needs. he has been assessed and the people doing the assessment disagree ...physical brain immaturity, SPD, anxiety? one voted for ADHD but who knows at his age and given the other concerns.

more later -- theo needs bed and we need dinner

Aimee

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#38 of 50 Old 11-14-2009, 11:56 PM
 
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Aimee, you know I know exactly how you feel and have struggled with the same things. It's a little easier now that Scheeli is 6 and more ready for academics. It's hard to hold back when you're so anxious. The thing is, you can try to introduce some things, but chances are you and he will end up frustrated and you'll just end up having to wait a while anyway.

Are you guys doing a letter a week this year or saving that for next year? You could start doing a letter a week after the holidays and doing lots of fun crafts/art to go along with it, and nursery rhymes and stories. Make yourself happy and do some planning, but keep it preschool based, think fun, movement, art, etc. Take it slow.

Alisha, Army wife to Nathan , Homeschooling mama to Scheeli (May 2003) , Bronwynn (Nov. 2004) :, Piper (Nov. 2007) , and Wesley (January 2010)
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#39 of 50 Old 11-15-2009, 06:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post

kgianforti -- SN = special needs. he has been assessed and the people doing the assessment disagree ...physical brain immaturity, SPD, anxiety? one voted for ADHD but who knows at his age and given the other concerns.
I'm a bit confused....

Ok, I don't know much about the SN(s) you described or how it affects academic capability. Does Ella have a SN too? If she does, then I can understand your anxiety. But if she doesn't, why would you worry about your son's progression compared to a peer without a SN?

This is clearly upsetting you but it seems like you are comparing apples and oranges if Ella doesn't have a SN.

Or maybe I'm just missing the boat!! (which is possible!)
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#40 of 50 Old 11-15-2009, 07:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kgianforti View Post
I'm a bit confused....

Ok, I don't know much about the SN(s) you described or how it affects academic capability. Does Ella have a SN too? If she does, then I can understand your anxiety. But if she doesn't, why would you worry about your son's progression compared to a peer without a SN?

This is clearly upsetting you but it seems like you are comparing apples and oranges if Ella doesn't have a SN.

Or maybe I'm just missing the boat!! (which is possible!)
I think the OP knows that, but is just experiencing the normal anxiety most parents do when the majority of kids are doing things before their own, whether it be walking, talking, reading, etc. Doesn't mean you don't understand that kids all develop at different rates and that your DC is probably just fine, it just can be hard not to worry sometimes.

Alisha, Army wife to Nathan , Homeschooling mama to Scheeli (May 2003) , Bronwynn (Nov. 2004) :, Piper (Nov. 2007) , and Wesley (January 2010)
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#41 of 50 Old 11-15-2009, 07:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scheelimama View Post
I think the OP knows that, but is just experiencing the normal anxiety most parents do when the majority of kids are doing things before their own, whether it be walking, talking, reading, etc. Doesn't mean you don't understand that kids all develop at different rates and that your DC is probably just fine, it just can be hard not to worry sometimes.
Yes I understand all that. But it seems like the poor gal is giving herself unnecessary stress and worry if she is comparing a child with SN to a peer without SN. And I was trying to point out to her so maybe she won't stress so much.

But like I said, I don't know if the SNs she listed affect academic capability.
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#42 of 50 Old 11-15-2009, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Aimee, you know I know exactly how you feel and have struggled with the same things. It's a little easier now that Scheeli is 6 and more ready for academics. It's hard to hold back when you're so anxious. The thing is, you can try to introduce some things, but chances are you and he will end up frustrated and you'll just end up having to wait a while anyway.

Are you guys doing a letter a week this year or saving that for next year? You could start doing a letter a week after the holidays and doing lots of fun crafts/art to go along with it, and nursery rhymes and stories. Make yourself happy and do some planning, but keep it preschool based, think fun, movement, art, etc. Take it slow.
starting letter of the week in jan. A;so something with numbers -- ie IDing them and writting them ... his math skills are his strongest.

also working more on the phonices element of speech -- not jsut teh sounds -- if that makes any sense.

kgianforti -- you are corrent. Ella is the wrost apple to bannas compassion -- she is child number 7 in a homeschooling family and a girl without any SN .. theo is the oldest in our family, and has SN ... but Ella is the peer we spend the most time with

and we don't KNOW if the SN will effect acidemics or not --shrug -- he is immature which effect his readyness -- but if it is going to effect his actual ablity -- i don't know.

Thanks everyone ...

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#43 of 50 Old 11-16-2009, 07:50 PM
 
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kgianforti -- you are corrent. Ella is the wrost apple to bannas compassion -- she is child number 7 in a homeschooling family and a girl without any SN .. theo is the oldest in our family, and has SN ... but Ella is the peer we spend the most time with

and we don't KNOW if the SN will effect acidemics or not --shrug -- he is immature which effect his readyness -- but if it is going to effect his actual ablity -- i don't know.

Thanks everyone ...
Readiness is a much better word and totally what I meant!! Not capability!!

6 months is actually a HUGE difference in young children. Thinking back to my dd 6 months ago and she was easily a "grade" below than where she is now. I won't worry one bit if I were you!
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#44 of 50 Old 11-16-2009, 11:34 PM
 
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Okay, don't freak out! I understand that with other kids around, there will be a natural comparison or just "noting" that children your sons age are doing things that he isn't yet.

This is what I think: When your child is hungry, he reaches for it, right? When your baby is "ready" for something, he will go after it for himself as long as it's available. Preparing the environment and giving him the opportunity to explore when he's ready are the most important things you can do right now.

For instance, if there is a wooden alphabet puzzle out, does he check it out? Is he interested/repeats if you make the "buh" sound, matching it to its bee marker on the puzzle? Etc. I think that having materials available and allowing it to be part of your normal interaction is fine. If he's interested, great. If he'd rather play outside or color, that is just as viable as looking at books or doing a worksheet.

FWIW, I do think that coloring, at the age of four, or five, or six, or heck even my age, can be quite as valuable activity as reading. What if they really need to work that inner sense of control that they get when masterfully and meticulously coloring "inside the lines"? Or that crazy expressive bright, hard-pressed, joyful scribbling!

Your kid will learn to read. Even if he/she knows all the letter sounds and recognizes them without coaxing at an unusually early age doesn't mean that he'll be an early reader. And you could do worksheets from three on, I really don't think that guarantees that your child is/isn't going to read at any time other than when he/she is perfectly ready to do so.

So my word of advice to the OP is just to keep doing what you're doing naturally, while consciously setting up lots of learning opportunities around the house and in your normal everyday life. If you feel like you want to "do" something more than that, then check out some Waldorf or Montessori books. Hand rhymes and nursery stories never hurt any child, and reading great books is always a good idea. Lots of play-do and shape play, maybe some sewing cards, learn songs, and just really enjoy the fact that you don't have to keep up with any timeline other than your son's own natural development.

Happy and in love with my family!
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#45 of 50 Old 11-17-2009, 08:12 AM
 
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I was doing 100 EZ lessons at your son's age because his sister was doing it (15 months older). But hmmm. How did I avoid homeschooling before she was about to turn 5.

I think we were just really busy and we did a lot of outside activities, both organized and mommy-led, and she would be allowed to play on Starfall but she wasn't putting it together until she had the direct instruction. So we started that the fall she was turning 5 and called it kindergarten.

If you're only doing it for 10-20 minutes a day I don't see how some direct instruction in reading that your child enjoys could be a problem -- if it is, stop.

I never did Letter of the Week. They seem slightly useless without reading instruction, but that was just my perspective. My daughter learned letters and sounds from Starfall and Fridge Phonics but it didn't help her read. OTOH my son went into 100 EZ without being able to ID all his letters ahead of time (the book doesn't even use their names) and since it's a natural context for learning the letters it went just as smoothly.

We talked about numbers in the context of our lives, counted, etc. The first year of home schooling we did math games more frequently but not really goal oriented. This, our second year, we are going to complete Singapore 1A and 1B, but are currently drilling addition facts and watching Professor Finkle videos every other week or so. (I don't have the workbooks, just the textbooks, so based on what's in the text I figured we'd nail down our addition facts cold first.) I do not think lack of extensive preschool preparation in academics is a holdup.....
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#46 of 50 Old 11-17-2009, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks

I mean it -- i appercipate the advice, stories and the support

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#47 of 50 Old 11-17-2009, 01:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post
If a child is eager to learn to read, that's just fine - but it isn't a sign he'll be a better learner or more successful in later education or the rest of life. - Lillian
Lillian, I could kiss you!

To the OP: Enjoy your son! There are so many fun things you will think of to do together, that you won't be able to fit them all in!!

I love this age, I have a son who is 4 1/2 right now. He enjoys numbers a lot and likes to play math games with his 7 year old brother that they make up together (just started doing this more this week). He and I sat at the table and he did a number matching game and we really enjoyed it. We also like going to the park and he loves me pushing him in the swing; he wants to go "high in the air"! Drawing with markers on a huge pad of paper is top on his list and he is really proud b/c he can write his name (his motivation--entirely-- was to do this so he could go to the library and get his own card and write his name on the back!) He is ahead in that area simply b/c his older brother and Dad showed him. Jumping on the trampoline and playing with his uncles are also high on his list. He likes to be read to, but enjoys stories on robertmunsch.com and CDs more--auditory is big at this age for both my sons.

I do have to say, the most important thing I learned with my first son and still remind myself is to focus on enjoying them in the stage they are at. It's like when they are a baby, and you can't wait until they sleep through the night, wean, eat more solid foods, and then you realize they DID grow up and you miss them being a baby! The time will go by, we don't need to make it go any faster. Instead of finding activities that would suit an older child better, enjoy the things that 4 year old do and enjoy best! The way I think about it is to make memories together--think how lucky we are to be the mother in our children's early memories and that we are creating their childhood alongside them. That is so cool!!

So what do you want your child to remember about their time with you? Baking cookies and getting messy with frosting, laughing? Digging for worms in the backyard? Taking a nature walk and placing all the "treasures" (rocks, pine cones, sticks) your child finds in a special place to show Daddy later?

You'll get a chance to do the 6, 8, 10 year old stuff when that time comes. I know this, because it WAS hard for me to wait until my child could read, draw, sit down for longer than 2 minutes , especially with my first child, but that time will come.

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#48 of 50 Old 11-17-2009, 02:33 PM
 
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I do have to say, the most important thing I learned with my first son and still remind myself is to focus on enjoying them in the stage they are at. It's like when they are a baby, and you can't wait until they sleep through the night, wean, eat more solid foods, and then you realize they DID grow up and you miss them being a baby! The time will go by, we don't need to make it go any faster. Instead of finding activities that would suit an older child better, enjoy the things that 4 year old do and enjoy best! The way I think about it is to make memories together--think how lucky we are to be the mother in our children's early memories and that we are creating their childhood alongside them. That is so cool!!

So what do you want your child to remember about their time with you? Baking cookies and getting messy with frosting, laughing? Digging for worms in the backyard? Taking a nature walk and placing all the "treasures" (rocks, pine cones, sticks) your child finds in a special place to show Daddy later?

You'll get a chance to do the 6, 8, 10 year old stuff when that time comes. I know this, because it WAS hard for me to wait until my child could read, draw, sit down for longer than 2 minutes , especially with my first child, but that time will come.
Greenthumb, I could kiss you right back!

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#49 of 50 Old 11-17-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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OP- My son is seven now and my only real regret is the amount of time I've spent comparing him to other kids. He had a severe speech delay and still has ADHD and some sensory issues.

When he was three, he didn't know his colors, shapes, alphabet, and called all girls "Jane" and all boys "John". Those were his cousins names as in "Mama, you a Jane. Me a John." He refused to speak to anyone besides his dad, his sitter, and I. Luckily, I listened to my gut and didn't send him to special ed pre-K and kept him home with me.

One day, I put a video on about colors (baby bumble bee) and the next day I put a bunch different colored pieces of felt on the floor and called out the names as he jumped on them. Within of a week, he knew all his colors including his secondary colors. I realized it wasn't that he couldn't learn, I just needed to figure how to teach him.

We had the same experience with the alphabet, he memorized the alphabet when he was four. One day we were visiting my friend, her daughter was the same age as my son. She was trying to teach her daughter her ABCs. My son was across the room playing with some legos. She'd ask her daughter to identify the letter and her daughter would randomly guess. My son would look and say, "A, apple." or "P, pig, poo, pea pod." and go back to what he was doing. My friend was getting so frustrated because my SN son could easily do something her typical daughter couldn't. Finally, I asked her why she wanted her daughter to learn the alphabet at 4 years old.

She said because she had learned to read at four. I gently pointed out she never read for pleasure and had often expressed her envy that I loved to read. Then I told her I didn't learn to read until first grade and I read 4-5 books a week. My son can read, at grade level, and so can her daughter at grade level.

My son has caught up to his peers in most areas and is ahead in a few areas and behind in a few areas. He has far in common with other seven years olds, then he is different from them.
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Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post


Greenthumb, I could kiss you right back!

- Lillian
hehe, it's another meeting of the mutual appreciation society!

Mama to DS (10), DS (8), DS (5), DD (3), & DD (6 months).
Lucky Wife to My Techy DH for 11 years.
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