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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-10-2008 05:33 PM
journeymom About riding a bike, ds is 9 y.o. and hasn't learned to ride yet. And like the poster above said, it's partly because he hasn't had good opportunities. He is finally interested in riding. There was a thread here a couple of weeks ago about when people learned to ride bikes. Someone shared this web site.

It took him a while to learn to dress himself. He didn't seem to notice or care much.

Also, he only learned to tie his shoes in the last year.

Do you read to your son? I used to read to him every single night, dh and I (and big sister) are all avid readers. So while he wasn't reading the Odyssey when he was five he read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to himself a month ago. It sounds cliched, but Dr. Seusse is great for getting kids to enjoy the written word. The pictures are wonderful, the rhymes are fun. I read them to my kids, but they were always looking along with me.

He's never going to be a super coordinated kid. Once in a while he compares himself to the super sporty boys at school who can pick up any skill with ease, and he's frustrated with himself. But usually he's happy being himself. And what can we expect, neither his dad nor I are exceptionally coordinated. We're just average.
07-10-2008 03:59 PM
phathui5 I wouldn't expect a four year old to be able to read or write at all. Not one bit. It's cool if they can, but it's definately not something that they need to be doing before they turn five.
07-09-2008 10:20 PM
hottmama My oldest is 5.5 and can't recognize all the letters yet or read many words. He can spell his name but I don't think he could write it. We didn't even start working on it until he was almost 5, and have been very relaxed about it. He'd be starting kindergarten this fall if we were going that route.
He can count to 100, add, subtract, and multiply, but at 4, could only count to 10.
I'd worry more about getting him to dress himself and ride a bike... my 2 yr. old can ride a bike proficiently and my 5 yr. old was riding a bike without training wheels at 4. I think 2-3 is usually when they take over dressing themselves. Encourage him to do things for himself, I know it can be hard when it's so much faster to just do it yourself! Also, make sure he has space to ride a bike-- I didn't learn to bike without training wheels until I was 6 because we had a gravel driveway and nowhere safe to bike.
07-09-2008 08:46 PM
OMama
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post

One question I have is will he continue to be in a Waldorf school? If you are planning on having him to go public K, I would gently start working on some school readiness type skills.

As far as your list the one thing that jumps out at me is that he isn't dressing himself. That is a skill you'd like to see developed or developing in a typical four year old. I would start bit by bit expecting him to take over more parts of that job. You obviously don't need to expect shoe tying, but finding his shoes and trying to put them on his feet is something to work on.
These are excellent points. Roar, as always your add a lot to the conversation. That is what I was wondering as well -- where he would be in school (if at all) next year and beyond. That may be tough if he does go in to a mainstream program and does not have the background in academics that his peers have. I agree too with the little steps to start in dressing.
07-09-2008 08:45 PM
Roar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat2116 View Post

As for the dressing etc, I don't know if he is just being lazy...at school he is expected to take off and put on his own shoes and clothes, so often comes home with them half on his feet, and his pants pulled up but his underwear around his knees!
What do you expect of him in this area at home? What parts of dressing is he able to do? At four he should be getting practice with things like pulling on his own pants and getting undressed on his own.
07-09-2008 06:55 PM
betterparent he is not behind at all.
07-09-2008 06:46 PM
Crazy Basil
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat2116 View Post
Hi
I'm a regular reader of all of the MDC boards and the more I read the more I feel my DS is slow...academically.

He is 4.4 years and goes to nursery every afternoon, (he has been going for over a year now), the nursery is Waldorf-inspired and academics are not taught and I have never pushed them at home...he is a lovely, happy boy, spends a lot of time outdoors and loves to paint and draw. He is good at puzzles and likes me to tell him stories, but....he can't read at all (well he recognizes his name), he does not know his letters, he can't write and struggles to trace. Also he can't pedal on his bike, or dress himself, put on his shoes etc.

He has always been about on par developmentally, he walked at 14 months, but was a very late talker (about 2 years).

I know everybody is different with different talents but I just wanted to get opinions...do you think he sounds 'normal' for a four year old?
He sounds a lot like me at that age. I don't remember the shoes/getting dressed thing but I definitely wasn't reading. I also went to a Waldorf preschool for two years, but transferred to public school to start 1st grade. I was in the "remedial" reading group for maybe a month, tops, but was actually reading really well within about 1-2 weeks of starting.

From what I remember/understand 1st grade is when the kids start reading in Waldorf programs because that's when they're ready for it, which really seemed to be the case for me. I personally don't think it sounds like you have anything to worry about. He sounds like a wonderful little guy.

---

Just wanted to add that while I didn't know how to read until I was 5 going on 6 (and despite my glaring typo earlier) I'm a pretty smart girl. I went from remedial reading in 1st grade to the gifted program in 2nd grade. And to echo others on the thread, to me your son sounds like a wonderful little boy who is thriving in a Waldorf-based environment.
07-09-2008 06:44 PM
mags He doesn't seem behind from a waldorf standpoint. If you prefer to have more academics, then maybe a more mainstream preschool would be more appropriate. However, it would be odd to expect him to learn academics in a waldorf preschool, b/c it doesn't really go with the waldorf philosophy.

Don't forget, you can always teach him these things at home too. My 4.5 yr old has never been to preschool or daycare before and he knows his alphabet, sounds and is blending, BUT that is b/c I taught him to do this. It was not something that he just figured out on his own. I high recommend the leapfrog letter factory dvd if you would like to work on letters with your son.
07-09-2008 05:43 PM
angela&avery well, i know my dd has done things much sooner than my ds. who is also older....


she didn't have letter recognition either, and she went to a preschool that is not academic, so i made index cards on a metal ring (you hole punch them) and you do every letter of the alphabet with a picture and a word. so the first card says A apple a (with a picture of an apple in the middle and the word apple under it.. .and you say it "A, apple, ah "(the letter, the word, the sound) then the next card is B butterfly b ( "B, butterfly, buh").

This was what my ds' reading program did with him to help him catch up bc he was at risk for reading problems when he started K.

After a few months of doing the cards (which she would ask me to do bc she enjoyed remembering them... oh and I had her help me color all the pictures too), she has begun to recognize and even write many of the letters. This is something really simple that you could do and make it part of your nightly reading that would help with some recognition.
07-09-2008 05:28 PM
elizawill your son sounds wonderful! he's just 4
07-09-2008 03:52 PM
cat2116 Hi, thank you for all your input...

To answer some of the main points raised:

I am very happy with his school environment, I chose Waldorf because I wanted my kids to enjoy being young and not worry about academics, (seems odd I know that I am worrying about it now)...but yes come January he will be attending a state school reception class (UK equivalent to public-k), so I am a little concerned he will be behind his peers.

It is just the reading really that seems to be a problem, he just has no interest in it, he cannot identify letters AT ALL except the first letter of his name, but no he cannot write his name or any other letters. I have tried a few simple workbooks with him, doing pre-writing skills but he just gets bored or frustrated.

He can count to about 25 and can do simple arithmetic using buttons etc, he loves to 'look' at books and yes, he draws well, human figures with a body, arms, legs, hair, facial features etc.

He has only just mastered beading and threading, and enjoys working with lacing cards. He does not have any lego's but builds pretty intricate structures with wooden blocks.

As for the dressing etc, I don't know if he is just being lazy...at school he is expected to take off and put on his own shoes and clothes, so often comes home with them half on his feet, and his pants pulled up but his underwear around his knees!

His sister who is 2, can already take her shoes on and off, pull up her pants, and asks me about letters!! Maybe it's just a boy thing??:
07-09-2008 02:17 PM
LynnS6 4 year olds do not need be reading.
4 year olds do not need to be writing.

Can he count to 10? Is he beginning to be able to play board games? These are good indicators of beginning math skills.

Does he know how to hold a book and open it to the first page for you to read? Does he pretend to write ever? Does he ask you questions about what words mean? Can he rhyme (or at least recognize when 2 words rhyme)? All of these are indicators of beginning literacy skills.

Does he engage in art? Is he beginning to do 'representational' art (i.e. make drawings that look like something)? Can he do beading or sewing? Does he play with legos or other toys that require fine motor skills? Those are good for building the fine motor control needed for writing.

I personally would be more concerned by the lack of ability to dress himself and pedal a trike, but that's because our son couldn't do those things at age 4 either, and it turns out he has motor planning issues. We found out about the motor planning issues because they're part of his overall sensory processing disorder (SPD). Ds also didn't do ANY art or fine motor skills, which was a red flag for me. (His verbal/oral/math skills were fine.) He's improved tremendously with OT.
07-09-2008 02:00 PM
lyttlewon DD just started pedaling a bike within the last month. She can put her shoes on but only if they are the right kind of shoes. They can't be standard run of the mill lace up sneakers. The dressing himself thing seems a little behind for me. DD has been able to dress her self for a couple of years.
07-09-2008 01:55 PM
Roar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat2116 View Post
Hi
He is good at puzzles and likes me to tell him stories, but....he can't read at all (well he recognizes his name), he does not know his letters, he can't write and struggles to trace. Also he can't pedal on his bike, or dress himself, put on his shoes etc.
I don't think it is fair to consider a child delayed academically when they haven't been taught any academics.

One question I have is will he continue to be in a Waldorf school? If you are planning on having him to go public K, I would gently start working on some school readiness type skills.

As far as your list the one thing that jumps out at me is that he isn't dressing himself. That is a skill you'd like to see developed or developing in a typical four year old. I would start bit by bit expecting him to take over more parts of that job. You obviously don't need to expect shoe tying, but finding his shoes and trying to put them on his feet is something to work on.
07-09-2008 01:52 PM
Tigerchild He sounds normal.

I would say, even based on the self-reporting polls that pop up here at MDC from time to time, that as a group people here TEND to be at least moderately privleged socio-economically, homeschooling is popular (even if you don't actually homeschool), people tend to be educated and value education, ect. This skews itself towards enrichment early achievement, especially in the realm of letter/sound recognition and writing.

So it may seem based on people talking here that your son is behind, but if my daughter's kinder class this year is any indication he's not.

That being said, if he struggles with fine motor skills (which if he can't trace/write, that is often a muscle issues), then you can give him opportunities to develop those muscles. (My daughter taught herself to read very early, and she's always loved to write to catch up but she still needs to work on fine motor skills) We've removed markers from daily use in favor of crayons and colored pencils (you have to push more and use more strength to color and draw than you do with markers). We do lots of legos. I have her cut out (and cut up) things for me with scissors. My boys, who just turned 5, have been doing this alongside her for a year and wow, their writing ability/tracing/drawing is very impressive. Because they're 'ahead' of their sister? No, their muscles are more developed because they're using them more.

Based on what you've said, your boy sounds normal to me. I would relax. You've chosen a non-academic environment, are you not happy with it? If you are, then stop trying to compare what he can do with kids who are being raised in an academic environment or have those skills taught this young. You must have chosen Waldorf for a reason. So enjoy it, and relax about the academics.

If you really want to improve fine motor skills, switching art supplies and making sure he has more opportunities to work with small things, ect. are an easy way to do it without being academic.
07-09-2008 01:42 PM
4evermom Sounds very normal. Yeah, there are three yos who read and write but that is not average. My ds could pedal at that age, but also couldn't dress himself. Maybe he could put on easy shoes if I was not around. He still isn't reading or writing at almost 7 because he is not in an academic environment. I'm not worried. He is very close at this point and I'm sure he will be doing both within the next year. I learned to read at 6 1/2, under duress, and moved on to be quite good at it, lol.
07-09-2008 01:34 PM
Hannahsmummy If he is in a Waldorf inspired environment, he wouldn't be taught any academics. So, unless you are teaching them at home, there is no reason why he should know how to read or write.

I don't especially know what is "normal" as kids seem to develop at various rates. I'd imagine that if these were things that you had been working on together and trying to learn without success, then perhaps there'd be reason to wonder. But if they are something that has been stressed in his life then I'd see no reason to expect them to happen spontaneously.

We are in a Waldorf kinde and the kids range from having no academic skills to being able to read and write, depending on what's being taught at home.
07-09-2008 01:30 PM
annethcz Academically, he sounds fine. In a Waldorf environment especially, it sounds like he's right where he should be.

In terms of physical and motor development, your DS does sound a bit behind. Most kids of that age are able to trace lines, dress themselves and pedal a bike/trike. From a short post, I can't tell you if it's a problem that your DS is behind in those areas. Being a little behind the curve doesn't necessarily mean that there is a problem. My oldest child was a very late talker, but now at age 8 talks and reads very well.
07-09-2008 01:15 PM
OMama Can he identify *most* of the letters in the alphabet? Can he write his *own* name? Have his teachers expressed any concern? Since these things may not be stressed in his school environment you could gently work on them with him at home. I think these things take practice.

I wouldn't be as concerned about the bike pedaling thing if he simply hasn't had much practice. I would be more concerned about him not dressing himself. Are his shoes easy to put on, like slip-ons or something with velcro?
07-09-2008 01:01 PM
cat2116 Hi
I'm a regular reader of all of the MDC boards and the more I read the more I feel my DS is slow...academically.

He is 4.4 years and goes to nursery every afternoon, (he has been going for over a year now), the nursery is Waldorf-inspired and academics are not taught and I have never pushed them at home...he is a lovely, happy boy, spends a lot of time outdoors and loves to paint and draw. He is good at puzzles and likes me to tell him stories, but....he can't read at all (well he recognizes his name), he does not know his letters, he can't write and struggles to trace. Also he can't pedal on his bike, or dress himself, put on his shoes etc.

He has always been about on par developmentally, he walked at 14 months, but was a very late talker (about 2 years).

I know everybody is different with different talents but I just wanted to get opinions...do you think he sounds 'normal' for a four year old?

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