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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ds is 5 and is following the kindergarten program at a Montessori. He has been able to sound out multisyllabic words for the past year, although initially it was only when he was highly motivated. Now he reads some level 2 readers at home with me with very little assistance from me.<br><br>
He's a bright enough kid and I've always noticed some perfectionistic tendencies in him, and I know that he avoids things until he is <i>very</i> confident he will do them well. He also, however, is the type to make his own "fun" if he is not challenged. It's a fine line with him...and one that doesn't work so well in school!<br><br>
There was a Grandmother's Tea at his school the other day. When he was showing my mom around the classroom, his teacher asked if he'd like to read to my mom. The teacher hands him at book "at his level" which is all 3 letter "short a" words (Max the cat sat...) - the kind of stuff he's been reading for a year. But he read it to my mom as if he'd never done this before, sounding out c-a-t every time he saw it. Later when my mom suggested reading another book, he looked at the books and said, "No, I'm avoiding the hard words."<br><br>
He's totally snowed his teachers into believing he's at a much different reading level than he is, and the fact that he doesn't complete his works and gets into mischief is interpreted as he is unable to read 3-letter short vowel words.<br><br>
How do I help shape this attitude into something that will lead him toward success, rather than underachieving and being underestimated???
 

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This describes my son to a T. Maturity has helped a lot. When he was 5, he wouldn't even ADMIT to me that he could read. When he hit first grade, he had a major meltdown when news came home from school that he was supposed to read to us for 20 minutes a day. We solved this by having him read very very easy stuff to us for 10 minutes, and then having us read more interesting things to him.<br><br>
It wasn't until he was reading about at a 3rd grade level that he was willing to do significant reading on his own. If we find a high interest book, he'll read it on his own. Last year in 2nd grade, he read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (a late 4th grade level book). That was my wake up call that he was reading significantly above grade level.<br><br>
But even now, that he's in 3rd grade and reading at about a 5th grade level, he prefers to read things that are below his reading 'ability'. I'm OK with that. A lot of reading ability is practice, and he's getting lots of that. I've talked to his teachers about helping him choose more challenging materials for in class reading while he's at school. At home, I don't care.<br><br>
So, I wouldn't push it. See if you can find high interest stuff that's 'at' his level, and let him practice a lot with the easy stuff. He'll get there.
 

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I would maybe post this in the gifted forum here on MDC as they have faced this situation and will have good advice.<br><br>
I would not let it go. It's common for bright kids to underachieve because they are bored or don't want to stand out.<br><br>
V
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your replies. I am just realizing the level that he's working at at school and haven't spoken to the teachers yet. I am always afraid of looking like the mom who thinks too highly of her son's abilities - believe me, I don't underestimate him, but I work hard not to overestimate his abilities, either.<br><br>
Lynn, I have been following a similar approach with him. We alternate pages that we read, and I look for highly motivating books. I'll post this on the Gifted board and let his teachers know. I don't want him to feel overly pushed, but I don't want him to underachieve, either.
 
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