Complications teaching my son to learn!

Amy - posted on 08/13/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Hello. I haven't done this before so here it goes. I have a 5 year old and he is my only child. He wants to go to school but he refuses to learn his numbers, letters, and to write. He is interested for a few minutes then wants nothing to do with it. I believe it's my fault because I waited to long to try to teach teach him but whenever I tried, he wasn't interested. Now, he is so excited about school. I don't know what to do! I printed off activities and even went to ABCMouse.com. He doesn't want to follow instructions or listen to what is said. He just wants to do whatever. I see all his cousins and younger children know the things he should know and it hits me that I did a terrible and selfish thing by procrastinating. I feel terrible and I almost feel like it's too late for him. I feel like I failed as a parent and that hurts me because I know in the long run, it's going to affect him, if it hasn't already. If anybody has any ideas or advice, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

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Sarah - posted on 08/13/2013

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You have not done a terrible thing. It sounds like he is not ready to learn. When he is ready and excited to learn he will sit and learn with you. One thing to explore is to try and discover what kind of learner he is, visual, auditory or kinaesthetic. What that really mean is does he like to look at things, listen to things or learn by doing. There are load of things on the internet to find which will help you with this. The other thing that is so important for children (who learn in spurts, like they grow btw) is does he have the social skills for learning? Can he listen to instructions, can he listen to a story for 10 mins, 15 mins, 20 mins, can he take turns, can he work independently. Can he hold a pencil properly, can he use scissors? Stuff like that is more important than letter and numbers at this stage.
Having said that if you want to help him make learning a game. When you are at the store get him to look at the signs and ask him if he can see the letter that starts his name. Can he see the number that is his age? Can he see the letter that starts his best friends name or your name?
Also remember that children do not learn to write letters starting at A and then B and then C. It is far easier for them to learn the letters that are formed the same way. For example once you have learned how to write O then a, d, g, q, and c are all started the same way and formed the same way. But I would leave that to his teachers to be honest. Build his fine motor skills with crafts and colouring and leave letter formation to the teacher.
I hope some of this helps but remember that children learn most when they are interested in a subject. Don't push it and don't expect him to be the same as other children. You will be surprised where and how children learn and remember he has got 12 years of education to go. That's a long time to catch up!
All the best to you and him

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Amy - posted on 08/16/2013

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Thanks! I thought I would still be able to send him to Pre-School at 5 but he is too old so he has to jump right on into Kindergarten and he doesn't know much at all compared to what the other kids may know. I know I got held back in kindergarten but i'm hoping he will catch on quick. I keep buying him activities hoping he can get some knowledge of stuff before school but its the fact he doesn't want to listen to instructions and doesn't want help because "i can do it all by myself" is what he says. It's almost like he is too independent and he never wants help doing anything but that's how we learn is by helping. I'm just worried. He can hold a pencil and use scissors. Its just like you said, the instructions is something he doesn't do well. He was in a early head start program but when he became 4, he was too old. I should have sent him to pre-school after that but didn't. I'm just running out of ways to try to teach him and get him to follow instructions. I show him I get excited when he does do something the right way and we give each other high 5's and hugs. Hoping it would encourage him to continue but it doesn't seem like it. He is just excited for not even 5 minutes and then walks away.

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