My 5 year old plays dumb at school

Alicia - posted on 02/27/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )




My 5 year old has her teacher convinced that she doesnt know her letters and numbers but I know that she does. What she doesnt know changes weekly. Right now she cant recognise the # 9, but she knew it last week. It has gotten to the point that her teachers want me to take her to a specialist for learning disabilities. any suggestions.


Melanie - posted on 06/29/2010




Record her the next time she "knows" something at home and when the teacher says she doesn't know that show the video to the teacher. Also there are LD's out their that cause someone to not be able to recall certain facts when needed.
There also might be maturity issues. She is either too mature or nat mature enough. You may consider holding her back a year and seeing if that helps, but she will be very bored if she is too mature for her age level.
Because obviously if she is pretending not to know it, as opposed to having actual trouble recalling it, then she is very smart and a bit prococious.

Laurie - posted on 06/28/2010




I have home schooled each of my eight children. A couple of them had this exact problem (ie knowing something one day and forgetting the next...). I came to realize that it wasn't so much that he or she were playing dumb, but that they had really misplaced the knowledge in the acquisition of more. Review can be a great help, especially when it is done by playing games like Uno or Memory with letters rather than poker cards or picture cards (just make a set of 2 of each letter and number out of notecards cut in half). Start with the few numbers and letters she knows and add to them as she learns them. Learning should be enjoyable, but it takes a bit of 'work' to keep the concepts fresh and your child confident in what she has learned. It is doubtful it is a learning disability. She is just a distracted little 5 year old, as they all are at that age, and has more important things on her mind. She WILL know her numbers and letters by the time she is 7. Be patient and enjoy her.

Alison - posted on 06/28/2010




Sounds like performance anxiety. She is getting attention for the wrong reasons now. Give her praise for the numbers, letters she does know, she will snap out of it eventually. I am a teacher of 5/6/7 year olds and this does happen from time to time. She wouldn't be the only one to do it. Remember, praise what she CAN do and ignore the rest. It will fall into place, goodluck.


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Brandi - posted on 06/28/2010




I just went threw a similar situation where my almost 5 year old had recently regressed. He was playing dumb in school, started having "accidents", and just well......seemed to all of a sudden become a 2 year old again. I came to see that he is just bored in pre school and is ready for a challenge. I have choosen to enroll him in a private kindegarden (since he doesn't meet the age limit for public). Maybe it's something very simple.........Good luck

Anita - posted on 05/24/2009




i know the feeling!!!!!! my 8 year old plays dumb as well and the teacher have picked that up he does play dumb with his writing and every time he writes mess the teacher screw it up and throws it in the bin and makes him do it properly and at home with his home work he can play dumb and when he does that i send him to his room until he is ready to do it properly and that has wroked ofr me. you can talk to your teachers or video tape her at home when she is counting her number and doing her letters right and take it into the the school and show her teachers. and if you tell the teachers that she does play dumb they will pick it up. i hope that will help out.

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