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Old 02-15-2010, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
2,395 posts, read 4,089,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the3Ds View Post
Perhaps it's because I'm a slightly older mom (I'm 37 with a 7 year old and a 2 year old) but I have found I am so much more calm about how my children are doing. I control the things I have control of (their manners, for example) and we work on the rest.
37 is not an older mom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
The kids who entered K reading are NOT the kids who are in the top academic group in high school, which is what counts, not preschool. Those kids learned to HATE school, HATE learning, and they are typically just doing enough to get by.
My pediatrician told me that all kids even out eventually.

syracusa,
I actually know a mom who pressured her son a lot. She tried to defend herself to me by saying if he came home with an 85 and I knew he could get a 90 I let him know it. Well the son made it to college and as soon as he started to struggle he quit. Because anything other than an A was not acceptable. He actually quit but didn't tell his mother. For two weeks he would leave the house with his backpack as if he was going to school. I do not know how it all came to an end since it was years before I met them. But they way I see it she was very lucky that he didn't turn to drugs.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:05 PM
 
5,210 posts, read 5,167,274 times
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Does your son like to trace? If so, you could write his name with dots and then let him trace the letters with his pencil. I did this with my kids when they were around 5 and it seemed to help.

But, I agree with the others - don't stress out over this.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:32 PM
 
3,568 posts, read 3,206,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzie02 View Post
syracusa,
I actually know a mom who pressured her son a lot.
Suzie,

In fact, I know LOTS of parents who pressure their children a lot.
They're called "parents from designated good school districts".

All parents whose children can read and write their names at the age 4, have applied some sort of pressure, one way or the other. I don't care what some say, that it just came naturally to those, that they had already developed very fine motor skills prior to name writing. etc.

The bottom line is if someone would not have "pressured" them into writing their name (parents, schools, whoever) than they would have had no business writing their names at 4, in the first place.
The way God/Nature (whoever rocks your boat better) intended it is for 4 yo-s to be climbing trees, hurt knees, run around and stomp the ground.
(Need a poetry prize, please ).

It is not natural for children to be interested in such "academic" things at 4. So I stick to my guns that THERE IS pressure all around for poor children today to do things that come against their grain at 4.
I have no illusions that these kids do not grow up with stolen childhoods.
They do.

Look how many mothers on this very thread said that their kids at 4 wrote words, read fluently, did this or that acdemic thing.
That's pressure, no matter how you put it and no matter how "easily" it came to any given child.

I know how things SHOULD BE. What I didn't know for sure was what I should do in a world where things ARE NOT supposed to be the way they should in the first place.

I did receive some good tips on this thread that can lead to a decent compromise between personal philosophy (play and be free at 4) and reality (cut throat competition from day 1).
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:41 PM
 
Location: 3814′45″N 12237′53″W
4,153 posts, read 6,708,598 times
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Syracusa-
I think you need to look into a good Montessori school.
I do know quite a few kids who have a great interest in learning in general, academic and project based...and they range in age from 18 months to 6!
To say that children are not interested in academics at an early age is simply not true.

It's not what you do it's how do it.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:49 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
14,851 posts, read 17,990,785 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
How "grave" is it if a 4 yo boy (and 4 months, to be more precise) is NOT able to write his name very well yet?

It is not a long name, and in theory it should be relatively easy to write, but my son is still not doing much of a job writing it. He has always been a bit behind in motor skills (mainly due to being born with torticollis) and he has never been much of a "color and scribble on paper" kind of kid, even though we have provided ample opportunities and tried to practice as much as possible.

He DOES do very well in other areas, already perfectly bilingual, reading 3-6 letter words in both languages, able to comprehend and focus a long time on very elaborate stories when we read together - but writing has never been his forte.

We have practiced writing his name quite a bit but he is still at a stage where he makes a major mess of it. Letters are very large, severely leaning over, little sense of orderly space from left to right, hardly recognizable, etc.

I am asking this because recently he came home with a box of Valentine cards on which classmates signed their names - and it became clear to me why we don't ever see any kids outside in this area. They must be at the kitchen table frantically practicing writing their names morning to night, because some of them were "newspaper print" level. (and no, it was not teacher or parent writing, you could still see it was kid writing).

I AM perfectly aware that this is a very competitive and insecurity-driven society, particularly in very good school districts (which is where we landed when we relocated cross-country a month ago). But I honestly do not know how to proceed with such things.

If it was strictly up to me (based on how I grew up, in a very different time, system and place), kids should be outside playing freely and spontaneously with one another, virtually at all times, until they start grade school. I do understand that this is NOT how it works in today's day and age, in this country. And this is the very reason I am asking for advice/opinion here.

Often, I just can't help thinking that I didn't learn to read or write until the age of eight - and somehow still managed to acquire the maximum amount of education one could go for, exclusively on scholarships, at highly sought-after universities. BY NO MEANS do I say this to make a parade of it, but I can't help seeing it as relevant when I witness so much pressure on kids to get in line academically at extremely young ages.

So I am just kindly asking for an advice: should I start practicing with him until he gets it right, given the pre-school environment he is in? Or should I let it go and allow him to advance at this own pace, even if most of his classmates dance with the name writing already?

I am just asking for reasonable opinions from reasonable American parents.
Thanks a lot.
Everybody is different. Since he is bright in many other areas, I would not worry. If he could not read or had trouble understanding "concepts", then I would worry, but he is just slow at motor skills. Just give him a little more time and don't pressure him on it. He'll come along. Praise him for his many successes, he sounds like a wonderful little guy.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:29 PM
 
27,924 posts, read 22,116,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
Everybody is different. Since he is bright in many other areas, I would not worry. If he could not read or had trouble understanding "concepts", then I would worry, but he is just slow at motor skills. Just give him a little more time and don't pressure him on it. He'll come along. Praise him for his many successes, he sounds like a wonderful little guy.

20yrsinBranson
Forget about the handwriting. He's only 4. Concentrate on his algebra.
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:30 PM
 
3,568 posts, read 3,206,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
If he could not read ...then I would worry
Is he supposed to read at 4?

He can read a few short words, but no, he is far from reading fluently.
Based on all developmental materials I checked, 4 yo should know their letters. He does. Anything on top of that seems to be icing on the cake for the average, but it DOES seem commonplace in competitive school environments.

I do think that reading at 4 translates into huge pressure, especially with a lanuage like English, which is a pain in the a** to learn how to read because of phonetics.

He reads better in my native tongue.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:38 PM
 
2,910 posts, read 4,230,739 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
Suzie,

In fact, I know LOTS of parents who pressure their children a lot.
They're called "parents from designated good school districts".

All parents whose children can read and write their names at the age 4, have applied some sort of pressure, one way or the other. I don't care what some say, that it just came naturally to those, that they had already developed very fine motor skills prior to name writing. etc.

The bottom line is if someone would not have "pressured" them into writing their name (parents, schools, whoever) than they would have had no business writing their names at 4, in the first place.
The way God/Nature (whoever rocks your boat better) intended it is for 4 yo-s to be climbing trees, hurt knees, run around and stomp the ground.
(Need a poetry prize, please ).

It is not natural for children to be interested in such "academic" things at 4. So I stick to my guns that THERE IS pressure all around for poor children today to do things that come against their grain at 4.
I have no illusions that these kids do not grow up with stolen childhoods.
They do.

Look how many mothers on this very thread said that their kids at 4 wrote words, read fluently, did this or that acdemic thing.
That's pressure, no matter how you put it and no matter how "easily" it came to any given child.

I know how things SHOULD BE. What I didn't know for sure was what I should do in a world where things ARE NOT supposed to be the way they should in the first place.

I did receive some good tips on this thread that can lead to a decent compromise between personal philosophy (play and be free at 4) and reality (cut throat competition from day 1).
Believe it or not, there are plenty of kids who do the things you mention with no pressure put on them from anyone other than themselves. It's likely though, that you would have to see and spend a decent amount of time with such a child in order to understand what I mean and believe it to be true.

Some children are simply predisposed to be quick learners, curious enough to search until they have the answer they seek and have a deeper understanding of concepts beyond their young age. These children challenge the adults in their lives to answer the questions they ask. These children also find ways to accomplish what they want with or without support.

Child care is my profession and as just one example, there was a little boy who had just turned 3 when he came to our child care center. He had been in 5 different foster homes before coming to us with the family that had just recently adopted him. I doubt very seriously that in temporary foster care that anyone had pressured him on any sort of academic as his health needs had been pretty heavy. However, a couple of weeks into being with us, we discovered this little boy was reading. Completely reading on his own. Not just a book he had been read over and over so that he memorized it, but he could read darn near anything you handed him. He had an innate ability to absorb and retain anything that had to do with reading and somehow despite the odds against him, he had accomplished that level before he had turned 3. It was amazing. Yes, that's uncommon, but it shows it happens.

So, just keep an open mind that there are all kinds of learners. And perhaps you might have one of your own someday that jumps leaps and bounds ahead of the 'norm' and you've done nothing to push that through and then you'll understand.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
2,395 posts, read 4,089,459 times
Reputation: 1662
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellalunatic View Post
I do know quite a few kids who have a great interest in learning in general, academic and project based...and they range in age from 18 months to 6!
To say that children are not interested in academics at an early age is simply not true.

It's not what you do it's how do it.
I agree. I have one of those kids. By 27 months my dd knew all the letters. She became interested in letters because she saw then on Sesame Street. Then I happened to buy a set of letter for the bathtub. She carried them around the house and would bring us the letters for us to tell her what they were. She would also read the letters on our t-shirts. Then she moved on and forgot all about them. At age three she kept looking at my computer and noticing the day on the calendar. She kept asking me what that number was and why it was different from the day before. So I gave her a calendar for her to mark the days. Of course then she wanted to know when the days ended. Now at age 4 she asks me questions like how does the baby get in the belly or who was the first baby.

My ds(2yo) on the other hand doesn't do any of those thing. His strength is that he takes care of his needs by himself. If he is hungry he goes in the pantry and finds something to eat. A couple of weeks ago he showed up in our room at 5 AM with a diaper and wipes for someone to change his diaper. My dd would have cried in her room until someone showed up. He is going places even if he doesn't learn his letters till Kindergarten. Initiative is a very valuable quality in the work force.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:54 PM
 
2,910 posts, read 4,230,739 times
Reputation: 3981
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzie02 View Post
37 is not an older mom.

My pediatrician told me that all kids even out eventually.
syracusa,
I actually know a mom who pressured her son a lot. She tried to defend herself to me by saying if he came home with an 85 and I knew he could get a 90 I let him know it. Well the son made it to college and as soon as he started to struggle he quit. Because anything other than an A was not acceptable. He actually quit but didn't tell his mother. For two weeks he would leave the house with his backpack as if he was going to school. I do not know how it all came to an end since it was years before I met them. But they way I see it she was very lucky that he didn't turn to drugs.

I think that many do indeed even out, but I think some of that has to do with educational expectations, life situations and adult support more than the ability of the individual child. Somewhat like their situations do not promote them continuing to progress at the rate they had been previously.

A previous neighbor had a daughter about the same age as my two older daughters who had great potential early on in many ways - academically, creatively and athletically. However their home life was strained, loud, poverty ridden and held a major attitude against the system.
She barely finished school because there was no compelling reason to work for it, much less work hard for it. She's soon to be 25 and has been fired from numerous jobs. She's started college classes more than once and has yet to finish any to my knowledge. She's been evicted a few times. She's lived with several different guys and 3 of them she was going to marry. (she's set to marry the latest one in March) What a sad situation to realize what better ways she could be living her life had the situation been different for her.

On the flip side, I have a niece who was bought nothing but educational toys and yes mom focused lots on academic things. The niece thrived on that early learning though and skipped a grade in elementary. She then graduated from high school having just turned 17. Finished college at 21 and then graduated law school and passed the bar at 24. She then became the youngest Assistant District Attorney ever hired in her very large city. So her situation worked the complete opposite direction and she certainly never evened out with everyone else. She's an amazing young lady!
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