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Suggestions for an uninterested wiggle worm


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#1 Brice's Mom

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 01:39 PM

My 4.5 year old son has zero interest in school stuff. He is an only child. He is very active, always on the go and doesn't have time for sitting to listen to me read him a book, color or draw a picture, learn how to use scissors, etc. He is just so not interested in any of those things. He does like puzzles and is good at them. He also likes legos and magnetic blocks. He can count to 10, count objects to 10, knows shapes, and colors but he does not know his letters or numbers. 

I wanted to start trying to get him to get more interested in reading (listening), drawing, coloring, etc. 

I've looked at LOE, AAR, Mother Goose Time, Ivy Kits and others I don't remember the names of  :confused1:  This is all a bit overwhelming. 

We do fun outings...we have a zoo membership and go often except recently cuz it's just way too hot in the summer, the museum, movies, the park, different nature programs that a park near us puts on, pow wows (singing and dancing), etc. I haven't really worried about it until now. He wasn't interested and I wanted to just let him be little but I feel like we're getting to the point where he really should start learning some of this stuff. I'm afraid to wait longer. His pediatrician has already made comments about him being behind at his well child check up. 

So any suggestions on techniques for dealing with a kid that bounces around the chair while you're trying to read them a book or a curriculum to get? Any advise is welcome  :001_smile:



#2 Lucy the Valiant

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 01:51 PM

Just for the record, the VAST majority of 4.5 year old boys are NOT reading, nor are they "doing math." In what specific ways is the pediatrician concerned about being "behind"? (You don't have to answer that here, just something to think about. Pediatrician may have a valid point, or she may not.)

 

For active ways to have fun with an energetic kiddo in short spurts: 

 

1. Draw the letters in chalk on the driveway, and call them out so he can run to that letter. Mix it up by using upper case / capitals / numbers / let him call to YOU / try throwing a bean bag or rock onto the letter. 

 

2. Use post-it notes to put CVC letters onto Duplos (google for a picture of this) - let him "build" words and trade out initital consonants (MAN, VAN, RAN, etc.).

 

3. Have him narrate a story about his Legos while YOU write it down; then snap a picture of his creation, and make a little book. 

 

4. Listen to audio books (stories!) while building / drawing / painting / driving to zoo. 

 

5. See if he is one of those kids who can only learn with something in his hands - buy some WikiStix that he can play with WHILE you read out loud to him, and then check his comprehension. This is a very real phenomenon that is almost completely ignored / denied by mainstream education. 

 

6. Count raisins / peanuts / crackers at snack time - play funny little games asking he'd rather have 7 or 12 raisins, or if he thinks he's able to divide his snacks into equal piles of 3 or if he needs to eat some to make it fair. 

 

7. Plan a meal in which everything you eat at that meal begins with the same letter. Let him do as much of the hands-on prep as possible. 

 

8. Letter magnets. 

 

9. Can he choose beautiful fall leaves and arrange them into the capital letters? Can he do it with sticks? Can he do it at the park for someone else to find?

 

10. Take him to the library - let HIM choose some books, and YOU choose some.


Edited by Lucy the Valiant, 26 October 2017 - 01:53 PM.

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#3 SKL

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 02:09 PM

Wiki sticks, hopscotch, anything that uses a sensory/psychomotor vs. visual approach.

 

If he doesn't pick up a few letters / numbers soon, consider having him checked by a developmental optometrist.

 

Most of what you describe sounds great and he's got most of the bases covered already.  I too am wondering what your pediatrician meant by behind.  Maybe they expect kids that age to know a few letters or how to spell their name?  But he sounds within the range of normal to me.  I remember my kids' first ped making a note because nobody was saying "Dada" at age 1.  Well, they didn't have a dada, so ....



#4 Mommyof1

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 02:54 PM

My DD is almost 5 is very active and would rather play then do school.

She also is an only child.

Does he go to preschool?

Audiobooks during play and car rides

Read books during bedtime.

Maybe utilize YouTube kids. My daughter loves alphabet, phonics and etc that is offered there. Kids learn a lot using music. Alphablocks is a series that teaches letter sounds and how to sound out words. Numberblocks is also available.

Leapfrog videos are good

#5 Brice's Mom

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 03:20 PM

Her concerns were him not drawing, tracing, using scissors and he doesn't know his letters. She said his speech is definitely delayed. The speech therapist she sent us to doesn't seem to agree but we are doing speech now more for eating than speech though. The therapist said that she will work with him for the first 5 minutes of the appt on speech and the rest of the time on feeding (he is super picky but making great strides). 

This is a new pediatrician that we have never seen before. He was being a little shy in the appointment and not interacting with her much or making eye contact (which she noted in his chart). I would think that's pretty normal for a kid to be shy and mumble but idk. 

 

He doesn't go to preschool. I want to do preschool with him at home. I intend to homeschool. He has a lot of food allergies and I don't trust him with anyone but family/friends that know his allergies, the severity and that I trust to be careful. 

 

Thank you for all the suggestions. I will definitely implement them. 



#6 Rosie_0801

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 04:09 PM

I used to read to my wiggly boy in the bath. Any other time, he'd grab the book and run away.

 

Have him checked for retained primitive reflexes. A retained palmar reflex might explain his lack of interest in pencil and scissor work.



#7 Mommyof1

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 05:33 PM

My preker has never been to preschool either and we intend to homeschool her.

Her Doctors have never asked those questions, that I recall. They ask if she goes to preschool. I say no. They move on.

#8 4kookiekids

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 06:46 AM

We don't do much "school" work until later, but we do let them play (supervised) with scissors and glue. If you want something he'll find FUN (which sets a great stage for schooling later), I would suggest you print out some preschool packs that might be of interest to him (something like this http://www.3dinosaur...ace-blog-hop/).It give him a chance to play with scissors and glue, practice pencil skills, interact with you in fun ways, and maybe even learn some new stuff (we would then get topic-related library books and spend the week reading extra as well). Now, I confess that I only did this with my first two, despite my best intentions, because it was much harder to keep it up once I had four of them running around... But I felt like they were a fun activity that set the stage for "seatwork is fun" and also gave them lots of practice with fine motor skills (which my kiddos definitely lacked). 



#9 ElizabethB

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 02:34 PM

Talking letter factory for sounds.

You can do oral blending while he jumps on a mini trampoline.

Once he learns some sounds, easy ways to make phonics fun:

https://m.youtube.co...3tTseq4tYGCJTyA

I would also watch all the videos in my Pre-Reading playlist.

https://m.youtube.co...wg2u8BdGYM64pTi

Edited by ElizabethB, 27 October 2017 - 02:36 PM.


#10 fralala

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 08:23 AM

My first advice, if you're planning to homeschool, is just to stop thinking about stuff as "school stuff" and definitely stop talking about it as such.

 

It sounds like you do a lot of great stuff with your son! There is absolutely no reason a wiggly kid needs to sit still to benefit from a read-aloud-- let him bounce, roll, flip, zoom around the room, to his heart's content. Or play with legos, puzzles, or tiles while you read. Or pick books that encourage movement. There is a great list here, along with suggested activities that kids might like. (If your son doesn't, no problem, he's not in a classroom, so you can find your own.)

 

Nursery rhymes, too, are fantastic if you want to incorporate movement and literacy (and, often, numeracy).

 

With fine motor skill development, if he's not interested, he's not interested, but...what happens if you get a couple of pairs of scissors, glue sticks, and a stack of magazines, say nothing to him, and just sit at the table and enjoy yourself cutting and making a collage? Or if you get a bunch of tissue paper and just sit there tearing it up and pasting it onto paper? Or put on some music and color or draw by yourself? What if you spend 30 minutes a day at the table doing one of those things and not even trying to convince him to join you, but just enjoying yourself?

 

To me, this is something kids sometimes get in preschool-- they try out activities they might not otherwise because the other kids make them look fun and enjoyable and interesting. Having an only child is hard. If he doesn't have an opportunity to watch older kids do a lot of these things, you're kind of responsible for making the activities seem desirable enough to try.

 

Math is everywhere for a wiggly kid. Go on shape hunts. Count everything. Estimate together how many Cheerios in his bowl, m&ms in the package, height of a tree (how many mommies tall?), etc. See what he's paying attention to and help him verbalize it-- patterns, addition and subtraction, etc. Make number lines and have him figure out how many different ways he can hop to 5 or 6. Sort stuff.

 

I think a prepackaged curriculum would be a bust for this kid. Your intuition and sense of creativity will help you figure out what he needs! But one word on that: your pediatrician should be your close ally. Keep an eye on the things that concern her. They don't have to concern you, but if he is doing things noticeably differently or on a different timeline than other kids his age, that's valuable to know and reflect on. I am a little inclined to defensiveness on this point, but it's part of the pediatricians job to keep track of kids' development. She can't judge a kid based upon his behavior during one office visit, but she can share her opinions about what you should expect so you can think about whether it's something to consider. (I remember eye contact being something my ped. also looks for at the 4 year visit, and something my kids just couldn't do with her. But after she talked to me about it, I made it a point to be sure I was making frequent eye contact with my children. I should have been doing it anyway, but that was helpful to me to have reinforced at the visit.)


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#11 HomeAgain

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 08:53 AM

My 4.5 year old son has zero interest in school stuff. He is an only child. He is very active, always on the go and doesn't have time for sitting to listen to me read him a book, color or draw a picture, learn how to use scissors, etc. He is just so not interested in any of those things. He does like puzzles and is good at them. He also likes legos and magnetic blocks. He can count to 10, count objects to 10, knows shapes, and colors but he does not know his letters or numbers. 

I wanted to start trying to get him to get more interested in reading (listening), drawing, coloring, etc. 

I've looked at LOE, AAR, Mother Goose Time, Ivy Kits and others I don't remember the names of  :confused1:  This is all a bit overwhelming. 

We do fun outings...we have a zoo membership and go often except recently cuz it's just way too hot in the summer, the museum, movies, the park, different nature programs that a park near us puts on, pow wows (singing and dancing), etc. I haven't really worried about it until now. He wasn't interested and I wanted to just let him be little but I feel like we're getting to the point where he really should start learning some of this stuff. I'm afraid to wait longer. His pediatrician has already made comments about him being behind at his well child check up. 

So any suggestions on techniques for dealing with a kid that bounces around the chair while you're trying to read them a book or a curriculum to get? Any advise is welcome  :001_smile:

 

I want to break down your post.

 

Your son does have interest in age appropriate school stuff.  Right now, he's working on fine motor skills with legos and blocks.  He is learning with visual and tactile techniques at the zoo, nature center, and museums.  He is building core muscle (needed for seatwork) and gross motor skills at the park.

 

Breaking it down this way, you now have categories you can work within.  Within each one there are literally hundreds of things you can do in these early years that will help to set the building blocks for seatwork later.  You have no rush - whether he learns to read at 4 or 7, he is on no one's timeline except his own.  Play with him.  Get right down to his level and work on simple things one at a time.  So he doesn't sit to listen to stories.  Keep your options open:

-act out stories with puppets together

-use your 'captive audience' in the car (audio books/radio programs), at dinner, or in the bath.

-find books that encourage playing with the story for bedtime.  We've loved ones that had us find things in the picture, or had funny voices, or were like the Book With No Pictures and The Monster At The End Of The Book.

 

He doesn't write.  Give him tweezers to pick up puff balls (if you want a great game to play together, the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel is fantastic).  Get short crayons to do leaf rubbings with.  Get a few eye droppers and let him play with color mixing.  Have a variety of paintbrushes out to do water painting on the driveway.  Use bingo daubers on a large sheet of paper.

 

 

His pediatrician is one person, and as you've remarked, is off a bit with 4yo expectations.  You know what?  My kids didn't know their letters at all until after they learned how to read.  I didn't think it was nice to a child to teach letter names and then pull the rug out from under them a year later with phonics.  So we worked at their pace with phonics when they were ready and then taught letter names when they started learning to spell.  Your child can count, but doesn't recognize numbers yet.  Okay, so you play things like Mother May I and hold up a card with the number of steps for him to take. 

 

 

You are doing just fine.  :)  If I was to suggest anything, it would be to get the book Your 4 Year Old Child by Louis Bates Ames.  The entire series is fantastic and very grounded in what to expect at any given age (and breaking down the year into chunks).
 



#12 sweet2ndchance

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 12:57 PM

Four year old boys are not typically the type to sit down for much of anything. Out of my four boys, only one would sit down for any length of time at the age of 4. You've gotten some great ideas for working with a wiggly preschooler, many of which I've used with all my kids at different points in time. One of the best things you can do is instead of making a preschooler come "do school" is to bring the school work to them through play. They learn and retain so much better when they think learning is a game or fun activity.

 

If he is having problems with eating and speech, it would make sense that he doesn't verbalize what he knows about letters. He may know more than he lets on because his speech and oral motor skills are the barrier, not his academic prowess. If he isn't showing more letter knowledge after about 6 months or so of therapy, I might start looking into more possibilities. That also assumes he is getting plenty of exposure though things like the Letter Factory videos, hearing letter songs and things like the Super Simple Songs alphabet and phonics videos on Youtube, Alphablocks also on Youtube, point out letters when you are out  and about ("Look at that sign, it says Burger King. See the first letter with the two big bumps, that's a letter B (or /b/ sound if you would rather teach sounds first) just like at the beginning of your name! Do you hear the /b/ in Burger King and Brice?")

 

With the drawing and cutting, does he have access to those materials on a regular basis? Does he have a pile of scrap paper and some safety scissors he can use when he pleases to practice cutting? Does he have a pencil box with crayons, pencils and washable markers in fun colors and drawing paper that he can use when the mood strikes him? Do you ever sit and just draw with him? My current four year old (and the only child still living at home so more or less an only child) loves when I will sit and draw with him and show him how to draw simple line drawings of things (house, car, stick person, stick animals etc) We also found a really cool youtube channel called Art Hub for Kids by a guy who is a professional artist and a dad. He walks his kids through how to draw all kinds of cool things and really has a talent for breaking the drawings down to be easy enough for even a young child to follow. He has some videos aimed at kids under 5 years old and my son loves these videos and can draw amazing things when he is interested in sitting down and doing it. You might look through the videos and find something that your son might find interesting to draw and see if that sparks his interest.

 

You son does sound pretty normal to me. My 4 year old is also speech delayed and has eating/feeding issues that he has been in therapy for since just before he turned 2. Therapy is one of those things that while you would like to see steady progress, sometimes they just wake up one morning and it finally clicks for some reason and they make a giant leap in abilities seemingly overnight. I'd say just keep doing what you are doing for now and if therapy doesn't seem to be helping with his phonological abilities in 6 months to a year, it may be time to see if there are other underlying issues at play.



#13 Melissa in Australia

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 04:54 AM

Coco bricks connect straight onto duplo. They come in upper and lower case letters, phonograms, blends and numbers.

AAR prereading with Ziggy only takes 10 minutes max, the child does not have toe sitting, in fact I find standing, jumping and wriggling while doing it helps my developmently delayed twins remember it better.

#14 Melissa in Australia

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 04:56 AM

Coco bricks connect straight onto duplo. They come in upper and lower case letters, phonograms, blends and numbers.

AAR prereading with Ziggy only takes 10 minutes max, the child does not have toe sitting, in fact I find standing, jumping and wriggling while doing it helps my developmently delayed twins remember it better.