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5 year old focus problems, I don't know what to do next


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#51 vgoss

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 12:50 AM

If you get the testing and the scores are high enough, you can connect with a Davidson mentor. 

 

When you call the psychs, talk with them a few minutes and see who seems helpful, who is seeming to really get your child. They will vary. The right fit for one person could be a poor fit for the next. 

 

The book Bright Not Broken I suggested is specifically on this overlap in behaviors between gifted, ADHD, ASD. It sounds like he really responds well to instruction, so some books, just a little bit to bump his connecting the dots on social thinking would probably go a long way. For instance, maybe not this particular book, but a book like this could be just enough to help him realize what's going on Interrupting Chicken: David Ezra Stein: 9780763689032: Amazon.com: Books Or there are full curricula like We Thinkers. 

 

Your library might have access to books like this, at least on inter-library loan. And if you click that one on amazon, there will be more in the list of books customers also looked at. You'd probably find something helpful.

 

That's really cool that he's doing so well in karate. Coaches enjoy working with my kids too. They like how capable the kids are of understanding really precise verbal instructions. Given that he's bored, even with that and school, you want to consider stepping up his access. Not in a pushing way so much as satisfying. Like my dd, bright, not necessarily a gifted IQ, and with homeschooling her at that age she was doing latin, learning history, all sorts of things. School just really holds these kids back. It actually physically HURT her not to have access to the things she wanted to learn and do. 

 

With my ds, his intellectual side, his brain, just just has this ENERGY. It's a drive to develop, and that energy has to go SOMEWHERE. So right now in your ds the energy is coming out with talking, but it could be going into learning spanish. It could be going into doing science kits or working through TOPS science books. He could be doing pre-algebra. If he is ready for multiplication, he's almost there. Get him the Hands-On Equations app and see what happens. I'm just observing that the level you have him in is NOT using up his developmental energy, the energy that is telling his brain DEVELOP, DEVELOP. It needs healthy outlets.

 

I'm going to read Bright Not Broken for certain!  That looks like something that I definitely need to pay some attention to. This weekend we've decided to lift the math ban and just let him read about whatever he wants.  I gave him a 1st grade workbook today for the first time after school and let him work a couple pages and he did fine, not one error...my fear prior to this has been making him confused with different work but after all this we are just done trying to worry about it.  I'm going to do some digging on homeschooling and it will replace homework time.  We are still going to have him tested though, when he turns 6....we already talked to a couple of options and the one we like (so far) is from the site you recommended above...Hoagies Gifted.  By the time we get him in, he will probably be about finished with Kindergarten so we will have a new teacher, and he should be able to start 1st in a better place.  I downloaded the Hands-On Equations app just now also, and we will let him try his hand at it tomorrow....I found several good ones that were related, so I figure what the heck lets see what he can do.

 

These past couple days have been exhausting. I cannot thank you all enough for listening and giving advice without judgement.
 


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#52 PeterPan

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 08:32 AM

How could we judge you?  :lol:   If you knew what some of our kids were like, oh my lands. My kid has given me a concussion and beaten me up with bruises. When I went to the IEP team, they told me I was a bad parent. I went to a private neuropsych and got told that not only was I a bad parent but that I was UNQUALIFIED TO TEACH MY CHILD and should pay someone else to do it. Actually I'm the MOST qualified person to teach to the particular disability that psych was worried about.

 

People are always willing to give you straight talk or pixie dust of empowerment so you can begin to fly, sure. But we all know we go through a process of figuring this stuff out, figuring out what combination of supports fits our kis.

 

I think that's another pipe dream to say 1st grade will be better just because he has a new teacher or because it's 1st. First grade is a continuation of K5, developmentally, with a longer day. 2nd grade is a bump up, but 1st grade will still be pretty tame. He will still be bored and school will still be prison. Yes, you are right to FREE him and give him access to ANYTHING HE WANTS. 

 

That's fabulous that you're finding some good psych options!!!!!!  Take your time and make sure you like talking to them. The right psych is someone who both gets your kid clinically AND who can connect with your brain to help you. If you like talking to them and find them good at explaining things, patient for your way of communicating, not intimidating, it will be a good fit. And that's just really personal. 

 

For math workbooks, maybe get him Singapore. Way more fun than a grocery store thing. There are brain teaser books (ebooks) you can buy from Evan Moor, Teacher Created Resources, Carson Dellosa, etc. I use lots of stuff like this with my ds. Also, you want a really DIFFERENT kind of fun? The people at AOPS used to recommend Family Math before they started writing their own curriculum. Or was it Kitchen Table Math? No matter. They probably still do. Your ds is ready for their Beast Academy math curriculum btw and will do well with it. Workbooks are busywork for him probably. Just saying. Show him Beast Academy and see if he bites. 

 

A mix of things is good. Play games with him. Like I really wasn't joking when I said personally I would pull him out and play games. You don't need curriculum, and he would probably BLOW YOUR MIND playing games. Buy Catan, Carcassone, Agricola (there's a 2 person version), Ticket to Ride, Forbidden Desert, Forbidden Island, Catan Jr (he's 5, it's cute!), etc. and just play games with the child. Guaranteed he will blow your mind. You don't need an IQ test to see it. You're not seeing it because you don't get to be with him enough and do these things. He'd have way more fun, learn a ton, and you'd feel more confident. Pairing, by playing games like that, would prepare you to develop routines and find how you work well together so you could begin gently adding school work in a collaborative, mutually stimulating way. You'd enjoy it, he'd enjoy it. School is unnecessary. He sounds socially typical (score, awesome), so he could participate in ANY kind of after school activities or co-ops or whatever and be fine getting his social. He could pursue interest-driven things in the community, like park science programs, history re-enacting programs, scouting, whatever. You don't need school.

 

And if you don't want to pull him out, still play the games, kwim? It's just good advice. But if you want to pull him out, that's your pixie dust. It could totally work like that. Think about what GOOD the school is doing him. Don't just hope things will get better. They can BE better, and it's really not evidence-based to say 1st grade will get better. So it gets better only if you change something or the school changes something RADICALLY.

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Edited by PeterPan, 03 February 2018 - 08:34 AM.

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#53 PeterPan

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 08:51 AM

Catan: Junior Super cute.

 

Fantasy Flight Games Ticket to Ride: Europe: First Journey Board Games  This is the jr version but he could probably play the full version with support.

 

Dragonwood A Game of Dice & Daring Board Game

 

Enchanted Forest - Children's Game  This isn't a euro game or strategy game, but it's fun. :)

 

Catan Studios Rivals for Catan: Deluxe Board Games, Various, 7.5 x 10.75 x 2.75  Two person version. I'm always looking for 2 person versions because it's just me and my ds playing. 

 

Amazon.com: Forbidden Island: Edward Buell Hungerford: Toys & Games

 

I can't find 2 person Agricola right now on amazon. On my box it says "All Creatures Big and Small". Games go oop, sigh. If not, try the app. Very fun. 

 

See, here's the thing. We're on WTM/SWB's board, so we don't say this, but I really part waters on something. Education should be about FACILITATING, not just you telling them what to do. Yes, there's some top-down and some directing, but what intimidates people is thinking they need to top-down direct EVERYTHING and that it will be hard! It's just the opposite. With a kid who is super bright, you need to direct LESS and facilitate more. Facilitating means you give opportunities, give access, make it happen, ask what they want to have happen or what they want access to or what they want to learn. Facilitating means I don't spoon feed it to you but you begin to do it to yourself as you're able. 

 

So playing the games helps build your relationship, and relationship is what makes homeschooling work, not perfect paradigm, not having tons of money for this or that. Relationship is what makes homeschooling effective and mutually satisfying. It's how you transmit your character and passion. And you don't HAVE to homeschool to do that, but sometimes school is really getting in the way. Sometimes school is not facilitating learning AND it's not having any good top-down instruction going on. Then you really have to step back and be honest and go what good is the school doing my child right now? Write it out! I can think of a bunch of good things a school could do for my ds. It's not like we are anti-school around here. I'm just saying you can be honest and make the list. Then you can make a list of what you would do better at home and see how it all balances out and what has priority.

 

For some kids, having freedom to learn and freedom from the restrictions of the system RADICALLY ALTERS THE COURSE OF THEIR LIVES. It's a really exciting point to be at. Think about what would happen if you unleashed him, if he had access to what he really wanted, if he wasn't being held back by the busy work, rigidity, and inflexibility of the system. Might be really fun.

 

PS. Timberdoodle has great stuff, especially the games. If you want a $10 option, All Queens is fun. Does he play chess yet?

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Edited by PeterPan, 03 February 2018 - 08:53 AM.

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#54 vgoss

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 02:44 PM

I downloaded the Hands on Equations app and let him play with it today and I'm just shocked.  I explained the goal (we don't want the scales to tip).... and he can do it. They are easy equations, no doubt.... 2x = 10 for example, but he got the concept and could puzzle it out. He uses what I call "the brick wall method" some though where he just changes the X to be 1, 2, 3, etc until he finds the one that matches ... I think he needs to formally learn multiplication and division first which I have no idea how to teach, but I'm going to find out and just let him learn it.

 

This morning we taught him how to tell time using a digital and analog clock.... and started teaching him to count money. All this year I've been afraid to show him those things when he asked, because I thought he'd be confused and not understand how to add or subtract when asked. For now we subscribed to education.com and we're letting him play whatever games he wants....until we figure out what sort of content we need to focus on. I have a feeling we will still be having the "behavior" problems at school though. Pulling him out is just an impossibility for us currently (although it may be possible in a year or two)...so we think we will get the eval and push for an IEP?....The thing where they let him do 2nd grade math or whatever, but 1st grade reading and stuff. There is so much information to digest! Thank you so much for all of the links and great ideas....We are definitely using them!

 

He does play chess, but mostly he has just learned to move the pieces correctly....I don't think he has the full concept yet.


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#55 Storygirl

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 05:16 PM

To build pre-multiplication and -division skills for that age, you can teach skip counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s. Then 3s, 4s, etc. You can use manipulatives to let him see what he is doing. He may be able to memorize the skip counting easily, but you want to be sure he understands what he is doing and is not just chanting the numbers.

 

It's likely he will be able to see that two groups of 3 equals 6, etc., and you can practice this around the house. Food is particularly fun to divide into equal groups. You can give him nine cheese crackers in three piles of three crackers each, for example. Or give him a pile of crackers and tell him to divide it into equal groups before eating them.



#56 Heathermomster

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 08:45 PM

Check out the following:

http://www.educationunboxed.com/
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#57 PeterPan

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 09:43 PM

All Queens is really fun and there's Fritz & Chesster, which I *think* you may be able to play online or as an app now, google and see. Both will be fun for him. F&C puts the chess into a story and teaches them strategies and more advanced moves. He'll love it.

 

Don't try so hard on the teaching thing. Multiplication is just repeated addition, so he'll discover it himself. As he does, you can answer his questions. It all happens naturally with these kids. My dd discovered multiplication around that age. My ds, he's in another land, haha between his autism and SLDs (and gifted IQ). He doesn't discover it on his own. But my dd, sure, at that age that's what she was doing. And her brain figured out division too, because division is just repeated subtraction. Their brains ask questions and get there.

 

Yes, stop holding back. 

 

I think the other thing the school can do, besides advancing, is provide a plan that says when he's bored or he's done or he's this or that, these are his options. He should have access to more advanced sections of the library, He can have the option to have books with him. There are actual legal protections once you get him labeled as gifted. 

 

I'm not sure your whole situation, but people homeschool through unlikely challenges. We have people here homeschooling who are professors full-time with disabled spouses. Seriously, like there are ways to work through things. It's not that you have to, but I'm suggesting you not be unrealistic and make an overwhelmed decision based on assumptions. Homeschooling a child like this is 1-2 hours a day of you facilitating and another couple hours a day of him having access. And your part steps up a bit, sure, but a LOT he can do for himself as long as he has access to good things and an adult in the house so he's safe. Your actual, on-call, actually teaching time would NOT be 8 am to 3 pm, haha. It would be more like 10-12. So people *do* find ways to make homeschooling work when both parents are working full-time. It's challenging, but people find ways. It's something maybe to keep in the back of your mind.

 

Check out the Dragonbox apps. They have several, including some for geometry that are fun. They're all good.


Edited by PeterPan, 03 February 2018 - 09:44 PM.

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#58 kitten18

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 05:01 PM

Check out the following:

http://www.educationunboxed.com/

Yes! Exactly what I was thinking. Playing with the cuisenaire rods.
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#59 nwahomeschoolmom

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 09:27 PM

Your son sounds a bit like my oldest, 5.5. We are nearly positive he has ADHD, Aspergers, and giftedness...we are in the process of trying to get him evaluated but he waiting for our phone call interview just to formally get on the wait list. Not to comment on screen time but if an aspergers kid is allowed to spend tons of time on the computer you won't run into as many problems at home. Maybe do an experiment and go screen free for two weeks and make observations of his behavior to share with whoever is doing the evals. Not speaking until three is a huge sign there is something going on. My son is really exhausting me...especially being cooped up during winter...i hope we get some support and community after diagnosis but maybe that is wishful thinking.