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Noreen Claire

what else can/should I do with this child?

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DS5 was tested for an IEP due to speech articulation issues. He was also given the PPVT-5 (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test) and the EVT-3 (Expressive Vocabulary Test) to rule out other issues in communication. For both tests, the mean is 100 +/-15. on the PPVT, DS5 scored a 156 out of a max of 160; on the EVT he scored a 128.  We knew he had a great vocabulary and memory (he was my earliest talker), but the scores were much higher than I expected. 

Currently, we are working on 'kindergarten' work for about 30 minutes, 3-4 times most weeks:

  • logic: Mind Benders level 1 (2 or 3 pages; We just started last week. He loves this.)
  • math: SM Essential Math Kindergarten  A (10-15 minutes, or until he's bored)
  • ZB Handwriting level K (I am trying to add in fine-motor and hand-strengthening activities to his day.)
  • OPGTR (1 lesson; We just started.)
  • (occasionally) Get Set for the Code B (He worked through A last year and enjoys the books, but we only do this if he asks.)
  • (tagging along with DS7) He listens along when I read SOTW1 and wants to answer the questions. 

He listens to audiobooks (Harry Potter, Trumpet of the Swan, Beatrix Potter, etc.) during quiet time every day, for 2 hours. He asks everyone to read to him constantly, and spends lots of times 'reading' the pictures in his older brother's library books. What else can (should) I be doing with this child? Should I start to work with him on narrations? Short poetry memorizations? Just keep doing what we're doing? Leave him alone and let him be 5?  

 

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I'm finding that I prefer a broader-skill based focus for K and 1st grade years. Possibly even until the 2nd grade. But for fine-motor, hand-strengthening how many of the following would you be able to add as a part of the daily activities?

  • Hand rhymes, Finger Plays and Hand Clapping Rhythm Games
  • American Sign Language
  • Drawing lessons
  • Coloring
  • Paper Crafts
  • Teach an instrument
  • Sit and spend time doing block-building challenge games with him. There are Build It! books for simple Lego structures that can be built from various "bricks".
  • Invite him into the kitchen to peel, cook, chop, knead along with you
  • Gardening -- weeding, watering, digging, etc
  • Finger Soccer
  • Tool-work -- hammering and pulling out nails, screwing and unscrewing screws into a board, assembling small plastic shelves or drawers.
  • Pre-Writing and hand-eye coordination workbooks. Kumon isn't the only brand that has workbooks that focus on
    • Cutting
    • Mazes
    • (simple) drawing/coloring
    • Tracing
    • etc.
  • Teach classic childrens games like Yoyo, Jacks, Marbles, Cats Cradle, etc and give time each day or every other day to play them.
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- have him tell stories of his own invention...this can be round robin, where each person contributes a line or scene and moves the story along

- show and share:  he should be showing the interesting things he finds on his nature walk and telling about it; can also be something interesting he learned or figured out that day

- fingerpainting, brush painting art

- codes  show him some codes, have him invent his own, read about codes and teach him your phone/door safety code words

- safety 911, stove

- add'l games:  play checkers, mille bornes, connect four, crazy eights

PE: should be on trike, walking a beam, playing tag, setting up and playing treasure hunt (both auditory and visual) 

Music: listening as well as creating

 

-

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My 2e younger kid is like that.  She took the PPVT when she was 8 as part of a study, and the grad student who gave it was absolutely floored.  She kept saying, "She finished the test!"  And, since she'd melted down and they'd given up on an attempt at the WISC, I was like, "Well, good.  Great."  And she was like, "No, you don't understand.  She FINISHED the test.  She got to the very last question without missing enough to stop.  I've never done that.  Nobody in my class has finished the test before.  That's like graduate level vocabulary."  Which didn't surprise us at all, given that she regularly used words like "soporific" in her daily conversation from the time she was a preschooler.  

I think you just keep doing what you're doing.  Talk to the child.  Explain things.  Lots of read alouds.  Lots of audiobooks.  Lots of content (nonfiction books from the library).  I agree with working on motor skills and music.  

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Something my highly verbal child enjoyed at that age was dictating to us. They did it in his preschool, and we carried it over at home. They encouraged kids to tell stories, but he always preferred non fiction of some sort. At the time, it was mainly recipes, because he was way into cooking.  We still have a great binder full of recipes in all different handwriting, as he would also ask other adults to scribe for him when they were at our house. He loved to have them read back to him and would also spend lots of time looking at them himself.

As for memorizing, I’m guessing if he’s listening a lot to audio books, he will likely start memorizing huge chunks of them on his own. My son did. The Shel Silverstein poems on audio are great.

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You may need to add PA into the phonics.  

This works on beginning PA skills in fun ways:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1574712314/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

If there is trouble blending and segmenting consonants, I would get Kilpatrick's book, more boring but short drills and ideas and goes to a higher level of PA:

https://equippedforreadingsuccess.com

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I like the suggestions you’ve received so far! 

Gross motor, fine motor, board games, outside time

Oral motor activities for articulation issues is apparently controversial, but for me makes sense as long as it is playful: blowing bubbles, using straws, whistles, pinwheels, etc. After doing therapy for articulation without results for years, we eventually had success with a PROMPT-certified speech therapist. 

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These are all good suggestions, especially focusing on fun things like blowing bubbles, playing games, and playing outside as also "building skills" and not just on some sense that they aren't enough or are wasting time if they aren't in a formal curriculum.

You mentioned poetry.  I would just add my two cents that memorizing little poems like Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses is just pure fun at this age. They love it, they're short and easy and cute, and the kids feel so good and proud about being able to say it back. The completed poems can be written (by dictation to mom) into a special notebook and the child can use crayons to illustrate their poem if they like that sort of thing, and it just becomes a keepsake. So sweet. Just IMHO.

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