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Suggestions for catching up a kindergartener?


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I would really appreciate any advise on this. My daughter is in a private school. She will be turning 7 this fall. She failed kindergarten last year and the teacher says that she cannot in good concious let her continue to first grade. I really hate to see her in kindergarten at 7 years old. I also know that she will miss her friends. I would like to catch her up if at all possible. The teacher says that even with tutoring all summer she will not be able to advance. I have been using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons and I feel like she is doing fantastic. We are 1/4 of the way through the book. She needs to be able to count to 100 and skip count by 5s to 100 in order to go into the next grade. Im not exactly sure on the reading/spelling requirements. She can count by 10s to 100, but not by 1s or 5s. I have been looking at MUS as well as Singapore and Saxon. I am leaning towards Singapore math since I feel like it is concept based and also because the local college offers a couple of courses on teaching Singapore math. I just dont know if it will interfere with what she is learning at school. She actually has a good grasp of simple addition, subtraction but she seriously sucks at memorization. I think that is her real problem. Not that she is having a hard time understanding concepts, but that she cannot seem to memorize sight words, numbers, etc. I apologize that this is so long. I would love suggestions. Thanks!

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Check Rightstart Math as well, it's a really good program.

I'm a bit boggled that you can fail kindergarten. It's before school age. It didn't even used to exist.

Some kids need more time before they're ready for academics. It doesn't sound like this school caters to what is developmentally expected, just to kids who are early. Is it going to be a good fit for her long-term? Are you looking at putting her back in, or homeschooling, or...?

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Hi Kela,

1. I would move to using phonics for reading. Memorizing sight words has a history of failure for many students learning to read.

2. I agree with you that Singapore math is the best.

3. Learning to teach Singapore math at a local college is a double cost, both for the class and for the time.  I would instead use a tutor who is experienced teaching Singapore math. We have used Tim (with Touchdown Tutors) who is great.

It sounds to me like the teacher isn't doing her job if a kindergartner doesn't have the skills needed to move to 1st grade.

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Just a thought..........

But, your post raises some concerns, and I would encourage you to talk to the teacher more fully about what she meant when she said that even with a summer of tutoring, she won't be able to catch up.  Because I am wondering if it has something to do with working memory, and whether you should have more information in order to get her tested or put into a better educational environment for next year.

I'm glad 100 Easy Lessons is working for you.  With my youngest, I ended up doing a lesson each week that was 10-20 lessons behind where we were currently at in the book so that he could apply what he was learning easily and gain confidence.  With my extra kids that learned to read the same way, I made cards to go with each lesson so we could constantly review.  If you want a copy, PM me and I'll send you the file.

Singapore is a good program.  So is Miquon, the games from Education Unboxed, and MEP.  You should definitely invest in a set of cuisenaire rods no matter which you choose.  The one thing that early elementary math relies on is a good number sense.  Nothing you use to get there should interfere with another program because they're all working toward the same goal.

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Thnk you fo the suggestions! I will definitely look into those resources. It is not an advanced school, just a regular Christian school that uses BJU. The teacher thinks that if there are any problems then they need to be addressed now as it just gets harder from here on out. She says she held her own child back in kindergarten and feels like it is the best thing she could have done for him. 

I would love to homeschool her. I love working with my kids, but I'm a single mom and I work a lot. Plus, she is an extremely social child that loves being around her friends. She is a very outside of the box thinker and doesnt like to learn things just for the sake of it. She is only interested when she sees a purpose to it. It's extremely difficult to get her to memorize anything. Another problem, I think, is that she adores her teacher and would rather not try than mess up.

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If you let her play online, you might check out Odd Squad games as well: https://pbskids.org/oddsquad/games

We love the show, but the games are good for reinforcement of concepts.  I don't think my kid would have accepted the idea of rounding without the meatball rolling off the spaghetti.  He struggled for months with the idea (he's a literalist) before it clicked that it was okay not to have the specific number, but just a general idea.

Also, if you have a color printer, TheToymaker has free printable math toys that are adorable.  Just scroll down on the page to Brownie Math Toys and you can print out the skipcounter, a folded paper that encourages learning skip counting patterns - and you can reinforce by having her jump rope like the Brownies.  Also, this blog post has skip counting songs. 

I'm not a huge fan of BJU in general, especially as it moves upwards.  If it's a grit your teeth and bear it situation, these are things that can help.  I can say that their focus is not in my list of priorities for early math, but it is what it is.

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7 hours ago, Kela said:

She will be turning 7 this fall. She failed kindergarten last year and the teacher says that she cannot in good concious let her continue to first grade.

Did the teacher keep you in the loop with concerns throughout the year, or just dump this on you at the end? Rather than blaming your daughter, I'd be wondering why the school wasn't able to teach a kindergartner what she needed to know by the end of the year.

Perhaps your daughter has learning disabilities. That could explain why she didn't catch on to things like the other kids. Or, maybe, the school/teacher isn't that great and didn't know how to do what your daughter needed. 

Did the teacher/another staff member give your daughter extra intervention, or make a plan for improvement throughout the year (keeping you informed, too, of course)?

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5 hours ago, Kela said:

Thnk you fo the suggestions! I will definitely look into those resources. It is not an advanced school, just a regular Christian school that uses BJU. The teacher thinks that if there are any problems then they need to be addressed now as it just gets harder from here on out. She says she held her own child back in kindergarten and feels like it is the best thing she could have done for him. 

I would love to homeschool her. I love working with my kids, but I'm a single mom and I work a lot. Plus, she is an extremely social child that loves being around her friends. She is a very outside of the box thinker and doesnt like to learn things just for the sake of it. She is only interested when she sees a purpose to it. It's extremely difficult to get her to memorize anything. Another problem, I think, is that she adores her teacher and would rather not try than mess up.

I would also not want my 7yo child to be in kindergarten. I'm guessing that your dc is older for her grade; keeping her back a year exacerbates the issues that will show up because of that. And I'm guessing this teacher's child was not on the older side of the grade, so she won't have seen those issues.

You need more information, such as what kind of problems there are now that were not "addressed" all year.

That your dc is "extremely social" is not a reason to send her to school. That she is a "very outside of the box thinker" and "doesn't like to learn things just for the sake of it" are definitely not reasons to send her to school, because that's all that happens in school: only inside-of-box things are taught, and she will definitely have to learn things for the sake of it.  It's good that she "adores" her teacher, but again, that is not a reason to send her to school. The only real issue is your being a single parent and working. Under these circumstances, I would really encourage you to find a local homeschool community--not a co-op, but a support group--and see if there's any way at all you can figure out a way to homeschool.

If that just isn't possible, then you could up your game with teaching your dd to read. No sight words. You want true phonics, and there are a number of good phonics methods which are not labor intensive. Alpha Phonics and Victory Drill Book are both good, and they are inexpensive and not labor intensive.

But you still need to know more. Specifically, what are the issues? It is just not enough for the teacher to say as little as she did.

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We did 100 Easy Lessons and it went very well for us -- I'd stick to that if it's working for you. 

In terms of math, are you playing any math games with her? Can you simply practice counting lots of stuff? I'd be honestly reluctant to teach a kid to count by 10s before they can count by 1. 

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I would either find a way to to homeschool or send her to a different school. If she stays in school she should be tested for a learning disability. The fact that she is 7 and the teacher thinks she needs to be held back is evidence that there might be something wrong and she might benefit from having an IEP. In my experience private schools do not do a very good job of meeting the needs of kids with learning challenges. She might be better off in public school.

Susan in TX

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Can you get her evaluated by another teacher? Is your daughter good with rhyming and phonemic awareness? Is she able to cross her midsection? Can she sing simple songs? How is her coordination? Has she had developmental delays in the past? I am sure there are 100 other questions that should be considered... 

I would also wonder how much experience and education the teacher has.. I know too many private schools that use BJU and hire really nice people but not necessarily qualified teachers.  I hope that is not the case at your school, but it does happen. 

Keep doing what you are doing, but make sure she has plenty of time to play. Read to her, sing to her, bake with her,  build towers with her, talk to her, teach her to ride a bike, cross the monkey bars,  catch fireflies... 

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You'll get lots of good advice about specific programs and suggestions for possible testing and interventions.  One thing to consider is that, whether you keep her at this school or another, kids who move on before they master whatever is expected in the previous grade can really struggle because those skills aren't necessarily re-taught later.  For instance, they may jump into telling time using a clock with hands, with the expectation that the students can count by 5s so they don't spend much time reviewing that.  I used to see this sometimes with the kids that I volunteered with - we'd be working on factoring or long division and I'd realize that the issue was that they didn't know their multiplication tables...and sometimes they were missing things even more basic.  I had never realized what a tough spot it was for classroom teachers - what can they do when a student is missing something that is foundational, but they'd need to pause what they are doing for a month to go back and learn it and most of the rest of the class needs to keep moving forward.  

I do know several people who handled holding a student back by moving them to a different school so they weren't repeating a grade while watching their classmates move on - they were just the new kid in 2nd grade.  There are some kids who just grasp certain concepts later - I know of a college grad who didn't read until they were in 4th grade, despite the mom successfully teaching 5 other kids to read in K-1.  But, there has to be a plan with the school for dealing with this, and if it's many skills then something more probably needs to be done.  

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17 hours ago, Kela said:

She failed kindergarten last year and the teacher says that she cannot in good concious let her continue to first grade.

Did the teacher specifically tell you what she "failed" on? I didn't think they expect kids to be fully reading by first grade, or to have their arithmetic tables memorized. I do know kindergarteners who fail kindergarten because of social issues vs. academic issues (church friends who have kids or teach). Things like not being able to sit still, be quiet and pay attention, line up behind other kids, wait their turn, following multi-step directions... 

 

17 hours ago, Kela said:

She actually has a good grasp of simple addition, subtraction but she seriously sucks at memorization. I think that is her real problem. Not that she is having a hard time understanding concepts, but that she cannot seem to memorize sight words, numbers, etc.

Personally, I would be seriously concerned about the teaching methodology of a school if they held my kid back because they couldn't memorize and spew out addition facts and subtraction facts by rote, even though they understand the concepts of addition and subtraction. 

Figure out what exactly she can't do then you can tackle those topics specifically. You don't need a full curriculum to tackle skip counting by 5's, because a full curriculum is also going to spend time on adding, skip counting by 10's, and stuff she knows already.

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Posted (edited)

Not that you asked, but I wouldn’t put my 7 turning 8 year old back in KG. That sounds like recipe for disaster. Social friendships start to change around 7-9. There is less “play with anyone and talk about anything” and more meaningful conversation and play as they grow and mature.
 

IMO it’s fine if she needs extra time on K concepts. All of your choices are solid. We love Singapore and Miquon math. We use Handwriting without tears. BJU press uses “pre cursive” font. Is that a potential issue? My 6 year old gets really stressed with the bju font. 
 

I would just be concerned about the social aspect of repeating K at a presumably small, private school. Perhaps you could hire a sitter/tutor and use bju press distance learning for less than Christian school tuition. Or perhaps there are other Christian schools in the area that have a gentler approach?
 

If the current school has already said they don’t want her advancing no matter what you do over the summer, I would believe them. Did she take a standardized test? BJU sells K level tests. Maybe test her on your own and see what happens. 

Edited by AnneGG
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I'm kinda flabbergasted about the idea of catching up a Ker. Catch them up to what? I think it'll be healthier to shift your mindset to:
Supporting your 7yo daughters education from home.

 

First, the good news.
100EZ is a really phenomenal reading program! Be consistent and don't be afraid to double back and repeat lessons as needed. You're teaching your daughter to read--this is the single most important skill for grades 1-12. Don't skimp, don't rush, don't panic. If she's at lesson 25, your daughter is making good progress with the program. Stay the course!

If your daughter winds up needing special accommodations, will the private school be willing and able to support her appropriately?

Until she completes 100EZ, I would keep the spotlight on reading, but if you want to do 10-15 minutes of math, then I suggest you take a look at Baird's Arithmetic 1.

You've got to provide/add in a stack of pennies or tokens (for manipulative) but you can just read the lesson off of your phone or tablet to her. You might occasionally have to draw a picture on a sheet of paper for her, but it's a wonderful math program that can be done for 10 -15 minutes a day and picked up the next day.

It won't teach her to count to 100, but it will greatly strengthen her sense of number and give her a good foundation for approaching arithmetic and problem solving thoughtfully.

There is a lot of repetition so she might wind up mastering some of her math facts as well. If not, no biggie. You can begin working on fact memorization once her reading is fluent.

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Thank you for all the suggestions! The teacher did let me know very early on in the year that she thought she would have to repeat the grade and we had meeting on it a few different times. She struggled in pre-K as well. She sent home a lot of flashcards to work on, but they just did not help, I did not feel like. I had bought 100 EZ lessons last year but didn't end up doing it with her until this summer because I was afraid it would slow her down more if I tried to add another thing. I sure wish I had started her on it sooner, it is phenominal. I tried a reader with her today and she was able to sound out quite a few words that were unfamiliar.

I suspect she may be slightly dyslexic. Before I started the 100 Ez lLessons book with her, she would try to sound out a word beginning with the last sound. Or even say it backwards, (gum instead of mug for example). Today I was asking her to point out numbers on a number chart and if I said, "63 for example, she would point out 36.

She has had standardized testing and did not do well. I feel like part of it is that she dies things at home but wont do them at school. She can know every one of her spelling words at home and get them all wrong at school, which is rather frustrating. She is a very good kid. She brings home a behavior chart every day and I think I could count on one hand the number if times when it hasn't been perfect, so she is not being held back for anything like that.

I don't know what the requirements are for kindergarten but I've always felt like they were asking a but much. For example, some of her spelling words this year were, "lick, click, sick, brick, champ, stamp, lamp, gramp, etc.

She is known as a really good teacher and the rest of the class graduated, just my daughter that didn't. 

 

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I think I had to play a counting to 100 clip on Youtube every day for about 9 months before my daughter found some space in her brain to file it. An inability/disinclination to memorise maths facts is entirely normal.

She enjoyed CSMP maths. It's very different to standard maths programs, so is a good way of adding some extra maths in a way that doesn't feel like more of the same, even though it is. 

If you suspect dyslexia, test her for Irlen's syndrome.

Apples and Pears is very good for spelling and was written especially for dyslexic kids. Don't expect to do one lesson in one sitting, and it might be worth your while to teach her to finger spell (as in sign language alphabet) to cut down on the reading.

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Posted (edited)

If you have not already done so, I would suggest having her vision evaluated by a developmental optometrist ASAP.

I would also look into getting her tested for learning disabilities.

IMO failing an almost-7yo in KG is never ever the answer.  If this is the way your child's private school handles things, I think it's the wrong school for your child.

I do agree with working with her over the summer, regardless of what schooling she will be doing in the fall.  However, testing is important for you to focus on what she really needs help with.

Some things that really helped my daughter were:  wiki stix (to recognize numbers/letters), cuisenaire rods, and base 10 cubes.

[Link to the alphabet wiki stix - they also have number ones:https://www.schoolspecialty.com/fidgets-strengtheners-1531868?utm_source=google&utm_medium=shopping&utm_campaign=9241049649&product_id=1531868&ad_group_id=94778733118&feed_item_id&target_id=pla-871195077975&gclid=CjwKCAjwoZWHBhBgEiwAiMN66QED7iPRNi7UXcX9XHbquRQk6DWhsw-5vyCaZytaN7t-AC47i6KwvxoCoRoQAvD_BwE&keyword&kxconfid=u7avswvjn&source=google&campaignid=(ROI)_Shopping_-_Smart_-_Special_Needs_-_High_Margin&placement=shopping]

Besides giving her work to do, don't neglect lots of reading aloud (you reading to her) and hands-on fun experiences.

Edited by SKL
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Rosie, that us interesting as she does get migraines. Thank you.

She has an appointment with an eye doctor.

I have been looking at Miquon math, what are are some good sets to get with it? I'm a little confused, what is the difference between cuisenaire rods and base 10 sets and which do I need? Thanks.

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45 minutes ago, Kela said:

I have been looking at Miquon math, what are are some good sets to get with it? I'm a little confused, what is the difference between cuisenaire rods and base 10 sets and which do I need? Thanks.

Miquon Math uses Cuisenaire rods. C-rods have 10 colors, with each color being a different size. Base 10 blocks have 1s, 10s, 100s, and 1000 (which is a big block). Both are good (which is to say that of all the manipulatives that lots of people swear by, only C-rods and Base 10 blocks make sense to *me*, lol). So you'll need one set of C-rods. I also recommend the Teacher Lab Notations, which is sort of like the teacher edition.  Furthermore, to make that book easier to work with, I cut the spine off, drill the book for three holes, put it in a three-ring notebook, and put self-adhesive tabs at the beginning of each chapter. If you decide to do Miquon, you should read that book cover to cover before you do the first Miquon activity.\

And also, I would give your dd the rods and let her mess with them, before even starting Miquon. Miquon assumes that the children are already familiar with the rods; IOW, that 1 white one is the same size as 2 red ones or 10 orange ones, and that there are lots of combinations which equal the orange, and so on.

And one more thing: not all children need to use manipulatives to understand arithmetic. Miquon might be fun for your dd, but it might not be the solution to her problems.

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4 minutes ago, Ellie said:

And one more thing: not all children need to use manipulatives to understand arithmetic. Miquon might be fun for your dd, but it might not be the solution to her problems.

Yep. DD8 used pictures for place value for maybe 6 months when she was 5 and that was the only manipulative she ever used. She internalized it all and did it all in her head ever since. 

She does draw diagrams as needed, but lots of kids can manage with mental representations and without manipulatives. And manipulatives are ultimately there to help create a useful mental representation, anyway. They aren't a solution all by themselves. 

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On 7/6/2021 at 2:22 AM, Kela said:

she seriously sucks at memorization.

When the brain learns, it takes information first into short term working memory and then into longer term memory. So typically when kids are having trouble "memorizing" there's a working memory deficit. Others have said this in the thread, but it's very probable your dd has SLDs in reading and or math, possibly also some ADHD. None of that is behavioral or to say she's a bad dc. It means she needs evals to get the SLDs diagnosed and get proper intervention. Unfortunately, as much as I like the BJU curriculum (it's great stuff) and christian schools (yes!), it's unlikely this christian school will turn out to be the right placement for her. Your dd is going to need skilled intervention and accommodations which a christian school is NOT OBLIGATED TO PROVIDE by law. 

If you want to hear sad stories of what happens when you put a dc with SLDs in a small private school that is not prepared to provide intervention services or accommodate them, come over to LC. Maybe we can page @Heathermomster and see if she'll tell you how it went with her ds. Now I live near a big city where you *can* at a couple of the christian school options actually get placements where they work with the local ps, help make an IEP happen, make proper intervention happen. It does happen. But the fact that they're handling it this way at your cs, not referring you off (which frankly is APPALLING given the level of what you're describing), means they aren't prepared to handle her. Not now, not tomorrow, not next year, no matter what you do. She's going to need evals and a different placement.

I'm trying to think here whether you *could* hire tutors and make enough happen to squeak her through. It's just not wise. BJU amped up and revamped their curriculum a few years ago, and the math is MUCH harder than it used to be, a full grade level jump. My ds has SLDs in math, reading, and writing, and while I love BJU it just isn't on the table. I got the gr 4 reading curriculum to try with him. I let him do some of the online classes when he was young (science and social studies) just for the fun of it. 

What is your viewpoint on learning disabilities and evals? What are they telling you? I run in that circle (BJU churches, etc.) and the teaching is pretty top down most of the time that the DSM is bad, using a psychologist will doom your kids, that you cannot go that direction. And there's a total split even at BJU, with the seminary still spouting hogwash and the education division trying to push back. I'm saying if you're getting pressure not to eval or no one is telling you the obvious truth (that it's time for evals), then you need to see through this. 

On 7/6/2021 at 6:38 AM, Kela said:

She says she held her own child back in kindergarten and feels like it is the best thing she could have done for him. 

That's a boy and that's her dc. With a young boy, maybe. But it is NOT an evidence based practice. Is this teacher licensed? Many christian school teachers are NOT. The reason the school cannot allow your dc to go forward is because they are UNABLE TO DO INTERVENTION. In a better school placement, they would be able to keep her with her peers and provide intervention for reading and math. It is NOT appropriate to retain a dc for learning disabilities. 

Let's say that again. It is NOT an evidence based practice to retain a dc for learning disabilities. She needs better instruction, not more of the same. She might even conceivably STILL be behind and struggling, even if you retain her. More of the same will not change that, and it may frustrate her. It's completely inappropriate for her to be 7 in K5. She needs a placement where she can receive intervention while staying with her peers.

12 hours ago, Kela said:

I suspect she may be slightly dyslexic. Before I started the 100 Ez lLessons book with her, she would try to sound out a word beginning with the last sound. Or even say it backwards, (gum instead of mug for example). Today I was asking her to point out numbers on a number chart and if I said, "63 for example, she would point out 36.

The IDA says to diagnose dyslexia before 1st grade. So now is exactly the time to be getting this done. 

Fwiw, some of what you're describing is due to low working memory. If you get evals for the dyslexia, they will also run IQ, etc. which will give you that information. Dyslexia is NOT a vision problem so reversals, etc. are considered comorbid problems. I agree with the others that you would be wise to have her vision screened by a developmental optometrist. Dyslexia is a phonological processing problem, NOT VISION. You would look for an optometrist through COVD. My dd with ADHD had significant developmental vision problems that affected her reading, so it definitely could be part of the problem for your dd. My ds, on the other hand, is diagnosed with dyslexia and has beautiful vision, no developmental vision issues at all. So could it happen that your dd has developmental vision problems and maybe some ADHD and no SLDs? Who knows. That's why you do evals.

SHAME on this christian school for not telling you to get evals. Vision, yes. Psych or SLP who specializes in reading for the educational concerns, yes. Does she have difficulty understanding when there's background noise? Then you want hearing as well. Does she have issues with handwriting, motor planning, life skills (buttoning, etc.), or sensory issues? Then you need OT. 

This is why the ps will do multi-factored evals. It is SHAME on the christian school movement that they are not telling people to get evals. 

What you need is information to stop the damage that can come from lack of information. And once you get the information on what is really going on, then you can decide her best placement for fall. 

1 hour ago, Kela said:

Rosie, that us interesting as she does get migraines. Thank you.

She has an appointment with an eye doctor.

Regular optometrist or a developmental optometrist? You REALLY need the developmental optometrist. As in I would cancel the regular one and go to the developmental optometrist for the scrip too. If she's getting migraines, she probably has convergence issues or something similar going on. A regular optometrist is NOT the one to handle that or treat it, and sometimes the developmental optometrist will want to fill a temporary scrip for something like prism glasses. Not always, but sometimes. So to give yourself that flexibility, I would hunt down the best developmental optometrist you can find and go ahead and get the full enchilada. They should have a regular vision eval *and* and longer developmental vision eval.

The full developmental vision eval should look at things like visual memory, visual perception, tracking, convergence, depth perception, etc. All this stuff DIRECTLY AFFECTS her school work. And if you're lucky they'll also screen for retained primitive reflexes. You might go ahead and research them and look up the tests on youtube. Odds are she has some. If she has convergence and developmental vision issues, she probably has retained reflexes. The vision reflexes develop after the primitive/neonatal, postural, vestibular, etc. So it's kind of a domino effect. 

But of course the cs could be right and nothing is wrong and you should just retain a 7 yo. Snort. Or she could actually have something that could improve with intervention. 

A whole bunch of us here have been down this path. It's sort of muddy and overwhelming at first, but the main thing is start taking some steps. Information is your friend, denial is not. If you wait, all that happens is you find out later.

13 hours ago, Kela said:

I don't know what the requirements are for kindergarten but I've always felt like they were asking a but much. For example, some of her spelling words this year were, "lick, click, sick, brick, champ, stamp, lamp, gramp, etc.

They've bumped it up quite a bit. When I worked in K5 as a teachers aide where they used the BJU curriculum (25 years ago, I'm telling stories, haha), no one was retained and no one had spelling lists. Yes this is a significant amping up. But it's also her and you need information to know what it is. Dyslexia is phonological processing. BJU is particularly bad for a dyslexic because it uses implied phonics (vs. explicit instruction) and word families. They continue this instruction through several years, so it's not getting better. If she is dyslexic, she needs explicit instruction, ideally Orton-Gillingham based. There are many fine programs or you could use a tutor. That's great that what you're using seems to be working. It's why I kind of wonder if the issue will turn out to be vision, ADHD, etc. They typically use a CTOPP to test the phonological processing. A psych or an SLP who specializes in literacy can run it. Sometimes reading tutors will have it. Ask around, kwim? Around here I can get a reading tutor to do the CTOPP and some other things for just $75. It would give you a quick sense of what is going on. You have options here. 

13 hours ago, Kela said:

I had bought 100 EZ lessons last year but didn't end up doing it with her until this summer because I was afraid it would slow her down more if I tried to add another thing. I sure wish I had started her on it sooner, it is phenominal. I tried a reader with her today and she was able to sound out quite a few words that were unfamiliar.

BJU is implicit phonics and 100 EZ is explicit. Just saying. So implicit can mean that they never actually teach the sound-written connection directly. They might show a picture, say the word, and assume the dc will make the connection. And you're now teaching it more explicitly (this is the sound, this is the orthography). 

On 7/6/2021 at 6:38 AM, Kela said:

She is a very outside of the box thinker

This is something you'd commonly say about an ADHD dc. Just saying. Or dyslexic. Or both.

On 7/6/2021 at 6:38 AM, Kela said:

It's extremely difficult to get her to memorize anything.

How is she with sentence repetition? At this age, sentence repetition (like literally just being able to repeat a sentence you say, something of increasing length) is an indicator of language. I'd be very concerned about where her hearing is, her auditory processing, her language, etc. You really want to know what is going on.

On 7/6/2021 at 6:38 AM, Kela said:

Another problem, I think, is that she adores her teacher and would rather not try than mess up.

You've said multiple little things in this thread that, in context, can hint at anxiety. And I'm not meaning to ruffle your feathers there. I'm just saying information is your friend. Anxiety in a 6 yo is NOT A SPIRITUAL PROBLEM. There are actual, legit, physical causes of anxiety. For instance there's a gene NBPF3 that affects the body's production of b6. Directly causes anxiety. Still we preach from the pulpit that all anxiety is a spiritual problem. It just gets so old. 

On 7/6/2021 at 2:22 AM, Kela said:

She can count by 10s to 100, but not by 1s or 5s.

Ok, when I worked in K5, the teacher counted, marching toward 100, every. single. day. That is a huge red flag that this didn't stick. Did she have a lot of ear infections, receive speech therapy, or have anything else noteworthy that would affect her language? 

I don't know. Right now I'm ashamed of my religion, the school I went to, and more. Don't listen to the hogwash and excuses. You are the one who will be dealing with this and you need information. You're at a very pivotal point. 

Btw, you've said a lot about things that don't work, none of which should be keeping her in K5 with an appropriate placement in a school with intervention services. What about her STRENGTHS? 

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On 7/6/2021 at 2:22 AM, Kela said:

She actually has a good grasp of simple addition, subtraction

So you're saying her memorization is poor but she has memorized her addition and subtraction facts? And can she do them across settings? (in a game, on a worksheet, with money, with M&Ms, with dominoes, with c-rods, etc.) 

I'm trying to fathom a situation where a dc can add within 20 but not count. This makes little sense to me. It's almost like she memorized (as language, not mathematical thinking) the 10s. There's a natural rhythm to them and again it was something we chanted every. single. morning. So she possibly memorized that language piece and missed all the rest. And it's all getting filed as language in her brain, not necessarily as math. 

You really want to know what is going on with the language. How about that sentence repetition? Does she do Awana or some kind of scripture memory? Can she repeat those verses? Or is that what you're saying is her horrible memory? Because if so, that my friend would be indication of a language problem. 

Your ped can refer you for SLP and audiology evals. For the SLP, try to find someone who specializes in literacy. You may have to go to a big city, the biggest city you can find in your state. That SLP will have testing for narrative language and all sorts of things that might turn up stuff.

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6 hours ago, PeterPan said:

So you're saying her memorization is poor but she has memorized her addition and subtraction facts? And can she do them across settings? (in a game, on a worksheet, with money, with M&Ms, with dominoes, with c-rods, etc.) 

 

I am not the OP, but I’d guess she doesn’t have them memorized, just that she understands how they work. At least, that’s how this read to me.

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Posted (edited)

BJU phonics has a lot of sight words. Are there any private schools that use A Beka or Victory Drill Book or another good phonics program instead? 

I've remediated a lot of children with too many problems from learning sight words. Why and how to teach them with phonics:

http://thephonicspage.org/On Reading/sightwords.html

Bookmark form:

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Reading/Resources/40LSightWordsBookmarks.pdf

If there are still sounds she's having trouble learning, use my chart, have her color it in with colored pencil and look them up while reading (after a week or so of drilling it and you guiding her on how to look up things when needed.) Looking them up themselves makes the children learn the sounds much faster. Page 6:

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Reading/Resources/40LChartsCombined.pdf

100EZ lessons is a good phonics program. Keep going with that, you can use the chart with any program.

Edited by ElizabethB
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A child this age cannot "fail" school; it is the learning environment that is failing the child.

Studies show that except in certain, rare circumstances, grade-retaining struggling students not only doesn't help them, but it is likely to actually harm them long term. By a couple of years post-retention, they generally are doing worse academically than kids with similar profiles who where not held back. There are often negative social and emotional consequences, especially in adolescence, and grade-retained kids are more likely to drop out of high school and/or end up in the justice system than similarly struggling kids who were promoted on the regular schedule.

I mean, think about it. If the classroom instruction didn't work the first time, why would doing the same, unhelpful thing *again* be any better? She needs individualized, targeted interventions, not more of something that clearly didn't work.

There are entire books on this subject, but here's a brief summary: 
https://www.du.edu/marsicoinstitute/media/documents/Does_Retention_Help_Struggling_Learners_No.pdf

I chose to have one of my kids repeat kindergarten in public school. He had a long list of exceptionalities that made his situation unlike that of the typical struggling student (young for grade, super small, immature for age, language disorder, multiple years behind on *every* measure, etc.), and I still go back and forth about whether it was really the best decision.  The only reason I ultimately chose to retain him was because he wasn't going back to the same unsuccessful situation. He was repeating the grade, but in a new classroom with a new teacher and with an updated IEP -- an IEP decked out with supports, accommodations, and interventions informed by new neuropsych testing and years of data collection. 

Since you prefer not to homeschool, I urge you to consider switching to public education so that she can get interventions and support to help her succeed. If you feel private school is the only option, please get neuropsych testing done so you can find out why she's struggling and at least know what the school *should* be doing to address her needs. 

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One of my kids got concepts quickly and easily, while memorization of anything, but especially visual information, was very hard for her.  She could do multi-digit subtraction with renaming in her head well before she could remember what the number 4 looked like.  She eventually learned her numerals after I made textured cards by cutting them out of sandpaper, and then we would trace them with her finger while saying a rhyme about how the numeral is formed.  After months of trying to learn them, she knew them in a day.  So maybe look for ways to bring in the information through other methods of learning.  
 

I am not a fan of the “count to 100” type requirements for kids.  Especially for a kid for whom memorizing information is especially hard.  There is no reason to try to learn that by memorizing like they teach it in Kindergarten.  Once kids understand place value and their basic numerals, they can count to any number.  With my first couple kids, my mom used to be concerned when they couldn’t count to twenty yet and we weren’t working on it, but focusing on grouping by tens instead—until she saw each of them jump from there to being able work with hundreds, ten thousands, whatever, without ever needing to spend time learning to count to 20 or 50 or 100.

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Posted (edited)

Many Kindergartens teach lists of common words as sight words to be memorized, too, whether they are phonetic or not.  For a kid for whom concepts are easier to learn than memorizing, this is a horrible method.  Focusing on phonics like you are is ideal for all words that can be read phonetically.  For actual sight words with my daughter that learned like this, we used the All About Reading method—a box of flash cards, divided into three sections: reviewing, mastered, and future words.  Every day we would practice the words in the review section, and move them to the mastered section when they became easy and automatic every time.  Every month we would go through the mastered words again and put any back into the review section if they were no longer automatic.  We still use this method for spelling.

Another thing that has helped my daughter with memorizing is practice.  Memorizing is actually a skill that can be learned, and the more it is practiced, the easier memorizing new information becomes in the future.  We would print our memory work and put it on the wall next to the kitchen table and practice it aloud together at each meal.  Starting with short, rhyming poems is an easy way to begin.  Memorizing is still hard for that daughter, but not nearly as difficult as it was when she was younger.

Edited by Condessa
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Posted (edited)

It is better to do short separated work.

For example, 15 minutes of phonics in the morning and 15 in the evening is better than 40 minutes all at once.

These are good phonics videos to watch on her own if you have a time when she is supervised by someone who could play a video. They are long for the age, take breaks after every 15 to 20 minutes. Lesson 0 and maybe a bit of 1 are to the parent more than the child, zero for sure, I can't remember about 1.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHnIVm9OG9zIdtOtUHAtoUw

Edited by ElizabethB
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On 7/7/2021 at 4:31 PM, PeterPan said:
On 7/7/2021 at 3:01 PM, Kela said:

Rosie, that us interesting as she does get migraines. Thank you.

She has an appointment with an eye doctor.

Regular optometrist or a developmental optometrist? You REALLY need the developmental optometrist.

THIS!!!!!

She needs a developmental optometrist, not just an eye exam. She could pass a regular eye exam with flying colors but still have eye problems that a regular eye exam will not catch! Most insurance will pay for the exam as a yearly exam regardless of whether it is a regular optometrist or a developmental optometrist that does it, but the developmental optometrist isn't just concern with whether or not the child needs glasses to see up close or at a distance. A developmental optometrist will evaluate whether or not the eyes are working together properly to allow the child see normally. Reversing words, headaches, trouble memorizing... all these are red flags for a developmental optometrist!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went to public school Kindergarten in the 70s. It was a half day and we learned to tie our shoes, line up, use scissors, share, and color inside the lines. We had a play kitchen and a block station and a big area in the back for finger painting and growing plants in milk containers. I made my mom an ashtray out of clay and they glazed and fired it so that it was glossy and beautiful. We made witches out of construction paper and they hung them all from the ceiling at the local drugstore - I remember how fun it was to try and find the one that was mine. There were two sections in the morning and two in the afternoon - one of the sections was for kids who already knew their letters and one for the kids who didn't. The kids who didn't  learned their letters a little each day with a giant flip chart. Those of us who already knew the alphabet (thanks Sesame Street!) practiced writing letters on big sheets of gray paper where there were lines at the bottom and space at the top to draw a picture. By the end of the year we worked up to copying a whole sentence from the board - something like "Fall is my favorite time of year."  

I know things are different now. I know many, many kids can meet the new expectations. But that doesn't mean the expectations are reasonable. 

Teachers see a lot of different children so I'm sure there's something going on if the teacher is mentioning it, especially if it corroborates with your own observations at home. However, I wouldn't get into a mindset that she is at all "behind" or "failing" kindergarten. 

Edited by RoundAbout
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