I need advice - FamilyEducation
I need advice
02/19/2009 at 13:22 PM

Let me start by telling you2 a bit about our gang. We are a military family, with a husband who is frequently gone be it 12-15 month deployments or training and schools, I myself went back to work last year after being a stay at home mom for 6 years, we have a almost 7 yr old little girl and a 4 yr old (on paper) little boy who is special needs. Now our girl starts more and more frequently to cry about not wanting to go to school (she is in first grade) or have "stomach aches or headaches". Per her Teacher there is nothing bad going on in school, like teasing, making fun of etc, her report cards are always very good. Which kind of gets me to my next concern as I'm puzzled about who she can be good at tests but during homework, myself or her after school provider frequently are told "I don't know", "This is too hard" and if you ask her who she gets to her results in Math, she has usually not one good explanation.lol Or a scatchy one that will not work in other instances like: 2 tens plus 5 ones = 25, well she puts 25 and her explantion is that the 2 and the 5 make 25 because that's how all of these others worked out so far but if asked what 2 tens equalls she has no idea. So what is going to happen if her trick doesn't work anymore when they switch to 2 fives or so? She already had these episodes of crying and not wanting to go to school and stay with me in Kindergarten and now I'm wondering if I should hold her back a year or should I stay at home again or maybe even home school? I would appreciate any input, ideas or suggestions.

I should add that she has counseling due to dad being gone so much, she has friends and is pretty social. But she is also sensitive and gets her feelings hurt relatively easy. One of the other reasons she has for not liking school is that they don't have a chance to play too much anymore and that she is pretty slow completing her work in school which then results in her having to do it during recess instead of being allowed to relax and play. Which I'm not too keen about with 6 yr olds, on a personal note. But this is also why I'm wondering if we should ave held her back a year from the start.

Hello, I just had a conversation with a mom about the same dilemma and one of her friends gave her some great advice. Transitioning from Kindergarten to First Grade is a bit of a challenge for kids since the school day becomes much more structured and they really have the students dive into learning academics. The advice that was given was this... Do NOT hold kids back in Kindergarten if you are worried they will not transition well into 1st grade. You have to let them try to be a part of a more structured classroom first before deciding they can't handle it. Most kids just need a bit more structure to focus. Holding your child back in Kindergarten will not enlighten you as to knowing whether or not they can adapt/grow because there is much more free or playtime that is less structured. Now in first grade if it seems like they are still lagging behind at this point of the school year, then it may be time to consider holding your child back. It may just be the best thing you ever did for your child. This advice came from a parent that did this with her child and her child is exceptional in her schooling today. On the other end, it is even hard for adults to cope and function when hard times come our way. Not having daddy around could really effect a child's learning abilities. I think it is great that your child is getting counseling for that. Make sure it is someone you trust. I would even suggest being a part of one of the sessions if possible to know what is discussed, and what sort of advice or guidance is being given. I hope this helps you a little bit! Best wishes to you and your family. Keep us posted!

get some blocks (not legos, just plain cubes) or poker chips or anything that she can stack and rearrange and just play with them. The two of you together, and her by herself. Count your change (lots and lots of change) by making stacks of 5 pennies, 5 nickels, 5 dimes, 4 quarters. Get a deck of face cards and play fish, and war, and rummy, and concentration. Get a parcheesi game. parcheesi is better than Sorry or Aggravation because you end up adding the faces on the dice. Teach by example. Don't count the spots, just point to each die and say for example "Three and five, that's eight." Then, as you move the piece(or the pieces, since in parcheesi you can move more than one), count each space. Even if you move one man three and one man five, count out loud to eight. If it's doubles, count out loud to fourteen. Don't ask her to do it, just be the example. As far as the bigger issues, it rarely does a child harm to spend more time with her family. I've never had to balance a special-needs child with a homeschool child. I can't give you any advice about that. Hope you figure it out!

It sounds like there cld be several different things going on here. Your daughter may be anxious about school (hence the stomachaches and headaches) due to the work being a bit difficult for her. She may also feel unsettled due to her dad being away from home so often. You're definitely doing the right thing by having your daughter in counceling. As for the math difficulties, try working w/ your daughter at home more or maybe get her a tutor. You mentioned you have a son who has special needs. I don't know what the exact problem is, but if he has any sort of learning difficulties, you may want to look into your daughter's issues a bit further. Sometimes these difficulties run in families. I'm not saying your daughter has a learning disability, but you don't want to rule that out either. I was never great in math, and it always took me a long time to complete my work. This made me not like school as much since the work didn't always come easy to me. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Focus on your daughter's strengths, and do what you can to help her improve her weaknesses. With the right assistance, I'm sure your daughter will build up her confidence level, and before long you'll see a difference. Good luck.