Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
adventures in parenting..
Published on November 11, 2005 By Draginol In Blogging

My younger son isn't doing so well with his academic career.  At least so far.  Luckily, it's just kindergarten.  But according to his teacher, he's at the very bottom of his class in both numbers and letters. 

He's 5.  And can only count to 13.  Can't spell his name and hasn't quite gotten the whole alphabet down.  The teacher explained this to us in our parent-teacher conference.

I asked, "Well, is it possible that he's...well...you know..just..dumb?" 

Once I regained consciousness, my wife suggested I not take that path.  So we've been working on helping him get up to speed more.  In a couple of days, he's up to counting to 30 and can spell his name.  But it's been more of a struggle. 

His older brother was reading at 3 on his own.  We didn't teach him or anything, he just sort of "picked it up".  So it's proving to be a real challenge in trying to bring the little guy up to par on these matters.  I actually don't think he's dumb.  If I had to guess, I'd say he was just developing at a slightly slower pace than the other kids.  I had similar issues when I was a kid, I was a slow learner and didn't get really caught up until 5th grade. 

At least it was caught early.  We have good teachers in our school district and they were able to bring his letter and number issues up to us matter of factly without any attempt to arm-chair diagnose or even jumping to any conclusions at all other than to provide us with some materials that might help us help him at home.  She said later in the year we can see how he's progressing and try to figure out what the best course is at that point.


Comments (Page 1)
on Nov 11, 2005

Our youngest had the same problem.  Still does, to a certain extent.

His bro and sis are smarter than average.  Read early, counted early....one's in talented and gifted full time, the other is in advanced classes in junior high.  Jake had a tough act to follow...and he hasn't.  He's average.  It takes him longer to 'get' stuff than it takes his siblings.  He's a hard worker, and once he 'gets' something he does well and makes B's and A's, but boy it's hard work to get him there.

I think that it might be the same with your little boy.  He's just not as quick to learn as his brother and he's taking longer to get the hang of things.  Sometimes when I'm working with Jake I can see the frustration on his face turn to surprise and excitement when he finally gets the hang of what I'm telling him.  The look on his face....it's fantastic.

I hope that you get to experience the same with your youngest.

on Nov 11, 2005
My youngest is not speaking well enough for his age right now......I've done TONS of research on this and delayed learning or speaking and even motor abilities does tend to run in families.

So if he is like you were then you can expect the same kind of thing from him.......however, now days teachers are trained to see it early and most likely he will catch up long before 5th grade.

In Ohio we have a really awesome program called early intervention. My son goes twice a week to help with talking.

When you have a delayed learner of any sort, it sucks. It means A LOT of extra work for the parents...and I hate teaching nuts and bolts. I don't have the patience for it.

Just keep plugging away at it though, and eventually you can expect him to catch up just like you did....but probably sooner because he is getting help you most likely didn't.

Good luck, I feel your angst!
on Nov 11, 2005
I went through similar things with my two daughters...oldest one talked, walked, counted, read, etc. at an early age. When our next daughter came along, we expected similar results. We expected the same from Savannah based on the results with the first, but she was considerably slower hitting each milestone. There were times when we wondered whether something was wrong. Once she started school, we shesitantly started talking to teachers about how she was doing. I say hesitantly because we'd been fearing for some time that she was "slow". Much to our delight, the teachers told us that she was doing fine, compared to others her age. She definitely wasn't near the head of the class, but far from the rear. Also, she never really seemed to love school when she was younger, like Brooke did. Now at age 12 she seems to have caught up and is a slightly better than average student now and enjoys school. The sad thing is that Brooke, who is now 14 no longer likes school and is not nearly as advanced in her studies as she used to be. At the rate things are going, I suspect that before long they will be equals intellectually. So in the end, it just seems that Brooke got off to a fast start and Savannah took a bit to hit her stride.
on Nov 12, 2005

My Oldest son did not speak until he was 5.  He did not have to as my daughter and wife would get him anything he wanted by him just grunting.

He graduated highschool 2 years ago, 5th in his class.  He is like me, lazy!  He could have been Valedictorian.  If the problem persists, I can see cause for alarm.  But the Second seems to take an opposite tack from the first to demonstrate their individuality.  But the fact he learned so fast indicates more stubbornness than an inability to learn.

I am glad you have good teachers.  My second daughter had a problem in Kindergarten and the teacher never indicated one. SHe was a lousy teacher.  But we held my daughter back in first grade because she was not getting it.  She will be a senior next year and has made honor roll ever since.

Best of luck with your son.

on Nov 12, 2005
My son now 6 is quite good in school, can count and spell above average, but his sister at 5 has to struggle with everything. Only yesterday my wife attended the parent teacher meeting and was informed about her lack of interest in reading and maths. I believe it's all due to us the parents not spending enough time with them. The first child born get all the attention when it comes to new tasks. First to go to school, first to do sports etc. The next child lives in their shadow always trying to compete with the other. One year between them gives the eldest an advantage but try explaining this to a 5 year old.

I believe if you give them enough time and encourage them they will soon catch up and eventually climb into the above everage box. Children who work hard from an early age to achieve carry that forward into life and do well. The ones who put in little efford and achieve good results will only ever achieve good results and not push themselfs to newer heights.

Don't worry about your son but give him a bit of encouragement and I'm sure he will soon shock you.
on Nov 12, 2005
My oldest son was dyslexic, which was something that wasn't caught until he was 8.  It really was amazing how dramatic the turn around was when we were able to figure out exactly why he hated to read and do math, and other things of the sort.  Good luck to you Brad in helping your children become adults.  I'm having to do much the same sort of thing again with my sister's child, and I got to tell you, even after having done it three times already, it's still difficult.
on Nov 12, 2005
Draginol,

You're so thorough, I am sure that you've made sure there are no vision/hearing issues that could be causing interference. Other than that our individual physical, emotional, and intellectual maturities don't develop in sync with each other nor the rest of our class. So sometimes it's very helpful to take a longer range perspective than the grade level expectations do.

Other influences on performance can be familial/personal expectations, high pressure environments, attentiveness, general attitude towards school, and preference of learning modality.

Either that or take the grain of salt.....

Heydre
on Nov 13, 2005
Actually, I wouldnt be too worried at all. I taught K last year and I had some kids who were at that level and they just blossomed in the middle and towards the end of the year. As far as counting...hmmm, try and see where the teacher wants him to be at the end of the year, that can really put things in perspectives. If he gets report card, see if there are the expectations on there. For each semester, I had to teach to different expectations and standards.

As far as counting...couting is great, but its not too hard to do because its just auditory memorization. Try asking him not just to count up to x number...but ask him something like....what comes after 20?

Ask comprehension questions...read him a short paragraph that has tidbits of information. One story I read last year was about a boy getting ready for bed and then afterwards I asked four comprehension questions to see if they could remeber what color tooth paste he used, what his name was...etc.

Make up flashcards with numbers too so he can connect the visual with the auditory, so he can see a 15 and say '15'...etc. show numbers out of sequence...etc.
on Nov 13, 2005
>I asked, "Well, is it possible that he's...well...you know..just..dumb?"

No surprise there.
The apple didnt fall too far from the tree eh
on Nov 14, 2005

No surprise there.
The apple didnt fall too far from the tree eh

Thank you for allowing me to completely ignore you from now on and delete anything you post on my blog.  Jackass.

on Nov 14, 2005

 Well, according to a teacher on here, there aren't any "stupid" kids, so that must not be the problem

No surprise there.
The apple didnt fall too far from the tree eh

what a maroon.......

 

on Nov 14, 2005
...or "stupid" teachers, to hear him tell it


Haha (gag)...Thanksgiving already? Damn...I missed it.

Karma wasnt talking about me.

I personally dont think there are stupid kids.
on Nov 14, 2005
Neither was I.


Yep, figured youd say that. lol.
on Nov 15, 2005

 

...or "stupid" teachers, to hear him tell it.

Karma wasnt talking about me.

Neither was I.
 

When I read what she wrote, I assumed the "he" she was referring to was Brad, due to this quote from the article: "So we've been working on helping him get up to speed more.  In a couple of days, he's up to counting to 30 and can spell his name."

And, of course I wasn't referring to you.  LW knows who I am referring to, and maybe a couple others, but until SHE posted an article spazzing about it again, I doubt hardly anyone even knew who I was referring to.  It's one of those she "doth protest too much" type situations.  It was also a bit of a test to see if she is learning or not........ so predictable.

on Nov 15, 2005
but until SHE posted an article spazzing about it again,


lol...man, Id like to say something here, but Id probably get confined as well. Say what you want, as long as you dont disagree with certain people.