I have a 7 yr old son, who, never attended pre-k and going into kindergarten, knew all of his letters, numbers, how to write his name, could even read a bit. He has come to be quite an excellent student, learns very quickly.
That said, I also have a 5 yr old son, who is just starting a mix of pre-k/k. (I homeschool both of them). My 5 yr old only recognizes the letters w,x,y and z from the alphabet, and doesnt recognize numbers, yet he can count almost to 20. I have been working very hard with him, to help him learn letters and numbers, weve been working for months, in alot of different ways, hands on/hands off, games, worksheets, music, dvds, you name it. However, when I think one day weve made some progress, the next day he is back to "I dunno", and guessing all over again at what number or letter is what, even if its the same thing we did the day before. Maybe its just different for me, because my other child learned so fast, but Im beginning to wonder if I should have him tested for any learning disabilities. Can anyone offer any advice, or let me know if this is common or not so much? Thank you very much!
(I would like to add, that the 5 yr old does know how to write his name, yet he cant tell me what the letters are that he writes. He learned to write his name very simply and can write all of the letters, just not identify them.)
Sounds like a very normal 5 year old boy My 6 year old 1st grader could identify all his letters by 4, but didn't learn individual sounds they make until last year, but he still can't even sound out a very simple 3 letter word without struggling...he'll read when he is ready...
I'd put off having him tested for a learning disability (IMHO) until he's a bit older. Especially if this is the only symptom. It's quite normal for boys not read until 8 or 9 or 10.
I'm just a girl trying to live at the simple sandaled feet from Galilee, clinging tightly to nail scarred hands.
I wouldn't have him tested. I have read alot that for many boys, written language is "hard for them" thats not really the best way to put it...it just doesn't "click" for them until much later.
Anyway, he's only 5. At least wait until he's 8 or something. Why dont you take it slower. Focus on 1 or 2 letters a week. Write words with those words and have him find his target letters.
When you focus on B's Bubble Boy Box
Play word games sans print. What helped 4yo have his breakthrough was saying things slow throughout the day.
Turn on the laaammmp--lamp!
Dont jump off the beeed--bed!
Soon, he'd start saying the word that I was pronouncing slowly. (Oh, by the way, I was doing that for 6yo who had trouble hearing the short vowel sounds in words, it wound up being one of the things that 4yo needed.)
Then, have him write his letter 5 times each day on a piece of paper, the next day, help him write the letter again and find the sound in words around the room.
Generally, I dont think that children NEED to read unless they want to until about the age of 6 or so, but if you want to teach them even when they're young, then teach them on their level.
Personally, I'm having great success with TRL teaching my students 6yo and 4yo to read, so maybe you should give it a try. (readinglesson.com and the first 2 lessons are free.) 6yo was ready to learn but not so eager to do so, but he really enjoyed using TRL and 4yo is hyper excited about learning to read after watching his brother do it first. 4yo is practically giving me a headache about when he can be on the next lesson and when he can finish and when he'll be a reader boy and such. But thats just him. 6yo was the opposite, he dragged his feet and whined and moaned and complained, but if I didn't call him to do his phonics he'd show up and ask me what was wrong and how come we hadn't worked that day (Man, I love that kid but he made me nuts some days!)
Go slow and have fun with it.
Or, use progressive Phonics.com and do one page a day and when he's getting used to that. Read with him a lot, institute a daily reading time, when you enjoy books together and hopefully you should see some improvement in the weeks or months to come.
I hope it`s normal, because I could have practically written your post! My 8yo picked things up (especially reading) really quickly and early. My 5 year old is very similar to yours in what he knows so far. He can recognize maybe half his letters, knows the sounds to just a few and doesn`t yet recognize all of his numbers, either. I really think he`s just average
I totally get that it`s kind of strange having to `tone down`, for lack of a better term. It`s definately more challenging to teach when the learning perhaps doesn`t come quite as naturally as it did to child no.1
(please pardon my apostrophe, it doesn`t seem to be cooperating today LOL)
Married 14 years to my best friend.
Mom to Josh (11), Asher (8) and Corban (5)
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
My oldest ds, now almost 18yrs. was this same way. He would know things one day and the next day, or maybe even the same day, he was back to "I dunno." This was for almost anything, however. He wouldn't know the name of things, not just letters or numbers, like the one I remember the most was "salt," he would say, "Can you pass me that white stuff that I put on food." This started when he was about 5yo, he couldn't remember hardly anything except peoples names and songs. Anyway, we had him tested and he does have a "memory disorder." All of that to say, I think your son's "I dunno," is normal.
My 5yo is like yours. He doesn't seem to get hardly anything I teach him and then he will go to bed one night and wake up the next morning spitting it all out and then remembers it from then on. I spent weeks working with him on colors the only one he remembered was orange. Then one day he woke up and knew them all, and still does.
I rambled all of that off to just remind you that they are all different and not to worry at this point. And to let you know that, I have found, a lot of places won't even test children for LD until they are in 3rd grade. Sorry, for my rambling, but maybe it helped.
Married to DH 23 yrs.
DS 21 yrs. old ~ Graduated June 17, 2011
DS 16 yrs. ~ 10th grade
DS 7 yrs. ~ 2nd
DS 5 yrs. ~ Kinder.
DC ~ Waiting for me to come Home
Other than maybe having his vision checked, I think he sounds perfectly normal. Boys esp, do things in their own time.. he is probably more interested in learning about creepy crawly things than letters and numbers at this stage in his life... so my advice is follow what his interests and it will all come together with everything else in his own time.
My oldest was the one who had a difficult time beginning reading. She was in ps at the time and they pushed her so hard that she shut down. The teacher sent work home for us to do with her at night and she would sob the whole time. I would have to threaten to take things away or not let her go do something fun and by the end of the night we were all frustrated and exhausted. Finally I just quit pushing her and told the teacher that if she didnt read until she was in junior high I didnt care but to back off. She was reading within months. It was on her time and in her way. Don't stress. He may decide one day to start without any prompting from anyone. I think kids have a hard time if they feel like they are not doing enough and the anxiety makes it harder for them.
I have to agree with all the other ladies. My ds had me wondering if I was just a really bad teacher! I have really had to re-adjust my expectations for him. he's about to turn 8 next week and we are still working on phonics. Today for the first time he tried a level 3 reader without a battle from me! Give him time.
Leissa-married to Matt since 1999
3 dogs,1 cat so far