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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 2:27 pm 
Hi there,

Went to my 7 year old (year 2) sons parents evening recently and have been informed that he is expected to gain level 3 ks1 sats results in maths and science but that all aspects of literacy 'require a little more work'! He needs to have more confidence to talk in whole class situations (he becomes tongue tied and although he knows the answer and puts his hand up to answer it he cannot deliver it therefore says "I can't remember"). Also his teacher says that he needs to write with more content and read with more fluency and accuracy.

We have always known there is a bit of a question mark over this area of his learning ability, although nothing major - teacher assesments show him to be at level 2b at the end of year 1. Unfortunately (for him at least) he has a very able older sister and brother and, although I try not to, I can't help but compare.

We know that he does find it more difficult to process information than the others although once he has mastered it he has a very good understanding of it. In most situations at home he manages to articulate himself very well but when it comes to explaining something again he gets tongue tied and takes a while to get it out but does get there in the end.

I really would like to know the best way to bring his literacy up to scratch without making him feel inadequate (especially with the high achieving brother and sister!) and without making a big deal of it. Also, how do I help him to get out what he wants to say without it becoming an ordeal for him?

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 4:37 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:36 am
Posts: 141
Dear Guest
My eldest was quite a shy boy - still is, but has more confidence in him now he is older. It changed over time and what has helped is that he has to do a lot of oral presentations at school about the projects they have just done. He is 12 now, 4 years ago, would have got ever so tongue tied, but now delivers with ease.
What I suggest you do, is practise at home. First just you and him discussing something he knows about (ie the plot of a book just read). Then, get him to stand up in front of you and say the same. Move on to someone else in the room known to him and will give him lots of encouragement too. Do the same next day but in front of 3 or 4 family members. Just practise little by little - maybe inform the teacher what you are doing to help and perhaps she can reinforce this at school with a small group of his friends. Every little bit helps, but he is no way in the minority - many children dont like to speak out. Good luck! USA

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 11:22 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:04 am
Posts: 144
Just some ideas here:

Children with high achieving older siblings often feel quite inadequate, even if they are top of their own class and age group. At home they constantly compare themselves to the older children and I think it is hard to grasp the fact that you are bright too when you are obviously the 'baby' of the family and know the least!

To boost my 2nd son's confidence we got him a little sister! :lol: Ahem...(sorry!) Joking aside, it can be good for your youngest child to spend time with younger children, perhaps younger cousins, children of friends, and allow him to be the 'big one' for a change.

Another tip is to get him reading a book that has a series. Secret Seven, Famous Five, the Lemony Snicket books that sort of thing, because I think building up familiarity with characters book after book helps children really get to grips with a story line, and really get to understand the characters - thus feeling more confident to talk about them.

I'd also be asking your child subtle questions at home, basically comprehension questions on the book he is reading, but disguised as nothing more than general interest in what he is reading.

As you have other children in the house, what about reading a play together??? It could be a lot of fun, make it over dramatic and a good laugh - give your child plenty of encouragement and support. Ask your older children to offer a pat on the back every so often too.

On the whole, I wouldn't be too alarmed. People come in all different shapes and sizes and thank goodness we are not all loud! His academic work sounds fine and he will most likely develop greater confidence with time. Some kids just take a little longer to find their voice.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 6:24 pm 
Thank you so much for your replies and reassurances. I will put into practise some of your suggestions. I think you've absolutely hit the nail on the head by saying that it is a confidence thing regarding his 'place' in the pecking order and we will do our best to address this.

You're right Bo Beep we are all different and he has a lovely character full of fun which I'm sure will fare him well as time goes on.

Thanks again.

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