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4 year old struggling

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Kelebek Kelebek is offline
 
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Kelebek
 
Joined: Nov 2013
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4 year old struggling
Old 11-12-2013, 06:49 AM
 
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Hello,

I currently reside in Turkey. I work with a girl who is 4 years old privately as her tutor. I've been with her 1 year now, since she was 3. We started to practice handwriting and pre-reading skills, and I see she is having a lot of trouble concentrating and is unable to reproduce a letter without having to have it explained again, no matter how many she's previously written.

Her background:

She goes to a school half days; they do nothing there but play. In her household she has a lot of staff, including her own personal nanny. They are all Turkish. I am with her 25 hours a week. Her English level is unimportant- she is native-like.

We are only starting letter sounds now because in the beginning she didn't understand English, and after a few months when I began to try and do reading/writing/math skills games or otherwise, she couldn't concentrate or sit still. She can't play games like Memory, and she has difficulty putting puzzles together, and never wants to do them besides.

If I got out a workbook she would cry and the parents would let it go, so I let it go and waited til she was a little older.

I'm not expecting perfection in her letter formation at all. What worries me is how long it takes us to do a line, and how after each letter she's unable to repeat the process on her own. Even with tracing it's obvious she's skipping around to make it easier and faster for her, rather than do it properly as I instruct. Now she's bursting into tears when I say we should practice our letters, even though it's only a small handful at a time. I feel terrible!

We went over the word "win" for example. I wanted her to pronounce each letter sound separately. We spent a lot of time going over what each sounds like, and then I asked her to put the sounds together. She couldn't ever remember what "w" sounds like, let alone the other two. I felt like she was really trying to focus, but just couldn't get it right.

She told me matter-of-factly she has no interest in learning how to read as she prefers to have me read to her. She doesn't put any importance to learning reading/writing at all.

I've begun teaching her how to dress/undress herself (didn't know how to use velcro straps on shoes, or zip her pants). This makes her cry as well, she's so angry about it. It seems unfair to her because I think she perceives it as me making her do MY job.

I'm looking for advice. I think I should talk with the mother, have her explain to the little girl how important this is. Beyond that, what can I do to make things go smoother? I encourage her as much as I can and never criticize.

Any tips are appreciated!!


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RealisticPreK RealisticPreK is offline
 
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RealisticPreK
 
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She may feel overwhelmed?
Old 11-12-2013, 03:46 PM
 
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You might like to check out this website: http://www.aability.com/

I personally wouldn't expect a 4 year old to be able to blend 3 letter sounds right away. (I teach kids who start out as 3 1/2 to 3 and 9 months, and age out to 4 and some months by the time they leave my room).

I do lots of oral ear training before I do any oral blending. I introduce written letters and blending by sounding out each letter in the title of a story I'm reading. Then I tell them the first letter sound (onset) and then I blend the remainder of the sounds (rime), and pause to let the kids answer with the word. If they can't tell me, I tell them the word, and move on to the next word in the title, and repeat the process. All they have to do is blend the onset and rime, but this is not necessarily easy. It has taken a couple of months for some kids to achieve this, and even now, not all the kids can do it.

You might want to trace just the first letter of her name using yellow highlighter, put a mark where she is to start tracing the letter, and let her choose 8 colored pencils to use to trace with. Do that daiily, gradually adding other letters.

You also might like to check out this site: http://xiongmao12.wordpress.com/2012...paper-letters/

You would have to buy the zoophonics letters from their website: zoophonics.com and then make your own sandpaper letters using the format described in the xiongmao website. It might be a big help to you in your teaching, though. I myself will be making these sandpaper letters--I can't wait!

Hope this helps.
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asica asica is offline
 
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asica
 
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:58 PM
 
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I am currently teaching four 4 year olds. They are so different. A lot of activities that we do, I change (making easier or harder) depending on which child I am working with. Some I have to push, other I have to make laugh. I am getting feeling from the way you describe this little girl, she is just not ready for sounds learning. I would drop sounds and focuse on games with matching upper and lower case letters. Make her run to the wall with a lower case letter and find on a paper on a wall upper case letter for example. Or hide letters around and have her find it. When she is having fun with that start sounding letters that are in her name.
For tracing do art, holding brush is great for her hand. Paint with her and start pointing out different shape you did or she did, that look like letters. My children love tracing with water and brush on a black board. I write words with chalk first.
When she is stoping to focuse, tell her "are u being silly, lets shake that silliness out. " this helps me a lot with one of the children.
When you think she is ready for sounds, I found a great song for that. You say the letter, then you say the sound and then you make a movement. Example A, (sound) Aaaa around and you turn around, or B,( sound) bbbbbbb, blow. Etc. you can make out the movements.
Hope this helps.
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