My son is really behind in his reading and math. He gets picked on at the playground by kids who are in school because they are doing harder work than he is. He really wants to be doing the same work but he’s not ready for it. He doesn’t like to do his schoolwork because he says it is baby stuff. He’s a great kid in other area. He’s helpful and kind to his brother and sister, he is creative, imaginative, cooperative, and he loves to help his dad build things. Because he feels like he is not very smart, his has bad self-esteem. Should I send him to school?
Please don’t send him to school. He will get labeled with some sort of dysfunction, given an IEP and treated like he is disabled. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. He is like every other kid, they all grow at different rates in different areas of learning. Some kids his age are great readers but have zero imagination or creativity. It just hasn’t kicked in yet. Unfortunately the average school only measures how well kids are doing at math and reading, expecting them to all be at roughly the same ability at the same times. Kids who are behind in social skills, large motor skills, and creativity aren’t seen as having a problem.Only kids who are at a lower level in reading and math. It is a very myopic vision of children.
Your son seems to have some very obvious strengths. I would encourage you to build on those as much as possible.Would he be interested in robotics or lego contests? What about science and nature? Art? Movie making?
Whatever it is, support and encourage those interests as much as possible. Get him involved in related activities outside of school so he has a special place to shine.
Are his siblings younger? Can he help teach them? Showing a younger brother or sister how to read or work numbers can be an incredible confidence booster. Can you switch to a curriculum that is not obviously grade-specific? Tapestry of Grace, Sonlight, and the Robinson curriculum or almost any unit study curriculum are set up in units rather than 2nd grade readers, 3rd grade readers, etc. Everyone works at their own pace and grade levels are irrelevant.
If you ask most homeschool kids what grade they are in, they can’t tell you simply because grade level doesn’t matter. It is an arbitrary assignment the school system uses in their effort to move the most numbers of kids through their factory system as efficiently as possible. The kid’s learning readiness and ability are not taken into account.
If he is highly creative, he probably has a very strong spatial ability. He thinks outside the box. Because he can think creatively, you might try to find more creative learning methods for him. Dianne Craft has a wonderful set of picture cards that tell a story using numbers. It is a wonderful, visual way to memorize math facts and works really well with creative kids.
I would also try audio books. There is a large number of audio books available at most libraries. He can check out the audio and printed version of the books and read along with the audio. The books are not just primary school level, you can find them for all age groups. Look for the Redwall series or Rangers Apprentice books. Those are perfect for his age.
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