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Letters and Numbers

Posted on 2005.09.08 at 18:18
Current Music: Miami Vice Soundtrack
I'm a unix system administrator by trade. I'm paid to troubleshoot and creatvely come up with solutions. This last week, however, I have had my toughest assignment yet. Teach a five year old to write letters and numbers. I'm just not equiped for this. No amount of patience, determination, brilliance, or creativlty have proven successful. Tools I use every day to solve problems just aren't applicable here. The letter "C" for example seems easy. But no amount of patience produces a written "C." Determination alone won't produce a written "C," nor will brilliance or creativity. Because us parents are required to follow the teacher's instuctions, I was filled with rage when the instructions for the number "8" were, "Draw an "S" and curve it back around." PRIOR TO LEARNING THE LETTER "S!" Speaking of "S" I cannot think of an eaiser letter to produce, yet this too has proved nearly impossible. We tried starting with a "C" to make the "S" but see comments above. I'm just not cut out for this.


Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2005-09-09 02:09 (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry to hear this.
(Anonymous) at 2005-09-09 15:38 (UTC) (Link)

Letters and Numbers


I remember us having this conversation sometime ago. As a child I had the same problems as your kid and didn't learn to read until I was 10 and count until I was 16. At 24 I was diagnosed as being dyslexic to a level where the prof was amazed I managed to get into College. I have a spelling age of an 11 year old yet I have pretty advanced reasoning powers.

It may be worth getting your boy assessed.

By the way you're much more patient than my father. His idea of learning was a slap across the head if I made a mistake!

ehowton at 2005-09-10 01:41 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Letters and Numbers

So...slap him in the head? Okay, I'll give it a try! Thanks!
missamy84 at 2005-09-10 05:16 (UTC) (Link)
How long have you been trying to teach him?

ehowton at 2005-09-10 13:23 (UTC) (Link)
Three days for me. Wife has been working with him every day since Kindergarten started...sometime in August. Half the people are telling us to have him tested (my wife was also dyslexic and struggled until it was identified in 3rd grade), the other half are telling us this is so very common amongst kids his age (I was reading and writing by the time I was 18 months old on the other hand...) So there we are.

My wife said the other day, "I have never loved you more than I love you right now." Whilst observing the extraordinary amount of patience I was practicing during homework with my son. However, as I mentioned above, patience alone does not produce written letters. Perhaps a slap in the head as my anonymous poster suggested will yield better results?
missamy84 at 2005-09-10 16:45 (UTC) (Link)
Interesting. I don't know if you're aware that I have 9 younger siblings and my mom taught all of us at home. My mom says there's no two kids alike when it comes to learning things. Some of my brothers were well into their school years before they could read and write. I on the other hand, was a fast learner in those areas. Mom says if she had it to do again, she wouldn't have even tried with a couple of my brothers until they were closer to 8 years old. I suppose that's not feasible a public school setting though.

I'm sure your kid will pick it up eventually. Kudos on having patience with him. A slap in the head might be a bit on the extreme side.
ehowton at 2005-09-12 22:10 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for your comments. I promise not to slap him in the head.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2005-09-16 04:51 (UTC) (Link)
good insight Amy.
ehowton at 2005-09-16 11:48 (UTC) (Link)
Good recovery Tom.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2005-09-16 15:00 (UTC) (Link)
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2005-09-16 04:50 (UTC) (Link)
Hey, just thought of something that I had to do when I was learning. I had to trace the letters with my finger several times before I was allowed to "write" it. Then I traced it, then I wrote it without any guide.

Perhaps as we mature, we tend to over-anaylise things and hence complicate what isn't. I know I do. I think that's called creating job security in some circles.
ehowton at 2005-09-16 11:48 (UTC) (Link)
I heard two suggestions for doing exactly what you're describing...finger paint in a baggie, and shaving cream on the table. Thanks for the input. I found out last night that at the teacher's suggestion, they're going to bring a tutor in during school hours to help him with his writing.
ehowton at 2005-09-18 20:01 (UTC) (Link)


His teacher has brought in a tutor for him during school hours. No noticable improvement yet, we'll see what happens.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2007-02-05 20:19 (UTC) (Link)


I think it's time for a follow-up report.
ehowton at 2007-02-05 20:26 (UTC) (Link)


He reads and writes like a genius.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2007-02-05 20:29 (UTC) (Link)


Good Job!
Apolo 13 quotation
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