How can I make homework and learning more fun for my 1st grader?
When it comes to school work he does the work but seem very uninterested in what he's doing! The teacher has a report for me everyday after class, and she notices how he complains about the work or says it's boring. I work with him at home and nothing seems to work. I have bought everything from leapfrogs, learning pads, movies, games, colorful books and I even made songs! When he's compared to other kids in the class he feel discouraged and his esteem falls low to the point he say it's too hard or he can't do it. I feel as if I'm failing him as a parent and not helping him succeed, when I know I'm trying my best! The school wants to hold him back but I know he is capable of passing.
How is your child doing in first grade? If he is having difficulty with his class work the work may be too difficult for him. Many students say the work is boring if it is too hard. You sound like you have really been very creative in trying to help him succeed. You are not failing as a parent. You may want to have your son tested to see if he does have any learning issues. It is important to find out how your son learns. Is he visual, auditory or kinesthetic? You can ask the teacher how she teaches her classes. It may help to encourage his learning if you know what style he learns best with. A program that I have had a lot of success with is Kidspiration. It makes a graphic organizer that helps the child organize his thoughts and then verbalize them.
Perhaps you can speak to the teacher and come up with a plan together. Getting the teacher to help you brainstorm a solution often makes the teacher feel like part of the team, and more invested in the outcome. One thing that I've seen work very well in situations like this, is when the teacher gives an unmotivated student the chance to be a leader at something. In first grade, this could be something like being the official "teacher's helper" who collects the work when everyone is done, or explains a concept to the class (after practicing at home), or brings a special math game (you can print one out from the site- http://www.education.com/activity/first-grade/addition/) or maybe you can come in and share something with the class (kids often feel really proud when a parent leads an activity or project). Sometimes, it's not so much the thing that you choose, it's just the fact that the child needs to feel good at something, and singled out as special. For example, we had a kid in our class this year who got put in charge of making sure a kindergartener got to his parent for pickup each day and that had a huge effect on him academically. It just made him feel trusted and important, when during the day he didn't always feel like the leader. And it helped a lot.
I had the same problem with my very intellectual grand daughter aged 6. Though she is blessed with an very high IQ there is a problem. Have your child tested for dyslexia. They are very intellectual but have a different wiring system in the brain. They need different learning techniques. Might possibly be your problem. Concentration is also a problem. The biggest problem we have with this is that the normal teaching methods make no sense to them and they become bored and find things very difficult (might even think they are stupid) . Yet, once you have found the correct teaching methods they perform very well and are capable of completing two grades in one year. I have the impression your child is just to bright and that he is not receiving what he needs.Try this website to establish if this method might work.