My son is in the first grade. He started the school year not knowing how to read and failing. His Kindergarten teacher never communicated with me and made me aware of this problem. I feel that she failed me and my son and now my son is suffering the consequences. I'm not a teacher so I wasn't aware of what to expect my Kindergartner to know. Now my son is failing first grade and I just feel this is going to ruin his self esteem. He has worked very hard and improved dramatically but its not enough. How can I get my son interested in learning and caught up when I cant even afford a tutor? I spend endless hours a day with him doing homework and he gets very frustrated. I wish I could just home school my kids cause I feel school is failing them but this is not a realistic option when I have to work a full time plus job.
I echo the sentiments of the responder below. Learning needs to be fun when children are struggling with concepts. Use natural experiences such as playtime to count, read rules to games and learn about shapes. Shopping is an excellent time to read tags, labels, match coupons to the products, etc.
Ask his teacher to provide you with some extra assignments to help keep skills over the summer. And consider asking the local colleges for a tutor who is a college student and needs community experience for their degree. Also, high school students who need community service volunteer hours may be helpful.
Consider this website to help you with additional school materials (some require a membership, but much is free) http://www.abcteach.com
Make learning fun! Find as many ways as possible to incorporate play into learning: pretend shopping can help with coins/math/adding/subtracting (we cleaned some real coins and set up a store with prices), create a word wall using sight words and have a race to see how fast he can find 5 words, and I'm including a link for a fun game we've done -- can be adapted for words, numbers, math, etc... Also, if he's motivated by rewards, a chart to earn a prize/privilege is another thing that's worked for us. My son has a reading chart: 20 books = a prize (NOT a toy, but things like a food treat or notebook or anything that interests him -- one of ours was a mini tool kit). Good luck and have fun!