laurenparrett asks:

How do I get my five year old son motivated about school?

My 5 year old son is about to go to 1st grade but he had a few problems this past school year with wanting to do the work. I met with his teachers and the staff after testing, they all concluded that he has no learning disabilities but that he seems to give up easily and not be very motivated about his schoolwork. He does seem motivated when he thinks it is a competition or a game but is it a good idea to use that mentality to motivate him? What else could I try this upcoming year? I really want him to get into school and want to accomplish things for the right reasons.
In Topics: Motivation and achievement at school
> 60 days ago



Jun 29, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

A five year old who cannot identify the alphabet is not unusual.  This is a skill that takes visual-discrimination and advanced memory skills- both which are introduced repeatedly at the early elementary level. I would only be concerned about this if he cannot recall the alphabet on a consistent basis after a half-year of formal education or continued daily exposure to the concept.  If this continues to be a concern, feel free to consult with your school educational assessment committee.

For at home strategies, consider using magnetic letters on your refrigerator, cookies cutters to cut our the alphabet shapes and tracing paper where he can use a marker to go over the lines of each letter.

Good luck!

Louise Sattler
Nationally Certified School Psychologist

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