© Stephen Denness | Dreamstime.com
I thought all young children were eager to learn. However, my first-grader is just not interested in school. What are some ways to motivate my young son?
You definitely need to be your son’s motivational coach. When it comes to learning to read and write at this level, school, as well as home activities, need to be fun or at least enjoyable. Otherwise, it is possible to dampen or even kill a young child’s desire to learn.
What is happening at your son’s school? You might want to go and observe. Are the classroom activities drudgery instead of delight because of too many worksheets and uninspired teaching? Or is your son becoming disinterested because he can’t keep up with his classmates?
While you are not likely to change what the teacher is doing, you can take his school activities and turn them into fun at home. You can play games such as Memory and Go Fish with the words he is learning to read. You can also make addition or subtraction fun by using counters or devising simple number games.
The more success your child has in school, the more likely he will be motivated to do his best in school. Talk with the teacher now to discover if your son is slow to catch onto reading or learning the basic math facts. If so, do find out how you and the teacher can help him catch up to the rest of the class.
I would like some information about good programs for young gifted students. I am looking for programs for my second-grade son who really needs to have more intellectual stimulation. Where can I find some solid sites online?
Your best immediate resources are local, not online. Find out from your child’s teacher what he or she can do to offer more challenging assignments in the classroom. If your child attends Shelby County Schools, ask when testing takes place for CLUE, the system’s program designed to meet the needs of academically talented and gifted students. The CLUE teacher should be able to answer your questions. If not, address them to Dr. Tommie Yelvington, Advisor, CLUE Program, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-0155.
Beyond this, investigate what programs are offered at local museums and colleges. Joining a local gifted organization is smart, too. You’ll connect with other parents who have kids your son’s age and may know of quality programs in your area.
You can also find the names of many helpful websites online at the American Psychological Association: apa.org. Also search for related gifted education websites. Ask your teacher for websites, too.
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