This is not going to a hugely intellectual post with lots of facts and figures or research, it is simply based on our experience.
Little Man is classed as having a learning disability. He is struggling to read, write and grasp the concept of maths. At 8 he is still young and has time to catch up but having said that, the biggest thing we have to do is ensure his self esteem and confidence is not affected.
Reading wise he seems to be flying through the reading level suddenly. Even though we are praising him and telling him how well he is doing, and I hate myself for this, I don't actually believe he is doing as well as everyone thinks. Cover the picture over or given him a book that doesn't involve Kipper, Chip and Biff and he is struggling with the simple words such as 'and' 'in' 'that' 'the' - you get the picture. He reads the pictures and not the words. His teacher said just before Easter that she has realised he has an amazing memory for books as she has discovered he can recite word for word stories that interest him. He loves the Kipper, Biff and Chip books. To encourage him when he gets his 1:1 reading, the teacher goes through his new reading book with him before he has to 'read'; it. I don't want to believe it but he is not 'reading'his book. No picture - very little reading, random words and signs of words he 'reads' in his books - no comprehension.
What can we do though? I have found a reading scheme on the Internet which claims it can help. It claims to just use words and not pictures for children like Little Man. I intend to check it out. However I am also scared of setting him back.
Writing is well, a scrawl at best. We are now practising our writing and until he sounds his words out properly and reads, his spelling is going to take time in coming.
Maths - well what can I say. his 3 and 5 and 7 are always backwards but the teachers claim this is entirely normal - really for an 8 year old? He is still struggling to count to 20 - he seems to have an issue with the number 17 and won;t remember it. We are being asked to work on his 2 times table, addition and subtraction. Surely we need the basic counting to be mastered first. He gets so upset every time we approach maths. It is so hard to know how to best support him at home.
The school are great. The school offer a lot of support. The school constantly reassure us we are doing well at home and a great job as parents. But are we? Could we do more? Do we push him too much?
It is so hard to know.