My six-year-old daughter is very bright. I am home schooling her. Last year she went to a private school for Kindergarten. She coasted through with all A’s. I felt she could have done more, but I didn’t push because after all, it’s only kindergarten. When she asked for more work after school, I gave her work from a first grade workbook. By letting her move at her own pace, she is finishing 2-4 days of school work in one day.
The only thing she will not do for me is read. She says it is boring. I gave her an easier book. She struggled and couldn’t read it. I gave her a simple chapter book with a picture on each page and she read two pages with barely any help. It was marked as a level 4 book. After two pages, she was done. I tried to get her to read more of it the next day and she said she couldn’t.
In other areas, she is a well behaved little girl. She does not like to be corrected, and will frequently roll her eyes when she is. She has difficulties being distracted, and can rarely fulfill a two-part command. (In fact, my mildly autistic son can perform a two-part command better than she can!) If you tell her that something is behind her, she is likely to turn around in a full circle, look up at the ceiling and say she can’t find it. I was wondering if she could have ADD. And I was also wondering if it is important to get a diagnosis for her, even though I do not intend to medicate.
I am hoping to find solutions that can help her individual problems—including finding a curriculum that best suits her needs. But am I doing the right thing by her?
Your desire to help your daughter progress at her own rate of growth rather than the curriculum offered by a general education program is fine. However, I hear several other themes that concern me.
First, she appears to be struggling with reading. Reading is not a skill a student learns on their own. It needs to be taught by someone who knows how to teach reading. Is she behind because of your teaching or because she might have a potential problem with reading or because of some other factor. You need to clarify this question before you can decide how best to help her with her reading.
Second, you question if she might have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. As possible evidence you note that she can be distracted and she “rarely fulfills a two-part command.” May I urge you to stop trying to be everything to her. If you do not have a degree in elementary school education; if you do not have a degree in speech-language therapy; if you do not have a professional degree in psychology or medicine, I urge you to see the advise of these individuals. Does she have a reading disability? Find out. Does she have a language disability? Find out. Does she have ADHD? Find out.
For your daughter’s sake, love her, help her. But agree that you may not be able to answer all of the questions you ask.