18 answers

5 Year Old Can't Stay on Task

I have a 5 year old in Kendergarden this year. He is younger than must of kids because his birthday is in Aug...he just turned 5 were others are turning 6. Anyway I am getting messages on almost a daily basis that he can not get his work done, he can't make good choices and on and on. He is never mean and alway poilet. He was in Pre-K3 and Pre-K4. I know he would probly stuggle but the teacher actually asked me questions like "who is doctor" and "think about talking to the doctor and see what he says" Now there are some days that he will be fine, so I know he can do it, but out of 5 days maybe 2 he will get it right. The teacher has even told me that as far as his acidemics, he is on track. I really don't know how to help him....and I don't want him on meds. She asked me if I have any suggestions and of course I had none...she is going to start putting him by himself to see if that helps.

Any one out there have any suggestions of things we can try at home and/or school??

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I am thinking it is just the age. If the academics are not suffering then i wouldnt worry much. When my son was that age i would have him do things but if he spend more that just a few minutes on it he was not interested anymore. I would suggest that limit time on each activity. If he starts to lose interest or be off task then i would add some excitement to it or move on. If his academics were affected i would think more about ADD. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Hey,
I know what you are saying i had the same problem with my 9year old she was young and the teacher said it would be a good idea for her to stay one more year in kindergarden well i agreed and well now she is in 3rd grade and is on med. i she is 9 and there are days that i look at her and cry she is so skinny but the doctors tell me that she is fine i would not put him on med either it is ok for her now other then being skinny now

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Hey,
I know what you are saying i had the same problem with my 9year old she was young and the teacher said it would be a good idea for her to stay one more year in kindergarden well i agreed and well now she is in 3rd grade and is on med. i she is 9 and there are days that i look at her and cry she is so skinny but the doctors tell me that she is fine i would not put him on med either it is ok for her now other then being skinny now

1 mom found this helpful

I can't believe what some of these people are saying to you about holding your son back!! Let's try to figure out the problem without resorting to medication or making him repeat a grade. I got so much flack from parents about making my kid wear the same clothes as punishment, I can't imagine that a kid wouldn't be humiliated by being in the same grade twice.

Maybe he needs to be tested academically. I have had the same issue with my daughter. Her birthday is in June, but she went to a private kindergarten in chicago before me moved here to GA. I was disciplining her for the yellow lights thinking that she was just playing in school. Until I talked to the teacher and was told that she was on schedule with her academics. Which made me think that maybe she was bored. I took her to Sylvan to have her tested and she is reading on a 1st grade level and math on a 2nd grade level. I talked to the school about this and they have refused to move her a grade because she isn't 6. So i'm pulling her out of that school and she'll be starting 1st grade next week at a new school.

I know as parents we sometimes think that the neighborhood school that's convienent for us or the school with the best testing scores are the best locations for our kids, but they're not in daycare and pre-k anymore. They have developed into real people now with specific needs. I guess it just takes some time and several yellow lights to figure out what it is they need.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is now 7, but since beginning Kinder, has had problems staying on task, following directions, and now, screams or just makes silly noises when the class is quietly working. I've taken her to a counselor (great- never mentioned meds) and after IQ test, she was diagnosed with ADHD. You might want to check into that because if you can catch it early, the child has better chance of learning how to redirect distractedness w/o meds. I am not saying that I am necessarily succeeding, but at it's the fight that counts. Doc's name is Osbourne off of Lawrenceville Hwy.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D.,
I work for PIA - Partners In Achievement. We work with children such as your 5 year old. My office is in Conyers. We have another in Athens GA. and others around the country. Currently I work with a 6year old who has similiar issues as your 5 year old. I "play" games with him, which in turn sharpens his cognitive skills. The "games" help with attention, focus, strengthening auditory skills, and more. Call the center nearest you for more info.
T.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, Your email caught my eye because I have a 5 year old daughter and we had the same problem last year in Pre K-4. My daughter's birthday is in August also, so she was the youngest in her Pre K-4 class. I was getting the same type of feedback from her teacher about lack of attention, etc. I could tell that the teacher was very frustrated with her and my daughter was begining to dislike school. I, of course, was worried about ADD or ADHD. Luckily, the school she goes to this year wanted her to be in Pre K-4 again because of her August birthday. She is doing great and so happy. One more year of maturity makes a huge difference. She is now the oldest child in her class and we think she just needed more time to mature. I know ADD is a real problem for some children, but please give your son a chance to mature a little more before letting someone "diagnose" him and put him on medication. Good luck to you and your son! A.

1 mom found this helpful

Perhaps he is just bored. I was as a very hyper kid and medications did not work. I often got so bored I didnt want to finish the work. Age doesnt really matter I dont think, I was young also. He may need a little more of a challenge. If he can stay on task sometimes and not others it could be her teaching methods or he may dislike the lesson or the teacher herself. You just have to sit him down and get his point of view and how he feel and what he thinks. It worked for me.

1 mom found this helpful

D.,
You have told my story exactly my son also has his birthday in aug. and he went to pre-k3 and pre-k4. When he started kindergarten we had all kinds of problems with him staying on task but his grades were very good on all testing. The teacher and I tried everything we could think of from Behavior charts to even Isolation (something I would never recommend). Finally I took him to the Helen Ross McNabb Childrens Center in Knoxville here they tested him and we found out that he is ADD. They taught me how to work with him and explained what is going on in his head. I know you sayed you are against medication I was to but once I learned how much it could help I welcomed it. Now he is in the 2nd grade and his behavior grade has went from a F to an A and he so much more happy. I am not saying to medicate your child but at least talk to someone and get him tested.

1 mom found this helpful

I am thinking it is just the age. If the academics are not suffering then i wouldnt worry much. When my son was that age i would have him do things but if he spend more that just a few minutes on it he was not interested anymore. I would suggest that limit time on each activity. If he starts to lose interest or be off task then i would add some excitement to it or move on. If his academics were affected i would think more about ADD. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D.,

You sound so like me 2 years ago when my son was in KinderG. His b-day is i June so he is always one of the yungest. I've notice a trend since he was in Pre-k and many people told me that I should hold him back one year since he was always going to be the youngest. I didn't do it and now that he is in second grade I regret that desicion, why? because, like I said, it seems to be a trend and many of his classmates are childrenthat were "held back" one year or have a late b-day,as result many of them are 8 already or in their way to 9, he is struggoling with reading and writting and he is not at the same pace than his piers, he was put in a different class to help him to catch up in reading(his lavel was one grade below),and I feel he is still missing up what is being thougth currently in second grade. And lets face it, boys develop later that girls in writting and readind and other skills (most of the time anyways), so they are in desadvantage. Now days also, when a child doen't either behave or perform as "expected", some teachers are quick to mention doctors or medicines, etc.and I think that just creates a pressure to parents that it's not necessary.
Your son is just 5, if academically he is on track, maybe he doesn't have the maturity or capacity at this age to have the attention spam set by the mayority of his classmates (older than him) and that, with not doubt, he will develop when he is ready.

If I where you, I'll consider holding him back at the end of this year, later will be near imposible, as they develop relationships they do not want to trade and are more aware.Think about it, the pros- and the cons.

I hope my imput helps you a little.

A.

D.,
Please when I tell you this don't be shocked, but you could probably with the most success take him out of kindergarten and start fresh next year. I myself have a birthday in late August and started Kindergarten about 2 weeks after my b-day. I would have trouble paying attention and staying on task (sound familiar?). In hind sight my mom says she would have waited a year had she realized. This struggle went on for 4 years with me seeing counslers in the school and medical counslers in additon to tudors and programs to teach me better study skills. The final turn around was my 4th grade year when I just barely made it through and the teacher said to my mom that I would probably benefit by being left behind. My mom switched me to another school to save me from the embarasment, but I knew and kept this secret. Now I'm a well adjusted 29 year old and after I went back to 4th grade in a new school I immediatly was accepted into the Talented and Gifted program aka TAG and was fine from there on but I always had a lack of confidence in my ability to take on new school tasks. Please consider this option because you childs entire school future could be determined by how well he begins and from what you've said in terms of him personality he'll be great when he's emotionally mature enough to take on the challenge. M.

Hi D.,I also have a 5yr old in K.It was a big adjustment for him yet he was excited.I too have also had notes regularly because he doesnt stay on task at school.My hubby and I have ried talking to him and asking him what he thinks is wrong and why he cant listen to the teacher.I started asking him everyday about school and how he felt and what they did.I also came up with a bit of a rewards plan.I told him it was important to listen to the teacher and do his work so he can be smart like his daddy and his brain will get bigger and that will help him when he grows up to be big like daddy.And i stressed to him the importance of going to sleep on time because his brain needs rest.I told him school is for learning alot of cool things but he still gets to play.I let him know if he doesnt move his behavior clip in school during the week then on the friday i will reward him with little things like giving him disney playhouse time on computer or letting him eat whatever he wants for dinner(ex.small frozen cheeses pizza or i let him stay up an extra hour on fri or sat or let him watch a fav movie)Try giving him a sticker chart and giving him a sticker everyday for doing his work at school like a big boy and post it on the fridge.Its only a few suggestions.If you would like to talk more you can email me at ____@____.com

ABOUT ME:
iM A 32(33 IN NOV)girl 15,boys 13 and5.My hubby is a trucker and not home but every 6-8 weeks.I am an online sales rep for a great Made to order candle company.I live in clevelan,Tn

Hi. I just wanted you to know that medicines are a parents decision, and not the schools. There is a law that was passed called the 'child safety medication act of 2000'

This law was passed to stop schools from persuading parents to medicate their children. It was getting out of hand, and schools are not medical professionals and have no business doing this.

Since teacher said 'but the teacher actually asked me questions like "who is doctor" and "think about talking to the doctor and see what he says"
this is the teachers 'round a bout' way of pushing the meds without actually coming out with it, cause she know she could get in trouble for that.


Of course if it is your choice to use medicines, that is fine. As for your childs problems, I am wondering if there 'could' be learning problems? I am not saying there is, but lots of times, some children do have problems with learning and they react by 'acting out' in some way because of the frustration. And the teacher notices this instead of the learning problems.

If you ever do feel this could be the problem, you can write and ask for school to test him and see if he can qualify for special ed to help him. The ONLY way that schools are LEGALLY required to help children if they have these type of problems is if the child is in special ed.

Teachers are usually very helpful to help the child, but unless the child is in special ed, the teacher does NOT have to help the child.
I hope I didn't offend you, it's just my experience to have learned thru the internet of some children being this way.
S.

My daughter who will be 5 in december is the same way, seh CAN NOT stay on track, shes very smart but has a HUGE problem staying on task, even at dinner. so I am right there with you. I dont have any solutions but I just wanted you to know you arent the only one.

I totally understand what you are going through. My 5yr old daughter is having the same problem. We have spoken to doctors and they never once said anything about medicine. They have said that she may be a little immature, but we should just let that happen on its own b/c maturity is something that has to happen naturally and can not be forced. We are in a situation that the school and teacher would rather her be held back then to continue to deal with her in the classroom as she is a distraction moving about after her work is completed. We are considering holding her back in k-5 for next year, but are not sold on it yet. That maybe something you may want to talk to your son's teacher and doctor about. They say she highly inteligent and has a very high IQ, but is not mature enough to handle to structure in this k-5 class. I hope this helps. If you have any other questions or just would like to talk please feel free to contact me at ____@____.com. E. N. in GA

Oh my gosh!!!! This is so my child right now!!! My daughter is 5 and in Kinderg'n and will not be 6 until May. When we had teacher conferences I was horrified to find out she was not doing well. Her teacher expressed that she feels it is because she is just "young". Academically she said my daughter "gets it" but she doesn't follow instructions and drifts off into "La La Land". We briefly touched on ADD - but she was quick to say that we should give it some time and see if she adjusts by the end of the year. She also said that First Grade was going to be REALLY difficult. There's tons of new stuff to learn and she will probably struggle and that first grade would be the one to repeat if we decided that was necessary.

I know how you feel right now. I too am worried for her, disappointed that it isn't "easy", and scared I'm not doing something right as a mom. If you want to talk, please feel free to email me - ____@____.com - I could use a little encouragement myself!!!!

A.

D.,

Let me see if I can help a little. Ask the teacher to see if they will put him on a behavior chart. What it is is a chart showing different sections of the day. Every time they change to something different the time of day is different. Like...Reading, science, circle time, etc. Anyway, it would show what parts of the day he was having more trouble than others and it helps communicate better about what is going on all through his day. The teacher can make comments to tell you what happened at what part of the day. My son just turned 6, but he is in kindergarten too. We had to do this with him, it showed the teacher that he was a little bored through certain parts of the day and she and I were able to work on certain behavior issues. If you need a copy to kind of know how to explain it to the teacher let me know and I will send you a copy of one of my sons. Good Luck!!

Please, please, please remember that your child is only 5. Developmentally he is unable to stay on task! That is completely normal. Personally I would check into what type of work he his being asked to do. When a child is having problems staying on task more often than not, the problem lies with what's being done in the class, not the child. A 5 year old should not be asked to sit and do work. That is not the way they learn, and it is not developmentally appropriate. Again, your child sounds like a normal 5 year old boy. Just hang in thee, he will focus when he's ready. If he's still having problems after a few years, or starts getting seriously behind, then maybe you should consider talking to a doctor. Until then remember; 5 year old boys are very active.

First I have to ask if it is an all day Kindergarden. I have a 5 year old as well in kindergarden this year. I have heard more stories of Kindergarden boys having a hard time. In my sons school they only go outside once a day, twice on special occasions. I was starting to realize that wasn't enough. I put him in after school activities because he was not getting his energy out. We also had to watch what time he was going to sleep at night. We take him to school by 7:00am and when he is not in bed by 7:15pm he will get in trouble the next day and have a hard time paying attention. I think it is a transition for lots of kids, even if they have been in daycare or pre-k before. It's not the same. Practice staying on track at home and maybe he will get better. I would use the doctor as a last resort. In my opinion people are way to quick to point to ADD and ADHD. It could be something else very simple. From what I am gathering all 5 year olds have this problem and it is normal! Good luck

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.