Q: My daughter is 3 years old and she mispronounces some words. She also uses made-up words for everything. For how long is this normal?
A: This may persist for another year or two. When she mispronounces a word, instead of correcting her, pronounce the word correctly in your response. For example, if she says, "I love gaspetti," respond with "I love spahetti too!" For made-up words, your daughter is showing her creativity! That's great! My sons called every concrete mixer a "round-and-round," a logical invention. Talk with her about how she invented the word and discuss traditional words with the same meaning. For fun, keep a list of those invented words. She'll love it when she's an adult!
Q: Hello, my daughter is 8 years, 9 months old and she still confuses letters...for example, she writes the "b" backwards in some words or substitutes it in some words. Like "chicken" instead of "kitchen". Or she'll she'll write incomplete words, missing a letter. What should I do?
A: By this time, these sorts of problems have usually begun to disappear. With English, many words have silent letters, making spelling more challenging. When my son had this same problem, I'd have him run his finger under the word as he read it, so his eyes didn't jump to the middle of the word. I also took a small piece of paper and moved it from left to right, revealing the letters so that his eyes scanned the word correctly. It's probably time to have your daughter evaluated at school for a spelling or reading disability. My son was ten before he caught on to reading. He'll never be a great speller, but using apps to check spelling can be of great support.
Q: My daughter cries a lot when going to school. Sometimes, I want to withdraw her from school. She's 3 years old.
A: Talk with your teacher about how she behaves in school. If she is happy once there, work on the transition from home to school. Sometimes taking a favorite stuffed animal or toy along helps. Choosing her school clothes the night before smooths the routine in the morning. You can ask her to draw or paint a picture for you while there, giving her purpose. Reassure her about the pickup time. Consider teaching her to tell time, giving her a childproof watch or clock so that she can keep track of the time. If she continues to cry, consider dropping in unannounced to ensure that the school is a good match for your daughter.
Q: How can I use this program with a 6 year old?
A: Use the parental settings to indicate your child's age. The settings will move the child through the program based on correct responses. You can always check your child's progress and choose to have him or her repeat activities. Remember that the songs and stories can be enjoyed by any age.