Shutting Down Early

October 09, 2015

“It’s getting late early.”  Yogi Berra

Anxiety over your child’s school-based problems can start fairly early.  A mom recently contacted me after reading The Shut-down Learner.

“My son is drowning in school.  You think he could be a shut-down learner?”

When I wrote  The Shut-Down Learner, I was largely envisioning disconnected, shut-down teenagers.  However, as I gave more talks to parents, many of the concerns being raised centered on young children.  This led me to understand that so much of the import of The Shut-Down learner is to determine how we can prevent this shutting down from happening as early as possible.

Cracks in the Foundation can appear very early and can be easily identified by 4 or 5 years of age.  Classic cracks can include weaknesses with identifying letters and their sounds, along with difficulty with language-based tasks, such as rhyming.

When the cracks are ignored, time goes by and typically there is a sense that the issues are widening and getting more significant and difficult to manage.

Targeting letter naming and sound identification with good individualized instruction would be very appropriate if your child has been shown to have some of these cracks in kindergarten.

There is no gain in waiting.

Takeaway point

Start early.  While your child may not be technically shut-down when he is in kindergarten or first grade, acting early is a key factor in heading off later shut-down qualities and further school struggling.

Adapted:  “Schools Struggles,” by Richard Selznick, Ph.D (2012) Sentient Publications

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All comments (2)
  • Luqman Michel
    August 12, 2017 at 11:05 am

    Allow me to quote from Children of the Code "The one thing we know about plasticity, which is the capacity to adjust and adapt, is […] Read MoreAllow me to quote from Children of the Code "The one thing we know about plasticity, which is the capacity to adjust and adapt, is it's greatest when the brain is immature, and it is less as the brain becomes more mature." (Jack Shonkoff) I can't agree more with your "Targeting letter naming and sound identification with good individualized instruction would be very appropriate if your child has been shown to have some of these cracks in kindergarten." Do not allow kids to watch videos that teach sound of alphabets wrongly. There are too many such videos in the internet. Read Less

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