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My son says it doesn't matter if he writes it backwards

cloa513

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My son is 6 and he writes his letters backwards and he writes his hiragana backwards too (with his grandparents. He goes to a preprimary and it is written right round there but with poor spacing and sizing. What will he face in a regular elementary if he doesn't write kana and kanji correctly?
 

Lothor

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My son is 6 and he writes his letters backwards and he writes his hiragana backwards too (with his grandparents. He goes to a preprimary and it is written right round there but with poor spacing and sizing. What will he face in a regular elementary if he doesn't write kana and kanji correctly?
What will he face? おしりペンペン!
Seriously, I asked Mrs Lother, who is an elementary school teacher. A teacher of first year students will teach reading and writing assuming that the kids know nothing even though that is rarely the case. She does recommend you make sure he can write his name properly though. Worth getting some drill books to practise handwriting?
 

cloa513

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And if Mrs Lother has a child that refuses to write correctly?
 

Lothor

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Before I ask her, could you say why your son might refuse to write correctly? Do you think there is a possibility of dyslexia and you're wondering what support mechanisms are in place or does your son have a strong desire to write in his way. Just trying to get a bit of context.
 

cloa513

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It doesn't matter for him that it is backwards. He may not care.
 

Lothor

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It doesn't matter for him that it is backwards. He may not care.
I'm answering this from what I know about elementary schools as a parent and from my experience as a former teacher. The idea that the sticking out nail gets hammered down is largely a myth as far as elementary schools are concerned. If your son insists on writing some characters backward, it would be a particularly incompetent teacher who would make an issue of it in the classroom, particularly with another 35 kids to teach, though if it continued most teachers would bring it up when they discussed the child's progress with the parents.
What is most likely is that your son will also want to get full marks like everyone else in the many very easy tests that teachers give year 1 kids to build confidence and encourage achievement, and that will motivate him to write his characters the right way round.
 

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Cloa,

You need to talk to a learning disabilities specialist. Is there one in your area? Is there one associated with your school?

You also need to talk to someone at your school. Does your school have a learning disabilities specialist? If not, you may need to talk to someone like the principal. I also feel very strongly you need to talk to your son's teacher, both his present teacher and his future first grade teacher. They have probably seen this before and they probably have specific ideas on how to deal with the problem. (They may also have some bad ideas about this. If so, you need to find out about this right away.)

I feel your learning disabilities specialist, your son's teachers, and you need to get together and come up with a clear plan as to how this is going to be dealt with. Teamwork will be important here. Get the teamwork started as soon as possible.

It doesn't matter if your son feels this is not important. He is not a learning disabilities specialist. Find someone who is.

Another factor: This whole thing may be upsetting to him, and him saying it doesn't matter might just be a defense mechanism. No doubt a lot of compassion, understanding, and gentle encouragement from you will help a great deal.
 

cloa513

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His current teacher says its normal for his age. I live in Japan. The elementary school is so disorganized that when my wife asked about how long the required health check for next month would take (so she doesn''t have take a full day off work (only works 4 hours times 4 days a week) they couldn't give any information-no idea the number of students and the vice principal got angry. No chances of them deciding the teacher.
 

cloa513

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Cloa,

You need to talk to a learning disabilities specialist. Is there one in your area? Is there one associated with your school?

You also need to talk to someone at your school. Does your school have a learning disabilities specialist? If not, you may need to talk to someone like the principal. I also feel very strongly you need to talk to your son's teacher, both his present teacher and his future first grade teacher. They have probably seen this before and they probably have specific ideas on how to deal with the problem. (They may also have some bad ideas about this. If so, you need to find out about this right away.)

I feel your learning disabilities specialist, your son's teachers, and you need to get together and come up with a clear plan as to how this is going to be dealt with. Teamwork will be important here. Get the teamwork started as soon as possible.

It doesn't matter if your son feels this is not important. He is not a learning disabilities specialist. Find someone who is.

Another factor: This whole thing may be upsetting to him, and him saying it doesn't matter might just be a defense mechanism. No doubt a lot of compassion, understanding, and gentle encouragement from you will help a great deal.
Everyone says normal for his age.
 

Buntaro

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the vice principal got angry.

One of the things I picked up while living in Japan was adopting the Japanese tendency to be 'too nice' — not outwardly expressing anger when I should. In some ways, this had been a detriment to me. I then spent several years in China, where stifling one's desire to express anger is unheard of. Chinese people are quick to express anger and tell other people what to do. This was to my advantage, in that I have become much more assertive than when I was in Japan. Now, when someone yells at me, I yell back at them (something I would have never done while I was living in Japan).

If your school's gets angry with you, you have every right to get angry back at him. He works for you, not the other way around. Don't get caught up in the Japanese ritual of being nice when it is not called for.
 

bentenmusume

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Not to dismiss your experiences, Buntaro-san, but I'm not sure it's accurate to say that Japanese parents, as a whole, are known for universally being "too nice" to teachers and school administrators. The term "monster parent", after all, originated in Japan, and the phenomenon is well-documented and continues to this day.
 

salyavin

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kagami moji is fairly common in 6 year olds. My 6 year old (yes I have one too) wrote some characters of Japanese and English backwards, it just took practice and he is past it now. My wife was a kindergarten teacher in Kyushuu for years before I married her. My wife can tell you stories about monster parents, they do exist. My son is in the 1st grade.
 
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