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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:58 pm 
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My 6 year old is in Year 2 and not doing very well academically. She seems to have just turned the corner with her reading and is now quite fluent and is getting all her spelling right each week although she does have the most bizzare words (phonics was one this week!) We have decided to start Kumon maths with her for a year to see if we can get her up the curve. If not we will have a different approach to that DD1 took who has just passed her 11+ and been offered several indies. We will probably look at less academic indies.

I would just point out that she is an August birthday so is young in her year. Anyway I was wondering whether anyone else has had a child in this position who has gone on to do well at age 11. Lots of people keep telling me she is too young at this stage to have an idea of how she will turn out but with DD1 she was always on the top table for everything and I didn't really have any concerns.

Any thoughts / comments most welcome.

Thank you.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:39 pm 
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It's so hard to know isn't it? Not sure that you ever will, until she has taken the 11+ and passed it!! What do you mean when you say she isn't doing very well academically, and what do you mean by reading fluently?

I still think it is too early to tell. And don't go by school teacher judgements. And remember that even if older sibling went to the same school, they could have had completely different teaching for some reason, so you can't directly compare.

I have just looked at the school performance tables for KS2 results, looking purely at percentage level 5s. The variations are huge, even between schools in affluent areas. Expectations of your child so much affect how and what they are taught at school. And teaching clearly must account for the vast differences between these schools.

There's no way of judging anything from those spelling lists is there? Everyone gets a different one and your child could be on an incredibly easy one for some obscure reason. Who knows.

Good luck


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:48 pm 
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Please, please,please dont worry about this yet.

As you say, DC is very young for the year & probably just needs time to mature.

There are varying views about Kumon maths - you might want to look for discussion about it before emabrking on this route.

I would focus on fun based activities at home to strengthen reading & compehension and understanding of maths concepts - reading and listening to stories together and chatting about them, playing games, doing real world maths problems together as the opportunity arises (money, time, measurement etc)
There are also lots of good web sites / computer games.

If you want to do more & have the resources then I would suggest a local tutor who is kind and encouraging - just for a few months to give a little 'boost'. Often the one-to-one attention can make a huge difference very quickly, as long as it seen as fun & a treat rather than being put under pressure or needing help because they are slow.

It is much too early to be able to predict 11+ perfomance - children mature at very different rates. Of course there are some who do well at school all the way thorough but there are many who take a while to get going.

Sorry - one other point! - if DC has an interest or talent in a non-academic field eg. music, art, sport it helps to encourage this area as the confidence built can spill over into all areas of school (and if it turns out she isnt as academic as older sibling then she will feel 'different' rather than 'less' - & it might help her get a scholarship for Indie!)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:31 pm 
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Thank you for your replies.

By reading fluently I mean without sounding out each and every word and reading fairly quickly rather than in a completely laboured way. She is enjoying her books now too and has just read The Witch's Dog by Frank Rodgers - not many words on each page I know but still the shape and size of a "chapter" book.

She is in extra help classes for literacy and numeracy so I know she's struggling although I really dont think these classes are helping her one bit. I also think that by missing out on what is going on in the class room I can't see how she will ever catch up. It is my intention to ask whether she can be removed from these classes. They have a different agenda and do not reinforce what goes on in the classroom and I believe it could well be counter productive anyway.

We did do a bit of Kumon with DD1 and whilst it is a bit boring I think it was brilliant in the early years helping with number bonds and I wish we'd kept it up longer than I did. I've got a younger daughter too and I work part-time and to be honest I just dont have the time to be thinking up "fun" ideas nor am I the creative type this comes to naturally, although we do play board games etc.

She has just started Stagecoach which DD1 never did because she does have a passion for performing and like you say I have tried to find something that she really enjoys which is not academic that will give her confidence that she could be "good" at something.

Good idea about the tutor though. Hadn't really thought of that yet but would be worth pursuing.

Thanks,


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:13 pm 
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I know we do worry our children may be a bit dim, but 6 is still very young.My eldest son was level 3a/b when he went into yr 5 and had gone through the early learning support...I was told not to put him in for the 11 plus, but I felt he had a spark about him and was "bright " .He is now in yr 6, level 5 for everything and passed the 11 plus with a really high score.My other son was placed on the " watched "list for sen in year 2, but now everything has "clicked " and I have been told will probably be level 4c when he enters yr 5...he's year 4 now.I also have a gut feeling that he has something about him....his spelling might not be great but he can tell you everything you need to know about some random animal you've never heard of.

It's not always about academic prowess at such a young age.It often comes.My daughter is also 6. an August birthday too and in yr 2.I think she will suddenly fly and I'm trying not to get stressed waiting for that moment ! I do lots of work with them and I agree when you are a working mother it is hard to find the time.I find it's best to make almost a lesson plan and we do most of our work either online as a game or in my bed !!! Thats more relaxing.Also times tables and spellings can be done in the car as can word games etc.

It's great she has joined Stagecoach that will give her confidence.Try to build her self esteem too...I don't want children who think they are wonderful, but I always tell mine that they will achieve great things with their lives and why not ? Anything's possible !! :D


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:16 pm 
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Wow Scarlett, how do you think your son made all that unpredicted progress in year 5 and early year 6? Was it him, you or the teacher?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:26 pm 
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It was the health days, Mystery !!!!

I think all my children are naturally bright but do struggle with certain aspects of academic work and of course you assume they are dim, but I think maybe we would have been better off living in Sweden etc where they go to school at 7 !!!

I don't think its really down to the school as they seem pretty rubbish, but I can't take all the credit can I? I do find though when I work at home with them they do shoot up the levels really quickly , and I'm lucky in that I have a really close relationship with my children so they are rarely huffy about working and as I said we do writing etc in my bed so I try to make it fun and relaxing ( plus I can have a quick snooze whilst they do their sums !)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:53 pm 
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I should have known that would be the answer Scarlett! How do you know where to make a start in planning your lessons for the health days? Do you get a feeling where they are in the national frameworks from the homework that they have done that term?

Currently I get very little feel for what my year 2 child is doing at school. Numeracy homework is set from a Schofield and Sims mental maths book and I look ahead and teach her any new topics that are coming up first - invariably she says she has not yet covered them at school, and judging from the vague responses I get from school I think she is correct in saying this. Most times when I ask her what they did in numeracy that day she says they didn't have it. I don't ask every day, so I'm sure they do it often, but the definitely don't do it everyday .... is that how it should be?

As for literacy I just haven't a clue what she does apart from do some writing from time to time and probably miss out some of those capitals and full stops that are so important to teachers at this stage, because when she gets wrapped up in writing a story all that kind of thing goes a bit haywire, as does her spelling. But she can do a pretty good job of editing my errors.

And as for reading ...... well she reads some pretty complex books to me at home very fluently. The only thing I know vaguely connected to reading at school is that she still goes to some phonics group or other with loads of the year below in it, and it includes a level of storybook with not many two syllable words in it, and not all the basic phonic sounds have yet been covered!!

I know you will tell me to calm down again Scarlett.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:12 pm 
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I know that " k" person will tell us to set fire to any sats papers, but I find the sats practice books are really useful for year 2 because it does cover what they need to know.I use the Letts and Lonsdale key stage 1 sats revision guide for maths and english as it covers the topics, is nice and clear, child friendly text and then has little tests.You can then see what they are weak in and use the other books to practice.I have also bought a book called "level up " which takes it all a bit further and aims to push the children up a level.

They always say they haven't learnt/ covered it at school, but I just press on and they soon pick it up....just do a bit of reading from different books...I have a spelling book as well we work through and then random questions like " 3 on from 47 " whilst you are making dinner...or I went shopping and bought.....mine all still like that game...maybe that will change when ds goes to secondary ! :oops:

Don't worry about school.You are intelligent Mystery, you can teach her to read...to count....write a little story if you give her the characters.....it's just practice, practice, self belief and a bit of fun along the way !

Oh, and pour yourself a nice glass of wine ! :D


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:25 pm 
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Just looked at those level up books - they do look nice. My problem is I just collect books and rarely do them with my children. I'll get one of those level up books for the summer holiday and surprise the Year 3 teacher maybe. I've got enough stuff here now to run a tutoring business. Maybe you'd like to send your children round here on health days!!


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