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 Post subject: Motivation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:56 am
Posts: 5
Hi I'm new to this site and wondered if anyone could relate to my situation. I have a daughter in yr 5 who is planning to sit 11+ next autumn. We have visited the schools she is interested in and she is keen to attend a grammar sch. However, I'm struggling with her attitude and motivation in things she has to think about. In particular she switches off when I try to get her to look at more difficult maths problems than she is used to doing at school. She knows what to do but can't be bothered to attempt questions involving more than one part. She is 10 already but in reality more like a stroppy teenager. She is and always has been in all top sets at school and achieved level 3s at key stage 1 sats. The problem I think is that most work at school is rather easy and she is not challenged enough. When I try to get her to do anything which requires effort and thought on her part she doesn't want to know. I'm now of the opinion that children are not being taught to think and really consider options, so much so that if the answer doesn't immediately come to mind they can't be bothered to think it through.

The decision to want to go to grammar is her choice and I regularly check with her that it is still what she wants to do.

Any sharing of similar experiences would be helpful.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:30 pm
Posts: 960
Maybe you're starting too early? What school are you interested in - is it one of the super selectives or one where you "only"(!) need a pass?

For what it's worth, I didn't start doing any preperation with my daughter until the summer after year 5. IMHO that's plenty of time - although others will come along who may know better than me.


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 Post subject: Re: Motivation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1770
Location: caversham
crazyjaney wrote:
In particular she switches off when I try to get her to look at more difficult maths problems


crazyjaney,

I could teach my son Maths,VR and NVR but when it came to English we hit a brick wall after a while. The parent/child relationship got in the way. In the end I found an enthusiastic recent graduate who could fill the gap and act as a tutor under my direction and in my abscence. :)

At other time we took a break until my son wanted to re-start work, another advantage of starting early. :wink:

stevew61


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 Post subject: Re: Motivation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:47 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Berks,Bucks
crazyjaney wrote:
The problem I think is that most work at school is rather easy and she is not challenged enough. When I try to get her to do anything which requires effort and thought on her part she doesn't want to know. I'm now of the opinion that children are not being taught to think and really consider options, so much so that if the answer doesn't immediately come to mind they can't be bothered to think it through.


Hi crazyJanet,

I had the same thoughts when my son was at primary school. He is good at maths, but at first we had deadlocks and tears with the 11+ when he was not finding something easy.
I got round the problem by breaking down the difficulty, making up easier problems and building up slowly towards more difficult ones. It worked fairly well as long as I was being very careful to avoid a crisis of confidence.
Now that he is at grammar school, he is absolutely fine.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:58 pm 
Hi - A little confused - i thought children sat the 11+ age 10 - if she is 10 already wont that make her 11 when she sits the exam. My son was September born and in the year he sat the bucks test he was 10 years and 1 month?


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 Post subject: motivation
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:56 am
Posts: 5
Thanks to those who have replied. I should clarify... my daughter was 10 in Sept and is one of the oldest in yr 5 so yes she will be 11 and couple of months when she sits tests next year...

I don't think we've started too early as the school she is interested in has 10 children apply for every available place and so is VERY competitive and hard to get into.

I agree with Stevew61 that finding a willing teenager to act as "mentor " would probably be beneficial but it's finding someone that's the problem.

I really think her issues are with laziness and wanting to achieve a goal (grammar place) but without putting in the effort. I know it's hard to communicate such ideas to kids but without some inpit from her she's risking her chances of success.

She is also undergoing puberty which is adding to the mix and I find that she is displaying attitude and behaviour which friends report their ( older) daughters are showing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:14 pm 
That is very odd. Is he a year ahead at school and you have forgotten? Or do they do the 11+ in Bucks in October of Year 5 when September born children are 10 and a bit and most of the rest of the year are still 9. Perhaps they should call it the Bucks 10 minus?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
Posts: 3310
Location: Warwickshire.
My son has just sat his 11+ and he is a September birthday which made him 11 years, 1 month and a few days. Children in year 6 are 10 rising eleven and this is the year that the 11+ is taken.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:30 pm
Posts: 960
My dd was 11 when she took the Kent test - 11 in December - test in January.
Crazyjaney - seriously - is it one of the super-selectives you're going for?
What happens if you give her a test paper to do under "exam conditions"?

If she's doing well, then you might still be starting too early - they do get bored and"over trained " sometimes!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:03 am 
Crazyjane
I know that it is going to be hard but could you bite your tongue and just back right off? Drop any talk of 11+ as well as practice and wait and see how your daughter responds.

My guess is that she will eventually ask what is going on. If not, bring the subject up in a few weeks' time. At that point I would tell her calmly and seriously that it is up to her what she wants to do. Explain that there is a lot of competition and that she is probably not up to standard yet. Give her a practice paper so she can see for herself what is required. Offer to provide your help if she wants it but put the onus on her to decide whether getting a place at the grammar is worth working towards.

If she wants that school, or even if she just doesn't like "quitting", she may come back to things with a more positive attitude. By shifting the responsibility to her you are not being an uncaring parent. She is likely to see you as being supportive rather than pushy, and giving her some element of personal control over this aspect of her future.

Of course, it will mean losing a bit of practice time and your daughter may be too immature to accept the responsibility. Personally, however, I think it is worth a try. What is the alternative? A year of resentful, unproductive forced labour? Stressed family relationships and a daughter who, at the end of the day, still hasn't learnt the self-motivation skills which she will continue to need beyond the 11+?


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