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 Post subject: What should I do?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 425
Yesterday we went to a Kumon open day to get signed up for the 2 weeks free trial which is on now. I mainly wanted it for my DS who started YEar 7 on Friday. He has got into first choice GS but Comprehension continues to be a struggle for us and I want to help him and the material and information for Kumon English looked approriate.

The problem is that DS does not want to go. He feels that starting a new school and understanding all the new rules and h/w routines etc is difficult enough - so doesn't want to be overloaded with addition work. He makes a good argument.

So what should i do?
1. force him to go to the assessment and decide after that
2. drop it for now and see how he feels in 6 months time - possibly after checking with his English teacher in school (if that is possible)
3. force him to do the whole thing: assessment + trial (and the course)

option 2 seems to be the logical one, but depending on how the discussion with the English teacher goes will I regret not having put him in Kumon 6 months earlier?

Please let me know what you think? Has anyone been in a similar situation and what did you do?

Thanks!!


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 Post subject: Re: What should I do?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:20 pm
Posts: 4660
I'd go with option 2, but why wait 6 months? Ask to speak to the English teacher in a couple of week's time (once he/she's had a chance to get to know your son) and discuss your concerns then. It may be they have extra classes he could attend where they'd give him booster sessions. I know they do at my dd's grammar. Not everyone in school is going to be fantastically good at everything - in fact very few are, you'll find most children are good at one or two things, it just 'seems' others are fantastically good.

Let your son get used to the new school, new friends, new routine. Speak to the teacher in a couple of weeks time and then go from there.

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 Post subject: Re: What should I do?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:48 am 
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Thanks Snowdrops. My mind can obviously only cope with 6 month blocks :lol:

I assumed it would take that much time for the teacher to get a sense of how he is doing. Also I was worried that they might think my DS is weak and didn't want to give that impression at the beginning of school life. But a few weeks does make sense.


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 Post subject: Re: What should I do?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:51 am 
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I'm not a teacher so it probably does take longer for them to get to know him in depth, but it can't hurt to alert them to your concerns, they'll then keep a look-out and see if they agree with you.

He won't be seen as weak. He got into the school in the first place didn't he! He's got to be good!

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 Post subject: Re: What should I do?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:33 pm
Posts: 239
Location: London
I would put off doing the Kumon classes until your son has had a chance to settle in (just a few weeks should do it) and until you have been able to discuss with his English teacher. But I would definitely go for the free trial if it's a limited offer. I'm sure your son won't mind so much if he knows that you're prepared to keep an nopen mind on the actual classes and give him some breathing space before starting them (if you do decide to go ahead).


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 Post subject: Re: What should I do?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:47 pm
Posts: 464
Location: South Bucks
Why are you worried about a teacher identifying his relative strengths and weakness? That is their job and the sign of a good teacher. How can he be helped otherwise?

Give him a chance to settle in and then either wait for parents evening or make a special appointment to see his teacher to see if he needs futher support. The teacher might have some great ideas as to what you could do. My only experience of Kumon is not good and unless that style of death-by-worksheet really suits him (and it does suit some) then I wouldn't pursue it. There are lots of resources out there to help if you find he needs it - try www.learningresources.co.uk for example (probably end up costing you less than Kumon plus you can use again or sell on).


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 Post subject: Re: What should I do?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 11:25 am
Posts: 147
I had good results with Kumon Maths. The teacher was really kind and patient and we were so anti Maths in our house, all loving language based things that I felt it was a way to give confidence with the basics without me stresing about it . I do agree however that it is a bit death by work sheet with the Maths and I believe the English is the same. Also, we did it when the children were very young and had hardly any home work from school. I would have second thoughts about starting it at secondary age when starting a new school is enough to cope with for anyone. I also agree that it's the teacher's job to sort out who needs more help and so on. It is so easy to get sucked into the idea that everyone else will be brilliant at everything and your child will struggle and that simply is not true. I am sure he is good at loads of things and after he has been there a few weeks everything will seem more normal.If he likes the school and is happy and so are you nothing else is worth worrying about. I would also listen to what he says(oh how I wish I took my onwn advice).Leave the door open for him to take up the Kumon option later and see how he feels later on.


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 Post subject: Re: What should I do?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:27 am
Posts: 645
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi TP
My DS started at GS last year. He had always been less able at English than other subjects and I was concerned with how he would cope. At the first parent teacher meeting around half term his teacher had nothing but praise and said he was working at a level near the top of the class. To say I was gob-smacked is an understatement! DS says English is "different" at GS and I think maybe they are more tuned in to what makes boys tick and are able to get the best out of them.

I would certainly hold off with the Kumon for now at least. If the teacher thinks there is a problem the first step would be booster lessons once or twice a week. If there is a problem I can guarantee he won't be the only one.Trying to get your DS to do something he really objects to when he has the whole new school thing to deal with is probably just too much.


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 Post subject: Re: What should I do?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 1:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:46 am
Posts: 425
Thank you all so much for your advice and sharing your experience. I will definitely not pursue this for Monday now and let him continue enjoying his new school life. I "think" (need to check) there is parent's evening before the end of this year. I will ask him how he is doing in English and see if he was extra help at home in the meantime. Then following the parents evening we can collectively (teacher, mum and DS) decide on best steps forward. It was just too tempting to go for the free trial to see if that made the "magic quick fix". With English, I don't think there is such a thing. Also he is a very logical person and the Kumon English felt like it could work - i guess we will not find out now.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: What should I do?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
Posts: 6966
Location: East Kent
drummer wrote:
Why are you worried about a teacher identifying his relative strengths and weakness? That is their job and the sign of a good teacher. How can he be helped otherwise?



absolutely.


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