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 Post subject: English Woes and boys.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:38 pm 
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Hope I don't addle too many brains but am addressing two problems in one thread. Any advice appreciated. :D

Problem 1

Ds1....In year 8 at a grammar, still will write half a sentence instead of a paragraph and it's generally rather basic. I've noticed a few teachers have written in his books that his work is too simplistic and he needs to extend and elaborate his sentences. This is affecting other subjects now, history, geography etc. Ds gets all huffy and offended if I suggest helping him. What help can I give him? Is this common in lazy boys? Do you think it will improve in time?

Problem 2

Ds2....In year 6...passed the 11 plus...still stutters when reading and keeps missing out words or exchanging them for others. Do you think this is a problem or nothing to worry about. He is a level 5 for reading and writing...just don't want him to be laughed at at grammar for his painful reading.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:51 pm 
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Hi Scarlett!

Obviously, I'm not experienced in these matters (although your message has made me aware that the fun never ends with regards to children and education ...), but I'm surprised the school don't provide essay-skills classes, or the like. Presenting such things as essays isn't innate, it needs to be learned, just as the actual facts of geography, history etc. need to be learned. And I'm sure your DS isn't the only one. Could you suggest that such a 'booster' class be set up?

I've been listening to DC at DS's school. It's largely a painful experience. They just seem too self-conscious and often don't really like the reading matter they are being made to read. I wouldn't worry too much if his SATS levels are where they should be and they clearly are. :D

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:51 pm 
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scarlett wrote:
Hope I don't addle too many brains but am addressing two problems in one thread. Any advice appreciated. :D

Problem 1

Ds1....In year 8 at a grammar, still will write half a sentence instead of a paragraph and it's generally rather basic. I've noticed a few teachers have written in his books that his work is too simplistic and he needs to extend and elaborate his sentences. This is affecting other subjects now, history, geography etc. Ds gets all huffy and offended if I suggest helping him. What help can I give him? Is this common in lazy boys? Do you think it will improve in time?


Scarlett, have you been reading my DS1's report again? Or is it just that we share a son? I have told him that he needs to up his game, but every teacher says the same. I hope they grow out of it!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:03 pm 
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Thanks. Bananas..think my son will leave home with the mother of all huffs if I suggest setting up a booster class for him! He reckons he is better then everyone else when I say his work is a little substandard. I feel like giving up a bit with him,to be honest.

Unscary....we do share the son, I think! Still you have a year on me....so I'm waiting for some reassurance from you soon. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:10 pm 
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Quote:
think my son will leave home with the mother of all huffs if I suggest setting up a booster class for him!


:lol: I wasn't suggesting it would be just for him, or that he would know you had got it set up!! There must be others (especially boys, ime) who could benefit from lessons on HOW to write essays. In fact, I'm sure I've read something on here recently about the same subject, with someone recommending the Pyramid Principle, which is a fantastic book, on teaching how to write essays.

How does he explain the teachers' comments if it doesn't tally with his opinion of himself?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:14 pm 
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I think I'll have to tie him to a chair first. He doesn't want any help and thinks he doesn't need it. An example from his history book was when asked to describe some battle, he wrote " it was very very very b l o o d y. " without any commas. That was it...written in large letters to fill up the line. :shock:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:20 pm 
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:lol:

It sounds like he hasn't got the 'point' of why teachers are asking him to write these essays. That sort of answer sounds typical of a teenager who can't understand why the adults are asking such stupid questions and gives the most basic answer he thinks he can get away with. Could you throw some Anthony Beevor history of war type books at him? He might get more of the right vocab/ ways of expressing himself that that subject requires.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:42 am 
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Location: Warwickshire
I have similar concerns with DC - but not a boy and not in English. DD in upper sixth still doesn't see the point in writing in full sentences what you can say in afew words - even more so if she thinks it is a "silly" question.

She got all A's and A*'s for GCSE (A's in 2 x English) by being made to "play the game" and answer almost formulaically - appealed more to her scientific side.

At most recent parents evening we had the same conversation with maths and physics teacher that we have had for years ... yes she is required to write several sentences by way of explanation and should try to write it in a non-petulant way (that is me paraphrasing).

So Scarlett I do hope things get better sounds abit like your son also "can't see the point" ... I suggest you concentrate on trying to persuade him "to play the game" in terms of what is requires.

DD is currently sitting with some great offers for Engineering at Russell Group unis - so let's hope all ends well for her!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:21 am 
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Quote:
Unscary....we do share the son, I think! Still you have a year on me....so I'm waiting for some reassurance from you soon.


Hmmm, sorry! I have the same issue with DS2 as well. DS1 does at least acknowledge that he needs to get more down on paper and after every report & parents evening he nods his head & says he knows what he has to do but nothing changes! DS2 seems to be heading in the same direction. Actually DD was the same, so maybe all children are like this at this age?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:43 am 
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My son has the same problem - he tries to get away with the least amount of writing as he can. He has comments telling him to write in more detail as well.

The problem is that they are given work without any guidance before or after - comments can be limited to just the grade achieved on that piece of work and 'more detail needed' without detailed comments about what they should actually do to give more detail. I think a detailed analysis by the teacher on the actual piece of work would probably be more beneficial as they can see exactly what they need to do.

You could accuse SOME teachers of the same crime when it comes to feedback!

Having said that his school does have special classes to help children (who refuse to put in detailed answers) with essay writing and adding details to answers - but why do they need a special class when it can be done as part of the actual lesson.

When I was in school, we had a separate lesson for essay-writing, grammar and comprehension - English was split up into two Literature and Grammar. Essay-writing, comprehension and grammar was taught in detail with lots of practise in the grammar lessons. Maybe they need to do the same at schools with lots of practise to hone their skills.


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