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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:04 pm
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Hello All

I have lurked here on and off for a few years as we travelled the thorny path of getting DD into her grammar school. Your advice is always excellent and I feel like I know some of you very well even though you don't know me at all.

My problem is with DS who is 9 and in Year 4 at his state primary. He is a bright boy who should pass the entrance exam for the relevant grammar school but I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated with his inability to concentrate, his inability to read questions properly and his ingrained laziness that makes him seemingly happy with shoddy work. We seem to have got ourselves into this cycle of shoddy work, me explaining where he has gone wrong, him being cheeky, me shouting, him redoing work much better, both of us being grumpy and resentful.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how we can tackle this? I would say at this point that we are not doing any prep for 11+ yet. I am talking about school homework and trying to improve things before we get down to the nitty gritty in the autumn.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
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Hi Elevenfuss

difficult... personally I would never try and teach my child basic school stuff - far too much emotional involvement - ends in tears as you have found. There needs to be some detachment

Same goes for teaching kids or spouse to drive... :roll:

Doesn't mean to say you can't teach kids anything, but I think it is the enrichment stuff, discussing today in parliament, looking up odd words in another language, learning about world war 2 through documentary, etc etc .

Solution may be to find a tutor for him?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:51 pm 
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I agree with herman, there is far too much emotional involvement.

Circumstances meant I had to do the work with both my sons for their 11+ but even with the one I thought would be easier to work with it wasn't good.

It has also created a problem in that I very much doubt they would ever come and ask me for help with school work in the future as they see me as a right old monster on that front.

Give me other people's children any day. Somebody ones suggested a swap, if money is tight and you know someone else in the same boat then I would go for it. I was offered this option with the second and with hindsight I should have taken it up.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:57 pm 
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Let him enjoy school for now. If he is keeping up and confident, then something is getting in.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:13 pm 
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Tolstoy - a swap sounds like a splendid idea... other peoples kids are unlikely to argue back!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:21 pm 
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Too right and if you think they just might you can always decline the offer.

Your own you are unfortunately stuck with regardless :roll:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:46 pm 
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Your son sounds EXACTLY like mine who is 8 and in year 4. I cannot offer much advice except that just now and again we do see some signs of hope!
DH takes a very firm position with regard to withholding nintendo, computer etc until all work is done to our or (worse in his eyes) elder DD's satisfaction!
DH teaches sixth form maths and says he has far too many pupils who have not outgrown this awful stage!
Please let us know if you do get a tutor or find anything else which works because your DS does sound so similar.
I do have a good friend whose very bright DS was alsosimilar but is now in year 5 and has changed a lot in the last year so perhaps there is hope for us?!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:36 pm 
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After a discussion with the Misses Magwich (who both recognise their brother here) - one small point that did actually help with presentation of work although it does sound very minor - the school stopped him using a pen at all and we made him use a mechanical pencil ratherthan an ordinary one.
So, every time he carelessly formed letters the point broke, even he got fed up with it and resorted to being more careful!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:42 pm
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
Sounds like a happy, healthy, normal boy. Mine is in Y8 and still like it, along with a great many others. I didn't really try and teach him, apart from in a classroom when in France, but DD I ended up giving her materials and keeping out of her way unless she really needed help.

Good luck and try to remember that we all have monsters when we try and teach them after school!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:48 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:04 pm
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Thanks, all. I am relieved that you are suggesting he is a normal boy! Maybe it is just the contrast between him and his more compliant and hardworking sister!

He doesn't have handwriting issues (his writing is actually a lot neater than Y7 sister) just this slapdash attitude to completing routine work that he should be completing easily and correctly.

Re the tutor idea - I honestly don't think he needs a tutor now. He is in the top groups at school for everything, was level 4c in Maths and English in Y3 (so obviously performs well there). My worry is how to get him to understand that one should give of one's best at all times even if what is asked of you is tedious or deemed unimportant. :roll:


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