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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:11 pm 
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Can anyone out there advise about what age DC become self-motivated? And does it vary between the sexes? Are girls more self-motivated than boys at an earlier age? My DC is a couple of years off the 11+ prep but even now he is very resistant to sitting down and doing the school homework, let alone anything I might try and put in front of him. He says that he doesn't mind working at school because he can see other people also working but, at home, he doesn't have that group work. Some days are better than others and I know he can be tired or feeling run-down etc. But it can be a real trial (and a lot of undignified yelling on my part :oops: ) to get him to actually do it. It doesn't matter if the work is easy, reasonably challenging or just plain hard.

He is a lovely lovely boy, eager, interested, very keen to learn. But I think he can't see why he has to work at home, so all homework etc is slightly resentfully achieved. I haven't mentioned the 11+ or secondary schools to him yet - I don't want to frighten him or put the pressure on too early but I worry, when it comes to it, he won't see it's relevance/ importance to him.

Any advise you can give will be much appreciated.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:29 pm 
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Neither of my two boys are self-motivated, although the elder one (now in year 7) took to working easier. I found the best approach was to establish a routine. ie. relax after school for a while, and then do homework. I found also that it was easier to motivate them in year 5 then earlier, as they have visited schools and know what they are aiming for.

Also, simple bribery helps. ie. No tv/playstation etc until the homework is done.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:55 pm 
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My dd is now in yr 6 and is much more motivated about homework this year - she likes doing it now! She did 11 + last yr and was quite hard work getting her to sit down with past papers so ended up using a tutor for 3 months which was very worth while.

DS is in yr 5 and does get down to do homework better then when younger. I still have to remind him but he always does it before it is due. DS is starting to do some VRQ's in preparation for 11+ in October but have decided to work with a friend too. So far this is working well as I get them to do about 40 minutes after school on a Thursday and then they get 2 hours to play as a reward.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:01 pm 
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Location: Reading
My DD had no motivation until she visited the GS on openday and then she was hooked. Now if she doesn't want to do anything for 11+ prep a quick reminder of what she might miss out on does the trick. She knows nothing is certain but she will have less of a chance if she doesn't prepare.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:36 pm 
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fatbananas wrote:
Can anyone out there advise about what age DC become self-motivated? And does it vary between the sexes? Are girls more self-motivated than boys at an earlier age? My DC is a couple of years off the 11+ prep but even now he is very resistant to sitting down and doing the school homework, let alone anything I might try and put in front of him. He says that he doesn't mind working at school because he can see other people also working but, at home, he doesn't have that group work. Some days are better than others and I know he can be tired or feeling run-down etc. But it can be a real trial (and a lot of undignified yelling on my part :oops: ) to get him to actually do it. It doesn't matter if the work is easy, reasonably challenging or just plain hard.

He is a lovely lovely boy, eager, interested, very keen to learn. But I think he can't see why he has to work at home, so all homework etc is slightly resentfully achieved. I haven't mentioned the 11+ or secondary schools to him yet - I don't want to frighten him or put the pressure on too early but I worry, when it comes to it, he won't see it's relevance/ importance to him.

Any advise you can give will be much appreciated.


Eek-I had to do a double-take to check I hadn't written this! My DS is in Y5 and is still not keen on doing anything in particular! We have had many long arduous 'let's sit down and discuss why we are doing this' conversations and about this time last year *we* agreed to do a Bond maths, a Bond English/comprehension and some sort of VR practice paper each week. He would never volunteer to do it, but knows it needs to be done if he wants to go to the local grammar school. Some days are better than others-if you catch him in a good mood or whilst he's waiting for something he's been looking forward to it's great, yet at other times he can be sullen and miserable. This really gets me as I know all of his friends go to tutors and I'm positive they don't strop and get miserable with the tutors-yet DS can sometimes be very 'Kevin the teenager' about it all (as it's me doing it; even though he knows I'm a teacher-I'm still just 'mum' to him) which makes me think we might as well not have bothered with the last hour as he's been so obstructive about it.

I could easily have just said 'right-we'll leave it if you don't want to do any extra work', but then I *know* all his friends have tutors and are doing work (which defeats his-'nobody else is doing it' argument) and I think when November (September?) comes, he'll suddenly decide he really wants to go and it will be far too late.

I don't have any magic tips for you, but wanted to say that we were (and still are, really) in the same boat. It's a slow painful process, but hopefully will be worth it in the end!!

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:01 pm 
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Location: Chelmsford and pleased
DDs - birth
DSs - never


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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moved wrote:
DDs - birth
DSs - never


DD and DSs - birth for something they are interested in
DD and DSs - never for something they can't see the point of.
Same as me, really.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:30 pm 
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Well, I'm glad to hear I'm just experiencing human nature and not pure bloody-minded belligerence! :lol:

I suppose you do have to see the point in something, let alone find it interesting, if you are going to feel motivated to try. That makes total sense now I've read your experiences.

Still not sure how I get an 8 year old (9/ 10 year old ...) to see the point in comprehension or whatever. Perhaps I have to think of some other motivational device (but one that doesn't cost money! :roll: :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:17 am 
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At the start my daughter was very very resistant to working with me, I initally offered to bribe her with money but her response was "I don't need money" :o . I think after we attended a few (4+) open days at various schools, she gradually became less resistant with time after actually seeing how many others want a place at that school too. Plus she also loves collecting Blue nose friends from Clinton cards AND crazy sugar sweets, so we use that against her. :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:26 am 
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I don't know when. Some of us never get there. I'm sure you will have great fun (not) providing the needed motivation. Carrot and stick? A tutor?


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