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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:56 pm 
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Some general questions really, I hope no-one minds?

1. What does burn-out look like?

2. Does it differ from child-to-child or are there some core signs that remain constant?

3. Does burn-out generally tend to occur across the board or does it usually happen with one area only ie Maths, whilst the other subjects remain superbly good?

4. Can burn-out occur where a child is really self-motivated and truly does want to work hard?

5. Are peaking-too-soon and "burn-out" the same?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:08 pm 
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You make them sound like medical conditions, bravado! I am not sure that you could clearly define either of those things. I have seen many children (not talking about 11+ here) who are stressed, unhappy and unable to perform in areas where they were previously competent, but surely as a parent one is in the best position to know if a child is feeling under too much pressure.

One thing I do know about is self motivation though, as my DD has just come through GCSEs and was always very highly motivated. This did not prevent her from feeling stressed, at times overwhelmed, at times hopeless...isn't it part of the human condition? We all need safety valves. Personally I tend to think the more control we have, the more we set our own agendas and goals (as opposed to having them externally imposed upon us, for example by parents, in the case of children), the less likely we are to suffer from adverse stress reactions.

I like to think that children who are pushed by parents to achieve things they themselves would not be especially keen to do, will eventually rebel and find their own path and exercise their freedom. But I also think it is pretty hard to do, if you have been encouraged to do a particular thing almost since birth, as you wouldn't really know what the alternatives are! And small children are usually pretty keen to please their parents, so will go along with what is offered to them. If that is intensive harpsichord lessons or underwater equine gymnastics or BabyAlgebra, then I suppose that is what they can be interpreted as 'showing interest and talent' in.

Either way, if you are worrying that a child is showing signs of 'burnout', then quite probably they are. Or puberty. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:35 pm 
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Amber, Thanks.
I think perhaps I should clarify that I don't have any worries that my DD is careering headlong into either of these things as she's self-motivated :lol: Having seen these phrases mentioned on this forum and Mumsnet, in terms of the 11+, I thought that perhaps forewarned, is forearmed and I was looking for thoughts and ideas :D
Having seen both "burn-out" and "peaking-too-soon" in other people, in our experience of a high-pressure, competitive hobby, we were wondering if it looks the same in the academic field?

I'm intrigued about where I've made them sound like medical conditions :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:08 pm 
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bravado wrote:
Having seen both "burn-out" and "peaking-too-soon" in other people, in our experience of a high-pressure, competitive hobby, we were wondering if it looks the same in the academic field?

I'm intrigued about where I've made them sound like medical conditions :lol:


Well, try substituting the words "dengue fever " and "lasser fever" for "burnout" and " peaking too soon" ; and "bowels" for "Maths"your first list and perhaps you will see what I mean. :lol:

I can't comment, as I have no experience of a high-pressure, competitive hobby. We specialise in mediocrity in my house. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:38 pm 
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:lol:
I think it's more applicable to training for a race than to one's bowels ........ though sometimes those two things can overlap.

I've always assumed that the general idea is that there is a peak performance which can't be easily repeated with an improvement curve towards it and a quick decay afterwards (as after running a marathon and achieving one's personal best perhaps).

So parents worry that the child is going to achieve their peak performance too early or too late and that this could account for 11plus failure.

The former problem strikes me as fairly rubbishy for the 11plus - I would hope that if you were roughly 11plus standard you would remain so and not suddenly start to do badly for no particular reason. The latter problem - well I guess that is possible if say you had loads of maths syllabus still to cover on the day of the exam and knew that with several more months of learning you could get to 11plus standard. You could say "my child was due to peak too late". But why not just say they didn't know the maths they needed to know on the day and if you'd started earlier or school had taught them more sooner maybe they would have passed?

Isn't it just one of those things that some parents like to witter on about -- I'm wittering now.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:38 pm 
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Is it contagious? Or infectious?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:11 pm 
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mystery wrote:
:lol:
I think it's more applicable to training for a race than to one's bowels ........ though sometimes those two things can overlap.

I've always assumed that the general idea is that there is a peak performance which can't be easily repeated with an improvement curve towards it and a quick decay afterwards (as after running a marathon and achieving one's personal best perhaps).

So parents worry that the child is going to achieve their peak performance too early or too late and that this could account for 11plus failure.

The former problem strikes me as fairly rubbishy for the 11plus - I would hope that if you were roughly 11plus standard you would remain so and not suddenly start to do badly for no particular reason. The latter problem - well I guess that is possible if say you had loads of maths syllabus still to cover on the day of the exam and knew that with several more months of learning you could get to 11plus standard. You could say "my child was due to peak too late". But why not just say they didn't know the maths they needed to know on the day and if you'd started earlier or school had taught them more sooner maybe they would have passed?

Isn't it just one of those things that some parents like to witter on about -- I'm wittering now.


Yep - I wondered if it was one of those things parents liked to ponder on and use as a reason for hitting or missing the target, so-to-speak. I wondered if it was a mythical thing..oft spoken of in hushed tones...feared by some...but never experienced by someone you actually really knew, or know :wink:

Amber , sorry but I still can't see where I've made them sound like a medical conditions :D


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:24 pm 
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bravado, I think we 'peaked too soon!' It wasn't a problem, really, just boring. We only do VR in Glos. and I started doing papers with my DD in the January before the exam (we'd already looked briefly at different question types by then as well) and by the summer holidays she was pretty much as good as she was going to get.

After that point she didn't get any faster, or score any higher, no matter what I did, but I felt I had to keep going incase there was some improvement to be had and so that she didn't lose the skills (the speed, concentration etc rather than the VR itself) she had acquired.

Wasn't a problem, she passed easily for her first choice school, but we could have saved several months of VR practice had we known. Hindsight is a wonderful thing....


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:57 am 
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Likewise; in our case our daughter just took over our son's tutor slot in November of Y4 to avoid any complications like not being able to find a tutor in Y5. The first year went very well but I don't think she improved at all over the second year, quite the reverse if anything - some serious problems developed with the tutor that hadn't occurred with our son and I think it affected her quite significantly. (On the other hand, if we'd only started in Y5 and the same problems had occurred it would have been much more of a crisis, so maybe it was a good thing to start early after all!)

Mike


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