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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:52 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:42 pm
Posts: 193
Well after yesterday I thought I'd put a few thoughts down.

n.b. if you get bored easily stop reading now.

When I opened the letter and saw the "Non Selective" I was just so shocked and disappointed. I really thought DS had done enough to pass. He seemed so confident after the exams.

I expected a much higher score in his maths and thought if he did ok in his VR he would pass with plenty to spare.

Obviously this wasn't the case.

I then (in my mind) blamed him for not trying hard enough.

After all the tears (both of us) and talking to him, things have become a lot clearer and I have a much better idea of what went wrong.

When I talked to him about how I struggled to get him to do the practise papers, he told me he just expected to pass.

I then thought about this and can understand where he was coming from. Everything has always come easy to him. One of the best players in his football team, star at his school hockey, almost a karate black belt, very near to the top in his class in all subjects, one of the most popular kids in his class and with the teachers etc etc.

However it hit me later on after too many vinos what the real cause of his failure was. It was a combination of myself and his mum.

Although we are divorced we (mainly) both try to sing from the same hymn sheet where the boys are concerned. That is good and we shall always be the same. We may sometimes disagree on the way to get there both want the best for them.

The poor boy had far too much on his plate. I encouraged him to do all the sports that he does and his mum piled too much extra work on him.

If I take last week for example.

Monday. School netball 3:30 until 4:30pm
Kent hockey training 5:30 until 7:30 pm (getting in just after 8pm)

Tuesday. Football training 5:30 until 6:30pm ( we collect and drop off a few of his team mates) so leave the house at 5pm and get back in at 6:45pm.
Grab a bite to eat.
Leave at 7:15 to go to karate from 7:30 until 8:30. Back home at 8:45pm

Wednesday - free

Thursday - School hockey from 3:30 until 4:45pm
Dash to Kumon English and Maths from 5pm until 6pm
Home to eat.
Karate from 7:30 - back home 8:45pm

Friday - 11+ tutor 4:30 until 5:30pm

Saturday - Football training from 9:30 until 11:00am
Maybe Hockey in the afternoon and if so back early evening.

Sunday - Football match in the morning or afternoon.

In between all of this he was supposed to do his Kumon maths homework, Kumon english homework, 11+ homework & any school homework and have time to play with his friends. He also gets shuffled between two houses with all the pilaver of the trying to work out where books clothes etc are supposed to be on any particular day.

I work shifts and have the boys from after school on Tues until school on Weds, the same on Thurs and every second week from after school on Friday until school on Monday morning.

So the big question is:- why did I not see this a year ago? Stupidity I guess. I just assumed he'd pass (& so did he as I said earlier).

Obviously it is too late for the 11+ (as I expect a bigger miss for the Kent test) but now that I have belatedly seen the light I can make changes. If he doesn't pass his karate black belt on the 25th he will get it in April & will then finish. I will keep up the Kumon maths but stop the English. Monday night Hockey (in Erith) is due to finish in January. Even if he was selected for the Academy I will say no as that would be a long journey to Maidstone once a week.

He will then have much more time, to be able to see his friends, do his Kumon maths and school homework.

He has said he wants to do the 12+, but I have told him it is too early to think about that. Let the dust settle let's see if he can get in to Hurstmere or Harris Academy and we will take it from there.

Phew...that has made me hungry...better go and make some porridge.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:39 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:22 pm
Posts: 73
As Bexleyheath is at a standstill this morning I thought I would log on for a while. Your posting really hit a nerve with me.

When you write it all down it's obvious your son is very busy, however because he is such a talented sportsman I think it's really hard to turn things down as you just want him to be the best he can. I was in a similar position last year with my two children and was running around so much I don't know how we coped. This year they chose to do only the things they really wanted to do and life is MUCH better. It also helped that as my daughter left primary some of her activities stopped as well.

Our life is much quieter now, the kids are happier and they have more freetime (despite my daughter getting homework everynight).

Bigrob, please don't beat yourself up about this - you are a great dad who obviously loves his son to bits. I think your son will do well wherever he goes.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:42 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:42 pm
Posts: 193
Thanks Bex Mum.

Just been getting in to action to get the forms for Harris and Hurstmere.

I got a text from the older DS, saying he was stuck on the bus.

I phoned the school, but made a note to make sure that he has the school's number in his phone, so that he can call himself in future.

He said there had been an accident on the A2, hence all the extra traffic. The school said lots of kids were late this morning.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:45 am 

Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1776
Location: caversham
Hi Bigrob,

I have followed your emotional roller coaster with interest and would like to make a few observations.

I think you have been very brave in posting so much information, it has helped my thought processes and I am sure helped many others.

Please stop using the F for failure word and stop beating yourself up. Time to move on, “you can’t change the past but you can influence the futureâ€

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:51 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:42 pm
Posts: 193
Thanks Steve.

On our walk back from the chippie last night we did talk about the future.

That we couldn't change the past so let's look to the future and make sure that we are more focused on getting the balance right between work and play - ooh I could murder a Mars Bar now.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 11:04 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 4:47 pm
Posts: 90
Hi bigrob

What a fab dad you are. Can you just stand back for a moment and look at all the wonderful opportunities you give your son. You support him, you listen to him but most importantly you give him time. You ask any child what they want from their parents and it's their time. Everything you and your son have worked for in the last year or so in preparation for these tests has not been wasted. He sounds a confident happy and healthy lad who, I am sure, will fly at a state school and no doubt be sports captain or even Head Boy. These tests are not the be all and end all and in fact I'm sure in 10 years time we'll all look back and wonder why we stressed so much. We try our best for our children and for them to be happy and healthy is all we ask from them.

I'll stop waffling now!!

Keep doing what you are doing because you are doing the best job in the world, you are being a "hands on" dad. Your son is extremely lucky to have you as you are him.

Best of luck to your ds in whatever school is lucky enough to have him.

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