Ds1 is one of those children, destined to do "OK"

(36 Posts)
Bestseller Fri 07-Jun-13 17:28:15

IM(VH)O he's a bright boy. All his teachers consider him bright, as well as polite, friendly, well behaved etc. He's a bit on the quiet side, but also has "positive friendships". Academically, he's always been either at or very slightly above the national targets.

IMO the targets aren't that stretching for a bright boy with loads of support at home (i.e none of the disadvantages many children have to deal with) and I think he should do better. His junior school and now his secondary school (yr7) seem quite happy to let him coast. They say they know he could do better if he made more effort, but he's doing what they need him to do and he's not causing anyone any trouble, so they don't seem too bothered about pushing him. i.e they say he should work harder, but they don't seem to be doing anything to make that happen.

I lay down the law about quality of homework and his reports acknowledge that his homework is good, but that he needs to pay more attention in class and take more care over classwork. AIBU to think they need to do more than say it? I find it frustrating because I can support/nag at home, but it's hard for me to do that while he's in school.

teacherwith2kids Mon 10-Jun-13 19:40:52

No, I am not advicating that - I am advocating that the OP should ACTIVELY drop her child into it (by withdrawing the 'crutch' that she is currently giving him through raising the standard of his homework through artificaially high levels of support [Y7 homework is designed to be completed independently bu the child - so of course one done through joint effort will be of a higher standard) AND tell the school in order that they provide
a) consequences and
b) study skills support.

Otherwise, I would equally throw the question back at you - when would the OP dare to withdraw her 1:1 support and allow her child to work independently? After GCSEs? QWen leaving home for university??

teacherwith2kids Mon 10-Jun-13 20:02:39

I would also say that the 'withdrawing homework support' would be the first step in a longer process:
- Stop 'hiding' child's low performance by removing the 'crutch' for homework.
- Supporting school in all consequences for poor work
- Meeting school to discuss underlying reasons
- Confronting child with longer-term consequences
- Encouraging child to identify own longer term goals and steps to achieve them
etc etc, ramping up as child gets older

By creating a situation in which the child ONLY works with 1:1 support and constant nagging, meanwhile expecting school to 'do something' [from which I rather get the impression that the OP wants the school to do 1:1 support and nagging as well...rather than enabling longer trm more productive behaviours], none of the longer term benefits are possible.

HabbaDabbaDoo Tue 11-Jun-13 09:47:30

When would I withdraw 'homework support'? I already have where mine are concerned. But then they aren't 'coasting'.

But if I was the OP I would keep the homework support going until GCSEs if that is required. I would not be prepared to see my DC finish secondary school with a poor/average slate of GCSEs. Going "now don't you wish that you listened to me and worked harder?" isn't an option as far as I am concerned.

HabbaDabbaDoo Tue 11-Jun-13 10:06:54

That is not to say that I disagree with everything that you are saying teacher.

In year 5 I took DS to the open day at various selectives. I gave him the choice. Would he rather go to the local comp with his primary school mates? If he chose a selective then he needed to accept the 11+ prep.

At secondary he decided he wanted to be a lawyer. I made it clear that a lot of lawyers end up doing wills and conveyancing at High St firms so if he wanted to be one of those lawyers jetting around the world, like his role model, then he needs to be a top student.

Like you suggested, I got DS to identify what his aims are. I then told him what he needed to do in order to achieve them. I then sat back and let him get on with it.

However, that is my DS. With a lot of kids they need to be pushed, cajoled, threatened and bribed. When to stop? I know it's an arbitrary cutoff but for me it's after GCSE

I dont understand what you expect other people to do? Why not expect more of your son?

The children in my sons school who really succeed and do well, are really driven and passionate. The children who win chess tournaments, shine in national maths competition, play sport on borough level are passionate about what they do, and this is why they achieve way above and beyond both expectations and national targets and statistics. (Son is in Y6 and nearly half his class has won competitions and scholarships to highly ranked independents) None of these children excel because the teachers work so hard on them. They do it on their own accord.

BirdintheWings Tue 11-Jun-13 10:19:55

Sometimes it takes more than just waiting for them to be motivated.

With DS1, he really didn't 'get' maths till last year. School weren't worried, as he was going to get the magic C grade. but we pushed (and pushed, and pushed) him at home on that one with practice papers and books until something clicked. He got an A* and is now doing maths and Physics A-levels as he'd wanted.

DS2 is a different kettle of fish - turns in any old junk for homework and looks at it with genuine pride. So when he did his major half-term science project last year by gluing a couple of pipecleaners to a scrappy bit of cardboard box and scrawling a couple of labels, I bit my tongue and let him hand it in like that -- even though our friend's daughter had done a beautiful 3D model with Powerpoint presentation.

Apparently his science teacher took one look and said 'You are joking aren't you?'

This term: he's done a five-minute animated Lego movie to illustrate chemical bonding. Lesson learnt.

wordfactory Tue 11-Jun-13 10:50:47

The thing is though, teenagers can be awfully short sighted. They have difficulty seeing the consequences of their actions.

It's for this reason that we consider them not yet able to take proper care of themselves and accept that they still need protection (sometimes from themselves).

umbrunion Tue 18-Jun-13 14:12:45

I have a dd who works so very hard to stay at 'ok' level and another Dd who is no doubt v bright but is happy not pushing herself too hard. The latter state is highly preferable for general mental health and wellbeing!

HabbaDabbaDoo Sat 22-Jun-13 23:15:51

umb - In Secondary there is a thread about low expectations and how it affects kids. I think that this was what the OP was talking about.

I mean you seem to be saying that your DD would be happier if she stopped working so hard and accepted that she is less than 'ok'.

nothingnew Mon 24-Jun-13 09:57:30

Without working too hard and still doing ok then he is doing ok. He is in y7 now so just let him be. If I were in your shoes I would push him a little once in a while but not too often. Else he may stay away from you and not to let you know anything. Has he any idea what sort of career path he may like to take. Our nephew was always just doing ok and not that interested in school work. However all he wanted was to work with cameras. In the end he managed to find a very reasonable job with using cameras. He got into a very good career that cannot be based on school learning and exam results. The important thing is he is doing ok and HAPPY.

speedology Fri 05-Jul-13 20:31:13

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