Help Dd having a meltdown

(50 Posts)
dingit Mon 20-May-13 16:19:00

Stuck this here as it gets loads of traffic.

Dd is yr9, a really good student, and is taking gcses early this summer. We booked a holiday for the forthcoming half term, without realising she has a Physics exam on 5th June. We promised she could take her books and study. She has come home today to say there is an intervention lesson on the Tuesday of half term, and says she doesn't want to go on holiday.

She's very tired as she sat Biology today, and I just cannot make her see reason. I have emailed school to see what they say and ask if they can supply her with the material from that day. I don't know what else to say to her, but it's really put a spanner in the works.

Does anyone else have experience of this or wise words. Thanks.

RedHelenB Mon 20-May-13 16:20:31

Not good taking holidays in May if they are doing exams in June but as it is booked she will have to do what revision she can on holiday.

GoblinGranny Mon 20-May-13 16:21:22

She is a good student because she takes her exams and her studying seriously. Can she stay with a friend or a relative while you galivant off elsewhere?
Why didn't you wait until the exams were finished? I think you're the ones who dropped the spanner.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Mon 20-May-13 16:21:59

I was a 'good' student and would have opted to stay at home. I know this is not AIBU but YABU

OpheliasWeepingWillow Mon 20-May-13 16:22:50

Wait! Thought this was chat! YABU!

schooldidi Mon 20-May-13 16:24:29

Personally, as a teacher I would say that if she's a really good student and worrying about not making it in for the intervention day then she is probably one of the pupils who needs it the least iyswim.

Getting the materials from the day from school is a good idea. Taking books and revision with her on holiday is a good idea. Trying very hard to get her to calm down is a really good idea (although I'm not quite sure where to start with that).

How many other exams does she have? Or is this the only one? I know in our school Science is the only exam anybody takes early but other schools may be different.

Facebaffle Mon 20-May-13 16:27:12

I don't think there is anything you can do. She'll have to go on holiday and take her books with her.

If she's been putting in the work then a 1 day course shouldn't make that much of a difference.

VitoCorleone Mon 20-May-13 16:27:38

Well to be fair, if she does well in exams and goes far in life she can have all the holidays she wants. A holiday is not as important as an education and getting good grades

Tryharder Mon 20-May-13 16:28:03

The holiday will do her good. She can take her books and revise by the pool in her swimming costume with little breaks for swimming. If revision has got to be done, this sounds the best way to do it.

FWIW, I wrote practically my entire dissertation on a beach holiday in Spain. And got a first!

I do not think her attending one lesson will make a real difference to her mark particular if the teacher can supply her the lesson material.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 20-May-13 16:28:49

Arranging a holiday before an exam is really not very supportive of you at all, OP. I would feel that I ad totally fucked up in your shoes. Do you have a family member she could stay with (and revise with) whist you are holidaying?

Remotecontrolduck Mon 20-May-13 16:28:50

If she's a good student I have my doubts as to whether she'd need an 'intervention session'? Isn't that for students who are struggling?

She's probably stressed if she had an exam today, let her calm down before continuing with any discussion on this.

Personally, I think a half term holiday in year 9 is fine, as long as she takes her books and you allow her time to revise.

CelticPixie Mon 20-May-13 16:29:04

YABVU. I can't believe you didn't think to check when your DD's exams were before booking a holiday!

Remotecontrolduck Mon 20-May-13 16:29:19

Though maybe next time think before booking holidays in the May half term!

GoblinGranny Mon 20-May-13 16:32:56

You do realise that all of the Y11 students who take their education seriously spend a large proportion of the Easter holidays revising, followed by more intensive revision in the weeks before the exams kick off?

You remind me of my MIL, she thought reading books was antisocial and banned all schoolwork until after she'd gone to bed. OH and his brother both made it to uni despite her attitude to their attempts to study. grin

schooldidi Mon 20-May-13 16:33:08

I always think the conscientious kids are not the ones I do my revision lessons for, they will revise thoroughly and well without me. I do my revision lessons for the kids who have messed about a lot and have gaps in their knowledge or for the kids who are very weak and need all the help they can get, or for the kids who have low motivation and won't bother to revise/don't know how to revise.

I did all my revision for GCSEs, ALevels, and my degree, sitting in the sunshine, listening to my music. I would have hated forced revision lessons, especially in the holidays, because I knew I would get more done in an hour by myself than in an hour with the whole class. You now need to persuade your dd that that's the case for her as well, which it sounds like it is.

I think you have made a mistake booking the holiday when you did but its done now. I wouldn't try to discuss it with her today as she is clearly tired. Get the information from the school and make a decision on whether or not she really needs to be at the intervention day.

dingit Mon 20-May-13 16:40:30

Oh everyone thinks we are awful. In yr9 we thought we were on the safe side, we will not book a holiday until August for the next few years. She has one more exam- Maths later in June. they hadnt decided on the Maths entry when we booked.

She has done lots of revision, I would not enjoy my holiday if I left her at home. Will wait to see what school say. If they are predicting her an A /A*, I'm not sure what a couple of extra hours will achieve. My DH is very good at Physics and will give her lots of support.

CoffeeShoppe Mon 20-May-13 16:46:56

For goodness sake people, get a grip. The poor girl is yr 9. Her entire future will not depend on this exam. Take the holiday, she will thoroughly enjoy herself. I expect the school has been on and on and on at them to revise. What difference would it make to read a book in this country or another? She will be fine. As you say your dh is good with physics and I'm sure he can give her all the help she needs.
Sounds like she is getting burnt out from the exams anyway. PLUS it is not the end of the world if she didn't do so well, there are many opporutnities over the next to years to take it again.



brdgrl Mon 20-May-13 16:48:32

I wouldn't leave it up to her to even have any say in it, frankly. You're the parent. Take the materials, and go on holiday.

ephemeralfairy Mon 20-May-13 16:51:32

She's in yr 9?? Get a grip...! If it was GCSEs that would be different but come ON...

GoblinGranny Mon 20-May-13 16:51:45

I don't care about the exam, it's the stress on your daughter that bothers me.

TheCatIsUpTheDuff Mon 20-May-13 16:52:17

What kind of exam is it? Is she sitting GCSEs early? If it's just SATS or internal exams, she needs to do her best, of course, but nothing at all hinges on it. If it's a GCSE, that's further evidence that she's clever and motivated, so will be able to do the necessary revision, ideally with the material from the class she'll miss, on holiday.

TeamEdward Mon 20-May-13 16:52:24

I think it so sad that a Yr9 pupil is this stressed about an exam, and that the family can't take a holiday in the school holidays.

She can always retake - she's got another two years in school yet.

ephemeralfairy Mon 20-May-13 16:52:42

Oh sorry...she is doing GCSEs. Ignore me. blush

it sounds like she needs a holiday to get away from the stress from a week though...she isn't missing an exam, just a lesson about it. She has been revising hard, she will be fine.

14 year old girls are drama queens........well, I wasn't but my sister def was............once this melt down has finished she will no doubt look forward to a week in the sun smile

dingit Mon 20-May-13 16:54:38

Thanks, last couple of posters. I would not go without her. Feel a complete bloody failure. I knew they had intervention lessons in year11, but this has been sprung on us today. We thought as an able student she would cope with one exam.

CoffeeShoppe Mon 20-May-13 16:56:19

Course she can, and she will. Don't beat yourself up about booking the holiday. She will come back refreshed and ready.

dingit Mon 20-May-13 16:57:00

Thanks Betty, I was a drama queen, probably still am blush. I was so excited to be spending family time together, it's nowhere exotic, only keycamp hmm

piprabbit Mon 20-May-13 16:59:50

What is the objective of the intervention lesson?
I assume it won't be covering new material, or trying to rectify a whole year's worth of sub-standard teaching, in which case I should think your DD will be perfectly able to cope without it.

PearlyGrey Mon 20-May-13 17:01:47

She should be fine, get the materials the school are offering and maybe see if she can have a little chat with her physics teacher before she goes on holiday if there's anything she feels she could do with going over with a teacher before she sits the exam. The teacher would probably be able to reassure her if she's a good student as well.

I think she's probably a bit stressed out by the exam today, was she happy with how she did? Because that could be playing a part in it. If she's getting worked up the holiday could do her some good. Maybe it would be worth talking to her about exam/stress coping skills too if she tends to get stressed - would set her in good stead for the future, heavier exam periods.

For what it's worth I went away before the exam period for one of the subjects I was taking early (probably in year 9 actually), I just took my books and worked around the holiday (eg. when it got too hot to sit outside I went inside and got on with some revision/instead of having usual holiday reading I stuck to my textbook), I don't think it did me any harm, if anything was one of the most relaxing revision periods I've ever had!

dingit Mon 20-May-13 18:13:28

Just spoken to school. They weren't overly concerned. Teacher will give her worksheets, and mark them and give feed back. Session is two hours. I would not want to miss my holiday for that. We have 3.5 hour journey. She has time then, and anytime she wants while we are there. Teacher will speak to and reassure her tomorrow.

hackmum Mon 20-May-13 18:17:50

No useful advice, but just curious about her taking GCSEs two years early. Is she taking all her GCSEs in year 9 or just some of them? And what will she do for the next two years? <nosey>

teacherandguideleader Mon 20-May-13 18:21:33

Intervention is usually for students who will do NO revision at home, or those who are struggling. I suspect the holiday will do your daughter good.

PS - I wrote a fair chunk of my dissertation for my masters degree whilst on holiday - made it much less of a chore!

jacks365 Mon 20-May-13 18:30:17

Just a word of caution avoid the last two weeks of August too as thats when results come out.

I want a summer holiday but between A level and gcse last year this year and next I'm having to forget it. I will make it up soon.

dingit Mon 20-May-13 18:41:15

Just Science and maths. Science is in stages, I think. After Mathes they do further maths or as maths, gives them an idea of a levels! Eek, I would not have been able to do it at 14. I do think it's a lot of pressure at that age, but hey ho. One assumes school know what they are doing!!

jacks365 Mon 20-May-13 18:47:58

Just sat down and worked it out but mine have had one exam or another every year for the last 5 years, 2 more years of this then I get to relax till uni finals.

My eldest did her ict at 14 and broke down over her result because she only got an A. Schools put too much pressure too young.

dingit Mon 20-May-13 18:48:57

She is still ranting to DH. She has more tests tomorrow. Worried she is going to make herself ill. My gut feeling is she will benefit from our holiday, and will be fine once we get there.

Flobbadobs Mon 20-May-13 19:18:11

Sounds like she desperately needs this holiday! Will she listen to the teacher without having a meltdown? It may sound better coming from the school (not that it sounds bad coming from you, hopefully you know what I mean?)

Jan49 Mon 20-May-13 19:40:49

Sorry, YABU. I think it was unfair of you to book the holiday so close to the exams and now to try to persuade her she has to go. I think you should rethink the trip.

When my ds did his GCSEs we had a trip away at Easter in March as a nice break before the hard slog of the GCSEs. May is revision time.

landofsoapandglory Mon 20-May-13 19:51:54

I wouldn't have booked the holiday TBH, and can see exactly where she is coming from.

DS2 is doing GCSEs this Summer (did some last Summer too) is predicted all A*s/As and he is going to the revision lessons for History and Maths during half term. He has stayed late most nights for extra revision sessions too. DS1 did the same, and will be attending for A2 revision sessions. MY DC have got a lot out of these sessions because the DC who go are the ones who are good students, the ones who work hard and want to do well. The ones who couldn't careless about revision are at home in bed.

jamdonut Mon 20-May-13 19:55:56


If intervention is for strugglers and non revisers...why has my 16 year old daughter -who is predicted mostly A Grades - been practically forced to go to them all. She spent most of her Easter holidays in school!!! And has been to all the after school sessions for all subjects for weeks!

And is STILL worrying that she hasn't done enough. Plus,they don't get study leave now. Way to burn kids out!

formicadinosaur Mon 20-May-13 19:55:57

She's is only year 9, she should really just enjoy her hols.

Ask the teachers for exam notes and then whisk her off on hols with you.

jamdonut Mon 20-May-13 20:01:04

She also did some exams -english,maths ,science -this time last year. I think they are overloaded with pressure these days.

OP I think you should have thought about it being close to exam time, but I agree with a lot of others,she should go with you,revise when away and ,if the worst comes to the worst, she has plenty of time to re-sit,if necessary.

landofsoapandglory Mon 20-May-13 20:06:10

jamdonut DS2 is the same. He hasn't been coming home on time since the February half term. I am looking forward to June 17th when it is all over!

WhitesandsofLuskentyre Mon 20-May-13 20:23:29

We went away to the sun in a big family group in the half-term before DD1's GCSEs. Not my choice of week because of the exams but in fact it was the best thing for her. She absolutely loved being in a different environment; she would work all day while we read by the pool and then take the evenings off. I think it helped her being in a relaxed environment. She got straight As/A*s anyway!

amigababy Mon 20-May-13 20:38:22

do not worry. and don't feel bad. we're up to year 12 and have always had Easter and half term holidays. Take the worksheets, is there any wifi available so she could do some online revision if needed?
I think its more about managing her stress levels and approach to exams than her actual subject knowledge.

marriedinwhiteagain Mon 20-May-13 20:54:23

FGS of course a holiday is fine. Aeroplanes alllow books to. Be carried; schools want to be supportive. Phone school. Explain. Your dd will get 10 mins of teacher's time, reassurance. And the hand outs. She will also be relaxed when she does the exam.

DS is U6; DD Year 10 and is doing 3 GCSEs this year. If I hadn't started a new job we would be at hour house in France next week. It is entirely possible for teenagers to work in a different country you know.

Good luck OP - can't believe the flak you have taken here.

marriedinwhiteagain Mon 20-May-13 20:55:43

Apols for typos - on phone x

Startail Mon 20-May-13 21:11:29

Hugs, I'm afraid there is very little you can do except what you have done, which is listen and talk to school, reassure her about her past marks (which must be excellent or she wouldn't be doing exams in Y9) then I'm afraid it's ignore and don't feed her stropping and getting in a tiz.

DD got in a fantastic tiz about a geography setting test. I reasured her last mark was good enough (she hadn't even looked, just focused on what she got wrong) and bought her the revision book on amazon and ignored further mutterings.

She wouldn't be in a tiz if they did sensible linear exams. Ordinary class tests and HW mixed in with CAs and real GCSE papers is stupid in Y10.

Expecting Y9s to cope with it is madness.

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