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School related, and more 'would I be a mentalist if...'

(41 Posts)
OhTiger Thu 27-Jun-13 21:25:19

I emailed my DD's new Y7 (September) tutor to explain her family?

I guess it's not too complicated, to us. I'm resident parent, and here there is just me her and little DD2 in our teeny house.

At her Dads massive pile house (standard one night a week and every other weekend) she has <deep breath> two older siblings with partners and children of their own, 5 in total, dads partner and her 4 DD's, technically stepsisters I suppose. So it's fucking mental a bit busy, and a teeny bit complicated for her to explain and a black hole as far as PE kits and homework diaries go

We went to meet the tutor evening tonight and it was just me, her and her dad, and tutor asked if she was an only, and then looked baffled at the laughter and 'um, no, there are lots, erm' and there was not really time to explain, and tbh I don't think she would remember anyway as she was meeting 20 other kids. I'm not sure she even got that we weren't together as a family, though she might have confused

So a quick email to explain? And how the hell would I word it without looking bonkers, as she has this tutor for 5 years now and I like to not look to insane initially, or not bother and just let them all get on with it?

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Thu 27-Jun-13 21:29:40

I started thinking that it was unnecessary, however, she has the tutor for the next 5 years... it might be worth a short email along the lines of 'You asked at the tutor evening if DD was an only.....'

She did ask.

OhTiger Thu 27-Jun-13 21:33:35

I wasn't going to say anything about the chaos, was just going to do bare bones kind of family tree. But I still think I may look crazy... BUT, I want to make life as easy for DD as poss. Hmm.

OhTiger Thu 27-Jun-13 21:35:03

Maybe just suggest they have lots of paper on hand for family tree drawing when it happens <sigh> grin

buildingmycorestrength Thu 27-Jun-13 21:35:30

Well, it matters, doesn't it? No harm in explaining. Surely a good tutor would appreciate a little background info. They can tune it out if they think it is not relevant.

OwlinaTree Thu 27-Jun-13 21:37:54

You WBR to mention the fact there are two families. I don't think you need to go into the ins and outs of that. Just say there are two homes, can we have two sets of reports etc. Your daughter can explain the rest if she wants to. There will be lots of different family set ups, don't worry about it.

OhTiger Thu 27-Jun-13 21:39:06

oh, Owlina that's great, I hadn't thought of that, and will definitely ask for two reports and things, thank you!

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Thu 27-Jun-13 21:39:24

Hmm, would it not just be enough to say she has a big family when it comes up again? I'd leave it for now until it comes up naturally again as come across as a bit of an odd email to the teacher.

soverylucky Thu 27-Jun-13 21:40:09

olwinatree is right - tell them but don't worry about sounding mental. your dd will most certainly not be the only one without a 'traditional' family set up. I am sure the tutor will appreciate the extra info.

OhTiger Thu 27-Jun-13 21:42:19

I agree it sounds a bit odd, but these are the people DD lives with, so will all have influence on her next 5 years too. I think maybe saying we are 2 families and therefore need two reports will cover it though. Maybe the detail of all the people would be too much and unnecessary.

youarewinning Thu 27-Jun-13 21:43:13

I'm with chipping. Especially as when it gets to parent/carer/guardian signing here bit there's effectively 7 adults who could sign it! It would be easier for DD's tutor to be aware than start accusing her of forging signitures etc. If it's just a homework planner then in her dads house it sounds like it's easier to get any adult to do it than search out just the one grin

OhTiger Thu 27-Jun-13 21:43:27

but then not many 11yo have BIL and SIL and DNephs and nieces in the same house.

OhTiger Thu 27-Jun-13 21:44:21

Yes... at primary school we have and extra sheet for who can pick up...

sugarandspite Thu 27-Jun-13 21:47:58

What about an email saying ' just in case we weren't properly clear at the meeting, DD has two homes. I am primary carer and and she lives with myself and her sister XX. She spends generally every other weekend at her father's house where she also has 2 older siblings and their families and her stepmother and her 4 stepsisters.'

So you've given her an outline but not too much detail?

mnistooaddictive Thu 27-Jun-13 21:48:03

As someone who has been a Y7 tutor many, many times I would say send the email. This kind of information is always useful as it will always come up at some point and it may help the tutor to avoid putting her foot in it!
Just write that you thought it might be helpful for her to know the following information in case it was relevant to something they are doing! Include names if you can and the titles she uses. I like to be in a position that if a child starts talking about 'Stephen' I can say "oh yes, Stephen is your Mums husband isn't he?" Etc. And for some students they would say Mums husband and not StepDad and this is important to know!

youarewinning Thu 27-Jun-13 21:53:47

Good post addictive I always leave fathers details blank on forms. In additional info write his fathers name and his wifes name, explain they live abroad and DS doesn't see them and has limited phone contact. I also explain its due to his fathers life choice and not a court order.
I don't see the value in filling in father contact details for in an emergency when he's 2000 miles away!

LynetteScavo Thu 27-Jun-13 21:55:07

Definitely send the email.

But remember having an "interesting" home life is no excuse for not having your PE kit in school on a Monday morning.

xylem8 Thu 27-Jun-13 21:55:46

I wouldn't bother, there are only 3 weeks left and then presumably she'll have a new form tutor, besides you have told him there are lots of sibs, I don't think he needs a family tree.
Your DC needs to have a system for making sure she knows where her PE kit etc is.

OhTiger Thu 27-Jun-13 21:56:04

smile thank you all and thank you mnistooaddictive (it really is, isn't it?) I'm glad I was not being too obsessive and PFB about my PFB grin

Cravey Thu 27-Jun-13 21:56:27

As someone who tutors privately I would welcome all the detail re family life etc. it all helps IMO and its always good to have a heads up on family situations. It may save the tutor putting a foot in it or help out if child has issues re homework etc.

Cravey Thu 27-Jun-13 21:57:11

Oh and well done for being so balance about it all. I see so may parents who hate each other that this post is rather refreshing.

OhTiger Thu 27-Jun-13 21:59:34

The PE kit is the bane of my bloody life.

She always has one. In the right sizes and sex from my house, slightly random from dad's... I've now got the housekeepers email and will be telling her exactly what DD needs on what days but I don't hold out much hope and she will have a rugby top on cricket day in 4 sizes too big no matter what I send

OhTiger Thu 27-Jun-13 22:00:33

Cravey oh no, we absolutely despise each other. Just no one else can tell grin

Cravey Thu 27-Jun-13 22:01:25

Haha tiger that made me lol. Well done though your child is going to be pretty well balanced I would imagine.

OhTiger Thu 27-Jun-13 22:14:03

I live in hope

OhTiger Thu 27-Jun-13 22:18:44

and if anyone would like to suggest a PE kit system, I'm all ears.

LynetteScavo Thu 27-Jun-13 22:54:45

Erm....buy a few and just hand them out when DD requests?

This only worked with one of my DC. With the others, numerous kits disappeard into the black hole which is know at "the changing rooms".

gobbin Thu 27-Jun-13 23:07:49

One of my tutor group spends a lot of time at his nan's and I accept her sig in the planner equally with his mum's. He sometimes leaves things at his nan's by mistake though (e.g. "My shoes are down my nan's") but he always sorts it the following day. It's not a problem as I know his circumstances.

Just explain that your DD has two homes and that the planner may sometimes be signed by another adult within the extended family.

OhTiger Thu 27-Jun-13 23:31:31

I'm feeling a bit sorry for the tutor now... But if I give her a list of everyone with full names (I hadn't thought of housekeeper til now, but she sometimes gets lumped with homework) that's 8 adults with 5 different surnames... and the homework planner will be 'thrown away by accident' at least a few times a year along with homework yes this has happened

It just sounds so bloody Jeremy Kyle, but it looks so upper middle. And it is a very naice grammar school I worked my arse off to get her into.

I'm sure it will be fine. Best time to send email? Now or September?

OhTiger Thu 27-Jun-13 23:55:29

Lynette I can't actually afford to buy more than one of everything as it's all School Shop stuff rather than George at Asda stuff which I could get away with at primary. blush

PurpleSwift Fri 28-Jun-13 01:46:47

TBH i really wouldn't bother. I don't see how any of it is relevant to her education. Tutor was probably just asking out of politeness/mild curiosity.

PurpleSwift Fri 28-Jun-13 01:49:06

Also i wouldn't have thought it would be too difficult for you or her father to just sign it? Why would it have to be any other assortment of adults?

MidniteScribbler Fri 28-Jun-13 02:01:02

She's going in to grade seven, she should be able to take responsibility for her own PE Kit and homework diary. Having two homes is pretty common, and not an excuse for being disorganised.

prissyenglisharriviste Fri 28-Jun-13 02:11:46

What mid nite said.

I haven't been telling my grade 6 what he needs to take this year (nor my grade 4 if I'm honest), and tbh I wouldn't have a clue what they need on what days. I occasionally find a lunchbox in the fridge (oh well, guess he's going hungry) or a PE kit lying by the front door, but unless they call me I'm not playing catch-up for them. Additionally, both of them have diagnosed sn. They still need to learn organisational tricks and personal responsibility.

I wouldn't bother with the email. The permissions form will suffice. By y7 she can explain herself in that tedious 'what I did in the school holidays' essay she will be writing in September.

Idocrazythings Fri 28-Jun-13 02:12:04

I don't think you should send an email. It's not your family information to share. If (when) problems arise why can't you say she lives with me most of the time and ExH and his extended family the rest. Your DD might not like you telling teachers about her fathers family dynamics, too, at her new school (shouldn't her father be explaining?).

McGeeDiNozzo Fri 28-Jun-13 04:24:48

'Not your family information to share'? I have to disagree with you. It's her DD's DF. Just because they are estranged does not mean it is none of her business. These are people with whom her DD spends time.

OP, send the e-mail - any information about a kid's family background is useful and informative.

OhTiger Fri 28-Jun-13 09:43:39

Of course it's my information to share! She's my daughter! Haha. And her dad would not even think about it. So it is up to me.

Based on the positive replies from actual tutors on this thread I shall send the email.

QueenofallIsee Fri 28-Jun-13 10:53:04

It doesn't sound that complicated to me - 'she is our only child but she has a large extended step family on her F's side so we operate as a blended family'

And i say that as a family that turns up to DD parents evening/plays/option evenings with 5 guardians

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Fri 28-Jun-13 12:27:16

Send the email - tell her who everyone is and tell her who is allowed/not allowed to request information/give permission etc so that it's all there on paper. It's not like you are asking her to sit a test on it later to see if she's been paying attention!

Is there anywhere at school that DD could leave her various PE kits?

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Fri 28-Jun-13 12:46:27

A good idea to send the email I'd say but I think I'd keep it brief. "DD1 lives primarily with me and her sister, DD2. She has regular contract with her father who lives with his wife and their children and grandchildren." I don't think the teacher needs to know the detail beyond that and can ask DD1 about it if she wants to.

Cravey Fri 28-Jun-13 14:05:44

As a tutor I can honestly say its important for us to know these things. I like to know what's happening in my kids lives. The kids I tutor btw. It helps with a number of things. Kit not turning up, homework not being done. Letters home. The list is endless. Tell the tutor tiger. It is for the best. Also maybe your dd could learn to take control of her kit. That for me is somethingi specify to parents. It teaches them to take responsibility etc.

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