After which age/Grade you leave studies on your Child

(25 Posts)
mom17 Sun 06-Mar-16 17:08:56

I constantly need to ask DS( age 9.5, grade -4) to read this, that. Now this, do that and orally ask if he has remembered things, make sample papers etc. and at time make sample papers and it kind of leads to lots of unhappiness as he behaves well during exams time or 1 before exams but in case I want to make this normal routines, he doesn't like it. He thinks doing homework, extra-curricular are fine. revising something regularly which is being done in school daily is not part of his routine as of now but going forward I want it to be a habit so that it is easier in higher grades. He is also learning Piano( grade-2 level), Guitar and attends 3 days/week Tennis and 2 days/week Basketball. I make it a routine to practice piano daily(30 mins daily) but guitar is not more than 2-3 times/week (10-15mins). He also attends once a week drawing with no homework. He loves reading so lots of time goes in reading as well so with this doesn't leave much time for studies but then asking 30 mins daily is too much ? I am not able to motivate him for studies as I loose my patience and most of the time I started scolding him when he waste time. As such he is good with studies , I am just worried about higher classes as I don't want him to drop these classes but manage time efficiently.

Balletgirlmum Sun 06-Mar-16 17:15:02

He's 9!!!!

All you should be expecting of him is to be doing his school set homework (spellings, times tables & the odd worksheet usually) & reading daily.

I don't know what you mean by "making sample papers). Has that lost something in translation?

30 mins per night of study is a bit over the top & my two went to a fairly academic private school.

Balletgirlmum Sun 06-Mar-16 17:16:37

You run the risk of turning him off learning.

Once he gets to secondary age (11) the school will start to introduce this expectation.

Bunbaker Sun 06-Mar-16 17:26:56

He's 9! Let him enjoy his childhood.

DD is 15 and has GCSEs this year. I am really full on with her to revise because she needs the right grades to get into 6th form.

Lurkedforever1 Sun 06-Mar-16 17:41:44

I'm with balletgirl. It's one thing providing work/ discussion for a child who is asking for it, but counter productive if they aren't. I'll always support dd in what she wants to do, but study wise my input has only ever been 'have you done your homework'. Age 6 that might have meant did she know her spellings, age 16 it will no doubt mean is she prepared for gcses.

jeanne16 Sun 06-Mar-16 18:03:12

Mom17. I think we would have to classify you as a Tiger Mother. Personally I think you should lay off him a bit but I suspect you may find that difficult. He sounds as if he has a lot of activities going on and probably needs some down time.

PatriciaHolm Sun 06-Mar-16 19:07:39

Why is he doing sample papers and exams now anyway?

Stillunexpected Sun 06-Mar-16 22:12:33

When have you timetabled his time to be 9 and act his age? Poor, poor kid.

Mominatrix Mon 07-Mar-16 06:17:07

Hello mom18. Which country are you in? I ask because your grade seems to correlate with US grades, and thus a different educational system than the UK.

I do understand that you are trying to do what you think is best for your child and I grew up in a culture which was east Asian and the attitude towards schooling and education is very different from the Western one. People from the west reply with horror when they hear the normal routines of children living in East Asian countries without understanding the cultures behind them.

Although I was brought up in a "Tiger" environment (the schedule you set for your son is light compared too the one I had to follow!), I learned from the mistakes my parents made, the principal one being to try and raise me with a particularly East Asian attitude whist growing up the the West where none of my friends had to do what I was being forced to do. Making your child stand out so distinctly amongst his/her peers will only lead to misery in the teenage years for your child and yourself.

In terms of instruments - does you child enjoy playing both instruments? Perhaps drop one of them and allow him to focus on the one he prefers and let him excel it that one. Sport-wise, does your child enjoy the sports he does - is he on competitive leagues because 3 times a week lessons for each seem a bit much for casual fun. Perhaps choose one to do 3 times a week and leave the other for more casual play?

In terms of studies, for fourth grade it does sound like you are over involved in them. I know that you want him to do well but if you have your son habitually reliant on you to prop him up and tell him what to do, he will never learn to do things by himself and well. Children at this age need to start learning how to things themselves which also includes the lesson of what will happen if they don't adequately prepare. You need to let your son learn that inadequate effort and preparation will lead to poor results, and better he learns this now when grades don't impact his transcript than later when the grades are important. Overseeing and advising is one thing, berating and nagging constantly is another.

Lastly, it does not sound like your son has any free time for himself or any control over his schedule. He is not a programmable robot and the lack of any say is his life and he will react by not cooperating with you. I believe that making a much looser schedule which you allow him to some (and increasing) ownership will work to both you and your son's favour. Perhaps barter him him and say that you will reward him for revising 15 minutes a day with a greater amount of free time to do something he finds fun?

Not easy, but I saw with my brothers and the children of my parent' friends how such a rigid way of raising children can spectacularly backfire.

mom17 Mon 07-Mar-16 09:18:50

yes, I am from Asia. He has started all these activities for almost 1.5 yrs and I want him to continue till I see clean-cut interest in 1-2 activities and we pursue those at competitive level then. No way, I am tiger mom, I am working mom hence wants to utilize his time in these activities till I come home and he loves sports as such. It is more for physical fitness and socializing and time away from TV, Ipads etc. But yeah, since his peers are also specializing in 1 activity to get through Ivy-leagues apart from good in studies, it kinds of bring pressure on me which percolates down to him. Parenting is difficult, isn't it. You don't want them to say later you didn't train for these, I was a child I didn't know.

SAHDthatsall Mon 07-Mar-16 09:47:06

You need to set him more targets and train him harder. You must impose on him more time on his musical instruments and make him work harder to achieve Grades - has he taken Grades yet, and if not why not? He should be aiming for Grade 4-5 in instruments by now and 7-8 by the time he is 11. Set him targets for his work and make him study hard, play is for later when he has finished at Harvard.

TeenAndTween Mon 07-Mar-16 13:00:43

SAHD I presume you are joking? I am concerned the OP might not realise that.

mom17 Mon 07-Mar-16 15:51:23

No, I got her sarcasm. I am not Sheldon. But I agree, in this process we are snatching their childhood.

MLP Mon 07-Mar-16 16:06:26

Listen to your own words - "we are snatching their childhood" - ease off. All kids need down time to chill and do unstructured things. Even to watch bad TV.

Mominatrix Mon 07-Mar-16 16:31:34

mom, you have all my sympathy. It is evident that you really care for your son and want the best for him. and I completely understand where you are viewing the world from in terms of cultural norms.

However, Ivy league Unis and their Liberal Arts counterparts have realised how much supportive parents with means were gaming the admissions systems and are changing the way they run admissions. Achievement will still be paramount, but they will be looking for the meat behind the statistics - the activities they are looking for are not mediocre level sports (I mean not being nationally/internationally ranked), but a purpose to the activity and a drive which stems from the child, not the desires of the parent. Be very careful that you don't make your child miserable for no better reason than to try and wrongly pad an admission profile which will work against you.

I am not sure if I can attach PDF's, but a group of the leading US liberal arts colleges and Unis produced a report this year called "Full Report - Turning the Tide Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good through College Admissions.pdf". Please read this as it might change your mind on the necessity of over scheduling and oversetting targets for your son in order to get into an Ivy League, because what you are doing will actually make him less attractive.

sunnydayinmay Mon 07-Mar-16 16:39:29

DS2 is 9 years old, so same age. I also have an older son, so have been through this before. Also know lots of children who are being pushed to achieve a lot at this age.

Honestly, if your child is progressing at school, I would drop the extra academic work. Far better they do the set homework, and then enjoy their extra curriculum stuff. It will teach them more about self organisation than doing pages of extra work.

For example, ds2 has come in from school, done his homework (30 mins), piano practice (20 mins), and is now playing chess online, which is one of his extra curriculum things, but he just does for fun. Then he'll probably spend an hour ( or two...) watching Stampy, and read at bedtime.

That feels balanced to me. He was happy to do his homework etc, because he wanted to place chess.

My elder son has come in from secondary and gone straight to his homework, because he wants to play tennis later.

If you encourage just the homework and prioritise hobbies which he enjoys, then I think the rest falls into place.

SAHDthatsall Mon 07-Mar-16 17:17:27

Big Bang Theory... could watch it all day long!! smile smile smile

NewLife4Me Mon 07-Mar-16 17:37:18

Poor child, he obviously doesn't want to do it.
He's only 9 why are you pressurising him?
Speaking from experience if you force them to do something there is very little likelihood they will keep it up when you stop nagging them.
You are encouraging lots of resentment there, back off and let him work at his own pace and level, dropping the things he doesn't want to do.

AgonyBeetle Mon 07-Mar-16 21:56:46

What does your son actually want to do? Does he even know what he wants to do, or is he going to end up being very good at jumping through ever higher hoops without ever really having any idea of why he is doing it? The risk you run with this kind of programme is that you produce a child who responds to external motivation, but has little internal motivation or self-direction, and potentially quite high anxiety levels.

I think there is a case to be made for insisting that children complete a full term or year of an activity they wanted to start, so that they get used to the notion that you don't ditch an activity on the first wet Saturday in November when you'd rather stay in bed than play rugby or whatever. Ditto practising an instrument - if my dc want to have music lessons, then they need to put in 30 mins a day practising the instrument, otherwise they're wasting their time and the teacher's time, and my money.

There's also a case to be made for insisting that a child does at least one activity a week that involves significant physical exertion of some kind. For some children that will be a competitive sport like basketball or tennis, but other children might be much happier doing something like kayaking or climbing.

But that's a world away from setting your child up with an exhausting portfolio of external activities because of some kind of fear that he will be missing out or get left behind in the race of life. You sound as if you've picked these activities because you think they're important, not because they actually reflect your son's abilities or interests. Tbh I think your child is doing a completely excessive number and range of externally-directed activities, adn even if the child himself was begging to do all of this (which it doesn't sounds as if he is) I would still think it was too much. Children need a lot of downtime, not necessarily screen time, but time to think, play, dream, and just be, to work out who they are and what they want.

As it happens, I have ended up with a teenagers who have devoted what sometimes seemed to me like disproportionate amounts of time and energy to their chosen pursuits (sport for one, music for another), and spent pretty much all their waking non-school hours on that activity, and ended up being pretty successful at what they did. But in both cases they were doing that because it was something they had chosen for themselves, not something we imposed on them, and I don't think they would have attained those levels of commitment and achievement if they'd been doing it to please us. Along the way I have encountered a lot of slightly deranged sport and music parents who want success for their child much more than the child wants it for themselves. Without exception not only do those parents not get what they want, but they end up with noticeably problematic relationships with their teenagers, who struggle to extricate themselves from under the weight of parental expectations.

I think you need to seriously chill out, and have a long hard think about whose needs are actually being met by this programme - your child's needs to do all these activities, or your need to have a high-performing, succesful child.

Youarenotthebossofme Tue 08-Mar-16 09:31:57

Hi mom17, I have to say that if after 1.5 years you are still waiting for your son to develop a clear cut interest and will continue to persue this activity until they do, sounds like a disaster. Surely after a year and a half if your son is still not interested, you need to find what he does want to do? Could you ask him to choose a sport/ activity that he wants to do and give it a 3 month minimum with full participation? Having to force your child to do so many activities that he is nonplussed about is a waste of his and your time. He probably loves sports as he is able to escape the haranguing and gets to socialise with his friends.
You need to use your time (and his) more effectively. Ask the teacher if he needs to do any more revision at home. If you are making him slog through sample papers without an exam bring in sight he probably can't see the point either. You could, if you really really have to, set him a paper just to see if there are any holes that need to be filled in his learning. Then work on that.
Everything sounds organised to the nth degree. Time for him to learn how to self motivate and think for himself. Revision doesn't have to be a long slog, especially on top of homework. Break it down into small chunks so he doesn't resent it.
You don't want him to give up any of his activities, but you want to add 30 min ( is that on top of homework?) of extra revision a day. He already sounds like he has a packed schedule as it is. There has to be some give and take or you could be heading for meltdown.

LoveBoursin Mon 14-Mar-16 14:28:43

I appreciate that you are in the U.S., not in the UK but in my experience, children interests vary a lot at that age. I see that time (and the teenage years) as a time to explore all the things they can do so they can get an idea of what they like and what they don't.
That doesn't mean doing things half heartily but trying lots of different things, incl stuff you might not be keen on so they can get an idea of what their tastes and interests are (not what you think their tastes and interests are, which is, again in my experience, what happens when you 'guide' them at that age iyswim)

Im not even horrified at what your DC is doing. Mines have done similar things and I have had similar experiences as a child (I'm not even Asian, so no tiger mum here smile) but you do need to give hem a bit of room to learn who they are.

mom17 Mon 14-Mar-16 17:04:12

I also believe in giving lots of exposure to kids and as long as they are enjoying it and doing good, they should carry on. Sports are kind of play till it is competitive level but not targeting as profession. My son still has 2 free days when he gets to have his free time for 1-2 hrs. He loves both Tennis and Basketball and never cribs for it. I plan to carry on like this for another 2-3 yrs and when we really start thinking about serious studies, I plan to cut down to 2 activities. As of now he is on top in studies (his class) and doing good in all extra curricular in comparison to most of his peers. We have a little hard time during exams time as I don't make him skip any of classes during that time also and he being a child doesn't understand time management like he will still read stories for more than 30-40 mins, that is when I have to be on his head. Main pressure comes for maintaining his position everywhere as being a mother I can't see him less than on top position.

IdealWeather Mon 14-Mar-16 19:34:13

It is ok for him to read for more than 40mins though. He is still learning a lot by just doing that. Not all learning is done in a formal way.

I wouldn't expect a child at that age to understand about time management at all. Hell a lot of adults can't get their head around it!
I found it much better to have some flexibility and let them read for longer if they are really into it and then have more time doing xx activity another day if that makes sense?

Re him being at the top of everything. I have a child who is gifted and can be at the top for everything wo any effort. What is obvious is that the area he is learning the most are the ones where he isn't as good and is failing.
He is learning resilience, hard work and the value of effort. All of which are just as important when he will be older and going to Uni etc...
So we are actively looking for areas where he is NOT that good and certainly not at the top so he can learn all these things too..

mom17 Tue 15-Mar-16 04:43:39

IdealWeather, good idea to do something which you are not that good and reach a level after putting hardwork. As of now, we have selected things based on their availability in neighborhood or things which he is really passionate about ( basketball for which we don't mind going far off also).

mumeeee Wed 16-Mar-16 11:34:56

Mom17 I agree with other posters you need to back off a bit and let him be 9.
He doesn't need sample papers made for him at this stage. Yes make sure he does his homework and practice his instruments that's if he actually wants to learn to play them. That goes for the sport too.
You say he has about 1 or 2 hours a couple of days a week for free time or have I read that wrong?
He should have more than that. He needs time to chill.
When our 3 DDs were young our rule was no more than 3 activities a week and we got them to stick at what they had chosen to do. We also encouraged them to do their homework and occasionally did some extra work with them particularly with DD3 as she is Dyspraxic and needed to work on a couple of things at home. But even then a lot of the extra work was fun stuff things like games for Maths.
Anyway we always made sure they had time to chill. All 3 of them have gone to university.

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